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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Social media puts fans in driving seat at Games

Social media site Facebook launched its London 2012 page on Monday which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) hopes will help simplify the event for fans.

The Explore London 2012 page, 18 months in the making, and the culmination of a partnership with the IOC and the London Olympic Organising Committee (LOCOG) will enable users online access to their chosen athletes, sports and countries.

“I think that anything that simplifies, or makes it a little bit easier to understand or follow the people you like, has got to be a good thing,” IOC Director of Communications Mark Adams said.

The IOC said the page was part of a non-commercial project with Facebook.

Facebook will be subject to the strict rules which govern Olympic sponsorship, marketing and videos, meaning they will not display advertising around its Explore London 2012 page and athletes will not be able to post videos of themselves in the Games venues.

Facebook’s EMEA director of platform partnerships Christian Hernandez said the Olympics had previously been a “curated experience”, with broadcasters dictating what viewers outside the stadium could see, but that was set to change as the social media age handed users the power to decide what they want to watch.

The Facebook page will show users the full range of different competitions being staged at any time and enable them to see which broadcasters are showing the event, and in some instances, let them click straight through to watch it online.  Read More

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Google Sees Surge In Censorship Demands

Google warns that government attempts to remove online information are increasing and that some of the governments making censorship requests are Western democracies.

U.S. authorities, for example, made 6,192 requests seeking the removal of information from Google during the second half of 2011, the company said in a report published Sunday. In the first half of 2011, the U.S. government made 757 such requests.

In the U.K., authorities made 847 information removal requestsduring the second half of 2011, up from 333 during the first half of that year.

Google began documenting government data requests in September 2010, when it first published its Transparency Report. Prior to that, the company published data about service accessibility in China, but not elsewhere.

Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible both pleases and vexes governments around the world. On the one hand, governments find Google’s store of data irresistible as a form of surveillance; on the other hand, they resent the role Google plays in facilitating the publication of data without prior approval and making such data available via search query.  Read More

Facebook: IPO debacle was Nasdaq’s fault

facebook ipo lawsuit

The Facebook IPO was full of problems from day one, when a “technical error” on the Nasdaq exchange led to trading delays and other issues.

“Don’t blame us!” was the theme of a Facebook court filing submitted Friday in response to lawsuits that shareholders filed after the company’s disastrous IPO.

More than 40 lawsuits in different state and federal courts have been filed in the weeks since Facebook (FB) went public on May 18.

The offering was plagued with problems. On day one, a “technical error” on the Nasdaq exchange led to delays and errors in Facebook trades. Later, allegations surfaced that Facebook disclosed certain financial information in advanceto analysts for big banks and not to average investors.

Friday’s filing was Facebook’s first response to the lawsuits, which the company wants consolidated into one case in a New York court.

Facebook used the filing to preview its defense, blaming Nasdaq for the trading issues that marred its debut day. It also admitted to having private conversations with analysts, but insisted it “followed customary practices” and didn’t disclose anything improper.

First, the company tackled the Nasdaq (COMP) meltdown.  Read More

Hearsay Social Gives Brands Targeted Content For Social Media


For social media marketers, finding a continual stream of relevant content to post online–without constantly just promoting one’s own company–is a challenge.

To address this need, startup Hearsay Social has launched Content Exchange, a new product that provides targeted content for brand marketers to post on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The service launches with news, photos and video from partners Thomson Reuters, Demand Media and Tribune Media Services. Those companies will provide content for companies to choose from, while also providing certain custom content specifically for specific Hearsay clients. For some of the content providers, such as Thomson Reuters, the client will have to be a subscriber to Thomson Reuters to access the content.

Marketers can browse through content and search for particular content that’s relevant to their company. After selecting an article they can add a comment and schedule the post for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, then measure the response from fans in Likes, comments or retweets.  Read More

Microsoft in talks to acquire social media site

Microsoft in talks to acquire social media site

Microsoft is in talks to acquire its own social media site, with a deal expected to be brokered imminently.

The software giant is going after the social network Yammer, putting in an offer of more than $1 billion (£643.6 million).

Yammer was founded by David Sacks in 2008 and is used for private communications within companies.

It aims to improve business collaborations and enables people to share ideas instantly by connecting to the people they need to get work done.

According to the site, it is particularly useful for those in the marketing industry, as it allows people to create, coordinate and track marketing campaigns all in one place.

Currently, it is used by more than 200,000 companies, including automobile manufacturing heavy hitter Ford and eBay.

If Microsoft secures the site, it will join the company’s already expansive range of business products.

It will also step up the rivalry with Salesforce.com, according to The Telegraph, which recently invested in their own social marketing tools.

The organisation paid $745 million for Buddy Media this month, in a bid to join the social media revolution.

Their largest purchase ever, Salesforce.com’s investment allows them to promote their products on social sites, including Facebook andTwitter.

Marcel LeBrun, a senior vice president of Salesforce Radian6, commented: “Social media has caused the biggest transformation in marketing since the Mad Men era, causing chief marketing officers to completely re-think their strategies.  Read More

10 Big Deals Show Future Of Social Apps

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Acquisition Wave Keeps Coming

Social and business apps are colliding. In the last year, dozens of companies have acquired others in the social media market, as giants and would-be giants jockey for position. In addition, we are seeing native social networking companies such as Facebook building out their platforms with business-like capabilities, while business platforms such as Salesforce.com add social capabilities.

