Monthly Archives: March 2013

For Social Media Viewing, Twitter Is Live TV; Facebook Is DVR


When you follow someone on Twitter, you see everything they post. When you follow someone on Facebook, it decides what you see. Which is right? I’d say both, and it comes down to the live TV versus DVR personalities of each service.

Should Facebook Show Everything?

The issue of Facebook deciding what to show people in their Facebook news feed came up this week when Nick Bilton of the New York Times wrote about how over the past year, the engagement on his posts had dropped, despite his having gained a huge increase in Facebook followers.

That echoed concerns from Star Trek alum and social media extraordinaire George Takei, who last year was alarmed that his Facebook engagement was down. He wondered, as Bilton did, if this was perhaps something Facebook was doing to get him and others to pay for better visibility. Billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, also got in on the criticisms last year.

I used to be in the “Facebook should show everything” camp. For example, when the Subscribe feature (now called Follow) launched in 2011, I wished it was available for Facebook Pages, not just for people, so that the visibility of content from those pages didn’t feel so out-of-control for the publisher.

As I wrote:

If someone wants to follow a publication or website on Facebook, they shouldn’t have to hope that they’re not going to miss content they may want to see, because Facebook decided something wasn’t important enough to show.

Since then, I’ve come to realize that I don’t want Facebook to show me everything in the same way that Twitter does. Moreover, even though Twitter shows me everything, I don’t actually see everything. Time to unpack the TV metaphors.

The “Live TV” Of Twitter


When you follow accounts on Twitter, everything they post flows into your Twitter timeline. You’re going to see it all. Twitter’s not sitting behind the scenes trying to decide what non-paid tweets it thinks are more important and should be shown nor what should be held back. In short, Twitter’s not trying to separate out the signal from the noise.

That’s not to say that “noise” is bad. Twitter, to me, is like having a TV on in the background while I work. I glance to it from time to time, and if something big or important happens, I look up and pay attention.  Read More


In Upgrade, Google Adds to Model for Mobile Marketing

GOOGLE executives, declaring themselves pleased with the results of an unusual advertising initiative last year, are bringing out a Version 2.0, again teaming with agencies and marketers to try demonstrating that technology is not incompatible with traditional Madison Avenue sales strategies like emotional storytelling.

Google and Volkswagen developed Smileage, an app and Web service for drivers.

The 2013 version of the initiative is to be announced on Thursday as a gaggle of Googlers gets ready for the annual South by SouthwestInteractive Conference and Festival in Austin, Tex.

The initiative last year, known as Project Re:Brief, was meant to help change minds outside Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley about the role that technology in general, and Google products in particular, could play in mainstream brand marketing.

The focus of Project Re:Brief — as in rethinking a creative brief — was to reimagine for contemporary consumers four classic commercials and campaigns from the “Mad Men” era, for Alka-Seltzer, Avis, Coca-Cola and Volvo.

This time, the brands taking part are Adidas, Burberry andVolkswagen, with Volkswagen of America and its creative agency, Deutsch L.A., going first.

Another change for 2013 is a renaming of the initiative: Art, Copy and Code, riffing on the ad industry phrase “art and copy,” evoking the two components of most ads; the organization known as the One Club for Art and Copy; and a movie, “Art and Copy,” produced by the organization.

Perhaps the biggest change for Version 2.0 is to shift the time frame. The work developed last year for Project Re:Brief was based on ads from the 1960s and 1970s. The work being developed for Adidas, Burberry and Volkswagen will be based on current ads.

“We had a great experience last year when we went back to the iconic campaigns, people saying, ‘Wow, you can build brands online; digital isn’t just for click-here, direct-response ads,’ ” said Jim Lecinski, vice president for United States sales and service at Google.

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Microsoft apologizes for violating EU antitrust order

SEATTLE – The $731 million fine European regulators slapped on Microsoft Wednesday for failing to abide by an antitrust sanction reinforces the European Union’s longstanding insistence on fair competition.

What’s more, the huge penalty also signaled that Europe won’t easily be swayed by Google and Facebook to back down from expanding online privacy rights for individuals, a policy that the U.S. tech and media companies contend would crimp the global growth of online advertising.

“This puts a spotlight on how important it is for global companies to take into account the laws and customs of the places they do business,” says Charles King, principal analyst at tech industry research firm Pund-IT. “If they can’t do that, they’re almost begging for the sort of spankings the EU has administered to Microsoft.”

Citing a technical error, Microsoft took full responsibility for failing to give European consumers a choice of Web browsers in shipping some 15 million copies of the Windows 7 operating system. The company had agreed to do that as part of a 2009 sanction closing out a protracted antitrust investigation conducted by the EU’s competition commission.

