Archive for May, 2011
May 31st, 2011
This is an idea I like very much. The Next Web reports that a Dutch company called Mediamatic Lab has created a way of checking in on Facebook place locations via a smart card that you press against a reader at locations you visit.
The problem is that this technology is only currently available at the companyâ€™s Amsterdam HQ. They say the technology is cheap to build, so let’s see what happens with it and the other location-based social networks such as Foursquare etc.
May 25th, 2011
In May 2005 YouTube was launched. To celebrate its sixth birthday, YouTube has released some interesting figures.
- Two days worth of video are uploaded every minute to the service, and itâ€™s now achieving 3 Billion views per day.
- 48 hours of video is uploaded every minute, which is a 37% increase over the last six months and 100% over one year ago.
- There are 3 Billion views per day, which is a 50% increase on last year.
From the official blog post “For the last six years we’ve grown and evolved in our quest to push video forward and deliver the best possible experience to you. So when will we reach 72 hours a minute, or 4 billion views a day? That’s up to you. For our part, we’ll continue to work at delivering the diversity and quality of content you’re asking for, from live streams of music festivals to campaigns around social inspiration and change, rockstars in education to citizen-journalist coverage of global events and YOU showcasing your own talent“
May 24th, 2011
If you’re not familiar with Dunnhumby, it was acquired by Tesco not so long ago , and this isn’t the first acquisition by Dunnhumby. It purchased KSS Retail, a US price-modelling company, in early 2010 which offers a clue to what it is doing.
So, far from being a new diversification into a different market, which Tesco is well known for, this acquisition is in fact to strengthen Tesco’s loyalty and consumer comms/research and product marketing.
After all, Dunnhumby was the power behind the Tesco loyalty card which revolutionised retail in the 90s, and more precisely customer data, and has continued to keep Tesco’s grip on UK retail strong and forward-facing.
The trend of purchasing U.S. organisations is likely to be a planned strategy as Tesco has had its sights trained firmly on the U.S market for some time, and current stores on the other side of the Atlantic are doing well in a tough climate.
Bzzagent describes itself as a word of mouth agent that uses 800,000 BzzAgents (advocates), who are basically people that compete to be first in line to try free or discounted products to build awareness, make recommendations, talk about brands and ultimately drive sales.
By combining the data wealth of Dunnhumby, with the social intelligence and reach of Bzzagent, Tesco is clearly making a move for the social consumer and it seems to be well ahead of its competitors in this endeavour. Combining data with social knowledge and experience is a powerful advantage for Tesco, and this could be money well spent if it can make significant returns from social conversation and product marketing and sales.
May 18th, 2011
As you may have heard, an independent review into the UK’s copyright laws has been published today (May 18th), promising to lift the limits on copyright use, which will be especially welcome for sharing and re-use of digital content.
The report covers a five month review by Professor Ian Hargreaves of Cardiff University and his team, which was commissioned by the government. The hope is that the recommendations will help to bring the UK in line with digital opportunities and move away from the current outdated and heavy-handed IP laws.
Real changes include allowing transferring of music from CD to digital music catalogues such as iTunes, or vice versa, and will recommend the creation of a digital exchange for the use of copyright content, where content would be cleared quickly and easily.
The report suggests this will also help digital companies wanting to use original video or audio content to find copyright owners at the touch of a button, and enable the producers of original material to bring their work to market.
This would in effect mean all copyrighted material, including music, film and TV content, would be cleared and paid for online, which although very welcome would be difficult to develop to say the least.
The new recommendations will include offering people access to and granting permission for use of “orphan works” (which could be a piece of music or a book that are locked away as their authors are not known or cannot be traced), in order to give permission for use. In some cases lack of permission from one digital rights owner, who cannot be found, prevents usage of the content, even if the other rights owners have granted permission.
Organisations such as the BBC and the British Film Institute have large quantities of archival content that has not been exploited by the industry because there have been issues over who some of the IP rights holders might be.
The report also suggests tightening of legislation preventing criminal activity around IP, by making recommendations about how people can best enforce copyright to their own work online and protect their ideas.
The Government’s IP Crime Strategy has not been revised since 2006, therefore new guidelines for prosecutors will be issued to help them make the strongest possible case against IP criminals.
Professor Hargreaves commented in the report: “Could it be true that laws designed more than three centuries ago, with the express purpose of creating economic incentives for innovation by protecting creators’ rights, are today obstructing innovation and economic growth? The short answer is: yes.
“The UK cannot afford to let a legal framework designed around artists to impede vigorous participation in these emerging business sectors. This does not mean, however, that we must put our hugely important creative industries at risk.
“The UK should give a lead at EU level to develop a further copyright exception designed to build into the EU framework adaptability to new technologies. This would be designed to allow uses enabled by technology of works in ways which do not directly trade on the underlying creative and expressive purpose of the work.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said the following in a speech at a recent intellectual property conference: “Ian Hargreaves describes how digital technology is challenging existing business models while enabling new ones. Our IP system – and particularly the copyright system – has not kept pace. In some cases, they represent obstacles to important research, innovation and growth.
“For millions of consumers, for example, copyright now impinges on their daily lives – whether they share family photos online via Flickr, quote other people in a blog post, or burn a CD. Digital technology is all around us.”
The recommendations in the report show the Government is finally reacting to the potential of the UK’s digital economy and trying to remove some of the barriers that could hold our industry back.
However, although the recommendations in the report are welcome, some of the implementation recommendations are vague at best and if we are to see real progress on the issues that have held back some elements of the sector it will require many groups and individuals to work together to make it happen. Top marks for effort, the proof will be in how much will actually change.
For further information, I recommend the following articles:
May 18th, 2011
It is turning out to be a bit of a Facebook ‘Like’ week on the Liberate Media Blog. Today’s Facebook-inspired ‘Like’ news concerns Bing’s announcement that it is rolling out a full-on Facebook integration, referring to it as the “Friend Effect.”
What is the Friend Effect?
From engadget, “Microsoft found that most people usually want opinions from friends and family before they make a decision on something. So by including friends’ and families’ Facebook-based Likes in the search results the company lets you know their input without ever having to ask. At the same time, Microsoft has added a universal like button to the Bing Toolbar that you can use to mark your approval on anything you find on the web, which in turn, can help out your friends’ searches in a socially, antisocial kind of way.”
View the video to see how it works
May 17th, 2011
Guess what, someone did. A piece on Huffington post confirmed: “Parents Lior and Vardit Adler have named their newborn daughter “Like” after Facebook’s “like” button, the parents were looking for a unique name for their baby girl and liked the sound of the word “Like.” The name was not intended to be a gimmick, nor an ad for the social networking site”
Apparently, according to the same article this is not the first Facebook related name check, “an Egyptian father named his child “Facebook” in a nod to the social networking service’s role in the country’s revolution.
I understand the Beckhams calling their son Brooklyn and actors Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin naming their daughter Ireland, but naming children after social networks takes it to a whole new level. What should we expect next, a boy called Digg-it and a Girl called Re-Tweet?
May 13th, 2011
Facebook has had one of those weeks â€“ as my colleague Lloyd Gofton has been pointing out forcefully on Twitter today (@liberatelloyd).
On the one hand, it is fighting a PR firestorm over stories published initially in the US that Facebook secretly paid a top public relations firm to plant negative stories about Google in the US media.
Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s largest PR firms, attempted to get USA Today, the Washington Post and other high profile US news outlets to write scaremongering stories about Google’s privacy policies, according to the Guardianâ€™s Josh Halliday.
On the other hand, we see an apparently different face from Mark Zuckerbergâ€™s company, facilitating and publicising the launch of a teachersâ€™ guide to Facebook safety,
The Facebook for Educators Guide by education heavyweights Linda Fogg Phillips, Derek E. Baird and B.J. Fogg (Lindaâ€™s brother) appears to be focused on lessons for North American educators and though I would like to read the Guide, the download link on the Facebook site does not work. You can find out more, though, at http://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-safety/qa-with-linda-fogg-phillips/210692988951491.
Update Saturday 14th May: the Facebook link is still failing but you can download the Guide here:http://www.scribd.com/doc/55182215/Facebook-for-Educators-Guide
According to news sources, the guide provides US teachers with seven tips on how they can use Facebook more effectively in the classroom to enhance learning inside the classroom and beyond:
Â· To help develop and follow school policy about Facebook
Â· To encourage students to follow Facebook guidelines
Â· To stay up to date about safety and privacy settings on Facebook.
Â· To promote good citizenship in the digital world.
Â· To use Facebook’s pages and groups features to communicate with students and parents.
Â· To embrace the digital, social, mobile, and “always-on” learning styles of 21st Century students, and
Â· To use Facebook as a professional development resource
Joe Sullivan, chief security officer for Facebook (pictured above) says: “By sponsoring this guide, Facebook will actively promote it to educators and parents alike. This guide will keep educators informed so they can help students be responsible citizens of the digital world and also provide educators new ways to use Facebook for the benefit of their schools, curriculum and their own professional development.”
Itâ€™s good to see Facebook reaching out in this positive way but the company must be rueing its luck that such a practical move is overshadowed by a much more visible â€œdirty tricksâ€ story.
Itâ€™s also timely for us and a client, DigitalME, who is rapidly expanding its social enterprise through Safe, a programme that teaches teachers and young people how to engage safely on social networks and define the boundaries for this.
DigitalMEâ€™s founder and CEO Tim Riches was discussing the Guideâ€™s publication with me today and highlighted an often overlooked point about Facebook.
He said: â€œEU Kids Online, Nielson and other independent research indicates that while the official joining age on Facebook is 13, there are millions of young people from age 7 up who regularly use Facebook to connect with their friends.
