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Would You Like the Red Pill or the Blue Pill?

Unype Beta Unype is a mashup of Google Earth with VoIP service provider Skype – and available as a Facebook plugin application to give your social network that virtual interactive experience.

RANT WARNING: Am I the only one that thinks we’re hurtling toward the Wachowski brothers‘ Matrix. Not only can I chat with virtual friends – but hey, now I can pretend to be one as well. Gee! I can stop going down to the real pub to meet real mates – just plug the computer into the back of my head. Get me a glass of water and chuck us the red pill.

Meeting in Paris

On the other hand; if you take the blue pill you can beg for your life back enjoy seeing other Facebook users roaming the Google Earth and interact with them using your Skype account.

Is Microsoft Trying To Be Social or Candid?

Reuters has reported that Microsoft will partner with Bebo – the largest social networking site in the UK and a network that is hunting down MySpace and Facebook in the US.

Windows Live Messenger will be integrated with the Bebo system to allow instant messenging between members, in addition to the import and export of contacts across both user bases.

Joanna Shields, president of Bebo’s international business, confirmed why the alliance was good for them:

Our core strength is not building applications. We’re more of an open platform and much more likely to partner than build it ourselves

According to Shields, about 90 percent of Bebo users already use Windows Live IM services, making Microsoft the most logical partner.

Google Expanding its Frontiers: China

Google premiered a number of new sites today, including several ventures in Chinese and a new click fraud resource center.

We mentioned last week that Google was planning to increase its stake in China. This week, they’ve already premiered several Chinese ventures including social networking and blog search.

Google announced today that they’ve acquired a stake in Tianya.cn, a Chinese social networking site, as reported by Reuters. While their last social networking venture failed just about everywhere except Brazil, Google’s foray into China’s social networking scene may or may not impact their 22.8% market share, a distant second to dominant Chinese search engine Baidu (58.1% market share).

Twitter for Personal Branding

Chris Brogan has found what Twitter is useful for: personal branding. In his Newbies Guide to Twitter, Chris advises:

Twitter is an appetizer for who you REALLY are and what you REALLY represent. I’ve found that Twitter is a great way to bring a human conversation into a digital world. One hint: mix it up between posting tweets and COMMUNICATING with other people on Twitter. People don’t like being simply spoken to; they want your updates without a little give and take.

I love this idea; but I’m not quite there on the execution. An appetizer for who you are in 140 characters? Anyone care to flesh out this idea a bit?

In addition to using Twitter for personal branding, Chris also offers advice on effectively leveraging Twitter as a social network:

TripAdvisor Buys Facebook App for $3 Million

Inside Facebook is reporting TripAdvisor has shelled out $3 million for the Facebook application “Where I’ve Been.”

facebook-where-ive-been

If it turns out to be true, it will be the largest Facebook application acquisition ever and will have developers scrambling to build many more social networking applications.

Where I’ve Been was one of the very first Facebook apps I installed, and it was certainly fun to try and recall all of the places that I have visited. But then what? I don’t ever really go back to it and I don’t think I’ve ever closely reviewed the places my friends have been either.

Still, with 2.3 million users, TripAdvisor will no doubt slap its brand name on it and be happy to reach a new audience.

Technorati CEO Steps Down

Dave Sifry, CEO of Technorati, announced today on the Technorati blog that he’s stepping down from his post. He states:

For those of you who follow Technorati regularly, you know that we’ve been conducting a CEO search since Spring and that it was just a matter of time before I made a transition. But searches such as these take time, especially in a market as frothy as this one, and I decided that rather than waiting for the process to play out, I would go ahead and transition to the board exclusively, taking on the role of Chairman of the Board.

So without a CEO, Technorati will be guided by CFO Teresa Malo, VP-Engineering Dorion Carroll and VP-Marketing Derek Gordon, forming “a committee of Office of the President.” Of course, the board will continue to direct the company and Sifry will influence the direction of the company from his post there.

Facebook Asks Google to Remove Leaked Code Blog

I guarantee that if you submit a DMCA request to Google–the one you use to request copyrighted material is removed–you won’t get the same rapid response Facebook just got.

After accidentally releasing their own copyrighted code, Facebook sent Google a DMCA take down notice and the company obliged by yanking the Blogger blog that had published the code.

The anonymous owner of the original blog has started a new one, that shows the emails sent by the Blogger team.

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As mentioned in our previous email, we work with a third party to post
DMCA notices we receive. The notice we received because of the content on
your site can be found here (once the notice has been posted):

http://www.chillingeffects.org/notice.cgi?sID=3836