Tag: social media

Social Media in the near future

Social Media in the near future

Let’s call them Tweetscoops. Lady Gaga recently used Twitter to share the name of her upcoming album, ARTPOP, and George Michael let the word out on Twitter that he would be performing at the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony.

They’re not the only folks sharing big news on Twitter or Facebook, which circulates by “bird of mouth.” Some schools already are using Twitter to provide minute-by-minute updates about weather closings, crime situations on campus, admission deadlines, and other information. But if more professors start using Twitter to make major announcements, students could see it happening in these ways:

1. New assignments

Student confidentiality will keep professors from tweeting grades, but they could use #assignment and link to research, a news article, or another reading assignment students need to complete before the next class. Or maybe quick extra credit opportunities could be posted too.

2. Pop quizzes

Whether in class or online, professors could give students a quick heads-up minutes before class starts that they’ll be taking a pop quiz.

3. Required reading

Consider it higher education breaking news: The list of books for the semester could be released via Twitter before you even come to class. Now, will it cause you to actually buy them ahead of time?

4. Syllabus

It’s an essential first-day step — getting the course syllabus. But professors can go ahead and share the syllabus on Twitter, getting it out to students as soon as possible so you can be prepared for the course requirements. It also could help you make the decision earlier to keep or drop the course.

5. Office hours

Professors have designated office hours, but let’s say they have an unexpected break in the day and want to open their doors to students. With Tweets, they could let students know they’re available to help with test prep questions and more. Or they could even hold office hours via Twitter, too.

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The truth behind all those Twitter tweets

The truth behind all those Twitter tweets

By uploading a photo from your phone, you could be sharing more than you intended.

1. “Want to make a big impact? Good luck.”

Twitter, the social-media platform that lets users communicate in short posts called tweets, has exploded since its launch in 2006, from 15,000 accounts then to 200 million today. “Active users” attract an average of just under 5,000 followers (those who choose to receive a given user’s tweets automatically), according to independent research site Twitalyzer — but the number of subscribers isn’t necessarily the best measure of impact. “Not all Twitter accounts are created equal,” says Twitalyzer creator Eric Peterson.

Harvard Business Review found 10 percent of users create 90 percent of Twitter’s content. But while Lady Gaga and President Obama rank among the most followed (roughly 12 million and 9 million, respectively), Twitalyzer each day deems a different user “most influential” — like San Francisco “interaction designer” Joshua Kaufman, who has fewer than 7,000 followers. “It’s not a popularity contest,” says Peterson; it’s the frequency and volume of communication — how often and with whom you converse — that determines who’s making a mark. Twitter, for its part, says you can have an impact whether you have “five followers or 5 million.”

2. “It’s not just photos that you’re sharing.”

Ever snapped a photo with your phone, then uploaded it to post on Twitter? You may have shared more than just an image. ICanStalkU.com was set up by tech consultants to alert Twitter users that their smartphone pics are embedded with GPS data, making it so easy to determine your precise latitude and longitude that “a first grader could stalk someone,” says cofounder Larry Pesce. For its part, Twitter’s image-hosting service strips geotagged data from phone-uploaded pics, but third-party services like TwitPic are still vulnerable. Twitter has twice suspended ICanStalkU’s account, calling the site’s cautionary tweets spam. But Pesce says, “If we thought of it, someone else much more evil and smarter has been using it.”

3. “Social media is a slippery slope.”

You don’t have to be a congressman with an unfortunate surname for Twitter to have a disruptive impact on your personal life. Tracy Musacchio, a college instructor in New York, says a friend “likes to Twitter-stalk” her, leading to off-line arguments about things she’s tweeted. And couples therapists are reporting that discordant views on Twitter and other virtual-media etiquette are being cited more often as stressors in relationships.

Tara Fritsch, a marriage counselor in Oklahoma, says she helps about half her clients with social media related issues. Sites like Twitter don’t cause partners to be unfaithful, she says, but “simple opportunity” can lead some to take the plunge. (Twitter says it provides guidelines for acceptable behavior, but “no policy could prevent” users from engaging in extramarital affairs.) Bottom line: “Don’t kid yourself into thinking that things that happen in the virtual world have no impact on the real world,” Fritsch says.

