Blogging News

Social Media Words Enter Official Lexicon

Picture 3“Word: something that is said. A speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning usually without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use.”  That’s the definition of a word, according to Merriam-Webster. 

The world is full of them.  In fact, there are more than 258,000 words in the English language.  They range from everyday words to silly words like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  While most of us can actually pronounce supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, the longest word in the English dictionary is Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, which I’m not sure anyone can really pronounce.  Want to try pronouncing Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahul? No, I didn’t just hit a bunch of keys on the keyboard, either.  It’s actually the Maori name for a hill in New Zealand, and is officially the world’s longest name for a place.

These past few years, pop culture influenced which words make it into the English dictionary. Beyonce’s “Bootylicious” was added to the dictionary a few years ago, while the world of Harry Potter helped “muggle,” a person who possesses no magical powers, reserve a spot in the English dictionary as well.  While pop culture has had a significant impact on the world, it looks like it has stepped aside as social media starts to influence the world even more. (more…)

Twitter’s Big Week

twitter_bird_profileTwitter users from around the world have been seeing some major changes to the website lately, and this week the popular microblogging website rolled out some major features that could be very useful in the future.

A few weeks ago, Twitter launched Twitter Lists Beta, which allowed users to organize a group of followers into specific categories and last week it went live to the entire Twitter community.  This week, 2 new beta features went into effect, which if all goes well should be seen by all users very soon.  First, a small number of users have been granted a feature which allows them to see when someone they are following has updated a post.  The feature will automatically notify them of new tweets since they last refreshed their page from the people they follow on their Twitter.com homepage.  Users be able to click the notification and Twitter will automatically refresh their page without them having to do anything else.  The feature is almost identical to the automatic refresh on the Twitter Search feature. (more…)

Social Media & Breaking News

breakingsocialSocial media sites have become an important tool for breaking news, many times breaking a story before the mainstream media picks it up.  Sites such as Twitter have also been important communication tools for those affected by the events as they unfold.

Yesterday, news about a shooting in Fort Hood, Texas, shocked the country and almost instantly became a trending topic on Twitter.  The massacre, which killed 12 and left 31 wounded, sparked interest and supporters from around the world — many of whom ended up  leaving comments on the Army’s social media sites.  The Facebook group “Prayers for Fort Hood” was started soon after word spread, and currently it has just more than 20,000 supporters.   The U.S. Army‘s Facebook page was also flooded with support and prayers from people around the world. As one person wrote, “My prayers go out to the family and friends of the fallen heroes. It’s time we remember to pray for all our soldiers regardless of where they are.”  (more…)

This Week In Social Media – October 23, 2009

iePlexus “Week in Social Media” October 23, 2009 from iePlexus on Vimeo.

iePlexus “Week in Social Media” October 23, 2009 from iePlexus on Vimeo.

-The Web 2.0 Summit took place this week in San Francisco. Some of the biggest news from the event came out on Wednesday.  Both Microsoft and Google announced they would be teaming up with Twitterto bring real-time search updates to the search engines.  Microsoft’s Qi Lu first announced that Bing.comwould be getting get the real time twitter searchs updates, up on their site, which happened just minutes after the announcement.  Twitter’s blog said that they want to make twitter a search tool to help find people what they need in current time. Surprisingly, just a few hours after Microsoft’s big announcement, Google announced they would also be teaming up with Twitter to bring real-time search.  Neither of the companies would release the financial terms of their deals but are expected to bring more traffic to the search engine sites. There are also rumors the sites are trying to team up with Facebook as well. To watch the announcement’s in their entirety, visit Web 2.0 Summit’s website. (more…)

Mashable Announces 2009 Open Web Awards – Social Media Edition

owa-logoFor the third year in a row Mashable, the popular social media site, is hosting the Open Web Awards: Social Media Edition.  There are 50 nomination categories this year, which is almost double of the amount of categories there were last year.  The Open Web Awards is  an  international online voting competition that covers major achievements in web technology and  in Social Media.  Mashable’s website does say they have extended the voting time by nearly a month and came up with the new categories for voters to reflect on the changes of web culture within the past year. (more…)

Blog Action Day 2009

blogactionday1Blogger’s from around the world today are blogging about climate change and the environment as part of Blog Action Day 2009.  What is considered one of the largest social change events on the web, ever, Blog Action Day is an annual event which finds a world issue and brings bloggers together to not only bring awareness to everyone but also try to find solutions to the problem.  This year over 10,000 bloggers are writing about climate change and the environment for readers around the globe.

