Tag Archives: social networks

Adobe fight myths with metrics in Marketing Cloud

Man wired up to Adobe's 'BS' detector to separate myths from metrics

This post is provided by our partner Adobe

In their continuing fight to ride the wave of emerging technology and tame the data collected from social media, marketers have a new suite of tools to arm their brands with.

Focused on metrics, not myths, Adobe’s Marketing Cloud helps marketers turn their data into insight and actions quicker, providing a single service that pulls together data from social interactions and targeted advertising to help marketers get ahead. Read More »

The Social Media Overkill!

I don’t know how many more times I can answer the same question from people. It usually goes something like this;

Social media wannabe: “Hey, are you on Pinterest yet?”

Me: “No! go away!”

I know this sounds harsh, but it’s simply a fair representation of the conversations I’ve been having too much recently. I think it was less than a week after Pinterest became “mainstream” when the questions were being asked about why I (or my company) weren’t on the platform yet. As if we’re missing out big time. We’re losing the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s now or never!!!!!

Read More »

Are your customers Pinterested?

I’m going to try and not let this post fall into the trap of Pinterest-bashing as seems to be increasingly easy to do so these days. The inevitable backlash from Pinterest being the cool new kid on the block is in full swing, and for all the fawning, doe-eyed ‘Pinthusiasts’ clamoring to praise the site, and all the marketers running round like headless chickens trying to discover how best to use it for selling stuff, there’s the growing band of dissenters taking the contrary opinion. Read More »

The week in Search… Plus Your World

Google has started the year by encouraging us to take more notice of our friends while simultaneously upsetting some of its other <cough> ‘friends’.

The launch of Search Plus Your World on Tuesday makes sense of some of the moves we’ve seen over the past few months, notably the creation of the Google+ network and encrypted search via SSL connections. Read More »

Google’s What Do You Love highlights its products – and a gaping hole

What Do You Love: Google wants to know

Google has quietly launched a new website called What Do You Love, highlighting the many, many products it offers (and, inadvertently, the ones it doesn’t).

What Do You Love has the familiar clean look of Google’s very first product, the Google search engine.

Read More »

Tipping the backlash: The Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator

Whatever you do folks don’t hack off the internet. Look at the the backlash that came Malcolm Gladwell’s way following his New Yorker piece on why “the revolution will not be tweeted”, which was dismissive of effect that social media can have on protest movements such as those recently seen in Egypt and Tunisia.

Now some talented wags, Cory Bortnicker and Brett Molé,  have come up with  another way to hit back at the author of books such as the The Tipping Point and Outliers, with the Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator. Read More »

New Facebook film not to be promoted on Facebook

In  ironic but sadly unsurprising news Boom Town have confirmation from Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group that Facebook will not be used to promote David Fincher’s new film The Social Network that depicts the early days of, you guessed it, Facebook. Read More »

eModeration Social Media Round-Up #41

Welcome to eModeration’s round-up of all that is intriguing, alarming
or odd in the world of social media, compiled by Kate Williams. For
more social media snippets, follow @emodkate – or for general twittery,
@KateVWilliams.

This week (a little bleary-eyed): The Social Election; Facebook’s fork
in the road; and Apple redux.

THE HEADLINES …
ON FACEBOOK…
THE LOWDOWN …
APPLE
JUICE …
NEWSBYTES…

THE HEADLINES …

After the most closely-fought (and poorly-predicted) election since
1992, we Brits awoke today to a New Dawn. No, strike that – a Dawn of
Chaos, Confusion and Disarray.

It has, I’m sure you’ll agree, been a night – indeed a campaign – of delirious highs,
and pendulous
lows
.

In the course of the country’s
first social
media election
, The
Worm
took its place beside the fabled Swingometer in political
lore, and social media was monitored to within an
inch of its life
for clues to the nation’s intentions. There was rolling
sentiment analysis
, streaming debate, and of course, obsessive
tweeting
– as well as that rather awkward moment of electile
dysfunction when Labour’s Twitter Tsar Kerry McCarthy peaked
too early
, and revealed the results of postal voting before she
should have.

Two of the three main parties launched last-minute social efforts,
hoping to sway the many voters who dithered till the bitter end. The
Conservative Party booked a well-padded
takeover
of YouTube’s homepage
, where users were treated to the
party’s final election broadcast, ‘A Contract between the Conservative
Party and you’, for the duration of the Big Day.

Labour, meanwhile, targeted its core supporters with a Facebook
viral
– a smart rebuttal of Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ idea – in
which an exhausted mother of the future revealed what life might be like
if individuals became providers of vital public services. In the final
frames, the mother berates a friend on the phone, for causing the chaos
by not voting Labour – and the friend’s name appears, through some
cunning Facebook trickery, to be that of the viewer themselves. Clever
– but not clever enough, it appears, to swing it for Labour.

And what of Mumsnet – the parenting website whose users were so eagerly
courted by the three party leaders that this became known as the Mumsnet
Election
? Well, until Monday, when Gordon Brown stopped by for a
quick chockie-bickie and a last-minute
webchat
, the site had been firmly Cleggist; a poll conducted
immediately after the final Leader’s Debate gave the LibDems an enormous
42.5% of their vote. Meantime, Facebook had predicted remarkably
similarly: a poll of 463,000 users gave Nick Clegg a mammoth, but –
as it turns out – wildly
unrepresentative
42%
of the vote.

