Tag Archives: social

Google Plus releases more user stats – is it now valued at $10 billion?

Google Plus is quietly creeping into the mainstream. While many disparaged it as a flash and burn site, the social network is continuing to grow. It now has 400 million users and, according to Casey Newton of c|net, 100 million of those are active users. Compare that to Facebook’s latest numbers, 955 million users with 552 million active users.

If you take that Google Plus has half the users of Facebook or 20% of their active users, and you take the current valuation of Facebook at $46 billion, does that mean Google Plus is worth $10-20 billion?

Did Google just pull $10 billion out of hat?

Certainly something to consider, especially as the site becomes more important to the company. It has been integrated across all of their products, including YouTube and Gmail, adding a layer of social to every Google site. Something that can bring about unexpected innovations, for example, users can +1 apps for Android phones. A great way to siphon off the best Android apps and something I expect Apple craves.

In terms of numbers, Google said this social layer adds 50 million active users, bringing their total number to 150 million. And that makes Google Plus more important than most think. Indeed, Twitter only recently passed the 500 million user mark, with 170 million active users.

 

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Facebook app allows you to compare energy use with your neighbors

From Cyprus Mail (the island in the Mediterranean):

Find out how much electricity you consume compared to your friends, those in your neighbourhood, or even your district with Facebook application ‘Social Electricity’, which uses data from the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) to help people save energy.

 

I love this idea. I’ve always wanted to know how much my neighbor uses, but could you imagine the privacy implications? Opt-in is a must, but I do like bringing in the community element of being green.

What do you think?

 

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How change.org was turned into the internets biggest tool for social change

“The idea was to build every possible tool for nonprofits, social fundraising, skills based volunteerism, a blog network…really big, unobtainable objectives,” said Ben Rattray who, at 22-years-old, founded Change.org. “We failed.”

Rather than giving up, he pivoted. Instead of attempting to provide every technological service to anyone trying to make an impact, the business narrowed its focus, developing on online platform for concerned citizens to start petitions. And he started to see real changes.

Bank of America dropped its $5 debit card fee after more than 300,000 people signed a petition started by a 22-year-old Molly Katchpole. The Sanford neighborhood watchman who allegedly shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was arrested and charged after his parents gathered more than 2 million signatures. South Africa convened a task force to address rapes meant to turn lesbians straight after citizens organized to protest and collected 171,000 signatures.

 

Source: Fast Company - The Pivot That Changed The World

 

 

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As Digg rebuilds – thinks differently & innovates by scoring all shares – tweets, likes, and diggs

The early Digg was brilliant and honest and democratic. Each digg was a vote and each vote counted towards the ultimate objective: moving a story closer and closer to the top position on the Digg homepage.

Today, we vote on Facebook with every share and on Twitter with every tweet, and conversations take place across loads of different sites, apps, and networks. So how do we surface “what the Internet is talking about,” when the Internet is talking beyond the walls of Digg.com? We tear down the walls. When we launch v1, users will continue to be able to digg stories, but Digg scores will also take into account Facebook shares and tweets. Roll over any Digg score to see the breakdown. We’re excited to see how this new data can help us identify the best stories on the web.

Here’s an early wireframe of the new Digg score:

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Modern world: Bookstores with cafés increase sales – those without decrease

As Independent Booksellers Week gets into full swing, the Booksellers Association has released figures to suggest outlets with cafés are likely to have higher sales than those without.

Figures based on a survey of 40 BA members reveal that bookshops with cafés saw a 3% growth in overall turnover in 2011, whereas those without experienced a decline in sales of 5.2%. Those bookshops with cafés also experienced a 2% hike in their book sales last year, in comparison to those without cafés which had a decrease in book sales of 4%.

“We want customers to celebrate their local bookshop and also we want consumers to vote with their feet and use their local bookshop or risk losing it.  Bookshops are social and cultural hubs and provide far more to communities than books and as such deserve and require strong action to preserve their unique role in British life.”

 

Source: The Bookseller - Sales higher in bookshops with cafés

 

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Pinterest valued at $1.5 billion – as megalithic Japanese website invests

Rakuten (the Amazon of Japan) has led a $100m funding round into Pinterest, which values the online “curation” community at around $1.5 billion.