In this gallery, we take a look at a few of the many recent (and pending) social business-focused acquisitions. The deals we highlight here aren’t necessarily the biggest, or the first, or unique, but they signify important trends for not only social networking but also business apps in general.

Marketing consulting: Companies that have previously just dipped their toes into marketing on social networking platforms are finding themselves ready to dive in–but not without a lifejacket of sorts. Many organizations are looking to increase the scale of their campaigns, and companies like Buddy Media (in Salesforce.com’s sights) and Vitrue (recently acquired by Oracle) can help companies centrally create, publish, moderate, manage, measure, and report on their social marketing campaigns.

Analytics: Much of the big data we hear so much about these days is being generated from social networking platforms, and a number of recent acquisitions center on companies that provide the ability to make sense of all of that information.  Read More

NCAA deregulates texts, calls, private social media messages to hoops recruits

Coaches can now pick up their smartphones without trepidation.

Starting Friday, Division I men’s basketball coaches will be able to send unlimited texts and make unlimited calls to recruits who have wrapped up their sophomore year of high school. The NCAA will also allow coaches to send private messages to prospective players through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

It all means that sending a recruit an LOL (laugh out loud) will no longer get you a TTYL (talk to you later) from the NCAA.

The NCAA is allowing coaches to text, tweet and talk to their hearts’ content because, as Missouri athletic director Mike Alden put it, the organization “recognized the evolving nature of communication with students.”

In essence, coaches can finally get with the times without getting into trouble.

“I really believe it will help. I’m excited about it. And I think it’s going to be good, more so than the texts, just the ability to call and making sure to have that direct verbal communication,” Memphis coach Josh Pastner said.

The new rule was adopted by the Division I Board of Directors last October after being recommended by its leadership council. The NCAA realized that coaches were having a tougher time than ever building relationships with recruits who already know their way around social media and then some.

What was even more worrisome was that while coaches had their thumbs tied behind their backs, third parties were using new technology to get to recruits more easily than ever.

“Now instead of going around people to get to the kid or the parents, you can call them directly. I think that’s a very valid point as to why they made the rule change,” first-year Illinois coach John Groce said.

But just because a coach can call and text a kid at will doesn’t mean he should.

Knowing when to contact a recruit and when to back off could be the tricky side of this new policy.

Creighton coach Greg McDermott has a unique perspective on the matter, having seen recruiting from the side of a coach at Northern Iowa, Iowa State and Creighton and as the father of current Jays star Doug McDermott.

Greg McDermott said that the main objective for his staff is to get to know each recruit and their family inside and out. Some will undoubtedly get a kick out of all the extra attention, while others will be turned off by it.

“I think I’m probably still on the fence,” McDermott said of the new rules. “It can be a disruptive process if you allow it to become that. So I think it’s going to become really important for our staff to make sure we do our due diligence in researching each individual and each family.”  Read More

13-inch Retina MacBook Pro on the way?

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Devin Coldewey

How a new 13-inch MacBook Pro might look next to its big brother.

One of the things we noted was not announced by Apple at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference was a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina screen. But chatter in the supply line suggests that such a device is almost certainly on its way.

DisplaySearch, which noted that the new MacBook Pro’s 15.4-inch Retina display was being manufactured months ago, says that the 13.3-inch version just wasn’t quite ready to go at launch. But it will come later in the year, and probably in greater quantity than the 15-inchers, the research firm says.

The resolution is expected to be 2,560-by-1,600, somewhat less than the 2,880-by-1,800 on the new models but still twice the pixels in both directions as today’s 13.3-inch MacBook Pros. But manufacturing limits caused Apple to only be able to launch one at mid-year.

Apple chose to launch an expensive item first — the MacBook Pro with Retina display starts at $2,199 — and then gradually drop the price and add lower-cost versions, much as it did with the MacBook Air and iPad. DisplaySearch says that the smaller Retina laptops are likely being manufactured and assembled now and could be available later in the summer.  Read More

Microsoft Said to Be in Talks to Buy Yammer’s Social Network

Microsoft Corp. is in discussions to acquire Yammer Inc., operator of a social network for businesses, said two people familiar with the matter.

Microsoft may pay more than $1 billion, and a deal may be reached as soon as tomorrow, said one person, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private.

Gaining closely-held Yammer would help Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, add social-networking tools to the suite of products it offers corporate customers. Large information-technology companies are snapping up nimbler startups, sometimes before they reach an initial public offering, spending $17.4 billion on enterprise software acquisitions in 2011, compared with $715.5 million in 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

A deal for Yammer would follow other recent enterprise software purchases centered around social media. Salesforce.com Inc. gained social-marketing tools through its $745 million purchase of Buddy Media Inc. earlier this month, and Oracle Corp. recently bought two companies that analyze data on social- media sites — Vitrue Inc. and Collective Intellect Inc.  Read More

Spring Awakening Festival

Spring Awakening Festival

This weekend rant4u will be attending a show, so we will be out of the office. We hope you all have a great Father’s Day weekend.

rant4u

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