Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why Didn't I Think of This?!

One of my good friends sparked my attention yesterday about a new browser--RockMelt. At first I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about and finally she was invited by a user to download it and of course sent me an exclusive invite as well.

After frantically downloading the browser way too many times, it opened new doors for the functionality of keeping up with my social media updates.

The browser is a mesh of FireFox, Safari and TweetDeck combined into one functional and exciting web browser. It's sheer perfection.

I don't know why no one has thought of this before. Social media is focused around convenience, functionality and instantaneous feedback and RockMelt incorporates all of the above in a concise way.

The features are very user friendly as well; not only can you browse the Web at ease but while doing so, you can have quick tabs on the side including: Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube, essentially whatever Web site you wish to jump to quickly and check notifications.

Also you can effortlessly update your status and choose which outlet you want to post it to. You can easily share videos, articles, etc. on Facebook or Twitter with the click of a button. Through Facebook you also can choose a list of your favorite friends to follow and chat with them without having the annoyance of minimizing and switching windows.

Another feature I discovered--downloading attachments from emails appear at the bottom of your browser and stay there until you wish to delete them. The only thing I find strange is the bookmark. I feel the bookmark is unnecessary because of the side tabs located on the right of the browser. It makes it too cluttered in my opinion but slightly irrelevant.

Clearly, convenience is key; RockMelt is just one of the innovative ways to cut time in half of bouncing around to different Web sites to manage your accounts. Social media will never take steps back nor will it become obsolete in this constant technological progression we're in.

Innovations as such will only make our careers more efficient and more effective if kept up. Time is money and RockMelt definitely saves time.

Maybe you will be lucky enough to receive an invitation.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bad Idea: Cutting Facebook Friends.

I'm not big on watching the major television networks' late-night talk show hosts shows since Conan O'Brian was released. Thankfully he's back on TBS, but on Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC, he included a segment of his show to encourage people to "cut the friend fat," you may have on Facebook.

Sure Facebook may have started with the intentions to keep up with old college friends and such, but I really think this segment is insulting to the power and intelligence Facebook has and can convey. He naturally mocks the notion that someone simply cannot have over 1,000 friends and that your true friends are the ones who will allegedly respond to your status update, "I'm moving and need help!"

In a sense I agree with his observation in which no one can really "know" or be close friends of 1,000+ people, but the whole notion of starting a "National De-friend Holiday," said to be held on November 17th is irrelevant to the power of social networking.

Of course people are friends with others' mutual friends, and the chain reaction will endlessly continue, but the whole idea is rather insulting to those who appreciate Facebook for more than keeping up with friends.

The lack of acknowledgement Kimmel gives to the world's largest and most well-know social media tool is rather sickening in my opinion. Facebook can generate optimal PR for companies or people with small businesses through the help of exactly what he is trying to tell you to lose--friends!

The more friends you have, whether you know them or not, can help promote or launch your viral video and get you famous on YouTube; or help you start your own cupcake bakery by passing along the message.

I just think his whole approach, noted that he is a comedian, is extremely ignorant of what power social media can actually do. How would he like it if he was trying to promote a book he wrote and lacked in the friends department for promotion? Not to mention if he cuts out his friends, he will not be a desired media outlet for endorsements or partnerships if he does not have a strong following.

Poor PR move Jimmy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Obama Tweeted, Now Facebooking?

As an unemployed-by-choice college student, I was not exactly excited to see my bank account status this morning from the weekend's festivities. In that light, it dawned on me that I might actually consider applying for a part-time job, despite my heavy workload which will not get any easier, to compensate for my weekend habits.

But after speaking with my mother, complaining about spending too much money, she put in perspective for me how terrible this economy really is. Though I've never noticed before first hand, it gave me quite a culture shock.

After bouncing around on Twitter, I stumbled upon a brief article on how The White House is dipping into social networking by teaming up with members of Tomorrow through November 14th, the public can venture to the Monster's Facebook page and post any question regarding the unemployment and dwindling economy.

Based on the popularity of the question and amount of comments and "likes" the post will get, will constitute if the president will answer it via video or not. Although I am unhappy with the diplomatic decisions he has made recently, such as his 2oo million dollar/day trip to India, it is quite refreshing to see the administration utilize social media into their publicity moves.

Since social media is the hot item on the market right now, it is comforting to know (for my generation at least) that The White House is trying to reach out to the public's concerns by optimizing Facebook and Twitter.

However, being a skeptic of this administration, I wonder if the president really even knows how to use Facebook and Twitter or if this is solely a publicity stunt to attempt to entice the younger generations. It is very doubtful to say the least.

