Edgerank, a site that allows you to instantly check your Facebook Edgerank score, has just a launched a revamped version of its site and a brand new paid version. Edgerank Pro allows you to access in-depth stats on how your Page is performing with personalised recommendations to get the most out of your Page. Edgerank is important as it is Facebook’s algorithm for determining the likelihood of your Page to appear in the ‘top news’ section of the Facebook news feed, as opposed to ‘most recent’. The free version of Edgerank Checker is still available on the site, giving you access to information about how your Page is performing, including your Edgerank score and the best/worst performing days on your Page. The free version has also been improved for a much more user-friendly experience than you previously got on the site, seamlessly accessing all your Pages through Facebook Connect to give you an analysis of 6 months of data.Why go pro?
Knowing how well your Facebook Page is performing is essential for your ongoing strategy. The more data you build up about your fans, the more intelligent and informed your strategy will become. You can effectively focus your content according to when your fans are most engaged, what they react to, and more. Importantly though, Edgerank Checker gives you recommendations, so you can make actions on top of the data that you’re getting. A screenshot below shows an example of the insights you can get with the Pro version:
While Facebook Insights itself will tell you a lot about how your Page is performing, Edgerank checker shows you the comparison of your Page over time, right down to how individual posts have performed and how you can repeat this success. It’s one thing to update your Page, but knowing who’s actually seeing these updates is another. Edgerank Pro allows you to see that with an excellent set of analytics.
You can sign up to Edgerank Pro now for $15 per month. One word of warning with a product like Edgerank Pro, is not to get bogged down by the stats. The information you get is almost too extensive and you could risk missing out what’s actually happening on your Page by spending time manually reviewing posts/comments to understand how your fans really feel about your Page.
At a recent press event, Facebook Director of Game Partnerships Sean Ryan had some choice words for Google Plus, his new competition in the social gaming landscape.
He said Google has the right to emulate aspects of Facebook’s system .
Ryan argued Google’s entrance into the casual gaming market at a much cheaper commission was like McDonald’s recent efforts to offer premium coffee, competing in the same space as Starbucks.
That may have been the wrong comparison since McDonald’s has done quite well in that market.
Ryan went on to say, “Google is at five percent because they don’t have any users.”
He was insinuating that Google Plus takes just a five percent cut from developers (Facebook takes 30 percent) because Google Plus has only 25 million registered users compared to Facebook’s 750 million. There is no telling how long that low commission rate will last as Google Plus grows.
Casual gaming revenue is the latest point of interest in the rivalry between the two social networks since Google Plus launched less than two months ago.
It’s a valid point since the global virtual goods market is expected to more than double to $20.3 billion by 2014, according to research and investment bank ThinkEquity.
Readers, have you played any games on Google Plus yet?
Some users of the new tab have been a at the cluttered look that shoves all of the activity around your Twitter user name into one tab. If you’re one of those users, you now have reason to rejoice as Twitter has heard your pleas and for you to use the tab to only see mentions.
If you click on the @Username tab on , you’ll notice a new “Show mentions only” button off the the right hand side. Click the check box and the tab will be returned to the old behavior of only showing the times that your user name is mentioned, not every bit of activity.
If you don’t have the button yet, then it is most likely still rolling out to users, but you should have it very soon. The new @Username tab was part of the revamp to your Twitter stream that Twitter rolled out last week. The changes also included the addition of an Activity tab that displays all of the Tweets that the people you follow are marking as Favorites and Retweeting.
Silicon Valley is like no other job market in the world. While the American economy staggers forward, and politicians and private industry alike are looking for any way to create new jobs, there’s a full-on talent war raging in the Bay Area, and in high tech clusters throughout the country. As our lives become increasingly digital, we need developers and software engineers to make our dreams come to life in code. The best coders are worth more than their weight in gold, if only you know how to find them.
Geekli.st, which is still in pre-launch mode, is a community developed by programmers, for programmers, that helps coders rack up street cred, or geek cred, if you like, for being badasses, and for being able to get things done. With Geekli.st achievement cards the developer community can catalog their coding wins, and get their friends and collaborators to endorse their accomplishments. With links to endorsers’ social profiles, it’s easy to validate who is saying what, and how much credibility they have within the community. Think of it as a trophy case for code. It starts there, but what is possible is a whole more interesting.
Co-founders and say that a resume, while essential, can be tweaked to grossly inflate the value of coding work that was done as part of a team. When recruiters see the names of “it” companies in the Valley, they tend to get swoony, but few if any have the technical expertise to understand the value of the contributions the potential hire made during his time at Apple, Yammer, or Zynga. The opposite is also true. Many of the best coders out there would rather spend their time hacking on tough problems than marketing or promoting themselves. They’re still badasses, and while other geeks know it, they may not be getting the credit they rightly deserve. Work For Pie has already attempted something similar for the open source community., hoping to assign a score developer’s work that validates their talent.
Mark Zuckerberg told The New York Times, “Someone who is exceptional in their role is not just a little better than someone who is pretty good,” when explaining why he was willing to buy the team at FriendFeed for $47 million–nearly $4 million per employee. Compared to the average coder, “They are 100 times better,” and while reasonable people may disagree, the cost to companies who don’t have the people they need when they need them can be enormous.
