Last.fm hasn't exactly languished since its acquisition by CBS four years ago, but neither has it captured the public's imagination. The music service's new chief, Matthew Hawn, wants to change that, and the key is simplification, making the basic service more user-friendly and perhaps dropping some add-ons that no longer make sense.
Storify is a new social startup that allows journalists and the public to follow news stories by assembling content from Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube, among other sites, while supplementing the material with their own text. The San Francisco-based service is one of several companies, including Storyful, Tumblr and Color, to assist users in sorting out Web information on a particular topic to identify the most meaningful material.
Location-based check-in service Foursquare launched a service for restaurants and merchants to offer daily deals and promotions to its 8 million users, but that first step to commercialize the free service may not be enough to win the company a $500 million valuation and the additional $20 million to $40 million it's seeking from investors, some industry watchers say. Foursquare faces fierce competition from other location-based services including Gowalla and Shopkick.
Taxi creative director Jim Wood will be joining Lynn Teo to run the digital agency AKQA's creative team in New York. Wood's "brand-building and storytelling ability will add an excellent dimension to Lynn's deep knowledge of user experience and product innovation," said Chief Creative Officer Rei Inamoto.
Consumers are being offered a "do not track" option on their Mozilla Firefox browsers. The service informs each site the user visits that he or she does not wish to be tracked. Similar options are under study of development by other companies as the Federal Trade Commission calls for better consumer privacy protection.