Thursday, December 29, 2011

Facebook Saves the Lives of a Woman and Her Son

Facebook is a great place to learn about what is going on in the lives of your friends and families. It’s always been thought of as a great way to keep updated, but this was taken to a whole new level this weekend. A Facebook status was able to save the lives of a woman and her 17-month-old, disabled son who were being held hostage by her boyfriend in their home in Utah for five days.

According to the Associated Press, the woman told the Salt Lake City Police that she and her son were forcibly detained in their home by her boyfriend, 33-year-old Troy Critchfield, for nearly a week. She said that he choked her, repeatedly hit her and sexually abused her. While holding them in the house, Critchfield took the woman’s cell phone and would not allow her to feed her dog. He was arrested and detained by the Salt Lake City Police on Saturday, December 24 while they looked into the various charges which the AP said included aggravated kidnapping, forcible sodomy, aggravated assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and animal cruelty, among other things.

Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Jon Arnold told the AP that the woman was able to hide in a closet with her laptop and submit a Facebook status that stated that both she and her son would be “dead by morning” if they did not receive any help.

The post that she wrote caught the attention of one of her friends who called the police. The police were then dispatched to the captive woman’s home to see if she was alright.

"Facebook was her only outlet that she had at the home," Arnold said. "It just happened that she was able to use it."

According to the Salt Lake County Jail records, when the police first arrived, Critchfield would not let them into the house. Once he let the police inside, the AP reported that the police asked the woman if she was okay. She indicated that she was not by shaking her head “no.”

The police then separated Crichfield and the woman, and she revealed the details of the past five days. She also told them that Critchfield had grabbed her son’s arm, hit him on the head and treated him roughly.

According to the AP, the woman refused to go to the hospital to be treated; however, it was noted that she did have "bruises and other physical injuries consistent with [the] allegations."

"She claims that any time she went to go to a door, he physically assaulted her," Arnold said.

As of right now, Critchfield is still being held in jail. It is unclear as to whether or not he has a lawyer yet.

According to Utah State Court records, Critchfield was involved in a domestic violence incident in December 2010 and plead guilty to charges of aggravated assault and obstruction of justice. He was sentenced by a judge to five years in prison; however, the punishment was reduced to 120 days in jail and three years of probation.

Sources: The Associated Press - Police: Utah mom, son rescued after Facebook post, The Washington Post - Man charged in Utah hostage case that ended with Facebook post was convicted for similar crime and PCMag - Facebook Status Saves Woman From Hostage Situation

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to Ruin Your Business in a Day with Twitter

angry typerThere are quite a few stories out there about businesses responding poorly to negative feedback they have found on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. These social media tools are supposed to make communication on a personal level with customers easier, but instead, some business owners often use them as a way to "vent" about negative things said about their businesses and in not so polite ways.

Take this following Twitter conversation between a restaurant owner and a potential customer that I found on Social Media Today. Let me set the scene: A social media strategist and a friend stopped by a new local restaurant to grab some dinner only to disappointingly find the place closed. The following is the result.

Customer: We were going to go to @restaurant but they closed at 10. Kelley was going to eat her 1st burger in 3 years. #sadsies

Owner: @customer we will be here tomorrow, open bright and early at sure yall will need a hangover cure

However, this is where things take a turn for the worse. The customer's friend apparently posted on the restaurant's Yelp page "we're so bummed!", causing the following verbal attack from the restaurant owner.

Owner: @customer really u have ur friend post a yelp review because yall couldnt tell time and accept the fact that we were closed? #badmove

Owner: @customer to go after someones business because you couldnt get u want is pathetic and spoiled.

Customer: @restaurant I don't know why you are angry at me?

Owner: @customer even tweeting about it is lame...its whiny. get over it.

Customer: I stated that we wanted to go there & were sad. It's the same as someone saying they wanted to go on Tues & you're closed.

Owner: @customer yea i know its amazing, restaurants close sometimes #knowthehours

Customer: @restaurant Dude, you need to relax. I don't feel like I said anything negative. I am sorry if I have upset you.

Owner: u need to tell ur friend to take that s*** off of yelp

Oh yeah, the owner cursed at potential customers, and on Twitter, where every single one of the restaurant's followers can see it. Smart. The conversation didn't stop there and even other Twitter followers added their 140 characters of complete shock at the conversation. The restaurant owner did issue massive apologies the next day but the damage had been done. Customers, social media professionals and even other local restaurants were firebombing Twitter with the conversation.

If you want a perfect example of how NOT to use Twitter, this is it. Be honest, would you have responded like that if it were your restaurant? I know I wouldn't have. I mean the feedback wasn't even negative. It was like saying "We wanted to go to the movies but misread the times, we we're so bummed because Kelley was going to eat popcorn for the first time in 3 years."

Business owners take note. If you want to completely ruin your business in a single day, please, by all means, verbally attack your customers on Twitter. They'll love it, restaurant reviewers will love it, even your mother will love it, and you will love it all the way to bankruptcy.

Source: Social Media Today - How NOT to Tweet With Your Customers

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Facebook Users in Britain Drunk in 76% of Pics

Drunk British PeopleSocial media users love to drink. Whether it be coffee or beer, social media users just have to satiate their thirst at all times, even in the pictures they post to these sites. And nowhere is this more prevalent than Great Britain where a recent study found that the average British person is under the influence of alcohol in three-fourths of his or her tagged Facebook pictures.

Researchers surveyed British people to reveal exactly how many Facebook pictures they have that show them consuming alcohol or were taken after they consumed alcohol. The study estimates that a total of 76% of the people's photographs surveyed had some connection with alcohol. According to Rebecca Huggler, Co-Founder of MyMemory, the conductors of the survey, "We're guilty of going out and having a good time, but nowadays the photos inevitably catch up with us online, so we wanted to look at how much these photos dominate our presence on social media sites."

In addition to that, researchers looked at their privacy settings and found that only 12% of the 1,781 Facebook users that were surveyed have their profiles set to "Private" with 58% allowing only their friends to see their pictures and an astonishing 26% of users allowing anyone and everyone to see their pictures whenever they want.

Over half of the people surveyed (56%) admitted that they had "drunk photos" that they would not want coworkers to see with 8% saying their photos may cause some "serious trouble at work". But it doesn't stop there as an additional 93% stated that they had tagged pics that were deemed "too embarrassing." Huggler also noted that many of the pictures with alcohol were taken during special occasions or get-togethers with friends or family. Huggler also predicts the holiday season will fuel more photo activity involving alcohol.

