Social Networking

FBI Warns Social Media Users

cyber_crimeA new report out by the FBI, is warning users of the popular social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter that thieves are only one click away.  The report says there are becoming more and more cyber-thieves on social networking sites, which can provide them with a whole slough a personal information.  Nearly 3,200 hijacked accounts have been reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, and thousands more are expected to be unreported since 2006. 

The center which is an alliance between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center was established as a place “to serve as a means to receive Internet related criminal complaints and to further research, develop, and refer the criminal complaints to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for any investigation they deem to be appropriate.” (more…)

Zuckerberg’s Gamble: Facebook Thrives Despite Redesign

facebook20computerNow that the dust has settled and users have had almost a year to digest Facebook’s polarizing site redesign, it’s time to take stock of the social-networking behemoth’s strengths and weaknesses. Back in July, PC World tech writer Hillary Rhodes posed a thought-provoking question: Is Facebook past its prime? It may still be too early to provide a conclusive answer, but we can at least take some time to evaluate the site’s recent successes and missteps.

From the outset it was clear that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarded Twitter as a serious contender in the social-networking world. Those beliefs manifested themselves in the redesign, which aped Twitter’s simplicity and real-time news feed. Twitter began to catch on with celebrities, journalists and average Joes, in part because of the quickness and ease associated with tweeting. (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…)

NASA Offering Launch Tweet-Up Contest

nasa_logoNASA, which has been trying to keep up with it’s social networking is offering a prize of a lifetime. 100 lucky NASA Twitter followers will spend two days at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where they will be able tour of the space center, view the space shuttle launch in a VIP area, and talk one-on-one with shuttle technicians, engineers, astronauts and managers.

On Friday, October 16, at Noon EST, followers can register online and the first 100 completed applications will be awarded the trip and 50 people will be placed on a wait list. There is a catch however. Winners will have to pay for their own transportation to & from Kennedy Space Center, along with food and lodging. Thousands are expected to register, and those who don’t make it or can’t make it, NASA says not to worry because they are planning other Tweet-Up Events  in the near future at various agency locations across the U.S. (more…)

Say What? There’s An App For That

saywhat-appGoing from Twitter to Digg to your best friend’s blog and searching for what’s happening and trying to keep up with the latest gossip can be quite challenging. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some search tool that would search all the social media sites and let you know what’s happening with topics I was curious about? Well now there’s an app for that. iCrossing, a digital media agency released an application for iPhones on Monday called “Say What?.” The app is easiestly described as a search engine for social media sites and finds the most recent postings for that topic.

The app is actually very user friendly and simple to use. Let’s say you want to know the latest news or gossip on a certain celebrity. Let’s take Taylor Swift for example. You open the app, and up pop’s the search menu, where you’ll type in “Taylor Swift” and then hit search. Within a matter of a few seconds, a list of the latest tweets, diggs, blogs, and comments in forums that have Taylor Swift in their text appears. The app is broken down into the four social media categories where you can go further and not only read more of what that user or blog is saying but also find other tweets, diggs, etc on the same topic, Taylor Swift in our case. If you want to actually read the blog or see more tweets from a certain user that shows up on the search, Say What? actually links you to that person’s page. (more…)

Colorado Offers Free Vacation Through Social Media Contest

Snow At First SightIf you are in need a vacation and love to use social media sites, you maybe in luck. The Colorado Tourism Office is working it’s way into the social media world by getting tourists to post videos, write blogs and tweet for them. And what a better way to get people involved by handing out a three month all-expenses-paid vacation, three in fact, touring the state.  In addition to having food, lodging and transportation provided, winners will also be awarded $800 a month.  The catch, to enter the contest you must have never seen or touched snow before.

Starting in January, winners will be able to try true Colorado winter activities, including snowmobiling, skiing, snowshoeing, dog-sledding, and ice climbing just to name a few.  In addition to those activities a sample of five star restaurants, resort spas, and hot springs are also rumored to be indulged.  The winners will then be able to  share their experiences on Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube. (more…)

$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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Facebook Passes 250 Million Users

facebook-logo1Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and Founder of Facebook, announced about a week ago that the social networking site now has over 250 million users. Just a few months ago, back in April of 2009, Facebook passed 200 million users. The growth of the site is pretty phenomenal and reinforces the fact that Facebook is the #1 social networking site in the world, although in the U.S. MySpace still holds a slight advantage. In the global market however, Facebook is more than twice the size of MySpace and continues to dominate in every category.

To give you an idea of Facebook’s adoption, the U.S. has a population of just over 300 million, and the world has about 6.7 billion people. That means in the U.S., with over 75 million users, 1 in 4 people have a Facebook page, with about half of those logging in each day. Worldwide, Facebook reaches about 4% of the popluation. You can see more Facebook statistics here.

One of the most interesting things about the growth of Facebook was not the fact that it had so many global users, but instead that those aged 35 and up were the fastest growing population of users and responsible for fueling much of the recent gains. That means the older population is embracing Facebook as a networking tool for business beyond simple social connections, which is definitely not the case for MySpace.
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Redefining Advertising through Social Media

social_mediaAdvertising is undoubtedly one of the primary ways that companies reach out to their customers, but the introduction of social media and online marketing has muddied these once-clear waters. After all, advertising used to be the representation of your company in the most positive light possible. It used to be gimmicks, catch phrases, and limited time promotions.

But with social media, the question becomes whether it’s even beneficial for companies to directly advertise through these venues. Essentially, people believe one of two things about social media advertising. On one side of the debate, people believe it’s beneficial for companies to present themselves through any available channels. And on the other side of this debate, people believe that social media venues are there primarily for people to be sociable. That is to say, they don’t want to be inundated with advertisements and promotions.

The people who take this latter position feel that coming into these new venues with advertisements blazing can actually harm a company image. They feel it alienates these companies from this core demographic, because the companies are simply not playing by the “social media rules.”
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