Perhaps this helps explain why recruiting activity was worth $55.8 billion in the U.S. alone last year, according to Ovia co-founder , with $48 billion going to recruitment agencies, $5.4 billion spent on recruitment-related travel, and another $1.7 billion spent on tools.
For those startups and established companies that don’t have Facebook’s war chest, Geekli.ist hopes to help make available top talent, on demand. The best engineers will be able to leverage their skills with tools that will help them increase their market value. Coders at the hottest firms may one day be able to auction off their free hours through the site to companies who desperately need their help, and could pay $1,000 per hour, for instance, but would never be able to hire them on a full time basis.
It’s a double win. Coders with relevant expertise can match their skills to cool projects. Companies who need sharpshooters can search for programmers with experience writing in specific languages and tackling specific challenges, and easily verify their geek cred. In the opensource community, WorkForPie
It’s still early days for Geekli.st, with 4,500+ developers already registered. This week the website was hit with the full weight of the so-called “Scoble effect,” after bounced around the developer community-and “melted” their servers, in the words of co-founder Katz. But even in pr-launch mode, it’s still possible to snap up choice domains like geekli.st/bob.
Might the handle geekli.st/badasscoder still be free? Find out for yourself.
Today, Facebook announced a redesigned developer application to make it easier to update basic settings all in one place.
A Facebook spokesperson told us via email that the streamlined user interface shows the different app integrations (web, app on Facebook, mobile devices, page tab) and walks developers through the fields needed to get started.
To see the changes, click on edit settings for an app. The new layout includes settings (with basic and advanced sub-menu items), roles and credits.
The basic page gives developers one place to configure settings and provide a summary page for the app. The settings build a simple “Hello World” app on Facebook platform.
The top banner of the page has the app name, image, icon, app ID and app secret. Upload a 75×75 pixel app image by hovering over the app image to edit it. Or, click on the edit icon link next to the icon to upload a new 16×16 pixel app icon.
Then, fill in the basic info section with information that applies to all app integrations.
- The app display name is the user-facing name of the app.
- App namespace is the short app name used for the Canvas Page URL (apps./YOUR_APP_NAMESPACE).
- Contact email is the primary address that Facebook uses to contact you.
- Category describes the app’s content.
The last section allows developers to choose how their app integrates through Facebook. Select whether you own or want to build a website, an app on Facebook, a native mobile app, or a page tab app.
The advanced page includes the rest of the settings such as authentication, migrations, security, advanced canvas settings (visible only to apps on Facebook) and contact info. Roles and credits remain the same.
The updated developer app went out to a limited number of developers today and will be available to everyone over the next week, according to Facebook’s official .
This is part of Facebook’s Operation Developer Love, an ongoing effort to provide new features based on feedback. Other recent changes include the ability to add and manage test users and the ability to use Facebook groups to manage app roles.
Readers, what do you think of the new changes to the developer app?
HopStop, a much loved website for public transit, cab, walking and biking directions can get you to and from anywhere you want to go in 57 major metropolitan markets throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Russia. As a busy 26-year old in the big city with a lemming’s sense of direction, I use almost everyday. The site provides maps marked with nearby subways and bus stops (and restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels etc.), estimations for taxi time and cost, calories burned, carbon emissions savings and the ability to re-route suggested transit plans. It even takes scheduled route changes due to construction and spontaneous subway delays into account.
Today, HopStop figured out which local beer gardens and hotel rooftop bars in New York City were drawing the biggest crowds this summer, by mining its historical search data. HopStop measured this by seeing which beer gardens were listed most often as either the destination address or starting address within a HopStop direction search in June and July of this year. In total, it considered 32 beer gardens across the five boroughs. It’s clear people will travel for beer, and thanks to HopStop, I assume everyone made it home without getting lost.
Here are the results:Top 10 NYC Beer Gardens
1) Birreria (Flatiron District): get directions
2) The Standard Biergarten (West Village): get directions
3) Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club (South Street Seaport): get directions
4) Studio Square (Astoria, Queens): get directions
5) Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden (Astoria, Queens): get directions
6) The Lot on Tap (Chelsea): get directions
7) Spuyten Duyvil (Williamsburg, Brooklyn): get directions
8) Loreley (Lower East Side): get directions
9) Radegast Hall & Biergarten (Williamsburg, Brooklyn): get directions
10) Harlem Tavern (Harlem): get directions
HopStop also mined its historical data for the most popular hotels with rooftop bars throughout New York City. Here’s the list:Top 10 NYC Hotels with Rooftop Bars
1) Standard Hotel – Le Bain (West Village): get directions
2) Library Hotel – Bookmarks Lounge (Murray Hill): get directions
3) Empire Hotel (Upper West Side): get directions
4) Trump SoHo – Bar d’Eau (South Village): get directions
5) 60 Thompson – A60, Thom Bar (South Village): get directions
6) Peninsula Hotel – Salon de Ning (Midtown): get directions
7) Hudson New York – Hudson Sky Terrace (Hell’s Kitchen): get directions
8) Hotel Gansevoort – Plunge, Provocateur (West Village): get directions
9) Hotel on Rivington (Lower East Side): get directions
10) Fairfield Inn – Sky Room (Hell’s Kitchen): get directions
Only two weeks left of summer! Soak up the sun while it lasts.
Good news, remaining Silverlight fans, you have a new toy today: The Silverlight toolkit for Windows Phone’s Mango update has been released. Yes, Silverlight has managed to hold onto its place at the Windows Phone table, even as Microsoft consistently beats the HTML5 drum wherever it can.