Source: Mashable - British Facebook Users Are Intoxicated in 76% of Their Photos [STUDY]

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Need to Vent? You Can Now Use More Than 60,000 Characters on Facebook

Facebook just announced that users now have the opportunity to share more than 60,000 characters as their status update if they choose.

"In September we increased the character limit on status updates to 5,000 characters," Vadim Lavrusik, journalist program manager at Facebook, wrote on the site. "Today we're announcing that you can now write posts with more than 60,000 characters."

The actual status update character limit is 63,206. Bob Baldwin, the software engineer that made the change for Facebook, said, “I set the exact limit to something nerdy.”

"Facebook ... Face Boo K ... hex(FACE) - K ... 64206 - 1000 = 63206 :-)," he wrote.

An image that was posted on Facebook about the new amount of character space for statuses brought up the point that “a novel has roughly 500,000 characters. This could be shared in nine posts.”

The image also takes a trip back in time to Facebook’s earliest days. Originally, Facebook was very Twitter-like. It limited users to 160 characters. In March 2009 Facebook expanded that to 420 characters. In July 2011 the character limit was boosted to 500 characters, and then two months later it made the leap to 5,000 characters. Now, users have 63,206 characters to vent with; however, I know that if my friends start writing status updates with over 60,000 characters, they will find themselves blocked. Who on earth needs that many characters? I think that it is slightly over the top.

Although I think that Facebook is now giving users way too many characters, maybe some users will enjoy this new freedom. I just hope that this new freedom doesn’t become ridiculous.

Source: PCMag - Facebook Boosts Character Limit to Over 60,000

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Social Media Users Love Coffee, Something that Surprises Nobody

Starbucks Internet CafeWe already know that social media users love beer, but a new report from Amplicate has also found that social media users also love American coffee chains. The most popular bean brewers in the states, as far as social media users are concerned, is definitely Starbucks with 89% of users expressed positive opinions about the Seattle-based coffee king. In addition to that, social media users were the most positive about Starbucks' sweet specialty coffees, specifically the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the Caramel Mocha.

What's even better is that no American coffee chain performed poorly on the survey, though Dunkin Donuts was the least favored over the past year with only 77% of the comments about the chain being positive. Social media users also criticized the company's iced coffee and expressed some dissatisfaction with its bagels. Nearly 80,000 opinions were posted by social media users in the past 12 months, in which they shared over 42 million times. Other coffee chains that were mentioned included Caribou Coffee, Tully's Coffee, Peet's Coffee and Tea and Costa Coffee.

It could be surmised that there is a definite connection between social media usage and the coffee shops where users tend to gather to use free WiFi and get a little work done. This report also revealed that fans of coffee chains were not only more vocal than the same chains' detractors, but their opinions reverberated further through the internet. The average fan of coffee chains had 573 friends or followers on social media sites with the average detractor only having 402 friends or followers. However, how you determine a fan from a detractor is simply based on whether the opinion expressed was positive or negative, according to some.

These results are not at all surprising, however, as many coffee shops have always been havens for those constantly working on the go. Plus, coffee shops also set themselves up to be social places, whether it's to discuss work issues or to catch up with friends or family. The most common coffee shop conversations? Talking about the coffee and the shop itself.

Source: Technorati - New Report Reveals Social Media Users Love Coffee

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Social Media's Favorite Beer? Guinness

Guinness BeerI feel like social media sites and beer go together like Dick Cheney and an accidental gun shot wound to the face. In a recent study, social media users were very positive about popular beer brands on social media over the past 12 months with Irish brand Guinness gathering the most praise from users according to a new social media analytics report from Amplicate.

Amplicate's report discovered that 77% of all opinions on social media sites about popular beer brands, which included Heineken and Budweiser, were positive. In addition to that, social media users were also generally very positive about all the major beer brands with the only brand receiving any significant negative feedback being Budweiser, which ranked as the least liked popular beer brand over the past 12 months with only 31% of opinions expressing a negative view of America's predominant beer brewer.

On the other hand, Guinness was the most loved beer of them all with 82% of opinions about the dark brew expressing enthusiasm for the beer. In addition to that, social media users made a positive association between Ireland, pubs and Guinness that led to an onslaught of positive comments for the world-famous Guinness.

What isn't surprising is that nothing got social media users talking positively about beer more than the marketing of the beer companies themselves. Social media users loved discussing marketing efforts and commercials from the brewers themselves on social media networks, according to Amplicate.

Amplicate's new report is a part of its new social analytics reports service. Amplicate offers in-depth social media analytics reports on everything you could possibly imagine, as this study on popular beer confirms. These reports explain what people are saying about a topic, when and where they are saying it and why.

Source: Market Watch - Social Media Users Love Beer, Really Love Guinness, According to Amplicate

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Facebook Tracks Down Recent Spammers

If you have been on Facebook sometime this week, I’m sure that you noticed the pornographic and violent material that was plaguing the social networking site. I myself was shocked at some of the things that were popping up in my feed. Well, on Wednesday Facebook said that they were able to track down the hackers that were responsible for the spam attack.

"In addition to the engineering teams that build tools to block spam we also have a dedicated enforcement team that has already identified those responsible and is working with our legal team to ensure appropriate consequences follow," said a spokesman for Facebook.

On Tuesday a security firm called Sophos released a blog post stating that Facebook had been overwhelmed with objectionable content for the previous 24 hours. Security consultant Graham Cluley said, "The content, which includes explicit hardcore porn images, photoshopped photos of celebrities such as Justin Bieber in sexual situations, pictures of extreme violence and even a photograph of an abused dog, have been distributed via the site—seemingly without the knowledge of users."

Facebook confirmed a little after the release of Sophos’s blog post that it had been hit with "a coordinated spam attack that exploited a browser vulnerability." The company also mentioned that its efforts "drastically limited the damage caused by this attack."

Facebook went on to say that users were "tricked into pasting and executing malicious javascript in their browser URL bar causing them to unknowingly share this offensive content." After these attacks began occurring, engineers worked to build “enforcement mechanisms” that shut all of the inappropriate pages down, as well as all of the accounts that had published them.

"We have also been putting those affected through educational checkpoints so they know how to protect themselves," Facebook continued. "We've put in place backend measures to reduce the rate of these attacks and will continue to iterate on our defenses to find new ways to protect people."