â€œRather than ignoring the problem, we should make sure that we equip them to engage safely online. We need to address this and teach children of all ages how to engage safely, as well as showing teachers how they can guide their pupils to make the best use of social networking.â€
Structured approaches to online social network safety and how teachers can avoid the pitfalls of inappropriate contact with pupils online, is much needed and the Facebook-sponsored guide together with the not-for-profit Safe programme are very welcome.
May 13th, 2011
Today maybe Friday 13th, but yesterday marked the realisation of a nightmare scenario for Facebook, when news broke that it had hired a PR agency to plant negative stories about its big rival Google.
The stories specifically related to a privacy issue surrounding the Google Social Circle tool, which allows Gmail users to see information about their friends and friends of friends.
Dan Lyons at The Daily Beast broke the story yesterday (May 12th), and it has been growing ever since. If you’re not familiar with Lyons, he spent 10 years at Forbes and is now technology editor at Newsweek and the creator of Fake Steve Jobs.
He confirmed: “For the past few days, a mystery has been unfolding in Silicon Valley. Somebody, it seems, hired Burson-Marsteller, a top public-relations firm, to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers, urging them to investigate claims that Google was invading people’s privacy. Burson even offered to help an influential blogger write a Google-bashing op-ed, which it promised it could place in outlets like The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post.
“The plot backfired when the blogger turned down Burson’s offer and posted the emails that Burson had sent him. It got worse when USA Today broke a story accusing Burson of spreading a “whisper campaign” about Google “on behalf of an unnamed client.” See the emails here which included this pitch from Burson: “The American people must be made aware of the now immediate intrusions into their deeply personal lives Google is cataloging and broadcasting every minute of every day-without their permission.”
The Daily Beast story confirmed the client was Facebook, and Burson-Marsteller was seeding the story that Google Social Circle was “designed to scrape private data and build deeply personal dossiers on millions of users-in a direct and flagrant violation of Google’s agreement with the FTC.”
Facebook has since admitted it, citing two reasons: “First, because it believes Google is doing some things in social networking that raise privacy concerns; second, and perhaps more important, because Facebook resents Google’s attempts to use Facebook data in its own social-networking service.”
Let’s leave to one side claims of data ownership from Facebook, and focus on what exactly Facebook was trying to achieve.
If the key objective of the campaign was to spread anti-Google stories and highlight that Google was violating user privacy, surely the campaign has in fact achieved exactly the opposite.
I would also have hoped that these sorts of tactics, which certainly go on, would not have been necessary for such a young and progressive organisation that should have learnt from mistakes of corporate comms of a by-gone era.
Even if we remove the ethical issue for a moment, the alarm bells should still have been ringing when this campaign was discussed. Whether this idea originated from Facebook or the agency, the potential negatives vastly outweigh the potential positives, and someone must have said â€˜what if this gets out?’ After all, in the socially-connected world we live in, it was always going to be a big possibility.
As Facebook wakes up to its Friday 13th PR nightmare, and the ongoing fallout, what does this mean for the rest of us? Is it an insight into the long-brewing hostilities between the two biggest boys on the digital block? Is it a pre-emptive strike by Facebook as it knows Google is focused on the social networking space? Is Facebook right in its accusations?
The truth is none of these points really matter in the near future as Facebook has managed to put the negative spotlight on itself and destroy any platform it may have been trying to build by approaching a delicate issue with a poorly judged bully-boy tactic.
I’m sure Google isn’t totally innocent, but by making the first public move, Facebook has given itself a mountain to climb.
Read more at:
May 11th, 2011
Research just published by Lewis Communications and HCL Technologies, found that from the 2,500 businesses surveyed, 48% ban their workers from posting updates on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites.
Vineet Nayar, HCL Technologiesâ€™ chief executive, said: â€œIt is quite remarkable that in this day and age, many employers are still putting their employeesâ€™ interests as a low priority by not allowing them to use sites like Facebook.
â€œBanning them outright will impact employeesâ€™ approach to work in a negative way, having a detrimental effect on the business as a whole.â€
The next web comments, “Most companies are comfortable with staff taking ten minutes out for a cup of coffee, a cigarette or a chat in the canteen. So whatâ€™s wrong with staff posting the odd status update or firing out the occasional tweet”
For me it all comes down to social media staff guidelines and training. You should allow employees to tweet and use Facebook if they want to, do you stop them from reading papers? Additionally all your customers are probably online so you need to be aware of that too.
Social Media is a new form of communication. I’m sure these occurrences will decrease as businesses realise it is an important relationship building and monitoring tool.
May 11th, 2011
This is my first blog post after a lovely break with my family. It’s always great to down tools and spend quality time with loved ones. The only problem is that in the industry you can easily fail behind with platform, SEO, and digital news in general, leaving knowledge gaps.
So in an attempt to fill the gaps, and after trawling my feeds, here is my take on what’s gone on while I’ve been away, in no particular order. Please leave any other worth while reading in the comments section of this post.