I also wonder how the baby boomer generations feel about this social media outreach as well. Do they believe it to be a waste of time because they are unfamiliar or unaware of social media's impact among audiences? Or do they just ignore it because it is irrelevant to them and their concerns?

Either way, unemployment and the economy are clearly significant issues of the nation and must be brought to attention and addressed by any means. But here lies the problem: instead of using hashtags to answer questions on Twitter like Obama did previously at a town hall meeting, they are using Monster's Facebook fan page.

There are less than 10,000 fans of Monster. So who exactly is the White House going to reach? Yes, Monster is a big and recognizable company, but I think using their Facebook page is a poor and inadequate tactic to use to address public concern.

I think the Obama Administration needs to higher a new PR and social media representative.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Twitter's Stocks are WAY up!

A couple of weeks ago I noticed an article on my Twitter feed titled, "Twitter Makes Me Like People I've Never Met, and Facebook Makes me Hate People I Know in Real Life." Once again, I had to see what their reasoning behind this truthful statement.

Although the article itself is relatively concise, it raised some valid points. I remember once when MySpace was the best and most popular social networking tool, but after several years became slightly frowned upon and less desirable to keep one updated.

Well, this article implied Facebook was following the same detrimental path. When Facebook began, it was used exclusively for college students attending selected universities, but then of course expanded world wide as explained in my previous blogs.

But it seems like every month Facebook changes or adds yet another feature or virtual game. In order for those who have nothing else better to do with their time online, you typically have to "allow access" to the specific game and ask to "invite" your friends to play.

Of course this is deemed quite annoying, but Facebook has gotten better to mask the obvious annoyance of these requests. Hence, the portion of the article's title, Facebook makes me hate those I know in real life.

Aside from the games, the obnoxious status updates and "check-ins" of where your friends are can get extremely monotonous. I honestly do not care if you checked into the restaurant down the block.

But I will say, if you are wondering what a long-lost friend is up to, Facebook is clearly the way to find out and fill you into personal facts about others. Lest we forget the Zuckerberg law.

Twitter on the other hand, though slow to grow compared to Facebook, is true serendipity. As an avid Twitter fan, I always look forward to what my favorite businesses and companies are up to and what sort of trivia-related tweets.

My personal favorite company to follow is @Smirnoff_There because they never fail to personally mention my name when I tweet them in response to trivia or general questions they ask about vodka cocktails and such.

It is only a matter of time until we see how this popularity and credibility race between Facebook and Twitter pan out. My thoughts are Facebook will eventually clean up their spam-like actions and attempt to achieve a more business-like level like Twitter.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What Do Palin and Snooki Have in Common?

Today in my Twitter feed I scrolled across an article from AdAge which was retweeted and by @Socialmedia411 titled, "A Twitter Smackdown: Sarah Palin vs. Snooki." Being an advertising major and familiar with the two, I had to read it and see what AdAge had to say.

In a satirical manor, the article compared Palin and Snooki (whatever her real name is) based on Twitter popularity statistics. Since I follow both of them, I made a few mental notes of the facts and observations AdAge came up with.

First off, the two being compared to each other is absolutely absurd but entertaining nonetheless. Secondly, why Snooki is famous and prompting her as noteworthy as Palin is completely irrational.

The article discusses and compares @SarahPalinUSA versus @Sn00ki mentions and Palin wins by a landslide, however I've noticed that Palin does not tweet quite as often as Snooki but gives much more substance and mentions to political trending topics.

I almost wish I was not following Snooki because of her mindless and irrelevent tweets. "@Sn00ki: Lunch with my hunnie by the river :) sucha nice day out!! Eatin outside so I get my tan on," is just one of her pointless tweets which I feel defeats the purpose of twitter in a social-networking sense. I roll my eyes when I see tweets that do not offer any valid substance.

Palin on the other hand, although on a completely different level than Snooki on all accounts tweet things such as, "@SarahPalinUSA: Beautiful story, beautiful results - the Chilean miners' will to live is inspiration and encouragement for all mankind." These are the kind of things I like to see and read on my twitter feed, current, relevant and notable comments that can maybe spark topic in conversation.

The article also breaks down with a pie chart the markets which tweet about Palin and Sknooki the most. Both have New York as heavy tweeters, but interestingly enough the article points out Snooki is also heavily followed by Toronto residents. AdAge mentions the notion that males are more likely to tweet about Palin rather than Snooki. Probably because her depiction on the embarrassingly idolized MTV show, "The Jersey Shore," so men do not have a favorable outlook on her. This is probably why:

Viewer discretion advised.