Hopefully all of these issues truly have been fixed, and Facebook will continue taking precautions to prevent attacks like this from occurring. If the company doesn’t, I know that there will be plenty of parents that will have issues with their young teenagers being on the social networking site. It sounds like Facebook is really working to prevent things like this, and they were able to shut down the attack, in my opinion, very quickly. I think that they did a great job handling a very difficult situation.

Source: PCMag - Facebook Identifies Porn Spammers

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Rumors of an Anonymous Attack on Facebook for November 5

V for Vendetta"Remember, remember the 5th of November". These lines were spoken by none other than vigilante for justice V in the graphic novel-turned film V for Vendetta. What's more is that the mask popularized by the character is also the same one the hacktivist group Anonymous uses for all their demonstrations and media. The group typically targets big name corporations and has seen quite an influx in activity in recent months. Companies like Bank of America and Sony, along with a few government sites, are some of the more recognized attacks though the group might be setting its sights on Facebook next.

The reason people should care about this is that Anonymous is good at what they do, really good in fact, and they are definitely good enough to pull off a successful attack on the social media giant. On the other hand, there is some good news, at least for users of the site. The group usually uses threats and warnings in order to get people thinking about their targets without actually doing any real damage. Facebook has become a target for abusing the privacy of its users.

There has been some talk about the attack happening on the 5th of November, a date which corresponds to Guy Fawkes Day. Guy Fawkes Day is a U.K. holiday celebrating the failed plot by Fawkes and a crew of conspirators to blow up British Parliament in 1605, subsequently killing King James I. The day is supposed to recognize the saving of King James I's life, however in recent years it seems to favor Fawkes' attempt on the King's life as well as the thought of speaking truth to power.

However, it seems as if Anonymous has given up on the Facebook attack, codename "OP_FB". There has been very little recent activity on the group's Twitter account and there have also been no new significant statements specifically targeting Facebook. Anonymous is instead turning its attention to more public-friendly targets, like disrupting child pornography sites and threatening to attack the Zeta Mexican drug cartel.

There was a posting on, an Anonymous open forum (so to speak). The post stated, "Ideas for OP_FB: Post ideas here guise. We are more powerful than DDoS attacks, and Facebook isn't going to keel over from something small. We have more power than this and we should utilize it."

However, this doesn't really seem like a well thought out attack but more of a brainstorming session. Even if the group leaves Facebook alone, the fact that the social media site was even targeted by the group suggests that what the site is doing with personal privacy is unacceptable. I guess we will just have to wait until the 5th of November to find out though.

Source: Mashable - Will Anonymous Target Facebook on Nov. 5?

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Facebook Ups Security

On Thursday, October 27 Facebook decided to implement security features that should work to further protect its users. The new security features include adding the option for passwords for apps and “trusted friends.”

"What are 'trusted friends'?" one might ask. The trusted friends feature will allow users to choose three to five friends that they obviously trust that can help them if they are ever, for some reason or another, locked out of their account. "We'll send codes to the friends you have selected, then you can log back into your account using these codes after your friends have passed them along to you," said Facebook.

Facebook claims that the feature is just like giving a friend of yours a key to your home while you are on vacation.

Since there have been recent security issues that Facebook has faced surrounding third party apps, Facebook will now let users add a password to many of its apps.

"There are tons of applications you can use by logging in with your Facebook credentials. However, in some cases you may want to have a unique password for that application," Facebook said. "This is especially helpful if you have opted into Login Approvals, for which security codes don't always work when using third party applications."

To enable the feature, users simply need to go to Account Settings, Security Tab and then “App Passwords.” "You can generate a password that you won't need to remember, just enter it along with your email when logging into an application," Facebook said.

Facebook also released an infographic that shows the security features that they have released over the past few years. It is included below:

"Our considerable work has undoubtedly made Facebook a safer environment—less than half a percent of users experience spam on any given day and only a fraction of a percent of our users ever experience any security-related issues," Facebook said. "But we know there's plenty of more work to be done, so we will keep striving to make sure that every time you log in to Facebook, you have a safe and social experience. We are adapting and responding to new threats everyday and will continue to bring the people that use our site new ways to protect themselves."

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

American Airlines Voted Most Hated Airline on Social Media Sites

American AirlinesIf ever there was a company that is happy Facebook doesn't have a dislike button, it is American Airlines. That is because the airliner has been given the not-so-wanted honor of being the world's most hated airline on social media sites, thanks to a analyses of multiple social media analytics firms.

Amplicate, which tracks sentiment for businesses and services on social media sites, has just revealed the results of the research it has conducted over the past year. The research from Amplicate has revealed only 12% of opinions on American Airlines were positive on sites like Twitter and Facebook.

When you compare this to the 97% positive opinions garnered by Virgin America, the numbers are pretty detrimental. However, travelers are usually chock-full of complaints against U.S. airlines on social media sites. Overall, 57% of comments on U.S. airlines were negative according to Amplicate.

Thankfully, at least in American Airlines' opinion, the airliner wasn't the only one to receive negative reviews. Other airlines that received less than stellar comments include United Airlines, US Airways and Delta, which ignited a firestorm with social media enthusiasts when it charged men and women returning from war extra fees for extra baggage.

This move resulted in outrage, making June the most active month for airline hatred on social media news sites and earning Delta over half of all the negative comments made during the month. However, this didn't seem to be even enough to keep American Airlines from becoming the most hated.

Other top positive airlines aside from Virgin America include JetBlue as well as Southwest according to Amplicate. On a world-scale, British Airways holds the top spot for most loved airline, followed by Virgin America, GFaruda, JetBlue and Southwest.

Source: - American Airlines voted 'most hated airline on social media' due to most Twitter, Facebook jeers

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Microsoft to Make Another Offer to Acquire Yahoo

Yahoo!According to sources, Microsoft is supposedly considering the launch of a renewed bid to acquire Yahoo a mere three years after first attempting to do so.

In order to complete the potential acquisition, Microsoft might seek to partner up in the deal according to a report from Reuters. Microsoft's internal management team is divided on whether to make another bid at Yahoo, which has recently been deemed one of many struggling online media companies.

In January of 2008, Microsoft offered over $44 billion in order to acquire Yahoo in an unsolicited bid. The management team at Yahoo eventually blocked the deal which ultimately led to a sharp decline in the site's stock price as well as the ousting of CEO at the time Jerry Yang. Eventually, both Microsoft and Yahoo agreed on a search partnership.

