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Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is in full swing - we are adding our recommendations daily, aimed at men, women, teens, families, techies, and more. If you need help figuring out what to get the people in your life, head on over to our Guide for some ideas. We’ll even be giving away some of the items featured this year!
Tumblr is facing some security issues, according to a post on the staff blog.
"A human error caused some sensitive server configuration information to be exposed this morning," read the blog post. "Our technicians took immediate measures to protect from any issues that may come as a result."
Tumblr said that it's unlikely users' personal information was compromised, but that independent auditors will be consulted to confirm this.
"We're certain that none of your personal information (passwords, etc.) was exposed, and your blog is backed up and safe as always. This was an embarrassing error, but something we were prepared for," Tumblr continued.
The company didn't give many concrete details as to what the breach actually effected and said that even though sensitive information was not compromised, "the fact that [this problem] occurred at all is still unacceptable." Tumblr pledged that its team is "seriously evaluating and adjusting our processes to ensure an error like this can never happen again."
Comments on the blog post didn't suggest that users were particularly upset by the security issue. One user said "you guys need a better coding staff." Another user applauded Tumblr's speedy response: "Deal with these things. Good job Tumblr."
Reps from Tumblr did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the problem.
In December, Tumblr suffered from an outage that it blamed on a maintenance error. After the site was restored, Tumblr admitted that it has struggled to keep up with the site's growth. The site now averages more than 500 million monthly page views.
Venture capital firms have thrown $30 million behind one of life's simplest pleasures: looking at funny pictures of cats and writing hilarious captions to go with them.
The Cheezburger Network, the company that owns the humor and feel-good site I Can Has Cheezburger?, just got a whopper influx of cash, which it says will be used to update existing sites and tools, expand its staff, and perhaps acquire new Web sites.
The investments are led by Foundry Group, Avalon Ventures, Madrona Venture Group, and SoftBank Capital. Brad Feld of Foundry, Greg Gottesman of Madrona, and Rich Levandov of Avalon will join the Cheezburger board.
The funding means "that we are going to be able to provide you with even more content and an even better user experience," Jen Nausin, marketing director for the Cheezburger Network, said in a blog post. "As it relates to specific features, this might sound crazy, but honestly, we're not sure what's coming yet. We're a company that's about testing ideas and understanding what our users want from us so keep your feedback coming!"
When someone picks a blogging service, what often determines which one they'll pick may be the price or features. However, reliability is often forgotten, despite the fact that if your site goes down, nothing else really matters. Pingdom, an Internet monitoring company, published a study they did of some of the most popular blogging platforms on the Internet. The study was conducted over 2 months, and covered the services from Tumblr, Wordpress, Typepad, Blogger and Posterous. They used in-house software to monitor uptime, and check the availability of certain services. Overall, they found that during the period tested, Tumblr was by far the most unreliable, with Blogger being the winner at basically no downtime whatsoever. Check out the report for full details.
Read More | Pingdom
Beth Kanter is a technology trainer for non-profit organizations. Online, she blogs at Beth’s Blog. She experiments with all types of social media tools. Things like Facebook, FriendFeed, Flickr, Qik, etc.
Today Beth is going to talk about how she has raised money to support disadvantaged children in Cambodia.
- Make it Personal - When you talk about your cause, you make it very personal. Beth has adopted two children from Cambodia. However, there are kids in Cambodia who don’t have adoptive parents, and some are even considered the head of their household, due to not having parents.
- Stories - Tell stories about the kids and the impact that the foundation she was working with was having on the children. Also share stories about what she learned doing the work, as it was unfolding.
- Three Rs of Network Weaving- Relationship building, Rewards, and Reciprocity. Putting that into action, Beth told stories about the t-shirts that she was able to get as part of her fundraising efforts. She blogged about the issues, and she continued interweaving those relationships that she was building.
- Fun, Humor, Easy, Passion - Beth’s birthday was during the campaign, and she used Facebook to ask her friends to donate $10 to the cause. She also made a series of videos with her kids to attempt to solicit her network. That got others to solicit their networks.
