Who am I?

Social Media for the Sophisticated, Seasoned & Scared

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pip.io claims to offer a more intimate experience than Facebook and Twitter

There's a new social network in town and it's called Pip.io. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pip.io claims to provide a way to take conversations semi-offline into "rooms." Users can invite people to join and accept invitations from others.

The development of the platform is just leaving the beta phase. So it's still early in adaptation. Some of the features include a video chat, update posting (privately and publicly) and an application store.

I'm going to keep my eye on this to see if it catches on. At first glance of the website, it really doesn't seem inviting and doesn't offer any information about the network on its homepage. How do they expect people to learn about them. An "About" page or demo video would be nice. With the influx of spam, who wants to sign up for something just to get a snap shot of how it works or to determine if it's the right network for them. I received more information about the site from the press release, which was hosted on a news wire service, not on the site. But I did say that it was still in the early stages of development, perhaps, they'll make those visual changes soon since they are in public launch mode. Below is a picture of the homepage, does it look inviting to you?

If you want to take a gamble and see what it's all about, go to http://pip.io/ and let me know what you think. I belong to a bunch of networks now so I'm not eager to join any new ones with such sketchy details and a limited first impression.

Is your loveone cheating via Facebook or Twitter? Catch them in the act with new monitoring device

One of the oldest uses for social networks has been to meet and hopefully find a mate. This is great for single people, however, it's also created a convenient way to test the waters for those that may be on the fence. Apparently, there is gadget called the Stealth iBot that is being used to spy on the internet use of significant others.

I'm sure when BrickHouse Security created this device, they probably had parents in mind, who wanted to monitor their children's use and law enforcement agencies. According to the company, they've received a spike in sales from insecure or curious mates. The company reported that they received even more of a spike in sales in the days leading up to Valentine's Day, a whopping 242% increase. What does that say about the times we are living in, huh?

The Stealth iBot logs all computer activity including Facebook interactions. For more information on this gadget or to purchase one, visit http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/pc-computer-spy.html.

Disclaimer from BrickHouse Security CEO Todd Morris, "We're pleased to aid so many people with our products. At the same time, we encourage our customers to show good judgment and to use them responsibly."

Class Action Complaint Filed Over Google Buzz

Google is really having a time with their new social network, Buzz. I recently wrote how the new networking service seemed a little to invasive for most users. Despite the recent changes that they've made (Google just launched Buzz less than 2 weeks ago), they still have a ways to go before they can assure users that it's safe.

Mashable is reporting that a class action complaint has been filed in San Jose, CA. The complaint alleges that Google broke several electronic communications laws with the plaintiff seeking monetary relief and injunctions to prevent Google from taking similar actions in the future.

Geesh, I just took their advice and turned the feature off but if I thought there was a chance to cash in on the slight invasion of privacy, perhaps I should have filed a legal complaint.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Online Magazine strikes gold thanks to Twitter prank

You remember the show "Punk'd" and how you thought they had some of the best pranks? Or if you are little older, perhaps, you remember "Candid Camera." Well those aren't the only shows that played jokes on unsuspecting individuals and captured it all with hidden cameras. There are a host of shows that you can name.

Well this prank wasn't recorded by hidden camera but it was just as good. In the tradition of pulling pranks on brides and grooms, this one will definitely go down in the history books. And it sure to give self-proclaimed professional prankers a new batch of ideas. Recently a best man pulled the mother of all pranks and did so by allowing a newly wed couple believe the statute of limitations for executing a prank had expired. Naively, the couple entrusted the best man to house sit while they embarked on their honeymoon. Little did they know that this was the opportunity that he’d been waiting for. The best man rigged their bed to record any activity and transmit the reports via Twitter using the handle, @newlywedsontjob. The report logged weight, durations and descriptions of the activity. Before long, @newlywedsontjob had more than 22,000 followers.

In December, the prank caught the attention of Staggered, an online magazine geared towards men, that offers pre-nuptial articles and advice. Wanting to get in on the action, Staggered aggressively pursued the Twitter user, called Anon Bestman, in hopes of getting an interview. "At first he didn't want to do an interview so we asked about sponsoring the account, which he eventually agreed to," explained Andrew Shanahan, Staggered's editor. Everytime the newlyweds were on the job Staggered paid a fee. As a condition, the magazine also made him promise to give an interview when he was going to reveal the joke to the newlywed couple, which he did. When the interview went live, the best man tweeted it and traffic on the magazine's site suddenly spiked.

This was a major feat for the magazine which had only launched this past August. Once the interview link was posted to Twitter, more than 7,000 people tried to access the magazine's site simultaneously, which crashed the site. Fortunately for them, Staggered's hosting company was able to move the site to another server, which had the site back up within 10 minutes.

Thanks to Anon Bestman and the newlyweds, Staggered was able to introduce their brand to thousands of new readers. Not bad for a start-up that had only been running for 4 months, huh?

How did the newlyweds react to Anon Bestman's prank? You'll have to follow him on Twitter to find out. He plans to reveal his prank to the couple on the groom's birthday which is February 26th. So until then, you still have time to follow the action (if that's your thing). Ironically, the last tweet was Friday, Feb. 12th but I hope for their sake (of course, definitely not mine) we see some action activity today. After all, it is Valentine's Day.

