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2007 was undoubtedly the year of Social Networking, but what of 2008? Will '08 be the year of "Unified Communications" or the year when CMS comes to stand for "Community Management System" - or even "Collaboration Management System"? Or will it be the year of a giga-merger, to beat the mere mega-mergers of 2007? As usual at the end of each year, SYS-CON has been informally polling its globe-girdling network of software developers, industry executives, commentators, investors, writers, and editors. As always, the range and depth of their answers is fascinating, throwing light not just on where the industry is going but also how it's going to get there, why, because of who, within what kind of time-scale. Enjoy! RIAs versus AJAX . Ruby on Rails . PHP . Facebook Competitors  TIM BRAY Director of Web Technologies, Sun Tim Bray managed the Oxford English Dictionary projec... (more)

The Future of Cloud Computing

As new offerings like Amazon's CloudFront, Microsoft's Azure, Hosting.com's CloudNine and VMware's vCloud are rolled out week in, week out, the worldwide cloud computing momentum continues to grow. Here, SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal surveys a globe-girdling network of leading infrastructure experts, IT industry executives and technology commentators for their views on The Shape of Cloud Computing To Come. Contributors include Salesforce.com's Peter Coffee, Geve Perry of GigaSpaces, Ben Rushlo from Keynote Systems, Cloud Computing Journal editor-in-chief Alan Williamson, Enomaly founder Reuven Cohen, open source entrepreneur Krishnan Subramanian and Markus Klems of the FZI Research Center for Information Technology in Germany. PETER COFFEE Director, Platform Research - Salesforce.com Peter Coffee was Technology Editor for industry journals PC Week and eWEEK from 1... (more)

Is the PR Business Extinct? Yes

http://twitter.com/fuatkircaali The short answer is yes. In our estimation, roughly 70% of today's PR firms with their traditional public relations and communications business structures will not survive the fast-approaching social media avalanche. The remaining 30% that need to reinvent their position real fast in their newly morphed industry will prosper, compared to where they were and what they were doing before. For publicly traded companies, current rules dictate that information can be made public by a press release or by a telephone conference call but not simply on a website. Ninety percent of today's PR firms are still in business simply because of this single rule. For the first time three years ago, in 2006, Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz asked the SEC to change this rule. Well, the new White House is already posting the President's weekly address... (more)

Why Do 'Cool Kids' Choose Ruby or PHP to Build Websites Instead of Java?

Coach Wei's Blog Here is a question that I have been pondering on and off for quite a while: Why do "cool kids" choose Ruby or PHP to build websites instead of Java? I have to admit that I do not have an answer. Why do I even care? Because I am a Java developer. Like many Java developers, I get along with Java well. Not only the language itself, but the development environments (Eclipse for example), step-by-step debugging helper, wide availability of libraries and code snippets, and the readily accessible information on almost any technical question I may have on Java via Google. Last but not least, I go to JavaOne and see 10,000 people that talk and walk just like me. The other reason that I ponder this question is that  the power of Java is a perfect fit for the areas where websites may need more than markups or scripting, such as middleware logic. PHP and Ruby etc ... (more)

Web 2.0 Journal Book Review: Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott

If you have read the book "Wikinomics" by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams, then you should not miss this new book "Grown Up Digital" by Don Tapscott.  Ten years ago, the same author wrote a book entitled "Growing Up Digital" - and, this book is a sequel and traces how the Net-Geners have evolved. The book was inspired by a US$4M project "The Net Generation: a Strategic Investigation" started by the company "New Paradigm" founded by the author and funded by large companies. With a survey of 11,000 young people, this book looks at the new generation who have literally grown up digital, a cultural phenomenon characterized by a few things they do: (1) texting friends, (2) downloading music, (3) uploading videos, (4) watching shows on YouTube, and (5) communicating via social networking platforms such as MySpace and Facebook. If you are a practitioner of social media or... (more)

