Archives for social networking

Jobs Loss for Social Media

The recent death of Steve Jobs reminds us that, while he didn’t have a direct impact on current social media, Jobs did help create the environment for social media to flourish. With products like iTunes and the rise of podcasts in the early 2000’s, Apple put an emphasis on sharing and creating original content before social media sites became popular. And with the iPhone and the iPad, Apple made mobile computing easy and encouraged users to share more of their lives through social media.

Apple—and the world of technology at large—finds itself at a crossroads. Will the loss of Apple’s leader impede their ability to offer more and better products? And, if there is a slowdown in innovation at Apple, will this have a similar affect in how people use social media?

The Medium is the Message

Apple has yet to create a social media platform of their own, but that’s because they don’t have to. Their hardware and other products were built to inspire creativity in the individual and to allow users to take control of their computer experience. Apple’s focus on their products has meant that their message—thinking differently—is carried to every Apple user.

For areas like education, this means that iPods, Macbooks and iPads used in the classroom can inspire new techniques and resources for teaching and learning. From podcasting to interactive iPad apps, Apple gives both teachers and students a chance to explore collaborative learning, online school programs, and interactive educational technology. Social media is becoming a larger influence in education right now—and Apple helped facilitate that new relationship.

The Next Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs influenced more than just Apple: with Pixar, he helped create a new genre of animation, and with the short-lived NeXT, Jobs and his company produced the first web servers. It’shard to imagine that there will be another innovator with talents as diverse as Jobs’.

Still, if something has to carry on Jobs’ legacy of innovation, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook come close: with more than 800 million users, Facebook is by far the world’s largest social media network. What Jobs did with hardware, Zuckerberg is doing with the Internet: giving millions of users a chance to connect to each other, to share activities and to exchange ideas. Facebook’s latest developments include the integration of apps that allow users to do everything from help each other with homework to find and share new recipes. By creating an open online environment that pushes people to share more, Facebook is changing the nature of the Internet. And with just five years online, the potential for Facebook is boundless.

The death of Steve Jobs has already had an impact on the tech world, but the innovation of other minds—both at the helm of companies and everyday end users—will continue to find new and original ways to advance technology. Jobs’ legacy is that he helped give each person with a computer the power to make a mark on the world. With Apple’s products and the inspiration of its users, that power will continue to grow.

Google+ for Everyone!

Google Plus

This great cartoon from the Funny Pictures Blog just says it all

Google+ has finally released its stronghold on exclusivity. For the first few months of the social networks life, it has been an

exclusive club. The world was divided between the invited and the non-invites. Well, the world for people who cared. The invite only policy did create some buzz surrounding it. Leaving the more well connected with techno-geeks to be the first to get invites. But as people tired of exclusivity, getting an invite was not that hard. Even Chris Brogan wrote a blog post saying if you want an invite to tweet him use a certain hashtag and someone will send you an invite.

Many of us “invited” have questioned the value of leaving it invite only for so long. As Google+ struggles to leap into mainstream acceptance, the ongoing exclusivity was creating a lack of interest instead of a growing interest. But that has all been put to rest as Google+ has opened up to the public. Now everyone can have their chance at the newest social network.

In honor of the Grand Opening, Google+ plus added an update to the networks most popular feature, hangouts. Hangouts is essentially a group video chat. You could let people know that you were “hanging out” in a chat room and other people could join you. This is great for group video chat. Despite its popularity, it still seems to be a highly under utilized feature of the network. With the Grand Opening, Google gave hangouts a big update for mobile. It is now available from your mobile phone.

Now that the exclusivity is over. The big names in tech and social media are pushing the network onto everyone. The mobile update has been released. The buzz has been created, died down, and created again. The question still remains, will Google+ be a viable competitor to Facebook?

Places is Dead. Long Live Foursquare

Facebook Places Facebook tried and failed in gaining market share in the geolocating social networking. But the people have spoken and no one is using Facebook Places. In the next round of updates to the mobile app, Facebook will be eliminating the location check in feature.

