Sunday, March 29, 2009

NYTimes: Facebook | Two Hundred Million And Counting ...

New York Times / March 29, 2009

Is Facebook Growing Up Too Fast? / By BRAD STONE

WHEN Facebook signed up its 100 millionth member last August, its employees spread out in two parks in Palo Alto, Calif., for a huge barbecue. Sometime this week, this five-year-old start-up, born in a dorm room at Harvard, expects to register its 200 millionth user.

That staggering growth rate — doubling in size in just eight months — suggests Facebook is rapidly becoming the Web’s dominant social ecosystem and an essential personal and business networking tool in much of the wired world.


By any measure, Facebook’s growth is a great accomplishment. The crew of Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s 24-year-old co-founder and chief executive, is signing up nearly a million new members a day, and now more than 70 percent of the service’s members live overseas, in countries like Italy, the Czech Republic and Indonesia. Facebook’s ranks in those countries swelled last year after the company offered its site in their languages.


Unlike search engines, which ably track prominent Internet presences, Facebook reconnects regular folks with old friends and strengthens their bonds with new pals — even if the glue is nothing more than embarrassing old pictures or memories of their second-grade teacher.


Facebook’s mission, he says, is to be used by everyone in the world to share information seamlessly. “Two hundred million in a world of six billion is tiny,” he says. “It’s a cool milestone. It’s great that we reached that, especially in such a short amount of time. But there is so much more to do.”


Uniting disparate groups on a single Internet service runs counter to 50 years of research by sociologists into what is known as “homophily” — the tendency of individuals to associate only with like-minded people of similar age and ethnicity.


Facebook is trying to teach members to use privacy settings to manage their network so they can speak discreetly only to certain friends, like co-workers or family members, as opposed to other “friends” like bosses or professional colleagues. But most Facebook users haven’t taken advantage of the privacy settings; the company estimates that only 20 percent of its members use them.


Internet evangelists say that when a technology diffuses into society, as Facebook appears to be doing, it has achieved “critical mass.” The sheer presence of all their friends, family and colleagues on Facebook creates potent ties between users and the site — ties that are hard to break even when people want to break them.


Friday, March 27, 2009

NPR: What's For Sale? Check Facebook

NPR / Weekend Edition Saturday / March 7, 2009

The social-networking juggernaut Facebook is out to change online classified ads, turning what are often flat and anonymous listings into something personal, interactive and social.

In the process, the Facebook marketplace could raise millions of dollars for charity.

Facebook first launched an online classified ad site nearly two years ago, but it didn't catch on. Today, when most people think of online classifieds, they think of craigslist or perhaps the local newspaper's Web site.

Craigslist alone brings in tens of millions of dollars, and analysts say it could bring in much more. Facebook views that market as a potentially new and sizeable revenue stream. It's especially attractive because Facebook, though wildly popular, doesn't turn a profit.

The company's new approach to classified ads is like Facebook itself — social and interactive. A company called Oodle designed the site and will manage it.

The software application allows you to easily sell something, give it away, ask for something or sell an item with the proceeds going to a nonprofit.




Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rome 2009 Seminar: Workshop Web 2.0 And Libraries

Workshop Web 2.0 And Libraries

6 marzo 2009, h.9.00-13.30
Università degli Studi Roma Tre (Facoltà di Architettura)
Aula Urbano VIII,
Via della Madonna dei Monti, 40 Roma

Web 2.0 has posed a number of challenges for the library and marks a transition within the library world in the way that services are delivered to users. In the course of this seminar, organised by CASPUR/CIBER in collaboration with AIB Lazio, AIDA, CILEA, FAO and University of Rome Three Library System we will seek to describe how libraries have responded to the opportunities offered by Web 2.0 applications and how organisations can best exploit the potential which Library 2.0 can provide.

Keynote speaker, Gerry McKiernan, will describe current trends and changing scenarios, while other speakers will describe how Library 2.0 features have been deployed with a special focus on the Italian context.

9.00 - 9.30 Greetings and Introduction/ Mary Joan Crowley, Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" [abstract] /[ppt]/[video]

9.30 - 11.00 / The Future of The Library / Gerry McKiernan, Iowa State University Library [abstract] / [ppt] 16M / [video]

11.00 - 11.30 / Coffee break

11.30 - 12.00 / Q&A

12.00 - 12.30 / "Italian Library 2.0?": One Question, Many answers / Bonaria Biancu, Università di Milano Bicocca [abstract]/[ppt] [survey results -In Italian] /[video]

12.30 - 13.00 / RSS As An Easier Alternative To OAI-PMH For Sharing Bibliographic Information / Valeria Pesce, FAO [abstract]/[ppt]

13.00 - 13.30 / Will Web 2.0 Ever Meet Library Catalogs? / Andrea Marchitelli, CILEA [abstract]/[ppt]/[video]

The key note speech by Gerry McKiernan will be delivered in English, the other presentations will be delivered in Italian.


Source [Italian]