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facebook for sale: $2,000,000,000?

By on Mar 31, 2006 in online community, social software | 1 comment

Businessweek is reporting that Facebook is for sale. The owners of the privately held company have turned down a $750 million offer and hope to fetch as much as $2 billion in a sale – and Business Week reckons that media company Viacom looks like a good fit. Facebook got around 5.5 Billion page views in February which, although it doesn’t quite match MySpace which got 23.5 Billion (second to Yahoo’s 30 billion), is still enough to make it the 7th busiest website. News Corp spent $580 million to buy MySpace in July 2005. Since then we’ve seen iVillage snapped up earlier this month by NBC for $600 million, and ITV bought UK classmates.com pretender FriendsReunited for around $300 million in December. WikiCities announced a $4million cash injection today, tribe.net keeps getting cash, etribes life in the UK found investors and Gumtree was bought by ebay, flickr (and nearly everything else) by yahoo…the list could go on and on. So is facebook likely to sell for “as much as $2 billion”? Who knows, it appears to be a sellers market in the social networking business as big name players, and mainstream media, try to play catch-up. It’s even got me wondering how much my blog is worth (apparently...

Virginia law requires internet safety in schools

By on Mar 31, 2006 in law |

The state of Virginia has passed a law requiring schools to teach internet safety as part of the curriculum, reports the Washington Post: “The measure’s sponsor, Del. William H. Fralin Jr. (R-Roanoke), said he wrote the bill after his oldest son turned 10 and started competing with his parents for computer time. It raised a question in my mind,” he said. “We teach our kids not to talk to strangers. We teach our kids not to take candy. But in today’s world on the Internet, not only can you be talking to strangers without supervision, but you can be talking to someone you think is not a stranger, but who is one. There needs to be some sort of basic training on that.” related: BBC Chat Guide (includes classroom materials for teachers as well as information for children, teens and...

online community camp: San Francisco (May 25)

By on Mar 31, 2006 in conferences/events, online community, social software |

Forum One is organising Online Community Camp , a gathering of online community practitioners — managers, developers, business people, tools providers, funders — to discuss experience and strategies in the development and growth of online communities. Those involved in online community development (and social software in general) share many common challenges: community management, tools, marketing, business models, legal issues… but don’t expect roasted marshmallows over open fires and hayrack rides – this camp is at a conference...

another day, another conference announcement

By on Mar 31, 2006 in BBC, conferences/events, social software | 2 comments

Early May is going to be a busy time for conference go-ers. Not only is wemedia (and possibly a fringe!) coming to town on the 3rd-4th, but the Association of Online Publishers is holding a two day conference, Tomorrow’s Web, on the 2nd and 3rd. So which to go to? Well, it’s a no brainer decision for me – whichever I can successfully blag my way into, if either. The AOP conference includes the BBC’s Pete Clifton, who is becoming somewhat ubiquitous at these events, and some fairly important sounding people I’ve never heard of giving talks on podcasting, blogging, tagging, video advertising, mobile advertising, etc. Oddly, Lord Heseltine will be making an appearance as well. I’m really starting to feel like there IS something exciting happening in the online world – big fish are snapping up social networking and community sites like it’s 1999 all over again, conferences are popping up EVERYWHERE I look (and able to charge whopping entrance fees to see people you have never heard of), students are starting to randomly email me with their CV’s again, and I even get the odd recruiter asking if I’d be suitable for various jobs that I’m not at all suited for. I’m really trying to keep my head beneath all the present hype but, you know, it’s getting sort of...

some links

By on Mar 30, 2006 in citizen journalism, law, online community, social software |

I’m not doing a very good job of writing up some of the stuff I’ve been reading recently but still wanted to draw them to your attention: A behind the scenes look at the launch of The Guardian’s Free Your Mind project The Sun is planning on using MySpace, a fairly recently acquired property of News International, to boost readership: SocialSim – a blog covering social software and online gaming that I recently discovered US newspaper site "combines citizen journalism with traditional journalism" (disclaimer – I haven’t clicked to see whether the site itself lives up to the hype) The BBC’s Kevin Anderson on how it’s becoming difficult to differentiate between the audience and the author. "ads offer to swap rent for sex" (Ok, ok, I’m a google search result tart) American media giant NBC buys iVillage Collaborative Filtering Research Archive Nebraska court reportedly asserts jurisdiction over case involving photos posted online in California and despite no other link (previously, most courts would have asserted jurisdiction by showing, for example, that a website was trying to reach customers in the state where the claim was being made or on the basis of the harmed individual’s "personal jurisdiction" – something that, apparently, is called the Zippo Test) than the claimant being in...