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Archive for April 2013

Hottest Social Networking Sites of 2013

Posted Friday, April 26th, 2013

As diverse as these platforms are, they are all taking social networking into deeper, more focused directions. But in the shadow of these all-purpose social networks, some truly exciting transformations and specializations are underway. Verdicts and ratings are obviously my opinion and I’d love to hear if and why you disagree

Sharing using sound – For sheer “wow” factor, Chirp may take the prize in 2013. Say you want to instantly share a photo or link with a roomful of people.  There are plenty of options out there, but they all have drawbacks.  Networks like Instagram or Facebook are members-only.  Email requires typing in multiple addresses.  Bluetooth has to be paired device by device.  Chirp, however, is different.  Your phone emits a high-pitched, two-second-long, robotic squeak. Other phones within audio range pick up the sound and instantly download the photo or message.  Chirps can be shared in a boardroom or a crowded bar, broadcast over loudspeakers to reach huge audiences or even embedded in YouTube videos or TV programs.

Verdict: when we tried it out the app ws tempremental and couldn’t always download the message we sent but it definitely has the potential to be a lot of fun
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


Bringing order to photosharing – Smartphones have made it ridiculously easy to take photos and video, but gorgeous shots from last week can end up lost deep inside the camera roll. Flayvr may be the most intuitive and aesthetically pleasing of a wave of new social apps bringing law and order to your collection. Photos and videos are automatically organized into eye-catching albums based on date, complete with location and even titles sucked in from your iPhone calendar.  With a tap, you can share the album as a splashy HTML5 webpage via social networks or email. It’s also a great alternative for privately sharing big collections of photos.

Verdict: a much better method of arranging images than Apple’s iphone ‘Photos’. Helpful to have photos in galleries of date and subject and easy to share to social networks
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Personal crowdsourcing – Say you have no idea what shirt to match with your new jeans.  Snap a photo, upload to Thumb and crowdsource the decision.  Simple questions typically generate hundreds of thumbs up or thumbs down, plus comments, from the network’s very active user base, sometimes within minutes.  Appealing to the twin social impulses of vanity and voyeurism, Thumb generates serious engagement among users (reported to be around four hours a month, second only to Facebook among established networks) and seems poised for growth in 2013.

Verdict: I was expecting to really like Thumb when i first heard about it, but having only used it briefly it has now been removed from my phone. I thought the concept was good but the questions were a bit trivial and whilst I had expected to help people, I felt I was only entertaining their boredom
Rating: 2 out of 5


Buy with one Tweet – Remember how revolutionary it felt when Amazon introduced 1-Click payments for online shopping? Chirpify takes that concept into the social media era.  Sellers offer stuff for sale on Twitter or Instagram (T-shirts, concert tickets, new albums, whatever).  You reply with the word “buy” and it’s yours.  No credit card.  No “proceed to checkout” or “add to cart.”  The entire transaction is conducted through your Twitter account.  Apart from buying and selling, Chirpify can also be used for fundraising, giveaways and – most fascinating of all – peer-to-peer payments.  Need to pay a buddy back for this morning’s coffee?  Just tweet “pay” and the amount to his Twitter handle.  Chirpify is free to use but takes a five-percent cut anytime you get paid.

Verdict: I’ve yet to use chirpify myself but I’ve seen successful examples and it looks a fantastic service. I feel this is really one for the future and don’t think it’ll be long until social-commerce is common practice.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Hashtags in the spotlight: #habitsifindhardtobreak

Posted Friday, April 19th, 2013

Trending topics hit Twitter every day. One of today’s trending topics, #habitsifindhardtobreak, acts as a bit of a confession — everyone has bad habits after all, right? Today, Twitter users dished out their strangest addictions that, no matter what, they just can’t seem to shake.

The hashtag began Sunday evening by Damn It’s True, a “#1 Life Facts” account that primarily tweets inspirational quotes and statistics and has nearly 2.5 million followers:

Ara, the account’s founder, said she started it on a whim. “[It’s] nothing serious, it’s just a story of my life and I believe that a lot of people do that too.”

What is your #habitsifindhardtobreak?

What type of social media user are you?

Posted Friday, April 12th, 2013

New research shows heavy Facebook and Twitter users can suffer withdrawal symptoms when forced to go cold turkey. It also highlights 12 distinct types of social media users: which one are you?

