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A social networking site which is truly "social"  Nov 30, 2010
Heard of Chris Hughes? For those of you avid Net surfers and social owls, he is a well-known figure, the co-founder of social networking site Facebook. Well, Chris has done it again. He has launched today, a social site called Jumo, for "guys who want to change the world". Yes, for wannbe and "already arrived" social activists and organizations.

More funds for Brazilian social gaming portal, more fun for gamers Nov 30
Outside India, if there is any place where social networking site Orkut is quite popular, it is Brazil. In India, though, rival Facebook has climbed over Orkut, but then that's another story. This one is about Brazil's leading online gaming portal Vostu that specializes in social gaming. Vostu is on Orkut, run by Google, Zynga is on Facebook, so that makes Vostu and Zynga rivals, in a way. But wait, there's more. Vostu has stiff competition from another Miami, US-based portal called Mentez. People at Vostu were forced to sit up when Mentez, this August, managed to raise some "obscene" amount as funds ( figure undisclosed). That made the 3-year-old Vostu get into the act, or market, should we say. Online media reports from VentureBeat and others now say that Vostu has managed to raise US $30 mln as funding. The firms putting in the moolah are the well-known US-based VCs Tiger Global Management & Accel Partners. While there is no official confirmation from Vostu yet, this development can only come as welcome news for the gaming portal and it's 200-odd employees, not to mention, its 200 mln active users in the Web World. 


Chinese ISP thinking of offering Facebook-like features for social site Nov 29
Social site Facebook should be flattered by this one, surely. News Agency AFP has quoted a"report" saying one of the largest Internet Service providers of China, Tencent, has decided to offer certain services with similarities to Facebook, on its own social networking site, QZone. A report appeared today in The Financial Times of London in which the President of the firm Martin Lau told FT in a "rare" interview that the move would change the way the firm earns revenue. Here's the link to the FT story
Tencent, incidentally, runs the world's largest instant messaging service called QQ. It has a variety of products for Chinese Net surfers. The firm is testing links to several external websites for users, the way Facebook members can link to other sites with the Like function.


Say Bolt in 9 Indian languages from now on  Nov 27, 2010
The company that owns the BOLT Cloud computing browsing platform, Bitsream Inc, a Nasdaq listed company, has announced that this Monday, Nov 29, it would be unveiling a "mobile browsing solution" for the Indian mobile market that will support 9 major Indian languages including Hindi. A press release issued by the software company said the new interface between mobile user and the instrument will accept inputs by the user in any of the 9 languages. English always remains an option. This function will also be supported by such mobile phones that do not support other fonts except the Latin ones. The company claims that  3 million people had downloaded BOLT V1, in India, when it was introduced last year. The statement said BOLT was already the most fully-featured mobile browser built for phones of all types, ranging from entry level handsets to smartphones. BOLT offers users the widest variety of streaming audio and video available in a mobile browser, supporting both Flash and HTML5 video, and also includes many advanced features and social network integration, such as Twitter and Facebook widgets.
Anna Magliocco-Chagnon, CEO of Bitstream was quoted in the statement as saying, "Now with the addition of Indic language support, Bitstream is introducing the mobile Internet as it was intended to be seen to millions of new users in India and surrounding regions.”


Has social site Diaspora made the cut?                   Nov 26, 2010

It's been just over 48 hours since the launch of the private alpha (only by invite, for the uninitiated) version of open-source social networking site, Diaspora. Enough time for experts to have checked out the 1st cut. Diaspora, a child born from social networking site Facebook's tryst with privacy (or rather the alleged lack of it) has been keenly watched by many online. So, what is their reaction to the 1st version?

Face it, they gonna own the word Face soon                                               Nov 24, 2010
When we had first heard of this one, we had thought it quite amusing, and frankly, not taken it seriously. But the news seems to be true. Social networking site Facebook is said to have taken the 1st step in actually trademarking the word, Face. But before all of you panic, wait. If granted the right, the social site can only stake its claim on the word  for certain  purposes only, like use in telecommunication.The online media today reported that a Notice of Allowance had been granted to Facebook on Nov 23 stating that if successful, the site could be the sole possessor of the word, Face,  for telecommunication purposes. The application was made to the authority in 2005. It will be another 3 months or so before permission will be granted, and after Facebook has paid up all the fees, and done the paperwork. Watch out this space for more.

