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The RAAKonteur #58 – A Sad day for Tech, Facebook's ad strategy and Adobe bursts into HTML5

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17 October 2011

This week’s news letter starts on a sad note. Millions of people who didn’t know Steve Jobs personally, felt they knew him through his products, into which much of his personality was poured. From the tidal wave of memorial posts, we found this one from Daring Fireball to be the most beautiful, and this one from the Atlantic to provide a healthy balance. The reaction to Steve Jobs’ death on Chinese Social Network, Weibo, was especially overwhelming.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

#Occupy[your city here]

Gigaohm has a fascinating piece on the movement that started with the Twitter hashtag,#occupywallstreet. They point out that, regardless what you may think of their politics, it’s a fascinating phenomena. The Financial Times went further, giving it’s blessing to the movement as a good thing, in particular the fact that it has no leadership, and no specific set of demands. The protest’s strength comes less from its aims than its form – its adherence to a cumbersome type of popular democracy in which anyone in the “general assembly” in Zuccotti Park is not only consulted on all decisions but can block those that he or she dislikes.

Adobe bursts onto the HTML5/CSS3 scene

Remember Flash? Well, it seems Adobe has not been procrastinating while mourning the death of one of its flagships. This week, they burst onto the scene with two important acquisitions and a very interesting CSS proposal. Let’s look at the acquisitions: 1. Typekit: a service that make beautiful fonts web usable, and hosts them on a scalable, robust, content delivery network.2. Phonegap: a product that takes HTML5 mobile web apps, and turn them into Native apps. This all seems just too obvious: Dreamweaver is going to output HTML5 and CSS3 pretty soon. Why is this a good thing? It means suddenly millions of Flash developers will, in stead of turning up at job centres, start outputting HTML5 and CSS3. That is why.

Facebook’s ad strategy is now clear

Like Google, Facebook is an advertising company. That’s no secret. What has been vague up to now, is exactly how Facebook is going to differentiate themselves from Google in the advertising space. This is now clear. Mashable points out that Facebook is revealing their strategy with the new Ad Unit feature. It shows a brand’s ads, which can be liked an commented on, to people who like a brand page. In other words, they are focusing on a brand’s fans and close friends to deliver the message.

In addition, Facebook has launched a new metric, called talking about, which meassures – and displays to users, the total amount of likes, comments, shares or checkins a page is receiving. Add to that the fact that Facebook pages are now available in all languages, and it becomes very clear where Facebook’s attention is focused.

And just to add a bit of spice to all of this, Royal Pingdom released some comparitive stats, which shows that Facebook now has as many users as the entire Internet had when Facebook launched, in 2004! In the meantime, the Internet has grown by more three and a half times.

Facebook vs countries

Twitter really matters, but at what cost?

When Virginia’s magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit last August, the first Twitter reports sent from people at the epicenter began almost instantly at 1:51 p.m.—and reached New York about 40 seconds ahead of the quake’s first shock waves…
In a fascinating article The Wall Street Journal explores the marvel that is the data coming from Twitter, referencing how stock trading firms are now using it to beat the market, as well as Market research. They also point out that two companies, Gnip and Datasift, have been made gatekeepers by Twitter. However, while an investment firm may be able to shell out thousands of pounds for Tweets, what about social scientists researching conflict? At prices ranging from $3 per hour for a simple query the cost of tweets through these gatekeepers soon add up.

Creative(s) of the week – Early adopters of Facebook Timeline

Facebook timeline

Facebook has barely launched Facebook Timeline, and only to developers (in a clever stint that makes developers jump through a few hoops that expose some of the new platform features to them), but already people have become very creative with their timeline designs.

NASA Embraces Twitter

Nothing says “space” quite like NASA. But, it seems the space giant is not too high in the clouds to miss what’s happening right here on Earth. They’re going to allow 150 of their Twitter followers to watch the next Mars Rover launch.

Yes, the trip is not paid for, and yes, it is a “follow-us-and-win” campaign, but hey … don’t say you don’t really want it!

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