Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Facebook or Sense of Smell...Should This Even Be an Option?

How much to do you value your Facebook profile? The answer to that question varies of course, but it just seems that some people are completely obsessed with the social networking site. How much would those people be willing to sacrifice for secure, guaranteed access to the site? A recent study shows that some people would go to extreme lengths to keep this access.

A study conducted by McCann Worldgroup discovered that 53 percent of “young people,” individuals ranging from the ages of 16-22 years old, would much rather sacrifice their sense of smell than give up social networks. The study stated, “For this generation, technology is not an add-on. It is a tool that enables them to sense the world and make sense of the world.”

The researchers polled 7,000 different people between the ages of 16 and 30, and this group of researched individuals didn’t just come from the U.S. McCann Worldgroup polled people from the U.K., Spain, China, Brazil, India, Mexico and several other countries as well.

The biggest thing that they discovered while conducting the research is that without social networking technology, a majority of the people polled seemed to think that they would feel isolated and “out of the loop.” Global IQ director at McCann Worldgroup Laura Simpson said, "Technology is the great global unifier. It is the glue that binds this generation together and fuels the motivations that define them. Young people utilize technology as a kind of supersense which connects them to infinite knowledge, friends, and entertainment opportunities."

Another thing that the study found was that the younger the individual, the more that the person seemed to care about the connections that they had versus the experiences. This current generation simply maintains friendships in a very different way than their parents do. The research found that the average, everyday teenager is "likely to manage and maintain multiple, intersecting groups of friends” through social media instead of focusing on a single, smaller core group of friends. Researchers were told by 47 percent of the participants that they want their friends and family to remember them for their connections.

"This is the 'strategic generation' who effortlessly manages different identities, evaluates the usefulness of specific connections, and occasionally strips back those who no longer make the grade," the survey said.

Currently, there are more than 500 million Facebook profiles. The sheer vastness of this number, in conjunction with the McCann research, seems to suggest that a good portion of people really do care about their activity on the site. Thank goodness they won’t be choosing between their sense of smell and access to the site since we would end up having 53 percent of our population between the ages of 16 and 22 without their sense of smell. That’s insane to me that someone would care about a social networking site so much. I mean, it’s just Facebook…but I guess that is not all it is to some people.

Power Point Projectors
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.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Zuckerberg Would Like to See Younger Kids On Facebook

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, younger children should be allowed to use Facebook. Earlier this week Zuckerberg said that he truly believed that younger kids should be given Facebook access for educational purposes.

According to Fortune magazine, Zuckerberg spoke at the NewSchools Summit in California saying, "In the future, software and technology will enable people to learn a lot from their fellow students."

As of right now, Facebook only allows individuals who are 13 and older to sign up for a Facebook page. Of course, it is incredibly easy for kids to get around that rule by simply saying that they are older than they really are. Consumer Reports stated that there are approximately 7.5 million underage kids who are currently using Facebook.

With regard to allowing kids younger than 13 to join the site, Zuckerberg said, "That will be a fight we take on at some point… my philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age."

What stands in the way of this occurring is the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This act prohibits Web sites from collecting any kind of information from users who are under the age of 13. Because of this Zuckerberg said, "we haven't even begun this learning process. If they're lifted then we'd start to learn what works. We'd take a lot of precautions to make sure that they [younger kids] are safe."

I honestly do not know if this act will be overturned anytime in the near future though. The chief technology officer of Facebook Bret Taylor visited Capitol Hill on Thursday, May 19 where he was grilled by Senator John Rockefeller about the issue of underage kids using the site.

Rockefeller got right down to the point, telling Taylor, "I want you to defend your company here because I don't know how you can.”

He continued saying, “Whenever we find out that someone has misrepresented their age on Facebook, we shut down that account. We don't allow people to misrepresent their age."

In Facebook’s defense, the site reported that in March it removed as many as 20,000 profiles from the site each and every day due to certain infractions, including the issue of underage use.

In a recent statement, a Facebook spokesperson claimed that the site is currently designed to cater to the needs of two different age groups: 13 to 18 and 18 and up.

