Twitter movie trailer parody

August 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Twitter Online Tips Featured

How does Silicon Valley laugh off Hollywood’s upcoming film on Facebook? With mock trailers for fake movies only slightly less factual than “The Social Network.”

The video opens with such epic tweets as “my hair is sad today” and “my computer is being a fart butt right now.” Then it traces the origins of Twitter: “I need to make a way to blog that is as random and incoherent as writing on a bathroom wall.” Then all hilarity breaks loose. (After watching the clip, Stone tweeted: “HASHTAGS!”)

Protests the earnest, mop-haired actor who plays Williams: “If Twitter was as useless and dull as they say, then someone would have tweeted it.”

US Disaster Relief Officials Look to Harness Power of Social Media

August 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Twitter News

The massive earthquake that devastated Haiti earlier this year showed disaster relief officials in the United States the powerful role social media can play in responding to disasters – natural or man-made. U.S. officials say they are increasingly looking at ways to harness the power of the Internet and social media to improve the government’s response to emergencies.

Tales of people using social media or the Internet to call for help when other means are unavailable is becoming increasingly common. The tale of a Canadian woman who was trapped in the rubble after the Haiti earthquake in January is one of many examples.

The woman sent a text message to Canadian foreign ministry officials thousands of kilometers away. The message was relayed back to Canadian authorities in Haiti who were able to find and rescue her.

The American Red Cross sponsored a summit on social media data in Washington this week to discuss ways that emergency managers, government agencies and aid groups can harness new communications technologies.

Noel Dickover, who works with the U.S. State Department’s office of eDiplomacy, told participants at the conference that Haitians trapped in collapsed buildings texting the U.S. Marines and Coast Guard personnel for help was a first.

“And you reckon about the process – they send a text, somebody picks it up, sticks it in to a Ushahidi [a crowd sourcing online crisis network] platform where the diaspora is translating in an average of 10 minutes,” said Noel Dickover. “It gets place online in some way; okay this appears to be valid, and then first responders act on that. That is an incredible chain of events. And the real fascinating question is, ‘What’s that going to look like in two, three four years?'”

According to a public opinion survey conducted by the American Red Cross, one in five respondents said they would use e-mail, Internet websites or social media to seek help if they could not make an emergency telephone call.

Fourty-four percent said that if they knew of someone who needed help, they would question people in their social network to contact authorities; 35 percent said they would post a request on an agency’s Facebook social media page.

Perhaps the most telling figure for disaster relief officials, analysts say, is that 69 percent of those surveyed said they expected emergency responders to monitor social media sites and send help quickly.

Jack Holt, the chief of new media operations at the Department of Defense, notes that even his agency, which has stringent information controls, is finding ways to treat the Internet as a field in which to maneuver and not a fortress to defend against.

“The thing about social media is that wherever that crisis happens, it is now local for us,” said Jack Holt. “We are all neighbors now.”

Holt adds that when a crisis happens, people who have been affected and the information that they can provide make a local, instant command system.

“That instant command system is not for us to be in charge of, but is to give us the information that we need to get resources on the ground to place them to action,” he said.

Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says that in understanding how social media can improve emergency response, it is crucial not get lost in the technology.

He says technology ultimately is a way to empower people to help one another.

“It [technology] is merely another way that we need to continue to empower the public to have greater ownership and know the roles and responsibilities they have, and to provide them the knowledge, so they can make the best possible choice for them and their families in a time of crisis,” said Craig Fugate.

American Red Cross officials note that while more than 60 percent of government agencies are involved in social media, most are merely sending information out to the public rather than bringing it in and analyzing it. Experts say that finding ways to pull in more information and determining what information requires action are only two of the many challenges emergency responders face.

Adobe Air-based Released TweetDeck Android App (Beta)

August 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Twitter Widgets

TweetDeck, the Adobe Air-based multi-platform, multi-network Twitter client, has released an early beta for the Android platform today. Available by request (via a web form), the beta brings TweetDeck’s new single-feed-style interface to your Android phone with an all-new interface.

TweetDeck Android’s main timeline collapses your updates from friends on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Google Buzz into a single feed, with secondary timelines for directed (Twitter “@” answers) and direct messages (private message from Twitter). The main feed works fantastic, updates frequently with silent alerts using the status bar and LED. Flipping between secondary feeds is as simple as a swipe to the left or right. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a way to add more timelines at the moment, but I’d like to at least see a future update include a feed for direct messages from Facebook.

Updating your Foursquare status can be a small clumsy since it requires navigating to a dedicated “location” screen within TweetDeck, but thankfully your “favorite” locations are included, so you’ll have relatively quick access to the places you visit (and update from) the most.

The interface is clean, bright, and simple to navigate. There’s a conspicuous lack of options, which I might otherwise chalk up to the app being in beta, but the TweetDeck development team seems to have a similar “less is more” philosophy when it comes to the flexibility of the desktop client as well. If you consider yourself a Twitter “power user”, you may want to hold off jumping to TweetDeck Android, at least until there are more options for the service.

For the moment, TweetDeck has replaced the official Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare apps on my handset’s primary home screen. Time will tell if it keeps that coveted spot, but I’m hoping with a few small updates TweetDeck can be the multi-network social client the Android platform has been waiting for!

Hulk Hogan (Fake) tells his story on Twitter

August 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Twitter Basic Tips

To place a bow on today’s fake Hulk Hogan Twitter tale, the person originally claiming to be Hogan is now claiming to be a disgruntled TNA wrestler.

TNA president Dixie Carter acknowledged the tale this afternoon after Eric Bischoff shot down the claims that Hogan and Bischoff are leaving TNA. “Recent Twitter of Hulk Hogan
leaving TNA is bogus. To what extreme people will go,” Carter said on Twitter.

The person who impersonated Hogan on Twitter will have people believing he could be a TNA wrestler, as the person has made several points critical of TNA management that reflects the mood in some circles of the TNA locker room.

We reported over the weekend that 10-15 wrestlers were considering their options of staying with TNA, feeling out the rumored Wilpon Family promotion, or pursuing WWE options. The person claiming to be a TNA wrestler acknowledged the rumored promotion and claimed some wrestlers are considering leaving TNA if management doesn’t “admit to mistakes.”

Even if the person turns out to be just a fan impersonating a TNA wrestler after impersonating Hogan, the person will have people in TNA trying to track down where the Tweets are coming from based on the comments being made today.

Caldwell’s Analysis: Quite the bizarre tale today. I’m leaning toward doubting that a TNA wrestler would go to these lengths to get a so-called message out, but it remains to be seen. The whole tale was made even more bizarre by Bubba the Like Sponge and Eric Bischoff linking to the fake Hogan account before this went down.

Gabi Gregg the new MTV’s Twitter correspondent

August 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Twitter News

MTV’s newly-minted “TJ” Gabi Gregg may be a fresh hire, but she’s already hit the ground running. The 23-year-ancient fashion blogger landed the primo gig Sunday night as MTV’s Twitter-based correspondent, and since then it’s been “very overwhelming — but in a excellent way!” she said in a phone interview she squeezed in between Tweeting, moving, and doing other press.

MTV approached Gregg a few months ago to compete in the “Follow Me” web-based contest that culminated in a televised finale on Sunday. Gregg and other social-media-savvy would-be stars proved their web prowess, but only one could snag the $100,000 and year-long gig as the behind-the-scenes correspondent for all things MTV. Gregg says she was “confused” when MTV first questioned her to participate, “but after they clarified what my job would be, I was super excited. And the salary didn’t hurt.”

Gregg made Young, Stout & Fabulous after graduating from college in 2008. “I hadn’t found a job that I loved, and I wanted to pursue fashion journalism,” she says. She’d been maintaining a personal LiveJournal “since high school,” but YFF was her first real foray into the expansive blogosphere. She sees it as more than a outfit-a-day outlet, too: “It has a message beyond fashion, about accepting yourself at any size, and feeling stylish.”