- In the middle of the campaign, Beth just continued blogging and sharing about the campaign using the different networks and tools at her disposal. She tried to focus on people that had larger networks, counting on the compounding effect.
Beth than put out a challenge - can we get 250 people to donate $10 to send someone to college? I have sent the link out to my Twitter network, and I am putting it here now. If you have $10 (or $5, or even $1) to help someone less fortunate than you, please go here: Beth Kanter’s call to action
We are ready to chat with Mark Bao, the 16-year old entrepreneur, and the youngest person to ever speak at Gnomedex. Mark runs Avecora, which does web apps. In the future they hope to do social consumer electronics. He also won me over by introducing himself as an avid Gear Live reader, as we got into a conversation about the BlackBerry Thunder.
Generation Y.5, how will they affect the future of technology? FIrst, they have more exposure to new technology. Companies are making it easier for technology to be used, but also this generation is more used to having it around and therefore more comfortable with it. Next, tech innovators and entrepreneurs will be brought out of this generation, and as such, there is a change in career paths, jobs, and influence. There is an expectation in more social features. Also, this generation is used to the age of data. This also spurs shorter attention spans. If something isn’t interesting, they know they can just got find something else due to the vast wealth of data.
Francine talks about things she grew up without. No Facebook, Fax, Computer, Fax, Intel, McDonald’s, Computers, etc. What she did have was privacy, security, clean air, healthcare, two parent household, and an extra-marital affair that no one found out about.
Francine wonders how much “in the way” the older Gen X generation is, as it pertains to Gen Y moving ahead and doing what they need to do. School in its present form isn’t teaching what is needed for upcoming jobs. Sure, it teaches history, sciences that are valid, etc., but is missing the technologies that are necessary for those that are entering into the new industries. For Gen Y.5, school, college, jobs are becoming meaningless as it pertains to business, finance, and tech.
The big change came when mobile came to the forefront, having a communication system that allows you to socially interact in a multitude of ways from wherever you are. Voice, text, social networks, etc. As it pertains to privacy, most Gen Y.5ers don’t really care about privacy, nor do they use the privacy features offered by networks like Facebook.
The one thing I think might have been missed, is that Mark is a very, very special case. However, most 16-year olds are not like Mark. They will mostly have regular jobs. Sure, they will use more tech, but right now most of them are using text messaging, MySpace, and Facebook - not selling companies, and creating new startups.
Robert and Maryam are speaking on getting noticed in the new word-of-mouth network.
1) Blog because you want to. A story without live is not worth telling. Maryam talks about how Robert kept pushing her to blog for four years. Then one day, she started to blog. As soon as she started, she was blogging about Robert and he tried to get her to stop talking about him on her blog.
If you are blogging about something you don’t really care about because you think it’s profitable, you won’t have passion to go long-term.
2) Read other blogs. Use Technorati to find blogs that are similar to the topics you want to discuss, pick up writing styles, and learn about your competitors. If you read 50 blogs in two weeks and you aren’t compelled to answer back the things that you are reading, you probably won’t be a good blogger.
Maryam started blogging because she was going to a lot of conferences, but people told her they had no way of linking to her. It brings out community and a bond that she hadn’t experienced before. Through blogging she has gotten a much better job and has made a lot more friends. She loves it.
3) Pick a niche you can own - be different. There are two kinds of bloggers - ones that want to make things, and shake things. Others just want to talk to their friends and use their blogs to post baby pictures, talk about books they read, etc. Either way, each group should have a common set of values. When Robert visited people outside of Silicon Valley, he studied the way people use their computers. People go to Google and search for Yahoo because they want to get to Yahoo. Same for Yahoo, one of their top terms is Google.
Normal people outside the tech world aren’t using things like Google Maps, Google Groups, or Picasa. Everyone comes at this world through the search engine, so how do they interact with that?
