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Pinterest: is it really just cupcakes and kittens?

9 Mar, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

The image-sharing site Pinterest has enjoyed dramatic growth since its launch in February 2010. The service’s user base has grown rapidly, from 1.6 million visitors in September 2011 to 11.1 million visitors in February 2012. According to comScore, it has become the the “fastest standalone website to surpass the 10 million mark”. Not only does Pinterest drive more traffic to retail sites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined, it also drives more traffic to blogs than Twitter. Analytics also show that when it comes to engagement, Pinterest is second only to Facebook — its users spend, on average, 89 minutes per month on the social network.

However, there’s still a healthily high percentage of people who have heard nothing about Pinterest. So, what’s all the fuss about? And is it really dominated by images of cute kittens and elaborately conceived cupcakes?

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Yet another version of Twitter: branded pages introduced

13 Jan, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Twitter received a major update in December and is gradually rolling out a brand-new look with a host of new features. The update is arguably the most comprehensive and wide-ranging change since the microblogging service was launched in 2006.

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Mendeley/PLoS API Binary Battle – the finalists

18 Nov, 11 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

PLoS and Mendeley recently closed their Binary Battle contest to build the best apps that make science more open using PLoS and/or Mendeley’s APIs (Application Programming Interface). There are some big names on the judging panel, such as Tim O’Reilly (coined the term ‘Web 2.0’), James Powell (CTO of Thomson Reuters) and Werner Vogels (CTO of Amazon.com).  The entries have been whittled down to 11 finalists and the winner will be announced on 30th November 2011. Read on for details of some of these finalists or go here a full list: http://dev.mendeley.com/api-binary-battle more…

Is Google+ the answer to keeping your personal and professional life separate online?

8 Jul, 11 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Google is taking yet another stab at social networking with Google+ after the past disappointments of Buzz and Wave. This time, however, they have launched a more polished product than usual and offer a solution to the problem of keeping one’s personal and work life separate. The interface and concepts are cleaner and simpler, which will make it easier for early adopters to engage, use and then share their experiences.

In its blog post to introduce Google+, Google’s Vic Gundotra said the following:

“Today, the connections between people increasingly happen online. Yet the subtlety and substance of real-world interactions are lost in the rigidness of our online tools. In this basic, human way, online sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix it.”

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Widening the Social Web: Google +1 and Facebook ‘Like’

3 Jun, 11 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Google started rolling out the ‘+1’ recommend button across its own portfolio and third-party web sites just a day after Twitter unveiled its new ‘follow’ button. Both releases are being viewed as direct competitors to Facebook’s popular ‘like’ button.

Central to an effort by companies to stake out their claim in the social-networking domain and encourage ordinary ‘surfers’ to be more engaged with their products, the tools also facilitate the collection of detailed user behaviour data and have obvious benefits for online advertising. The suite of Web 2.0 buttons featured on most websites has grown steadily over the past few years (you may well have noticed) and sites like Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit are long-term residents. But the success of Facebook’s ‘like’ button has spurred others to get in on the game. Afterall, it is said to appear on more than a third of the 1,000 most popular websites and apparently the average media site integrated with Facebook has seen a 300% increase in referral traffic. more…

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