Roughly only 6% of the Facebook population used the tool. Though some people might be sad about the change, Foursquare is definitely not one of them.  In fact, it looks like Foursquare will likely win the geolocational social network race. They have become the number one geolocation check in social site. More businesses are integrating it into their overall social media strategy. Plus, because they integrate with Facebook and Twitter, it makes the network more useful for both users.

Though this will not likely affect most people in their social media activity, what it does show is that it is unlikely that any social network will be a one stop shop. Facebook has been working towards cornering the social market, and though they maintain the largest market share for social networks, they have not been able to corner the market in all social media needs.

Retweet Becomes Proper English

Retweet Dictionary

The Oxford is catching up to the social media times

The Oxford dictionary has added the word “retweet” to the English dictionary. For those of us addicted to Twitter, we are very familiar with this term and use it frequently as well as its acronym RT. Apparently retweet has become active enough in the casual lexicon to warrant dictionary recognition.

Here is the formal Oxford definition of retweet:

Pronunciation:/riˈtwēt, /

verb

[with object]

  • (on the social networking service Twitter) repost or forward (a message posted by another user):tweet the URL of your posting: people love to retweet job ads

noun

a reposted or forwarded message on Twitter:traffic spiked quickly and contained a mix of retweets and original posts

For the copy-editors of the group you will be happy to note that this entry does solve some of the copy editing question of the proper punctuation of retweet. It is not a proper noun, so it does not need to be capitalized. It is being written as a complete word, as opposed to a word with “re” added to the front. So “reTweet” or “ReTweet” is not correct.

Despite solving some grammatical questions, adding retweet to the English dictionary reinforces the influence of social media on everyday society. It is becoming a part of our daily life and vocabulary. Even people who do not participate in the social networks understand what these words are referencing, even if they do not understand the specific dynamics. This is much like when the personal computer started becoming mainstream and words like hard drive and processor speed became a part of common conversation.

Social media is here to stay and is becoming more integrated into our culture. As a celebration and recognition of the official entry of retweet into the dictionary, I right clicked on the word and officially added it to my computers dictionary.

Whatever you do don’t do this! …on Social Media

Trust is an essential part of being a social media manager. In fact, it is cornerstone. When you are managing people’s social media, you are doing more than just tweeting or posting on Facebook. You are acting as their voice, their persona. You are representing them to the online world. This is not a responsibility to be taken lightly.

As a social media manager you have access to private information, to passwords, possibly even real life friend connections. What you do online can boost a brand or career or harm it.  This is the same as all forms of marketing. A bad campaign can do brand damage just like bad PR or bad social media. But in the social-verse it is significantly easier to to damage very quickly. Conversely it is significantly easier to boost someones image and improve their reputation.

However, the dangers of a social media presence are active for anyone using social media. The benefit to using a social media manager is that they are extremely cautious about what they say and how they represent your brand. They err on the side of caution both for your brand management and in regard to the rules and regulations of the various social networks. The great thing about a social media manager is that they will be aware of the ever changing developments, trends, and social taboos.

But for those of you who do not use a manager, you need to be cautious and thoughtful about what you post and tweet.

Whatever you do, don’t do this!

  1. Don’t post your email address. This is just asking for spam and viruses. Plus you don’t know who is going to see that number.
  2. Don’t post your home address. With Foursquare being as popular as it is, this is a really easy thing to accidentally do. But if you post your home address you are telling everyone where you live…exactly. Better to play it safe.
  3. Don’t share you password with anyone other than you social media manager.
  4. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want your mom to hear. People get into more trouble because they forget that their posts are visible to the entire world.
  5. Don’t post pictures you wouldn’t want your mom to see.  (Wiener, are you paying attention?).

Will Google+ Cross the Chasm?

The Google+ button is everywhere. Reports are saying it is more wide spread than the twitter button. Google just sped up the button by 3 times, so now it will load even faster on all those websites.  But with all these great reports about Google+, is it really holding up?

Many have questioned if it will hold up against Facebook. Facebook is the leader in social networks, however it is not without criticism. The Google+ draw is that it answers some of those criticisms, like privacy. But is that enough?

Reports have been that the users are primarily early adapters, “while important, are not great predictors of the success of a social network.”