Expect to see big things from Chrysler

Chrysler has tapped New Media Strategies (NMS) to spearhead their social media efforts for Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep. "Automotive social media is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic areas of consumer engagement online," said New Media Strategies founder and CEO, Pete Snyder. "Manufacturers are wisely investing because social media is having a direct impact on automotive purchasing decisions for consumers."

New Media Strategies will collaborate with each brand team and partner agency, including interactive, media and CRM (Customer Resource Management), to ensure social media initiatives are closely tied to overall marketing and business objectives.

The buzz on Google Buzz, not yet the Biz

In less than a week since Google launched Google Buzz, their answer to Facebook and Twitter, they are already making adjustments based on the unfavorable feedback they've received. Now anyone that knows me, knows that I'm one of Google's biggest fans. I incorporate as many of their products into my personal and professional activities as possible. However, when testing out their latest creation, I, too, wasn't pleased with the "auto-follow" feature in Google Buzz.

The way it was originally set up, all of the fellow Gmail users contained within your address book instantly became your followers and vice versa. That function could instantly pose a problem if some of your contacts were private. Let's say you were, like many today, seeking a job and use your personal Gmail address as the main email contact. You also use your personal Gmail address to communicate with friends and family. Unbeknownst to you, you've made it to the top of a short list of potential employment candidates but were disqualified due to your association with either a competing employer or worse, several questionable Gmail users that contain body part references in their email address. Not cool, right?

Well, now Google has made the "auto-follow" feature an option that you can select, which is now more prominently displayed. They've also made the option to turn off Buzz, all together, more prominent. Before you had to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen to find it.

Google also announced that they will no longer connect your public Picasa web album and Google Reader automatically to Buzz. This feature will also be an option that you can enable if you choose.

They also have added a Buzz tab in Gmail, where you were able to adjust other Gmail settings. From the tab, you'll be able to show, hide or disable Buzz completely.

In a blog post from the weekend they stated, "...we've been able to read the buzz about Buzz itself. We quickly realized that we didn't get everything quite right. We're very sorry for the concern we've caused and have been working hard ever since to improve things based on your feedback. We'll continue to do so."

Click here to read the complete update on their blog about the new changes.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Audi Provides Daily Webcasts from Behind-the-Scenes as the U.S. Ski Team competes in 2010 Winter Olympics

Just about every major Olympic sponsor is incorporating social media to provide added exposure for their brand during the 2010 Winter Games. Audi, the proud sponsors of the U.S. Ski Team since 2007, will be streaming live updates daily of the U.S. Ski Team as they prepare to compete. They've tapped TJ Lanning and Resi Stiegler to host their daily 15-minute webisodes, titled "Live at the Lodge with TJ and Resi." Lanning and Stiegler, both U.S. Ski Team members, will be sitting this Olympics out due to injury.

The webisodes will kicked off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. PT/ 9:30 p.m. ET and will stream at the same time each day through Feb. 27 at http://www.facebook.com/audi, http://www.justin.tv/audiski and http://www.usskiteam.com/. The daily webcasts will utilize social networking to create a two-way dialogue with fans, bringing them inside the U.S. Ski Team house. Fans' questions can be submitted prior to and during the show for Lanning and Stiegler, or any of their interview subjects, via Twitter @audiski, Facebook posts, and YouTube.

Lanning and Stiegler will also be collecting personal footage, which will air in a short documentary, once the athletes have returned home. The documentary, titled, Truth in Motion: The U.S. Ski Team's Road to Vancouver, will chronicle the skiers as they prepare to compete.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Having a hard time sleeping? Tweet about it and win a free mattress.

Simmons Beautyrest Mattress is launching a new Twitter contest to promote the anniversary of their Beautyrest queen size mattress.

Now through April 30th, sleepy consumers can send a Tweet that will automatically enter them in a sweepstakes to win a new Beautyrest Anniversary queen size mattress valued up to $2,000. All you have to do is is post a tweet about sleep that includes #simmonsbeautyrest and the URL http://bit.ly/beautyrest.

Winners will be randomly picked weekly during the 12-week contest. For more details, visit http://contest.simmons.com.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

FEARnet Celebrates George Romero & Declares February 4th #TweetLikeAZombie Day

Today is #TweetLikeAZombie Day, as declared by FEARnet. In honor of the 70th birthday of George Romero, the director of Night of the Living Dead and proclaimed father of the modern zombie movie.

SXSW Music Announces Partial Band List, Panelists and Day Stage News -- AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ --

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference and Festival, scheduled to take place March 17 - 21, 2010 in Austin, Texas, is pleased to announce a few of the bands scheduled to perform, artists that are participating on panels and exciting changes at the SXSW Day Stage.