"However, recent reports have highlighted just how difficult it is to implement age restrictions on the Internet and that there is no single solution to ensuring younger children don't circumvent a system or lie about their age," the spokesperson continued. "As Mark noted, education is critical to ensuring that people of all ages use the Internet safely and responsibly. We agree with safety experts that communication between parents or guardians and kids about their use of the Internet is vital. We believe that services such as Facebook have a role to play in encouraging this."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gaga Glamming Up FarmVille

On Tuesday, May 17 GagaVille, a Lady Gaga-themed version of the incredibly popular game FarmVille, was released. This special edition of FarmVille will be open to the public until May 26. Users will be able to "execute Gaga-themed quests" so that they can unlock songs from Lady Gaga’s upcoming album “Born This Way.”

Although Gaga’s album is not released until May 23, she wants her fans to have the opportunity to have first access to “Born This Way.” It was last week that Zynga announced that GagaVille would be coming into existence as a result of a marketing partnership between Lady Gaga and Clear Channel Radio.

"Radio has been Lady Gaga's virtual stage from the very beginning enabling fans to connect with her 24-7, and this is another extension of that stage," said Bob Pittman, chairman of Clear Channel's media and entertainment platforms, in a statement.

"We are deeply invested in working with both platform partners and record labels to promote new music in creative ways that reach fans wherever they are, and most of all, we're excited to partner with Zynga to give Lady Gaga fans who play FarmVille advance access to 'Born This Way', one of the most anticipated albums of the year," he continued.

Lady Gaga has been described by some as “hands on” when it comes to her marketing campaigns. She said, "I want to celebrate and share 'Born This Way' with my little monsters in a special way that's never been done before. Zynga has created a magical place in FarmVille where my fans can come play and be the first to listen to the album."

Gaga fans who buy $25 worth of FarmVille game credits from Best Buy will be able to download the entire “Born This Way” album for free.

So, what is the difference between GagaVille and the usual FarmVille? Well, GagaVille is very similar to FarmVille just with a lot more glamor. GagaVille offers new crops including Chrome Daisies, Electric Roses and Crystal. There are also new goods (Shiny Daisy Cake, Spark Rose Mead, Crystalmist Wine, Rose Flame Candles), market items (a Crystal Fountain, Gem Tree) and new quests. As users complete the different quests that they are given, they unlock free songs from Lady Gaga.

Now, these aren’t the only differences. Some of the animals in GagaVille have been glammed up as well. Sheep wear Gaga’s Fame Monster costume-inspired “two-story hats,” and a Purple Ponytail Horse is outfitted with a leather choker and bracelet.

"Lady Gaga is as passionate about her fans as we are about our players," Zynga's Raquel DiSabatino, director of entertainment and media, told the Associated Press. "This really was a great meeting of the minds to create an innovative and playful experience for those folks."

If you are a Gaga fan, than GagaVille will be loads of fun for you. If you’ve got some extra time to spend on fun and games, you should definitely check out the Gaga version of FarmVille.

Security Camera Solutions

WordPress Officially Ends Support for Internet Explorer 6

Death to Internet Explorer 6Internet Explorer 6, which is probably the most widely used internet browser ever, is about to be shut off completely. This is not anything new, however. People have known this day was coming for some time but another big name web service is ending their support for IE 6, WordPress.com.

According to WordPress, their reason for shutting down support for Internet Explorer 6 is due to "increasingly complex code trickery to make the WordPress dashboard work." The WordPress dashboard will still load for any users still using Internet Explorer 6, it just won't work very well.

Users of IE 6 will be alerted that their internet browser is outdated and will also be given direct links to browser updates or links to download alternative browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

In addition to dropping support for Internet Explorer 6, WordPress has also unleashed some new features to its site which include a revamped and redesigned dashboard as well as a new "distraction-free" writing mode.

These new features, along with the ending of IE 6 support, will hit the self-hosted WordPress installs with WordPress 3.2. The beta version of WordPress 3.2 is currently available for download with the final version expected to be available sometime in June.

WordPress.com, which is one of the biggest website hosting services on the internet, is just another addition to the already long list of providers that have officially cut ties with Internet Explorer 6 for good. Back in March, Microsoft launched its very own global campaign calling for the demise of IE 6 and it looks like that day is quickly approaching.