Application submission for Mango begins on August 22nd, just 5 days away, so those developers who do plan on using Silverlight are being given scant time to build what they may want to submit, if they wish to send in their apps on the first day that they are allowed to do so.
It will undoubtedly be read by some that the late release of the Silverlight toolkit reflects poorly on the potential future for Silverlight in the Microsoft web of products and services.
Whatever the case, you can download the toolkit here. New features include: LongListSelector; MultiselectList; LockablePivot; ExpanderView; HubTile; ContextMenu; ListPicker; RecurringDaysPicker; Date & Time Converters; Page Transitions; and PhoneTextBox.
For any developer potentially looking to upgrade their applications to function with new Mango features, Microsoft has compiled a guide here that is worth reading. The coming start date for the submission of Mango applications has led to developers building, but not ‘turning in’ applications, causing total Marketplace submissions to fall in recent weeks. We expect that to change come August 22nd.
Mango itself is a large, and important (from a platform perspective) update to the Windows Phone 7 mobile line. You can read our hands on review of Mango here.
As connection speeds increase and the ubiquity of the Internet pervades, digital content reigns. And in this era, free education has never been so accessible. The Web gives lifelong learners the tools to become autodidacts,
eschewing exorbitant tuition and joining the ranks of other self-taught great thinkers in history such as Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Paul Allen and Ernest Hemingway.
The world’s encyclopedia is as weightless, free and instantly accessible as Wikipedia, which is quickly gaining legitimacy in the education sphere. Using the Internet, you can learn a new language or delve into the depths of metaphysics with just a click of a mouse. The Web has unlocked the keys to a worldwide virtual school, potentially leveling the playing field for students around the world.
It’s clear that the world is moving faster than it ever has before. This infographic below, produced by Knewton, an adaptive technology platform based in New York City, tells us that education is a 7 trillion dollar industry, 570 times the size of the online advertising market. In a time when 30% of students in the U.S. fail out of high school, our current education system is broken, from the bottom up. But the landscape is changing. The Internet is bringing us digital content, mass distribution and personalized learning. Check it out here and click the image to enlarge.
Read more: How the Internet is Revolutionizing Education.
The following is an excerpt of the first entry in a series on integrated Facebook marketing campaigns. The full version, available in our Facebook Marketing Bible, contains more detailed strategy and walk-throughs for each step of the campaign.
Businesses can market themselves by separately using Facebook Page posts, applications, traditional Facebook ads, and Facebook’s new social ad unit Sponsored Stories. For maximum impact, though, they can be combined to run “integrated marketing campaigns” designed to get users to take an action such as Liking your Page that benefits your business and triggers additional exposure for your Page through news feed stories and Sponsored Stories.
Here we’ll walk-through how to execute an integrated Facebook marketing campaign aimed at gaining Likes for your Page.Introduction to Integrated Marketing Campaigns
The goal of Integrated Facebook Marketing campaigns is take advantage of all of Facebook’s marketing products and channels at once to gain the most conversions on a call to action at the lowest possible cost. These campaigns use paid and owned marketing channels to drive earned exposure.
- Owned – Your Facebook Page, which can post to the news feeds of fans and host applications
- Paid – Facebook Ads, both traditional ads, as well as Sponsored Stories that require a user action to trigger them
- Earned – News feed exposure, triggered when a user takes certain types of actions.
First, you’ll set up a special landing page tab application on your Facebook Page that encourages users to Like your Page. The tab should be Like-gated tab, meaning users who haven’t Liked your Page are shown one screen and those who have are shown another screen.
Those who haven’t Liked your Page should see a landing page explaining that if they Like your Page now, they’ll gain access to something valuable, such as a coupon or discount, the opportunity to enter a contest, exclusive video or photo content, or a fans-only application or game. Vividly describe or preview the content or opportunity — make it sound valuable enough to users that it’s worth exchanging access to their news feed for.2. Promote Your Landing Tab with Shares, Page Posts, and Ads Landing Tab Shares
Once users Like your Page from your landing tab, completing the Like-gate, show them a new version of the the landing tab thanking them, providing the promised content, and encouraging them to share with their Facebook friends a link to your landing tab and news of what they’ve gained. By getting them to share, you’ll drive traffic to your Like-gate from the friends of your new fans.
3. Run Page Like Sponsored Stories Ads
All the previous steps have been designed to get users to Like your Page, which triggers a news feed story that appears to the friends of your new fans. These stories are compelling and drive more traffic to your Page, but often aren’t shown prominently in the news feed.
Therefore, you’ll want to buy Sponsored Stories ads that convert these news feed stories into ads, amplifying the initial news feed story. Specifically, Page Like Sponsored Stories ads will appear to the friends of users who recently Liked your Page and encourage them to do the same.
The full version of this article, complete with more strategy, step-by-step walk-throughs, and instructions for promoting your landing tab with Page posts and ads can be found in the Facebook Marketing Bible, Inside Network’s complete guide to marketing and advertising through Facebook. Future installments of our series on integrated Facebook marketing will look at campaigns aimed at driving app usage and checkins.
The last few weeks of summer are upon us! In case you missed our post at the start of the season, read up about how summer sparks creativity. Take moments to enjoy the natural world around you; find action in relaxation and you’ll find the necessary inspiration for innovation. Most importantly, travel!