On Election night, Twitter’s function as the new
town square
was firmly established, as socialites of
every hue
settled in for a night of outraged tweeting and the
neurotic analysis of exit-polls – activities which continued through the
early hours and into the new day.

Now, of course, it is over; Britain has, for now, a hung parliament.
Whether this is a moment for peals of gay hilarity, hiccups of
bewildered apprehension, or tears of bitter recrimination and regret
will depend on the particular cut of your political jib. Either way, it
has been a night to remember.

If you are still awake, and inexplicably keen to review the month’s
electoral events in even greater detail, BrandRepublic anatomises the
iconography of #GE2010, here.

ON FACEBOOK …

It’s quite possible that Facebook’s PR dept are reduced to biting each
other’s nails, their own being already gnawed to the quick, and beyond.
This week the site was forced to suspend
Facebook Chat
for several hours, after it became clear that,
with a bit of not-particularly-sophisticated manipulation, users could
see the pending friend-requests of each of their connections, as well as
– gulp – their private
chat messages
. Once again, the social behemoth’s privacy policies
were brought into painfully sharp focus, and once again, CEO Mark
Zuckerberg’s breezy assertion that privacy is no
longer a social norm
hung awkwardly in the air.

In case you’ve been very determinedly Not Paying Attention, Facebook’s
latest raft of changes mean that users’ digital identities now follow
them around the web
, like a floating
tail of bathroom tissue
accidentally caught in their trousers. When
a user clicks the new ‘like’ button on a third-party web page, that
third party can access the user’s list of Facebook friends, favourite
activities and other content which the user has previously shared.
Meanwhile, data about each individual’s home town, education and hobbies
is linked to community pages on those topics.

Publishers are understandably
delighted
. Within a week of its launch, 50,000 websites had
clutched the ‘like’ button to their collective bosom
, and
Zuckerberg’s plucky prediction that he’d serve a
billion of them
within the first 24 hours was quickly realised.

But the modifications have brought the site under the increasingly beady
scrutiny of privacy campaigners.

And, as ReadWriteWeb
points out
, the tactics which the ‘Book have used to encourage
users to opt-in have verged upon the thumb-crushing: as well as making
it the whole process predictably serpentine – thus discouraging
individuals from getting to grips with their settings – users who
refuse to allow their info to be linked to Community pages find that
their profile page is suddenly, and alarmingly, blank.

Last week Four US senators wrote
personally
to Zuckerberg
, and they were rather grumpy, to put
it mildly, about recent developments. Yesterday, a gaggle of 15
consumer groups filed
a complaint
against Facebook
with the Federal Trade
Commission, alleging that the recent changes “violate user expectations,
diminish user privacy, and contradict Facebook’s own representations.”

Regardless of whether these
particular complaints come to much, it seems incontrovertible that
Facebook – and by default, the rest of us – have hit a fork in the road;
and that an increasingly bright spotlight on privacy can be expected
from both users and regulators.
It may be well to bear in
mind that Facebook has mis-stepped on privacy before
(Beacon
anyone?) with memorably disastrous results for
all concerned
; and while another error of that magnitude is
unlikely, anxious brands might appreciate the strategic
bullet points
offered by Augie Ray on Forrester’s blog, here.

Meanwhile, if you’re anxious to know which slippery snippets of your
personal info Facebook is enthusiastically scattering across the web
,
this
simple tool
may prove enlightening.

THE LOWDOWN …

The amount of digital data in the world is currently equivalent to that
which would be generated if everyone in the world tweeted constantly for
a century – indeed is expanding so rapidly that a new unit of data
measurement has had to be invented. A warm welcome, then, to the Zettabyte:
you are worth a staggering 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual
bytes
, and though your name most closely resembles that of a
mid-range fast-food chain, I don’t doubt you will become a familiar
friend in the coming decade – during which the digital universe is
predicted to expand by a factor of 44.

Cupidtino is a dating
site for Apple fans
, whom, the
site says
, frequently share personality traits, professions,
aesthetics and love of technology – more than “enough reasons for two
people to meet and fall in love”. At first glance, this all seems rather
touching. Then comes the dawning realisation that the resulting progeny
will share a double genetic payload of pickiness, and that indefinable
air of smugness. Best hope it doesn’t catch on.

It need hardly be said that in the matter of child-rearing, Discipline
and Drudgery are my watchwords. No sentimentalist, I – though I confess I
swallowed hard at Boeing’s
response
to the plane-obsessed 8 year-old
who sent them a
design for a fantastical fire-fighting plane: “We do not accept
unsolicited ideas. Experience showed that most ideas had already been
considered by our engineers and that there can be unintended
consequences to simply accepting these ideas. The time, cost and risk
involved in processing them, therefore, were not justified by the
benefits gained.” Harsh, chaps, harsh.

Do you shy away from bluntness? Too busy avoiding offence to fully grasp
the rungs of the ladder of success? Don’t despair – those innovators at
GeekCulture have launched the Steve
Jobs Email Generator
, guaranteed to have you firing off curt
responses like the Master – or your money back.

According to the
Telegraph
, women are blaming smartphones and other ‘modern’
gadgets for their husbands’ apathy towards conjugal relations. With
uncharacteristic candour, that most respectable organ reports that
‘hand-held devices [are] particularly to blame.”

