A nonprofit project created by Web geeks and technologists called Code for America aims to import the efficiency of the Web into government infrastructures, developing open-source applications, in another step toward the Government 2.0.
Experts say that change can happen more quickly on a a local level.
"Cities are under greater pressure than ever, struggling with budget cuts and outdated technology. What if, instead of cutting services or raising taxes, cities could leverage the power of the web to become more efficient, transparent and participatory?," this group says.
Code for America has received seed financing from the Case Foundation and Sunlight Foundation. Also it has received a backing from big Web companies like Google's Open Source Group, Facebook and Twitter. Now they are recruiting fellows to work on its projects.
The group is trying to make working in government fun and creative. "We're to replicate a start-up environment for the fellows and government," they say.
YouTube's mobile Web site (m.youtube.com; in English only for now) is now a lot better than the Apple-created YouTube application that is installed on every iPhone/iPad.
This is at least what YouTube says after it has announced this week the overhaul of its mobile site. They talk about "the full YouTube experience."
As The New York Times wrote, "Google makes the iPhone YouTube app obsolete". In the meantime, YouTube explains in its blog, "We think this is a great improvement for users who want a more consistent YouTube across many devices, no matter where they are."
The promotional video, above, even demonstrates how easily you can put an icon/bookmark for the Web site on the home screen of the iPhone with a couple of quick clicks.
Facebook continues to grow at a meteoric pace, adding 50 million new members each month. Now it has 500 million, according to the company.
The company's rapid ascension -mostly due to its effort to change and improve the service- doesn't mean it is a cool brand. On the contrary, the most visited site on the Internet may be also the most despised.
A new poll done by the University of Michigan says the site scored 64 on a 100-point scale, which "puts Facebook in the bottom 5 percent" of private sector companies "and in the same range as airlines and cable companies, two perennially low scoring industries with terrible customer satisfaction."
Why is that? Well, Facebook is under fire for everything from the ways it shares data to changing the site around frequently so that regular users are confused and frustrated.
In this video there are more reasons why people hate Facebook.
Who are the most influential and popular independent video makers online? Take a look here.
They have been joined at the first ever gathering, at Vid-Con, a three-day conference in Los Angeles.
YouTube, which has been tremendously, successful in capturing the homemade videos, announced there that it will create a $5 million Partner Grants Program, which will back emerging auteurs who are attracting growing audiences on its site.
These video makers have created huge communities around them spreading viral hit.
Are they the next content creators, the next brand in original programming?
Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO and the best marketing guy in America, turned the iPhone 4's antenna problems into a marketing event this week. (See the press conference here. A PR master piece, by the way.).
He insisted that the problems, which can result in dropped calls when the device is held a certain way, affect all smartphones. "The is no Antennagate," said.
However, he conceded that the iPhone 4 suffered from a slight increase in dropped calls over the iPhone 3GS, but said that the increase was less than one additional drop for every 100 calls.
To put the controversy behind it, Apple is giving free cases that wrap around the rim of the phone to all iPhone 4 buyers who want them. Customers who are still not satisfied can return the phones for a full refund.
Apple has sold more than three million of iPhone 4s so far.
Consumer Reports said it could not recommend the device and called Apple's response a "good first step."
And here you can check the iPhone Antenna song. The music and the lyrics are just phenomenal. The musician, Jonathan Mann, is a genius. Here is its YouTube channel.
VidMe is a new web service that puts privacy and control in the center of the sharing experience.
It means that you can share video privately with only a chosen group of friends; and those videos cannot be forwarded or downloaded.
Certainly, other video sites also make it possible to share videos privately.
On Facebook, users can chose with of their friends sees a video, though the privacy settings are complicated.
On YouTube, people can lock videos and share them with up to 25 people, who must log in to their YouTube accounts to view them. People can also categorize the videos as unlisted, so they do not show up on any public YouTube pages. But viewers of an unlisted video can still forward the Web address to others.
People who register for VidMe get some free credits, which are good for uploading several videos. After that, they can buy blocks of credits.
Talking about SEO and the art of creating a website or web community which is search engine-friendly, there are some basics that people usually forget. I listed them in seven action-points during a conference I recently addressed in Madrid, Spain:
Search engines are key. Some figures:
- 85% of all website traffic is driven by search engines.
