Monthly Archives: December 2011

TheSocialNetworker Episode 28 – So.cl from Microsoft over capacity but collecting your Facebook email address

A fast buzz is building around the Microsoft opening of So.cl beyond the student population is originally started with.  However, it seems they have reached capacity but do not tell you until after you provide Facebook authentication information that they collect your email address.

You can also watch the video in HD by clicking through to the Spiked Studio channel on YouTube.

Using search functions powered by Bing’s API, So.cl encourages students to search for topics and then create montages of the visually rich web content. The links are automatically shared as you search, in case there are other students looking for the same thing. You can also have “video parties,” which “let you search, and quickly assemble a list of movies to view together with friends.” (Those friends are other online So.cl users.)

There is an opt-out ability at the very end but quite sneaky.  Mainly when they chose not to use their own Windows Live service as an authentication mechanism. Take a peek in the video above.

Want traffic in BlackBerry Appworld – expose this hack

I was busy reading about the launch of Spotify for BlackBerry (yes for mainly older non OS7 devices as of now) today and came across an interesting exploit.

While searching AppWorld for Spotify I entered the term Spotify into the search bar.  Instead of it listing no apps found for Spotify, since it isn’t there yet, I was taken into an application called Voydat for international calls.  I did the search again and again with the same result.  It went straight into this application listing for this one and a half star app.

Blackberry AppWorld

It has nothing to do with music, so I was baffled.  After expanding and reading the tons of Summary information about the application, I found they mention the word Spotify along with other terms like YouTube, Fring, eBuddy, WhatsApp and more.  So any search for those also return this in the search.

So some more testing of search terms had me finding all sorts of applications gaming the system by using keywords in their summaries that have nothing to do with the applications being offered in AppWorld or BlackBerry.

I am pretty sure this was not the intent of the design, but it definitely allows anyone to place an app with crafted keywords to show in search results they should never appear in.

Small bubbles are popping. Niche social networks closing

I have had a rash of emails the past few weeks about smaller, niche social networks that are ceasing operations by the end of the year. I mentioned this trend on TheSocialGeeks Episode 41 last week.

The first sign was an email asking if anyone was interested in purchasing or acquiring the assets or technology behind Refynr.  This service helps build filters for your socialRefyner logo media streams in Twitter and Facebook to remove the clutter.

I have begun talks with a few companies already, but am wondering if you, your company, or anyone in your network would be interested in acquiring/buying my company. The Refynr technology has been built up over the past 14 months, has over 1,000 users…

I love this service, yet I forgot about it at some point and failed to go back.  Deconstructing the activity streams is what will save the enterprise worker with recent pushes to include them in every social product and cause users to oversubscribe.

visualcv logoI then received an email from a very cool site VisualCV that helped you build  outstanding online resumes.  They talked about a freemuim model that never really developed I am guessing.

Dear VisualCV Member

We regret to inform you that the VisualCV.com website will be ceasing operations, effective December 30, 2011.
To ensure we meet all our members’ privacy concerns, we will destroy all user data once website operations have ceased. This includes any and all backups we have.

The email goes on to say they will refund prorated funds to paying members.  I am surprised sites liked LinkedIn would not have been interested in this technology to boost their resume creation abilities.   They let you embed images and save off your resume as a clean looking pdf file.

In the middle of these two notices I received another email notifying me of the closing of Strands Fitness on December 30th.  this site created and maintained training logs.  With the creation of such items as Fitbit I can see where they had heavy competition.

I was also confused that you could still create an account with some of these services with the pending shutdowns.  Strands did support quite a few devices, but never caught on in the three years they existed.  They are allowing you to export your data with provided instructions.

The parent site of Strands.com does have other products and sites that are fee based only so they might just be readjusting their focus to viable networks and services they have built.

This begins to ask the question if these smaller social networks can maintain themselves without being bought by the larger.  With limited numbers of users and the larger sites building more features to match close enough, I can see the pull of the users away.

Plus you go where you friends are.  Apparently they are not on many of these smaller networks.

Path, Whim, your face and early adopters

I know many of you want to keep up with all the social news and don’t want to wadeTheSocialgeeks logo through the tons of articles out there.  That is why TheSocialGeeks run a roundtable every two weeks with some of the biggest names and analysts in social media.

Here is what you missed the last two episodes by not subscribing to the podcast.

Episode 41 – On the Path

  • Why did Facebook buy Gowalla?
  • What we think of Path and the update to 2.0
  • Whim launches in beta
  • I ask the question “Are we too early as early adopters?” and get surprising answers

Episode 40  - Cover Your Face

  • New facial recognition apps, privacy and usability
  • Personal.com launches and wants you to share more personal information than ever before
  • Google Plus discussions
  • Pepperspray memes and viral videos

Use TheSocialGeeks as your personal filter for the top social news and opinions.  Why not look smarter tomorrow by listening anytime you get a chance.

You can stream live, subscribe on iTunes and even find us on numerous other devices.