September 4, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
This September, watch out for the Wiki Loves Monuments USA photo contest. Admit it, you love the Wiki project. It’s given us Wikipedia, whose beyond-impressive compilation of facts, popular knowledge, images, and links (in more languages than you even knew existed!) has gotten so many of us through difficult school/work/life assignments. Little wonder it took the labor of folks around the entire planet, banded together remotely, to make it happen!
This Wiki Commons page explains all that contest’s details: http://wikilovesmonuments.us/?pk_campaign=Centralnotice
Get a Wikimedia Commons account if you want to participate. Although we’re directing you to the USA page only, thirty-five countries in total are taking part in the contest. The goal is to make high-quality images of registered historical places available to all. Above, a Wikipedia image of Burbank’s City Hall, only a short distance from Submit Express, and which is listed with the NRHP. The contest is on this month.
August 28, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Advertisers are envisioning a new future for advertising, and B. Bonin Bough is hoping to be one of the shapers of what lies ahead for the industry. Bough is the current vice president of Global Media and Consumer Engagement at Kraft Foods. He’s also thirty-five, and comes from a social media background; he co-authored a book called Perspectives on Social Media Marketing with Stephanie Agresta and Jason Miletsky.
Bough says the future of advertising is not just the connections formed on social networks, but the connection of television with social networks and the gadgets all these are accessed on. In other words, advertising now has the aim of connecting with a content consumer across all the mediums with which he or she obtains that content — television sets, smartphones, and tablets — simultaneously.
Speaking with the Financial Times this week, Bough said that advertisers like himself were thinking up new ways to conduct the transactions of advertising. The traditional mode of paying premium dollar for ads airing during the big networks’ primetime shows was being left behind. Brands are turning to buying commercials that come in more diverse forms because viewing habits are changing; eMarketer has data showing that spending on TV advertising is going down.
Bough, semi-seen above, predicts that pretty soon a lot of people will be “checking in” to the TV shows they watch.
August 24, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
This just in from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute: teens lose interest in driving the more they use social media and other forms of non-physical connection. At least these findings aren’t prompting any more pieces about how tweeting, facebooking, or texting is leading to more car accidents or deaths. But the bad news, of course, is that the American economy isn’t being helped by a shrinking number of drivers/car buyers. It can also be argued that people are missing out on knowledge that only comes through face-to-face physical contact, in all its gloriously diverse variety.
Analysts in the U.S. have found an 11 percent decline in the rate of car sales among millennials, those born between 1981 and 2001, within the last five years. Some of that decline can be attributed to the rise of social media, as well as to the expensive necessity of owning tech gadgets, a higher cost of living, and the recession and its after-effects.
Overall, it’s a double whammy. Social media gives young people alternative ways of connecting — ones that don’t require physical presence — and new technology like laptops, smartphones, and tablets compete with cars for young people’s extra cash. The cars are striking out because in today’s society, it is more important to own a decent laptop or phone than it is to own a car.
August 24, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Organizers for a charity concert against extreme world poverty have come up with a novel way of harnessing social media. That charity concert is the Global Festival 2012, which will be held in New York City’s Central Park come September 29th, but aside from the big names that will be performing — Neil Young and Crazy Horse, K’naan, and the Foo Fighters to name a few — people are talking about the event because instead of just raising money through ticket sales, concert-goers will be used as vehicles for message transmission. Such an exploit will be accomplished by making those interested in attending the concert watch informational videos on the plight of the impoverished at home and abroad.
Out of 60 thousand available tickets, 54 thousand will be given away for free through a lottery arrangement. The lottery distribution was a requirement put in place by the city of New York, which gave its consent for the event to take place in Central Park’s Grand Lawn. The place is so beloved that the Foo Fighters themselves put it on their bucket list of places where they’d like to perform.
Behind the entire effort is an apparently tireless 29-year-old Australian, Hugh Evans. He’s been on a kick to end extreme world poverty since he was 14 years old, read more about his background in James C. McKinley, Jr.’s recent piece for the New York Times.
April 16, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that when it comes to social networks, gargantuan Facebook reigns supreme. However, after eight years of unprecedented growth and the accumulation of enough clout to make an indelible imprint in the world for decades to come, the company that next month will go public on Nasdaq is now facing competition from so-called “disruptive technologies.” What are these?
They’re smaller social networks like Instagram, already bought by Facebook, and Path that allow folks online to socialize within a less public network. Although it seems counterintuitive, it’s not. People still like the medium that social networks provide for sharing pictures and life updates but, increasingly, they’re seeking to do it within more confined parameters. Also, they want to do it using their mobile devices.
Because what you want to share with your best friends rarely coincides with what you’d like to share with co-workers, companies are springing up that cater to the desire for more easeful selective sharing. The new social networks, by virtue of their not having reached the scale of Facebook, give users the feeling — perhaps unfounded — of greater privacy, and it’s precisely that which invites more relaxed sharing. Let’s face it, no one really wants to keep meticulous track of who has access to what on their FB profile.
San Jose State Business professor Randall Stross just wrote about the subject for the New York Times, and although he believes that the smaller networks do not pose any real competition to the giants, FB’s $1 billion buyout of Instagram begs to differ. Above, an image of a user’s Path interface.
