I lost all my phone contacts recently, which of course was a pity, but it led to an interesting discovery about privacy. Here’s my story.
I wanted to restore my smart phone to its original state – it started to work pretty slow after some time. The thing is that I simply forgot to copy my contact list backup. Shame on me.
But no use crying over spilled milk. I started installing some apps, configuring etc. and after a while I noticed that I have a few hundred contacts! How’s that? Android simply imported all my Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn etc. contacts, merged them, and displayed on the contact list.
Since I didn’t want such a mess in my phone, I found and option that said something like Display only contacts with a phone number and… I still had tons of contacts displayed!
Ok, I admit it was less, but still quite a lot. As it turns out, lots of people enter their private or/and work phone numbers, their home addresses and other personal data. I always had doubts entering such data and saw no particular reason to do that. My friends simply have my phone number, and even if they don’t know my exact address (though they usually know how to get to my place ) – there’s no problem asking me anytime. So why would I leave such information on my social media profiles? “Because there’s a field to be filled” or “because I can” are not real reasons.
Now what you probably want to say is that there are privacy settings, right? I can allow such personal information to be displayed only for specific people or groups and no one else will see it. That’s true, but I think it’s rather saying “don’t worry too much” than solving the problem. First of all, we do hear about a bug or inconsistency from time to time – people simply find ways to outsmart those systems. I’m not sure whether one day someone won’t say “Hey, I know how to get someones data from Facebook, even if they don’t allow it. All you have to do is…”
Of course you may think I’m paranoid, the same way I think I’m reasonable not to put some of my information at risk if I simply don’t have to. But there’s actually one more thing about publishing such information. Privacy settings may even work great, people may actually configure all this and keep their addresses top secret. Still, it doesn’t always do the trick.
What I observe (and what worries me) is that it’s pretty easy to make people accept friend requests. “Hey, let’s connect on Facebook!”, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” and so on – I’m not any kind of a popular person in the web, yet even I get such messages all the time. And people actually respond “sure, why not – that’s what social media are for”.
It’s very nice to make friends, chat, exchange thoughts etc. But it cannot be only “yeah, let’s do it!”, without any thinking whatsoever. Kevin Mitnick (and I’m sure you know the guy) claimed that he used mostly social engineering to get passwords. And this means people simply told him or allowed to easily get such information (for example, they were letting him into the office, where they had yellow notes with their passwords on monitors!).
What I’m saying is that privacy protection systems can be even designed and implemented well, but we are the weakest link. It difficult for most of us to find the right balance between socializing and being reasonable on the Internet. So far, so good – let’s just hope there’s no critical point to be reached here…Read More
When the Patriots of New England take on the Giants of New York—a game that could be decided by kicking a oblong ball made of pigskin through a giant “H” for a most ripping victory—thousands of football fans will converge on Lucas Oil Field and the surrounding areas for Super Bowl XLVI. The vast majority of attendees are sure to use mobile devices to disclose various details of their fun during a full week of events. An unprepared city could experience a social media logjam, but the city of Indianapolis has taken all of this into consideration.
We all know about the importance of the commercials during this annual event. Advertisers who are able to pay the price for any multiple of 30 seconds in between the hard-hitting action gladly do so in order to communicate their messages to a captive audience of millions. Additionally, recent history has shown that viewers have used Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and different blogs to vote on, share and otherwise interact with these spots. As important as that is to these advertisers, this is not the only proof of social media’s importance today. When the Patriots of New England take on the Giants of New York—a game that could be decided by kicking a oblong ball made of pigskin through a giant “H” for a most ripping victory—the thousands fans will converge on the Lucas Oil Stadium” the most wired stadium in the country.
Social Media at Your Command
Since social media is the medium by which so many people communicate nowadays, a digital team will be monitoring the Super Bowl Week conversation via numerous platforms from the day after the Pro Bowl through Sunday, February 5th. This team of strategists, analysts and other techies will also tweet directions to fans in search of parking, direct visitors to Indianapolis’s best attractions, and stand by to provide information in case of a disaster.