If it decides to move forward with the new proposition, Microsoft would acquire Yahoo at a major discount. The stock of the internet company has taken a major beating in price since the rescission of Microsoft's acquisition offer. Shares for Yahoo dropped from a high of over $29 in the beginning months of 2008 to less than $15 when the company fired CEO Carol Bartz. However, with the news of a potential new acquisition bid from Microsoft, shares have risen by more than 9%.

A majority of Yahoo's value is tied to its Asian assets, most notably China-based Alibaba Group. The 40% stake in the company held by Yahoo is estimated to be worth more than $13 billion and Alibaba is supposedly interested in acquiring Yahoo as well, though U.S. laws governing foreign acquisitions could put a damper on the deal. News Corp, recent seller of MySpace, is also said to be interested in acquiring Yahoo as well.

Regardless of who acquires the company, Alibaba will be either a key player or key partner. The company has the right to buy back its shares from Yahoo if control of the company ever switches hands.

Source: Mashable - Will Microsoft Make Another Run at Acquiring Yahoo?

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Twitter Acquires Julpan

On Wednesday, September 21 Ori Allon, the creator of Google’s Orion search technology and founder of Julpan, announced a deal with Twitter. Julpan is a company that analyzes social media, and Twitter has just acquired it.

"I am very proud to announce that Julpan has been acquired by Twitter," Allon wrote on "We founded Julpan more than a year ago. In that time we've created innovative, early-alpha-stage search technology that analyzes social activity across the Web to deliver fresh and relevant content to users. "

"Twitter houses an industry-leading engineering team that is tackling some of the Internet's most interesting opportunities. With more than 230 million tweets per day on every subject imaginable, Twitter gives us a chance to make an even greater contribution toward instantly bringing people closer to what is most meaningful to them. We look forward to joining forces with Twitter's engineering team to explore how we can best integrate and optimize Julpan's innovations.”

"I'd like to personally thank the talented engineers, architects and designers of Julpan. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people with whom to invent some of the world's best social search technology."

Until Wednesday, Allon had been the CEO of Julpan, but in his post he signed it “Director of Engineering, Twitter.” So far, there has not been any mention of the financial details of this deal.

In 2006 Allon sold the rights to Orion to Google. He then worked for Google until last year when he left to start Julpan. Julpan allows users to sort through blogs, tweets and online social content "to help determine what exactly people care about at any given moment."

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Most business class projectors will do a good job displaying your PowerPoint presentation. If you have a small presentation group, a 2000 lumen LCD projector will be able to produce a nice and clear picture. For larger audiences you should consider a 5000 lumen LCD projector.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Roast of Charlie Sheen Dominates Social Media

Charlie Sheen RoastThe premiere of Two and a Half Men sans Charlie Sheen aired on Monday night, "conveniently" at the same time as The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen. Coincidence? I think not. However, despite losing its main character, the show, which replaced Sheen with Ashton Kutcher, received 28 million viewers, the largest audience for any episode in show history. And while it may seem that Two and a Half Men is thumbing its nose at Sheen, the "total freaking rock star from Mars" himself was all full of "winning" Monday night, on the social media front that is.

While Kutcher and Men may have won the ratings battle, it was Sheen and his roast that won the the social media battle garnering nearly 400,000 tweets throughout the night while Two and a Half Men clambered behind with only 150,000 according to Visible Technologies.

Bluefin Labs, a Social TV Analytics platform, also released their numbers for the show's discussion on a plethora of social networking sites including Twitter, Facebook and thousands of fans located on micro-blogs. Sheen stood on top of his internet throne bringing in a total of 148,000 comments from 98,000 unique posters. Compare that to the 92,000 total comments from 75,000 unique posters on Two and a Half Men and it looks like Charlie Sheen is smoking the show harder than the seven gram rocks he is already famous for.

The best part, at least for Sheen, is that Two and a Half Men didn't even come in second place overall for the night. In addition to Sheen's roast, Dancing with the Stars also beat out Kutcher and his premiere. The famous tweeter that he is, Kutcher added his own tweet on Monday writing, "Man I wish I had the east coast feed so I could watch it with you all... #2.5." But Kutcher wasn't the only celebrity hitting the Twitter feeds as Sheen sent a plethora of tweets from his viewing party on Monday night, giving thanks to friends, family, fans and roasters alike.

"Thank you @comedycentral...! I'm moved... speechless and grateful! (and glad it's over...) Well done my friends. Well done!" Sheen tweeted Monday night. As far as ratings for the roast, it didn't do too bad either. Sheen's roast was the most-watched roast in Comedy Central history, gathering 6.4 million total viewers and delivering a 4.5 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter - Charlie Sheen's Roast Wins Social Media Battle

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ASK not about Santorum Search Scum

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is being SEARCH SCUMMED by Google, Bing, and Yahoo, but not ASK.

When you search for 'santorum' in Google, the first result is a website splashpage ( that is so nasty, so raunchy, so disgusting, that I will not publish it, nor link to it here.

Isn't that cleaver, the splash page has a splash of what they call santorum. gross

As of this publication 27,053 people facebook liked that lude splash page. And as of this publication there were over 2400 links from 135 linking domains, linked to

Getting 135 domains to link to a person's name would be easy for any SEO. Why the major search engines would accept this as a fair result for a presidential candidates name appears political.

What about ASK? Why isn't not coming up as #1 in ASK search results? (It's not even on the first page). Is ASK making a statement or is ASK behind the curve on data aggregation and search results?

Just as anyone who has been attacked on the web, Rick Santorum has taken his appeal to Google. But a representative from Google recently stated that they don't remove results from the web. This leaves Candidate Santorum in a difficult position.

"I suspect if something was up there like that about Joe Biden, they'd get rid of it," Santorum told Politico. "If you're a responsible business, you don't let things like that happen in your business that have an impact on the country."

I suppose your right. Besides what's changed? Google had removed certain search results in the past. For example, in an article by Danny Sullivam, clearly Google made adjustmets.

Google Kills Bush’s Miserable Failure Search & Other Google Bombs

Google bombing isn't anything new. According to Google Watcher Danny Sullivan, Google bombs date back as far as 1999, when a search for "more evil than Satan himself" resulted in the Microsoft homepage as the top result.

Rick Santorum makes a good point, and perhaps a basis for legal action against Google, Bing and Yahoo,
 "To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can't handle but I suspect that's not true," Santorum said.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Skype Update for Mac Users

On Thursday, September 15, Skype introduced its users to an interesting new update. The update allows all beta Mac users to utilize Facebook integration, an ability that has already been available to Windows PC users for a while.