Put down the heavy city guidebook and your mediocre map, PocketGuide , a new travel application from GPS City Guide, Hungary-based start-up, covers all this and even has voice instructions. The app runs on GPS positioning and will tell you interesting stories and relevant information as you travel throughout a city- just like a personal tour guide. And best of all, once the app is downloaded, you don’t need a WiFi internet connection to use it. PocketGuide also enables users to make stunning 3D travel videos – merging Google Earth map, personal photos, videos and the user’s voice recordings and then share the videos via email or Facebook. As of August 2011, PocketGuide covers the top 20 European destinations featuring 10 different trails and 500 attractions.
Watch the video here for a full demo:
To expand into the Latin America market, PocketGuide has just finalized a strategic partnership with Washington, DC-based Croft Global Travel. Founder Ryan Croft was appointed Director of Latin America and will oversee the launch of all future Latin America destinations, starting with the most popular cities in South America. “We’re excited to join the PocketGuide team,” says Croft. “The PocketGuide app’s technology represents the future of connected international travel.” Croft also runs a daily deals company aimed at tech savvy travelers called CityCiao, which we covered this spring.
PocketGuide is available for iOS, Android and Symbian based mobiles. Download here.
Drug companies continue to react to Facebook’s this week that enables the public to comment on the walls of certain pharma pages.
While product or drug-specific pages continue to be closed to comments, Facebook on Monday started allowing the public to weigh in on the corporate pages of drug companies, as well as pages for patient-specific groups.
And that’s resulting in a number of pharma companies closing Facebook pages, or at the very least monitoring them more closely.
The issue is how much time these companies want to devote to monitoring and deleting inappropriate comments, since open walls may lead to the reporting of bad side effects or unfactual statements — which could raise concern from government regulators.
The Washington Post reports today on the latest reactions from some of the largest drug companies on Facebook:
- Amgen, which had previously planned to maintain its Break Away From Cancer page, removed it Monday. A company spokeswoman told the Post that Amgen continues to work through the comment moderation issue and have yet to find a solution.
- Bayer, best known for its aspirin, is consolidating its Facebook presence by closing the Strong at Heart page, which had more than 26,000 likes, while continuing to manage the , which has more 49,000 likes.
- Purdue Pharma, which makes pain relieving medications, closed its In the Face of Pain page until the Food and Drug Administration releases rules for online engagement.
On the other hand, a Sanofi spokesman told the Post that the company hasn’t experienced any issues with the more than 66,000 people who like their pages related to diabetes and whooping cough, in addition to a company page. Sanofi is keeping its Facebook pages on the site.
Readers, what do you think of the corporate reaction to the new Facebook policy regarding drug companies?
Facebook has to simplify navigation and make it easier to change basic settings. Important fields previously scattered across several tabs for Canvas, web, and mobile integrations have been aggregated into the Basic and Advanced Settings sub-tabs.
With so many developers on the Facebook Platform, even small design changes like these can end up saving people a lot of time. There are no functionality changes, and the redesign will be rolling out over the next few weeks.
Facebook has made several other changes to the Developer app recently in an effort to improve management for teams and make the app a portal to other resources. It streamlined the app, in June. Facebook began allowing developers to in July, and last week added the option to such as Administrator or Insights User.
In the new redesign, Roles and Credits have been broken out into their own tabs, and Web, On Facebook, and Mobile tabs have been aggregated into the Basic and Advanced subtabs of Settings. Developers can click checkboxes to determine which of these integrations they want to enable, and then fill out the required fields that are revealed.
Within Basic settings, developers can now alter their app’s namespace, also known as a vanity URL or Canvas page. Previously this option was deep in the On Facebook Canvas settings.
While these changes should eventually speed up development workflow, they’ll also initially cost developers time as they adjust. Still, early developer response in the comments of the announcement has been positive, and the changes demonstrate that Facebook is concerned with making its Platform as simple as possible to use.
Mobile operating system version fragmentation is usually referred to as an Android-specific issue, one that is not as painful for arch-rival iOS. What we have learned today is that another OS seems to be having a difficult time with the problem: Windows Phone 7.
Yes, Microsoft’s mobile line has users spread all over the map, with only 33% of all handsets running the most recent consumer edition of the operating system. Shockingly, 19% of all Windows Phone 7 handsets are running the RTM edition of the OS that came out last September (now almost a full year old).
27% of all Windows Phone 7 handsets are running pre-NoDo builds. But perhaps most curious of all the facts that KnowYourMobile has recently compiled is that 4% of Windows Phone handsets are running Mango, meaning that 4% of phones in the wild are either in the hands of developers, press, or Microsoft employees with early access. That is a larger percentage than we would have anticipated, and perhaps points to continuing consumer weakness for WP7.
The infographic below has all the information:
The information that explains which handsets have proved the most popular thus far confirm what we have long known: The Focus and the HD7 are the top of the roost.
Finally, we disagree with the placing of Windows 8 after Apollo (Windows Phone 8). Microsoft has not indicated that Windows 8 is in any way connected to Windows Phone, expect perhaps as a co-recipient of the ‘Metro’ design aesthetic. The graphic does show the proper progression of Windows Phone versions, however: RTM, NoDo, Mango, Tango, Apollo.
You can read our hands-on review of Mango here.
