On this edition of The Bella Buzz podcast, Joe and Desiree talk about a few of the current items that are making headlines around the tech world. We get an update from Desiree about using her new 3G iPad on a trip to Chicago, we review the changes to the user interface on Google's search results page and we finish up with a few thoughts on the Facebook privacy changes.
The iPad made a successful road trip providing sufficient working functionality with a bluetooth keyboard and files synced to the desktop via a service such as Dropbox. The device does not have any type of file system internally so there is no saving a work document to a hard drive, requiring saving to the cloud. As more and more are taking advantage of the applications on the web to perform computational power, the iPad can become a total work machine.
Another consideration for working on the iPad is the cost above and beyond the price of the device. The applications necessary for Desiree include Keynote, as well as Pages, plus the data plans from AT&T with $30 for unlimited access can start to add up for the cost of operating.
For some insight into the potential for widespread adoption, Desiree's mom used Google Earth on the iPad to get a good glimpse at the land of her family's heritage in Poland.
NOTE: Desiree also tried using the iPad for a presentation and found she couldn't use the VGA dongle and connect to the general Internet for browsing on a big screen. Apple has apparently blocked this feature. People can go to YouTube but no other sites. Look for a blog post on this in the near future.
The New Google Search Results Page
A cool update to the SERPs was recently rolled out with a left hand margin that allows for sort the results into categories that includes News, Shopping, Books, Video, Images, Blogs, and even Updates which includes Tweets and other status updates across the web's social networks. The Updates search results can give us an interesting look into conversations from an historical perspective. A very unique approach to a "This date in History" report!
This provides some good SEO opportunity to optimize a site in a variety of ways as you attempt to rank well in each of the categories. Make sure you have high ranking images, put out a lot of updates on the keywords you want to rank for, and go after any of the other relevant categories in the search results you might find traffic.
Facebook Privacy Changes
There has been a lot of talk lately about the changes that Facebook implemented which has impacted how much information they are providing as "open for everyone". This is another way of stating that "you did not say we can't sell it to a marketing agency". In some cases, this has caused users to delete or deactivate their profiles. Desiree points out that her niece has deleted her account for another reason .. that it was a major distraction and unproductive.
The other functionality that they announced during their F8 developers conference, Open Graph, gives the ability for site owners to add a Like button to blogs and posts. When a visitor with a connected Facebook account visits the site, they can vote to "Like", which gets registered on their Facebook profile. This gives more opportunity as a publisher to get content discovered, while also providing Facebook with huge amounts of marketing data from locations that exist outside the Facebook walls.
This is a very smart business decision on Facebook's part, could be beneficial to content owners .. but it also opens the questions regarding privacy, one company owning too much of web surfers data, and has piqued the interest of Washington.
Check out the Like button in the right hand margin of the Bella Buzz podcast blog. Let us know if you can find any value as a user, and if you have any concerns about how much information Facebook is getting about you and sharing with other companies.
Theme music for The Bella Buzz is Fallen by Digital Chemistry, available for download at the Podsafe Music Network.
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