Entries in Social Networking (2)


A Social Network for the 'Elite' 1 Percent?

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(DAVOS, Switzerland) -- For one week every year, the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people converge on the picturesque town of Davos, Switzerland. By day they discuss how to solve the world’s most pressing problems at elite meetings. By night, they drink expensive champagne at only the most elite parties.

And now, thanks to a San Francisco-based software company, they are getting their own elite social network.

“If you can get the right people together in Davos, then you can solve problems and make the world a better place,” Vivek Ranadivé, founder of Tibco Software, told ABC News. “It’s about getting the right information to the right place at the right time and in the right context.”

Ranadivé is in Davos this week to unveil Toplink (formerly called TopCom), his invite-only social network for the world’s richest and most powerful people.

He envisions it as a tool to “unlock the collective wisdom” of the world’s best and brightest.

“You can bring the right people and the right information together to solve problems, such as the financial crisis, pandemics and food shortages,” he said.

Users who are privy to the network will be able to hold group video conferences, ask questions and discuss ways to solve the world’s most significant issues.

“We have taken all of the best attributes of [social networks], such as ease of use and familiarity,” Ranadivé said.

Tech-savvy global leaders will be able to download the network to their tech device of choice at Davos this week, and they won’t have to worry about the less-elite spying on their activities.

Ranadivé said the company is using a “sophisticated security mechanism” to ensure outside parties aren’t privy to potential future video conferences between say, Bill Gates and Angela Merkel.

The world leaders won’t be getting the first look, though.That honor went to a group called the “Global Shapers” four months ago.

Global Shapers are defined by the World Economic Forum as people under the age of 30 who are making a significant impact in their community.

David Aikman, a senior director at the World Economic Forum, was one of the few people to use Toplink since its unofficial roll-out four months ago and said the Global Shapers group had already leveraged the power of the platform.

“One of the guys posted a poll about blood donation,” Aikman said. “The results that followed encouraged the city hub in Monterrey, Mexico, to host a blood drive.”

It’s the sort of impact Ranadivé hopes will happen on a larger scale if the world’s richest and most powerful become adopters of his social network.

“They come together for a few days to solve problems and then they go,” he said. “Professor [Klaus] Schwab [the founder of the Davos World Economic Forum] would like to have a certain kind of information always coming and going.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: Social Media Spreads News, Raises Relief Funds

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- The record-setting 8.9 magnitude earthquake that rocked Japan Friday sent millions around the globe to social media websites to spread news, share videos and donate to help victims of the quake and the tsunami in the Pacific.

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, Japan's mobile phones were largely silenced because of a spike in demand. For many, including American travelers and expats, Facebook and Twitter became the best link to worried family members.

Dan Schallau, an American who has lived in Japan for nearly a decade, was driving in his car when the quake struck. While he and his wife are fine, he said that he was "overwhelmed" by e-mails from concerned friends and family in the U.S.  A blast message on Facebook allowed him to spread the news quickly.

Google even set up a "Person Finder" web app to link victims with family. More than 7,000 records were entered on the site as of Friday afternoon.

Before the earth even stopped shaking in Japan, plenty of people had the presence of mind to pull out video cameras and share the scenes around them with the world.

As of Friday afternoon, more than 9,000 earthquake-related videos and 7,000 tsunami-related videos had been uploaded to YouTube in the hours since the disaster began, the video sharing site told ABC News. Many of the YouTube clips showed gripping first-person accounts of homes shaking, grocery store shelves rocking, and scared crowds standing in the streets.

On Twitter, hashtags such as #prayforjapan, Fukushima and Sundai rose to the top of the site's "trending topics" index as people spread news and images of the quake.

Even Tokyo Disneyland jumped to the top of the list, fueled in part by a photo posted on TwitPic showing crowds of Japanese tourists seated on the ground during the quake in the middle of the Disney theme park.

Aid organizations also rushed to leverage social media to collect funds for disaster victims.

"Text REDCROSS" surged as a trending topic on Twitter as the organization began to collect $10 donations to assist victims in Japan and tsunami victims around the Pacific Rim. The Red Cross said this afternoon that it's still too early to tell how much money has been received through the text system, which was used to great success to raise money after last year's earthquake in Haiti.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio