Category Archives: Twitter

President Obama Is On Twitter And His Exchange With Bill Clinton Makes It All Worth It

President Obama joined Twitter yesterday. The President, affectionately known as POTUS (in case you are living under a rock, that stands for President of the United States) pretty much broke Twitter after he sent out his first tweet. He officially won the Guinness World Records’ award for the fastest time to reach 1 million followers. Guinness World Records confirmed the victory in a news release Tuesday. In the release, they shared that President Obama reached the world record in less than five hours after his first tweet from the new @POTUS account. In true digital media style, the White House did a video about the President joining Twitter. As I’ve shared many times, posting video is the best way to tell a story. Take a look.

 

The @POTUS account is different from the @BarackObama account that many of us have been following for the past few years. That account is managed by Organizing for Action, the group that formed out of Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. The new @POTUS account will give President Obama a way to connect and engage in a way no other President has been able to do. It will be very interesting to see where this goes. Side note: I love the @POTUS Twitter profile. It simply reads: “Dad, husband, and 44th President of the United States. Tweets may be archived: .”

POTUS 1st tweet with background JPEG

 

But what really gave me life today -the whole reason I’m doing this blog post- is the exchange between @BillClinton and @POTUS.

 

42 and 44 have jokes

42 and 44 have jokes

It appears #42 has jokes. But so does #44. This is going to be FUN!

P.S. You do know FLOTUS stands for the First Lady of the United States. Right?

 

Why You Should Have A Social Media Plan AND Ten Ways To Get Started

4You know you should be active in social media. It’s good for your personal brand and your business. But you just don’t have time to do all those posts. One way to help you get organized is having a social media plan. A social media plan or mapping out what your posts will be on a weekly and even monthly basis helps you think strategically about what you should share with your audience. The social media plan includes a daily breakdown of what you should post most days of the week.

Yes, I said most day so of the week.

Consistency is the key in social media. Don’t ride the social media wave unless you can commit to a consistent schedule that your followers can depend on.

I tend to use themes to map out the days of the week on my social media plans. I am also a big fan of iteration. Below is an example of a Monday through Friday Twitter and Facebook social media plan. I developed this weekly plan for my client, AmeriCorps VISTA. It helped guide my posts throughout the week. You’ll see the days of the week divided up into five categories:

  • Mission Monday
  • Tip Tuesday
  • Webinar Wednesday
  • Throwback Thursday
  • Follow Friday

SMM Plan Image

SMM Plan Twitter JPEG

To get started on your plan, think about the content you have to share. If you are new to the social space, focus on one social media site at a time. I would recommend you consider getting starting with Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Twitter – Without a doubt, Twitter is the best way to share and discover what is happening in the moment. To grow your audience, think about following and sharing popular hashtags and TweetChats.

Facebook – Most of your friends and colleagues are on Facebook. So are your clients and customers. Why not join Facebook Groups that support your mission and vision? Better yet start a group of your own. It’s a great way to connect and engage with the people that mean the most to you or the people you are trying to reach.

YouTube – Everyone has a story to tell. YouTube provides a forum to allow people to connect, inspire, entertain and inform. If you are comfortable in front of the camera or have a lot of video content, YouTube is a great place to start. Consider producing a web series of your most popular content. 

Here are ten tips to keep in mind once you are ready to start your social media plan:

  1. Determine which platforms you will use – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or all four
  2. Devise a daily, weekly and monthly social media schedule that incorporates each platform
  3. Monthly posts should reflect recurring dates such as holidays, celebrations or conference dates
  4. Determine who will manage your accounts and how often they will post
  5. Build upon the content you already have (photos, video, press releases)
  6. Come up with a regular posting schedule and stick to it
  7. Use a social media management tool such as Hootsuite to schedule your posts
  8. If you are cross posting from one site to another, factor in a few organic, original posts for each site
  9. Remember that it is a plan, a guide, so leave room for unexpected breaking news stories or changes
  10. Engage, engage, engage and then engage some more

 If you need help developing your social media plan, I’m here to help!

Twitter Targets Small, Medium Businesses with New Ad Platform

Twitter is looking to make more money. Are you a business owner? If so, this is where you come in.

