Mark Zuckerberg

Twitter’s ‘major’ redesign: 4 talking points

I haven’t quite gotten the hang of Twitter, but I do tweet from time to time.  I have to admit that watching folks who are really in to tweeting, really intimidates me.

I’m afraid of typing the wrong thing or forgetting the hash tags and every other thing a newbie would be anxious about.  I’ve had my account for two years but I rarely go on twitter unless a major event is happening and I want to get folks immediate reactions.  I must say, I’m learning a little more with each visit.

The Week

The fiercely-popular micro-blogging site rolls out a new look, hoping to woo users who were confused by the old interface

The tweets, they are a changing. This week, Twitter announced a“major” redesign of its popular micro-blogging service, in a move aimed at attracting new users and big brands with a simpler, more intuitive interface and more opportunities for companies to show off their stuff. The new look will be rolled out in the coming weeks across Twitter.com, Twitter apps, and TweetDeck. (Watch a video demonstration here.) Here, four things you should know:

1. It’s (supposed to be) easier for new tweeters
Twitter’s message to “newbies” here is “try it, you’ll like it,” says Stephen Shankland at CNET. Twitter execs say the big empty text box on the old site was alienating for first-time users, so now the emphasis is on helping newcomers find content that interests them. The new interface has several friendly tabs, and potentially confusing concepts like hashtags have been re-branded for new users with less threatening action verbs, like “discover.” A spokesperson says: “The new version of Twitter is a faster, simpler way to stay close to everything you care about.”

2. It’s also friendlier to brands and advertisers
Companies will be able to launch customized, branded pages and show embedded multimedia. Twitter says it’s aiming to be “an even more compelling destination” for companies. Experts caution that Twitter must be careful that it doesn’t “compromise users’ experience” by getting too cozy with businesses. “It may make Twitter’s members feel that its commercial interests are being put ahead of their own,” says one digital consultant.

3. Twitter is becoming more like Facebook
The branded pages “look like a blatant borrowing” from Facebook, says Paul Sloan at CNET. And that’s not the only part of the redesign reminiscent of Mark Zuckerberg and Co. While photos used to be a pain to tweet, they now handily appear as part of a tweet — sound familiar? “A big part of Facebook’s appeal — and something that keeps users coming back and sticking around — is that it’s an easy place to share and store your photos.” Now Twitter is, too. New profile pages are also very Facebook-like. This “redesign sends a clear message to the social networking universe: Facebook, we’re coming for you,” says the International Business Times.

4. Conversations are easier to follow
“One of the more annoying things about the old Twitter design was the inability for users to follow conversations easily,” says the International Business Times. No longer. Under the redesign, conversations and comments pile up beneath the original post. Yep, another Facebook-like move.

Why Facebook lost 6 million U.S. users: 4 theories

This Week

The social networking giant reportedly lost quite a few friends in May. Market saturation, or the beginning of the end?

Facebook may be nearing 700 million users with a $100-billion IPO on the horizon, but all may not be well in Zuckerberg land. According to Inside Facebook, the social networking giant lost nearly 6 million users in the United States in May, along with 1.52 million in Canada and hundreds of thousands in the United Kingdom, Norway, and Russia. The company still managed to add 11.8 million new users worldwide last month, but its growth has been slowing significantly. What’s happening? Here, four theories:

1. Facebook has made as many friends as it can
Mark Zuckerberg and Co. may be “hitting a saturation point in key markets,” especially in the U.S., where roughly 50 percent of the population is already on Facebook, says Kent Bernhard Jr. at Portfolio. If that’s the case, the social network might not be able to reach Zuckerberg’s goal of 1 billion users without conquering China (and its strict online censorship).

2. People are sick of Facebook
“I think users are deleting their accounts because they… are burnt out,” says Lindsay Mannering at The Stir. Even Bill Gates, a Zuckerberg friend and Facebook investor, recently quit the social networking site, saying his friend requests had gotten “out of hand.” I don’t blame him. “Between the feeds and the friends, it’s too much… more of an obligation than a fun way to pass a few minutes.” No wonder people are logging off for good.

3. This is just a temporary dip
“Seasonal changes like college graduations, and other short-term factors, can influence numbers month to month and obscure what’s really happening,” says Eric Eldon at Inside Facebook. These May figures are certainly intriguing, but let’s not overreact. The long-term trends are the ones that really matter.

4. Other social networks are on the rise
It’s “worth noting” that Twitter and LinkedIn are gaining in many of the areas that Facebook saw big losses — namely the U.S. Canada, and the United Kingdom, says Robin Wauters at TechCrunch. But let’s not forget that “on a global level… Facebook is drawing more visitors than ever.”

 

Facebook Woos Washington

The Daily Beast

Obama hosts a town-hall at Facebook headquarters today, a sign of the social media giant’s growing political power and its oddly symbiotic relationship with the president—he needs Facebook for reelection, it needs him to stay in Congress’ good books.

When President Obama visited with some Silicon Valley big shots in February, the tech blog Business Insider ran a photo of the president chatting with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Below the photo, a commenter called “pauldeba” posted: “I gotta say,

it must feel impressive meeting the most powerful man in the world. I wonder how Obama feels about it.”