“We now release updates for Skype for Mac quicker than ever before,” said Skype in a blog post. “We've released a number of updates in 2011 which included, amongst other features, a brand new interface, video call control bar and HD-quality video calling.”

"Just like in our Windows client, you will now be able to IM and connect with your Facebook friends without leaving Skype. You will also be able to read and update your News Feed, as well as comment and 'Like' your Facebook friends' posts - all within Skype for Mac."

It’s really easy to set up the Facebook integration. All you have to do is sign into Skype, click the “Connect to Facebook” tab and then enter your Facebook details. It’s that easy!

The Facebook integration feature for Windows was introduced to users in October 2010. When Skype added that feature, they also added “Facebook Phonebook.” The Facebook Phonebook feature allows users to call and text their Facebook friends from their mobile phones and landlines with just a few clicks. Skype also allows users whose Facebook friends are also on Skype to make Skype-to-Skype calls for free.

All of this follows the Facebook-introduced video calling with Skype which was released about two months ago. Skype CEO Tony Bates stated in July that the company has been working on the Skype and Facebook integration for about six months now. Skype has a goal of one billion users and Bates says that he believes that the Facebook video calling via Skype will “help us get there.” He continued saying, "We want to be as ubiquitous as possible."

The Skype blog also stated, “We are also introducing an advertising platform in this new release, but if you are a paying Skype consumer or have Skype Credit, you won't see any display ads; similar to the model that is currently being used in our Skype for Windows client.”

If you’re a Mac user and you want Facebook functionality, Skype 5.4 is just for you. It is now available for download.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Amazon Develops a New Strategy for Social Media has recently decided to step up its efforts on the social media front after missing out on potentially one of the biggest and hottest technology trends to come about in recent years. The company just hired John Yurcisin as Director of Social Media earlier in the year to help Amazon come up with better social strategies.

In addition to that, Amazon is also building a Social Games Group in an attempt to compete with Zynga, the current leader in social internet gaming, who is also planning an initial public offering. Amazon is also hiring developers and engineers for the project with a poster in the company's new Seattle campus unveiling the Social Games Group as "Worldwide Breaking News".

According to the poster, Amazon is most interested in software development engineers and Flash developers with the latter most likely related to Adobe's Flash Player, a software that is also used to add video, animation and other interactive content to websites.

Amazon also posted social games jobs on Linkedin as well as One post that was added on August 15 stated that the company was looking for a Senior Social Games engineer and that the group is working on a "cutting edge initiative within Amazon." Despite its leading advancements in other technological areas, Amazon has lacked in terms of social media as well as social networking.

However, it is still unclear as to what exactly Yurcisin is working on over at Amazon, especially considering the fact that a spokesman from Amazon declined to comment on any of the company's social plans. However, Yurcisin's Linkedin page does have him listed as "Director, Social" at Amazon and says that he has held that position since May.

Source: Reuters - Amazon steps up social media efforts

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fox Searchlight Releases Movie Trailers Via QR Codes

Martha Marcy May MarleneSo has anybody else noticed all these scanable bar-code thingies all over the place recently? I mean, you can't go anywhere without seeing them. I've seen them in magazines, on products in a store and even on the ketchup bottles at Applebee's! These little things are known as QR codes and if you scan them with a bar-code scanner app on your smartphone or tablet, then you can win stuff and be entered into things.

Well, Fox Searchlight is taking these QR codes to a whole new level. Instead of doing the traditional process of releasing teasers and trailers for its upcoming movie Martha Marcy May Marlene, set to hit theaters on October 21, the film company is instead rolling out an elaborate QR code campaign for the film.

The studio has put these little codes on ad materials, like posters, theater standees and coasters, in New York City as well as Los Angeles. There are two separate trailers for the movie embedded within the codes. According to Fox Searchlight, this is the very first time the studio has exclusively released trailers via QR code.

If you are one of the unfortunate people who doesn't live in either New York City or Los Angeles, then you can always access the QR codes online through a website that is designed to emulate the theater standees.

The film stars Elizabeth Olsen, who just so happens to be the younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Academy Award nominee John Hawkes. The plot focuses on a young woman who has problems reconnecting with her family after escaping a cult. The film made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival back in January where Sean Durkin, director of the film, won the U.S. Directing Award in the Dramatic category.

Source: Mashable - Movie Trailers Released Exclusively Via QR Code for The First Time

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Police to Start Monitoring Facebook

Police using FacebookThe rise and relevance of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter never ceases to amaze me. The vast popularity of sites like these is astounding and the way they have begun to shape our world into something revolutionary is mind-boggling. In recent social media news, the NYPD has just opened a social media tracking unit.

This news comes in the wake of some earlier reports that prisons will be cracking down on the profiles of inmates using sites like Facebook and Twitter in order to perpetuate crimes while incarcerated. Facebook will pull profiles of California inmates in order to make any type of use of the site by inmates even more difficult, if not impossible.

These new crime divisions will be headed up by the new Assistant Commissioner Kevin O'Connor and will monitor social media sites for potential wrongdoings. In a post from, "Criminals have been known to use Twitter, Facebook and other social media [sites] to choose targets, boast about crimes or alert one another about the location of police."

While this may seem highly illogical, sites like Facebook and Twitter have led to the capture of multiple criminals, even before a unit was dedicated to monitoring them. After the recent Tottenham riots and looting, a man posed for a twitpic with what he had stolen and was later arrested as a result of the picture. Yes, that actually happened, you can't make up someone who is that idiotic.

Over here in the United States, a man was arrested by the NYPD back in March for murder after bragging about killing a gay teenager at a house party on Facebook. This prompted Kelly to advise officers to monitor house parties advertised on Facebook more closely in order to prevent something like this from happening again.

Online police divisions are not a new invention, however. "To Catch a Predator" was proof enough about how police monitor chat rooms that have the potential to catch people engaging in sexual perversion or potentially unlawful activities. As social media use has grown, police are taking special measures to employ the sites just as criminals do in order to stop potential crimes.

So the next time you decide to do something unlawful, how about you don't plaster it all over one of the biggest social media sites in the world? If you are going to do that, then you might as well just walk into the police station with all the evidence of your crime and your hands already cuffed.

Source: CBS News - NYPD opens Social Media Tracking Unit

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Teacher-Student Social Networking Banned in Missouri

According to Missouri’s Senate Bill 54, which was just signed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, all forms of social networking are now prohibited between teachers and students. ABC News said that this does not mean just Facebook. It means any social networking "that is exclusive and allows for private communication."

