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The RAAKonteur #55 – Twitter analytics, Facebook Subscriptions and of course some hanky panky

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19 September 2011

APIs at dawn

If you're excited about the creative possibilities of social platforms you'd be over the moon this week. Not only did Foursquare release a push API (allowing app developer to know when people have checked into certain places), but Google+ has launched their much-awaited API. Ready, set, code!

Twitter releases web analytics

Are you wondering how many people Twitter is sending to your website, and how your Retweet buttons are performing on your site? Worry no more. Twitter is rolling out web analytics. But when will they roll out analytics for your Twitter account so that you can see how it is performing? Hopefully soon.


Facebook introduces Subscription feature

Big move from Facebook this week, as they launched the Subscription feature. This allows people to subscribe to updates from people you're not friends with, as well as have some control over which updates you see from your friends. So a bit like Google+ Circles; but also quite a bit like Twitter.

So should Twitter be worried? Not just yet, says GigaOm. Facebook is still the place you visit to find out what your friends have to say, unlike Twitter.

"Twitter is uniquely designed to be a real-time news distribution network, and has become just that for so many millions of users that a new feature from Facebook — or the launch of Google+ for that matter — isn’t likely to erode its position significantly."


Niche is the new black

A young Australian fashion blogger charges $450 per display ad per month on her site. She has more than 10 of these ads. The New York times reported on the news trend towards niche sites this week. Yes, there might be carnage in traditional press, but the likes of Techcrunch is raking in the money.

Easy blogging

However, keeping a good blog up-to-date is hard work. So it's no real surprise that Tumblr, which allows you to quickly curate and re-blog content, is doing so well. Numbers showed that the platform is racking up 12 billion page views per month, which is 8 times as much as WordPress.com (Not self hosted mind, that part of WordPress now powers more than 30 million websites).

In related news: Posterous, that other light blogging service, re-launched, focusing more on mobile, photosharing and introducing a new feature called Spaces, which is pretty similar to Google+ circles.


Is sex moving from the screen to your street corner?

It's the new trend. Mixing social and location is producing a raft of new applications aiming at… err intimate interaction. In other news, Forbes reports there's a lot less porn on the internet than thought.


Social Media at the workplace

Increasingly, companies are nervous about their employees using Social Media and are blocking access. Wrong, claim these 2 studies. They show that allowing people free internet access can actually increase productivity.

The volatile nature of Bitcoin

We keep watching the progress of virtual currency Bitcoin with peeled eyes. It’s a cool idea, it’s out of reach of the reviled banking industry. And in a way, it's more DIY, more social.

Last week, however, super-economist Paul Krugman wrote a blogpost stating why Bitcoin is failing. The first function money should have, Krugman says, is to fascilitate transactions. Even though Bitcoin has succeeded as an investment medium, that also means its massively deflationary – and everybody is hoarding their ever more valuable Bitcoins and not using them as money. In reaction to his post, Bitcoin’s dollar-value almost immediately plummeted from its nominal just-over-six-dollar value to well below five dollars. And it’s still heading down.

On a more positive note, Bitcoinica (a Bitcoin trading platform) has released a Bitcoin trading API, on which they traded 8092.44 BTC in the first 48 hours.


The Bipolar World of Infotech

This week our Twitter stream was set on fire by this speech by Ben Hammersley, addressing the Information Assurance Advisory Council. (In short, scary security-minded people, the type who buy custom cryptography)

It’s a far-reaching speech, addressing the strange bipolar nature of information technology today: where the risk averse people with decision making power are pre-internet but the future leaders are embracing the risky internet whole-heartedly.

"We can bitch about it, but Facebook, Twitter, Google and all the rest are, in many ways the very definition of modern life in the democratic west. For many, a functioning internet with freedom of speech, and a good connection to the social networks of our choice is a sign not just of modernity, but of civilisation itself." 

It's extensive, but it's absolutely worth a read.

Creative Of The Week – David Guetta

Let's be clear about one thing: we didn't pick Guetta for his creative output. His music really isn't our cup of tea.

But this week he decided to sell his album through Facebook. That in itself is, we think, a first. But it's also interesting to see that you're able to make the purchase with Facebook Credits.


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