Home Weekly Wrapup: Ghost Twittering, Last.fm Charges, Future of Firefox, And More…

Weekly Wrapup: Ghost Twittering, Last.fm Charges, Future of Firefox, And More…

In this edition of the Weekly Wrapup, our newsletter summarizing the top stories of the week, we discuss web apps that have stood the ’30 day test’ for our writers, analyze the past, present and future uses of the Twitter platform, look into the phenomenon of “ghost twittering”, review the latest changes to the Facebook homepage, check out the latest online TV trends, and more. Also we look at featured stories from Jobwire, ReadWriteWeb’s new product which tracks hires in tech and new media, and our Enterprise channel.

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Web Products

Still Shiny: 23 Apps We’re Using One Month Later

Here at ReadWriteWeb we see hundreds of new apps, scripts, plug-ins and doo-das every week. We review some portion of those. Many we get excited about. But few stand the test of time for even 30 days. Here are 23 apps we’re still using a month or more after discovering them.

We wrote a similar post last November (“30 Days Later: 22 Apps We’re Still Using 1 Month After Finding Them“) and can happily report that we’re still loving almost all the services we wrote about then. If a service can make it past the 30 day mark, it has a good chance of sticking around for awhile. 22 or 23 in a month is a pretty impressive number really, so go web innovators go!

The Future of Firefox: Interview With Mozilla’s Chief Innovation Officer

In my recent visit to Silicon Valley, I got the chance to visit the Mozilla headquarters. Among others at the organization, I spoke to Chris Beard – Mozilla’s Chief Innovation Officer and the person overseeing its efforts to bring new concepts to the browser, a.k.a. Mozilla Labs. We discussed where Firefox is heading and how it compares to Google Chrome in particular. We also talked about Mozilla’s new mobile browser Fennec, the add-on platform, and how recent innovations by Mozilla – such as Weave and Ubiquity – fit into the big picture. In this post we’ll focus on the near future of Firefox.

Last.fm to Charge Subscription Fee for Many International Listeners

The CBS-acquired streaming music service Last.fm announced this week that it will “soon” require users outside of the US, UK and Germany to pay €3.00 per month to keep the music rolling. In blog comments on the announcement, the company explained that those three countries were the only ones where ad sales were proving successful enough to monetize the free music that way; elsewhere the money will have to come out of listeners’ pockets. It’s a dramatic move that could pave the way for other media companies to do the same and effectively open up international markets. People complain, but do you think that viewers would pay a similar monthly fee for international access to Hulu, for example? We do.

Facebook Tweaks New Homepages in Response to User Complaints

As we reported last week, Facebook’s users clearly disliked the latest updates to their homepages, and now, Facebook is giving in to pressure from its most vocal users. According to Facebook, its users were especially unhappy with the lack of filtering mechanisms for the news stream on their homepages. This week Facebook’s Chris Cox announced that the company plans to tweak the current design in order to give users greater control over what updates appear in the news stream.

The White House Has a Digg Clone

The White House has launched a new web site where anyone can submit and vote up their most important questions for President Obama about the economy. That’s right – the White House has a Digg clone!


A Word from Our Sponsors

We’d like to thank ReadWriteWeb’s sponsors, without whom we couldn’t bring you all these stories every week!

  • Mashery is the leading provider of API management services.
  • Web 3.0 Conference, semantic web and linked data, May 19-20 NYC
  • Socialtext brings you 5 Best Practices for Enterprise Collaboration Success
  • Crowd Science gives you detailed visitor demographics.
  • Rackspace provides dedicated server hosting.
  • TaxACT lets you file your taxes online.
  • Calais brings semantic functionality into your website or app.
  • Aplus provides web hosting services for small business hosting needs.
  • Wistia offers private video sharing for business.
  • MediaTemple provides hosting for RWW.
  • Eurekster is a custom social search portal.
  • SixApart provides our publishing software MT4.


Former Yahoo! Now Guitar Hero Frontman

Activision Blizzard announced that it has appointed former Yahoo! COO Dan Rosensweig to be its new President and CEO of of RedOctane, the business unit which develops the mega-popular video game Guitar Hero. Rosensweig will be responsible for Guitar Hero’s global operations “including game development, hardware manufacturing, supply chain, logistics and marketing” and report to President & CEO of Activision Publishing Mike Griffith.


Web Trends

The Twitter Platform: 3 Years Old and Ready to Change the World

Twitter marked its 3rd birthday last weekend and the site that Nielsen called the fastest growing social network last month shows no signs of slowing down. While active participation by users is a great show of strength, the use of Twitter as a platform for developers and aggregate data analysis is the most exciting thing about the company. The story of Twitter as a platform is just beginning; the most exciting developments are still to come. In this post we share our three favorite examples of what Twitter is becoming; these 3rd party uses of the service point the way for the larger Twitter ecosystem to become even more important in the future. We’re not talking about Twitter clients, we’re talking about Twitter data mining.

How Do You Feel About “Ghost Twittering?”

The New York Times this week had an interesting article about the new trend of “ghost Twittering.” If you don’t know what that means, it’s when someone, usually a celebrity, politician, or a “personal brand” of some sort, pays another person or other people to update their Twitter account on their behalf. This “ghost writer” of tweets thus becomes a “ghost Twitterer.” While it may make sense for someone like U.S. President Barack Obama to farm out Twitter updates to staff (he has bigger tasks to focus on than tweets), when individual celebs and micro-celebs engage in this practice it seems a bit disingenuous. Is it really so hard to post 140 characters every now and then?

Gen Y Says: “I Want My Social TV!”

New research from Parks Associates found that many Gen Y TV viewers are ready for a change when it comes to their television-watching experience. According to a recent report, over one-fourth of users ages 18-24 are interested in having more social media features integrated into their TV. This data should come as good news to companies like Verizon and Yahoo!, both of whom have been pushing their new social networking widgets. But it also has broader implications that go beyond kids just wanting Facebook on their TV. The study found that there’s a desire to use social networking as a platform to actually enhance the TV-watching experience through interactive chats with other viewers and to have the ability to recommend shows to friends.

Got an Hour? Create a Server in the Cloud

Dave Winer recently announcedEC2 for Poets, a step-by-step guide to help you create a server on Amazon’s EC2. “It’s time to stop thinking about these servers as being things for geeks and start thinking about them as things for people with ideas,” Winer said in a podcast roadmap he created for this work. The technology available today is enabling anyone with even the slightest technical bent to get out there and create amazing new things; often taking the technology in directions than the company which created it could have ever imagined.



Salesforce.com Integrates Twitter

When Gmail failed a few months ago, I tried using Google to find out what was going on. When that did not get me an answer, I tried Twitter and did find some answers. That alerted me to the power of real-time search in one specific usage case. It was a relatively minor problem for me. But what if I ran customer service for a SaaS firm that just had a major outage? How would I find and monitor the conversations going on out there? That is what this week’s announcement by Salesforce.com about Twitter integration is all about.

Email us if you’re interested in writing for ReadWriteWeb’s Enterprise Channel.


That’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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