So why has this legislation come about? Mashable said that "inappropriate contact between students and teachers is at the root of the legislation," which is "designed to protect children from sexual misconduct by teachers, compelling school districts to adopt written policies between teachers and students on electronic media, social networking and other forms of communication."

The bill states: “Teachers cannot establish, maintain, or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the child's legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian. Teachers also cannot have a nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student.”

The bill also requires that all Missouri school districts develop a written policy that addresses the "appropriate use of electronic media" by the start of the New Year. The policy will include the guidelines for social network use.

So, how exactly has this been received by Missouri? Well it does seem to give residents the idea that they should not trust teachers, but Mashable said that “on the surface this seems like a good idea.” However, they did point out that "inappropriate relationships will be hard to detect, especially since teachers and students engaged in such relationships would probably be concealing their communications, electronic or otherwise."

A very key word in the law is “exclusive.” This means that teachers will still be allowed to set up social networking pages that are focused on friendships, class work or program support. These will be okay as long as the site is public and available to all. However, Missouri teachers are still not exactly happy about the law. Some claim that sites like Facebook are a valuable tool because they allow students to bring up issues to teachers that otherwise might be uncomfortable for them to talk about face-to-face.

Randy Turner, a middle school communications arts teacher in Missouri's Joplin School District, blogged that the law was signed "in spite of the positive effect that teachers and students being Facebook friends had on Joplin Schools' effort to locate students after the May 22 tornado.[and] in spite of considerable evidence that social networking has been a positive force in education, and little or no evidence to the contrary."

"For some students, that move could very well prevent them from confiding in a trusted adult friend who might be able to help them get through serious problems in their lives," writes Turner.

"For Joplin students, that could be dealing with the aftermath of losing their homes and having their lives uprooted on May 22. For others, it may be confiding in just the kind of horrific crime that the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act is supposedly designed to eliminate," she adds.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hidden Facebook App for iPad is Discovered

It’s been close to a year and a half since Apple first released its oh-so-popular iPad, and although there are tons of apps available for the device, there is still a very important app that has yet to be released for the iPad…a Facebook app. Rumors were flying around that Facebook might be kind enough to reveal an official app sometime this summer, but as we count down the last few days of July, there still has not been announcement.

However, just this weekend, TechCrunch’s MG Sielger claimed that he had discovered Facebook’s app for the iPad. He said that it was hidden within the code for the most recent version Facebook’s iPhone app (version 3.4.4). Sielger said that the app is written in HTML5, and although it is incredibly different from the iPhone app, he said that it is very good.

"In particular, the navigation system is great… the Facebook iPad app uses a left-side menu system that can be accessed by the touch of a button or the flick of the iPad screen," he writes. "The app also makes great use of the pop-overs (overlay menus) found in other iPad apps. When you flip the iPad horizontally, the list of your online friends appears and you can chat with them as you do other things on Facebook."

Sielger said that other features that are included with the app are a photo viewer that is very similar to the photo app that comes with the iPad and a map that shows the locations of your friends on Facebook Places. So far, there has not been any comment from Facebook reps about the app. Sielger, however, said that he had confirmed that the app is legit by checking with a “source who had previously seen the app."

People have been patiently waiting for an official Facebook iPad app. Since Facebook still hasn’t officially offered customers anything, there has been plenty of room for third-party developers to come in and offer their own unofficial versions of Facebook apps like Friendly and iFace. These have been some of the most popular iPad apps from the App Store.

Right now it is unclear when Facebook might offer this app, if it is indeed the real thing. Hopefully, either Facebook will release this newly discovered app or release some kind of official app because customers are definitely ready for a Facebook iPad app. is news of, for and by SMBs! The Small & Medium Business Magazine!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Facebook or Google+: What Will You Choose?

Social media users cannot ignore the newest direct competition to Facebook, Google+. You cannot help but look at the two platforms side by side and compare to see which would best serve your needs. There are quirks about Facebook that some people get extremely frustrated about…does Google+ solve that frustration? The two companies obviously are not the best of friends, but will one put the other out of business, or will they both coexist in peace? I believe that it all depends on how they cater to their users' needs.

Although it is still early in the game, so far, Google+ has been very well received by the social media world. Just last week, Google CEO Larry Page announced that Google+ already had 10 million users that were sharing more than a billion items on the site per day. Paul Allen, the founder of, estimated that the number of users had risen to 18 million this week, and ComScore confirmed on Friday, July 22 that the number had risen to more than 20 million users.

However, is this enough progress to pose any kind of serious threat to Facebook, the reigning social media giant? Facebook has seven years, 750 million users and an Oscar-nominated film on Google+. Although recently, Facebook has been dealing with low customer satisfaction and some privacy issues, Google+ has a lot of catching up to do if they want to play with the big boys.

So, have you joined Google+ yet? Have you been able to capture a highly coveted invitation to the newest social media platform yet? Right now, the site seems to be utilized by tech folks and early adopters, but it really is growing. Numbers definitely got a nice little boost when Apple released the Google+ iOS app into the App Store. It quickly became the number one downloaded free app.

So, as more social networking sites pop up, ask yourself the question: do you really have time for yet another social network? I mean we already have Facebook and Twitter to waste plenty of our time, do we have room for another site? Do you think that users could possibly dump their Facebook account and give Google+ a try? Will some people use both? I truly do not know. All I know is, it's going to take one heck of a site to beat out Facebook!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Social Networking Platform in the Works for Microsoft?

It’s been just a few weeks since Google launched Google+, but there are already rumors swirling around concerning the possibility that Microsoft might be creating their own social networking platform.

The rumors began the evening of Thursday, July 15 when a certain image was posted online (the image included with this article). The rumors seemed to revolve around a platform that would seek to compete with Google+ but not Facebook. displayed a welcome page for a service called Tulalip. The page read, "With Tulalip you can find what you need and share what you know easier than ever." The side of the page then featured buttons for allowing users to sign in with Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Since that evening, Microsoft has replaced the friendly page that sparked all of the rumors with a boring, simple page stating, “Thanks for stopping by. is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly published to the web. We didn’t mean to, honest.”

When questioned about the possible site, Microsoft spokeswoman Jackie Lawrence simply echoed what the company posted at the site.

According to a report by, Microsoft purchased the domain rights to from Marksmen. The purchase was reportedly made sometime after June 21. This means that Microsoft really only had about three weeks to work on the project; however, besides the leaked picture, there is no real evidence that Microsoft is planning to create its own social networking platform.

