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  • Geebo 9:00 am on May 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bloomberg, News,   

    Twitter strikes deal with Bloomberg to provide real news 

    Twitter strikes deal with Bloomberg to provide real news

    Limited character count social network Twitter, announced yesterday they were entering into a partnership with one of the more trusted news organizations in the business. On Monday, at an event for advertisers, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey detailed plans for them to host a 24 hour live news stream produced by Bloomberg.

    Dorsey was quoted as saying…

    “We want to be the first place that anyone hears of anything that’s going on that matters to them, the first place where people hear of what matters. That is our focus, and that is what we will work so hard to deliver.”

    This is a great move for Twitter. Not only is Twitter usually the first place a lot of people go worldwide for details on breaking stories, now it could be the first place where a lot of these stories are confirmed. This is in direct contrast to what Facebook is doing by relying on themselves and users to try and combat the modern scourge that is fake news.

    Outside of the Bloomberg news stream, Twitter will also be entering into other entertainment streams as well. This could be beneficial for the financially questionable platform as the streams will be ad supported. In its history, Twitter has always had the spectre of profitability hanging over its head. Not only could this push Twitter past Facebook in legitimacy, but it could also bring them to new levels of financial stability.

     
  • Geebo 9:52 am on October 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fact checking, , Google News, News   

    Google to bring fact checking to News 

    Google to bring fact checking to News

    With the advent of fake news sites, wild Facebook claims and slanted political sites, Google has decided to enter the fray. Google has added the tag ‘Fact Check’ to Google News along with the already active tags of ‘highly cited’ and ‘opinion’. Google says that they have strict guidelines in place to be considered a fact checking source. It’s almost guaranteed that someone will try to game the system however, Google has a better reputation for content moderation than someone like Facebook.

    Will it be a successful feature though? With the 2016 Presidential Election being what it is, never before have we seen more people clutch to their confirmation bias. Even if a controversial story has been vetted by Google’s fact checking process there will still be a large enough group of people who will refuse to believe the evidence to make the fact check tag irrelevant or they will accuse Google of having a bias.

    People who do actually try to fact check a story generally tend to be like-minded, not necessarily politically aligned, but having the same sense of wanting to know the truth. This group tends not to engage the groups with confirmation bias so there will still be a rather large rift between the two. That’s not to say that the fact check tag isn’t completely useless. As long as someone in our society is striving to find the impartial truth then maybe there is hope for civil discourse after all.

     
  • Geebo 10:02 am on August 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Megyn Kelly, News, trending topics   

    Facebook’s new trending topics backfires 

    Facebook's new trending topics backfires

    Facebook has had some controversy when it came to its trending news topics. At one point they were criticized for allegedly suppressing news from conservative news sites. They’ve also recently said that they would be cracking down on clickbait articles that continue to pollute people’s newsfeeds. That’s not to mention the amount of fake news that gets posted to Facebook everyday that sends droves of us to Snopes.com. So this past Friday, Facebook fired its human curation staff and replaced them with what was supposed to be an impartial algorithm. So what did the algorithm do? It made a fake clickbait story a top trending story.

    The story in question claimed that Fox News personality Megyn Kelly was being fired from the conservative news outlet for backing Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The problem, besides the story being absolutely not true, was that the website featured for the story was a blog, that quoted another blog, that quoted another website, that took a quote from a Vanity Fair article out of context in one of the more weird instances of the telephone game.

    In the grand scheme of things this will have little to no effect on Facebook in general. Facebook is one of those companies that neither do no right nor do no wrong because they have no competition. Where else are you going to go to know what your friends and family are up to? Until someone comes up with a better product than Facebook, with its over 1 billion users they can make all the wacky experiments they want on their website and we’re all just tiny little specimens in their petri dish unable to do anything about the mad scientists who are poking and prodding them.

     
  • Geebo 10:02 am on July 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , News, ,   

    Yahoo: What could have been 

    Yahoo: What could have been

    Yesterday it was announced that Yahoo has been purchased by communications giant Verizon for $4 billion. While that may seem like a fair price for the aging internet icon, it pales in comparison to what might have been for Yahoo.

    Although hindsight is 20/20 Yahoo has made some financial decisions that even through the looking-glass of history seem questionable. For example, Yahoo had the chance to buy Google twice. In 1998, Google founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin were trying to sell their company, that would later become Google, for $1M. Both AltaVista and Yahoo turned them down. In 2002 Yahoo entered into negotiations to purchase Google but walked away from Google’s asking price of $5B. In 2008, Microsoft sought to purchase Yahoo for upwards of $40B. Once again, Yahoo walked away from the deal. However, the question has to be asked, if Yahoo did purchase Google, what’s to say that they still wouldn’t be a floundering tech company today? Not to mention we’d be without a lot of Google services that many of us rely upon today. If history is any indicator, Yahoo would more than likely find themselves in the same situation they’re currently in.