4. “We’re helping journalists…”

Many reporters and news outlets are turning to Twitter for instant material and sources for breaking stories. Its efficiency in generating swift and concise feedback on everything from viewer reactions to American Idol to on-the-ground developments after natural disasters have made Twitter a resource for journalists looking to tap into civic discussion. Gregory Galant, CEO of Sawhorse Media, says that before Twitter became mainstream, it was a forum for journalists. His website, Muck Rack, serves as a directory of journalists, which the public can use to verify whether tweeters are credible reporters — important, since news often gets broken on Twitter before major news outlets report it. For example, he says, in June 2009, “news of Michael Jackson’s death was trending among the journalists we follow” before ever hitting the mainstream media.

5. “…but also hurting them.”

The death of Osama bin Laden was tweeted by Donald Rumsfeld’s chief of staff Keith Urbahn more than an hour before President Obama’s official address to the nation and before most news outlets had posted it on their Web pages. That tweet turned out to be true. But as more top stories get broken on Twitter, journalists using the site to try to keep up with a never-ending news cycle sometimes rush to report information that isn’t accurate.

Thomson Reuters, for instance, was among several news outlets that erroneously tweeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was killed in the Arizona shooting in January. (A spokesperson for Reuters says the organization is now enforcing a stricter social-media policy.) And just how effective are the tweets by major news outlets in drawing users to their websites? According to a study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, which examined traffic at 21 top news sites in the U.S., links from Twitter drove visitors to only nine of those sites, and Twitter referrals accounted for 1 percent or so of total traffic, on average.

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Beware of your social media history

Beware of your social media history

One firm collects everything you may have said or done online in the past seven years.

Companies have long used the criminal background checks, credit reports and even research on Google and LinkedIn to probe the past lives of potential employees. Now, some companies are requiring job applicants also pass a background check of social media.

A start-up years, social intelligence, scrapes the internet for all potential employees may have said or done online in the last seven years.

He then assembles a dossier with examples of professional awards and charitable work, as well as negative information that meets specific criteria: proof online racist remarks, references to drugs, sexually explicit images, messages text or videos, flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly identifiable violent activity.

“We are not detectives,” said Max Drucker, CEO of the company, based in Santa Barbara, Calif. “All that we climb is what is publicly available on the Internet today.”

The Federal Trade Commission, after initially raising concerns last fall about Social Business Intelligence, the company is determined in accordance with the Act, the Fair Credit Reporting, but the service still alarms privacy advocates who say that invites employers to view information that may not be relevant to job performance.

And what a flattering relevant information has led to job offers being withdrawn or not? Mr. Drucker said that a prospective employee was found using Craigslist to look for OxyContin. A woman posing nude in the pictures she has set up a site for sharing the picture did not get the job she was looking for in a hospital.

Other background reports have been found examples of people who are anti-Semitic comments and racist remarks, he said. Then there was the job seeker who belonged to a Facebook group, “is America. I would not have to press 1 for English.” This raises a question. “Does that mean you do not like people who do not speak English?” Asked Dr. Drucker rhetoric.

Mr. Drucker said that his goal was to conduct pre-employment to help companies meet their obligation to conduct fair hiring practices and consistent while protecting the privacy of job applicants.

For example, he said reports remove references to religion of any person, race, marital status, sexual orientation, disability and other information protected by federal employment, where companies are not supposed to ask about during interviews. In addition, applicants must first consent to background checks, and they are informed of any adverse information found.

It supports research to reduce the risk that employers may confuse the candidate working with someone else or displayed on the Information Society that is not legally admissible or relevant. “Googling someone is ridiculously unfair,” he said. “An employer may discriminate against someone inadvertently. Or worse, they face all kinds of allegations of discrimination.”

Marc S. Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, based in Washington, said that employers have the right to gather information to make a decision on the expertise of job-related, but concerned that “employers should not judge what people do in their private life away from the workplace.”

Less than a third of the surface data firm Mr. Drucker just like the major social platforms like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. He said most of the negative information about job candidates comes from web searches found deep to comment on blogs and messages on small social sites like Tumblr, the blogging site, as well as Yahoo user groups, e-commerce sites, message boards and even Craigslist.

Then there are the photos and videos that people post – or are tagged in – on Facebook and YouTube and other sharing sites like Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket and Yfrog.

And there are pictures and videos that seem to get most people in need. “Sexually explicit pictures and videos are beyond understanding,” Mr. Drucker said. “We see such blatant displays of weapons. And we see a lot of illegal activities. Many, many pictures of drug use. ”

He recalled a man who had 15 pages of photos to show with different guns, including an assault rifle. Another man included pictures of himself standing in a greenhouse with a large marijuana plants.

Given the complex “conditions of service” agreements on most sites and Web applications, said Rotenberg people do not realize that comments or content that they generate are publicly available.

“People are led to believe that there is more limited communication that there is indeed, in many cases,” he said, noting that frequent changes to Facebook’s privacy settings in recent years may put people at risk to find a job today because of the personal information they may have inadvertently made public.

“What Facebook did was to take personal information from people they have available to family and friends and make this information more widely available to potential employers,” said Mr. Rotenberg, whose organization has several complaints pending at the Federal Trade Commission on the privacy settings of Facebook.

Joe Bontke, outreach manager for the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Houston, said he regularly reminds employers and human resource managers about the risks of violation of federal rules and laws against discrimination in employment using the online search in hiring decisions.

“The things you can not ask in an interview are the same things that you can not research,” he said, which includes the full range of information on the age of a person, sex, religion, disability, national origin and race.

However, he added that 75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to research candidates online. And 70 percent of recruiters in the report that the United States they have rejected candidates because of information online, he said.

Dave Clark, owner of Advanced Impulse Communications, a telecommunications company in Southern California, began to rely on social intelligence for screening background, because it said the company needed a formal strategy and standards before assembling information online about candidates. “They provided us a standardized arm’s length how to use this additional information to make better hiring decisions,” he said.

About half of all businesses, based on government and private investigations, are now using credit reports as part of the hiring process, except in states that limit or restrict their use. As with background checks of social media, there are concerns about information that appeared. The equal employment agency filed a lawsuit last December against the Company Kaplan Higher Education, accusing it of discrimination against black job seekers in the way we use credit history in its hiring process.

But it is not unusual for senior high-level executives in many companies to submit to background checks even more complete by a private firm to survey.

“We live in a world where you have an incredible amount of information and data on all officers,” said Ann Blinkhorn, an executive recruiter in the converging technologies, media and communications industry. “I think it puts the burden on the recruiter and the hiring manager to be truly reflected on what is important and not important in the hiring decision.”

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Can companies restrict employees use of social media?

Can companies restrict employees use of social media?

Maybe not. It is probably a case to be taken to limit the use of social networks by employees while they are at work. But Paris is opened when the employee returns home. In fact, it is likely that U.S. companies can not prevent employees from discussing their jobs, their bosses or even their working conditions on social networks at all. At least that seems to be the result of a lawsuit in U.S. government’s recent.

The National Labor Relations Board has pursued an ambulance company in Connecticut after a worker fired for criticizing her boss on Facebook. The NLRB argued that the ambulance company the right to freedom of speech of its employee when it fired him for comments.

The case was settled out of court when the company agreed to change its policy of banning social media workers to disparage the company or its officers online. The company also eliminated a provision in the policy that prohibits employees from speaking to all of the company on social networks without the authorization of the company.

The NLRB said such policies violate federal laws that protect employees against disciplinary action by their companies to discuss wages, hours and working conditions with colleagues.

In this case, the female employee engaged in a profanity-laced tirade against his boss on his Facebook page of his house. Updating the status received support from others. The company fired him shortly afterward, but argued that it was not for the comments on Facebook, but because of his poor job performance. The NLRB did not buy it.

This is one lawsuit so it is difficult to make general determinations based thereon. But many companies have policies that prohibit employees from discussing their work on social networks. These companies may soon have to reconsider.

We are in new territory here. Companies that have a history of mistreatment of employees or those of companies with bullying work environments aggressive discover that social networks are their own worst enemies. But on the other hand, companies should be able to prohibit employees from sharing trade secrets, financial information, customer data and other important documents online.

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How Twitter, Facebook and other firms pick names

How Twitter, Facebook and other firms pick names

What’s in a name? If it comes to Twitter, the answer is roughly $ 1.1 billion. In just four years, Twitter has grown from birdsong for most words in the English language, according to Global Language Monitor data for 2009. (“Obama” was second.) Twitter spokesman Matt Graves said his company’s name was flatly brilliant “the result of a brainstorming session among a small group of employees at Odeo, starting in San Francisco podcasting when Twitter started as a side project. They came up with possible names, including “jitter” and “Twitter”, and put them in a hat, “says Graves. Twitter won.