Meanwhile, another poll reveals that the under-25s are keen
multi-taskers in the boudoir
– 10% of them think it’s quite the
thing to text during, erm, intimacy. As Mashable so
aptly puts it
, there’s never been a better time to worry about the
future of civilization.

‘Controversial’ Venezuelan presidente Hugo
Chavez has joined Twitter
, to muffled sniggers from the
international press, where he is widely held to be the most verbose of
global leaders. So far, @chavezcandanga is managing the 140 character
restriction – although his tweet-per-day rate is accelerating at a
rather ominous pace: this is, after all, the man whose weekly improvised
TV broadcast regularly exceeds seven hours.

Some readers may find this next report disturbing: new app In 20
Years
reveals
how you will look in – um – twenty years.
Please: Think Before You Click.

APPLE JUICE …

Gawd, these Apple scandals do drag on a bit, don’t they? This week, we
will attempt to buck the tide by presenting you with a handy redux of the
week’s developments in Apple’s lost-iPhone saga
, consisting almost
entirely of links which will lead you, if you care to follow them, to
reams of additional info.

California’s Rapid
Enforcement Allied Computer Team
raided the
home of Jason Chen
, the Gizmodo editor who
apparently bought the ‘lost’ iPhone
. Gizmodo owners Gawker Media threatened a
law suit
, claiming that the
raid was illegal
under laws
which shield journalists
from revealing their sources; Time
magazine poo-pooed the claim, arguing that the public
interest had not been served
by the theft – and Chen covered
his bases
by hiring a criminal defence lawyer. Meanwhile, Wired
announced that they had tracked
down the culprit
, who turned out to be a nice
college boy
who did volunteer
work
in his spare time, and was really
very sorry
for all the trouble he’d caused.

I believe that about covers it.

In other Apple news, there has this week been much back, and not a
little forth, between Steve
Jobs
and Adobe CEO Shantanu
Narayen
, who have been tussling over whose fault it is that Adobe
crashes Apple’s OS
. Now – following a complaint by Adobe – it
looks possible that the Federal Trade Commission will be weighing in,
with a formal
investigation
into whether Apple’s Adobe ban for app developers
is anticompetitive.

The iPad’s sales stats are, if not quite vertical, then listing only
slightly:
1m iPads have been sold since its launch on 3 April - easily outpacing
the iPhone
, which took what now feels like a tortoise-like 74 days
to reach that number. Now, all eyes are on the iPad 3G, an
estimated 300,000 of which flew
out
during last weekend’s launch.

If you are not only unconvinced by the iPad. but actively ill-disposed
towards it, you will enjoy the following experiments, in which various
individuals – who perhaps define the thematically-linked expressions “more money than
sense
”, and “too much time on their hands” – put their idle musings
on the robustness of Apple’s wundertablet to the test.

NEWSBYTES …

35% of British children – that’s over 4 million – still don’t
have easy access
to the internet,
meaning that they’re unable
to complete some of their homework, or access the social world of their
peers, a new report by Point Topic has found.

US Senators have urged Congress to review whether America’s privacy
law
is sufficiently
robust
to protect children from unscrupulous online marketers. The
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) currently requires that
sites get parental approval before they gather info on under-13s – but some
senators are demanding that the age limit be raised to 18
, and that
its remit be immediately extended to include geo-location data.

Meanwhile, the head teacher of a
New Jersey secondary school has called for parents to enforce
a ban
on social networks,
which he says are nothing more than a
platform for cyber-bullying. The school’s guidance counsellor claims
that 75% of her work now involves dealing with social network-related
worries.

Finally, 48%
of parents
add their children as friends on Facebook
– news
which, with luck, will be just the spur youngsters need to get to grips
with the social network’s byzantine privacy settings. Those same parents
might want to check if their offspring are signed up with Formspring.me,
the wildly popular new site where
users invite friends and strangers to ask them a question
– any
question. Plenty of opportunities to stalk their offspring there.

A gruff Rupert Murdoch admitted that ‘big
mistakes
’ had been made with MySpace,
in an earnings call which
revealed yet another consecutive quarter of escalating losses. And
it’s time to gen up on Murdoch’s much-vaunted plan to gather other
media companies behind
a group paywall
– we’ve been told to expect an announcement in
‘three to four weeks’.

YouTube has announced plans for a self-service
rental platform
,
through which moviemakers will be able to
upload and rent out their own streaming content, according to MediaPost.
But will anyone watch? asks VentureBeat,
nodding to YouTube’s dismal rental stats.

Google is breathing down Amazon’s neck, announcing
plans
to turn Google Editions into a vendor of digital books.
It’s also invested $38.8m in two North
Dakota windfarms
: always good to have a plan B, in case this
internet thingy doesn’t quite pan out.


That’s all folks!

eModeration’s Social Media Round-Up #40

Welcome
to eModeration’s round-up of all that is intriguing, alarming or odd in
the world of social media, compiled by Kate Williams. For more social
media snippets, follow @emodkate – or for general twittery,
@KateVWilliams.

This week (a little later than usual, due to an unpleasant encounter
with The Lurgy): is Facebook sucking out our brains?; Google fumbles
‘evil’; and more Apple fun.