    The news isn’t all bad for Yahoo though, at least not as far as Verizon sees it. Verizon already owns another massive tech property in AOL. While the AOL brand may not have the same punch it once did it still has such properties under its banner as TechCrunch and the Huffington Post. Business Insider purports that with the addition of Yahoo to its portfolio, Verizon could have a bigger web network than both Google and Facebook. That may not be hyperbole since Yahoo was once the most visited website in the world and still holds a place in the top ten.

     
  • Geebo 10:02 am on July 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , News   

    Facebook changes its newsfeed again: How to keep Geebo on yours 

    Facebook changes its newsfeed again: How to keep Geebo on yours

    In today’s digitized society almost all of us have to use Facebook. We have to use it because that’s where most of our friends and family are and how we stay in touch with them. Because of that publishers, businesses and content creators are almost beholden to Facebook since that’s where a great deal of their traffic comes from. That made Facebook a destination for multitudes of people looking for the latest news by liking the Facebook pages of their favorite news outlets, blogs and brands. This would allow the news that users would be looking for to be mixed in with the posts from their friends and family on their newsfeed. That all changed recently.

    Not too long ago Facebook made announcements that it would not only be changing the newsfeed feature once again, as it has done so many times in the past, but that it will now focus more on friends and family than publishers and the like. I’m sure many people will enjoy this new feature but what about the people who use Facebook for their news and consumer information? Major publishers are claiming that their numbers are down, bloggers that I’ve talked to have told me that they’re numbers are down, and sadly even the numbers for the Geebo Facebook page are somewhat down.

    For those of you who want to keep the news, and Geebo, in your newsfeed there is a solution. Many news organizations have posted detailed instructions on how to keep your favorite Facebook page in your news feed. For example you can check out this one from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune here. You can use their guide not only to get your favorite news pages back in your newsfeed but hopefully you’ll use it to get Geebo’s back in as well.

    Thank you for your continued support and patronage of Geebo.com, the safer community classifieds.

     
  • Greg Collier 2:06 pm on January 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: : Patch, AOL, , Hyperlocal, News   

    Sometimes, Moving Slow Can Help a Business Grow 

    Sometimes, the fastest way to grow a business is to take it slow, especially when that business is trying something new or otherwise exploring uncharted territory.

    Case in point: AOL’s Patch. The “hyperlocal” news site had aspirations of blanketing the nation with a network of online small-town “newspapers.”. But, after bleeding some $300 million and already shedding half of its 1,000-person workforce this past summer, parent company AOL this month gave up control of the news network to an investment firm for an undisclosed amount.

    The problem? It grew too fast. It started as a small network of community sites in a handful of New Jersey communities but, after AOL acquired it and started dumping money into it, it wasn’t long until it was a network of 900 sites across the country.

    The problem was that Patch’s business (and news) model hadn’t yet proven itself. As the news business has been shaken up, reinvented and shaken up again in the digital age, business models for news are not only varied (advertising-based vs. subscription-centric, for example) but also unstable. To build the model, they have to offer news that will attract readers, which, in turn, attracts advertisers. These sites need real reporters talking to real people in these communities, sitting in their meetings and attending their functions. Delivering that sort of community news and building relationships in the community takes resources (read: staff), money and, most importantly, patience.

    When I started Geebo, there were no online marketplaces – and certainly no national networks of marketplaces – so the best approach was still anyone’s guess. Instead of trying to build a site that focused on categories – such as cars or real estate for sale – I chose to target a specific community. At the time, I was living in the Sacramento area – so that was Geebo’s first site.

    After launch of that site, I could have started eyeing the next geographic market  but instead, I focused on building relationships with potential buyers and sellers in Sacramento. By the time it came time for me to break into new markets, I had an established marketplace in my community, as well as some visitor metrics that I could point to.

    Today, 13+ years later, Geebo’s listings are available in 1000’s of communities, the result of a slow-go approach. Just a few years after acquiring Patch for $7 million, AOL had shed a chunk of Patch’s workforce and has now handed over the reins to a group of investors who will do who-knows-what with what remains of the company.

    For sake of disclosure: Patch approached me about my classifieds listings a few years ago but ultimately decided to go it on their own. That was certainly their choice – but here’s why it was an example of a bad business decision that eventually led to its demise. They were trying to reinvent the wheel in some parts of their business. If you’re trying to build something and someone you know has built a part that you need, why would you try to build that part from scratch?

    No one is arguing that AOL should have moved at the same pace as a site like Geebo. I’m a small company with limited resources. They are a huge mega company with deep pockets. Still, at some point on the road to 900 sites, wasn’t there an opportunity to pause, take a step back and assess the business model to see if it’s working?

    If they had, they might still be churning great ideas into strong business for the handful of sites that could eventually pave the way for others. Instead, potential readers will go another day without knowing how their planning commissions voted or whether the basketball team at the local high school won or lost.

     
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