1 out of 4 pageviews in US in week ending Nov 13 was on Facebook       Nov 22, 2010
Internet intelligence gathering firm Hitwise has released new findings till November 13, 2010, on the Internet visits by users in the US market. It says the amount of Content consumption taking place on the popular social network had gone up substantially. One in nearly 4 page views in the US took place on Facebook in the week ending November 13, 2010. The market share of page views for Facebook, it said, was 24.27% last week, which was almost 4 times more than the volume of the 2nd ranked website YouTube, which was recorded at 6.93%. Incidentally, it was only in May this year that Hitwise had said that in March 2010, Facebook had got more number of visitors than search engine Google, in the US. 

Google is not about money first but that the Net was fast changing the world, says CFO Nov 21, 2010
This piece of news is doing the rounds of the online media including micro-blog Twitter. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of search major Google Patrick Pichette, in an interview with Australian Public TV on Sunday, has said social media was "absolutely a part of its strategy and would be embedded in many of our products".
Reports filed by agencies Bloomberg and AFP said Patrick played down Google's rivalry with social networking site Facebook. Patrick said Amazon & Apple were "winning" in the new technology race and Microsoft was a "formidable" competitor, but played down as media hype suggestions that Facebook was Google's next big rival. "Search is clearly the core product of Google but our other products too have great trajectories", he said. He added that the 1st driving principle of Google was not money, it was understanding that the Internet was fast changing the world."The digital world is exploding and it has so many chapters -- it has cloud computing, it has mobile, it does have social, it has searches, it has so many elements. Within that... social (networking) is just one chapter," said Patrick.

So, what's the size of funding guys?                                                               Nov 21, 2010
Netizens may still be getting to know of a Startup called Formspring based out of San Francisco, USA. There are reports that after its 1st round of funding of US $2.5 million earlier this year, the Q&A site has just got some fresh funds. While many media sites like Gigacom and Mashable reported different figures, the company has yet to issue an official statement. Formspring works  on a simple formula - you create a page and anybody can then go to that page and ask you questions, even anonymously.This is apparently creating big waves in the US market already. Keep reading this section for updates.

Gnip's new deal with Twitter                                                                          Nov 20, 2010
Social data tracker and provider Gnip has raised US $2 million in funding. It further announced that it had entered a deal with microblog Twitter wherein it would re-sell data of Twitter users’ posts. 

MySpace mashes up with Facebook                                                                              Nov 19, 2010
Social networking site MySpace, which is often hailed as the pioneer of the social networking wave, has integrated with the much larger rival Facebook. The announcement was made on Thursday (12 noon EST) at a joint news conference. Under the agreement, MySpace will employ Facebook Connect across its site. The change draws the curtains on years of contest for the Number One position between the two.
The move called "Mashup" means that MySpace's recently announced entertainment personalization feature can now be accessed from a user's profile.The Facebook status updates can be shown up on MySpace account. The 'Like' button, too, will debut on MySpace.
"We are thrilled to further our collaboration with Facebook through Mashup with Facebook," MySpace CEO Mike Jones said in a statement. "This new feature is a great illustration of our strategy around social entertainment and enabling the real-time stream."
The move has evoked mixed reactions from the online community. While some have hailed it, others, more critical, said this could ultimately mean the demise of MySpace.

Gaming portal Zynga launches social game CityVille                              Nov 18, 2010
Well-known social gaming portal Zynga has launched one more social game called CityVille, that too, in 5 languages. 

Yahoo! reveals new Search features at Web 2.0                                           Nov 18, 2010
The Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco, USA, in its 7th edition, is already the epi-centre of Internet-related news. After Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's session, and "revelations", it was the turn of Internet portal Yahoo!. Having launched a new version just yesterday of its popular Messenger, Yahoo! this afternoon (Nov 17, EST) announced a range of local and social products focused on "personalizing your Web experience". As part of this, it launched a new Beta version (test) of its Search Assist function. This is a feature that Yahoo! claims to have introduced in the first place. It is based on what in technical mumbo jumbo is dubbed as "predictive text", a feature that exists even on your mobile phone, used while texting. As part of this experiment, the new Search Assist will provide answers or links to Search queries of a user, even as he/she is typing out the key words. If not an instant answer, it will throw up a "most-clicked" results for the topic of your interest, all within the Search Assist box. We must point out here that Google has already implemented something like this recently called Google Instant. Yahoo! has also announced that it would soon launch local Search results applications. This could be used to find out, for example, the best Chinese restaurant in your locality. Actually, Yahoo!'s announcements are part of a Search Enhancement process kicked off by the portal from October 6 this year. 