I think it is interesting how AdAge chose to pair the two in a sense of comparing their impact and popularity on twitter. Honestly and obviously Palin is a much more credible icon to follow and with a significant fan base, although Snooki has more twitter followers. Though I do not understand how she does not have fewer because of her completely obnoxious nonsense. No sooner do I type that statement and her tweet pops up in the corner of my TweetDeck.

Here is the AdAge article:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Go Back Gap!

Gap Reverts to Original Logo After Social Media Backlash

This past week I noticed on my Twitter feed headlines stating Gap has received some serious backlash over their new and improved logo. Although I did not read the full article at the time, I went back to see what the negative hype was about.

This morning the situation was mentioned in my media planning class; I felt so out of the loop since I skipped over the tweet last weekend and didn't have much to contribute to the discussion.

But now that I'm up to speed, the article I found from briefly discussed the issue and response from the Gap's Facebook fan page. This is a perfect example of customer/business relations via social media tools.

In order for businesses and organizations to maintain a transparent relationship with consumers, active responses and feedback is key. Social networking and review Websites easily facilitate these relationships and allow companies to respond quickly to negative feedback, much like what happened with the Gap.

Apparently the Gap tried to revamp their bland yet timeless logo by trying to modernize the blue box's effect. After the decision had been made, they shared their new logo on its Facebook page and instantly received negative feedback and thousands of tweets of consumers expressing their attitudes toward it.

Gap immediately responded and announced they were changing the logo back to the original. According to, the Gap said,"Ok. We’ve heard loud and clear that you don’t like the new logo. We’ve learned a lot from the feedback."

The Gap also stressed the importance of brand/customer relation and reassured the big blue box will be back. Clearly, the Gap fan base was not thrilled about the logo change but I personally was shocked to realize how many people really cared about the Gap logo looks.

If you've ever shopped in the Gap, they sell decent quality clothing items and staple articles, however their logo is no where to be found actually on the articles. If it was a brand such as Polo Ralph Lauren who drastically altered their logo, I feel that would be a different story given the label-social status behind it. But the Gap? Who even hardly notices the store?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"The Social Network"

Directed by David Fincher, the biggest blockbuster hit of the fall, "The Social Network" grossed $22.5 million dollars at the Box Office nearly doubling other big hit movies such as "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."

Why exactly was this movie which was so subtly promoted yet tantalizing to watch such a success? Similar to that of Facebook, how has no one thought of producing an entire two-hour movie portraying the creator of Facebook to which we all know and love?

Whether or not you appreciate the advances Facebook has to offer globally, the movie without a doubt is purely entertaining and definitely worth seeing in theaters. But the most interesting thing to me was not about trial and errors of creating Facebook, but how the concept was created according to this movie.

Mark Zuckerberg in the opening scene is portrayed as a classic jerk to his girlfriend in a pub setting, which he soon realizes she dumps him. From there he went straight to his computer to blog about her and how terrible of a person she is.

While viewing this scene of drunken and raging blogging about Mark's personal life, it really made me think of how "safe" that action would be. After all of the discussion in class about privacy and information posted online that may fall into the wrong hands made me question what would happen if I posted every interesting, unusual, note-worthy encounter I have experienced?

Of course I reveal to my trusted friends the crazy things that happen over the weekend or what I think about a certain person, but I feel as though I would never post anything that could potentially offend anybody like how Mark did to his former girlfriend. Clearly he is aware that he has followers, because his best friend knew about the break up before the two had even spoken.

Diverting from blogging consequences, the next portion of the movie that intrigued me was the questionable character of Sean Parker played by Justin Timberlake. Once the viral Facebook emails began to circulate among other Ivy League college campuses, Sean Parker, the founder of Napster immediately wanted to meet and advise Zuckerberg.

Eduardo Saverin, played by Andrew Garfield, was extremely hesitant and wary of Parker getting his hands too deep into the Facebook's development because of his tarnished name and history. Saverin was constantly worried about the business moves while Zuckerberg was more concerned with the site's image.

Needless to say, Parker seemingly played the PR role during the growth of Facebook in the movie. He took Zuckerberg under his wing for expansion, but did get Facebook employees in trouble with the law from petty drug use.

Next came the swarm of legal action by others. Harvard students and Zuckerberg's best friend and co-founder pressed charges against Zuckerberg for intellectual property theft. But in the movie Zuckerberg said, "if you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you would've invented Facebook."