The Inside Network Job Board is dedicated to providing you with the best job opportunities across social and mobile application platforms.
Here are this week’s highlights from the Inside Network Job Board, including positions at , King.com, Aarki, Breaktime Studios, Ace Studios/Tetris Online, Tagged, GREE International, Elti Solutions and TinyCo.
- Senior Online Web Product Manager
- Junior Online Media Buyer
- Online Marketing Manager
- Front End Web Developer
- Web Designer
- Advertising Account Manager – King.com
- HR Manager
- Business Development Director – Central Europe – King.com
- Senior Business Development Director – US – King.com
- Business Analyst
- Web (PHP) Developer
- Senior Web (PHP) Developer
- System Administrator/Web Programmer
- Social Game Designer
- Business Intelligence Analyst
- Software Engineer – Games
- Game Business Analyst
- 2D Graphic Artist
- Product Manager – Monetization
- Creative Director – Social Games
- Game Designer
- Art Director – Social Games
- Senior Mobile Video Engineer
- Senior Software Engineer, Acoustic Signal Processing
- Senior Android Software engineer
Listings on the Inside Network Job Board are distributed to readers of Inside Social Games, Inside Facebook and Inside Mobile Apps through regular posts and widgets on the sites. Your open positions are being seen by the leading developers, product managers, marketers, designers, and executives in the Facebook Platform and social gaming industry today.
Anne Hathaway supposedly enjoys channeling her agression by rapping and was kind enough to share a sample verse on Conan.
It’s simply a must see.
At first you’ll feel slightly embarrassed for her but by the end of it, you’ll be wanting more.
Google is testing out infinite scrolling on its search page, making it possible for every search result to be on your first page. The new pagination method has been spotted by a few people including Simply Zesty’s . The new method allows you to simply click a ‘show more’ button at the bottom of the search results to get an infinitely scrolling list of results.
You can see the new method demonstrated in this video from French blog Waebo:
Google has already announced that it is spicing up its image search results with infinite search and now it looks to be testing it out on the main search page as well. It looks to be very similar to the video above, so Google may be rolling out the feature system-wide relatively soon. A Google spokesperson has confirmed the testing to Search Engine Land saying, “Google is constantly experimenting with new features.”
What do you think about infinite search? A welcome change or do you prefer the traditional pagination?
UserTesting asked a panel of U.S. Facebook users aged 20 through 40, all with at least 100 friends, to suss out the site’s usability. Here’s the findings.
When users accessed an individual album, it was unclear to multiple testers that clicking “edit photos” is the way to control the album’s privacy setting.
Some users were searching for a lock icon.
Moreover, we discovered that the profile pictures album does not even have an “edit photos” option.
Users wanted to view album privacy controls, at a glance, when they access their photos from their Profile without having to access them individually.
To edit album settings, users can also go to privacy settings. The main privacy settings page, however, only lets you set all privacy controls to one default setting.
None of the testers had used Facebook default settings, so all had to find the tiny customize settings link on the page.
Next, the edit album settings link on the next page was difficult to locate, buried in between larger buttons and other controls that are in bold font. When skimming the page, it’s very easy to miss.
This specific feature should be in proper context. There’s a small box on the main privacy settings page you can check to let your friends’ friends see the photos in which they are specifically tagged (and only those photos) in your albums, without having to grant entire album access to all friends of friends.
It’s an all-or-nothing feature that applies to all albums (and posts), however. Furthermore, it’s odd that this box is not located on the page for editing album privacy within custom privacy settings, or does not exist next to album privacy settings if you access them individually.
In this case, this option should only appear if the user selected friends only. If the user selected everyone or friends of friends, it renders this option redundant.Suggestions
- Facebook should add a privacy control button next to each album.
- There should be one page to seamlessly control album privacy settings, accessible from your profile.
- Facebook should give users the option of letting friends of people tagged in your photos see the photos they are tagged in when setting album privacy.
Privacy settings are not located in the right context when users need to access them. It took users a lot of digging. One tester said it best: “The privacy settings can get really complicated… even if I’ve done one before, it’s been awhile, maybe I’ve forgotten or the way it’s done is changed.”
Users want to see one simple page where they can edit their privacy settings, and ways to control privacy from within individual parts of their profile.
Remember when groups were funny inside jokes like “I go out of my way to step on the crunchy looking leaf?” Groups (the new kind) are actually a pretty cool feature — but could use a simple explanation as to what they are.
One woman made a group in an attempt to create a friend list: there was nothing stopping herSuggestions
When you hover your cursor over a group icon, a tool-tip should appear saying what it is: “Groups are forums to interact with a select group of people, share news, links and information. If you create or join a group, you can access it from the top left side of the home screen. If you create a group you can control who sees it, invite friends, and decide if members can invite other users.”
For users who click on create a group, the next window could clearly state on top: “Groups are collaborative newsgroups to share information with a select group of people. All people in a group can see who else is in the group.”Friend Lists Should Be More Accessible
Friend lists are how you can organize your friends on Facebook. You can grant or limit access to friend lists you create to view albums, status updates, and availability in chat. Only you can see the friend lists you create. But we think an explanation of this needs to be posted near the feature.
We asked users to enable only four of their best friends to see them online without instruction. To do this, they would have had to create a friend list, put these friends in the list, and then limit their availability in chat.
