The Week in Social: Google/Facebook/Microsoft vs Obama, Farmers vs Activists, Ive’s iOS and Timewasting

The Week in Social Enda GuinanObama is checking your email and the big digital companies are unhappy, but not as annoyed as the EU. Apple have ditched the pine shelves, green felt and other lifelike features from the forthcoming version of iOS. Meanwhile Australian farmers are fighting back again the more tech-savvy vegans and we look at some ways in which we waste our time at work.

Apple torch their pine shelves. On Tuesday night, Apple-related hashtags dominated the Twittersphere when Tim Cook took to the stage at WWDC to unveil the forthcoming iterations of OSX and iOS (and some funky hardware too). Having sorted out the design of Apple’s range so superbly (let’s not mention the graceless, short-lived iPod Shuffle from 2009), Jony Ive finally got his talented mitts on iOS and his chance to eliminate the skeuomorphism that demanded that iBooks sat on pine-like shelves and deleted items from Passbook passed through a shredder on exit.

Some people miss the old vibe.

But not many.

Social Media Use No. 234: Telling YOUR Story. Having been ‘comprehensively out-manoeuvred by a social media campaign by animal rights groups and online petitions’, Australian farmers decided to fight back by embracing Agvoacy – using social media to conquer hearts and minds in a way that mainstream media simply can’t match.

In Australia, farmers stopped looking to their traditional representatives and lobbying groups to protect them and instead fired up their iPhones and iPads and took to Twitter to tell their personal stories. Every Tuesday @AgChatOz moderates a Twitter-chat for farmers who can put their unfiltered side of the story across and challenge the ‘overwhelmingly emotional pitch against animal cruelty’ that had resulted in an export ban on cattle to Indonesia. Expect plenty more of this.

Obama is Checking Your Email and Google and the EU Don’t Like It. We are no closer to understanding how the US Government got access to the data held by the online giants or to what extent these companies knew about PRISM, but Google, Microsoft and Facebook are very eager to reassure their customers that they are not the bad guys. The US giants are asking the FBI and Attorney General if they can reveal the extent of data requests they have received.

In the meantime, the EU are decidedly unhappy with having its citizens deemed fair game for snooping and tumblr has once again proven a natural home for subversive mockery with the clever Obama Is Checking Your Email. Emiland De Cubber has thoughtfully redesigned those ugly PRISM slides too.

“You don’t do any work; you just piddle about on Facebook all day”. Looks like the 77% of people who can access Facebook at work can spend up to two hours in Zuckerbergland. Even with Obama watching. Don’t be too shocked, there is a whole range of ways in which we waste time. Did you know that 36% of workers say dealing with pesky co-workers is the biggest waste of their time? Check out this timewasting infographic for more (maybe) surprising stats.


Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media and product delivery for individuals and small businesses. Get in touch to see how you can make the best use of your time and energy as you put together your social media plans.


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