Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Russian to Facebook

Can a Soviet-era throwback survive in today’s online world? In Vlad Putin’s case, maybe, but maybe not.

While political power has been increasingly centralized and media coverage more tightly controlled during the Putin/Medvedev years, the Internet remains the ultimate wild card. As seen in Egypt, Facebook, and other social media sites are successfully organizing protestors and while directly sharing stories of election improprieties to further heighten outrage.

Here is an excellent Reuters story about how the social media has ended the hibernation for many Russian protestors.

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Denial is More Than a River, it’s also Egypt’s Internet Service

How’s this for a first when it comes to not only social media, but modern communications as a whole? Because of the mass protests, the Egyptian government turned off the Internet for the entire country… and you thought it was aggravating when you have to reboot your router.

Matt Richtel at  The New York Times has an excellent article chronicling the largest Internet shut-off in history. Interesting factoid in Matt’s article is that the government of Myanmar did this in 2007 and Nepal also denied Internet service to its citizenry a couple of years before that. Obviously, neither are anywhere near the size and scope of the Egypt’s Internet denial. Appears to be a growing and increasingly disturbing trend.

A Whole New (Online) World

Well look who’s been getting into the social gaming business…the House of Mouse.  In a very smart and strategic move, Mickey and friends are making the inevitable transition to social gaming by purchasing Playdom for more than $700 million dollars.  The company has more than 42 million players a month involved in games that include “Social City,” “Sorority Life,” “Market Street” and “Bola,” among others.  Here are more details about the deal from MarketWatch.
Students of the life and career of Walt Disney would most certainly agree that not only would Uncle Walt approve of these acquisitions, but if he was around in the present day his empire would most surely have started on the Internet and be based upon computer animation.   

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Study Tries To Change Status To…COLD TURKEY!

Pardon the word play, but this article is a bit chilling. Education reporter Jenna Johnson at The Washington Post reports on a study recently conducted at the University of Maryland. The two hundred students who participated were forced to not use technology for 24 hours, that’s right just one day, and you can probably predict the results. Some of the kids described how they quickly realized that they “addicted” to their smart phone, Facebook, IMing, texting, etc.
Here is one particularly telling comment from a student participant:
“…I felt quick alone and secluded from my life. Although I go to school with thousands of students, the fact that I was not able to communicate with anyone via technology was almost unbearable.”
Here is the site for the study and all the student comments. It’s enough to give you the shakes!
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Can Social Media Buzz be an Avoid Story?

An insightful article Keith Kochberg (the CEO of iMarketing, LTD) which has been posted on entitled The Social Media Craze: Maybe Not For Your Business.

Keith discusses why the tools of social media do not necessarily benefit every organization and reminds business owners and executives to carefully define overall goals before embarking on a Facebook/Twitter campaign.

It has been all too easy for pundits to sing the praises of all thing social media, and I give Keith a lot of credit for carefully describing potential pitfalls. A good read.

Unsportsmanlike Twittering

Insightful article from Evan Hessel at about the motivations behind the NFL’s recently released policy guidelines restricting fans’ use of Twitter and other social media sites while watching games.

By now you may have heard that the NFL have stated that it will allow fans to tweet about players and teams, but will be forbidden from posting any details that includes play-by-play commentary. The league also has the added challenge of trying to contain the spread of fans recording and uploading the action with smart phone or other devices.

Hessel does a great job of exploring all these angles and includes some very fascinating comments from Wendy Seltzer, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Seltzer raises the issue of First Amendant rights of a fan and how the NFL could eventually find itself sacked by the court system.

Is Facebook Getting Some Wrinkles?

Come on, you knew this was going to happen. The Guardian UK newspaper reporting a new survey from The Office of Communications (“Ofcom”) that reveals younger people are starting to turn away from Facebook and other social networking sites. Here’s the article.


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And Iran, Iran and Tweeted Away…

Just came across this insightful piece from discussing how social media is overcoming the restrictions that the Iranian government has placed on traditional media. Even with a concerted news black-out, the world at large can now read first person accounts from unfiltered online sources.

These latest developments are really thrusting Twitter into center stage. In some ways, it parallels the first Gulf War when George H.W. Bush Administration officials admitted that they were watching CNN to keep up with war developments, creating a de facto endorsement of the network’s news gathering capabilities.
Still, even with the advent of blogs and varying social media voices, there remains a need for an responsible editor and news gathering organization to help present all this material forward in an clear and thoughtful way. While old media (newspapers, etc.) obviously face an ongoing decline, social media commentary and information can often be far too unwieldy and disorganized. That’s why the newspaper model will not really die, its just that staying so committed to paper and ink has been its undoing. Very similar to the music industry and its addiction to physical CDs. That one’s a long story for a completely different entry though.

Narcissus and FaceBook

This is a bold article from that I was meaning to cover for a while. In a gutsy move, PR practitioner Daniel Collins slams social networkers as a collection of narcissistic know-it-alls and egomaniacs.
In building his case against social media he offers an insightful checklist of all its limitations, but he does overlook a big aspect of this new world that was discussed in Born Digital. Basically, social media itself is a youth movement. It was started by teens who found that they liked texting and instant messaging each other more than using the telephone.
This then gave way to MySpace and FaceBook. The former being populated by adolescents who then started growing up and attending college, which gave way to the founding and popular explosion of the latter. Collins really should separate the users of these sites from the overall potential of the medium itself. For the most part, adolescents and young adults are going to be self-centered and self-absorbed because of limited life experiences. Yet, just as MySpace has grown into FaceBook, so will FaceBook now mature since it is increasingly being used by thirty forty fifty and older-somethings.
(Also, I would recommend checking out the source of this article, It’s one of the latest organizations that attempts to harness the power of citizen journalists. Read more about it at Wikipedia. Once someone gets this model right we will probably be looking at the future of the newspaper industry.)

The Spy Who Logged In From The Cold

This is a really fascinating article by Massimo Calabresi at TIME on how the CIA is utilizing social media and a Wikipedia format entitled Intellipedia to share and access up-to-the-minute information

I thought that the piece was thought provoking, and dare I say timely, because so much attention has recently been given to social media and external communications, while the prospects for developing even more effective channels of internal communications are too often being overlooked.

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