Category: Social Media

The Week in Social: Bowie and Mila Kunis work it, Haiku Deck and Facebook (again)

More Bowie! The Next Day is almost upon us and Bowie has played us like a boss. Here are four things today’s bands can learn from the freaky bastard © Flight of the Conchords. Oh, and the album is rather good (if I may say so myself).

FAcebook News Feed ChangesFacebook are at it again. Steel yourselves as over the next few weeks, Facebook hopes to make it easier to control the content appearing in the News Feed. Initial reactions draw comparisons with the Google+ layout and, encouragingly, one user says “I have to admit, for the first time Fb looks beautiful”. Gizmodo has an overview of the News Feed changes.

Instagram for Presentations? “80% of people use 5% of product features. Often, full-featured software gives people “too much rope with which to hang themselves,” explains Adam Tratt, co-founder of Haiku Deck (iOS, free). Mashable reckons it’s difficult to make an unattractive presentation with the app. Sounds like my kind of thing.

Here’s an example: http://www.haikudeck.com/p/bmzILgFNtm/launch-festival-2013

Mila Kunis seems like a hoot. First Jennifer Lawrence endears herself by taking on some rather silly questions and now Mila Kunis expertly rattles off the expected junket script in seconds when reminded that this interview has gone waaay off topic.

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Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media strategy 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.

The Week in Social: Accentuating the Positive

This week is about stealing positives from negatives.

Andrew Mason, Groupon CEO fired

People of Groupon, After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today.

Things have been a bit shaky for daily-deals site, Groupon, of late. So, when their CEO and founder, Andrew Mason, got his marching orders this week, he posted his classy, witty goodbye online.

When microblogging (or lifestreaming) service, Posterous, announced it’s to shut down, a few accusing looks were aimed at its rival tumblr. Both platforms are extremely simple to use and it is this simplicity that has unexpectedly facilitated support groups for users with cancer:

“Your whole life feels like it’s at a standstill while you wait for a doctor to call, or test results to come in, or the chemo drip to finally stop,” [blogger Mandy Johnston] explains. And so the blog was catharsis.

last.fm stats Leah KardosIn 2005, the world was supposedly listening to Mariah Carey’s ‘We Belong Together’ and Pussycat Dolls’ ‘Don’t Cha’ but in a parallel universe the real no. 1 was The Postal Service’s ‘Such Great Heights’ according to London startup last.fm. One of the first of the ‘web 2.0’ success stories, last.fm lets users keep a record and share listening stats. Spotify, Deezer et al may have stolen last.fm’s thunder, but there’s still a thrill to be had in geeking out with the stats. On Facebook, Leah Kardos (whose mesmerising Machines is out today) gives us the – joyful – perspective of the artist:

It’s hard to put into words. It’s because the highest compliment anyone can give my work is to want to listen to it closely. That’s the reason why we make things: to share them. On Last.fm just this minute I saw a girl in Slovakia was listening to my music repeatedly and I got that feeling again. How can these ideas and pieces that I cook up in my little room here in Bedford have reached her all the way over there? Out of all the beautiful and terrible music in the world, she doesn’t have to listen to mine and yet she does. And I feel humbled to have her ear for a short time and so thankful that I have the resources and circumstance to do what I do.

When a 70-year-old ex Royal Marine James McConnell passed away with no known family recently, the local vicar was concerned that no one would attend the man’s burial. Rev. Bob Mason prompted the Royal Marines Association to put out a call for support on Facebook. The results are… is it a bit dusty in here?

See you in seven.
Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media strategy 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.


The Week in Social: Tweet after Death, BT’s London panorama and a stunning anti-bullying video

BT London Gigapixel PanoramaBT released an astonishing 320-gigapixel panorama of London. Apparently, if this were a physical image, it would be ‘almost as large as Buckingham Palace‘. Thankfully some trees stop you from peering into our living room (others may not be so lucky). It’s funny how very peaceful the megacity seems…

“When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting, welcome to your social afterlife,” offers LivesOn which will allow a ‘you’ to continue tweeting after you die. Services such as this and DeadSocial may be the contemporary equivalent of leaving letters to be opened after you die, but they also prompt interesting ethical (and legal) questions, but “in the cold light of day, it is a very conceited thing to do,” says one lady who wishes to keep her digital self ‘alive’.