Amplify’d from www.mediabistro.com

Twitter needs to make some money this year. As eMarketer predicts, Twitter will make $150 million in advertising revenue this year – and the company is doing everything they can to get there. While most of us have seen Promoted Tweets from big name companies like Coca-Cola, Dell and Ford, Twitter is shifting gears a bit and starting to focus on small- and medium-sized businesses for its advertising products.

Twitter’s upcoming self-serve advertising dashboard (the beta version of which has been leaked) is aimed towards small and medium businesses looking to expand their marketing efforts.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, those beta testers already trying out the dashboard are seeing some pretty significant successes. David Szetela, owner of an online-ad agency Clix Marketing, reportedly saw hundreds of pre-orders of his client Guy Kawasaki’s new book “Enchantment” through ads on Twitter. The ads reportedly cost more than $4,000, but he spent less money on Twitter than on Facebook or Google overall, and saw more pre-orders.

It makes sense that Twitter would start with big businesses like Coca-Cola as founding beta testers of its advertising program. These companies have the capital to risk on an unproven marketing plan. But it’s time now to woo the small- and medium-sized businesses, which make up a significant portion of online advertising sales outside of Twitter. If the company can get these businesses on board, they’ll likely meet or exceed the $150 million in advertising revenue that eMarketer predicts.

Twitter is being valued at over $4 billion now with the recent interest from JPMorgan looking to own 10% of the company for a $450 million investment from its social media fund. The company will have to seriously step up its advertising offerings to small- and medium-sized businesses if it wants to maintain this valuation throughout 2011 and exceed it in the coming years.

 

Courtney Love’s Tweets Lead to Unique Defamation Showdown

WHAT is the world coming to when one can’t even tweet freely without worrying about being sued? OK my fellow Tweeps, you might want to check yourselves the next time you go off on a tangent on Twitter. Dang, is nothing sacred anymore?

Amplify’d from www.hollywoodreporter.com
GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

The following article appears in the current issue of The Hollywood Reporter available on newsstands Wednesday.

Courtney Love was very upset.

The firebrand rocker had been locked in a dispute with Dawn Simorangkir, a fashion designer who was demanding payment for a few thousand dollars worth of clothes.

So on March 17, 2009, Love took to her Twitter account and began hurling a stream of shocking insults at the designer known as the “Boudoir Queen.” Love’s tweets, which instantly landed in the Twitter feeds of her 40,000 or so followers (and countless others via retweets), announced that Simorangkir was a drug-pushing prostitute with a history of assault and battery who lost custody of her own child and capitalized on Love’s fame before stealing from her. “She has received a VAST amount of money from me over 40,000 dollars and I do not make people famous and get raped TOO!” Love wrote.

That tirade, along with others the Hole frontwoman unleashed on social media platforms including MySpace and Etsy.com during the next four days, form the basis of a unique lawsuit headed to court in January: the first high-profile defamation trial over a celebrity’s comments on Twitter.

“There has never been anything like this case before,” says Simorangkir attorney Bryan Freedman, who will attempt to convince a Los Angeles jury that Love’s false statements destroyed his client’s fashion career, thus entitling her to potentially millions of dollars in damages.

In an age when public figures from Kanye West to Ryan Seacrest communicate influential messages to thousands — sometimes millions — of followers on social platforms, the Love case raises the question of whether celebrities, like the news media, should be liable for what happens if they intentionally put untrue and damaging statements in front of their loyal readers.

“We don’t believe there’s any defamation, and even if there were defamatory statements, there was no damage,” says James Janowitz, an attorney for Love.
A key to the case, say First Amendment lawyers, could be whether an average Twitter user would interpret Love’s vicious tweets as facts rather than merely her opinion.

“I’ll be interested to see if the court gives people posting on Twitter more latitude than other media,” says Alonzo Wickers, a defamation expert who has handled matters for such media clients as Comedy Central and TMZ. “The way Twitter is evolving, it seems to be more of a means to express opinion. I would hope courts give tweets the same latitude as they do an op-ed piece or a letter to the editor.”

To aid her case, Simorangkir plans to call to the stand Jessie Stricchiola, a social media expert who was tasked with studying how many people saw the Love rants and what kind of credibility is given to statements made on a casual forum like Twitter. Stricchiola will report her findings at trial.

Read more at www.hollywoodreporter.com

 

Is Facebook About To Kill Twitpic?

I have mobile uploads all over the place. Some of my photos get posted to Twitpic, some on Flickr, some on Facebook and some… crap… I don’t even remember the names of the other sites. So, the real question isn’t whether Facebook is about to kill Twitpic… the REAL question is… will anybody care?