February 13, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Today, the producers behind the Grammy Awards show are congratulating themselves and toasting the 40 million TV viewers that tuned in Sunday night to watch Adele win six Gramophone statuettes. They’re also understandably reeling, like pretty much everyone else in the industry, from the unexpected death of six-time Grammy award winner Whitney Houston, who passed away Saturday.
In fact, many point to Houston’s death as the unintended prong that hooked all those millions into watching the show. It seems that the 2012 viewership doubled the numbers of the 2011 Grammys, and even beat the massively popular Super Bowl XLVI in terms of social media commentary, at least according to Bluefin Labs, a research company from Cambridge, Mass., that studies such relations.
CBS, the TV network that aired last night’s music awards show, is claiming to have been deeply engaged in sparking off online interest for the show. Those performing, receiving awards, or simply in attendance were encouraged to discuss the show in all the social media outlets they participate in. Apps for the iPhone and iPad were also created by the network and it’s saying that these pulled in a million users, approximately. Critics, on the other hand, are carping about the lack of a 2012 Grammys online streaming and the delayed broadcast for the West Coast.
January 23, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Download the “bookmarklet” released today by an ad-hoc group of engineers from Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace, and you might get better search results from Google.
Last week, Google announced that information from its fledgling social network, Google+, would be surfaced in its search results all while effectively suppressing data from other competing, and much more popular, networks. Google claims the suppression (unfair censoring?) is unavoidable because it could not adequately index data from the likes of Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn due to their reluctance to publicly share all their data.
Understandably, the folks behind the other networks — which do actually supply a significant amount of public data — were miffed. But they took quick, and pointed, action. The bookmarklet that’s now available, and which has Google’s famous motto for its name, “Don’t Be Evil,” uses Google’s own search capacities to demonstrate how the current setup of data suppression is avoidable, after all, and how the dominant force in search is using its brute force to manipulate results in a way that serves its own interests.
If you want to use the tool, go to http://www.focusontheuser.org/ and download it.
So far, only one name from the group of engineers is known: Blake Ross, a co-founder of Firefox who’s currently Facebook’s Director of Product.
November 11, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Heartening — and social — news are coming to your Gmail inboxes. The source of the scoop is Mingly; and it’s actually the news itself. The self-dubbed “personal relationship management tool” was released as a plug-in for Gmail this week. Think of it as a way to unite, harmoniously, your social feeds and email messages — something that could be irremediably messy, à la Google Buzz, but isn’t, because it’s something totally different.
So, what goodies does this plug-in bring to the table? For starters, it’ll give you the ability to synch your Gmail and (webby) social contacts in a “social address book” of Mingly’s creation. Another thing is that once the tool is in place, and you’re composing an email, you’ll get to see the recipient’s updates and maybe even his or her self-written, character-limited biography. And something that can’t be glossed over is that among its rather substantive nifty features, Mingly will also let you send tweets and Facebook and LinkedIn messages from your Gmail inbox.
If you want Mingly for you Gmail, head over to www.getmingly.com and keep in mind that it works on Firefox and Chrome browsers. The same press release that announced the plug-in’s launch, also stated that Mingly’s makers were working to make their tool operational on other email services.
October 27, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
This week, the San Francisco startup Nextdoor released what it’s calling “the first private social network for neighborhoods.” The service is free and only available within the U.S. The dinero for the whole shebang is being provided by Shasta Ventures, Benchmark Capital, and other private investors, including Rich Barton. Nirav Tolia, Nextdoor’s CEO and co-founder, had this to say about the network:
We “friend” more people than ever and “follow” strangers we’ve never met, yet we don’t have a good way to communicate with the people who live right next door … There are many ways our neighbors can help us, but these days people don’t know their neighbors, or how to contact them. Nextdoor was created to change that.
If a Nextdoor website already exists on your block, you can join on the spot by submitting your home address. If there’s no extant network, then it’s necessary to apply for one. Nextdoor says that it does not share users’ personal information “with any third parties,” but even content that’s “password-protected” and not indexable by Google’s mighty crawlers can end up on the public Web. Nextdoor promises to open up bridges of communication between neighbors, but those living in places populated by hardened gossips might want to think twice before willingly providing even more yammering ammunition to these.
October 12, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Jono Lee and Eric Sue — both recent UCLA grads — have set their newly created social platform, TwoSides, loose on the Internet to help conceptualize duality. In its current setup, users publicly ponder the duality and merits of political, philosophical, and other more mundane stances with the help of well-thought-out displays and argument compartmentalization.
In the manner of social networking, fellow users contribute to an issue’s elucidation by declaring whether they agree or disagree on the matter and submitting evidence to prop up their case or unfasten the foundations of the “other side.” Welcomed evidence, to be posted directly on the site, includes self-authored ranty texts, YouTube clips, scholarly articles, and anything else that’s relevant.
The site fosters social connections through debate and also through the discovery of shared beliefs, values, or ideas. In TwoSides’ terms: “Common beliefs are a much better indicator of whether two people would connect than, say, mutual Facebook friends. Easily see how your viewpoints match up with other people using our awesome data visualizations.”
A good deal of unabashed giddiness filters through the site’s details. Even TwoSides’ 2011 summer intern, Ken Yu, radiated as much: a bodybuilder with a taste for progressive trance who’s studying Engineering at Berkeley.