Many people around the world are  against the idea of “global warming” and when they hear that studies say the world’s average temperature may rise 2-3 degrees Fahrenheit, they say “what’s the big deal? It’s not that much of a difference.”  But think about it.  Maybe it is a huge difference.  Take the average healthy human for example.  The average temperature for a human is around 98.6 degrees and when our temperature goes up above 100 degrees, we feel sick, start sweating, and don’t fee good.  Well the same concept goes with the Earth.  It is a living thing, so those 2 or 3 degrees could mean drastic changes. (more…)

Google Checkout Store Gadget Makes E-commerce Easy

google_checkout_store_gadgetIn their continuing effort to dominate every aspect of your online experience, Google has taken e-commerce to the masses with the experimental release of the Google Checkout Store Gadget, a simple application that makes it possible for anyone with a blog or website to create an online store, with Google Checkout, in under 5 minutes. Google makes it sound very easy when explaining how to setup the gadget and manage the store, and with Google’s popularity and typical wide-spread adoption, this just might be the breakthrough many people need to open up the floodgates to selling online. Although still in beta-mode, Google Store Gadget has the potential to significantly empower those who normally could only turn to sites like Ebay for their e-commerce ideas.

Setting up the Google Checkout Store Gadget seems easy enough. Google states that there are 3 simple steps to getting up and running:

  1. Sign up for Google Checkout
  2. List Products in a Google Docs Spreadsheet
  3. Embed the Gadget Anywhere

All of these steps are obviously free and can be done by even those with very limited coding knowledge. Managing inventory in a spreadsheet and setting it up are as easy as clicking a few boxes to share it online and publish it as a website. Embedding the gadget can be done basically anywhere, as long as HTML code can be added to a site. This means bloggers, website owners and more can quickly add the gadget to their site, enabling product or service sales without the typical hassle of an e-commerce management platform.
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$50,000 Twitter Lawsuit

Twitter LawsuitIt was only a matter of time before Twitter became a subject of legal questions. In a bigger picture, however, this happening begs a much deeper question: What is considered public conversation, and how liable are people for that conversation?

On July 27th, less than a week ago, Horizon Group Management of Chicago, a property management company, filed a lawsuit against Amanda Bonnen, one of their former residents, for an update she posted on Twitter. Specifically, the update referred to the realty company and mold in Bonnen’s apartment: “Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it’s okay.” The lawsuit, filed in Cook County court, asks for $50,000 in damages, alleging that her statement damaged the company’s business reputation.

Putting personal opinions of this lawsuit aside, it raises serious questions about what we can and can’t be held liable for on a public forum, and what exactly Twitter can be called in relation to those forums. Many people tweet complaints about products, services and companies. Many companies embrace Twitter as a gateway into the  real-time pulse of their customer base, and respond accordingly. Comcast, for example,  solves many technical questions and issues via Twitter and have benefited from being known as a tech-savvy and customer-friendly company, meeting their customer base on their turf, and helping out accordingly. Contrast that to Horizon’s handling of this issue (specifically with legal papers) and there has been quite a backlash of sorts online, with many people stating the obvious PR nightmare this has caused for the property management company and weighing in with opinions of how it could have better been handled.
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Blogs and Search Engine Optimization

Ten Tips For Optimizing Your Blog For Search Engines

It’s not breaking news that blogs are great for search engines. Since blogs became popular and were documented in the main stream media, back around early 2004, the merits of their marketing reach and search engine prowess has been well-covered by the search and marketing industry. It’s almost as if blogs were specifically designed to appeal to search engines, in that they fulfill so many specific criteria search engines look for when determining ranking. Fresh, content-based websites with clean architecture, simple navigation and keyword-rich page titles are like honey to a bear, search engines are naturally attracted to them and once they get sticky, they keep coming back.

But getting your blog to really communicate well with the engines isn’t something that comes built in; there are some essential steps that you need to take in order to make it easy for engines to discover your site and subsequently, rank it higher. Follow these ten tips to optimizing your blog for search engines, and you’ll be well on your way.
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Study Indicates a Rash of Twitter Quitters

twitter-retention-rateWhile a staggering amount of people seem to talk about Twitter, the latest polls and research indicate that talk is about all that Twitter can muster nowadays. According to these latest numbers, the hype surrounding the microblogging site is far exceeding the practical rate of usage.

To that end, a study by Nielsen Online determined that over 60 percent of new Twitter users quit using the site after only one month. Put another way, the retention rate for the site hovers around 40 percent. To put that dismal number in perspective, other social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace boast a retention rate around 70 percent.

All the dedicated Twitter users, however, look for hope in the facts. After all, no one can deny the impressive rush of people who signed up for the service. But even these numbers can be viewed as troubling statistics for Twitter. After all, other social networking powerhouses also experienced explosive initial numbers. But unlike Twitter, they were able to hold onto their users.
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