Home Weekly Wrapup: Google Latitude, Facebook Sentiment Engine, The Goverati, And More…

Weekly Wrapup: Google Latitude, Facebook Sentiment Engine, The Goverati, And More…

In this edition of the Weekly Wrapup, our newsletter summarising the top stories of the week, we continue our series on recommendation technologies with a special RWW Live podcast and a review of Baynote; we analyze a new Google product called Latitude, which could change the way you network on mobile phones; we describe how a Facebook “Sentiment Engine” could be huge; we look at the rise of the “goverati” in the new web-enabled U.S. government; and more. Also check out the highlights from our Enterprise Channel and Jobwire, ReadWriteWeb’s new product which tracks hires in tech and new media.

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Web Trends

How a Facebook “Sentiment Engine” Could Be Huge

Rumors of a Facebook “sentiment engine” analyzing aggregate user data, or a new form of the company’s Engagement Ads that offer rapid polling to advertisers, have been flying around the web since the start of this week’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland. The reality behind these rumors seems to be much less exciting (or creepy, depending on your perspective) than many people claimed – but we’d like to entertain some thoughts on just what Facebook could do with such a system. Remember when Google published the most popular searches being performed during the Presidential debates? That represented a sea change in real-time awareness of what people care about. A Facebook “sentiment engine” has that same kind of potential, and we’d love to see some of this data be put to use in service of such innovation.

Fake Social Network Profiles: a New Form of Identity Theft in 2009

Forget credit cards and social security numbers, a new lot of identity thieves will soon come after your web profiles, or says security firm Aladdin in their Annual Threat Report. According to the firm, if you don’t own and control your online persona, it’s relatively easy for a criminal to aggregate the known public information about you in order to create a fake one.

Government 2.0: The Rise of the Goverati

Everyone knows how well Barack Obama’s presidential campaign made use of new media to raise money and market the candidate. We also know how big a role social technology played during inauguration week, from handheld flip HD footage appearing on network TV to people reporting on Twitter about what they liked and disliked. After President Obama took office, spirited debates proliferated in the blogosphere about whether or not whitehouse.gov is Web 2.0-enabled and what the role of President Obama’s CTO might be. But one striking trend has largely flown under the national radar: the rise of the goverati.

RWW Live: Recommendation Engines

ReadWriteWeb has been running a special series on recommendation engines and this episode of RWW Live is part of that. The show featured 3 very knowledgeable guests: Jesús Pindado, Strands Vice President, Business Solutions; Yosi Glick, Jinni CEO & Co-Founder; and David Selinger, richrelevance CEO & Co-Founder, who previously led the R&D arm of Amazon’s Data Mining and Personalization team. Check out the recording below:

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A Word from Our Sponsors

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Dan Zarrella Hired By HubSpot

New media marketing hacker Dan Zarrella has joined Boston’s fast ascending firm HubSpot, the company told us this week. Zarrella calls himself “The Social Media and Viral Marketing Scientist” and is one of the few people on the web with the credentials to back up such a bold claim.


Web Products

Google Latitude: Ready to Tell Your Friends (and Google) Where You Are?

Where you are is as important as what you’re looking for. That’s why more and more services are looking to location as a filter for providing relevant information when and where we need it. So it only makes sense that Google – a company known for its ability to deliver relevant information – get into the location-aware app game. This week, they jumped in with both feet by releasing Google Latitude, a way to keep track of your friends’ current whereabouts – and let Google have a view into your nomadic or sedentary habits.

Did Google Just Kill All the Other Mobile Social Networks?

Google Latitude will have major ramifications to the current mobile social networking market, which was just beginning to get off the ground. The question we must ask now is this: did Google just validate mobile social networking …or did they just kill all the competition?

Baynote: Does Focusing on Real-Time Behavior Trump Amazon’s Technology?

Baynote is one of a number of recommendation technology providers which licenses its product to commercial companies. As we’ll see in this article, Baynote places particular emphasis on real-time user behaviors – which Baynote claims goes beyond Amazon’s “first generation” approach to recommendations. One thing that we’ve discovered so far in our series on recommendation engines is that every company in this market – including those which create their own platform, like Amazon and Netflix – have differing approaches and ideas on what makes a good recommendation engine. We spoke to Baynote founder and CEO Jack Jia, to find out why he believes their approach trumps Amazon.

Soon, Majority of Web Users Will No Longer Use IE

It might take a few more years, or it might happen suddenly, but trends appear to indicate that the time when Internet Explorer is used by the majority of people on the web will soon come to an end. New numbers from analytics firm Net Applications put IE at a mere 67.5%, having dropped more than 7% last year. The bulk of that loss is coming from users of IE 6, an 8 year old browser that many users now appear to be replacing with Firefox, Safari or Chrome, instead of updated versions of IE.

Google Earth Now Maps the Ocean Floor and Mars in 3D

This week Google released a major new update to Google Earth that now includes the rumored maps of the ocean floor. Google unveiled this update at an event at the California Academy of Sciences. After installing the latest version of Google Earth, you will be able to explore the ocean floor in the same way you browse the Earth’s surface. Besides mapping the oceans, however, Google has also added three more interesting new features to Google Earth: easier access to historical imagery, the ability to record and narrate fly-through tours with the new ‘touring’ feature, and a 3D map of Mars.



How Businesses Can Use P2P

Almost every description of P2P in the context of business infrastructure starts something like this: “P2P is notorious for…” This comes from many years of people associating P2P with illegal downloading, to the point that the terms are now almost synonymous. Such an association is inherently unfair, however, because no one equates TCP/IP and crime, despite the fact that TCP/IP is the protocol of choice for many cyber-criminals. Rather than resorting to out-dated and inaccurate definitions, let’s start from scratch and consider the following: what is P2P, really? What is it good for? How can we use it to save and earn money?

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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