Andre Eisner, the director of community and content at Retrevo, said, “This is such a vague rumor, I think it's hilarious that people are jumping on it. People are jumping on it and they're already bashing Microsoft, saying it's no Google+ killer."

Eisner continues saying that he simply does not believe that Microsoft could have put together such a project in a three week timeframe.

"They can't even get copy and paste into Windows Phone 7 and you think they'll create a world-class social media site within two or three weeks? Not going to happen," Eisner stated.

"It makes more sense to integrate Bing into social media environments," Eisner said.
Microsoft’s Bing search engine (which I personally think doesn’t even compare to Google’s search engine) already offers users the option of social search capabilities via a tie-in that Microsoft worked out with Facebook. It was first introduced in 2010 and allows users who are searching through Bing to see what their Facebook friends “like.”

Just in June, Microsoft took things a step further by updating Bing Mobile to allow users to have Facebook integration involved with their Bing searches on their phones as well. Microsoft and Facebook have been partnering on projects for years.

Who knows what the picture was all about, but it is definitely uncertain as to whether or not it means that Microsoft will be providing users with a social networking platform. Maybe this was all a publicity stunt that Microsoft came up with to get people excited about the possibilities of a Microsoft platform, but maybe it wasn’t.

Unfortunately for those who are curious, Microsoft’s Lawrence says, "We have no more information at this time.”

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Revolution of the Internet?

Rebecca MacKinnonAccording to Rebecca MacKinnon, an internet freedom activist (yes, they actually exist) who recently spoke at TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland, the thought that "technology created by innovative companies will set us all free" is completely bogus.

MacKinnon opened her speech by contrasting the famous "1984" ad by Apple where the company asserted its role as an agent of empowerment. With Apple's recent, and controversial, removals from the company's App Store, MacKinnon stated that the internet is increasingly in need of a new system of "checks and balances".

This "need" apparently comes from the increasing power big corporations have over the internet as well as their ability to direct and shape what a person can and cannot do with their own internet lives as a result of that "power".

This problem is less prevalent in the United States but does rear its ugly head in other countries abroad like China where internet providers are rewarded with "Self-Discipline Awards" for conforming to the censorship policies set forth by the government. While this problem may seem very vast and nearly insurmountable, MacKinnon noted that it is more often Western technology that allows the government to enforce restrictions like this.

MacKinnon also points to post-revolution monitoring as well as restricted access to certain websites in countries like Tunisia and Egypt. "Even in democratic society we don't have good answers for how to balance the need for security on one hand and the protection of free speech on the other in our digital networks," MacKinnon stated.

In response to this, MacKinnon believes that the people of the internet should take a more active role in pressuring the government as well as corporations in order to preserve our digital free speech. MacKinnon added, "Each of us has a vital role to play in building a world in which the government and technology serve the world's people and not the other way around."

MacKinnon is so passionate about this topic that she even has a book out entitled "Consent of the Networked: A Citizen's Guide to the Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom" which is due to be released early 2012. What do you think? Do you think the people of the internet need to "take up arms" so to speak and rebel against the governments and corporations to free ourselves in the digital world?

Source: Mashable - Do We Need an Internet Freedom Movement?

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Are You Cancelling Your Netflix Account? I Am!

Netflix announced on Tuesday, July 12 that they will no longer be offering unlimited Netflix streaming for free with their DVD rental plans. They are also introducing new pricing plans that have customers in an uproar.

Netflix has decided to introduce plans that allow users to choose to separate their DVD rentals from the Watch Instantly streaming. As of today, new Netflix members can get unlimited streaming or unlimited DVDs one at a time for $7.99. If customers want both unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs one at a time, they will be shelling out $15.98. Just yesterday this exact same plan only cost $9.99.

There are plenty of other plans that Netflix is now offering with its new spiked prices as well. Unlimited streaming plus two DVDs out at a time is $19.98 per month, unlimited streaming with three DVDs is $23.98 and streaming with four DVDs is now $29.98 per month. If you aren’t interested in the instant streaming, there is also an option to only rent two DVDs at a time without streaming for $11.99 per month.

Customers are outraged by the huge jump in Netflix’s prices. Protests are breaking out across social media networks. Threats of cancelled subscriptions and switching to Blockbuster’s DVD mailing rental services are being hurled across the web. The company is getting rammed for a 60 percent price hike, but doesn’t it seem reasonable for customers to be upset about something so outrageously ridiculous?

The announcement about the new rental plans was posted on the company’s Facebook page a mere ten hours ago, and in that time close to 19,000 people have expressed their at times brightly colored opinions about the company.

Here is just a snippet of what customers are saying:

“60% increase in price -- but, no positive change in service?? Insane!”

“Wow... I've been a member since 2003. When I got the email, my first thought was CANCEL. Yep, canceling.”

“Bye Bye Netflix! I will find another way to spend my money, rather than pay your price increases for decreased service.”

“Good news! I just saved a bunch of money by canceling my account.”

“Netflix just saved Blockbuster from bankruptcy.”

Netflix’s Facebook page has gotten plenty of “likes” today. That may seem like it doesn’t fit with all of the protests against the company. Well, see, the issue is that to comment on the Netflix page, you must first “like” the company. I went right ahead and liked the company so that I could get a few words in myself. Many people claim that Netflix has deleted their comments about the new plan, but even with the alleged deletes, anyone can see that customers are clearly not happy.

Facebook users are also going as far as creating new anti-Netflix community pages with group names such as “Cancel Netflix,” “I Unlike Netflix Today” and “I used to love Netflix until they decided to rip me off.” Many of the pages are encouraging users to join in the mass cancellation day on September 1. This is the day that the new rental plan changes take place for people who were members before the announcement.

Facebook is not the only site that is blowing up with disgust for Netflix. Twitter is being bombarded with “Dear Netflix” tweets highlighting users rage over the recent changes.

Users are saying that it is impossible to get through on the phone to talk to a Netflix customer service representative due to the overflow of enraged callers expressing their opinions about the announcement today.

Clearly Netflix has a huge problem on their hands. They will be losing plenty of customers over a stunt like this. It’s sad because I used to like Netflix so much. It was so convenient for me, but now I am forced to look elsewhere. Blockbuster, here I come! is news of, for and by SMBs! The Small & Medium Business Magazine!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What Does Facebook Think About Google+?

If you haven’t noticed, Google+ has been popping up all over the place. At first I was very confused about what this new Google+ was, but when I looked into it a little bit more, I was intrigued. I honestly don’t know exactly how well it will do, but Google was right to give it a try. The chief executive of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg said at the launch of Facebook’s video-calling partnership with Skype that he thinks Google’s social strategy is a validation of everything that he has been saying all along.