That antitrust case began in 2004, and Microsoft paid fines of $357 million in 2006 and $1.3 billion in 2008 for being slow to comply with regulations.

The company’s board last year reduced CEO Steve Ballmer’s bonus in anticipation of some sort of embarrassing sanction. “Microsoft cut a deal with the EU and failed to live up to it,” says Randal Picker, law professor at the University of Chicago. “That will get you in trouble in the EU or the U.S.”

The company didn’t say whether it would challenge this latest fine, but it is not expected to do so. “We have apologized for it,” Microsoft said in a statement. “We have taken steps to strengthen our software development and other processes to help avoid this mistake — or anything similar — in the future.”  Read More

Social Media ROI and the Impact of Press Releases

A recent post from BtoB Magazine highlights the impact of social media marketing as an overall strategy for public relations. In an article on March 4, Christopher Hosford mentions that social media is part of an overall plan for most companies, but is still being limited to 6 percent of the average marketing budget. Press releases are being integrated into this strategy with social media.

Kirsten Bjork-Jones points out that press releases are part of the marketing plans at her company. She mentions, “We distribute catalogs, PR releases, videos, email, ads and so forth, and it’s hard to tell which leads come from which channel.” This is a common issue for companies that focus on multiple venues to market their products or ideas because tracking ROI has its limitations. An infographic from PR Newswire highlights how press releases get shared across multiple social networks, so the combined impact of other social media efforts can be difficult to trace.

It is clear that social media ROI and press releases are being mixed together as companies encourage more shares of the releases through Facebook, Twitter and other networks. PR Newswire found that Twitter was able to “drive significantly more traffic” compared to the other social networks; however, Facebook and LinkedIn were still important for overall shares. This may explain why press release websites are still flourishing despite the multiple options available to companies. Business Wire continues to make global partnerships to increase its press release distribution with the addition of multimedia content. TransWorldNews has also focused on press release services with videos and picture galleries along with offering tweet services for more distribution. PR Newswire has focused on creating social channels with search optimization.  Read More





Lithium Ion Battery Makers Have Trouble Marketing Them After Boeing Incidents

Federal stimulus money has helped cut the high cost of lithium-ion batteries, but not nearly enough to make electric cars affordable. Now there’s an abundance of advanced battery manufacturers and not enough major companies to buy them. Many plants in the United States, South Korean, Japan and China that got government subsidies aren’t producing many batteries, if at all. Three years ago Michigan’s governor touted the state as the new battery capital of the world. There were five new advanced battery plants in the works, all of which were to get major tax breaks and some federal grants. But most of these plans have not worked out.  Listen to the story

Social media at 180 mph: Las Vegas Motor Speedway turns to Twitter

If “The Bachelor” TV show can post Twitter feeds from viewers during its broadcasts, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway figures it can also offer instantaneous social networking quips at a new social media nerve center at this weekend’s NASCAR race event.

Speedway officials are rolling out the social media hub at the Neon Garage for the Thursday-Sunday NASCAR weekend, which will feature guests from Team Lowe’s Racing, NASCAR, Sprint and media churning out real-time comments. About 130,000 fans are expected for Sunday’s NASCAR main event, the Kobalt Tools 400.

The hub – dubbed the “Kobalt Social Media Command Center” – will host computers and large video monitors that will give fans a live glimpse at the racing luminaries cranking out insights on Twitter and Facebook. NASCAR racer Brad Keselowski is the circuit’s famed Twitter man, and was even fined $25,000 for sending out tweets from his car during a race.

“There’s no question it’s a must-do at this point at every major sports event and property. You have to be active in social media,” said Nancy Lough, University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor of higher education and editor of the Sport Marketing Quarterly.

Lough explained that the fans’ responses and observations to NASCAR’s social media content will allow race officials to monitor trends among their consumers.

“They’re putting out content that can be accessed by their consumers and then they can listen to what the response is by taking out the intermediary,” Lough said Tuesday. “Twitter is a monitor or meter, if you will. You can monitor what is resonating with fans.”  Read More

How To Use Social Media To Find A Job

This is a guest post by Erik Bowitz, senior social media strategist at Resume Companion.

Social media is by nature random. That’s why you, along with coworkers, your mom and even your cat-loving recluse aunt, may find yourself posting memes onFacebook, tweeting nothing-in-particulars, and endorsing every imaginable skill of your LinkedIn contacts. There’s nothing wrong with any of that. But if you want to use social media to find a job, it’s better to be more deliberate. Here are some steps to take.