Amplify’d from www.allfacebook.com

twitpic LogoFacebook has been increasingly using their short URL fb.me over the past few week, however the move appears to be much less of an attack on bit.ly and instead a more effective way to generate traffic from other social channels and fill feature gaps.

Right now it’s annoying, I need to determine where to publish a photo: Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram. However if I could upload an image to a single source, such as Facebook, and then have that image distributed across all my networks it would be much better. That is exactly what Facebook appears to be doing with their new URL shortening service. Take the following tweet published by Ben Blumenfeld of Facebook earlier today:

It appears to be an automated tweet (presumably from an unreleased service) which states Ben’s Facebook activity. This is somewhat similar to Twitpic which simply links back to images published through their service. If I was able to upload mobile photos to Facebook and have them automatically published out to Twitter, there’s no doubt that it would be my primary mobile publishing tool. While this is only the initial testing, I’ve been seeing similar stories from other Facebook employees over the past couple weeks.

This would only lead me to believe that Facebook is about to move to essentially try and kill off Twitpic, Plixi, and other photo sharing services that are currently filling the gap left by Twitter, who has yet to release their own photos application.

Read more at www.allfacebook.com

This Is a Click to Action

In the end, we’re measured by who we reach, the experiences we create, and the actions we inspire. This is a call for a renewed focus on people and the value they seek tied to the outcomes that impact our business. A click to action is not a transaction, it is a form of currency where individuals on all sides benefit from each and every social exchange.

Amplify’d from www.fastcompany.com
Actions speak louder than words. And as such, we have the responsibility to lead desirable and mutually beneficial actions through meaningful engagement. It’s difficult to do so however, when we focus our efforts on cultivating communities where success is derived by their respective populations. From views and impressions to Likes and Retweets to the count of our Friends, Fans and Followers (3F’s), we miss sight of what’s truly important, connections, outcomes, and the experiences we define and nurture.

Focusing on numbers is only part of the story in this intricate production we call social media. In the world of storytelling and audience engagement, the audience is represented by not only the people we draw into the theater, but also those we do not. And for those we attract, we must define the intended experiences and desirable outcomes we wish to produce. Doing so will set the stage for consumers to take action and also share experiences across their social and interest graphs. We’re then introduced to important social touchpoints and the metrics that ultimately reveal the effect of our engagement and also how we can improve experiences and outcomes over time.

A Click to Action

Design the preferred outcome and experience and reverse engineer it in order to bring it to life. To do so, we have to realize that not all friends, followers, fans or views are created equally. And, we must also recognize that the prevailing cultures and supporting behaviors in each network dictate very different results. To trigger the social effect, an understanding of network performance is fundamentally essential to the architecture of discreet initiatives within each engagement strategy.

For example, let’s take a look at Facebook Likes. The average “liker” has 2.4x the amount of friends than that of a typical Facebook user, showing the tremendous opportunity to reach “trend setters” aka tastemakers who can help achieve the greatest reach and distribution of content and more importantly, your story. According to Facebook, the Likers are more engaged, active, and connected than the general population of the global social network. At the same time, they’re genuinely interested in exploring new content. As a result, they click on 5.3x the links than that of the typical Facebook user.

Social Commerce

In the world of social commerce, the connected consumer is at the center of influence. Ensuring beneficial experiences and empowering them with sharing mechanisms ensure that their reach is maximized. Again, networks and the people who populate them, engender varying results. Online ticketing provider Eventbrite released the results of a recent survey that found Facebook sharing to outperform Twitter by as much as 6x.

 

According to Eventbrite, Facebook shares led the pack, generating an average of $2.52 from 11 referrals. Just behind Facebook, sharing via email came in second at $2.34. However, the delta between Facebook and email and the rest of the referring sources is vast. LinkedIn shares were valued at $0.90 and Tweets were worth only $0.43.

Media

Likers form an “always on” audience. The average Liker on a news site, for instance, is 34 whereas the media age of a newspaper subscriber is 54. If we examine the effects of Likers on the media industry, we can get a clearer picture of their influence. In fact, many publishers are reporting overwhelming results after introducing the social sharing buttons, empowering viewers to share stories across their social graph with one click.

