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Archive for September, 2008

Obama vs McCaine social media assets round-up

September 9th, 2008

Obama and McCaine have been the first ever presidential campaigners to promote themselves within the realms of social media – and they have done a cracking job at it too!

The following posts demonstrate the uses and power social media has gained for Obma and Mcain in the race for the US presidency.

Social Media Snippets has a great review of Analyzing Barack Obama’s Social Media Strategy, which includes the uses of Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter to promote his presidential campaign.

Another post worth reading is Social Media 301: GOP and McCain Use of Web.

Although according to The Perfect Customer Experience post  Obama vs. McCain on Social Media, Obama is miles ahead of McCaine in terms of hot social media usage.

Another interesting site to follow the US presidential campaign through is Gov tweets, where mentions of the US presidential campaign are pulled into a Twitter microsite, and colour-coded by the party they reference – nice touch!

Prespc tv is another useful resource that drills down graphically on such things as:

Blogosphere Mentions

McCain 63% Obama 75%

72 total : 27 overlap today

Twitter Mentions

McCain 61% Obama 67%

558 total : 155 overlap today

Also worth a look is the YouTube channel called You Choose. The site is dedicated to the presidential race and offers all Obma’s and McCaine Youtube video plus lots of others to help You Choose.

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Google Chrome review: good and bad

September 9th, 2008

Google chrome was released on the 1st of September, with a leaked comic book PR stunt. If you liked the comic book idea used by Google, that was an effective way of demonstrating its new browser, check out social animation made easy or a great paid-for version called Comic Life.

But getting down to the nitty gritty…

The good Google Chrome:)

1, Google Chrome is free.

2, Google Chrome imports your bookmarks, passwords, and settings from Firefox or Internet Explorer on start-up (only on the Windows XP)

3, Chrome’s layout is very simple like all Google products.

4, You can set your own Google Chrome homepage, or you can use the ‘most visited’ sites page as your starting point, which gives you a nice visual touch.

5, Google Chrome searches your browser’s history page titles as well page content. The history results show the title of the page, as well as a thumbnail representation of the page.

6, The default Google Chrome search engine is Google. However, you can choose from a list of nine other search engines, or add your own search engine.

7, Google Chrome includes a number of features that appear in other browsers, such as tools for web developers to use in viewing and troubleshooting source code, and the ability to restore all tabs from a previous session.

8, Did I also mention it’s fast!


10, A feature called incognito. “Pages you view in this window won’t appear in your browser history or search history, and they won’t leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close the incognito window.”

11, A nice usability feature called text zoom, which with the click of a button makes the text larger on the current page.

12, You can already have a Portable Chrome: Carry the Google Browser on a USB Stick

13, If you want to change the no frills Google start up page you can re-skin it – check out this post to find out more: How to Change Google Chrome Theme With Custom Chrome Theme

If you you still are not sure about Google Chrome and are a die hard FireFox fan, why not check out the Open Websites in Google Chrome from Firefox application.

The Google Chrome bad:(

1, Yet more strings to the Google bow.

2, The lack of URL information can make it difficult to identify the specific web page you’re going to, especially if the site’s title bar description is not specific (because, say, different sections of the same site have identical title bar descriptors).

3, Windows-only for the moment.

4, Still in beta so you might find some small bug-related issues.

5, As with all Google applications, it looks a little drab.

To read more about Google Chrome the BBC has a good post: Google launches internet browser, and it’s also worth checking out the Google official blog – A fresh take on the browser

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Five on Friday – five fabulous web 2.0 tools of the week

September 5th, 2008

Here is my weekly round-up of some of the web 2.0  tools I have checked out this week.

1, Hurricanes and storms have featured on the news heavily this month, so my first offering is called Stormpulse – storm and hurriane tracking. If you are going on holiday in hurricane/storm season check out this site to see if you’re going to have a storm-free holiday.

2, Next up is a search site called Hittery. Hittery is a custom search site/dashboard that you can add custom search engines too. All the search boxes are moveable so you can have your favourite custom searches near the top.

3, Zimplit is a very simple, easy-to-use content management system/web design tool. Zimplit is open source and free forever, and you can check out the demo. This site is great if you want a website but have no idea of putting one together and want a hassle-free experience in the process.

4, Twitter Counter is a nice Twitter statistics tool that shows how popular you are in Twitter, and it also works out the amount of estimated followers you will have next month.

5, This one is not so much of a web 2.0 tool, but more of a list. 100 Useful Niche Search Engines You’ve Never Heard Of. There are many sub-sections including social media, travel and business.

More of the same next week!

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Chinwag Live: Search versus Recommendation a no-brainer debate

September 3rd, 2008

Last night’s Chinwag Live: Search v. Recommendation event was not the packed out, sweaty debacle that it usually is. My hunch is the motion of the debate was not as sexy as widgets or social media measurement, and was also pretty much a foregone conclusion. At the end of the day, there’s not much of a case that can be made to suggest recommendation/review sites will win out over super beast Google (the ‘search’ side of the argument quickly became a Google one – pointed out by a heckler who commented “let’s get off Google’s dick!”).

With that in mind, there was little debating going on, but some interesting points were made about recommendation sites from a B2C point of view – interestingly no one brought up the role they can play within a B2B audience. To summarise:

  • Only a fraction of a percentage of internet users add ‘+review’ to their search phrase – something that I was very surprised about as I do it all the time! I’d be interested to see more detailed stats on how search linguistics change between searching for specific information, and searching for inspiration or trusted reviews.
  • Recommendation sites know very little about their active reviewers at the moment, and it was agreed that this detail is currently difficult to obtain. Panelist Walid Al Saqqaf, co-founder & COO of TrustedPlaces admitted that only 17% of his registered users write reviews, while a “much smaller” percentage of unregistered users are active reviewers.
  • YouTube is becoming a popular destination for searching for reviews, particularly for mobile phones and digital cameras, and has the potential to overtake written review sites in the future.
  • Twitter is also increasingly being used for micro-reviews.
  • It is currently very difficult to measure reviewer intent across recommendation sites, which is limiting their usefulness and relevancy. According to Chinwag panelist Lisa Ditlefsen, Head of Search at Base One, Microsoft is currently looking to limit the number of review sites that rank in natural search rankings.
  • People are generally more happy to give out personal information about themselves on social networks such as Facebook and Bebo, than on review websites such as Tripadvisor. The networking opportunity, from a business or personal perspective, is a key aspect that review websites need to tap into.

A good review of the event is also available on The Crowdstorm blog.

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Gustav creates an online social media storm

September 1st, 2008

I have been following the Gustav hurricane updates today on Twitter and am amazed by the amount of people talking about it over social networks and with social online tools.

Twitter has also been embraced as a ‘perfect storm’ for Twitter – A CNN reporter named Rick Sanchez has embraced Twitter with a vengance, calling on Twitter users to feed him information from the hurricane zone.

Twitter says Gustav is the most trended word of the day followed by Hurricane Gustav and #gustav – no surprise really!

Other sources of information include a blog called Gustav Bloggers – a group of concerned techies from the Internet sector who are based in New Orleans and survived Katrina from a New Orleans skyrise with NO DOWNTIME.

You can track Hurrican Gustav in Google Earth, listen to updates via Fox News radio, watch Hurricane Gustav Webcams or join a Ning group called ‘Gustav Information Center – Alerts and Information Regarding Hurricane Gustav’.

For more information also check out Gustav’s own Wiki page and the official  Wikipedia page online at Hurricane Gustav.

It great to see people using social media as a way of communicating the latest happening for others that are not in direct contact with Gustav, but want to be kept updated in real time.

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