Now the race to piece the name of the next society oddly memorable. The challenge is to come up with something as powerful as Verizon or Haagen-Dazs (invented words have entered the cultural lexicon), not to mention Google (misspelling the founders themselves, the digital word “googol” ), has become even more difficult. There are over one million names, slogans, logos and office in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. And according to VeriSign, a global domain name registry, 11 million Internet domain names were registered in the past 12 months alone, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year. In all, 193 million Internet domain names are now available for new businesses.

“The days are incidental to appoint more,” said Naseem Javed, founder of ABC NameBank, a consultant based in New York specializing in the nomenclature of the business. To stand out in crowded market worldwide, “he said, the name a company must now be very strange. “Ten, twenty years ago, you can start a business and take the name in every sense,” he said. “Now, with 200 countries on the cyber platform worldwide Finding the right name has become an expert in the field. ”

More than ever companies are looking for professional advice on their identity. Although the number of customers are difficult to find, there are about 50 naming firms worldwide, the majority of them launched in the last decade, according to DMOZ, the Open Directory Project, the largest of Internet yellow pages. “It’s like modern art,” said Phillip Davis, president and owner of Tungsten Branding, a naming services firm in Brevard, NC “I study words. I saw the words inside. What could they become, what could they be formatted in, are they malleable? “He takes his job very seriously. “In our industry, we call [words] partially shaped vessel.”

One of the most popular trends of naming years, according to Javed, Google is the double-O derivative. “Many companies believe that the double-O gives them a kind of comfort level,” he said. “You have names such as Joost, Boost, Wakoopa, iSkoot, and Qool.” According to Javed, there is a guiding principle in the strategy of double-O. “Basically, you put the double-O in the center, then you drop a letter on the left and a letter on the right,” he said. “I hope this gives you some magic.” ABC estimates there are about 760 company names double-o in the world.

The real art of naming a business must be weird – but not too weird. Jay Jurisics, creative director at San Francisco-based naming and branding agency Igor, points to the array of companies that appear to have been assigned a random combination of letters: Xignux, Epizone, Spansion, Assurant, Primaxis, Qorus. “Although each snowflake is unique technically” Jurisch said, “in a snowstorm they all mix and mingle.”

An odd name with an idea behind it, however, may stand out: take hairyLemon, for example, a web development company in Christchurch, New Zealand. Graham Dockrill, co-founder hairyLemon, explains that the name comes from the Cockney slang for “here at eleven” – as in 11 hours, typically when pubs open in New Zealand.

“Would you say that” hairy lemon and I am meeting you for a pint when the pub opens, “he said. Technically, to drink in the morning has nothing to do with society itself, but attracted potential customers. Dockrill estimated that at least a third of companies hairyLemon name comes from. “People might look at three or four different companies, he said,” and they will take us because we have such a funny name. ”

Like those who have appointed Twitter and Google, the people behind hairyLemon had simply touch. Not all Namer do-it-yourself is such a success. In June 2009, Russian gas company Gazprom announced a joint venture with NNPC Nigeria, which has resulted in an offshoot company they called “NiGaz.” However, the merger of “Nigeria” and “Gazprom” has struck many Americans as more suitable for an NWA album of a Russian gas monopoly. Development of a name in the digital age, according to Davis Tungsten, is both art and science. His most famous invention is PODS, portable storage with short demand. The original name of moving company and storage has been Phones, but Davis thought it “sounded too much like a toilet.” A name like PODS, he says, creates a feeling of “what, tell me more “instead of” eh, I do not understand. ”

The biggest mistake amateur creators name, Davis believes, is overanalyzing the language. Fans can focus too much on linguistics and the number of vowels and consonants. “They are so grammatically inclined to regret their bigger picture,” he said. “They forget that it must be a story connected to it. Other people’s history, but the word is so awkward that nobody cares about history. They will say: “In America, this word means the god of business. Well, yes, but he won 16 and five syllables x and z be three.”

For those who do not have the capital to employ a professional, the Internet is now littered with generating business-free name. Not all are legitimate, others are actually making fun of you. In 2003, an advertising agency in London, The Design Conspiracy has launched a website called whatbrandareyou.com where visitors can type their “core values” (as “dynamic” or “passionate”) and corporate goals (as “world leader” or “client focus”) and the site put together a brand name custom. “We were laughing a number of rebrands ridiculous at the time, as Accenture and Consignia,” says Ben Terrett, a former member of the Design Conspiracy. He said that all 150 of “products” of the site names have been carefully designed to be as bland as possible. However, the case was so compelling that 20 of their false names – including bivium, Libero, and Winnovate – were registered as trademarks by real companies.