This year's SXSW Music Conference will feature some notable artists that will be speaking on panels taking place in the Austin Convention Center. Judy Collins shares her thoughts on "Where Goes English Folk Music?," John Doe joins Ian Rogers' panel "The Cultural Significance of Direct-to-Fan Marketing," DJ Spooky encourages the spread of music into established cultural institutions in "Performing Arts: New Frontier for Live Acts," Melissa Auf Der Mar exhibits her photographic side on "Image Makers Of Rock and Soul," Suzanne Vega kicks MP3 butt on "Music Artists: Getting A Digital Ass-Kicking," Andrew WK dissects rock star myths on "What Becomes A Legend Most," Chris Walla highlights his studio work on "Producers Adapt & Survive," Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth recall early gigs on "CBGBs Stories," and Anya Marina talks soundtracks on "Case Study: New Moon." Join these artists and over 350 other speakers for an enlightening look at the past, present and future of the music industry.

The SXSW Day Stage also in the Austin Convention Center, presented by SESAC, will be partnering with six great radio stations from around the country who will present Day Stage performances on their airwaves. These are KCRW, KEXP, WXPN, The Current, KUT, and Mexico City's Reactor. Each station will present a three hour block of music. Highlighting KCRW's block on Saturday March 20 will be Rogue Wave, Middle East and Lissie. More artists will be announced soon. SXSW Day Stage performances take place in Ballroom D from 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.

And now for the bands, a few highlights selected out of over 10,000 music applications include:

!!! (Brooklyn, NY), Amaral (Madrid, SPAIN), Anita Tijoux (Santiago, CHILE), ApoptygmaBerzerk (Oslo, NORWAY), Athlete (London, ENGLAND), Bajofondo (Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA), Balkan Beat Box (Tel Aviv, ISRAEL), Band of Skulls (London, ENGLAND), Bear In Heaven (Brooklyn, NY), Black Milk (Detroit, MI), Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Los Angeles, CA), BombaEstereo (Bogota, COLOMBIA), Broken Social Scene (Toronto, CANADA), Chalie Boy (Hearne, TX), Chamillionaire& Paul Wall (Houston, TX), Cymbals Eat Guitars (New York, NY), Deer Tick (Providence, RI), Evan Dando (New York, NY), Frightened Rabbit (Selkirk, SCOTLAND), Fucked Up (Toronto, CANADA), Grant Hart (St. Paul, MN), Hauschka (Dusseldorf, GERMANY), Here We Go Magic (Brooklyn, NY), Hudson Mohawke (Glasgow, SCOTLAND), Invincible (Detroit, MI), jj (Gothenburg, SWEDEN), Killer Mike (Atlanta, GA), LA Riots (Los Angeles, CA), Les SavyFav (Brooklyn, NY), MalditaVecindad (Mexico City, MEXICO), Marina & The Diamonds (London, ENGLAND), Mayer Hawthorne & The County (Ann Arbor, MI), Midlake (Denton, TX), Miike Snow (Stockholm, SWEDEN), Mr Hudson (London, ENGLAND), MundoLivre SA (Recife, BRAZIL), Murs (Los Angeles, CA), NataliaLafourcade (Mexico City, MEXICO), Pretty Lights (Charlottesville, VA), Rye Rye (Baltimore, MD), Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (Brooklyn, NY), She & Him (Los Angeles, CA), Shwayze (Malibu, CA), Spoon (Austin, TX), Steve Aoki (Los Angeles, CA), Systema Solar (Taganga, COLOMBIA), Texas Tornados (San Antonio, TX), The Drums (Brooklyn, NY), The Middle East (Townsville, AUSTRALIA), The Soft Pack (San Diego, CA), The Very Best (New York, NY), The xx (London, ENGLAND), Trae (Houston, TX), VV Brown (London, ENGLAND), and Wolfgang Gartner (Austin, TX). This list is subject to change. This is only a portion of the bands that will be performing at the SXSW Music Festival.

The South By Southwest Music & Media Conference and Festival takes place at the Austin Convention Center and on over 80 stages throughout downtown Austin. The previously announced Smokey Robinson keynote will anchor four days of panels, interviews, workshops, peer meetings, a trade show exhibition and the world-renowned music festival.

For a full listing of events or to build a personalized schedule, go to http://my.sxsw.com/events. my.SXSW.com is the official social networking tool for SXSW Registrants and is powered by The Social Collective. Access my.SXSW from your iPhone with the official my.SXSWiPhone app powered by DUB and available now in the iTunes Store. To register to attend this productive, educational, and overwhelmingly musical week, access the website at http://sxsw.com or email us at sxsw@sxsw.com.

SXSW is sponsored by Miller Lite, Sonicbids, Chevrolet, ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars, AOL, IFC, Monster Energy, Pepsi, Mountain Dew and the Austin Chronicle.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ann Curry Trapped in New York Times Elevator for One Well-Documented Hour - Ann Curry - Gawker

Source: Gawker

What happens when a group of social media freaks—including Ann Curry—get trapped in an elevator? It is electronically recorded and broadcast over the internet at near-dizzying speed. Welcome to the most thoroughly documented elevator entrapment ever.

Today, after a Times-hosted panel on social media & Haiti, Ann Curry got stuck in the Times' building elevator. The ensuing events constitute a textbook example of how "the crowd" beats Old Media in covering breaking news. EVEN IN THEIR OWN HOUSE.

To read the rest, hop over to Gawker.