The social world is still blinking anxiously as it attempts to digest
the full import of Facebook‘s recent announcements at F8 (the
annual, erm, FaceFest, during which the ‘Book traditionally tells
mortals what to expect during the coming year.)

What it all boils down to is
this: Facebook, within an unspecified period of time, will be
transitioning from being an element
of the web – albeit one with a fair amount of heft and a considerable
social girth – to actually, like, being
the web.

I know. There is so very much
to think about there that we thought the subject deserved a blog post
of its own
– so if you wish to scare yourself silly reading about
the new, Matrix-like Facebook,read it here, for a digest of what, at times, has been
the rather indigestable coverage.

Talking of evil (and we might have been) – here is Google -
the original ‘do no evil’ guys – following up their phased
withdrawal from China
by posting
what it called a ‘refresher’ to its censorship policies. The global
searchmeisters are simultaneously launching what they call a Government
Requests Tool
, which will allow anyone to discover the extent to
which governments are using their legal systems to ask about their
citizens’ web activity
,
or to censor content legally
available elsewhere
(Britain, by the way, ranks
third
– only Brazil and the US were more active).

It’s all very admirable: it stakes out Google’s position on the human
rights ma
p, and goes some way to answering those critics who
accused it of inconsistency in singling out China, in a fit of
libertarian evangelism.

Rather awkwardly, however, the announcement was made in the same week
that a group of 10 nations wrote an
open letter
to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, expressing their serious
concerns about the company’s attitude to individuals’ rights to privacy
– most notably the “disappointing disregard for fundamental privacy
norms and laws” displayed during the rollout of Google Buzz.

Google Street View also came in for sustained criticism from
the privacy tsars
– and then came under further fire from Germany’s
Federal Commissioner for Data Protection, who professed himself ‘appalled
and horrified
’ to discover that the Street View car is scanning
private wireless networks and unique Mac (Media Access Control)
addresses
, as it wends its merry way through Germany’s bergs. The
commissioner calls this ‘unlawfully collected personal data’ and urges
Google to delete it immediately.

This evil thing? It’s tricky, darnit.

APPLE JUICE …

For a famously controlling and security-conscious company to
lose one next-gen prototype devi
ce may be considered a misfortune.
To lose two
– well, you can probably see where I’m going with
this.

Astonishingly, what appeared to be two iPod touch prototypes – fully camera’d-up, Touch-fans
popped up on eBay at the end of last week, and were spotted by
and eagle-eyed 9to5Mac just before the auction was taken down.

Could be a hoax, for sure, but the pre-existence of an Apple patent
for an iPod Touch with camera
– plus the fact that the latest Touch
3G was found to contain an
empty space for a camera
– would suggest that Apple
really IS that careless
.

Meanwhile, hapless Apple engineer Gray Powell, who lost the iPhone
prototype in a Bavarian-themed bar, has been contacted by those
wags at Lufthansa
: they wrote offering him a free business-class
round-trip to Munich for an authentic Bier Keller experience – an offer
which we sincerely hope he doesn’t have the unexpected leisure to pursue
any time soon. Gray’s father told CNET that his son was ‘devastated’
by his mistake; it’s profoundly to be hoped that the fact that the poor
guy’s name is now in the public domain will protect him from a
precipitous P45.

And what of Gizmodo, the site which paid
$5000 for the ‘lost’ iPhone HD, and garnered publicity at least twenty
times that value in return, in the form of an extra
3.6 million eyeballs
? Well, the New
York Times
says California authorities are weighing up whether or
not to slam a felony charge on Nick Denton, boss of Gizmodo’s parent
company Gawker Media – and it now emerges that on Friday, officers from
California’s Rapid
Enforcement Allied Computer Team
raided the house of Gizmodo editor
Jason Chen and sequestered computer equipment.

DailyFinance.com urges Apple to
launch a suit – according to them, the company has a super-tight civil
case that Gawker pilfered their trade secrets, inflicting
millions of dollars-worth of damage. And, with Apple’s Q2 figures revealing that
8.75 million iPhones were sold last quarter, it’s a fair bet they’ll be
taking that advice pretty seriously.

The whole sorry episode has had the unintended side-effect of shining a
very bright spotlight on Apple’s legendary secrecy, and the
ethics behind it. Apple thus far has kept an adamantine grip on its new
products, and vigorously pursued a strategy of strict control over
which members of the tech press are allowed advance access to them. And
– as Gizmodo say in
their own defence
– ‘it’s impossible to argue that “access
journalism” has anything but a deleterious effect on the objectivity of
journalists.’

Sounds like it really is all
over between Adobe and Apple
– in the tech equivalent of ‘collecting
their stuff’, Adobe have announced their intention to halt
development of their Flash-to-iPhone converter
, and are calling on
their community of app developers to concentrate entirely on Android
devices from now on.

Meanwhile, in the continuing saga of AppleStore’s rejection of ‘adult’
apps, CEO Steve Jobs has fired off another of the quickfire
emails he’s lately been so fond of sending to correspondents. “We do
believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone,”
he
told one
. “Folks who want porn can buy and [sic] Android phone.“

The AppStore’s decision-making process recently came under
scrutiny when it emerged that an app by a Pullitzer-Prize winning
cartoonist had been rejected
by the increasingly capricious tech
giant – on the very
questionable grounds that it contained “content that ridicules public
figures.” In another
of those emails
, Jobs was forced to acknowledge that the rejection
had been a mistake – the app was subsequently accepted.


