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Business Promise Trumps Privacy Concerns for Facebook Places

While some “mature” consumers may question the appeal of Facebook’s Places application – the program that allows a user to “check in” and let friends or others know where they are at any given time – savvy marketers see the application as a great way to reach a highly desirable demographic. Places largely appeals to [...]

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Using Social Media in the Health Insurance Industry

The health insurance industry has not been the first to jump onto the social media bandwagon. For a number of reasons, social media presents some problems for insurance companies, both in the marketing arena and the information arena. For example, there are a plethora of privacy regulations governing what can and can’t be exposed about [...]

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Has Apple Become “The Man?”

Apple has built its reputation on innovation, on breaking the mold, on thinking outside the box. But can they keep their outsider ethos when they are the standard instead of the new technology on the block? If recent and continuing developments with the Apple App Store for iPhone and the iPod TYouch are any indication, [...]

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Social Networking-The journey from toys to tools

Social Networking-The journey from toys to tools

“Follow me on Twitter!”

“I’ll add you on Facebook!”

“Hey, we are Orkut friends!”

“I’ll subscribe to your RSS feed right away!”

You will agree, these are some of the most touted phrases that we use when we “network”. However, this is not the way the journey had begun. The transformation from toys to tools was a revolution that brought out a whole new “Social Economy” in “Social Networks”.

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Paying for Ads When Craigslist Is Free

Craigslist offers listings for everything from apartments to lawyers to dates. It is free for users to search and in most cases, free for posters to put up their ads.

Patricia Nakache, a general partner at the venture capital firm, Trinity, is backing start-ups that figure people would be willing to pay for higher-quality, screened listings.

Because Craigslist does not much care about making money, it can be hard for a profit-driven business to compete. Just ask newspapers, which have seen their classified ads virtually disappear. But Ms. Nakache argues that “people are willing to pay for a better experience.”

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Web 2.0 Gets Big – and Corporate

As the economy totters, it’s easy to make fun of the concept of “Web 2.0” — the rallying cry of a generation of chipper start-ups spawned over the last few years with an unusual aversion to vowels.

Certainly, most of the venture capitalists I’ve talked to at the Web 2.0 Summit have said they are shying away from companies that are based on the idea of growing an audience now and figuring out how to make money later. However, after listening to the presentations here over the past three days, it is clear that some of the key concepts of the Web 2.0 movement are, in fact, taking root in deep ways.

One of the most significant trends is how the big companies that make very complicated systems are reworking them using the principles of Web 2.0 companies, particularly the notion of programs that talk to other programs. They are breaking up their technologies into discrete modules that can work alongside data and applications from others.

Facebook can be credited with taking the first step to open up large parts of its service to third parties. Last year, it let their applications on its site. Now, through its upcoming Facebook Connect service, it will let other companies build applications that use its list of people and who their friends are to deliver new services.

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Politics Never Smelled So Tweet

If Senators John McCain and Barack Obama actually do debate Friday night, you will be able to watch what thousands of viewers think of their verbal sparring almost as they talk. Twitter, the service that lets techno-hipsters broadcast their thoughts in 140-character bursts, is setting up a special politics page to make it easy to tune into the chatter.

At midnight Thursday, the company is launching election.twitter.com, the first specialized section of its site. Like Twitter’s main service, it is dominated by a big white box. But instead of typing an answer to What are you doing? the election site asks, What do you think?

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