social media

Emergency Tweets


In need of some emergency assistance? Dial up your favorite social site.

Recently 16-year-old Adam Greenwood was on board a Virgin train traveling between two cities near London. He was in the bathroom and discovered a bit too late that there was no toilet paper available. So he did what most teenagers would do in an amusing situation and pulled out his cell phone.

But instead of documenting the incident he tweeted Richard Branson’s company telling them of his predicament. Within minutes they tweeted back asking him what coach he was on. He responded and a few minutes later a man knocked on the door and stocked Greenwood with toilet paper.  read more »

Internet Trolls


For people in Britain hiding behind the internet could land you behind bars.

Under a new government proposal people found guilty of internet “trolling” could end up behind bars for up to two years. Trolling is a term for posting malicious and hateful comments on social media about or directly to someone. Government officials say the crackdown is to put a stop to cruelty and cyber bullying.

The parents of a missing girl are among the most recent victims of online aggression. And last month a man was jailed for 18 weeks for what is being called a campaign of hatred against a female lawmaker.  read more »

Checking Into Social Media


Social media is checking into the hotel industry; and it's not a bad guest.

I recently spoke with James Lim; the San Francisco based regional manager for Joie de Vivre hotels. Lim says the industry is changing and the click of a keyboard can make or break a hotel.

“Gone are the days when a guest of your hotel is unhappy and will tell ten other people but now it's like they will go to one of these social media sites and hundreds of thousands of people are reading the review about your hotel.”

Lim says 81% of travelers book hotels based on user reviews. These days those reviews are found on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. And Lim says the 21st century changes might not be a bad thing.  read more »

A Social Partnership


Online shopping just got a little more social.

Earlier this week American Express announced a deal that would allow its members to make purchases on Twitter. All customers have to do is tweet the hashtag that corresponds to the product they’re interested in. American Express will respond with a tweet asking you to confirm; and when you do the product is shipped. However this doesn’t mean that anything you find online is up for grabs.

The products you can choose from come off a list released by American Express. Right now available products include the Amazon Kindle Fire and Xbox 360. Marketing experts say by connecting social media and shopping, customers are promoting brands at the same time they’re buying them.  read more »

The Importance of Facebook


The British can’t get enough of their social networks; even if it means giving up some daily indulgences.

The London Science Museum surveyed 3,000 people to see how they rank the importance of everyday items. At the top of the list is tech's favorite friend, Facebook. In fact the social network is such a necessity it was ranked above modern conveniences such as indoor plumbing, a shower and shoes. But it doesn’t end there. Respondents picked Facebook over public transportation and a national health care service.  read more »

Social Media Major


College degrees are going social.

Soon some college students will have an excuse for all the Facebook comments, tweets and pictures they spend hours posting. They can call it homework thanks to a new social media major offered by Newberry College in South Carolina.

But the workload isn’t all friend requests and Farmville. An associate professor says the major is a combination of graphic design, communications, business, marketing, psychology and statistics.

It’s also designed to give entrepreneurial minded students a reason to stay in school and not emulate past do-it-yourselfers. For example, Mark Zuckerberg left Harvard to focus on Facebook. Bill Gates left to start Microsoft.  read more »

The Pope Goes Viral


The head of the Catholic Church will soon be spreading the Holy Spirit; in 140 characters or less.

According to Vatican officials by the end of the year Pope Benedict the XVI will have his very own Twitter channel. An unusual move for a man they say hates computers and still writes his speeches by hand.

Most of his tweets will come from the contents of his weekly general audience, Sunday blessings and sermons on major church holidays. The rest will be the Pope’s reaction to world events such as natural disasters.

The only catch is that his Holiness will not be writing the tweets himself but he will be reading them and signing off on them before they are sent out to the twitter-verse.  read more »

Shopping with Facebook


Facebook is hoping to make friends with the retail world.

The social media giant is testing a product that allows users to create a wish list of products from various stores. Right now the test phase has 7 retailers including Pottery Barn and Victoria’s Secret.

It lets certain users flag images of desired items by clicking a “want” button. Then those items are shared with their friends who can purchase them through Facebook.

Analysts say the feature being called “Collections” is the first step by Facebook into the e-commerce world. A company statement says Facebook will not receive any payments or retribution if someone buys a product.  read more »

Pulling the Plug


We may be living in a digital world; but don’t forget there’s an off button.

Jim Steyer is the author of “Talking Back to Facebook; The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age.” He says the point of the book is to start a national conversation about the pros and cons of our new online reality.

“We need to make this a positive aspect of our lives. It’s here to stay but how it’s here to stay is up to us.”

Steyer says in today’s world most young people are interacting more with devices than with people. But they aren’t the only ones. Steyer says parenting in the digital age starts with yourself and your own habits.  read more »

Privacy Please


Facebook has gone public; but you don’t have to go with it.

Jim Steyer is the founder and CEO of San Francisco based Common Sense Media. Recently I spoke to him about his new book “Talking Back to Facebook: The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age.” Steyer says we’re living in a digital revolution and while everyone wants to be a part of it; some might not be ready for it.

“Many kids today self reveal before they self reflect. They put stuff up on the web on their Facebook page or even in a text message before they really think about the consequences. And unfortunately today there’s no eraser button yet.”  read more »