Source: Mashable - WordPress.com Drops Support for IE 6

Power Point Projectors
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.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Upgraded Mobile and Mac Twitter Apps

Just this week Twitter released a new and improved version of its mobile site and Mac version of the site. Twitter said in a blog post, “We want you to be able to access Twitter no matter where you are; regardless of what device you use; or, whether you prefer to access Twitter through a mobile application or the browser.” The new versions offer users cleaner interfaces and even more options for accessing their feeds.

Before the newest version was released, Twitter.com on a mobile device looked just like it did on the Web, but now, the mobile version of Twitter.com will look much more like a Twitter app. It will offer users the ability to scroll through timelines or access @mentions, trending topics and more. “This web app allows us to provide a high-quality and consistent Twitter experience on high-end touchscreen devices – whether or not an official Twitter application is available,” the blog continues. “It was built from the ground up for smartphones and tablets, which have more advanced browsers that support the latest web technologies, including HTML5.”

With all of the changes that have been made, Twitter promises users that they will have a much faster tweeting experience that takes advantage of the possibilities of touch and larger screens. “It’s simple – it’s easy-to-use and has the features you’d expect from a Twitter application, including your timeline…messages that you can read in conversation view, search, lists, and more,” the blog said.

A small percentage of iPhone, iPod Touch and Android smartphone users received the new and improved version of the mobile app on Wednesday, April 11. Additional users will have access to the app sometime in the next few weeks. For now, if users do not have the upgrade, they will be seeing the traditional Twitter.com.

As I mentioned earlier, Twitter for Mac also received an update. This was really the first major update that Twitter for Mac has received. The changes included the ability to tweet much faster, see multiple timelines and complete actions much more quickly.

Twitter for Mac users will now be able to view the timeline, @mentions, lists, multiple accounts and more all at once. This is a huge improvement over the old version. Twitter says that they made all of the changes because they wanted to make Twitter for Mac much easier for its users. The new version now features a bar along the top of the page that allows users to click back to previous pages or send a new tweet. Twitter also said that they improved the Direct Message feature so that it is now much easier to view a conversation or access user profiles.

Twitter for Mac first appeared in January of this year and has since been a popular app. I’m sure that these updates from Twitter will only make it more popular. The upgraded version of Twitter for Mac is now available to download in the Mac App Store.

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Social Media Etiquette?

Social Media EtiquetteSo apparently everything has its own form of etiquette these days including social media. It appears that not everybody knows how to interact in social media and it is affecting some businesses and companies that are looking for potential customers. People are snubbing potential contacts and are missing the bullseye because they are unaware of the basics of social media etiquette.

Despite the fact that most social media users hop online and divulge their entire lives to the viewing public, there are still a few basic rules that you should follow if you are attempting to make anything of your social media experience.

First off, there is friending. If you are using Facebook, then you will notice that there is a natural buffer, for most people, between you and another person. If you want full access to a person's pictures, information, updates, etc., you will have to become friends with that person. Now the term "friend" in the online world does not mean the same thing is does in the real world. In online terms a friend is the same as a friend, buddy, acquaintance, family member, classmate or even your old third grade teacher. The good news is that you are able to turn down a person's friend request without them seeing it so don't worry about that.

The next thing is following. This applies more to Twitter folk. Now nobody is saying that getting friends on Twitter is easy because gathering a strong following, unless you are a celebrity, famous sports player or big shot company, is tough. Twitter is interesting because you can have a different number of followers which is different from the people you are following. Just because I may be following the tweets of Gilbert Gottfried does not mean that he is following mine. However, it is apparently quite rude to not follow somebody who takes time out of their precious schedule to follow you. You should at least send them a private message saying thank you for their following.

The last element is commenting. If you are a blogger, then a comment is proof of your success as a blogger. If a person comments on something that you write, that means they were interested enough to read the entire blog post and enjoyed your post enough to say something about it. The best way to attract attention to your blog is to update it at least once or twice a week. If you only update every few months, you might as well not even have a blog at all. It is also good etiquette to respond to a person's comment as well. Let them know you care about what they have to say.

These are only a few things you can do to make sure you have good social media etiquette but these principles do apply elsewhere too. Social media can be great for your business or it could make you appear boring, mundane and push people away. Always make an effort to interact and you should do fine.

Source: Roswell Patch - What To Do Social Media Etiquette

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