Anonymous reviews seem consistently to be in the news – and the Guardian
reports on a rather astonishing
literary whodunit
within the notoriously back-stabby academic
community. Historian Dr Rachel Polonsky noticed that an
anonymous commenter on Amazon had slated her recent book
– and that
other leading academics had suffered similar attacks. One of the
pseudonyms of the spiteful critic – orlando-birkbeck – led (perhaps
inevitably) to the door of Prof Orlando Figes, 50, a historian at
Birkbeck College, who responded with legal threats to both his
colleagues and the media. In a surprise twist, the professor’s
barrister wife at first came tearfully forwards to claim responsibility;
thence to the final denouement, in which the Professor did the manly
thing and acknowledged that the poison-pen writer was, in fact,
himself.

Ach, what would we have done without that most
enjoyable YouTube memes of the last year – the
re-subtitling of the film ‘Downfall’, which depicts
Hitler’s desperate final hours, so that the Fuhrer appears to be having a
hissy-fit about any old tripe. Now, though, the film’s grumpy
producers are using YouTube’s Content ID system, which permits a
copyright owner to immediately
disable
any video that contains its copyrighted content, to remove
them all
! Interestingly, YouTube
is advising
that the parodists claim ‘fair use’, which would
immediately restore the videos and force the film’s producers to issue
an official DMCA takedown notice. With delightful predictability, some
wag has uploaded a Downfall parody
about the parody
controversy. So clever,
these postmodernists.

Twitterista’s
are constitutionally
disinclined
to trust the mainstream media, a fact confirmed last
week by the trending hashtag #nickcleggsfault, which predicted that a
panicked right-wing press would try to smear LibDem leader Nick Clegg,
following his surge in the polls. 
By midday on Wednesday it was the
second most-tweeted hashtag on Twitter, with ‘fake tan went wrong –
#nickcleggsfault’ and ‘dinosaurs extinct – #nickcleggsfault’ among the
sniggeriest – along with the inevitable ‘lost 4th-gen iPhone prototype -
#nickcleggsfault’.

And, in further weighty political news, ‘Poor’ George Osborne
or rather, the hair of the same – became a trending topic this week: his
new brilliantined and Bunteresque ‘Do was the subject of much mockery
during the Chancellors’
Debate
. The Shadow Chancellor’s decision to risk a ‘Lord Snooty’
was all the more puzzling since – as the
Guardian
pointed out – it ‘can only add to the vague but
unshakeable sense of a man who has just had his jacket buttoned up by
his nanny.’

A month or so ago, Marmite launched a rather smart
social media campaign which pitted the imaginary Marmitophile Love
party against the Marmite-loathing
Hate party
. The leader of the Hate party was oleaginous and a bit
thick – though I’m sure this had nothing to do with BNP leader Nick
Griffin’s conclusion that he was being parodied.
Aaanyways, in a
revenge which can reasonably be described as ‘spectacularly childish’, a
floating Marmite jar was superimposed upon the BNP’s recent party
political broadcast
, causing Unilever to initiate
injunction proceedings
in order to protect the integrity of their
brand.

The Round-up was rather purse-lipped about the freak-show frisson which
accompanied Susan
Boyle
’s sudden elevation – we felt that it reflected rather
poorly on our national culture. But it seems that a model has been
established, without which popular culture will grind to a halt. We
therefore present to you the dual viral delights of portly Lin Yu Chun
from Taiwan, who turns out to have a rather sweet voice, and who here
duets Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with William
Shatner
.

See, this is the kind of grit
and vigour
which you’d expect from an alliance between doughty
Britain and perseverant Australia. Brit Sean Murtagh and Aussie Natalie
Mead were unable to get back to the UK in time for their own wedding –
but were not ones to let the small matter of a volcanic eruption disrupt
their nuptuals. They invited their fellow stranded passengers to join
them in celebrating their wedding at Dubai’s airport, while their
official guests, assembled in the UK, watched the romantic union via
Skype
. Tears? Good lord no – just a little ash in my eye, is all.

In related volcanic news: few would deny that here’s been a bit of
argy-bargy about the iPad’s usefulness, but no-one
has thus far suggested that ‘government of medium-sized Scandiwegian
country
’ should be amongst
its functionalities
. Nevertheless, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens
Stoltenberg, who was grounded last week by that pesky Icelandic
eruption, was reported by his press secretary to be “running the
Norwegian government from the United States via his new iPad
.”


Still unconvinced that the iPad is a Good Thing? Gah – the global
supply of kitten/toddler/iPad interaction videos is running dry! Will
this great-grandma-gets-an-iPad
video
do instead?

Apparently there are now 8.6 million robots in the world — or, as
IEEE.org
reports
, more than one automaton for every person in Austria. As a
contextualising device, I confess that leaves me none the wiser – you?

New documents filed in a suit against Pennsylvania’s Lower Merrion
School District allege that cameras embedded in school laptops
took ‘thousands’
of unauthorized images
of their pupils in their own homes. One
student says that his laptop took photos of him as he slept – and
according to court papers, one staff member described the images as a
window “into a little LMSD soap opera.”

More teens are texting, and they’re texting more often: new
research from Pew
reports that 54% of American teenagers send
daily texts, up from 38% 18 months before. 72% of them text regularly
overall.