1. The Ultras: For many habitual social media users, the networks are their primary communications link to family and friends, so the enforced changes did, in some cases, make them feel isolated. Some felt the feelings of isolation from the first few days, while for others those feelings were triggered later in the experiment by missing out on information, or a conversation, that had taken place on their networks.

2. The Deniers: ‘Deniers’ are those who maintain social media doesn’t control their lives. They reckon they can easily live without it. The reality, however, is very different. Whenever they can’t access their favourite network for an extended period, they become anxious and feel cut off from the rest of the world.

3. The Dippers: Although more than half the UK population is signed up to Facebook or Twitter, not all are regular users. ‘Dippers’ access their pages infrequently, often going days – or even weeks – without tweeting or posting an update.

4. The Virgins: Every day, new people are signing up to social networks. These ‘Virgins’ are taking their first tentative steps in social media. They can often struggle initially to get to grips with the workings of Facebook and Twitter, and until they build up their own networks of friends and followers they may question why they’ve joined. The first couple of months will determine whether they go on to become Ultras!

5. The Lurkers: Hiding in the shadows of cyberspace, they watch what others are saying on social networks but rarely (if ever) participate themselves. They will complain publicly about the ‘mundane drivel’ that is posted, and privately they worry they don’t have anything interesting to say, but they keep an eye on others’ conversations.

6. The Peacocks: A ‘Peacock’ can be easily recognised on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram because they see social networks as an opportunity to show everyone just how popular they are. They judge their social standing on how many followers or fans they have, and the aim of each post or tweet is to secure as many ‘likes’ or re-tweets as possible.

7. The Ranters: Often meek and mild in face-to-face conversations, ‘Ranters’ are highly opinionated online. Social media platforms allow them to articulate their strong opinions without having to worry about how others will react. They may be former bloggers, but Twitter gives them the opportunity to rant to a much larger audience.

8. The Ghosts: Some people on social networks like to participate in conversations but are worried about giving out personal information to strangers. On Twitter, these ‘Ghosts’ create usernames that allow them to remain largely anonymous, while on Facebook they have noticeably sparse profiles and timelines.

9. The Changelings: For some people, being anonymous online isn’t enough. They also adopt very different personalities, confident in the knowledge (or so they think) that no-one knows their real identity.

10. The Quizzers: ‘Quizzers’ like to ask questions on Facebook and Twitter – not because they actually want to know the answers, but because asking questions allows them to start conversations. They may fear being “left out” by not having anything interesting to say, so asking questions gives them the opportunity to contribute and be involved.

11. The Informers: Information is currency in social media. Being the first to spot something interesting and pass it on earns you kudos and – just as importantly – more followers and fans. ‘Informers’ scan social media and news sites, looking for any new stories, offers, videos etc they can share with their audience.

12. The Approval-seekers: This group worry about how many likes/comments/re-tweets they get when they post a message or update, because they link that endorsement to their popularity. After posting a message they will constantly check their feeds and timelines, and will fret until people start to respond.

The 5 Worst Social Media Fails Of 2013 So Far

Posted Friday, April 5th, 2013

We’re only in April but several brands have already made king-sized screwups in social media. Among their crimes: Using a four-letter word to insult a nine-year-old girl. Live-tweeting a mass layoff.

No 1 : HMV

In January, an HMV social media worker live-tweeted the mass firing of 190 staff. Among the tweets were: “There are over 60 of us being fired at once! Mass execution, of loyal employees who love the brand” and “Just overheard our Marketing Director (he’s staying, folks!) ask ‘How do I shut down Twitter?'”

No 2: US firm fails to deliver flowers on Valentine’s Day

Both US companies 1-800 FLOWERS and FTD realized the cost of screwing up on the one day of the year when you need to be on your game, especially if you’re in the flower business!

No 3: American Airlines

In February, American Airlines’ policy of auto replying to every tweet, no matter what, backfired. People began tweeting insults at the company. Scripted tweeting just doesn’t work.

No 4: Tesco

Tesco forgets to change this pre-scheduled tweet in the middle of a PR crisis about horsemeat found in some of its frozen dinners.

No 5: The Onion

The Onion uses a four-letter word in a joke to describe 9-year-old actress Quvenzhane Wallis during the Oscars. The satirical newspaper later apologized.

Which is your favourite?

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