Facebook to take on Foursquare and Gowalla!

Facebook is all set to take on Fourquare and Gowalla as per reports leaked on the Internet. Facebook is coming up with it’s location based services for users and advertisers. The new features will allow users to post relevant data along with their exact location. Something that current startups like Fourquare and Gowalla excel at, will now be offered to Facebook’s users. The startups will have to face the social media giant Facebook.

It’s still unclear whether how Facebook will roll out it’s services to the users and advertisers and what exactly is Facebook’s idea of location based services. It’s certain that current startups that made it big on the web from their innovative location based check-in services will face the heat in the coming months. Facebook has a huge user base and it can overtake any startup in a jiffy in terms of location based services.

Facebook had earlier tried to become Twitter and failed considerably. It’s trying it’s hand on becoming Foursquare and here it might just succeed. As far as brands are concerned Mc Donalds is believed to be the first to test Facebook’s latest location based features with it’s users.

We’ll have to wait and see if Facebook’s new features are worth a shot. As it is Foursquare and Gowalla have a dedicated fan base of users that check-in to various retail spots and other locations across the globe. The trend is just catching up and it’s the right time for Facebook to jump in as well.

Google Squared Could Turn Out Pretty Useful!

google squared

Google had earlier unveiled Google Squared during it’s Searchology briefing. Google Squared simply returns results in a neatly arranged tabular format. You can call it a spreadsheet format as well, Google likes to call it Squares. Users can share their search results on Google Squared with others by signing in. There’s also a neat option to save the search results from Squared to Google Spreadsheets. I’ll say Google Squared has an amazing potential here.

Why? For one, the data on the web today is highly unstructured. Two, it’s easier at times to get what you want from a neatly arranged search engine result that returns information exactly how you need it. Searching by keywords in the future is not going to solve all the search queries going by the sheer volume data floating across the web. Three, Google is picking up data structures from the web as facts and then arranging them in a sleek order.
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How To Make Cool Animated Videos Online

Wondering how you can make your very own cool animated video online without using expensive complex software? Well look no more. Here’s a cool way to make your own animated videos online including voice. That too in a jiffy and no downloads necessary.

Xtranormal is a tool for making online animated videos using a neat interface built in Flash. You can choose a scene, select one or two actors, cameras, viewing angles, actor expressions, sounds and of course animations. The interface is free to use and is a pretty simple one to get used to. The whole video creation process is made easy thanks to the drag and drop interface. The best thing about the service is that you can add voice to your videos by simply entering text and that gets converted to voice using a text-to-speech engine that works in the background.
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5 Web Platforms to Watch Out for in 2010

web platforms in 2010

Real-time web and mobile platforms are set to take over our little lives in a big way. We saw it in 2009, it’ll only get bigger in 2010. Today I’ll take a look at 5 of the most promising web platforms for 2010. So what is a web platform? A web platform is simply an API that allows developers to access data from another company or website. It can be a set of services or a dedicated development platform. Modern web platforms have revolutionized the way people access information on the World Wide Web and they shall continue to do so as more and more platforms emerge in the wild.

Here’s a look at 5 web platforms to watch out for in 2010;

1. Twitter
2. Facebook
3. Android
4. iPhone
5. Azure

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5 Must-have Google Chrome Extensions

Google Chrome extensions have finally been released on the stable version of the browser. I’ve been playing with them for some time now on the developer version. Google Chrome extensions are similar to Mozilla Firefox add-ons, they’re here to provide you with uber cool functionality right under the browser hood. The thing I like the most about Chrome extensions is that they’re cool to install and administrate and they’re more browser friendly. They make your life easier and that’s all you need to care about. Here are five must-have Google Chrome extensions according to me.

1. Google Mail Checker

gmail checkers chrome extensionNow almost everyone has a Gmail account. The Google Mail Checker extension is an alternative to the various notification apps that you’ve been using on your desktop. The thing here is that you don’t get pop-up notifications but a decent icon that sits right on your browser and displays the count of new mails in your account. Simple, effective and cool.

Install [Make sure you click install while using Google Chrome browser]
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How Social Games Make Money

farmville makes money Addicted to sowing seeds, begging for gifts, harvesting and moving up levels on Farmville? At least I’m pretty much done with Farmville updates in my feed. Annoying it may be to people like me but for a good chunk of Facebook-ers it’s highly addictive. Some of my friends’ girlfriends have complained about lack of attention bestowed upon them by their Farmville-loving boyfriends ever since the social gaming scenario exploded on the Internet. So how do these social games actually make money? Well let’s find out.

The 3 new major players in the social gaming world are Zynga, Playfish and Playdom. Zynga’s most popular application on Facebook has 61 million monthly users. It is no doubt Farmville. Playfish’s Pet Society has almost 21 million users while Playdom boasts of more than 16 million users on both MySpace and Facebook. So many users, so much potential. Zynga plans to go public soon while there are rumors floating around that Playdom might have been acquired by EA for a whopping $400 million. These companies are believed to be generating as much as $300 million annually on the sales of virtual goods.
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Yahoo says it’s not them, it’s You!

yahoo new marketing campaign

Yahoo has recently decided on a all new branding campaign which revolves around more in-depth user customized content. Yahoo aims to connect directly to it’s end users in an interactive fashion. Their new tag line is “Y!ou” now. The new campaign is going to make Yahoo’s bank account lighter by more than $100 million. So get ready ready to swallow those ‘You’ banners thrown at you. I seriously think Yahoo could use that much money to hire talent that will help create better products for them. As it is they’re having a hard time trying to hold on to their market share as Google and Microsoft grow with better and more innovative products. I stopped using Yahoo Mail ever since Gmail came up. I was never really a big fan of their search engine either. It’s going to take more than just another campaign to bring old users back.

Good luck Yahoo!

Create your own URL Shortening Service

create your own url shortening service on your blog or website using this free scriptThere are a plenty of URL shortening services around that are both free and easy to use. URL shortening services are highly important when you have to share an interesting link with your friends or contacts online and don’t want to pass on an ugly URL which might just get chopped off at the other end, rendering it useless. URL shortening services such as TinyURL have become highly popular in the recent past. It becomes easy for one to share a link online be it on Facebook, MySpace or Twitter using a URL shortening service. So I was just wondering if I could have my very own URL shortening service which I could use personally or allow visitors on my blog to use it. So I Googled for a while and picked up a tiny class written in PHP, modified it as per my taste and bang! I have my very own URL shortening service here called Linx! Some of my friends were interested in applying this on their blogs/websites as well so I have decided to put it up here.

First of all, if anyone of you is wondering why I should have my own URL shortening service. Well here are a few good points;

– Every time you find an interesting link you want to share with your friends and if your link looks something like http://yoursite.com/1, you’re not just passing on a link but you’re passing on your website name. Publicity!

– Links are destined to go viral. So if around 1000 people love the content, they’ll pass on the link further. If even 2% of them case about the yoursite.com part, bang! You’ve got traffic baby!
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