The Facebook video calls were launched Wednesday, June 6 at an event in Palo Alto, California at Facebook’s headquarters. Last week, Zuckerberg said that Facebook had “something awesome” planned, but unfortunately for Zuckerberg, sources close to Facebook leaked details about the Skype partnership to the Web site TechCrunch.

Facebook is definitely at the very top of the social networking ladder, but Google is hoping to maybe make a dent with their newly released social network Google+. Recently, Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook has more than 750 million users. He said that the most important thing when it comes to the growth of a social network is the amount of information and data that can be shared. He added that each and every year the growth is increasing exponentially.

So how does Google’s Google+ Hangouts compare to Facebook’s new video chat feature? Well, it all just kind of depends on your personal preferences. Zuckerberg and Tony Bates, the chief executive of Skype, have been advertising the new video calling feature at Facebook as extremely easy to use. On the other hand, Google’s Hangouts seems rather complex. There are multiple messaging options and the ability to group chat with as many as 10 users.

Although it may be more complex, Susan Etlinger, an industry analyst for the Altimeter Group, seems to think that the options Google+’s Hangouts offers are a plus for users. "Google has an advantage because Hangouts is a lot more robust," she said.

"Now Skype is part of Microsoft, and we have an even more longstanding relationship with Microsoft," Zuckerberg said. "But I wouldn't undersell the importance of what we announced today. The vast majority of video chat is one-to-one chat, and this is going to be rolled out to everyone on the Web, and I think that is super awesome." Zuckerberg also commented on Google+ saying that it shows the constant evolution of social networking and how all of the companies scramble to keep up with one another.

"I'm not going to say a lot about Google+, as I've only spent a little bit of time on the service," Zuckerberg said. "But in terms of the narrative, as I was saying earlier, where the last five years have been about connecting people, and now that you have the social infrastructure in place a lot of the next five years will be about building these apps. You're going to see a lot of companies who haven't traditionally looked at social networking, not just companies like Google...but there's going to be a lot of apps, lot of companies out there, Netflix is a good example."

Zuckerberg continued saying that although Netflix has added a social aspect to the company, they didn’t really do it well. Companies are now looking to social networking sites to see how they can become a part of the social networking world. "I view a lot of this as validation as this is the way the next five years are going to play out," Zuckerberg added. "Every app is going to be social, and I think our job is to stay focused and to build the best value in the world, and if we don't do it, someone else will do it."

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

200 Million Tweets a Day On Twitter

Do you tweet? If so, how many times a day do you tweet? Once? Twice? Maybe a dozen times? You may not be part of the group of Twitter users that are taking major advantage of the mico-blogging site, but someone out there definitely is because Twitter announced on Thursday, June 30 that the site is now handling 200 million tweets per day.

According to Twitter’s blog post, these numbers have skyrocketed since 2009. In January 2009, Twitter was dealing with about 2 million tweets a day. In June 2010, that number had jumped to 65 million, and now those numbers have exploded to 200 million per day.

"For perspective, every day, the world writes the equivalent of a 10 million-page book in Tweets or 8,163 copies of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace," the company wrote. "Reading this much text would take more than 31 years and stacking this many copies of War and Peace would reach the height of about 1,470 feet, nearly the ground-to-roof height of Taiwan's Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world." Now that is a lot of writing!

In March Twitter celebrated its five year anniversary. At that time, there was an average of about 140 million tweets going out each and every day. Twitter also revealed at that time that it took their site three years, two months and one day to get to its first billionth tweet. Now Twitter says that a billion tweets is nothing. Twitter users now send one billion tweets every five days.

So what is it that people find to talk about so much on Twitter, you might ask? The most popular trends of 2011 so far in terms of world news have been AH1N1 (the swine flu), while in the pop culture world Rebecca Black of “Friday” was the most talked about pop culture figure.

Some of the most popular news-related trending topics so far this year have surrounded the uprisings in the Middle East and the earthquake in Japan. After AH1N1, the top five most popular terms were Mubarak, Easter, Cairo and #prayforjapan. To finish up the top ten of the year were Chernobyl, Libia/Libya, Fukishima, William & Kate and Gadafi.

Some of the trends in the pop culture world included topics such as Britney Spears and Charlie Sheen. Spears’ latest album titled “Femme Fatale” was the second most popular trending topic, while good old Charlie Sheen came in third. Sheen’s #tigerblood catchphrase came in fourth, while Rapper Nate Dog, who passed away in March, fell into the number five spot. There were also a mix of other things that made the list including Brazilian mixed martial arts artist Anderson Silvia, Tom & Jerry, British band Mumford & Sons, “Bieber alert” and “Queen Gaga.”

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Obama to Hold First Twitter Town Hall on July 6

Twitter Town HallOn Wednesday, July 6, 2011 Barack Obama will hold a live town hall...using Twitter. That's right, our nation's leader will be answering questions about our current economy and jobs during a live webcast. Questions may be submitted via the website or by using the Twitter hashtag #AskObama.

In addition to that, there is also an official Twitter account for the town hall, @townhall, that users will be able to follow in order to receive all the updates. The July 6 live webcast will begin at 2 p.m. ET, 11 a.m. PT. Twitter has designed and hosted the website for the event. The news came via tweet that read, "BREAKING: 1st Twitter @townhall w/ Pres Obama at the WH on 7/6 @ 2ET. #AskObama your Qs on the economy & jobs:"

Politicians have recently increased their Twitter usage by using the website to connect with constituents, announce their future plans to run for higher offices and even share important news. One example includes Republican presidential candidates planning on debating via Twitter on July 20 using as a platform. What is so interesting about this is that Twitter has yet to actively involve itself in the political process to this extent before.

A lot of people like this idea and see Twitter as the perfect digital version of a traditional town hall. The site allows users to voice their opinions and questions to not only the politician but also to the community as a whole. It stands to reason that in the buildup to the 2012 presidential election Twitter will continue to play a more prominent role in the discourse.

I don't know how I feel about this. On the one hand, I can see the benefits from doing something like this as a way for Obama to receive questions from citizens all across the country. On the other hand, it feels a little gimmicky to me. What do you think? Do you like politicians' use of Twitter to connect with the public? What questions are you going to Tweet to Obama on July 6?

Source: Mashable - President Obama To Hold First Twitter Town Hall on July 6

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