Plus the clothes are but one aspect of her personality. “Fashion’s just one side of me, but it’s certainly not my only interest. I like pop culture,” she says. Her new gig as MTV’s first TJ will certainly help foster that like. Though the specifics of the gig are still up in the air (on her blog, she acknowledges that there “is a ton of room for experimentation”), in general she will be MTV fans’ eyes and ears to how the network operates, blogging and tweeting the on-the-scene experiences with an emphasis on dialogue. Want a hint as to what to expect? She cites ?uestlove’s Twitter stream as the gold standard of fan interaction.

“I meet people [through Twitter] that I’d never have the opportunity to know,” she says. “It’s been a fantastic way to give and get feedback from my readers, for blogging in between posts — when I got started, I had no thought how cool it was.”

Marketers Tap into Twitter

August 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Twitter Widgets

Continuing its commitment to enable marketers to fully realize the collective power of relevant messaging via email, social and mobile channels, Lyris, Inc. on May 4, 2009 announced social media enhancements in Lyris HQ to include the monitoring, sharing and measurement of messages posted on Twitter. Support for Twitter is the latest
addition to Lyris HQ’s social media functionality, which allows marketers to incorporate social media sharing, tracking and measurement into campaigns across 10 of the most well loved social networking sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon and more.

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to send, read and share 140-character messages, referred to as “Tweets.” Tweets are showed on the user’s profile page and are visible to other users who have subscribed to receive messages, known as “followers.” Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networking sites, with more than seven million unique monthly visitors and an annual growth rate of more than 1,000 percent, according to a recent Nielsen report.

“Twitter offers us another touchpoint to reach and engage key audiences,” said Karen McNaughton, director of marketing, In-Touch Survey Systems. “We are communicating on Twitter as a way to increase brand awareness and engagement and look forward to leveraging Lyris’ continued innovation to help us achieve our business goals.”

Lyris HQ is the only solution available today that allows time and cost conscious marketers to make, manage and measure successful social media campaigns from one integrated marketing platform. Lyris HQ provides customers with total control of interactive marketing campaigns, including email marketing, social and mobile marketing, pay-per-click management (PPC), Web content management, search engine marketing (SEM) and Web analytics.

Growing Community and ROI with Twitter
According to the 2009 Social Media Marketing & PR Benchmark Guide, Sergio Balegno, senior analyst with MarketingSherpa notes that “Social media is changing the way companies communicate in the pursuit of commerce.” More than 75 percent of marketers surveyed by MarketingSherpa agree that social media is changing the way their companies communicate with target audiences.
For marketers, Twitter has become an influential community to share information and interact with customers and key stakeholders via timely updates, offers, customer support and interactive dialogue. Lyris HQ allows marketers to leverage Twitter as part of their integrated marketing repertoire, expanding their ability to reach and engage with customers, prospects and followers in real-time. With the new Twitter functionality, customers can:

· Monitor: A new window in the Lyris HQ dashboard displays a running Twitter feed based on an individual marketer’s key search terms, allowing Lyris HQ users to actively track and respond to discussions on Twitter in real-time.
· Share: Lyris HQ social media enhancements allow customers to easily incorporate social media widgets (or icons) into their email marketing campaigns and newsletters. Once a recipient receives an email and clicks the new Twitter widget, it will take them to their Twitter page and automatically generate both a shortened URL link and associated subject line text that can be used or edited, automating and scaling the sharing of key messages, content and offers.

· Measure: The new functionality allows marketers to measure traffic from Twitter back to their Web site, as well as report what customers and prospects are doing once on the site. This level of insight enables marketers to better assess the business impact and effectiveness of messages posted on Twitter – whether originating from their own company or spread virally throughout the Twitter community.