Ulitzer vs. Ning - a Quick Review

Having used both sites for about two weeks, there is still a great deal I am learning to do with both Ulitzer and Ning, but a reader asked if I would do a quick comparison, so I will. The obvious point for me is that the sites have two different objectives for the writers.  For Ning, the writer is trying to be involved in a niche social network from scratch.  For example, I have built my own social network for marketers and salespeople called BuyerSteps.  I created BuyerSteps as a way for other professionals to join in a conversation around the 21st century buyer.  So, Ning represents a way to build a community. In the case of Ulitzer, as a writer I am focused on getting readers from within an existing audience.  There are already thousands of readers coming to the Ulitzer site, so if they are interested in my topics such as marketing, they will find my articles as ... (more)

Social Network Wars: Google + Everyone Else vs Facebook

In a move to bolster its attempt to add a social layer on top of the entire suite of Google services, Google yesterday joined other leading social networking players in introducing a common set of standards to allow software developers to write cross-network programs. According to The New York Times the sites in the alliance "have a combined 100 million users, more than double the size of Facebook." Director of product management at Google, Joe Kraus, told the Times that the alliance's cross-network platform is to be known as OpenSocial. It is, in essence, "Google + Everyone Else vs Facebook." Rumors has been circulating for a number of weeks about a new set of APIs will allow developers to leverage Google’s social graph data, so that third parties can start pushing and pulling data into and out of Google and non-Google applications. One of the Google luminaries... (more)

Google's OpenSocial: A Technical Overview and Critique

Dare Obasanjo's Carnage4Life Blog One of the Google folks working on OpenSocial sent me a message via Facebook asking what I thought about the technical details of the recent announcements. Since my day job is working on social networking platforms for Web properties at Microsoft and I'm deeply interested in RESTful protocols, this is something I definitely have some thoughts about. Below is what started off as a private message but ended up being long enough to be its own article. First Impressions In reading the OpenSocial API documentation it seems clear that is intended to be the functional equivalent of the Facebook platform. Instead of the Facebook users and friends APIs, we get the OpenSocial People and Friends Data API. Instead of the Facebook feed API, we get the OpenSocial Activities API. Instead of the Facebook Data Store API, we get the OpenSocial Pers... (more)

Developing Situational Applications with Web 2.0 Mashups

The evolution of Web sites to dynamic rich interactive applications is a true revolution for users. But for ASP.NET developers tasked with building high-performing scalable applications, it presents major challenges. The features that characterize blogs, wikis, personalized pages, and other data-driven Web 2.0 applications fundamentally change processing, transmission, and rendering workloads, and require new approaches and solutions. In Web 2.0 applications: •   Content is highly dynamic, with the most of the content generated by users. The popularity of individual pages or the application itself can change rapidly, making it extremely difficult to anticipate workload and traffic volume. This Year AJAXWorld Is Sponsored by More Than 60 Leading Rich Web Technology Companies AJAXWorld Conference & Expo this year was sponsored by the world's leading rich web technol... (more)

Bringing Business Value - Integrating Web 2.0 Tools in the Enterprise

Web 2.0 tools are doing a wonderful job of providing consumers with cool and productive new ways of performing common, simple tasks over the Internet. These tools primarily perform a single task such as allowing consumers to manage their photos, read their favorite newsfeeds, express themselves online through blogs, and communicate with friends via social networks. However, the business environment is usually much more complex since the end user needs to accomplish a series of tasks. As a result, the solutions used in a business environment tend to be broader in scope and require tools with richer functionality and higher standards of robustness and security.  Another key difference is that enterprise “communities” already exist and tools are used to improve the degree of collaboration between the members of this “community.” In contrast, consu... (more)

Enterprise Cloud Computing Applications: It's Just the Beginning

The term Cloud Computing is getting a lot of air play these days — it is the computing equivalent of a U.S. Presidential Election. It has loads of twists and turns, plenty of eager participants, lots of money being spent on it and it gets to consume large amounts of the news cycle...often without a lot of new information. We are only just beginning to imagine what a true Cloud-based Enterprise Application can mean in terms of the new business model opportunities it will create. The term “Cloud Computing” is getting a lot of air play these days — it is the computing equivalent of a U.S. Presidential Election. It has loads of twists and turns, plenty of eager participants, lots of money being spent on it and it gets to consume large amounts of the news cycle…often without a lot of new information. So what exactly is “Cloud Computing”? I’m gonna have a crack at answer... (more)