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August 2016
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Making a profit from social networks

The Guardian newspaper is one of the companies beginning to charge for content. Over the next two years, brands will try to make money from social networks, says the user experience expert Catriona Campbell.

“We will see the mashing up of micro-payment solutions as large companies try to make money from brands,” she said at the opening of From Business to Buttons 2009, the annual conference for interaction designers and business managers held in Malmö.catriona

Tipjoy is an exemple of a micro-payment service where the user logs on with his Twitter account and is able to make small payments to other users by writing for exemple p¢50, and the name of the Twitter account. The money is then taken from the payer’s credit card, and accumulated on the account of the recipient.

Campbell said companies would try to go for the spectators, the 68 percent of online users that don’t blog or produce content, but are high spenders online. “At the moment they are largely being ignored in the world of brands,” she said.

Catriona Campbell was the founder of the UK user experience company Foviance. She said that efter qualitative interviews and eyetracking, measuring brain activity was an emerging usability method in the United States. It measures cognitive attention when a test person is exposed to a certain kind of stimulus, and has been used by Barack Obama’s speechwriters when deciding how to appeal to voters’ emotions.

Flock the social web browser

If you are a person who blogs and takes part in social networks, Flock is a tool you cannot afford to miss.

The newest version of Flock offers tight integration with services such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Gmail, but really allows you to manage your accounts and contacts across any social network on the web. When you visit Facebook for the first time, Flock can remember your account data. Everytime you want to share a piece of information on the net, you just click on the Facebook button, and Flock takes you there immediately.

flock

The experienced user will soon discover that Flock will store information on all your contacts – regardless of service – and allow you to display them all in a people sidebar. That way, you don’t have to worry about which network people use – you will see them in the sidebar in any case.

The browser also allows you to organise web feeds (RSS) and news services in separate tabs. As soon as you bookmark or click on an item, Flock knows what to do with it.

If you blog, Flock will remember your account details. It means that if you select a text passage in a blog post or news story, you can immediately post it to one of your own blogs.

Web pages are presented in the same way as in Firefox. This is because the Flock browser is built on Gecko, the same engine – programming code – as Firefox uses. It is, therefore, just as quick and secure as its browser brother Flock exists for the Mac, Linux and Windows platforms, and has been localised in many languages.

New Google time search tools

Google has presented a number of useful tools that enhances the search experience. Time search is a direct attack on Technorati and other blog search engines.

Next time you search in Google, click on the Options tab, and a new menu becomes visible in the margin.google

One of the attractions of the blog search engine Technorati is the ability to find information that is recent, for exemple updated 1 hour ago. Some users think that by using Google, they are actually searching the internet. Of course that is not true. We are, in fact, searching an old index of a part of the internet. A quick look in the cache of a document listed in a Google search result will reveal that often documents are as old as 6 weeks.

Google’s new tool will be useful in restricting searches by time. Also, it will increase the tough competition between the search engines. Technorati is down for maintenance today. Will they perhaps reveal new and interesting search tools?

“The race in search is far from over and innovation and continued improvement is absolutely pivotal,” said Google’s Marissa Mayer at a seminar on semantic web technologies this week, according to the BBC:

  • Rich snippets will connect the meta data of different searches, for instance connect a restaurant with reviews and addresses
  • Google squared will take information from the web and display it in a spreadsheet; allowing the user to combine the information in new ways