Social Media for Defense and Government Conference

August 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Twitter News

The Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA) is pleased to announce its 3 rd Social Media for Defense and Government Conference : , scheduled for October 18 – 20, 2010 in Washington, DC.

Web 2.0 and Social Media strategies have been implemented throughout most of the government and the Department of Defense. But, simply having a Facebook page, Twitter
account, YouTube channel or Linked In page is not enough; organizations and commands need to be strategic in developing and integrating communications strategies using social media.

IDGA’s Social Media for Defense and Government Conference : will bring together key choice-makers who are advocates of advancing the use of social media for the DoD and government. Speakers include Dr.
Mark Drapeau, Director, Innovative Social Engagement, Microsoft U.S. Public Sector (Twitter: @cheeky_geeky), CAPT John Kirby, USN, Special Assistant for Public Affairs to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Twitter: @thejointstaff), CAPT David Werner, USN, Communication Integration and Strategy, Navy Office of Information (Twitter: @NavyNews), Charles J. “Jack” Holt, APR, Sr.

Strategist for Emerging Media, Office of the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs (Twitter: @jack_holt), and MAJ Juanita Chang, USA, Director, Online and Social Media Division, Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, US Army (Twitter: @juanitachang), among others.

Attendees of IDGA’s 3 rd Social Media for Defense and Government : will hear powerful case studies that support the use of new media strategies for achieving organizational goals through a comprehensive social media approach. They will learn ways to establish metrics to justify more quantitatively how new media strategies have and will positively impact organization’s basic goals. Furthermore, attendees will learn how to police organization’s reputation in the online community and ensure a consistent message of organization’s presence through internal and external new media campaigns.

Log on to Twitter to Catch Fraudsters

August 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Twitter Online Tips Featured

Car insurance companies are targeting social networking sites, particularly Twitter, in order to catch out fraudsters who are causing the cost of insurance premiums to rise at their fastest rate ever, according to the AA British Insurance Premium Index.

Apparently, insurers have been taking advantage of the rise of ‘tweeting’, using Twitter, but also Facebook and MySpace to investigate certain claims and find evidence. The news comes just as it has been announced that car insurance quotes : are showing the highest increase in years, since the Motoring Organisation started tracking trends of quarterly insurance premiums 16 years ago.

Over the last few months, the average cost of a comprehensive car insurance policy has increased to just over GBP 700, which is a rise of 11.5%. This is the average of the cheapest 3 policies for each customer, a measure which the AA refer to as the ‘Shoparound’ index. The fact that this is largely due to fraudulent claims is frustrating for the majority of drivers who treat the claim process properly and responsibly.

Andrew Goulborn, Commercial Director for motor insurance comparison site, commented: ‘It is estimated that fraudulent claims like these are costing policyholders throughout the country an average of just over GBP 40 a year on their car insurance quotes : . Another reason why it is really vital for people to shop around for the best deal on their car insurance’.

The recent recession is thought to be a huge factor in the steep increase in insurance costs, as many unscrupulous individuals have contributed to the amount of fraudulent claims placed.

Twitter, but, is helping to expose the cheats who are abusing the system, as there is more constant streaming of shared information with people posting multiple messages all day long sometimes.

Richard Davies, a board member of the Insurance Fraud Bureau has claimed that the information on sites such as Twitter was very useful to insurance companies, as it could be used as evidence because it was publicly available on the internet. Many industry insiders who agree with him also add that the responsibility of the content falls to the social networking sites, as they are the ones in control of the privacy settings.

There are a couple of different types of fraudulent claims, which fall into categories of people who embellish the details of real claims for a larger payout and organised who make crashes, causing innocent people to be involved in accidents so that they can claim from them.

There are a number of law firms who have already reported successful investigative work using Twitter to ‘out’ fake claimants and are hopeful that it will continue to be a excellent way of ensuring claims are legitimate. Using ‘tweets’ as evidence in revealing fraudulent claims has already saved some firms thousands of pounds.

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