Sample reports according to Facebook:

ABC News is up over 190% as a result of adding social plugins
Gawker claims an surge of over 200%
TypePad reports increases over 200%
Sporting News is up by 500%
NBA.com states that Facebook is now the number 2 referral source

Publishes also report that increased engagement is an organic byproduct of a social referral ecosystem. At NHL.com, Facebook visitors are reading 92% more articles, spending 85% more time on-site, viewing 86% more videos, and generating 36% more visits than visitors from other sites.

What are the best ways to reach these people? According to Facebook, it starts with …

1. Implement social plugins, beginning with the Like button. When a person clicks Like, it (1) publishes a story to their friends with a link back to your content, (2) adds the article to the reader’s profile, and (3) makes the article discoverable through search on Facebook.

2. Optimize the Like button. By showing friends’ faces and placing the button near engaging content (but avoiding visual clutter with plenty of white space), clickthrough rates improve by 3-5x according to Facebook.

3. Publish back. Publishing engaging stories or status updates (things that are emotional, provocative, related to sporting events or even simple questions) increase on-Page engagement by 1.3-3x.

4. Integrate the Activity Feed or Recommendations plugins. Highlighting most popular content on your site leads people to view more articles. Those who click on the Activity Feed plugin in particular generate 4x as many page views as the average media site viewer. Place it above the fold on your home page and at the bottom of each article for maximum engagement.

5. Use the Live Stream to engage users during live events. The live stream box can serve as a way to reach your audience, facilitate sharing of your content, and get them involved in what you’re streaming, be it an interview, conference, or other type of event.

A Tweet to Action

One of the greatest challenges any brand will experience in Twitter is the very thing that makes it so special, the ability to earn attention in real-time. Twitter, by intention, is fleeting. We are constantly sharing, engaging, and consuming micro-sized portions at a constant pace. To connect here, requires creativity, relevance, value, and a sense of reward.

Social media analytics and monitoring service Sysomos studied over 1.2 billion tweets over the course of two months and found that Twitter is indeed a broadcast system rather than a social network. As part of its Engagement Report,

 

When examining the idea of triggering a click to action, Sysomos discovered that only 29% of Tweets generate a reaction, usually in the form of a reply or ReTweet, which was the overwhelming majority of all replies at 19.3% or 72 million. Of those RTs, 92.4% happen within the first hour dropping to 1.63% in the second hour and almost cease completely in the third hour with .94%. On Twitter, we are competing for the moment.

 

Like RTs, the bulk of replies occur within the first hour as well. In the first hour, the average replies numbered at 96.9% within hour one and only .88% in hour two.

Sysomos also reviewed the depth of conversation threads on Twitter. The data fueled the idea of Twitter serving the role of broadcast network over a conversational platform. The extent of dialog is measured at three levels deep. Of all of the Tweets that generated a reply, 85% received one reply and 10.7% witnessed a reply to the original reply. Only 1.53% of Tweets experienced a reply to the reply of an original Tweet.

Does this information from Sysomos lead us to assume that Twitter’s role in our click to action programs is less important than expected? Not at all.

Influence on decisions, actions, referrals, and referring sources are dramatically leaning toward social. When it comes to click-through rates, Twitter crushes Facebook according to SocialTwist, makers of the Tell-a-Friend widget that lets users share content through social media. The company found that click-through rates via social networks outperformed links shared in email and blogs.

As we reviewed earlier, Facebook is by far, the preferred service for sharing representing over 78% of all SocialTwist shares.

However, here’s the promise for Twitter. Of all social networks, Twitter is the most effective tool for triggering coveted click-throughs. Whether Tweets are organic or Promoted, Twitter believes that it has “cracked the code on a new form of advertising.” At the same time, it has also cracked the code on a new type of interaction and engagement. Click-through rates on Twitter averaged 1904% while Facebook yielded 287%.

Read more at www.fastcompany.com

 

Archive Your Tweets Forever!

Ever wonder, “where did that tweet go from so-in-so from three weeks ago”? Or, “where is that link I tweeted last month”? If you didn’t add them to your favorites then the tweet may have disappeared. Here are some tools to make sure that never happens again.

Amplify’d from www.readwriteweb.com

Did you know that your tweets have an expiration date on them? While they never really disappear from your own Twitter stream, they become unsearchable in only a matter of days. At first, Twitter held onto your tweets for around a month, but as the service grew more popular, this “date limit” has dramatically shortened. According to Twitter’s search documentation, the current date limit on the search index is “around 1.5 weeks but is dynamic and subject to shrink as the number of tweets per day continues to grow.”