Meanwhile, a new study reveals that younger users care very much
about online
privacy
;
quite as much as we Oldies. Overall, 88% of us have
withheld information from business due to privacy concerns, with a
comparable figure of 82% for young adults. 84% of them feel that
permission should be gained from the subjects of a video or photo,
before it’s posted online – only 2% lower than the overall figure. And –
most pertinently for Facebook and other companies who have recently
been trumpeting the ‘end of privacy’ – 40% of 18-24s believe execs
should face prison for their company’s illegal use of personal info –
exactly matching the figure for 35-to-44-year-olds.

Microsoft
have been accused of encouraging
sexting
with a promo video for its Kin phones – pitched as
social devices allowing easy sharing of content with friends – which
shows a teenage boy sending a photo of his bare torso to a female
friend. Critics say that the company is aiming the devices at 13-18
year olds
– and recent research found that one in four in this age
group have admitted sending explicit images to their friends.

The Telegraph reports that Microsoft is under further fire,
following accusations that a Chinese factory which makes Xbox
components is using
teenagers as slave labour
. They quote an investigation by the
US’s National Labour Committee, which found that the factory was paying
its young workers as little as 37p per hour for 15-hour shifts in
desperately crowded workshops. One space, measuring 105ft by 105ft,
contained nearly a thousand teenagers working in 86 degree heat -
the factory is alleged to have turned on the air-conditioning only when
foreign clients were visiting.

A new virus has infected the PCs of thousands of Japanese users
who have illegally downloaded sexually-explicit hentai, according to
the BBC
. The malware takes a screenshot of the victim’s web history
and publishes it – before demanding a £10 fee to ‘settle your violation
of copyright law’ and remove the user’s surfing history.

The Conservative
Party
has weighed in on the current controversy surrounding Facebook’s
refusal to install a ‘panic button’
, which would connect young
users directly to the police if they felt at threat from paedophiles.
The party is threatening
to remove
their advertising
unless Facebook reconsiders – but
critics accuse the Tories of electioneering, pointing out that Facebook,
which is on-track
to make $1.1 Billion
in 2010, is unlikely to be overly-worried by
their threats.

Rolling Stone
magazine
has announced that it will be erecting a
Glasto-style paywall
around all content beyond its homepage.
The iconic muso-mag will tax readers $3.95 for a month’s pass, or
$29.99 for an annual subscription. Elsewhere, Reuters announced that it
too is eyeing a limit to Free, and perhaps plans
to charge
for “niche, high-value content”, according to Brand
Republic.

The Wall Street Journal has joined the New York Times in cuddling
up to Foursquare
: it’s now providing them with editorial
snippets and restaurant reviews, as well as three new badges, each of
which come with a specific New York Challenge.

It was perhaps inevitable that News Corp would throw its hat into
the social gaming ring, and last week it planted
its flag
with the acquisition of social game developer Irata
Labs
. It seems there are no plans to fold the company into
MySpace
– it will be grown as a standalone, to be put to work with
NewsCorp properties as required.

Meanwhile the L.A.Times reports that Hulu, the video-site
part-owned by NewsCorp, might be launching its subscription model
at $9.95
a month
. But at least one
commentator
has noted that the figure might not be quite the ticket
– being both too much for the average consumer to stomach for free TV,
and too little to make much of a dent in Hulu’s operating costs.

New research by moneysupermarket.com suggests that superfast
broadband will actively encourage
users to illegally download
copyrighted content
. Already,
nearly a fifth of internet users admit to doing so – and 35% will be
more inclined to, once superfast broadband is rolled out.

Yahoo
has splashed out on the Montenegran Me.me domain name for its
micro-blogging site Meme, calling the purchase “an essential
component of our online branding strategy
.” Commentators
predict
that a wider roll-out of the surprisingly underpublicized
Twitter rival is in the pipeline; Search
Engine Journal
further notes that Yahoo’s fortunes appear to have
turned. Citing improved ad spend and increased earnings in Q1 2010, the
journal wonders what else the company might have up its sleeve.

New
research
finds that a vast 6.8% of all the URLs accessed by
businesses belong to Facebook
, with 10% of businesses’ bandwidth
eaten up by YouTube
. “IT managers are right to be concerned about
the amount of social network use at work,” says Network Box’s Simon
Heron. Well, quite.

Meanwhile, Facebook is responsible for
nearly 50%
of global hits to websites from social media
, with Twitter
punching above its weight in generating nearly one in ten. StumbledUpon
sits in between, with just under 25%, according to StatCounter.

In the States, 145 million Internet users access social web
applications
, between them generating nearly 500
billion impressions
on each other. A new report by Forrester also
finds that a mahoosive 80% of those impressions are generated by 16% of
web users – and more than 60% of them come via Facebook.

And a new
report predicts
that nearly half of global mobile users will be
using their devices to pay for both digital and physical goods by 2014.

Finally, ad
budgets are on the rise
for the first time in ten consecutive
quarters, according to the latest Bellwether report.


Supermarket giant Asda, who recently signed up to Mumsnet’s
Let Girls Be Girls campaign, has consulted
Mumsnet users
about whether one of their products was against
the spirit of the campaign, which calls on retailers not to sell
products which prematurely sexualise children
.

