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Facebook Like to get Share button feature

Tests are being conducted including very limited number of Facebook users

Popular social network Facebook s Like button has given birth to thousands of serial likers (Yes, I just made it up). Apparently to live up to the true motive of liking and sharing user-generated or uploaded content, Facebook had introduced new Share button last year. Till date, you could like almost everything on Facebook but can t share the same in your News Feed with your connections. Mashable reports that the Like button is soon getting Share functionality and thereby you can share the posted content with others.

Upcoming features at Facebook always keep showing up during the testing phase. Facebook spokeswoman Malorie Lucich informed that Facebook will continue to carry the Share button on the website. Lucich said, We re always testing new products that incorporate developer feedback as we work to improve the Platform experience, and have no details to share at this time.

Basically any post, photo, video, or link you Like on Facebook would get the Share functionality as well so that you can share it with others. In a way, it s just going to increase the noise by duplication of same post. To Like something on Facebook is very different from sharing it with others.  Marketers and publishers would certainly admire the new Share functionality of the Like button since the audience will be anticipated to like and share the content.
Like & Share buttons

The new feature has its own set of merits and demerits. The merit lies in the fact that users can share whatever they like with others after hitting Like button. But the demerit lies in the fact that just because one hits Like button doesn t mean user wants to share it with his/her friends. In fact just like several complain about certain users hitting Like button for everything and everywhere possible, it just becomes difficult to judge accurately whether the purpose was served or not.

The share functionality for Like button would be visible mostly on the Facebook web interface and mobile interface only. It won’t impact the individual Like and Share plugins available as part of Social Plugins. However, we do not underestimate the Facebook users for several know what each feature stands for. Hence I hope if and when this new feature rolls out, users will make use of it judiciously.

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Microsoft India Launches Office Web Apps

Access, edit Microsoft Office docs from anywhere

Microsoft Office Web Apps has been launched in India. Web Apps is Microsoft’s equivalent of Google Docs, which lets users create, access, edit, and share documents from the Office suite, which includes Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote, from any PC equipped with an Internet connection. The best part is that the service is absolutely free.

“Office Web Apps are a key piece of Microsoft’s overall cloud strategy. Features like ease of sharing and high document fidelity make Office Web Apps a powerful enabler of productivity in the cloud for modern information workers and consumers alike. Moreover, this tool helps students collaborate on their school and college projects in a seamless way,” said Sanjay Manchanda, Director, Microsoft Business Division.

All you need to run Office Web Apps is a Windows Live ID on SkyDrive or Hotmail to access Microsoft Office Web Apps from any of the supported web browsers like Internet Explorer 7 or later, Mozilla Firefox 3.5 or later, Google Chrome and Safari 4. The documents ported to and fro retain their style, formatting, embedded objects like images, and other meta objects. Office Web Apps is a boon for creating and maintaining collaborative documents, and features interoperability between the PC and Mac platforms.

web apps

Egypt Government Restores Internet Service

After a week-long shutdown

The anti-government protests against President Hosni Mubarak‘s 30 year regime have spilled onto the Internet. Aware of the journalistic role of social networking websites like Twitter played to bypass the media blackout imposed by the Iranian regime, the Egyptian government had pre-emptively blocked access to Internet throughout the country. Google responded by launching a phone service allowing users without Internet access to leave voice mails on Twitter.

The Internet shutdown served to fuel the rage of the protesters further. The Internet and SMS ban seemed futile considering the fact that the protesters swell to about quarter of a million in the streets of Cairo. In the wake of mounting pressure the Hosni Mubarak regime has resumed Internet connectivity in the country, as confirmed by Hassan Kabbani, chief executive of cellphone-service provider MobiNil. Essential banking websites, ATMs, as well as social networking platforms are accessible throughout Egypt since yesterday noon.

Unlike the unchallenged success of the social networking in its journalistic role, Egypt has evinced how easy it is to pull the plug on the Internet, especially when you have power over the ISP and the Internet backbone through the country. However, gagging the people may seem easy; it does expose the perpetrator to international pressure.

Egypt may have been able to quell the voice of the nation for a week, but shutting the Internet down doesn’t make strategic sense. After all, even with the Internet down, the protestors still found alternate means to mobilise a 250,000 strong crowd on February 1.

http://www.techtree.com/India/News/Egypt_Government_Restores_Internet_Service/551-114363-643.html

Google, Bing Fight Over Copying Search Results

Bing denies copying search results and states that it learns from customers.

The Search Engine scene that has been dormant for a while has suddenly became active. Yesterday, Danny Sullivan, Editor of Search Engineland, posted an exhaustive account of how Google undertook a sting operation to check if Microsoft Bing was copying its search results. Basically, Google created 100 synthetic queries for a one time experiment to find out the similarity of search results between Google and Bing. Microsoft’s Harry Shum, Corp. VP for Bing called Google’s experiment a spy-novelesque stunt to generate extreme outliers in tail query ranking.

A Cold war was always on between Google and Microsoft. Both companies along with the new kid on the block, Blekko, appeared at Big Think’s even Farsight 2011: Beyond the Search Box. Many feel it’s a well executed publicity stunt by both Google and Microsoft, but it’s easy to pass judgment without referring to the details.

Amit Singhal, Google fellow, clarified on Google’s official Blog how the search giant created a honeypot consisting of 100 synthetic queries that average users won’t search for. Those queries were then checked on Internet Explorer 8 using Bing Tool bar with Suggested Sites option. Microsoft certainly uses both IE8 and Bing toolbar to collect information on users’ searches. On testing those synthetic queries, Google engineers were surprised to see the same search results appear in Bing.

In short, Google found out that Bing replicated the search results for any random query used in Google’s search Engine. The similarity of results didn’t appear immediately when the experiment began, but only over a period of a week or so. This experiment was reportedly ended in December. Hence, Shum and several others are obviously questioning why Google waited for 30 days to publish the findings. Maybe Google was taking legal advise on this matter.

Mary Jo Foley, author of All about Microsoft at ZDNet blogs, reported the same and got a reply from Microsoft’s spokesperson: We do not copy Google’s results. That didn’t seem comprehensive enough and hence followed a blog post by Harry Shum at Bing Community Blog. Shum called Google’s experiment a creative tactic.

The duel between Google and Bing over copying of search results seems to have heated up. Google wants Microsoft to stop mimicking Google. In a way it’s good, so that the errors aren’t repeated. Back in December, Google announced to bury bad merchant sites that ill-treat the consumers just to increase ranking in the search engine. So basically, in the name of Search Ranking Algorithm tweaking, Google smartly carried out the experiment. May be I am wrong, but everything is so perfectly timed like an Alfred Hitchcock novel.

Singhal told Sullivan, “It’s cheating to me because we work incredibly hard and have done so for years but they just get there based on our hard work. I don’t know how else to call it but plain and simple cheating. Another analogy is that it’s like running a marathon and carrying someone else on your back, who jumps off just before the finish line.”

At the Farsight 2011, Shum said, Google engineers helped us discover a new form of spam. I wished the Google engineers had shared that with us before they went to press. If you look at how each search engine ranks the results, Matt Cutts is referring to a few outlier examples. It’s not like we actually copied anything. We actually learn from our customers. Do you mean that Google owns the data?

Google seems to be deeply hurt with how close Bing appears. While Microsoft defends stating that users’ search behavior data has been used. This issue might soon be in court.

http://www.techtree.com/India/News/Google_Bing_Fight_Over_Copying_Search_Results/551-114354-643.html

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