mssocialtools-1-600-x-401-600x401At ZDNet Jack Schofield writes West lags developing nations in using social networks for business.

He quotes a Microsoft sponsored survey showing China is leading the way when it comes to increasing productivity by using social media for business. Other leading countries include India, Turkey and Mexico.

Developing countries dominate the top of the table. While the UK, USA, Australia, Canada and Germany are laggards.

New Zealand sits squarely in the middle of the 32 countries surveyed at number 16 and with a score of 42%. That’s far behind China’s 84% and a tad behind the average score of 46%. But well ahead of Australia on 33%, the USA on 34%.

Yahoo was a name to conjure with.

It sat near the centre of many people’s internet experience. That’s no longer the case. Yahoo’s glory days are in the past.

In the time before Google, Yahoo’s directory was a popular jumping-off point for finding web content. Google sucked all the air out of that business and the rest is history.

Yahoo remains popular  – especially in the US. Today it is a content portal. It has strength in a handful of areas including sport and entertainment news. And it owns the popular Flickr photo-sharing site.

Yahoo can’t be described as hip or happening. It looks fogyish. The company’s revenue has been in decline while its online rivals continue to grow.

Tumblr: the illusion of hipness

Tumblr, however, is hip. And happening. At times it can be edgy. It is popular with a younger audience than most of Yahoo’s current fare.

So spending over a billion dollars on the business could make sense. Observers expect Yahoo to find ways to make money from Tumblr. This looks unlikely. Until now Tumblr has not paid its way.

Yahoo’s challenge is to parlay all it gains from Tumblr back into the mothership without killing the hipper, younger brand. The company will want Tumblr users to link to its content channels and advertising is going to play a bigger role on their sites whether they like it or not.

Presumably part of the goal is for the lively social media blogging site to pump some adrenaline back into the tarnished Yahoo brand. There are some lucrative big data opportunities lurking in this mix as well as all those hip young things leave trails across the webs for Yahoo’s servers to mine.

The danger is that Yahoo will stifle Tumblr. That would be like watching a billion dollars flushed down the gurgler. It’s also the most likely outcome.

TwitcleanerNew Zealand-developed Twit Cleaner has closed its doors. The online service made weeding Twitter contacts simple and quick.

When I reviewed it last year I described Twit Cleaner as seriously useful. That’s because it sorts potentially bad Twitter accounts into categories making decisions easier.

Developer Si Dawson explains why he closed Twit Cleaner in a goodbye blog post. It boils down to running out of the number of API calls his service can make to Twitter at any moment.

Sadly Dawson also blogs about the upgrades he would have made if the project continued. They sound great.


Tweets began appearing within minutes of yesterday’s yarn about the launch of a New Zealand book on managing reputation risks. At the bottom of the page was an advertisement for Nickelback’s Auckland gigs. For those who don’t know, Nickelback is a Canadian faux rock band that most rock fans regard as, well, let’s just say dubious .

The advertisement damaged my reputation as a cool dude around town. There’s a lesson in that.

I’ve experimented with WordPress’ WordAds programme. WordAds is like Google Ads, serving up advertisements to readers based on words found in the posts.

Google Ads gives users a little control over the ads it displays, WordAds gives you no control at all.  Given the choice I’d prefer not to promote Nickelback on my site, after all I’ve a reputation to protect.

I fail to see how the WordAds algorithms made a link between reputation management and Nickelback. Ah, hang on, no perhaps it isn’t.

Either way, the important point is advertising is yet another avenue of reputation risk for online publishers to worry about. It was easy in the old days when publishers sold their advertising directly, but there’s less scope to reduce risk when using an automated service like WordAds.

Jokes about Nickelback aside, WordAds hasn’t shown anything flaky so far. I’ve used Google Ads on other sites and some advertisements have been extremely embarrassing. So, if you’re  worried about your online reputation, you may need to accept you can’t afford to display advertising.