Things going viral this week include the usual silliness like the washing machine Harlem Shake, a hair tutorial going awry and a TOTES ADORBS squeaking frog. I do enjoy the glorious, guileless absurdity that the internetz throws up but sometimes ‘Marketing’ sucks the life out of a thing. Case in point: after Burger King and Jeep had their Twitter accounts hacked, brands started hacking themselves. *sigh*

If ridiculous marketing nonsense sometimes makes you despair for humankind, have a look at this rather more uplifting, useful and indeed beautiful use of social media.

To This Day’ is a ‘collaborative volunteer effort [to] demonstrate what a community of caring individuals are capable of when they come together’. Animators and motion artists were invited to submit 20 second segments that were combined over a poem by Shane Koyczan to make the stunning video.

See you in seven.

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Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media strategy 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.

The Week in Social: Are you jumping off bridges with friends or doing the Harlem Shake?

xkcd jump off bridge

Should you jump off a bridge if all your friends did?

The Pope ‘pulls a Bowie’ and kickstarts the week in style with a shock announcement. Social media loves a good surprise with the event getting millions of mentions within hours.  Benedict’s boss wasn’t terribly happy either. All of this rather overshadowed Madonna’s proper embracing of Instagram.

You should be blogging. If an accountancy firm in London can see an increase in website traffic of 383%, then it’s time to get scribbling. Meanwhile, copywriter Alaistaire Allday reckons you shouldn’t be distracted by the ‘narcissists’ that shout loudest online, you still need to look for quality when hiring a freelancer.

Mentioned in that article is People Per Hour, where freelancers claim that they can do things like update your social media platforms for a week for £20 or translate 250 words from Chinese to English in an hour for £15. Similarly, you can get yourself a girlfriend on Facebook for as little as $5 a week.

Swings and roundabouts for Blackberry. Their Z10 continues to generate good vibes but their newly-appointed ‘Global Creative Director’ Alicia Keys appeared to naughtily tweet from her iPhone this week. The rogue tweet was supposedly the work of ‘hackers’.

It seems to be Fashion Week here in London every other fortnight. Expect more iPads at the shows as the industry has embraced Fashion GPS [iOS, free with Radar account] to look after all that pesky admin [Mashable]. It’s too soon to tell if the supposed iWatch will also turn heads, but let’s not forget that Pebble has raised a fortune on Kickstarter.

It might actually be a good idea to jump off a bridge if all your friends do, but this week it seems we’re more likely to be making ‘Harlem Shake’ videos with our friends than bridge hopping. Also about to ‘go large’ in the UK is Petula Clark’s beautiful ‘Cut Copy Me’ (check my Top 50 of 2012). Here’s a breezy house remix if you’d like something nicer to shake to.

See you in seven.

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Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media strategy 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.

The Week in Social: Facebook have $20 for you, Trek & The City, SaneBox and a great Kate Bush cover

Facebook want to give you $20 million, Picard meets Carrie, reclaim your inbox and listen to a wonderful cover of This Woman’s Work.

How much of the $20 million will *you* get from Facebook? Hint: Probably nothing.

Facebook $20 Settlement Class Action

Last year Facebook settled a class action lawsuit about how it used people’s data as part of their Sponsored Stories advertisements (long story). It agreed to pay a whopping $20 million to those users in the USA who were ‘affected’.

Kind of.

The number of people who can make a claim could be as high as 100 million. A number, reckons the judge, which may mean that ‘some class actions could be too big to settle’.  So, between now and May, we wait and see how many US-based Facebook users claim their share of the fund.

If [writes Laurie Seagall of CNN Money] the fund has $12 million after legal fees and 1.2 million people make claims, everyone gets $10. But if 12 million people make claims, everyone gets only $1.