Target your search. Posting a Facebook status saying, “I want a job. Who can help me?” will get you nowhere. Not only are you being far too vague, but you are choosing the wrong channel for such a plea.  Instead of using Facebook, which emphasizes friends, it’s better to focus your job hunting onLinkedIn, which is purely professional. Create a LinkedIn account, if you don’t have one already, and make sure you have optimized it. (See “What To Say On LinkedIn When You’ve Been Laid Off.”)

Then use the site to its fullest by connecting with contacts. LinkedIn helps you do that by asking to connect to your email and Facebook accounts to match any of your friends who are also on LinkedIn. This is the key for LinkedIn success: transitioning useful contacts from your recreational social circles into your professional circles.

Create a Google+ profile and design it in a similar fashion. Only after you have used these two professional sources should you direct your job-hunting efforts to Facebook and Twitter.

Personalize your message. Just having profiles on different social networks is not enough to find a job. You need to carefully craft the messages you’re sending. Blasting generic messages is equivalent walking down a busy street shouting that you are looking for work; you are speaking to nobody in particular and wasting your time.

A better strategy is to make a list of people with experience, contacts or knowledge of the industry in which you want to work. You can search keywords on LinkedIn or Google+ for industries or positions. Once you have a list of prospects and contacts, you can target your message to this group.  Read More

Google reveals number of National Security Letters sent in last 4 years

Google has revealed the number of National Security Letters (NSL) that it has received in the last four years alone. The numbers are a general estimate of NSLs sent to Google by the government. The FBI sends NSLs to various entities, including businesses, internet service providers, credit card companies, and more. They demand that those entities deliver confidential information about their customers such as phone numbers, e-mail addresses, purchase history, web history, and more. Anything is fair game as long as it pertains to the FBI’s investigation.

Google received up to 4000 NSLs for over 9000 users accounts

Google has received 0-999 NSLs each year for the past 4 years from the FBI. Google isn’t allowed to release the exact amount legally because the numbers may interfere with the FBI’s investigations, but it is able to provide a range. In 2009, the FBI asked Google to deliver confidential information from over 1000-1999 of its users. In 2010, it was asked to deliver info on 2000-2999 users, and in 2011 and 2012, it was asked to deliver info on 1000-1999 users each year.

National Security Letters can be issued by the FBI even without a court order, which makes them powerful and abusive. The Electronic Frontier Foundation stated, “Of all the dangerous government surveillance powers that were expanded by the USA Patriot Act, the National Security Letter… is one of the most frightening and invasive.” Many people have voiced their concerns over the NSLs and their extensive use.  Read More

White House Denounces Cell Phone Unlocking Ban

By Madison Mills

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 | Posted 36 minutes ago

The White House decided Tuesday to publicly denounce the ban on unlocking cell phones after an online petition against the ban surfaced Monday.

Last month it became illegal to unlock cell phones to make them work on other wireless carriers by adjusting software and changing the SIM card.

The ban was created after changes were made to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which made it illegal for consumers to unlock mobile devices.

Consumers found guilty of illegally unlocking mobile phones can face up to five years in prison.

The online petition against the ban on the White House website received over 114,000 signatures.

White House Senior Adviser for Internet, Innovation and Privacy R. David Edelman wrote a blog post titled, “It’s Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking.”

“The White House agrees with the 114,000 of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties,” Edelman said.

Edelman said that legalizing the unlocking of cell phones is simply common sense.

“If you have paid for your mobile device, and aren’t bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network,” he said.

The Obama Administration has taken the side of consumers, arguing that if they paid for the device they should be able to unlock their phones.

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EVLeaks drops alleged Samsung Galaxy S IV specs ahead of launch

The clock is ticking down to when Samsung‘s Galaxy S IV will make its official public debut, but until then we’ve seen a variety of leaks and rumors about the device, with a new one surfacing today. The ever-faithful @evleaks on Twitter has posted two render images purported to be the Galaxy S IV, with one of them listing its specs, which you can check out after the jump.

galaxy s4 specs


The two images show off a rather spartan mock-up of the Galaxy S IV’s design, with the first image also including an array of specs that aren’t anything we haven’t seen before. According to the leak, the display will be a full HD Super AMOLED touchscreen, which will have a 4.99-inch display, while storage will be available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB varieties.

The camera is said to be a 13-megapixel unit offering a max resolution of 4,128 x 3,096 pixels, as well as an LED flash and auto focus. There’s 2GB of RAM listed, and it is said to run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. According to a benchmark that surfaced last month, the Galaxy S IV could have a Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU, while word has it the handset will run a Exynos 5250 processor.  Read More

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