As part of their
Live Positively
campaign, Coca-Cola is teaming up with the
charity Ocean Conservancy
to encourage their fans to ‘oceanize’
their Facebook profile image into a playful underwater photo.

And the brand has also kicked
off
its World Cup celebration campaign with an ad which
stars former Cameroon star Roger Milla, famous for celebrating a goal
during Italy’s ’90 World Cup with enthusiastic on-pitch dancing. The
ads direct users to the brand’s YouTube channel, where they’re urged to
upload their own celebratory videos.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo and Microsoft’s World Cup campaign
features Lionel Messi and Frank Lampard, and an interactive game
called Football
Hero
in which users can earn personalised video content, to be
distributed via their social media profiles.

Tesco
has launched its Race
For Life social networking site
– the brand’s first. It gives
those brave souls who are participating in Cancer Research UK’s annual
fund-raising run a dedicated space to share their experiences with their
fellow-runners.

Shreddies
is crowdsourcing their
latest campaign
– they need to find a new Knitting Nana to
be the face of their brand. Meanwhile, Unilever is asking the public to
create ads
for some of its best-known brands, including Lynx, Ben
& Jerry’s, Dove and Vaseline.

Finally, Scholastic,
publishers of Horrible
Histories
– the gruesome reading-matter of choice for
under-12s everywhere – are working with our social media agency partners
YoMego to build a
dedicated virtual world to support their range of titles, due to go live
in June 2011.

That’s
all folks!


 

eModeration’s Social Round-up #37

 Welcome
to eModeration’s round-up of all that is intriguing, alarming or odd in
the world of social media, compiled by Kate Williams. For more social
media snippets, follow her on @emodkate – or for general twittery,
@KateVWilliams. 

This
week: This week: judges can Google; the Conservative’s Great Social
Media Adventure; and marketing on Chatroulette… in Lycra. Plus: we’d
still love your feedback on these updates: tweet Yay! or Boo! to
@emodkate. It’ll take ten seconds, promise.
 

THE HEADLINES …

So: after months of tossing and turning; of agonized grimaces and broken
nights, Google has finally pulled the tooth that was ailing it, and quit
China
: an April 10 pullout is mooted. In an effort to continue
offering uncensored results to its Chinese users (and not at all to
cling on to the revenue potential attached to 800 million Chinese
internet users – don’t be ridiculous), Google began redirecting
users
to their uncensored Hong Kong site, announcing that they’d be
‘carefully monitoring access issues’.

Sure enough, the Chinese government began
disabling
certain search results, and China’s national mobile
provider dropped
Google
as its default search engine. Chinese netizens found
themselves back where they first began: censored. But to be perfectly
frank, they don’t seem all
that fussed
. China’s increasingly affluent middle class have, till
now, been avid Googlers; but even amongst this key constituency there
was little sympathy for Google’s position, with many, according to the
Telegraph, feeling that the company had been disrespectful of local
mores, a feeling even
more pronounced
amongst ‘mainstream’ Chinese. So when, for a short
while on Tuesday morning, Google’s corporate pages were displayed in
Chinese, many
cried ‘hack’
– despite Google’s protestations.

Meanwhile, Dell and Go Daddy want to join the
Leavin’ Train
, with the latter telling a US Congress committee
hearing that the company no longer had the stomach for
domain-registrations in China, where new regulations now demand photo ID
from anyone registering a .cn domain.

But Westside, Google’s self-penned profile as ‘stout defender of
internet freedoms’ is increasingly under scrutiny. Co-founder Sergey
Brin’s Guardian interview, in which he positioned Google as Poster Corp.
for digital liberation whilst berating Microsoft for working within
China’s rules, got backs
a-bristling
: several commentators pointed out that this was
Google’s own strategy until – ooh, three months ago?

Fred Teng in the
Huffington Post
, meanwhile, calls for tolerance for China, whose
journey from feudal island to globally-connected digital nation has, he
points out, been laudably swift.

There’s not many matters in this world upon which we can all agree – but
the proposition ‘Nestle’s week has been a bit …meh’ might, I suspect,
be
one of them
. Item: their Facebook page was targeted by Greenpeace.
Item: their response went from ‘placatory’ to ‘I’m deleting yo’
account’, then dashed back to ‘I never meant to hurt you’ – in what felt
like moments
, with bystanders gazing on in open-mouthed horror. At
the time of going to press, Nestle’s Facebook page was best described as
a
sit-in
– and this painful episode can’t fail to spotlight the huge
variation in the quality of brands’ moderation policies. Jake McKee has
some useful thoughts here
– upon which we were delighted to comment.

Brace yourselves – Facebook’s latest
privacy battle
could have huge implications for all UGC platforms,
potentially shifting the responsibility for protecting personal privacy
away from users, and onto social networks. European regulators are
investigating whether the privacy of people whose photos and videos are
posted on social networks is being habitually breached.

There’s been a deal of huffing
and puffing
about the upcoming ‘Social Media Election’, with BBC
journalists
explaining Twitter to social slowpokes, and expounding
on how both parties are utilizing it to sway voters. Facebook launched a
new page called Democracy
UK
, where its posting news of a political nature for all and
sundry to comment upon);
ITN hosted live
online debate
during their budget special; and new
tools for tracking party-political
sentiment
– like Yomego‘s,
pictured here – are being launched Left, Right and Centre.

