sxsw

David Gelles

Twitter may already seem hard to escape on the Web, but it is now trying to become truly ubiquitous.

Its new @anywhere platform, announced at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin, Texas, will allow other sites to integrate Twitter deeply into their own content pages. A dozen sites, including The New York Times, Amazon.com, msnbc.com and The Huffington Post are participating in the launch.

Sites that implement @anywhere will be able to add Twitter-rich hyperlinks; when a user rolls over a link to, say, the name of a person, a bubble will appear with that person’s Twitter handle, last Tweet and other information. The new platform will also allow users to perform some actions — such as following and retweeting — without leaving the partner site.

“The big thing that @everywhere does is reduce friction,” said Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, announcing the platform during a conversation with Umair Haque. “It gives [sites] a connection back to the users that [they] didn’t have before.” Read more >>

David Gelles

A welcome cautionary note opened SXSWi today as Danah Boyd, a leading social media researcher, warned technologists not to disregard the users’ privacy as they build services that share ever more personal information with the public.

“No matter how many times a privileged straight white male tech executive tells you privacy is dead, don’t believe it,” she told upwards of 1,000 attendees during the opening address. “It’s not true.”

Ms Boyd focused on the recent rows around the launch of Google Buzz and Facebook’s resetting of its privacy features, citing the furore that surrounded each episode as evidence that web users are still very concerned about how much information they share with the public. Read more >>

David Gelles

South by Southwest Interactive gets underway today in Austin, Texas, and a broad swath of the technology community will be headed there to check out the bands, barbecue, and, oh yeah, the startups.

Ever since Twitter had its breakout moment at the 2007 festival, SXSW has been considered a king-maker of sorts. Yet no startup has yet been able to replicate Twitter’s success.

This year the major theme is set to be location based services, and the battle between Foursquare and Gowalla in particular. The two similar services let users “check-in” to different locations and earn virtual badges and points, and tech enthusiasts believe that with the proliferation of smartphones, both companies could become hugely successful. Read more >>