Question - if you were to pick a category to be different in, would that be the tech category? Yes, it would be hard, but Mike Arrington came in late to the game and went to number one. He was also very focused on a very specific part of the tech industry, being Web 2.0.
There was a niche blogger in London who talks about the London Underground transportation system. After the London bombing, everyone hit her site, and now she is popular. Of course, we don’t want to have a terrorist act happen to make us famous, but you get the point.
9:07: Jason hits the stage and says you don’t have to have the gin tasting the night before the conference instead of the night after.
9:08: Blogging is a great way to build a business, and it’s a business in and of itself. back in 1994, people thought the web was the place to get text, and then thought it was a magazine, then maybe the future of TV. However, you can do a lot of different things with it. Same with blogs - they are like paper. You can make a marketing brochure, a beautiful book, or toilet paper.
9:10: Blogs are real and authentic. There is a movie called “Homepage” which Jason recommends to the attendees. No one knows who Justin Hall is, which blows him away. In 2002-2003 there was a lot of mistrust overall. This is where blogs became free, and started gaining traction. People wanted to express themselves, and that created the perfect storm for blogging. Enter Weblogs, Inc.
9:12: Rafat Ali over at www.paidcontent.org earns about $70,000 from blogging, twice what he was earning working for Jason at Silicon Alley Reporter. Jason started to see the power in the medium. Xeni Jardin flourished after working for Jason, which is when he started wondering if he was holding people back rather than letting them loose. The proof was that when they left, they did better and more interesting work.
9:15: When Silicon Alley Reporter was over, Jason and his CTO Brian Alvey started talking about blogging. They started building blogs in the fall of 2003, and Jason’s idea was that they make is similar to About.com with a bunch of mini-portals.
Jeremy Pepper, Jeanette Gibson, and John Starweather
How does Cisco manage relationships with End Users when there is a reseller middle man?
By providing them a unique way to interact with the company online. They can log in and get a personalized view, along with interactivity.
Can they talk about steps they are taking to educate employees internally about the potential for engagement, so that they understand the impact of blogs, podcasting, etc.?
To educate, you need to have some good data so that you can show how influence really moves across the Internet, and how something you might post online actually reaches customers and hits the community. Cisco puts a blog, podcasting, and news section on their Intranet system, so global employees can all get to that information easily.
11:30: TypePad is a hosted blogging service that gives you a 30-day free trial. Keywords are very important. What words do people use when they try to find your product or service? This aids in choosing a TypePad subdomain for your blog address.
11:35: Dave takes everything through the basic TypePad setup process. Filling in fields, choosing a domain, Terms of Service, etc.
11:38: Question - Are you giving traffic to Six Apart rather than to yourself when going with a hosted blogging service? The blog should be subset of your domain. You can redirect your domain from TypePad through their interface, forwarding your TypePad blog to your personal site.
11:43: Focusing on title of the blog - again, focus on keywords here. Then moves to choosing a TypePad layout template. The further down content is on a page, the less relevant to Google. As for sidebar, 2 column right is much better than 2 column left as far as ranking.
11:49: Password-protected blogs are an option, which is great for private communication or corporate blogs.
11:56: Dave goes on to show the TypePad interface and posts a blog post right from the stage.
9:00 AM: Dave begins by asking how many people updated their website in the past seven days. Of course, many of them have, since this is the Blog Business Summit. However, maybe 5% of site owners update at least weekly.
9:03: Google aims to provide good, fresh content. Same with all search engines. Since most info on the web is out of date, this is the dilemma of the search engines.
9:04: What is findability? When customers try to find your product or service, can they find it? This is what is critically important to your business - especially if they find your competitor instead of you. Every time someone finds someone else, they aren’t finding you.
9:05: No one really understands what the best practices of blogging really are - they are case by case. If you can’t be found, you’re already dead. If I ask my cellphone for the closest Chinese restaurant, and the Chinese restaurant across the street doesn’t show up as a search result, they’re dead.
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