When you click on limit availability in chat, you can only see names of friend lists you have created. (Note: Facebook doesn’t specify these are friend lists, you are just supposed to know that.)
You cannot see who is in those lists or update them. This advanced web user wishes there were a way to manage friend lists from the limited availability on chat window.
We later asked users to specifically create a friend list called college friends and post a status update hidden from this list.
To manage friend lists, you have to go to the home page, click friends in the left navigation column, then click manage friend list. You can also access Friends from your profile, however here there’s no manage friend list button, just an edit friends button. It was located far in the right corner where the ads are, so it took longer for users to identify. One user did not assume edit friends button actually would lead to the same page you can create and manage friend lists.
Users were unsure about their success creating a friend list, because they do not appear in the left navigation side bar or appear in the dropdown menu when selecting custom privacy controls for wall posts.
One user who spends two to three hours on Facebook per day could not find the list he just created. Finding, creating, and managing friend lists should be seamless. Yet Facebook’s new changes have made them less accessible.Suggestion
Having friend lists accessible from the custom sharing window for wall posts and from the limit availability window in chat and would save users time who have privacy on their mind. Things should be accessible where they are most relevant.
Facebook does not need to have lengthy product tours (people generally ignore them), nor should it rely on Help to educate users. If they clearly label and differentiate features on their site, and they make these features accessible and manageable in their proper context — people will figure it out. Information should be where users are, when the need it.Simplify Advanced Search
We asked users to find friends who lived in New York City. Facebook, however, wants you finding new friends, and makes it difficult for you to find existing ones.
If you click find friends, which appears underneath friends on the left navigation column if you click on friends, you cannot actually search your own friends.
We observed that accessing friends from your profile is different than if you access it from home. To get to the right place from home, users must click friends, then either see all friends or manage friend list, then search by current city. Users had trouble getting there.
Additionally, we asked users to search statuses for “vacation.” Some did not realize they could even do that.
When one user typed in “vacation” into the search bar and pressed enter, he arrived at the Pet Society Vacation app for iPhone page.
Users expect when they type something in search and press enter, they will go to the search results page, not the first thing that comes up. To actually search statuses for vacation, you must type vacation in the search bar, mouse down to “see more results,” then go to the left navigation menu and click on posts by friends.Suggestions
- When you hover over the search magnifying glass, there should be a dropdown menu to do an advanced search.
- The main friends page should let you search your friends, and should be the same when you access it from home or from your profile.
- Finally, when you press enter in search, Facebook should take you to the results page.
- If the first thing that shows up in the results preview is what the user wants, the user should be able to simply click on it, or press the down arrow, then enter, on their keyboard.
First, no one likes how the chat sidebar consumes the height of the right side of their screen.
Users are confused that friends appeared in their chat list who were not online.
Moreover, people are accustomed to scrolling and felt that some online friends were missing because they could not scroll up or down the list to make sure.
One frustrated user complained he cannot feel certain that he could see all his online friends in the chat sidebar, since Facebook includes offline friends in the mix.
People who had contacts appear in their chat list without green dots were convinced these friends were online and available. When one user realized he, in fact, could not chat with these (invisible dot) friends, he presumed that chat was broken.
We asked what features people wanted in chat, after they completed the test. A summary of their wish list is below.Suggestions
- All users we spoke to wanted the ability to be invisible on chat. In most chat services, you can be invisible, but still see who else is online. Users stated they are more likely to chat if they are invisible, so t
hey can either message friends who are online or go visible so those friends can message them. Our panel said they are hesitant to always be online, because oftentimes they do not want to be messaged by certain people at certain times.
- Interestingly, no one was interested in being displayed as away — one user commented that Facebook status updates have taken the place of away messages of the AOL era as an indication of our current state in life.
“Move fast and break things” works well when you are a start-up. But it just seems like when a very successful company releases new features that lack usability, it makes people feel like the company doesn’t care about them.
The users we spoke with said they feel like Facebook makes things difficult on purpose, as if they were being tricked for some ulterior motive.
Sp of Facebook wants to win the battle with Google Plus, the company needs to remember there are no stupid users — only user experiences that needs to be optimized.
While technology has allowed us to live in what TNW Editor Brad McCarty refers to as “The Next Workplace,” corporate mindsets and mundane office life stands in the way of a truly progressive workstyle. Today’s entrepreneurs in New York City’s thriving tech scene won’t stand for reactionary ways. The city is home to several innovative incubators like Prehype and Betaworks, and early stage accelerators like TechStars, DreamIt Ventures, NYC Seed and ERA, all experimenting with new ways to cultivate young companies in the city that never sleeps.
There are various approaches to coworking in New York, a city known not just for its creative industries, but its creative abilities to make the most out of tight spaces. In fact, if the entire world’s population were to live as densely as Manhattanites choose to do, all 7 billion of us would fit into the state of Texas.
Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson has a brilliant explanation of why coworking is a growing trend:
“The main benefits of this kind of setup are camaraderie (small startups can be lonely), knowledge sharing, high energy, culture, and cost sharing. I have heard so many stories of software developers walking to the other side of the office to talk to software developers working for another company to talk about a thorny tech issue. That same thing can happen in finance, legal, bus dev, marketing, product management, really all parts of the business. You can get some of the benefits of scale without being at scale.”
