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Twitter – Good or Evil?

CNET is running opposite perspectives on social messaging service Twitter.

Caroline McCarthy is writing in favor of the service…

The beauty of Twitter is that, unlike a full-out blog, there’s no obligation to be philosophical, thought-provoking or grammatically sound. Because it doesn’t require that kind of extra effort, it’s great for people like me who want to jump on the social-media bandwagon but don’t have the time to set up something elaborate on WordPress.

Meanwhile, Elinor Mills goes on the attack…

I don’t understand the need to spew out personal information and random thoughts to the world. And that’s just what Twitter is designed for: to be a medium through which you can share stream-of-conscious babblings with your friends and with anyone who has time to lurk on the Web site and read inane musings of strangers.

M&A Focus Returns to Social Networks with CBS Buying Last.fm

After a few weeks of acquisitions in the online advertising space, attention returns to social networks, with CBS announcing the acquisition of music site Last.fm.

CBS is paying a reported $280 million to acquire Last.fm and its 15 million users, with performance incentives on top of that. It seems CBS is fully committed to a new internet strategy, with Last.fm just one of many deals by the traditional broadcasting company.

“We see it as a chance to get new eyeballs — or in this case earlobes,” said a CBS executive familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because it had not yet been announced.

If you happen to be a fan of Last.fm, you should prepare yourself for some future changes as CBS seeks to earn a return on that $280m price tag.

When Schmoes Fight Back at MyBlogLog

I reported this morning that MyBlogLog had taken the step of introducing tags and asking anyone to tag spammers as “schmoes”. Unfortunately, the definition of spammers also refers to “social media optimizers” – most of which are smart, legitimate marketers.

“Spam – If you think someone is spamming you, tag it out loud! Internally, we like to call a user who games the system a SchMOe (Social Media Optimizer). Tag anyone who spams you with the term schmoe.”

MBL community manager, Robyn Tippins tried to defend their action

Andy, nobody here said SMO=Spammers. My blog is primarily concerned with Social Networking. Much of my consulting pre-MyBlogLog had to do with Social Media and SEO. If they hated SMOs they wouldn’t have hired me.

Facebook Launches Third-Party Platform

Facebook last night unveiled a new developer platform that enables third-parties to create applications within Facebook. These applications can be added to a user’s account and interact with the network to add new functionality to the dashboard, newsfeed, and profiles. This enables a whole new approach to Facebook for companies. No longer are they constrained to a simple group or profile. Companies can now create immersive experiences built right into Facebook and using more information than the Facebook API allowed access to. Facebook Platform is launching with numerous partners, among them are Microsoft and Amazon. Amazon is said to be working on a Facebook application that will let users review books and then buy them on Amazon.

MyBlogLog a Bunch of Schmoes?

MyBlogLog has introduced a new tagging feature which will allow uses to add their own keywords to blogs and profiles. On the surface, a welcomed addition.

However, in true “big search engine” style, they’re also using it as a Trojan horse to introduce a system for tagging spam. According to TechCrunch

The company is also asking users to help fight spam by tagging spammy sites with the word “Schmoe,” which they say stands for “Social Media Optimizer” (SchMOe). The team will review those tags and associated sites and take appropriate action.

Since when did social media optimization become spam? Isn’t MyBlogLog itself nothing but a network to optimize connections between social media sites? I mean really, how successful does MBL expect to be, if it doesn’t want the participation of those that know the value of building a social network for their site? I think this is crazy and I’m not the only one.

TripAdvisor Growing With Help of User Generated Content

By Roderick Ioerger

It is Simple and Brilliant. TripAdvisor has created a community that leverages user generated content to successfully attract incremental visitors and search engines to their site while creating a self-sustaining ad supported business model which TripAdvisor has had the patience to allow to mature.

But playing the waiting game can be tedious and apparently TripAdvisor has decided that, while it has become a master of the game, it might be time to become more proactive. Just this last week TripAdvisor announced their acquisition of five different travel community websites:

BookingBuddy.com
SmarterTravel.com
SeatGuru.com
TravelPod.com
Travel-Library.com

3 Million User Generated Comments On Guardian Website

Neil McIntosh, the Editorial Director of Guardian Unlimited, has announced the website of popular UK broadsheet newspaper is expecting to receive their 3 millionth comment on their blogs in the next month.

Speaking at an industry event in London, McIntosh claimed they had seen great growth in the blogs and they now made significant up ten percent of the newspapers traffic.

Rather than encourage users to create their own blogs like some of their competitors, the Guardian has put their blogs in the hands of experienced journalists but tried to create the feedback loop that have helped make blogs so popular elsewhere.

Given the reputation of Guardian readers as opinionated political activists it’s not hugely surprising to see the comments sections doing well but given it’s popularity, I imagine it can’t be long before user generated content becomes more central to the papers digital offering.