What that means is something tweeted prior to a week and a half ago can never be retrieved via search.twitter.com. That’s bad for users and it’s definitely bad for data-mining. Unless Twitter corrects this issue on its own, we have to find another solution for archiving tweets ourselves. Here are 10 ways to do so.

One of the unfortunate side effects of the FriendFeed acquisition is the very real possibility that the company will eventually shut down its servers. There are many reasons why this is upsetting – the site’s users now have to figure out how to extract everything from their natively posted content to their comment streams – or lose them forever. However, one of the most disappointing losses will be losing FriendFeed’s search feature. Since the service functioned as an aggregator of the social web, most users piped their tweets into FriendFeed, making the site a searchable archive of tweets which were still available no matter how old they were – quite unlike Twitter’s own search. But if FriendFeed is going to disappear, we need to consider some alternatives.

1. The Archivist: A Desktop Tool for Archiving Searches

The Archivist is a Windows desktop software application built by members of Microsoft’s Mix Online team. With this program, you can create Twitter searches which will then be archived to your PC so they can be data-mined by you at a later date. Recently, the program was updated so that it can be minimized to the system tray – especially helpful for when you want to track a Twitter search over a long period of time. They also added a data visualization feature which calculates who’s tweeting the most about your topic.

2. Twapper Keeper: Archive Tweets Based on Hashtags

Twapper Keeper is an online tool which archives tweets based on a given hashtag. Once you set up a query, Twapper Keeper will periodically scan Twitter for that tag and then archive the tweets it finds on its own servers. Tweets are scanned approximately every 5 minutes but that can vary based on the velocity of the incoming tweets. Once archived, you can then organize the tweets into categories of your choosing which show up on the right-hand side of the archived page.

3. Twitter Tools: Archive Tweets in WordPress

Twitter Tools is a WordPress blog plugin which integrates your blog and Twitter account. Once installed and configured, the plugin can be used to both Twitter links to your blog and to create posts which contain your recent tweets. While this is handy for the WordPress blog owner, keep in mind that post after post of “Today’s Tweets” isn’t all that appealing to blog readers. You may want to create a separate blog for this if you intend to use WordPress as your own personal Twitter archive.

Read more at www.readwriteweb.com

Foursquare is DOWN… quick… call my sponsor!

I’m going about my daily work day which starts with me checking in on Foursquare at Union Station.  I am determined to steal the mayorship from that guy at Union Station.  I am there two times a day… five days a week… HOW am I not the mayor yet?  That’s OK, one day he will forget to check in and when he does… BAM… the mayorship is mine.  Sorry, I digress… I often go “off the grid” on Foursquare over the weekend but I’m always checking in during the work week.   Yet, to my surprise, there was no Fourquare to check into this morning.  Then the tweets started flying, tweeple wanted to know “is it me”, “is there something wrong”?  As it turns out Foursquare is having major technical problems.

I didn’t know the extent of the problem this morning and I was prepared to go to the website and give them a piece of my mind when I was met by the graphic below.  The poor little icon has a broken crown and the saddest face.  How can I be mad at that?  OK, graphic designers, you got me… that’s a good look… I’ll just wait for you all to get the problem under control.  In the meantime, I’m able to better manage my Foursquare addiction and that can be nothing but a good thing!

Foursquare is Down

You know you’ve arrived when…

People ask, “this Twitter thing, will it last”?  Well, those of in Social Media know full well the impact of social networking and SM tools and with 73.5 million unique individuals in January alone I’d say Twitter is here to stay for a long, long time.  But, just in case you still aren’t a believer the how about this… you know you’ve arrived when you make it to the comic strips of the Washington Post .

Non Sequitur By Wiley Miller Copyright©2009 Wiley

Interesting and Note Worthy

Twitter’s worldwide growth is on the up swing.  According to worldwide comScore figures released this week, Twitter attracted 73.5 million unique individuals in January, up 8 percent from December, 2009 (when it had 65.2 million visitors). Twitter has an annual growth rate of a staggering 1,105 percent. A year ago, Twitter.com attracted only an estimated 6 million visitors.