Coworking spaces operate like startup campuses, providing eager minds with outlets and WiFi, as well as access to angel investors and VCs, serial entrepreneurs who act like mentors, and a fertile breeding ground for collaboration between entrepreneurs, designers and developers. To grab a spot in a coworking space, you must live and breathe New York City’s entrepreneurial spirit. Applicants include startup companies, freelance designers, developers, hackers, PR and marketing professionals, writers, students, lawyers, telecommuters and all-around brilliant, awesome people. Check out the 5 coolest coworking spaces in New York City. But don’t jump yet, most of these spaces below have wait lists in the hundreds.1. General Assembly
General Assembly is New York City’s most impressive coworking space, located just around the corner from a number of notable investors at 902 Broadway in the Flatiron. The 20,000-sq ft “campus,” which opened in January 2011, was immediately booked to its 100-seat capacity.
Its sceney lounge offers sleek communal worktables where free agent members like Etsy founder Chris Maguire, Brainpicker’s Maria Popova and Chris Hughes, a founder of Facebook, bump elbows and sip fresh coffee from Blue Bottle. GA also boasts an event space that holds 200, a classroom that holds 35, a library that holds 25, several 15-person seminar rooms, a state-of-the-art media facility, Skype sponsored conference rooms, two work spaces on the north and south wings of the campus, a full kitchen, bar, lockers, mailroom and bike storage area.
Companies at GA include Art.sy, Fashism, Yipit, Profitably, DUBSET, Movable Ink, NewsCred, VHXand Food52. In addition to its shared office spaces, General Assembly has dozens of classes and lectures each week, many open to the public. Nearly every weekend, GA hosts a really engaging event like the upcoming Photo Hack Day (which we’ll be covering) or Startup Weekend.
Founders Brad Hargreaves, Jake Schwartz, Matthew Brimer, and Adam Pritzker, who are all just a few years out of college, received a $200,000 grant from the New York City Economic Development Corporation to launch the space as well as financial sponsorship from Skype, Ideo, Silicon Valley Bank and Rackspace.
Costs: Communal membership $300/month; Dedicated membership $500/month2. WeWork Labs
WeWork Labs is a co-working hybrid founded in April 2011 by Adam Neumann (Egg-Baby), Jesse Middleton (Guy Haus), and Matt Shampine (Onepager), located in the heart of Soho at 154 Grand Street. , 58 entrepreneurs from over 30 companies have called or currently call WeWork Labs home including startups such as Consmr, CityPockets, Fitocracy, Handshake, Turf and Superpowered. The space is so hot that Shampine says the growing membership wait list is fast approaching 200 people. WeWork Labs hosts numerous events in the space including demo days, happy hours, WilmerHales’ summer legal series, member run lunch-and-learns and lunches with JWT’s Chief Creative Digital Officer and Director of Trendspotting.
The WiFi is excellent, the coffee is hot and you can expect to overhear conversations like this:
“Hey man, this magician guy named Criss Angel wants to pay someone like $150K for some of dev work on his website, can you do it?”
“Nah, man, I’m way, way too busy.”
Cost: Sponsor subsidized price is $250/month for a dedicated desk. Includes month to month memberships.3. Projective Space
In February 2011, Projective Space (formally known as SohoHaven) was created by three brothers, James Wahba, Johnny Wahba, and Tim Wahba, located at 447 Broadway in Soho. The 5,500 sq ft space is home to 30 hot startups in New York City including Gojee, SinglePlatform, IndieGoGo, Uber, Wanderfly, TrialX and the incredibly cool FlyKly, makers of electric bicycles. Right now 70 people call the space home, with companies ranging from 2 to 12 person teams. ”It’s a before and after place for startups that go to accelerators like DreamIt, Tech Stars and ERA,” says James Wahba. “We like to see companies that are referred to us by other companies in the space. And we don’t accept non-tech teams or companies that aren’t progressive. We don’t want people making cold calls all day here.”
Projective Space seems to be quite the hot bed for success: 2 companies have sold in the past 6 months, several have been accepted into all star accelerator programs and not one has fizzled out. This fall, Projective Space will be opening up another campus– a beautiful, 7,200 sq ft space in the Lower East Side on Grand and Allen, which will cater towards events, meetups and demo days and partner with local accelerators like Tech Stars and The Founder’s Institute.
Costs: $325/month per seat.4. New Work City
Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson calls New Work City the “grandaddy” of NYC coworking spaces. In August of last year, founder Tony Bacigalupo raised $18,000 on Kickstarter to start the open coworking space and community center, located at 412 Broadway in Little Italy. The exposed-brick den has a dedicated, expandable classroom designed to facilitate community-powered education through a platform that is designed to connect people who want to teach with people who want to learn.
New Work City is one of the most open coworking spaces in Manhattan, and there’s no application process. The facility is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Mon.-Fri. and includes a maximum of 20 workers in the space, otherwise it would get pretty tight.
“New Work City, an exposed-brick den of freelancers… open to anyone who can obey the simple house rules… 1. Show up, 2. Bring some work to do, 3. Don’t be a jerk.”