Think about it. Zuckerberg’s company has 600 million members, making it about twice as big as the United States.

So the true significance of Obama’s visit Wednesday to Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, won’t involve anything the president says. Simply by doing this event, a town-hall meeting that will be broadcast on the Internet, the White House is recognizing Facebook’s growing power and influence in politics and the culture at large.

What TV was to John Kennedy, Facebook is to Obama. Social media in general, and Facebook in particular, have become so important to politics that you almost can’t run for president without mastering the new medium.

The event also reflects the way that Facebook, from the very beginning, has learned how to curry favor in Washington. Unlike tech giants Microsoft and Google, which shunned Washington and refused to play the game, and as a result ended up in hot water with regulators, Facebook recognized the need to build bridges with lawmakers early on.

One of the smartest things Zuckerberg ever did was to bring aboard Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, who will play co-host during the Obama town-hall meeting. Sandberg came to Facebook from Google, but before that she was a power player in D.C., serving as chief of staff under Larry Summers during his tenure as secretary of the Treasury. She’s now a member of the recently formed President’s Council for Jobs and Competitiveness.

Continue here…

Time Person Of The Year 2010: Mark Zuckerberg

Huffington Post

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2010.

At 26, Zuckerberg has put himself on the map not only as one of the world’s youngest billionaires, but also as a prominent newcomer to the world of philanthropy.

Earlier this year, he pledged $100 million over five years to the Newark, N.J. school system. Now, he’s in the company of media titans Carl Icahn, 74, Barry Diller, 68, and others who have joined Giving Pledge, an effort led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett to commit the country’s wealthiest people to step up their charitable donations.

Zuckerberg owns about a quarter of Facebook’s shares.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke received the honor last year. The 2008 winner was then-President-elect Barack Obama. The 2007 winner was Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Other previous winners have included Bono, President George W. Bush, and Amazon.com CEO and founder Jeff Bezos.

Time’s “Person of the Year” is the person or thing that has most influenced the culture and the news during the past year for good or for ill.

‘The King’s Speech’ Leads Golden Globe Film Nominations With 7

As fate would have it, I just saw The Social Network last night and was blown away by the acting and the powerful script about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.  After viewing the movie I had no doubt that Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and  screen writer Aaron Sorkin  of The West Wing  fame, would walk away with at least a Golden Globe and/or Academy Award  nomination in their respective categories.

As for The King’s Speech, I haven’t seen it yet, but I have discovered that almost anything Colin Firth plays in is a winner.  I fell in love with the shy yet brilliant barrister, “Mr. Darby” in the Bridget Jones series and was floored by his sensitive yet comedic role in Love Actually.  In my opinion,  A Single Man was perhaps Mr. Firth’s finest role, until I read about his performance in The King’s Speech

If Colin Firth is in a movie, I’d recommend it…

The Hollywood Reporter

“The Social Network” and “The Fighter” were close behind with six nods each, while “Glee” leads the TV pack with five.

With seven nominations, The Kings Speech, the British drama about a regal speech impediment, led the nominations for the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards were announced Tuesday morning. Facebook-founding drama The Social Network and boxing tale The Fighter followed close behind with six noms each.

In the television categories, Glee led the parade with five nominations. Eight other shows — including 30 Rock, Dexter, Modern Family and Mad Men — scored three noms each.

Johnny Depp scored a double whammy, picking up two nominations in the same category — best actor in a motion picture comedy or musical. He received the noms for playing the mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland and as a man who stumbles into an international web of intrigue in The Tourist – a movie that Sony Pictures sold as a romantic thriller. Angelina Jolie, his seductive costar in that movie, earned a nomination as well.

In the race for best motion picture drama, Speech, Network and Fighter will go up against the ballet drama The Black Swan and dream thriller Inception when the Globes are handed out on Jan. 16.

On the best motion picture comedy side, Tourist will be competing for attention with Alice, the musical Burlesque, the alternative family tale The Kids Are All Right and the senior action movie RED.

See the full list, here…

Social Network Trailer

The King’s Speech Trailer

Friended for $100 Million

Wall Street Journal - Facebook Founder Zuckerberg to Establish Foundation to Help Newark Schools

Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old founder and chief executive of Facebook Inc., plans to announce a donation of up to $100 million to the Newark schools this week, in a bold bid to improve one of the country’s worst performing public school systems.

Newark spends about $22,000 a year on each of its 40,000 pupils, but only about half of its students graduate. Of those who do, only one-fifth go on to four-year colleges. More than 85% of the Newark students at community colleges need remedial help in math and English.

The state took control of the troubled Newark system in the 1990s, and this month Gov. Chris Christie informed the city’s superintendent that his contract wouldn’t be renewed after June 2011. Mr. Christie has vowed to implement forceful changes, portending an agenda that includes stronger teacher evaluations and merit pay.

Mr. Zuckerberg is setting up a foundation with $100 million of Facebook’s closely held stock to be used to improve education in America, with the primary goal of helping Newark.

Mr. Zuckerberg has had a long-standing interest in education, particularly teachers’ low salaries, according to a person familiar with the discussions. Over the last year, he had a series of meetings with people involved in education and developed a relationship with Newark Mayor Cory Booker.        Continue reading…