Parents and privacy watchdogs are all a buzz about Google’s Buzz, the Internet giants new social networking tool.  Buzz has come under attack for its lack of privacy control, which the Google has attempted to fix.  However, parents are saying Buzz puts children in harms way and reveals entirely too much information about them online.  In an article from today’s LA Times, it seems parents have reason to be in an uproar.

The concern came home in a personal way for technology analyst Charlene Li. On Sunday night she discovered that her 9-year-old daughter had publicly shared a private conversation on Buzz without intending to. Li grew even more troubled when she spotted her daughter’s fourth-grade classmates chatting with strangers.

She turned off Buzz and alerted other parents and her child’s school, which in turn alerted other parents. Then Li, an analyst who tracks Google as well as other Internet companies, took to the Web to spread the word.

Google had already drawn sharp criticism from privacy watchdogs for the way it rolled out Buzz in millions of Gmail accounts. Privacy expert Kathryn Montgomery, a professor at American University, urged the Federal Trade Commission to address the potential risks to kids.

“Google Buzz is a new danger zone for children,” Montgomery said.

Google said it had no specific plans to tweak Buzz in response to parents’ privacy concerns. In a statement, spokesman Scott Rubin said: “We designed Buzz to make it easy to have conversations with your friends about the things that interest you. Keeping kids safe online is very important to us.”

Wal-Mart is making big moves.  Yesterday the retail giant announced that it has agreed to purchase the start-up online movie service Vudu. The struggling three-year old company’s services are already being built into televisions and Blu-ray players.  Now the question is… is your HD-TV ready to connect to the Internet?  Here’s the full press release

Walmart Announces Acquisition of Digital Entertainment Provider, VUDU

Company takes next step to enhance home entertainment and information delivery options for consumers

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 22, 2010 — Walmart announced today a definitive agreement to acquire VUDU, Inc., a leading provider of digital technologies and services that enable the delivery of entertainment content directly to broadband high-definition TVs and Blu-ray players. The deal is expected to close within the next few weeks.

VUDU is a revolutionary service, built into a growing number of broadband-ready TVs and Blu-ray players, that delivers instant access to thousands of movies and TV shows directly through the television. Customers with broadband Internet access and an Internet-ready TV or Blu-ray player can rent or purchase movies, typically in high-definition, without needing a connected computer or cable/satellite service. New movies and features will be added continually, enabling customers to enjoy a product that continues to become more robust long after they have left the store.

“The real winner here is the customer,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman for Walmart. “Combining VUDU’s unique digital technology and service with Walmart’s retail expertise and scale will provide customers with unprecedented access to home entertainment options as they migrate to a digital environment.”

VUDU has licensing agreements with almost every major movie studio and dozens of independent and international distributors to offer approximately 16,000 movies, including the largest 1080p library of video on-demand movies available anywhere. Via their broadband Internet connection, users have the ability to rent or buy titles and begin viewing them instantly.

VUDU will continue developing entertainment and information delivery solutions such as VUDU Apps, a platform that delivers hundreds of streaming Internet applications and services to TVs and Blu-ray players with built-in Internet connectivity. VUDU has partnered with some of the leading names in Internet and media entertainment to offer applications on its platform including Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, The New York Times and The Associated Press.

“We are excited about the opportunity to take our company’s vision to the next level,” said Edward Lichty, VUDU executive vice president. “VUDU’s services and Apps platform will give Walmart a powerful new vehicle to offer customers the content they want in a way that expands the frontier of quality, value and convenience.”

VUDU, based in Santa Clara, Calif., will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart. The company is not disclosing financial terms of the agreement as the acquisition is not material to its first quarter earnings for fiscal year 2011.

Social Media And Gadget Trends

Google may be all about world domination but Facebook is running an impressive second.  According to Compete.com, Facbook passed Yahoo making the social networking site the number two most trafficked site after… wait for it… Google.  Facebook drew nearly 135 unique visitors in the January of 2010 and time spent on Facebook was twice that of time spent on Yahoo and Google.  I know I did my part to help them hit the number two spot!