Technology Curve: Crossing the Chasm

Early adopters are integral for the adoption of technology. They are the ones that vet the tech and help usher it into the early majority. But the chasm is the challenge. Crossing the chasm is the challenge of any new tech. In fact, tech will live or die depending on if it can make the crossing.

The early majority are the people who will usher a new tech into the main stream. They are the ones who are considered the trend setters and other people follow their lead. But the jump from early adopter to early majority is not easy. Right now Google+ is trying to make the leap.  Though early indications are not hopeful.

Early reports are showing that Google+ visitors are down 3%, or 1.79 million, and the time spent on the site is down 10%.  The time spent on the site being down is a bigger indicator to me than visitors. Google+ is still invite based and many of the early majority will not think to ask for an invite, and the early adopters will like not think to give them. Hence part of the problem with crossing the chasm. But Google can solve that problem easily by opening up registration, which I expect they will do relatively soon.

However, time spent on the site should be going up, especially with more and more people signing up to the site. What this says is that the content on Google+ is not captivating enough to keep people on it. Facebook focused on that when they started, and have maintained the ability to keep people exploring their network. Google+’s inability to do this could be evidence of their lack of experience with social networks.

So the big question: Will Google+ cross the chasm?

The Serendipitous Nature of Social Media

Twitter bird with glasses, top hat and magic wand

No matter how targeted your efforts might be, serendipity is sprinkled over the web like magic pixie dust

How did we connect with people around the globe before the creation of social media networks? Perhaps all the technological advances today have a lot to do with the struggling airline industry. People don’t have to hop a plane to meet business prospects or get deals done. The Internet has increased productivity and the speed at which we do business, decreasing overhead for all types of companies.

It seems like a lifetime ago, but back in 1997, my outlook on the Internet was, “Why would I need that?” How life changes! Now I can’t envision successfully operating my business without Facebook updates, tweets or a blog.

Could this be magic?

Social media is more than broadcasting business announcements in 140 characters or less, tracking your Friends’ movements moment by moment, or surfing YouTube for the best wedding day bloopers. With no geographical limitations, social media gives you the ability to connect with people whose virtual lives cross paths with yours, whether by design or something beyond your control.

No matter how targeted your efforts might be, serendipity is sprinkled over the web like magic pixie dust, creating the most unexpected, but often lucrative connections, by a common thread — the social network.  “…one of the most wonderful things about blogging, Twittering, Facebooking, or (fill in the blank)-ing is that unpredictable and unanticipated connections happen. Strategy meets serendipity.”  It’s exciting!

Summoning serendipity

Is there a way to orchestrate serendipity? After all, if it is supposed to be and unexpected surprise, how could you possibly control or manage it? You cannot force serendipity any more than you can sit around just hoping for good things to happen.  You have to be open and available to it by taking strategic, if perhaps indirect, action:

  • Avoid falling into ruts or complacency in your business. As the saying goes, you cannot continue to do the same things over and over, hoping for different outcomes. Meet new people, share innovative ideas, try new things and expand your horizons.
  • Stop, look and listen. It’s so easy to let the pace and noise of business drown out everything else that is going on around you. Take time to look up and outside your little corner of the world and see what’s happening, so you don’t miss something great.

Social media has removed barriers and vastly expanded the horizons of business owners who leverage its networking power. It will never be a replacement for face-to-face interaction, but it can open doors of opportunity that traditional networking doesn’t. “You can’t count on serendipity happening to you…” Serendipitous events occur for those who take charge of their future, while remaining open to the unexpected. So get out there and embrace the surprises that await you.

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Dr. Shannon Reece - DrShannonReece - Women's Business Advisor Dr. Shannon Reece is a Women’s Business Adviser – Training women entrepreneurs how to leverage their unique strengths to create successful and competitive businesses.


Learn more: www.DrShannonReece.com on FACEBOOK and on TWITTER

Dr. Shannon Reece has a wonderful business program for women designed to educate and reinvigorate women in business.  If you are a small business, a solopreneur or thinking about starting your own business, take a look at the Refresh-Her Challenge.




Social Media: the Spark of Revolution?

Egypt written on a building wall next to an Egytian flag

Is social media the new vehicle for revolution?

