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Social networking

  • Härnu is map-based social networking and it’s brilliant

    And now, for something special. Härnu is a refreshing approach to connecting people, a social network of sorts, but it’s quite unlike one you’ve used before. It’s hard to pin down what Härnu really is. A portmanteau of the Swedish "Här", meaning "Here", and "Nu", meaning "Now", it appears useful for a myriad of things, but there’s a strong focus on geographical context. If you’d like to learn a foreign language, discover new music from a specific part of the world, find out more about world events from a local perspective, or if you’re simply curious about how people on...

  • 3AL: at the intersection of social networking and eCommerce

    Among a slew of innocuous, copycat startups, 3AL, the Nigerian social networking and eCommerce amalgamate, is taking a road decidedly less traveled. You can think of 3AL as Facebook for businesses or Etsy -- if it went beyond arts and crafts. It connects businesses and creates a direct line between buyer and seller. It doesn't feel as if 3AL is trying to be a generalised social network aimed at subverting Facebook’s reign. In fact, when you first visit the site, your eyes are met with a big blue “Sign in with Facebook” button. That’s a smart move. One senses 3AL’s strength...

  • Privly: Organise your next coup online, in total privacy

    There's a Kickstarter project I want you to know about. It's called Privly and it's a defiant kick to the face of oppressive governments. The Privly proof of concept works as a browser plugin and will allow you to view and post encrypted content on any website -- Twitter, Facebook, Google+, even Gmail. Let your imagination run wild. Taking Twitter as an example, you write a tweet -- 140 characters or more -- right click and select "Post to Privly." The text of your tweet gets sent to (and stored on) the Privly servers which return a link, for...

  • Understanding Color a little better

    It's a shame that the US$41-million funding of Color Labs has dominated the news about Color, a radically different type of mobile app, because that's what's interesting. Color shares photos with everyone around you that has the app on their iPhone or Android device. There are no privacy settings and you don't need to "friend" or "follow" anyone -- it automatically creates an ad hoc social network within 50 yards of your location. It's a fascinating concept and it will be interesting to see just how much people want to connect with strangers, where often the only thing they have in...

  • Color, a new social networking app that does away with privacy

    It was only a matter of time before a network was created for people who have no privacy issues and believe that all information should be available at anytime to anyone. It's a social network called Color for the "post-PC world" according to its founder Bill Nguyen, who was also one on the people behind music service Lala, which was bought by Apple in 2009 before it closed it down in April 2010. Speaking to the Huffington Post, Nguyen said "As tech causes cultural changes, we're going to live so much more of our lives in public. There's private...

  • Diaspora scores on privacy but will it ever go mainstream?

    Diaspora, the open source social network that puts user privacy above all else, is now rolling out in private alpha. The question is: can it hold its own against Facebook, or MySpace, or even Ning?  Early indications seem to indicate that the answer is no. Although Facebook has run into backlash several times over its approach to users’ information, it continues to grow like gangbusters, surpassing more than 550-million unique users in October, according to ComScore. Clearly, privacy concerns are something plenty of people pay lip service to, but rarely do anything about.  If Diaspora is to succeed, it will need...

  • Thinkup: A web app to help analyse your social network

    ThinkUp, a free software project founded by Gina Trapani of Lifehacker fame, helps you harvest insights from the conversations you have on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. One of ThinkUp's most compelling features is its ability to collect and organise replies to the questions you pose to your friends and followers on your social networks. The free, installable web-application is still in beta testing but has received a lot of positive acclaim already. With ThinkUp, you are able to store your social data such as posts, replies, retweets, friends, followers, and links from Twitter and Facebook in your own...