- 42 % of users click on the no.1 result.
- For the under-40 age-group, the Internet will become the most used media en the next 2-3 years.
You can only get a high ranking if your content is seen as relevant by the search engines. To get a high ranking there are three main steps:
1. Have lots of content on your site and add more regularly 2. Use the right words and phrases on your website 3. Get lots of relevant sites to link to yours. Links to your site tell the search engines how important your site is. The more links you
have to your site from other sites, the better your ranking.
When designing your site, keep in mind the importance of structuring it properly and using the right words in your HTML code.
Some links to your site from other sites are better than other. Pursue those links that come from credible, important and legitimate sites.
Avoid all the time auto-generation software and sites set up by webmaster or fraudulent advertisers to host links to their other sites -this is called cross-linking. Google clearly states that will penalize you by lowering your ranking or blacklisting it.
Never create websites which serve no useful purpose other than to boost the ranking of some other site. Google gets angry with these SPAM websites.
Check where your competitors' links are coming, and learn from them.
One of the fastest way to get lots of links is to write helpful articles and let other webmaster publish them for free in exchange for a link. It is called article PR.
However, you must know that getting a high search engine ranking takes a long time.
Be wary of SEO companies that promise or guarantee results in a given timeframe, especially if they don't explain what are their methods for generating links.
The Xinhua News Agency, China's dominant news service and the propaganda arm of the Communist Party, will run it.
This channel is part of a government effort to "present an international vision with a Chinese perspective". China has long complained that its country is often portrayed unfavorably in the Western media and that news coverage has hurt the country's interest abroad.
Media experts say that the new channel appears to be modeled on Al Jazeera, the Arabic news network.
CNC World is planning to build a newsroom at the top of a 44-story skyscraper in Times Square, giving it an iconic location in New York, in the same neighborhood as Reuters, Conde Nast, News Corp and The New York Times.
China Central Television, the country’s biggest state-run television broadcaster, has also been expanding overseas and offering broadcasts in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and other languages. And China has heavily financed a makeover of China Daily, its English-language daily newspaper, and introduced a new English edition of Global Times, which is controlled by People’s Daily, the leading Communist Party-run newspaper.
In other words, more propaganda vehicles for the Chinese government.
Hulu.com has unveiled its paid service (Hulu Plus, $9.99 a month) for accessing TV shows on laptops, iPhones/iPads, PlayStation3 and Xbox video game consoles.
Recent episodes of shows on ABC, ABC, NBC, Fox and other networks will remain free (with its ad-supported business model); Hulu Plus opens the door to more episodes of shows on more platforms (but still with ads).
Hulu said the subscription service would start as a "preview" by invitation only, the same way that Hulu was gradually introduced three years ago.
Now picture you yourself this scenario of the online and on-demand viewing. Broadcast networks bypass cable and satellite companies and collect money from viewers directly.
This concedes that the future of TV is video, not just on-air-on-demand, but also online and on mobile.
This World Cup is the first global event that fully utilizes the power of the Web and social in a way that wasn't possible until now. Brands are betting on social media to connect with soccers fans, while building goodwill for the brands.
Coca-Cola, Nike and Ansheuser-Busch have made YouTube (500 million visitors globally every month) an important component of their World Cup ad campaigns. Visa has added Facebook to their efforts. Microsoft is tapping into the still-emerging field of location-based services.
Nike's "Write the Future" ad has been watched over 18 million times on YouTube. This traffic couldn't be supported four years ago.
Coke's global TV campaign, which features the Cameroonian soccer player Roger Milla, directs viewers to a YouTube page where it's collecting other goal-celebration videos. The page has generated 10,000 submission since its launch.
Visa created a "Go fans" campaign that invites people to upload videos to YouTube in support of their teams. Also, had launched an application that helps fans link up with each other. AKQA built the tool which can be used on social networks.
Anheuser-Busch launched a reality TV show "Bud House" on YouTube. This campaign brings together 32 soccer fans, one from each country participating in the tournament, in a house in South Africa during the World Cup. When a team is eliminated, its representative is banished from the house.
Umbro has a Twitter collection site, TerraceTweets.com.
Microsoft is promoting Bing with a Foursquare program that awards a virtual badge to users who check in at soccer bars in select U.S. cities. This map feature allows users to find country-themed bars to watch games.