The Tories were first out of the gate: it emerged
that they were outpacing Labour on Facebook by a ‘connection’ ratio
of two to one
. Alas, their social success went straight to their
heads and, minded to build upon their initial victory, they launched a rather
snazzy Facebook campaign
which incorporated a Twitter feed of the
hashtag #cashgordon. Alas, opponents discovered that the feed was entirely
unmoderated
, and took the opportunity to bombard the site with an
awful lot of – how to put it? – brand-negative comments. Worse still,
they discovered that the site didn’t strip html, allowing those
less-than-positive reviews to really, you know, shine
out
. The website was removed later that day.

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown has described ‘superfast’
broadband
as the “electricity of the digital age”. Outlining
Labour’s plans, he promised ziptastic speeds for every citizen, as well
as a webpage through which to manage their interactions with local
government – a proposal which, according to the government, could slash
billions from the public service budget, and generate a quarter of a
million jobs. 

Best not to mention, then, the ongoing
brouhaha
over the government’s plans for our digital future which,
it must be said, are not meeting with unqualified support.  

THE LOWDOWN … 

Following a tip-off from the FBI, French police
arrested the man responsible for hacking Barack
Obama’s Twitter account
late last year – then released him, after
he claimed that, far from being a master-criminal, he’d simply guessed the
President’s password
(His birthday? “ThePrezz”? or [gulp].. “password?”). All rather embarrassing
for the man they’re calling the first president of the digital age. 

Then, in an intriguing instance of plot-thickening, ReadWriteWeb
revealed
unconfirmed reports that the hacker was the very same
bounder who leaked Twitter’s confidential business plans to TechCrunch,
who chose to publish them, despite a flurry of controversy. 

Truth is, there’s not much in digital life that can
truthfully be called ‘secure’ – this was the takeaway from the annual
Pwn2Own contest
at the CanSecWest security show, which challenges
hackers (sorry, ‘security experts’) to break into a roster of everyday
devices and software. This year, the scallywags succeeded in hacking
into nearly every major browser (Safari, Firefox and IE8), as well as
stealing the entire SMS database of a non-jailbroken iPhone.


Eew. Director of Public Health Peter Kelly this
week claimed that the rise of social networking has produced an
alarming spike
in reported cases of syphilis. Sites like Facebook,
he said, were “making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex,”
and several of the syphilis cases he’d seen “had met sexual partners
through these sites.” Facebook, understandably keen to quash the ‘ridiculous’
idea
, pointed out that correlation is not quite the same as causation. Nevertheless – yikes. 

Ah, hindsight is always 20:20; foresight – not so
much. All the more impressive, then, is the
inspired guess
made by Nik Tyler, who a year ago registered three
domain names: ipaddownload.com, ipaddownloads.com and ipaddownloads.net.
They are now on the market; a million bucks will snag all three. 

You have your lycra tiger-suit ready? And your scary
clown-mask? Good, then we’ll begin our ‘Marketing on Chatroulette’ 101,
as taught by Stage
Two Consulting
. They advise marketing execs wishing to explore the
potential of the latest social craze to “have several masks/outfits
available in case the occasion arises.” Bless.

Facebook’s Gross
National Happiness Index
has landed in the UK, revealing the
emotional ineptitude of the average Brit in all its glory – we are, it
seems, only really free with our emotions in the matter of family, TV
and the Weather. Disappointingly, the Index focuses on extremes of
emotion – happiness, or sadness – and so fails to track those
sentiments which, in my experience, are most frequently demonstrated by
we Brits: ‘mild annoyance’, ‘qualified enthusiasm’, and
‘schadenfreude’. 

This is genuinely rather impressive – Franklin Page, a
fleet-of-thumb employee of text-software company Swype, has beaten the
World Record for texting at speed: you can watch and marvel here.
Huzzah – the astonishing and bizarre viral clip of a Russian
lounge singer
warbling something called ‘Trololo’ has been given
it’s own iPhone app! If you’ve not yet had the pleasure, do take a look:
you will be tickled pink, or horribly disturbed – one or t’other.  

NEWSBYTES … 

Online dating is now so mainstream an activity that
it’s now bigger than the online adult industry, and is worth a humungous
one billion dollars per year, according to this new
infographic
from Online Schools.

A US federal appeals court has ruled
that a judge who is unsure about a matter of common knowledge may use
Google. Never again will a member of the bench be flummoxed by the name
of a popular beat combo.  

Analysts
are predicting
that Apple will bite 40% of the tablet and e-reader
market this year, sending shares zooming. And the iPad is already
attracting high-end and big-name
advertisers
to its apps, causing ripples of relief to bloom
throughout an anxious ad industry. The New York Times reporting that the
going rate is anywhere between $75,000 and $300,000, and adds that it’s already sold its first two
months of post-launch inventory. 

Schoolkids
in Japan
will be using Nintendo DS’s in class before the end of the
year, the education authorities there having spotted the platforms
wealth of educational titles. 

Global web use continues its relentless
upward trajectory
, with users on average spending 5.5 hours on
social networks last month – up more than two hours on the previous
year’s figures. 

New data
from Hitwise
suggests that users who come to news sites via
Facebook are more loyal than those who are directed by Google news.

And finally, stop counting those Twitter stats. New
research
finds very little correlation between Twitter counts and
actual influence – so there.  

That’s all folks!