Just about everyone, it seems, dislikes video conferencing tools, but Zoom has been trying to change that perception, and today it got $100 million from Sequoia to continue that mission. http://tcrn.ch/2jknRd8
We all know the password is the weakest security link. This company wants to make it easier to add sophisticated biometric authentication to applications -- and maybe help kill the password. ow.ly/A96R307TIN0
It's Friday and that means it's time for the Cloud 5. This week, Salesforce needs to maintain its rapid growth rate in 2017 and Synergy Research's final numbers for last year. Hint: They were good. http://bit.ly/2hYqAeH
Freshdesk bought its seventh company in 16 months, bringing Bangalore-based Pipemonk into the fold for an undisclosed amount of cash. Pipemonk helps companies move data between various cloud applications. http://tcrn.ch/2iPDfO4
It was a tough year for social media, one in which its once great promise came crashing to the ground in a toxic mix of derision, rancor and division. What was once hailed as a great democratizer has deteriorated into swarming hordes of hostility.
Back in the heady days of 2008 when social media was just beginning to find its footing (and I came up with the idea for Socmedianews.com), there was a sense of camaraderie among the early adherents, a belief that this internet-fueled medium could provide entirely new ways to drive communication, and perhaps even contribute to positive change in the world.
Back in those days, not everyone knew about or grasped the concept of Twitter and Facebook, the two primary offerings at the time. It was hard to explain the power of this broadcast medium. It was like none other ever created, giving individuals the power to communicate in an entirely new way and potentially reach a mass audience in the process. Podcamps blossomed, a uniquely designed un-conference, driven by the participants and designed to share ideas in a spirit of cooperation and a strong belief in the possibility of social media.
We started to see news break on social media before it appeared in traditional news outlets. It became a go-to medium to make friends, forge business relationships and learn about the world. The hashtag developed to tie together conversations in a channel that could be random otherwise.
We began to experience the real power of social media mass communication with the rise of the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street in 2011, two movements that were driven entirely by the ability to broadcast online and mobilize large numbers of people to affect positive change.
Unfortunately, over time those early feelings of camaraderie began to erode, slowly at first, and then in a great rush. As the medium mainstreamed, people began to feel more comfortable mocking ideas and individuals than with helping one another.
Then, over the last couple of years, we have seen personal attacks become the norm, where people are pummeled, sometimes viciously, simply for airing the wrong opinion. I think back to the earliest days when the tendency was to help, to reach out, to communicate, to find common ground.
There was a naive belief that social media could be a positive force in the world and Podcamps were a real-world extension of that. This year it felt like the last traces of those humble beginnings disintegrated.
We witnessed the dark underbelly of social media, one in which people didn't take look out for one another, but instead belittled, bullied and berated. We watched as the era of social media innocence ended -- and with it those early feelings of so much possibility.
Photo: Jason Howie on Twitter. Used under CC by 2.0 license.
It's Friday and that means it's time for my regular weekly feature, The Cloud 5. This week, we look at Microsoft's billion dollar donation in cloud services to non-profits, IBM's mixed earnings report and why low-cost cloud services don't eliminate all costs. http://bit.ly/1S9prum