At some point, the lawyers will decide if it is ‘economically feasible’ to pay all of the claimants. If it becomes ridiculous, the money will be shared out to a group of not-for-profit  Internet privacy advocacy groups.

Will you apply?

Fraley Facebook Settlement

Follow This: Star Trek & The City

Star Trek & The City Twitter CoverTwitter has spawned many accounts that could exist in a parallel universe. KimKierkegaardashian mashes the philosophy of Soren Kierkegaard with the perhaps equally existential tweets of Kim Kardashian:

Similarly, KantyeWest does what you would imagine:

The latest mashup star imagines plotlines from what could, I must admit, be the Best Television Show ever: Star Trek: The Next Generation meets Sex & The City.

Install This: SaneBox

Screenshot from SaneBoxIf your email is a total mess (despite the magic promised by smart filtering and the supposed wonders of Gmail’s Priority Inbox), you might find SaneBox useful.

Basically, it uses magical pixies to work out what email is less important and moves that stuff to a separate folder. The tool then sends you an aggregate email of all of those non-urgent messages that you can scan at your leisure.

Grab your 14 days free trial now and then, like me, you may be sorely tempted to keep the service for a couple of dollars a month.

SaneBox

Daddy’s mp3reet: Octover

“In Italy… they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock” quipped Orson Welles.

Singapore is supposedly the “Switzerland of the East” and all it’s produced is economic success and lots of NO FUN ALLOWED laws. However, here comes electronic duo Octover (Vanessa Fernandez and Jason Tran) with a cover of Kate Bush’s gorgeous ‘This Woman’s Work’. Powerhouse vocals over polite-but-intense glitchy electronica.

Octover’s self-titled debut is available now via Bandcamp.

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Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media strategy 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.

The Week in Social: Bitter Ex Test, Twitter’s Vine and Sadie’s Dream

Would you pass the Bitter Ex test? Twitter launch Vine, an 11-year-old girl writes her own inauguration speech and some London Grammar share some dreamy music.

Facebook’s Graph Search and the Bitter Ex test

Mothers of Jews

Facebook are in the process of rolling out Graph Search, a tool that will allow you to run queries such as find ‘photos that my friends took in New York before 1990’ or ‘family members who like ‘Dexter’.

Tom Scott has been having some fun using the tool to find ‘Single women who live nearby and who are interested in men and like Getting Drunk’, ‘Mothers of Catholics from Italy who like Durex’ and, more scarily, ‘Islamic men interested in men who live in Tehran, Iran’… ‘Places where they’ve worked’.

It’s always a good thing to be reminded of Facebook’s nebulous privacy policy. HOwever, ask yourself if the information you voluntarily submit to sites such as Facebook would pass what Scott calls the ‘Bitter Ex’ test:

Most of the danger online comes not from strangers making half-assed joke searches: it comes from people who know you. A lot of the public data fails what I call the ‘bitter ex test’: can someone who hates you ruin your life with that information?

Actual Facebook Graph Searches

Install This: Vine

Quite a few attempts have been made to launch a “Twitter for video” although none have had anything like the same impact. This week, Twitter have themselves decided to go for it, launching Vine [Free, iOS] which allows users to share video clips of 6 seconds that loop within tweets.

What use is a way of sharing a six-second looped clip? Who knows. However, people also asked why people would want to share updates in 140 characters…

Read This:  Sadie’s Dream for the World

11-year-old transgender girl Sadie's essayObama’s explicit reference to Stonewall and gay rights at his inaugural speech delighted many, but 11-year-old Sadie, who socially transitioned from male to female in kindergarten, felt he didn’t go far enough and composed her own speech.

Sadie’s Dream for the World’ via transgriot.blogspot.co.uk

Daddy’s Mp3reet: London Grammar

“Imagine the impassioned vocal of say Susanna and the Magical Orchestra over the spacious, restrained backing of the xx and you’re almost there.” I wrote for Groove Loves Melody this week.

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Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media strategy 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.