The Japanese ecommerce giant won out over major US venture capital firms who were vying for a piece of Silicon Valley’s new sweetheart, which lets users clip images to a virtual pinboard.

The FT spoke to Hiroshi Mikitani, chief executive of Rakuten, about how social discovery can boost ecommerce and the growing importance of images over text on the web.

“I met Pinterest’s management a few months ago and we got along very, very well….They said they were planning to raise capital. I offered to take all of it.”

“They had a prior arrangement with their angel investors so I told them I would like to get as much as possible. We talked about how we can help each other and we can help their presence in Japan which is one of the major markets in the internet industry. And they liked the fact they we would be able to help their business in Japan.”

via – Financial Times

 

// Photo – Alan Cleaver

New corporation type – B Corporation – for sustainable “benefit corporation”

B Corporations are a new kind of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. (It’s like a LEED certification or Fair Trade certification, but for a business, not just a building or a bag of coffee.) B Lab, a non-profit, describes the B Corporation movement like this:

When you support a B Corporation, you’re supporting a better way to do business. Governments and nonprofits are necessary but insufficient to solve today’s most pressing problems. Business is the most powerful force on the planet and can be a positive instrument for change.

To read more about B Lab and the B Corporation movement, take a look at this companion post.

B Lab provides a rigorous independent third-party framework for assessing how you’re doing as a business when it comes to employee, community, and environmental interests. Etsy has gone through the assessment and we learned so much about what we are doing right and where we can improve. After successfully completing the independent B Lab assessment, we are proud to announce that Etsy is now a Certified B Corporation™. There are over 500 certified B Corps but Etsy will be among the biggest, along with mission-driven companies like Patagonia and Seventh Generation.

I think becoming a Certified B Corporation is one of the most important things Etsy has ever done. It helps us keep an eye on the “mindful, transparent, and humane” values we aspire to, and also keeps us focused on our intention to “plan and build for the long-term,” not just when it comes to Etsy but for the world at large. Like other Certified B Corporations, B Lab is publishing our scores from the assessment. In being transparent, we are openly challenging ourselves to continually improve how we impact the world with our company. Like most businesses, we are imperfect, but we are publicly committing ourselves to upholding our values and grading ourselves for the long-term. This is how we hope to make a better world and inspire other companies to do the same.

via – Etsy News

 

Etsy’s score – 80.1

Patagonia’s score – 107.1

Seventh Generation’s score – 116.3

Infographic – 20 reasons to switch to Google+

Click for the full infographic.

 

Ok, this is a pure advertisement for Google+, but I do love the social network.

Partially because competition is always good (Facebook needs a kick in the teeth sometimes) and because I’ve never like the blue boxes of Facebook. The design and flow of Google+ works better for me…it feels like a real social network, not all gimmicky like Facebook.

 
Of the top 20 here are my five favorites:

#3 – Better mobile app (loads fast and better designed)

#11 – Better search (duh it’s Google)

#12 – Elegant notifications (great for multitaskers)

#13 – No more friend request fatigue (Circles are awesome)

#19 – Single post muting (mute posts in your stream)

 

Are you on Google+, or have you never gone back since it launched?

Enroll in free online in courses from top institutions – Princeton, Stanford, Michigan

Online educational marketplaces are on the rise, with tools like Udemy and Khan Academy allowing people of all ages to become an expert in any topic.

New company Coursera is targeting higher education by offering university-level courses from top institutions to students all over the world, all for free.

The company launched with $16 million in Series A funding and is announcing partnerships with four schools:

  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Michigan.

Coursera will offer over 30 courses from its partner schools across a variety of disciplines, including computer science, sociology, medicine, and math.

 

A selection of the classes:

 

Classes typically last for five to ten weeks, and during that time students commit to watching the lectures, and completing interactive quizzes and assignments, which are auto-graded or graded by peers. Upon completion, the student receives a statement of accomplishment, a letter from the professor, and a score, but the course doesn’t count for any actual credit with that specific institution. The site also features a Q&A forum where students can ask questions about the course material and get answers from fellow students.

via Betakit

 

Screenshot of Coursera offerings