Nearly half of registered Facebook users log on every day says CEO Mark Zuckerberg   Nov 17, 2010
We all know that social networking site Facebook had recently hit a record 500 mln registered users. Today, site CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed this astonishing bit of statistics, says digital news site Mashable. Zuckerberg, according to the report, shared this with Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle in a panel discussion at the 7th edition of the ongoing Web 2.0 Summit. 
The 26-year-old Facebook CEO touched upon a host of subjects including his site's on-going spat with Google. He also admitted to have made mistakes while running Facebook, but passed it off, saying if one is building a product people love, than one can make a lot of mistakes.
He, of course, gave one piece of advise to those companies who had not yet become "social". Get on fast, is what he reportedly said.

New version of Yahoo!Messenger  allows you to play online social games 
Nov 17, 2010
Yahoo!Messenger V11 has just been released. Of course, it is in Beta. But the Internet space is agog with the launch of the latest version of what is touted to be one of the best chat instruments in the online world.C

Multi-million dollar fund set aside for applications development for Chinese "Twitter"    Nov 16, 2010
Not all of you may be familiar with Sina, China's largest web portal. Among other things, it runs China's micro-blog Weibo, said to be like Twitter. Weibo was launched last August. Today, Sina issued a press statement that Weibo had finally beaten all competition in China and emerged as No 1 micro-blog in China, netting 50 mln registered users. Further, news agency Reuters has reported out of Shanghai that Sina has announced that it has set aside a fund equivalent to US$ 301 mln to encourage developers to make applications for Weibo. Just to remind our readers that both, Google and Twitter are banned on mainland China. Both have Chinese equivalents and both of them including Weibo is monitored by the Chinese government. There are about 420 mln Internet users in China.

Facebook Places has competition.It is called Google Hotpot                       Nov 16, 2010
First, there was Facebook Places, now there is Google Hotpot. You know if these 2 do not stop their efforts to "up" one and another, we may have a new tab on the left hand side bar that may read - Google vs Facebook. But coming back to the point, nobody knew it but all this while Search Engine Google was working on a user-recommendation based location-based Search Engine. It finally unwrapped Hotpot today. What Hotpot does is to take the entire Google Places Ratings & Reviews, and adds a personal touch to it. Users of Hotpot will be asked to  rate hotels, pubs, theatres and so on. So, when a user keys in say a Chinese restaurant in SoBo, he will be given similar rated Chinese places around that part of town. 

Here's why Orkut lost to Facebook in India                                        Nov 16, 2010
This is why Google's social networking site Orkut lost out to Facebook in India in July 2010. According to media reports quoting the Mumbai-based agency Komli Media’s Vizisense - an agency that tracks web audience measurement in India - social media applications on Facebook like Farmville, Mafia Wars, Cafe World were the reasons why. The Vizisense data, which tracked online usage behaviour across a panel of about a lakh web users in India, found that Apps see the highest usage and the most time spent on Facebook, as against other sections.

Facebook launches new messaging service, attempts to re-invent e-mail Nov 15
Is it snail mail, is it e-mail? No, it's Facebook mail. That about sums up the launch of the world's numero uno social networking site's attempt to launch its own version of messaging between 2 and more individuals. As expected, the select Press meet on Monday turned out to be just what had been anticipated - the announcement of Facebook's version of e-mail. 

So, is Facebook about to launch it's version of Gmail?                    Nov 14, 2010
It is the most "well-kept" secret at social networking site Facebook. The Internet Media has been abuzz since February this year that Facebook will soon launch a counter to Gmail. Its even gotta name - Project Titan. In fact, this piece of news is in the same league as Google's attempt at developing a social networking site to counter Facebook (of course vehemantly denied by the former). Come Monday, Nov 14, and Facebook is said to be all set to unveil Project Titan. Well, that's what every Internet Media worth its salt is reporting. Catch on with the rest of the story

Boxee Box starts selling Internet-ready set-top boxes        Nov 11, 2010
The 3rd player in the Internet TV game, Boxee Box has started shipping its Net-ready set-top box from today through Amazon. The product allows users to stream Internet video and browse the web, besides watching regular TV. Boxee Box was developed in partnership with D-Link. Read about Boxee here...http://www.whatsnewonthenet.com/Startups-News-Boxee-20-10-2010.php 

Social is not an ingredient for success says  man                  Nov 11, 2010
"We are not making another traditional social network platform." With this one statement by Head of Mobile Product Development Hugo Barra, search engine major Google has put to rest all speculation that it was on the verge of making a carbon copy of social networking site Facebook. Barra was responding to a question at the Monaco Media Forum, a conference of old and new media players in Monaco. The remark picked up by news agency Reuters, is now headlines in the Web World media. Barra's remark does not come a surprise though. Some time ago, none other that Google chief executive Eric Schmidt had said the same thing. But Barra went a step ahead and gave the online community a hint of what was going on in Google's mind. He said Google did not feel that Social was an ingredient for success for any application going forward (was there contempt for Facebook there, we wonder?) & Search and Advertising were the 2 best examples of success, and that is what Google was contemplating. And Barra also denied that there was any product to be named Google Me, said TechCrunch. He reportedly told the interviewer that it was a terrible choice for a name.