Social media is no longer limited to status updates and posting photos from a friend’s birthday party. Social media has quickly become one of the most influential factors in grassroots socio-political mobilization across the globe. The January 25 revolution in Egypt gained a major foothold with the application of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. Since the existence of media, individuals have used it to demand more governmental transparency and mobilize allies.

On February 9th former President Bill Clinton spoke at New York University. The former president was lecturing on the Dayton Peace Agreement. This agreement ended the1995 Bosnia Herzegovina genocide. During the lecture President Clinton compared constant news media coverage in the case of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Genocide with the role of social media in assisting communications during the revolution in Egypt. While the former president said the constant news coverage during the Bosnia-Herzegovina Genocide was different than the role social media played during the Revolution in Egypt, both captured global attention at different points in time, springing out of the human desire for information. Clinton reflected back on the quality of technology available when he was president 16 years ago, “There were just 50 Internet sites and the average cell phone weighed 5 pounds”. Clinton heads up the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) alongside personal counselor Doug Band who provides much needed help to the organization, which was founded in 2002 as the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative. Mr. Douglas Band also oversees plenty of foreign operations at the Clinton Global Initiative.

On 25 January 2011 after a successful revolution had taken in Tunisia, inspired by the events, many Egyptians began protesting against the unemployment and poverty that had settled in Egypt as a result of the country’s 30-year autocratic rule by former President Hosini Mubarak. Protesters used social network services like Facebook and Twitter to show the world what was happening in the country, arrange protests and governmental and military responses to the unrest. On the second day of mass protest in Egypt, the Internet, PDA access to the Internet and text messages shut off by Egyptian government. The government’s effort to disable ‘insurgent’ communication in Egypt was unsuccessful. A handful of transnational human rights activists, translators and bloggers used Facebook, Twitter, chatrooms and other social media platforms to relay messages from protestors, journalists and human rights activists to further the grassroots social mobilization while allowing the world to witness step in step exactly what was going on inside of Egypt. Social media makes social organization easier and effective. Social media used by Egyptian protestors brought together individuals who shared common goals and ideas, but also offered a medium for planning. In the case of Egypt, social media forced the government to take accountability. Transnational social networks made it very difficult for governments to lie and hide from their citizens. As January’s events have shown the world, social media interconnects individuals creating a transnational network armed with information.

While the Bosnia Herzegovina genocide and the recent revolution in Egypt are to completely separate events under girded by different politics and history, a human’s desire for information has always been insatiable. At many points in history individuals have combined ingenuity, passion and technology to link themselves with people and societies across the globe.


Thomas MorrisonThomas Morrison is a co-editor of Everything Left, a blog about politics and current events. He writes on topics that are contemporary and progressive.

Read his blog at Everything Left

Follow him on Twitter @twmorrison75

Social Media Responds to Japan

The devastation in Japan is beyond comprehension. While electricity and phone service have been hugely affected, leaving many survivors without either, the Internet has remained virtually unaffected. This makes social media not just an effective means of communication, but one of the only means.

The wreckage in the aftermath of this tragedy is horrendous – and the use of social media has been incredible. It is becoming the go-to technology for emergency and disaster relief, management, communication and recovery.

One of the most amazing features of social media is the ability for swift response. Whether it is communication about real-time events, sharing news or raising disaster relief funds, social media has immediate and worldwide impact on all aspects of emergency and disaster management.

The earthquake and tsunami hit at the start of SXSW (South by Southwest), the biggest music and social media conference of the year. SXSW jumped into immediate action, launching SXSW4Japan.org to get attendees and followers of the conference to donate to Japan.  They are offering free tickets as incentives for non-attendees and asking all the attendees to tweet and Facebook links to the donation site.

Twitter

Twitter was the number 1 social network used for anything relating to the earthquake and tsunami. The Tweet-o-Meter, a website that tracks twitter usage per minute, has pretty much remained pegged at 1200 tweets per minute for usage in Tokyo since the disaster began.