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Apple’s iPad to face new BlackBerry rival

Apple's iPad to face new BlackBerry rival

The device will reportedly be smaller than Apple’s popular gadget, but will include a camera.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion could unveil its new tablet computer—as well as the operating system that will power it—as early as next week at a developers’ conference in San Francisco, said people familiar with RIM’s plans.

The tablet, which some inside RIM are calling the BlackPad, is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of this year, these people said. It will feature a seven-inch touch screen and one or two built-in cameras, they said.

It will have Bluetooth and broadband connections but will only be able to connect to cellular networks through a BlackBerry smartphone, these people said. Since the tablet won’t be sold with a cellular service, it’s not clear which carriers or retailers will sell the device.

In a significant development, RIM’s tablet will eschew the recently revamped BlackBerry 6 operating system in favor of a completely new platform built by QNX Software Systems, these people said.

RIM bought QNX, a maker of operating systems used in everything from cars to nuclear reactors, earlier this year, in what industry watchers said was a bid to replace software criticized as slow and buggy.

RIM eventually plans to transition its BlackBerry smartphones to the QNX operating system as well, people familiar with RIM’s strategy said.

The RIM tablet is being manufactured by Quanta Computer Inc. of Taiwan, and will run on chips from Santa Clara, Calif.-based Marvell Technology Group Inc. (NasdaqGS: MRVL – News), according to people familiar with the tablet’s manufacturing.

RIM said it doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation. A Quanta spokeswoman said the company is developing tablets for clients but declined to comment on whether RIM is one of them. Executives at Marvell, which already supplies chips for RIM smartphones, said the company has developed a new series for tablets but declined to say whether they are supplying an upcoming tablet for RIM.

The introduction of a tablet and new operating system come at a critical time for RIM, whose BlackBerry phones are facing increasingly tough competition from Apple iPhone as well as handsets that run on Google’s Android operating system. Research firm Gartner Inc. estimated BlackBerry’s share of world-wide smartphone sales fell one percentage point to 18% in the second quarter of this year versus the previous year—even as the share of Android and Apple devices rose.

A key challenge for RIM has been convincing software developers to create applications for its phones, and the company will spend much of next week’s conference showing the kinds of things that can be done on its new devices—including the recently released Torch.

RIM is readying announcements and demonstrations, including an update on BlackBerry’s mobile advertising platform and an Amazon.com Inc. music application, said people familiar with the plans.

Still, RIM’s tablet will face stiff competition in an increasingly crowded market. The launch of Apple’s iPad in April sparked a rush to build similar devices by a raft of firms from Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics to Taiwan’s Acer Inc. and Cisco Systems and Dell of the U.S. Many of those competing tablets will run Android, meaning RIM’s new operating system will go head-to-head with Apple and Google offerings in tablets as well.

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More employees visiting social networks at work

More employees visiting social networks at work

Although several companies are regulating social networking sites, employees are finding ways around the blocks of security, according to a new survey by Trend Micro.

The survey included 1600 users in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, found the world of social networking at work increased by 19 per cent in 2008 to 24 percent in 2010. The largest increase in social networking in the workplace over the past two years has been found among users in the United Kingdom, which had an increase of 6 percent, and Germany with an increase of 10 percent.

“Social networking is an extremely important tool for both personal and professional relationship-building. And while most companies’ concerns about social networks in the central office in the loss of employee productivity, they can not understand is that many social networking sites are built on technologies interactive give unlimited opportunities for cybercriminals exploit end users, stealing personal identities and professional, and corrupt corporate networks from malicious software, “said David Perry, global director of education for Trend Micro.

“With the right security solutions and guidelines for social networking implemented, there is no reason why companies choose to allow their employees the opportunity to visit these sites should be too exposed to these risks.”

Excluding Japan, there were no major differences between users and small businesses from large companies, but the investigation revealed laptop users are much more likely than users to visit the local sites social networking. Overall, the use of social networks through laptops rose 8 percent from 2008 to 2010. In the U.S., it rose 10 percent and in Germany, up 14 percent.

In 2010, 29 percent of laptop users, compared to 18 per cent of desktop users surveyed said they visited these sites at work. In Japan, 2010, employees of small businesses were much more likely than large companies to visit social networking sites – 21 percent of small firms compared to 7 percent of large companies.

For all countries surveyed in 2010, users of phones that can connect to the Internet outside the corporate network are more likely to share confidential information via instant messaging, e-mail and social applications that media which are always connected to the corporate network.

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