Facebook tweeks Search results                                                                     Nov 11, 2010
Social networking site Facebook has gone and tweeked its Search results. Under this, when you click "See More results" tab in the site's Search field, you will be presented with all results displaying in one vertical page. Besides, it has also added Friends' Search in Real Time. Facebook keeps adding new changes to the site, this is one of them. 

Can't Search but you can still Ask                                                          Nov 9, 2010
Fourteen years after it was launched, Ask.com seems to have lost the battle for becoming a global Search Engine. The company said on Tuesday (EST) that it had decided to concentrate on its Q&A service and outsource Search.

Biggest-ever web traffic survey throws up "shocking" results   Nov 8, 2010
It claims to be the biggest-ever survey ever undertaken to understand web traffic. The results it has thrown up has sent the online community in a tizzy. Why? 

Birth of a new Internet Browser                                          Nov 8, 2010
Heard of  Marc Andreessen? Well, for those of us who have been with the commercial version of the Internet since the beginning, he was the guy who developed the Netscape browser (now dead). Marc is now a leading Venture Capitalist. And, he is backing a new Internet browser called RockMelt. The way the new browser has been launched is slightly...well, strange. Early version is available by invite only. You need to register first, and if you pass muster, you will be the privileged few to get to test it. RM incorporates social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in it. Be warned: It also needs a Facebook account to register.  At about just after midnight today, EST, www.rockmelt.com went 'Live'. According to the blogpost, RockMelt will do more than just offer users to navigate web pages. It will make it easy for users to share information with friends, stay up-to-date with news and information and of course, Search. RockMelt is expected to be " secure, and stable" because it’s built on Chromium, the open source project behind Google’s Chrome browser. We have asked for a first copy of RM, as and when we get it, we shall feature it in our Startups Bulletin section.   

Yahoo's Carol Bartz, other top IT guns to address Product Conclave  Nov 6, 2010 

The 4th edition of the NASSCOM promoted Product Conclave 2010 has been completely booked. To be held on Nov 10-11 in India's IT capital Bangalore, this year's conclave will offer "practical advice" on lean Startups models, and dwell on topics like Product Design and Ideation, Customer Development Process and Solution/Market Fit. 

No need to visit Facebook anymore to play this social game  Nov 3, 2010 
First, there was social networking site Facebook. Then, there were social games. Then, there was LOLApps, a Startup based in Los Angeles,USA, who launched several social games on Facebook. These games started drawing in millions of players per month from the social networking site. Till October 15 this year when LOLApps was abruptly"pulled out" from Facebook. A few days later, the former realized it could have been because of "inadvertent leakage of user's personal data" that hit Facebook. Things could not have been so ill-timed for LOLApps, for it was around that time, that it planned to launch a new game through Facebook called RavenwoodFair. Anyway, things were sorted out between the 2, and on Oct 19, RavenwoodFair was launched. But once bitten twice shy, LOLApps CEO Arjun Sethi decided to expand beyond Facebook. So, the Startup decided to launch RavenwoodFair.com
This, according to the New York Times, is a move similar to that by another famous gaming portal Zynga. The latter launched FarmVille.com, a separate website for its most famous game to date. Sethi, in fact, in a tweet,yesterday, announced the launch of RavenwoodFair.com
All the best, guys.

Malaysians most friendly people on the Internet    Nov 1, 2010 
An online survey by a global research firm, TNS, on Digital Life has shown that Malaysians are the most friendly people on the Internet, while at the bottom of the rung are the Japanese. The former won because on an average, they have 233 friends in their social network while the Japanese have only about 29. The Chinese have scored better, averaging 68 friends. According to the news report filed by agency AFP, James Fergusson of TNS said the survey showed each country had its own digital DNA. Malaysians were "very open" in inviting almost everybody online to be their friends but the Japanese were very "choosy" in whom to invite. Also, the Japanese shy away from revealing their personal/intimate details online. Malaysians, on the other hand, were a very "curious lot", said the report.