Hashtags

Hashtags are a way to keyword identify a tweet, so people who are following a topic can use that keyword to track the topic. According to Mashable, the most popular hashags are #Japan, #JPQuake, #JapanQuake, #PrayForJapan, #Tsunami and #TsunamiCharity; real-time Tweet map; Save Japan (updates in Japanese); and the UN’s Must-Follow Twitterers

Twitter posted a blog, in Japanese and English, that details how you can help by using Twitter.

Facebook

Relief and resources pages popped up almost immediately on Facebook. Nearly every major relief non-profit is using their Facebook Fan Page to help raise money for Japan.

Japan Earthquake reports news and information regarding the disaster.

Solidarity with the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan 2011 is a Belgian page created to show support and communicate news about Japan.

Dog Bless You is a non-profit that assists with rescue operations. They are sending a team to Japan to use dogs in the human rescue effort. Explore.org is donating $1 for every Like the Dog Bless You page receives.

American Red-Cross has a page on Causes, a Facebook app that lets people donate to charities on Facebook.

Save the Children also has a page on Causes.

Farmville, Cityville and Frontierville, games on Facebook created by the company Zynga, have partnered with Save the Children’s Japan Earthquake Tsunami Emergency Fund to get their users to purchase virtual goods for the games as a way to donate to the fund.  100% of the proceeds from the purchase of sweet potatoes in CityVille, radishes in FarmVille or Kobe cows in FrontierVille will go towards Save the Children’s efforts to provide relief in the Pacific.

YouTube

Some of the most poignant imagery from Japan has been coming from videos posted on YouTube.  Personal video accounts of the disaster is giving all of us an experience that communicates the immense impact of what has happened.

If you search YouTube for Japan Tsunami the video results will be overwhelming, from news to personal videos from around the world.

Maps

Tweet Map

Map enthusiast Virender Ajmani (@mibazaar) created a tweet map.  This is a map that displays a new tweet every 5 seconds from Japan.  The tweets are from within a 600 km radius of Tokyo, Japan and are tagged with either earthquake or japan or tsunami.

YouTube Map

Virender Ajmani also created a YouTube map that shows Geotagged videos from within an 800 km radius of Tokyo, Japan that are tagged “Earthquake/Tsunami”.  Geotagged videos means that the video has been tagged, or identified, as being from a certain location.

Seismic Activity

Maplarge.com created a map that shows you the seismic activity and the size of the earthquakes that hit Japan.

Flickr

Photos from journalists and photographers to camera phones are streaming into Flickr tagged with Japan Earthquake, Japan Tsunami

Live Video

Live video has been streaming from myriad sources around the world. Here are a few:

Google

Google has created Crisis Response and Japan Person Finder to help with the disaster.  Crisis Response gives emergency information, including numbers for missing persons, and information for relief donations.

The Japan Person Finder is a page that lets you put in a report for a missing person or share information you might have on a missing person.

Text

The American Red Cross is taking text donations, like they did with Haiti. If you would like to donate to their Japan Earthquake Relief, just text REDCROSS to 90999. Each text provides $10 towards the Red Cross’ humanitarian efforts.

Other Resources

  • Blog RSS feed: Japan Earthquake is a blog feed that is streaming blog posts from major news sources, reporters and bloggers.
  • Internet Browser Toolbar: Tsunami news in your toolbar is a tool bar that normally streams internet radio, but now has a feature allowing your to stream news about the disaster in the toolbar of your internet browser.
  • Hellobar: The hello bar is a tool that allows you to add a bar to the top of your web page that displays a message. Look at the top of this page and you will see my Hellobar. The company is allowing people to sign-up (which has been previously limited) in order to have a support Japan Hellobar.
  • iTunes: Created a donation page making it easy to use your iTunes account to donate to the Red Cross.

There are resources and networks all over the Internet sharing information, connecting people, streaming news and images and bringing all of us closer to the realities of what happened in Japan.  The ones I listed are just examples of what is available.  The call to action from the social media community has been tremendous. Where we were just starting to get an idea of the effects of the earthquakes and tsunami, we were also just starting to get an idea of the effects of social media in relation to the disaster.  It makes me proud to be a part of the community that is mobilizing rescue, communication, fundraising, information and a worldwide community effort to help our international neighbors.