Posts tagged many
By now, you’ve probably read the New York Times piece that’s been making the rounds lately. If not, here’s the upshot: it concludes that Google AdWords isn’t practical for small businesses. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time the Gray Lady has gone after AdWords, nor is it the first time…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Sydney Morning Herald
SEO services subject of many complaints, warns Fair Trading office
Sydney Morning Herald
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said complaints about the firms – which practise what is called search engine optimisation, or SEO, on websites – related mainly to unsatisfactory or non-performance of a service, cancellation of the contract or …
View full post on SEO – Google News
New social networks are cropping up all over the Internet, spawning like rabbits keeping warm during a polar vortex.
Jelly, the highly-anticipated app cofounded by Twitter’s Biz Stone, was finally revealed on Tuesday. Turns out, it’s just another social application that its founders claim is “a new way to search.” With Jelly, users connect with the friends and followers they’re already connected to on existing social networks and then upload a photo just to ask: “What is this?”
Jelly adds another icon to the social bucket on our mobile devices, and asks us all to rely on our friends to provide trustworthy answers. Basically, it’s Quora meets Pinterest.
Even Forbes recently launched its own “mini social network”. The company’s so-called “Stream” lets readers save and share articles exclusively using the Forbes iOS application. Stream is a timeline comprised of Forbes articles, publicly or privately shared by and to Forbes readers. Of course, readers can in turn share articles directly to other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
The Saturation Of Mobile Breeds New Apps
In the heyday of desktop computers, there was clear competition driving our social network use. Facebook usurped MySpace by infiltrating college campuses, and quickly took over international markets becoming the largest, and most addictive, social platform.
But society has finally reached smartphone ubiquity, fueling the ability and desire to create and distribute social apps that give users one more application they have to check.
Nearly all social apps rely on the information databases Facebook and Twitter have already built. Each time we download a new social app, we’re given the option to sign up with social login, and are then able to share the activity on the accounts we signed up with in the first place.
Many apps have suffered the rise and fall of consumer interest—a flashy new product grabs attention for a moment, and the number of signups propel the app to the top of any App Store. But as consumer interest wanes, usually caused by both the quality of posts and the increased distribution of time spent on other networks, apps once heralded as “the next great social platform” can quickly become obsolete.
Take Path. Path is an exclusive network, built so that information can only be shared with a select group of close friends. It relies on Facebook’s social graph and users’ Twitter accounts to find and connect with individuals. After shady invite practices spammed Facebook users, the original social network blocked Path’s “find friends” feature. The app that was once valued at one billion dollars has plummeted in both popularity and use—the end result of what appears to be the lifecycle of a social app.
The OG Social Network
Remember when you signed school yearbooks with your phone number? The antiquated address book has reinvented itself as the new social network as messaging applications threaten to overthrow the stalwart likes of Facebook.
It’s likely the names and numbers stored in your phonebook belong to actual friends. Which is why apps that access your address book are rising in popularity.
Snapchat, 2013’s messaging darling, has created a social network that is both a visual and private way to interact with friends. The simple ephemeral messaging app found its way into smartphones—and teens’ hearts—everywhere, tapping into every growth trend on the Internet by capitalizing on the data stored in our contact list.
Although the app has been fraught with controversy, mainly as the subject of a massive data breach that exposed over four million Snapchat user phone numbers, people will continue to use their 10-digit identities as friend-finding features. It’s just too easy not to.
Is Consolidation Possible?
Continued innovation prevents services from monopolizing, but for social, it arguably already exists. Most of our friends can be found on Facebook or Twitter, and if nothing else, we can send them a text message.
At the heart of it, social networks are built for connecting people, and human nature drives us to continue looking for the best possible way to do that.
Developers and founders who want to create the best way to communicate will continue to build apps that rely on mass consumption to survive.
But if there’s one thing driving consolidation and the desire to pare down our platforms, it’s time. Give me a reason to give you my time, and you’ve built something worth using. Otherwise, you’ve joined one of the many apps that quietly pass into the Internet’s ether as empty networks—barren deserts filled with updates no one ever sees.
Lead image via Jelly, other image via SeanMcEntee on Flickr
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For those still struggling to understand open source, the fracas over Oracle’s handling of MySQL won’t help. When Oracle acquired Sun in 2010, open sourcerors (including me) worried that Oracle would kill MySQL by under-investing in its development or turning it proprietary. Neither has happened. In fact, MySQL performance has dramatically improved under Oracle’s stewardship, with the bulk of MySQL code remaining completely open.
