Social Number Delivers Anonymous Social Networking

Recently launched website Social Number provides social media users the ability to network anonymously by identifying themselves through a system generated number instead of their name. For example, a user would be given the id 0039601762 upon registration and have the ability to network with other numerically defined users through attributes such as their gender, age, location and interests. The Social Number platform gives users given carte blanche authority to recreate their real life profiles in whatever way they wish and the power to construct an anonymous, online persona that they can use to network and make status updates about topics of their choosing.

Use cases for the anonymous social media website include the following:

•Users who wish to make anonymous comments about celebrities, companies, governments and people
•Users who wish to network via a social identity that differs significantly from attributes of their identity that they have in person
•Users who wish to anonymously explore interests, activities and hobbies by networking with other people with the same interests
•Groups and organizations who wish to anonymously campaign for specific causes

The site represents an important moment for online free speech insofar as the web now has another prominent location where ideas about any topic can be freely exchanged without fears of recrimination. For example, activist groups and whistleblowers who might otherwise fear for their careers and well-being if they were to disclose personal information now have a platform from which to make sensitive disclosures online. Similarly, users with stigma-related health issues such as HIV or depression can now leverage Social Number to effectively network with users with similar conditions and concerns.

Social Number’s CEO M.K. remarked on the innovation of the anonymous social media platform as follows:

We are incredibly thrilled to be tackling and empowering our users to have a free voice, discussing issues that some might deem ‘untouchable’ in public forums. Hot button topics like politics and religion to discussing your boss to substance abuse are some of threads users are gravitating towards. But I believe there are many other topics that people want to discuss openly without the fear of repercussions. It’s about freedom of speech. Today, there is very little privacy on any social network, resulting in employees being fired and government interrogations for free thinking. On Social Number, your number is your only identity, showcasing the true value of anonymity.

High profile users of the site include a group associated with the hacktivist collective Anonymous that features the Anonymous group’s logo and slogan as follows:

The Anonymous group on Social Number contains 400+ members and over 40 discussion threads. Unsurprisingly, sex represents another frequently discussed topic in the site’s other well-populated groups. The site will preserve the anonymity of its users but will block “illegal or dangerous” activity per the company’s privacy policy as reported by GigaOm. Thus far, Social Number claims over 10,000 users dispersed in over 100 countries and five continents according to CEO M.K.

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Big Data Goes Social With EMC’s Greenplum Unified Analytics Platform

EMC announced the release of its Greenplum Unified Analytics Platform (UAP) on Thursday. The Greenplum Unified Analytics Platform, a unified platform for processing structured and unstructured data, represents EMC’s latest move to consolidate its positioning in the Big Data space and compete squarely with Big Data offerings recently elaborated by Oracle, Microsoft and HP. EMC’s announcement comes scarcely two weeks after HP’s disclosure of the integration of its Autonomy and Vertica offerings within a unified Next Generation Information Platform called Autonomy IDOL 10 that specializes in the processing of structured and unstructured data. EMC’s Unified Analytics Platform features integration with Hadoop, the software framework for analyzing massive amounts of structured and unstructured data.

The EMC Greenplum UAP contains the following three components:

• The EMC Greenplum platform for the analysis of structured data.
• Enterprise-grade Hadoop for analyzing structured and unstructured data.
• EMC Greenplum Chorus, a collaboration and productivity software tool that enables social networking amongst constituents in an organization that are leveraging Big Data.

EMC Greenplum Chorus recognizes the way in which Big Data scientists and analysts may be geographically dispersed across different enterprise locations, even as they need to collaborate to deliver enterprise-wide analysis that integrates structured and unstructured data from different data sets. GigaOM reports data exploration represents one of the most significant features of Chorus because it provides users with a Facebook-like user interface which enables data scientists to “launch a sandbox environment and start analyzing the data with just a few clicks.” According to EMC’s press release, Chorus facilitates collaboration amongst Big Data teams as follows:

EMC Greenplum Chorus opens data science teams up to an entirely new way to collaborate across dispersed geographies and with very large data sets. Through the Chorus interface, users get ready access to tools, data and supporting resources that enable enterprise-wide Big Data productivity. Frictionless and rapid collaboration across data science teams helps to ensure useful insights get back to the business in time to take the right actions, thus increasing agility and innovation.

Like IBM’s artificial intelligence supercomputer Watson, Chorus provides an interface for translating human questions into queries that run against petabytes of data. Chorus also allows users to share results from and refine approaches to data analysis. The social networking component of EMC’s Unified Analytics Platform ensures that diverse constituents can examine Big Data and iteratively refine their approach to data analysis as a collective. Chorus, the collaborative platform of UAP, profoundly differentiates EMC’s Big Data offering from competing products from HP, Oracle, Microsoft, Cloudera and Odiago.

EMC’s Unified Analytic Platform represents the convergence of the hottest trends in technology today: cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization and social networking. The question now is whether social networking and Big Data represents a fad that will pass, or an innovation that forever changes the landscape of products in the Big Data space.