Posts Tagged 'social media'

Why We Love the Web!

Just read an interesting article, from the NY Times online, which names the top ten “Internet Moments” of the decade! As could be expected, Wikipedia and the iPhone made the list alongside Facebook and Craigslist. But the three I found most interesting were the mention of President Obama’s 2008 campaign, the use of Twitter during the Iranian election protests this past year and what they call the “online video revolution” of 2006. These three really stood out to me as being the most important “moments” because they were events which happened because of the groundwork laid down by social networking websites and informational websites like Facebook and Wikipedia. It cannot be questioned that YouTube has greatly influenced much of our popular culture in the last five years, it’s colorful internet stars often parodied in other online videos and major television programs. Obama’s campaign utilized just about every site the internet had to offer during his presidential campaign. By using Twitter as a political forum, people were able to organize political protests and share experiences and information with people across the world, giving us in the U.S. an incredible insight into their 2009 election rather than getting our information through more conventional and perhaps less authentic news sources.

Our children will undoubtedly be taught a course on history of the internet or perhaps the evolution of information technology.  And the top ten moments of the next decade may include LBS friendly gadgets, online voting or perhaps even a total reinvention of the internet itself!

ABC…It’s Easy As…LOL

Today on CNN.com they featured an article on kids using social networks.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/11/02/kids.social.networks/index.html
What do you think? Vote Below!

Web 3.0 – Adapt or Perish?

H.G. Wells once wrote,  “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative”.

Of course, he was talking about Science Fiction…or was he? Now more than ever we are constantly adapting to technology as it wildly evolves around us. But at what cost?

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m glad my father no longer refers to his computer as “the google machine” but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a bit unnerving that he now asks me if I’m okay if I go more than a few days without updating my status on a myspace page I rarely use. I fear he may never write me an old fashioned letter ever again!

And what about Kindle? Can you really replace that time old experience of lifting the worn cover of your favorite book and getting lost in the inky wonder of a good read? Is technology taking over our lives or are we willfully accepting the need for such a change in our human habits?

Web 3.0, sometimes referred to as the Semantic Web, is a place where machines can read Web pages much as we humans read them, a place where search engines and software agents can better troll the Net and find what we’re looking for. Imagine this: 3D virtual worlds the likes of which would put Second Life out of business or Web-connected bathroom mirrors?! It’s all possible now…it just takes someone to think it up!

True, the idea of the Web as one big database is nothing new…and Web 3.0 isn’t a new concept, as teh phrase was first coined in a 2001 issue of Scientific American. The article described a world in which software “agents” perform Web-based tasks we, the searcher or consumer, “often struggle to complete on our own”. According to Jeff Bates, cofounder of Slashdot,”There’s millions of dollars being spent trying to better optimize search, and that’s a big part of what the Semantic Web will be.” So…why do we as humans have such a difficult time eloquently expressing to a machine what it is we are in fact searching for? Why spend millions trying to perfect an artificial intelligence to look things up for us?

Is it the same reason we now mournfully tweet when a relative passes or “like” someone’s status update when we are unable to find the right words on our own? Or is it just possible that this technological boom is aiding our evolution, and if so- what is the end result? Is Twitter making us as stupid a InformationWeek’s Fritz Nelson seems to think? What are we evolving towards today? Will you adapt… or perish? Or …will our great great great grandkids look back at our Web 3.0 craze the way we look back now and laugh at those huge beepers we used to carry around as teenagers?


Changing Our Focus

Remember the old skool “focus groups” of traditional advertising?

Oh wait… people still do that…

My question is WHY?