-The New York Times‘ David Hochman
Cost: $30/day for drop-in. $100/month to work in the space up to four times per month, and book conference rooms in advance. $300/month for a Citizen Membership to work in the space as often as you like during regular operating hours. You’ll also get a locker and the ability to use NWC as your business’s mailing address.5. Dogpatch Labs
Dogpatch is my personal favorite on this list, because it’s one of the most relaxed environments and conveniently located in Union Square at 36 E 12th st. Dogpatch Labs has offices in Cambridge and San Francisco as well, all provided by Polaris Ventures to “connect entrepreneurs and help founders conceive and launch startups”. Dogpatch describes its accelerator hybrid as a “frathouse for geeks”, which provides decent exposure to mentors, but most importantly- it lets companies move in for 6 months without paying rent or giving up equity.
In May, BetaBeat reported that Dogpatch Labs had interest from 250 to 275 companies for about eight to 10 desks. Companies currently inhabiting its New York City space include Assured Labor, OneClipBoard, Artsicle, Fast Society, tutorspree, Proper Cloth and Zozi. The WiFi is excellent, outlets abound and the kitchen is always stocked with drinks and snacks.
At the end of the day, each coworking space has its own flavor and they all collaborate with each other. In summation, New Work City attracts designers, programmers and independents who are more transient. WeWork Labs has several teams in early stages, while at Projective Space and General Assembly, the startups are later stage. Lastly, Dogpatch is quite different from the others as its sponsored by a VC firm.
And if none of the aforementioned are your cup of tea, here’s a list of other coworking spaces in New York City to check out:
“The move to co-working is a move from a culture of me to a culture of we,” said Rachel Botsman, the author of What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. “People are looking to express their individualism but want to do it in a more social way. They’ve experienced how to do that virtually on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere. Now they’re looking for that face-to-face interaction.”
Also read: My favorite new website: Loosecubes is the global workplace.
Windows 8 leaks come in waves. Some weeks we hear more than Microsoft would prefer, and other weeks we hear nothing at all. The company, as BUILD approaches and the market prepares to test a pre-beta edition of the coming OS, is working to stifle leaks.
WinRumors has reported an internal email from Intel that outlines security changes to Windows 8, moves that will limit the ability of people to access the builds, thus cutting down on total revelations to the market.
We are not sure at this time if other companies that have access to Windows 8 are experiencing similar lock-downs, but it would surprise us if Intel was being singled out. If you have any knowledge about the matter, please let us know. TNW Microsoft has requested comment from Microsoft.
“IntelDistrib would like to announce the immediate availability of Windows 8 x86 Client Build 8039 for testing at Intel.
NOTE: There are two changes to the EEAP builds starting with this EEAP that you should be aware of:
All OS installations using these builds will now require the unique key for the Windows Developer Preview. Installation with previous generic keys will no longer be supported. PRODKEY.TXT files containing generic keys will no longer be included in the build packages. You will have to get the New Product Key provided on the product site. This is a special key as part of the partnership Intel has with Microsoft.
The name of the EEAP builds in this package contain “FBL_EEAP” instead of “WINMAIN”. This change is a name change only, and will not affect your ability to download or use these builds in your testing.”
However, as the source for this article also noted, Microsoft is making other changes to limit leaks. A recent move by the company blocks DLL hacks that opened access to hidden features, meaning the company has cut the method of discovery that allowed for many past revelations off at the knees.
There is a bitter-sweet element to all of this, and that is that these changes are being made in preparation for a release of an early build of the operating system. In other words, we are going to see relative radio silence in the coming weeks (probably, at least), but will in short order have a real, albeit early, copy of the operating system to test.
We would prefer to have the leaks and the build, but that appears improbable. For more information on the coming version of Windows 8 that Microsoft is likely to release, head here.
Apple and Nokia, along with Qualcomm and several other companies, are still weighing bids for InterDigital Inc in order to scoop up its trove of patents for wireless tech, reports Reuters. The company is up for sale and wis proceeding with its auction.
The news that Apple and Nokia are interested in the roughly 8,800 patents available from a purchase of InterDigital isn’t in itself all that surprising. Many have viewed the InterDigital auction as the next big patent hoarding battleground for some time now. The altered variable now is Google’s announcement of its purchase of Motorola Mobility, and its 17,000+ patents, on Monday.
Google has previously been considered very much in the running for the InterDigital patents, even more so after it failed to secure Nortel’s collection of 6,500 wireless-related patents that went to competitors Microsoft and Apple, among others. The question now is whether the Motorola buy has sated Google’s appetite for patents, causing it to remove itself from the running in the InterDigital buy.
Although it would be tempting to say that Google just bit off a multi-billion dollar deal for patents (and a hardware manufacturer) and wouldn’t be going after another large acquisition so soon, there are factors that make it likely for Google to continue its pursuit. There are signs, for instance, that the patents acquired from Motorola might not provide the amount of protection that Google had hoped they would.
Apple has been pursuing legal action against Motorola Mobility for patent infringement despite the perceived protection of its patents for months. It was not deterred then and it is unlikely that it would be deterred in the case of a suit against Google directly over Android.
The InterDigital patents would act as additional armor for Google in any potential patent war and would bolster its patents in the wireless realm significantly, perhaps allowing it to “defend Android” in the way that it says it hoped to with Motorola’s patents.
If Google does indeed enter the auction for InterDigital’s patents formally, you can bet that there will be bidding like you have never seen, especially after the Motorola buy. Apple and Nokia won’t let those patents go without a fight and they, along with a buying group of other companies, have already shown a willingness to go toe-to-toe with Google in patent bidding wars. This should be an interesting auction to watch.