Yet some in the open-source community continue to pummel Oracle for its management of MySQL. Is it fair?
The MySQL Community Apocalypse …
Oracle has never been particularly community-friendly. Even the users that feed it billions in sales every quarter don’t particularly love it.
Small wonder, then, that Oracle’s stewardship of MySQL has been under constant attack since Oracle bought Sun (MySQL was part of Sun). Some of the concerns were simply alarmist conspiracy theory twaddle. But some were real, like the surprising disappearance of MySQL test cases in 2012. Long a staple of open-source projects, test cases basically help users confirm that a bug has been resolved. Without them end-users and developers are left to fly blind.
Once it became obvious that Oracle truly had stopped publishing test cases, many started pointing fingers. For example, Sergei Golubchik of MariaDB, a fork of MySQL that proclaims itself purer and more community friendly than MySQL, assumed the worst, arguing that Oracle
intentionally kills whatever is left of the MySQL development community. Without test cases MySQL becomes as opaque to external developers as any piece of closed source software, and only those most experienced and familiar with the MySQL code base will be able to continue working with it.
Or so the theory goes.
… Or Not
As it turns out, the truth is more complicated. Misguided or not, MySQL’s test case visibility may have been squashed by corporate bureaucracy, not nefarious designs, as open source pundit Simon Phipps reveals after talking with individuals “extremely well-placed to know” the truth:
A blog posting earlier in 2012 had pointed at test cases as a place to get ready-made source code to exploit security-sensitive defects in MySQL. In response to this, Oracle’s security team insisted the MySQL developers not publish test cases associated with bug fixes in GA releases any more.
Although the MySQL team is aware this obstructs co-development and is opposite to the practice of most communities, internally to Oracle they have been unable to make the case for community transparency (even to the extent of giving this explanation publicly).
As interim CEO of the MariaDB Foundation, Phipps is heavily conflicted. The fact that he acknowledges the non-evil designs behind Oracle’s policy changes is therefore a pretty hefty support for Oracle, even if it ultimately leaves the MySQL community worse off.
Still The Popular Kid
Still, despite Oracle’s alleged mismanagement of MySQL, MySQL remains the most popular open-source database – by far – and could actually displace Oracle at the top of DB-Engines’ popularity ranking by mid-2014. Whatever the community angst over MySQL, this hasn’t translated into a slide in its adoption.
Part of the reason is that Oracle has dramatically improved MySQL performance and functionality, as Zack Urlocker, former EVP of Products at MySQL, insists:
— Zack Urlocker (@ZUrlocker) December 16, 2013
Urlocker goes on to state that Oracle “improved performance in areas that were long considered impossible to address.” The reason should be obvious: Oracle is a database company with decades of experience building and improving relational databases. It would be surprising if Oracle could not improve MySQL.
MySQL Performance Soars Under Oracle
Still, the fact that it has suggests that those (like me) who were suspicious of Oracle’s commitment to MySQL need to reevaluate that thinking. While it’s true that Oracle has loaded up some performance improvements only in its proprietary version of the database:
Though even the community edition keeps getting dramatically better, most recently posting 150% improvements in read/write performance between MySQL 5.5 and MySQL 5.6:
While the data isn’t perfect and others like Facebook’s Mark Callaghan have shown performance degradation since MySQL 4.1, the MySQL employees (current and former) I’ve polled all credit Oracle with significantly improving MySQL performance.
As Monica Kumar, senior director of product marketing at Oracle, points out:
— Monica Kumar (@mbkumar) December 16, 2013
Oracle: Saint Or Sinner?
In sum, I suspect most MySQL users today are grateful for the Oracle’s contributions to MySQL. Its backtracking on core community best practices are regrettable but understandable, in light of the company’s security policies. Arguably, these should be revisited so that MySQL can benefit from Oracle’s technical leadership while giving the MySQL community the unfettered access to information that will increase its trust in Oracle’s technical leadership.
As former MySQL CEO (and current Eucalyptus CEO) Marten Mickos (@martenmickos) stresses in an email to me, “Oracle may not care about community, but they are doing a great job at maintaining and developing the MySQL product under the GPL license.” Perhaps Oracle should care more about the MySQL community, but there’s little cause to believe Oracle deliberately harms MySQL, either as a product or as a community.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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Does Google’s PageRank consider how many times a web page is visited by internet surfers besides considering its incoming hyperlinks?
How many visits does it take for a website to get google pagerank of 5?