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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