The digital marketing company, Raidious, will be in charge of handling all of this as well as measuring all of the analytics making a great study of how to prepare for and handle major events of like this as well as how many people have checked into the Super Bowl on Foursquare.
Can You Tweet Me Now?
Verizon has joined in on the fun reinforcing their own network from 3G to 4G LTE to WiFi by adding:
- 9 Antennas that are part of a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) outside the stadium to handle increased downtown traffic.
- 400 Antenna Internal DAS to handle 3G and 4G LTE voice and data inside the stadium.
- 600 Antenna WiFi system capable of handling 28,000 simultaneous connected users. Free for Super Bowl XLVI.
- 3 Cell on Wheels (COWs). Stand alone generator powered cell towers to handle the extremely high demand areas.
While these additions vastly help those lucky enough to watch the game live and in person, there could easily be a time when someone int the stands needs to chat with their friend at home about whether or not the previous play should be challenged as they both watch the television coverage up close and personal. #humblebrag
Why is This Important?
Believe it or not, it’s 2012 and somehow there are still people out there who don’t think social media is an important part of a marketing mix. Because the Super Bowl is one of, if not the most important day of the year to advertisers, paying attention to how customers receive information is imperative. The statistics collected here will determine how they reach out and touch those who they are trying to influence to buy. Plus, a few extra shares never hurt anybody.Read More
For decades, Silicon Valley has been synonymous with innovation. It is difficult to dispute this claim given that it’s the home to technology and Internet giants such as Apple, Google, and Facebook. While it hasn’t lost its staying power, other hotspots for entrepreneurship and technology have emerged over the past ten years, in particular, New York’s “Silicon Alley”.
Although cities like Chicago, Austin, and even our own Research Triangle have produced a number of web-based businesses in recent years, New York’s startup scene is growing exponentially. The amount of capital and seed funding continues to rise as well as the success of local companies like foursquare, Gilt Groupe, and Tumblr. The city’s ecosystem also has the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who recently appointed Rachel Sterne as the city’s Chief Digital Officer along with Steve Rosenbaum, the city’s first Entrepreneur at Large.
There’s no shortage of debates in the blogosphere as to whether one coast has the advantage over the other. Regardless of what side you’re on, many would agree that there’s no better time to be an entrepreneur. Organizations and incubators like the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), Startup America, Y-Combinator and Tech Stars are providing an unprecedented level of resources and support. In a recent TIME article, the YEC’s Scott Gerber even posited 2012 as “The Year of the Entrepreneur”.
Interested in seeing the growth that has been present on both coasts over the last 5 years? Interact with the graphic below to explore some noteworthy companies in both Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley, quotes from stakeholders, as well as the rise in Seed Funding from 2009-2011.
Via MBA@UNC: Online MBA
To any of our readers who are into social gaming, please do not take this as an insult. It’s definitely not intended that way.
I’m not a social gamer. It’s not that I don’t like games – I do. It’s not that I don’t like social media – I do (obviously). At this point, I haven’t found a true social game that appeals to me. It will come, but I am somewhat still put off by them simply based upon the endless invites I once got (thank you Facebook and Twitter for fixing this) and the bias has yet to completely wear off. With that said, I am still definitely interested in learning more about who the social gamers are as there is a tremendous future in the industry.
The demographics of the social gamer are not as predictable as one might think. One part that truly surprised me was the skipping of ages – 30-39 year old people and 50-59 year old people are more likely to be a social gamer than 40-49 year old people. That’s not the only surprising part.Read More
Preparing for 2012
Preparing for a new year is never easy no matter what line of work you’re in. In social media, it’s damn near impossible. Regardless of how much analysis of the previous year you complete or how strategies you put in place to start the year, things change… rapidly.
That all said, if you aren’t at least thinking about how you can improve or tweak your social strategy on a big picture basis, you’re already behind. Throw in Google’s announcement of their social search integration and you’re plain out of sight.
While they may be basic, here are some things you should be thinking about while you’re building your plan for the next month, 6 months, or even the whole year.
What is the connection between social and the bottom line?