From Anonymous to PSY: The State of Social Media in 2012 (Infographic)

The State of Social Media 2012 by The SEO Company
The State of Social Media 2012 by The SEO Company

(Hat tip to Eric Whelan for spotting this.)

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Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media strategy 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.

The Week in Social: Enough Horse Jokes, Getting Unstuck and Social Media Panic

In the US, a couple of sportsmen are having truth ‘issues’, but over here, we’re either giggling about horse meat or talking sides in the unfortunate transgender slur business that’s been inflating the word count for several London columnists. What better time to recommend an app that helps solve sticky problems?

Tesco Horse Meat Burgers Funny Pic

Enough with the horse jokes already.

It’s all about #horseburgers in the UK and Ireland this week. With the discovery of horse and pig DNA in some beef burgers on sale in several supermarket chains, the Twitterati launched into a frenzy of puns while Facebookers shared the many hastily Photoshopped funnies.

After a few days of this, it’s no wonder Tesco Customer Service is exhausted.

Install This: Unstuck

Are you bogged down with ‘a conflict at work, a relationship issue, a goal that’s just out of reach’?

This beautiful iPad app guides you through a game-like troubleshooting sequence, helping you identify and assess your problem. It then tells you how you are acting at this moment e.g. you might be a ‘fuzzy forecaster’ who can’t see the plan clearly, or an ‘ad libber’ who is ‘faking it instead of making it’.

Unstuck (iPad, free)

Read This: Social Media has Society in a Panic

Discourse on social media has been getting a very hard time on these islands of late with condemnation (of Twitter mostly) coming from politicians and journalists.

The death by suicide of an Irish government minister prompted much condemnation of the ‘vile comments’ made anonymously online.  In the UK, the overall rather ugly conflict between columnists and bloggers around transgender ‘slurs’ points to a problematic dynamic between traditional and social media.

Gavan Titley, lecturer in Media Studies at NUIM, reckons it’s not quite as simple as that.

Column: Social media has society in a panic. What does that tell us? (via TheJournal.ie)

Daddy’s mp3reet: Lescop


In France, they call it ‘cold wave’. It’s roughly analogous to ‘post punk’ in the UK. Whichever, here’s Lescop (Mathieu Peudupin to his mum) with a track from his first solo album available right now through your iTunes portal (and elsewhere. Except maybe HMV).

Lescop [warning: very florid bio]

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Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media strategy 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.

Nike+ App Weirdness

Over the last couple of years I’ve turned into one of those weird people who gets up early on Saturday (and other days) and goes for long runs.

This whole running enterprise is a most precarious thing as it can easily be derailed by bad weather, tiredness, twinges or offers of brunch. Therefore, I have to make sure that I have a range of motivating factors to counterbalance the evil distracting forces; competition is good (guilt is even better) and who doesn’t love lovely stats?

I’ve been relying on the lovely attractive stats that are generated by the Nike+ app to tell me how I’m doing and whether I’m beating Keith and Michael or not. I do like it when that noted athlete Ellie Goulding says nice things to me after certain runs too.

But now, Nike+ is being weird. And unreliable. And therefore attacking some of my main motivational reserves.

Have a look at these.

Here’s a section of my run on Jan 12. Note the zigagging pattern of the green line (i.e. me).

Jan 12: Was I drunk?

Jan 12: Was I drunk?

I was not drunk and wobbly. Compare this to the same run in December.

Dec: Look at me go (in a straight line)

Dec: Look at me go (in a straight line)

I used the WalkJogRun site to measure a sample kilometre (the area that is roughly 2km-3km in the first pic).

One kilometre in reality.

One kilometre in reality.

It’s rather longer.

So, Nike+ went a bit bonkers on that last run. Being a stats nerd, I don’t want to flick back and forth between apps as I’d like to be able to see my progress and development over time. However, there’s no point having bogus, inaccurate data so, Nike+, I’m watching you…

 

UPDATE: I ended up breaking two World Records on Monday so it was time to bring this to @NikeSupport on Twitter. They responded pretty quickly and help sort things out. Another reminder that Twitter can be a great source of Customer Support.