eModeration’s Social Round-Up #11

THE HEADLINES …

HM
Customs and Revenue is clearly in a state of some denial about the
extent to which their pet subject is a byword for catatonic boredom:
they have allowed the Boss Of All The Taxmen to have a go at delivering
their new YouTube ad,
instead of getting a professional in. If you are currently experiencing
the agonies of insomnia, I advise you save this treat till bedtime. The
Telegraph serves up a list of HMRC’s competitors for the title ‘Most
Boring Video on YouTube (at Number 1: ‘watching paint dry’) here.

It sounds like the punch-line to an (admittedly low-hilarity) Tech joke, but apparently not: the internet really could run out of addresses within two years, unless more companies migrate to a new naming protocol, warn experts.

Over at BoingBoing, they claim that the top secret global Ante-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has been leaked – and that it’s blimmin’ bad news
for us all. Amongst other things, ISPs might be forced to take
proactive responsibility for pulling copyrighted material – which
BoingBoing says would sound the death knell for YouTube, and much of
Web 2.0.

One of the joys of remote working is being able to do
so in your pyjamas (or, in my case, a maroon velvet smoking-jacket and
spats.) Now Linden Labs has spoiled it all
by launching Second Life Enterprise, where companies can do virtual
business behind a firewall. My friends, pyjamas won’t cut it now.

Charles
Dunstone, the increasingly vocal chief exec of TalkTalk, has castigated
the government for the second time this month – this time over its
plans for a broadband tax to fund the rollout of high-speed broadband
to non-profitable rural areas. He warns
that around 100,000 low-income households will be forced to give up
their Internet connections because they will not be able to afford to
pay the tax.

THE LOWDOWN …

Twitter dejection
appears to be catching. Following Stephen Fry’s attack of the dismals
last weekend, Katie Price (aka Jordan, glamour model extraordinaire)
has posted a series of overwrought tweets telling her ‘haters’ to do
their worst, and saying that she feels she can do nothing right. Celebs
and Twitter – an unhealthy combination, prone to increase self-loathing
and thence end in tears?

It would be fair to say that Facebook’s
recent redesign has not gone down too well, and last week we reported
that the group ‘Change Facebook Back to Normal’ has 1.4m rebels and
rising. We hadn’t clocked, however, that the proto–revolutionary
expertly fomenting this dissent is… a 14 year-old boy called Jonathan Woodlief, from North Carolina. Asked for a quote, the boy’s dad said “He’s doing what on Facebook?” There goes the allowance.

IN OTHER NEWS …

Crime
and Security Minister David Hanson has confirmed that a number of
suspects have been held this year by the police’s e-crime unit, in
connection with cyber attacks on government
depts. The minister declined to elaborate, citing national security –
but did reveal that the (rather Gilliamesque) ”Office for Cyber
Security” had been established ”to monitor the health of cyber space
and co-ordinate incident response”.

Is social networking destined for the same spam-bedevilled fate
as email? The big networks need to do some urgent thinking, warns
Graham Cluley of security firm Sophos, if they don’t wish users trust
in the blossoming marketing platform to be crushed. Sophos found that 1
in 4 companies had been exposed to spam, phishing or malware via sites
like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace.

MSN, the
wallflower at the social media party, is finally getting a makeover
from Microsoft. The site’s dramatically-different design is now sleeker and more minimal – and focuses on video and importing key feeds like Twitter and Facebook.

Sharp intakes of breath from cable companies, with the announcement that Apple is having another go at Web TV – this time with an iTunes-based subscription service.

And
amid growing concern that some social gaming app developers are
scamming both users and advertisers, MySpace boss Owen Van Natta has
announced a “zero tolerance for app scams” policy – particularly those which sign users up for a repeat transaction without telling them.

ON FACEBOOK …

It’s
been a sedate few days for Facebook and Twitter – a pleasant change
after the giddy whirl of the last few weeks, during which announcements
came at breakneck pace from both. As you catch your breath and mop your
brow, we bring you The Buzz Bin’s Facebook Fan Page Best Practices, followed by Jason Falls on why Facebook mentions of your brand won’t show up on your monitoring service…

ON TWITTER …

… and for Afters, we have Mashable’s Twitter Lists How-To, plus a wee peek at Peek, the handheld device for mobile tweeting which launched this week.

ON YOUTUBE …

Google’s YouTube wants to convince media companies
like Disney that it’s better to sell advertising space around
illegally-uploaded material, than to take it down. According to YouTube
their ContentID system can identify material even if it’s been
customized by users – they hope that this will reassure
copyright-holders, who will then play along.

BRANDS GET SOCIAL …

Sainsbury’s has been slow off the Twitter mark
– its @JSainsburysPlc has made 9 posts since its launch in March. Now,
though, it’s taking a leaf out of its celeb spokesman Jamie Oliver’s
book, and launching @sainsbury’s, through which they hope to inspire
shoppers with recipe ideas.

Kodak has launched a branded YouTube channel, ForMom, which encourages mothers to upload content on various topics that will make other mum’s live a bit easier.

US cake brand Mrs. Freshley’s has launched a Facebook search to find “the real Mrs. Freshley” – someone who embodies the spirit of the brand which, till now, has not had a fixed persona.

Sara
Lee Deli had lassoed some new Twitter followers whilst helping the
fight against hunger. On Monday they donated $1 per follower (to a max
of $25K) to Share Our Strength, which fights childhood hunger in the US. Followers used hashtags and retweets to help the campaign go viral.

ON MOBILE …

Finally. After iPhone’s 2 ½ years unchallenged at the top of the market, here comes a competitor to make Apple twitchy. Buzz is getting busy around Motorola’s Droid – here’s a peak at the latest of its super-stylish (if slightly baffling) commercials.

VIRTUAL AND GAMES …

Linden
Lab announced its Q3 figures this week – with user-to-user transactions
jumping 54% year-on-year, to $150 million. Total user hours, however,
rose by a meagre 13% year-on-year, which Linden ascribed to the
introduction of their bot-banning policy. Monthly repeat logins for
September 2009 peaked at 750,446 – a 23% increase year-on-year.

Bebo launched its Social Games Experience
ecosystem this week. The site section includes developer tools and
games, fronted by the Games Homepage, which allows users to access
social games apps and communicate around them.

The Chinese authorities have told NetEase, which operates World of Warcraft in China, that the game is in “gross violation” of Chinese regulations and that they must stop new account registration immediately.

Kzero have updated their very useful Brands in Virtual Worlds
slideshare – it now includes campaigns from Hush Puppies, NBA, and
Skittles amongst many others – and you can give it a quick once over
here.

THINKING …

If, in this light news week, you found yourself with a spare two minutes, you could do much worse than cast your eye over David Armano’s sharp assessment of where social media might lead us in 2010.