In an age of twittering and everyone’s grandmother having a blog of their own, you’d think this outdated form of data collecting would be collecting dust. First of all, why would you judge the success or “cool factor” of your product based on the opinions of a dozen people with nothing better to do with their evenings than be part of a focus group about the latest shampoo bottle design for $50 and some snacks? Wouldn’t it seem more appropriate to scope out the Facebook fanpages and see how well your product is doing on it’s own and then decide if changes are even needed?!

syfy

Take the Sci-Fi Channel’s recent change to “SyFy”. Nothing was broken here…so why did they “fix” it? I’ll tell you why; they “tested it with consumers” (translation: They held a focus group, not with members of the fanbase but rather people they’d like to attract to the channel) Well, it didn’t take long for true fans to react and cause all kinds of upheaval for “the channel formerly known as Sci-Fi” via Twitter, Facebook and every geek forum known across the internet. The Sci-Fi Channel’s own blog had 900 negative comments by the end of the day after the change of name was announced publicly! (See above picture)

See… sometimes those 12 people may not have the brand’s true interest or “ideals” at heart.

So, Corporate America….if you’re listening…and you’re probably not….but in the off chance that you are and have ditched the old marketing models for the adwareness of today….I have one thing to say: Know thy consumers…and in so knowing thy consumers, know their status updates, know their tweets and most importantly, know their power.

“Interweb” the Rainbow

“Taste the rainbow.”

It’s probably one of the most recognizable slogans in recent brand history – right?

So- how does a huge brand like Skittles stay relevant in a “web 2.5″ driven world? Easy…it adapts!

Have you been to skittles.com recently? Basically, they’ve incorporated some of the world’s leading social and shared-media networks to support their web persona, proving the social significance of the chewy fruit candies!

800px-skittles-louisiana-2003

You’ll first notice when visiting skittles.com that you are prompted to enter your age. After this, a widget appears in the upper left hand corner of the homepage which is their youtube page! Obviously, youtube is a great way to showcase the brand’s popularity amongst everyday “consumers” while keeping up with their tried and true “viral” videos that have driven the brand for so long!

Now, this is where it gets really cool for a social media nerd like me…say you want “just the facts”, click on “Products” and you don’t end up at some obviously skewed page powered by marketing geniuses…instead, you are swiftly whisked away to Wikipedia! The same thing goes for “Friends” and “Chatter”, which redirects you to their facebook page and their twitter feed.

Who knew a product created in the seventies could be so… innovative!?!

I think it’s a brilliant move by Skittles and I wonder how long before we start to see a copycat campaign by that “other” multicolored candy coated confectionery….

With Friends Like These…

Before the now defunct social network Friendster ever had a chance to become part of my mother-in-law’s vernacular, voila – it’s gone.

Check out this article at Slate (http://www.slate.com/id/2212833/) which didn’t really explain how it happened that every Friendster user just up and left…but did mention, what I like to call the “Spam-bot Factor”.

Have you ever gotten those annoying friend requests on Myspace from women named Candi or HottieXXX, subject line: Hot Naked Pics!? That’s the “Spam-bot Factor”.

When thousands of fake accounts claiming they can make you millions within days or get you laid within minutes invade Facebook what will replace it??  Perhaps more actual “face” time with actual “friends” – now wouldn’t that be novel?

The Great Social Media Debate!

Okay, okay…I know you’ve all heard this one a million and one times…BUT…here it is again…

MYSPACE or FACEBOOK?

Now…before you roll your eyes and browse elsewhere for your “new media minute”, hear me out…

Let’s look at Myspace first: Great customization, slow load times, lots of spam messages and bogus friend requests, good way to keep up to date with your favorite bands, apps that are trying to be like facebook only not as seamlessly designed, not as much emphasis on what colleges you went to, more popular ( statistically more people are on MySpace, with over 11o million registered accounts to date!), less private, strong iphone app features (MySpace claims to have served some 1.7 million “daily unique mobile visits,” while Facebook reports having seen regular use by some 1.5 million people.)

Now, it’s Facebook’s turn: no customization options, no music (except for the music I like app which is limited), cool fan pages, apps that work, fatser loading times, emphasis on college networks, nice alternative to blogging with the use of status updates, easy to use interface, better security, strong iphone app features.

Obviously there are pros and cons to both social networks. But one thing is for sure, it certainly seems to illicit strong opinions from users. Maybe neither is superior… as one blogger put it “Facebook is silly. Myspace is spooky”.Personally I use both networks. While I have been hacked once on myspace, I have also been bombarded with survey questions and the like from people I can’t even remember from junior high on facebook…

So…which network do you support?


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