Yahoo for years was the world’s most popular website — its ubiquitous portal has dominated the web since the 90s. Two years ago however, GoogleGoogleGoogle vaulted past Yahoo and became the Internet’s most popular destination. Last month, it became Facebook’sFacebookFacebook turn to knock Yahoo down another peg. via Mashable

In gadget news, BlackBerry is getting a cool new app.  Amazon has released a free Kindle application for BlackBerry smart phones and is planning to launch apps for Macs and the anticipated Apple iPad.  In other BlackBerry news, RIM developers have finally realized the worth of developing a Twitter app which falls under the “Duh” and “It’s About Time” heading.  I guess you could say better late than never but BB users have already taken sides on our favorite third-party Twitter BB apps and RIM is going to have a long way to go to get us to switch to an official BlackBerry app.

Finally, more computer makers are giving the tablet business a second look as we await the release of Apple’s iPad.  According to WSJ.com, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard Co. have announce their devices and H-P is even looking to under cut the iPad price and release date.

H-P has discussed selling a version of the Slate—similar to the iPad in size and features, and including a cellular connection—for a price below the $629 Apple charges for an equivalent iPad, one of these people said.

Executives at Dell Inc., Acer Inc. and Sony Corp. say they are all watching Apple as they refine their own products. And Microsoft Corp. has a secretive team working on a two-screen tablet device, according to people familiar with the matter.There’s still plenty of skepticism about whether PC companies have the right products to compete against the iPad.  Many of the products risk being seen as “computers without keyboards,” in part because many of them run an operating system, Microsoft’s Windows 7, which is primarily aimed at traditional PC functions, said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey. In contrast, the iPad’s software, which borrows heavily from the iPhone, is more tailored for consuming media on the go, he said.

However, I can’t help but think that all this open competition will no doubt give those of us who have been holding off on purchasing a tablet or eReader many more choices and choices are always a good thing.


Social Media Scams

picture credit to mohtballmilstone.org

I read a post from Premier Social Media on Social Media Scams and thought about all the ways people are abusing the social digital space.  You know who they are, they friend you on Facebook to place ads on your page.  They fill your Twitter stream with “ways to your teeth white” or information on how “you too, can make money online”.  Then there are the folks who send you videos… a scammer or hackers favorite way to get your attention.  They often send it from a real friend compromising both accounts.  Here are of my steadfast Social Media rules:

  • If you try to sell me a product I will not engage with you
  • I do not open videos from anyone… period… unless I’m expecting a link
  • I don’t open links if there isn’t a message in the subject line
  • If I see repeated messages in any of the Social Media places I live I will “unfollow” or “unfriend” you
  • I will not follow back someone who is new in the space unless I know them personally.  By that I mean, if you only have two tweets on Twitter it’s not time for us to communicate… I need to see why you are where you are and what your messaging will be about
  • Finally, no photo, no profile information and no contact info… no reason to engage with you

Here’s some great information on the subject from Premier Social Media in their post

Social Media Scams: How To Spot Them

Like any other popular medium, scammers have begun to really attack social media. The problem is that it’s not always as easy as you might think to spot them. After all, the main point of social media is talk up our businesses and ourselves, right? Networking involves discussing what you do and leaving relevant links . . . but some people take this too far and use Twitter, Facebook and other sites to promote complete scams. Here’s how to spot them.

They promise to help you earn money. Social media works very well as a networking tool. It can be used to promote your business, too, but it’s not that great for actually raking in the cash. So, if you see someone offering to help you get rich on Twitter (or any other site, for that matter), beware! Too often, these scammers want you to send them money and they will share their secrets . . . or not.

Robot tweets. Twitter is probably the most vulnerable to auto messages, though other sites do have issues with this, as well. If you see the exact same message popping up on everyone’s accounts, you need to be careful. It’s probably being sent out automatically and without actually being recommended by the person who sent it.

Incorrect descriptions. When you see someone suggesting you take a look at their latest baby pic, then when you click you end up on a weight loss site, get out fast! This is a common scam, where the text is designed to make you want to click on the link, which actually takes you to a download page or requires you to sign in for something . . . which gives them your account name and password. You should also have an up to date anti-virus and anti-spyware program on your computer, since these sites can infect your computer.

People become your friend only to sell you things. While there are plenty of interesting, useful people on social media networks, you’ll find that there are also entirely too many who pretend to be interesting and friendly, but once you’ve accepted them, they start bombarding you with pyramid schemes and assorted other scams. This is usually because the only way for them to make their money back is to get you to join.

Using social media is a great way to build your brand for very little cost, but it can also cause you a lot of grief if you end up falling for one of the many, many scams out there. Be wary and just stay away from anyone who seems suspicious.