Damian Radcliffe

Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links: mid-November to mid-December 2010

In Monthly round up: Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links on December 31, 2010 at 11:15 am

Stuff I bookmarked in the last month, and wanted to share lest it be useful. Comments, feedback and suggestions welcome. Like the Murphy’s, I’m not bitter.

 

General

The 101 most useful websites of the year 2010. –  a list which primarily highlights the lesser-known or undiscovered websites, so doesn’t include IMDB, Wikipedia or others you probably already know.

10 Predictions for the News Media in 2011 – the focus on mobile will continue, whilst the shift from searchable news to social and share-able news, as social media referrals close the gap on search traffic for more news organizations, will continue.

The 10 Hottest Private Companies in Tech

Internet Hijackings Prove Hard to Stop – “For 18 minutes in April, one-seventh of the Internet was routed through China— a major problem with no ready solution.”

The French government is to introduce a 1% tax on online ads from the beginning of next year.

Home Internet with Anonymity Built InA router that runs the Tor software prevents Web tracking.

Research from the US indicated the proportion of TV ads which are fast-forwarded is likely to plateau at 13% as the rate of DVR penetration slows. Meanwhile, fast-forwarded commercials still make a brand impact, as DVR users pay close attention to the screen to spot the end of ad breaks. 

Virgin Media’s new TiVo set-top box remote features ‘thumbs up/thumbs down’ ratings buttons, allowing the device to build up a picture of viewer preferences and automatically record content. 

 

Social Networking

17 Things You Didn’t Know About Twitter

http://yearinreview.Twitter.com/trends/  – great list of Twitter trends from 2010

Sources claim Twitter has raised $200m in a funding round that valued the micro-blogging site at $3.7bn, up sharply from the estimated $1bn last year.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge has ruled there is no statutory ban on the use of Twitter in courtrooms, but stressed courts “must be satisfied that its use does not pose a danger of interference to the proper administration of justice in the individual case”.

Twitter revealed it signed up 100m new users to the microblogging platform over the past year, doubling its user base.

YouTube users watched more than 700bn videos in 2010, up 50% on a year ago, with 13m hours of content uploaded to the site.

Facebook Soars To $59.4 Billion Valuation

2010 Memology: Top Status Trends of the Year

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was  named person of the year by Time magazine in the US.

South Korean regulators have given Facebook 30 days to submit details of plans to improve its privacy settings after officials said current arrangements are “inadequate”.

 

Convergence

Searching for the Future of Television  – “ Google and the geeks from Silicon Valley aim to revolutionize the 70-year-old TV industry. Conquering the Internet was easy in comparison.”

iPlayer stats for Nov continue to amaze – up 32% over year – 13% watch live – http://bbc.in/gr55U6

The BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service received more than 1.3bn programme requests during 2010,  with Doctor Who attracting the biggest VoD audience. The service also reported a record high of 141m programme streams during November.

STV and 4oD have added their catch-up service to Sony’s PlayStation 3, in the past month.

Apple said it expects sales of its Apple TV platform in the US to pass the 1m mark this week. iTunes users are currently buying or renting more than 400,000 TV shows per day.

The Sun published an iPad-only edition on Christmas Day, with editor Dominic Mohan saying: “Throughout the Sun’s 41-year history we have always respected the agreement amongst newspaper publishers in not publishing a Christmas Day edition of the Sun. However, this year we have seen dramatic innovations in the way that we deliver news to our readers and couldn’t resist the opportunity to break with tradition and produce this dazzling digital edition of the paper – direct to readers’ sofas on Christmas Day.”
 

 

Mobile

Microsoft said more than 1.5m mobiles running Windows Phone 7 have been sold in the six weeks since the operating system’s launch.

Users of Google Android handsets consume more data services than other smartphone subscribers.

 

 
Music

Sony has launched its cloud-based Music Unlimited streaming service in the UK and Ireland, offering access to 6m songs through the company’s internet-linked TVs, Blu-ray players, PS3 consoles and Vaio computers for either £3.99 or £9.99 per month.

A Spotify spokesman told the Telegraph that it “can’t commit to a specific date” for its launch in the US.

BSkyB’s music-streaming service Sky Songs is to close down after little more than a year, with the company admitting it had failed to establish a “large enough customer base”.

Industry body the BPI said three out of every four music tracks downloaded in the UK this year was done illegally, equating to 1.2bn tracks. The BPI estimated the total cost to the industry was £984m in lost retail sales.

Last.fm has dramatically narrowed its pre-tax loss, announcing a £2.8m loss for last year, compared to a £17m loss the previous year. Revenues climbed 74% year-on-year to £7.3m, although net liabilities climbed from £19m to £22.2m. £5.4m was earned in advertising and £1.3m from subscriptions. It makes 55% of its revenue from the UK, and 33% from the US.

 

Companies

Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz has said the group’s “greatest competitor probably is Facebook, more so than Google”, arguing social features are becoming more important to web users than search.

A Yahoo! spokeswoman said the group is “cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation”, confirming the AltaVista search site has been earmarked for closure.
  
 
Meanwhile, in a blog posting, social bookmarking site Delicious confirmed rumours that it is seeking a new owner, but denied claims that Yahoo!, which acquired it in 2005, plans to close it down.

Japanese regulators have given the green light to Yahoo! Japan’s search tie-up with Google, despite complaints by Microsoft and domestic online retailer Rakuten that the deal would be uncompetitive.

AOL has acquired US start-up About.me, which allows users to create an online profile linking their various social networking sites, for an undisclosed amount.
  
 
 
Emerging Markets 

Youku founder Victor Koo told the Telegraph that the Chinese online video site, which is valued at close to $5bn following its US IPO last week, has been able to achieve rapid growth by exploiting the country’s “hugely fragmented market”. He added: “In the US, search engines are king. That is because everyone already knows what they are looking for. Brands have been around for a long time. But in China that is not the case. This is the first generation of people buying cars and fridges. Video is much more important. You cannot transmit the branding through text banners and pictures. On our site, we show one minute of advertising per hour, compared with the 12 minutes shown on Chinese TV. Imagine how we can scale that up.” 

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