Time and time again, we see businesses jump into social media with a bunch of buzz words at the helm of their strategy. They say that they’re doing social to converse with their customers, find new customers, have authentic engagement, etc. Those reasons aren’t wrong – they’re at the core of our values. That being said, business owners aren’t asking themselves how their efforts will connect to the bottom line.
We are far enough along in social media where the ROI is meaningful. We should never lessen the value relationships and authentic conversations, but we should be thinking about why we are spending the time and money and what the benefits will be in the end.
The line between social media to the bottom line may not be a straight one, but in the end, they should connect.
What networks actually matter and why?
I don’t need to be the one to tell you this but that said, the networks we use are evolving and all serve a different purpose. That also means that each network might not be important to your bottom line or message. This is where ROI is very important. It is important to evaluate each network separately and then determine whether it belongs in the mix of your social media strategy.
Where does social rank as a priority?
In my current position, I try to focus on social media as much as I can but in reality, social is often not the most important form of marketing for our goals (especially when you’re competing for Google ranking in “online mba programs“. That isn’t to say social doesn’t matter or isn’t a continuous part of our communications strategy. Instead, we have figured out what its importance is and how many resources should be dedicated.
Because we have evaluated its importance, we understand how to maximize our efficiency and what the most direct lines of success are within our overall marketing mix.
What is your voice?
Sometimes, being conversational and open isn’t the way to go for brands. Some brands need to be more authoritative or resourceful rather than being a friendly face. That doesn’t mean they don’t understand the nature of social that just means they understand what their public persona is and what is the best voice for their brand to possess. Find your voice and you’ll carve your place in the social atmosphere.
What defines success?
All of these questions lead into the final one. What defines success in your social strategy? This may be the most obvious question, yet it is the most important. If you don’t understand what you are working towards or what you will be evaluating at the end of your reporting period, it makes it extremely difficult to understand how to move forward.
Social is always evolving, but your overall goals shouldn’t waver past minor adjustments. They should stand firm from the beginning – otherwise your messaging and path will change to where your original goals are unrecognizable.
Everyone’s success in 2012 will look different from one another – it’s your job to understand what you are aiming to toast to in 2013.
SEO is one of the most effective methods for increasing visibility and boosting traffic online. And with Google the being undisputed king of the online search game, its ranking system is the one most publishers and marketers aim to please with their SEO efforts. However, many have found that keeping up with the company’s ever changing algorithm can be a full time job in and of itself.
If you’re among those who feel this way, brace yourself because the advent of the Google +1 button could lead to one of the biggest changes yet.
The +1 Button’s Potential Impact on Search Rankings
Since rolling out the +1 button in the spring of 2011, it was apparent that Google had big plans for the feature that instantly drew comparisons to the Facebook Like button. What became clear was the search giant’s ambitions of using it as a measure of good content and ordering rankings in the results pages. According to a recent article published by technology news site Wired, it has now been confirmed that Google will indeed use the +1 button as a tool that helps it organize rankings and weed out search engine spam, a problem the company and its competitors have been fighting for some time.
In order to get an idea of where the Google +1 button stands in terms of importance, one must first understand how it works. Remember, this feature is quite similar to what Facebook has going on with its Like button, so the best way to describe it is a convenient method for giving a piece of content your stamp of approval, an endorsement if you will. Slowly but surely, the +1 button has been making its rounds throughout the web. In fact, you may have noticed it more often in the search results and on web pages alongside buttons from Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.
The Wired story featured quotes from a Google spokesperson, who states that the company will not only be studying +1 button clicks in regard to influencing rankings and the order of results, but also as a measure of overall quality. Judging from the spokesperson’s comments and what has already been speculated for months now, it is starting to look like webmasters may need to tally up a certain number of clicks if they want to enjoy a comfortable spot in the rankings. From this perspective, the +1 button could become one of the many crucial factors that help determine PageRank, which would make it extremely important for obvious reasons.
Another Step in the Evolution of Search
To be clear, Google is not doing away with its PageRank system. Instead, it appears to be using the +1 button to improve that system and the quality of the results it delivers to the searcher. Above all, it looks like another step in the evolution that has seen search become more personal and relevant right before our very eyes.Read More