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#NowThatchersDead, monetising spam and this week’s bits and bytes

Twitter and the death of Baroness Thatcher: Wall to wall coverage, equal parts mourning and vitriol, and many, many tweets. The hashtag #nowthatchersdead started trending shortly after the news was announced – some people misread that as ‘now that Cher is dead’. An Oddbins manager tweeted that Taittinger was on offer for £10, down from the usual £29 – the message was quickly condemned as ‘shameless’ and ‘sick’ and the manager suspended. The Met Seargeant who tweeted that he hoped Thatcher’s death was ‘painful and degrading’ resigned a few days later. And then there’s Ding Dong, the With is Dead. There’s more and the Beeb has a great post on how the news was reported online.

Was it really such a surprise though? Nope.

Is the vitriol a neat summary of everything that’s wrong with Twitter? Absolutely not.

People have their opinions – with or without Twitter. The fact that any comments you make on the Internet without first activating your brain can (and will) come back to bite you is something that should be a part of media literacy courses in school. Perhaps that would have saved Paris Brown’s job as Yout Crime Commissioner?

Is the scoop dead? That is the question @Marcousleroux and @Steve_Hawkes discussed after a comment from Kevin Ryan, co-founder of Business Insider:

Marcous argues that market forces are driving people away from news gathering, while Steve believes Twitter and scoops, more than ever, are a must. Here’s the full thread (HT to @antsilverman).

Retail geekery: A bakery in Tokyo has implemented a new scanning system that scans food by recognising the shape and colour of each item, no need for a barcode or human assistance, while New Balance launches Its Own 3D-Printed Shoes. Still on 3D-Printing, our very own Rob Fraser recently spoke about 3D printing saying that we have to prepare for the fact that consumers may soon not want to buy pre-packaged iPhone cases, but build and design their own. This lovely little animated clip from GrafixTV shows how 3D printing is changing retail:

http://youtu.be/NiOKDOnJ3VE 

Facebook looking to monetise spam: Would you pay $15 to direct message Justin Bieber on Facebook? I wouldn’t, but that’s what Facebook are looking to do in the UK. The prices are staggered at $1, $10 and $15 (depending on how popular the person that you’re looking to message is) and Facebook say that it is an attempt to cut down on spam. Looks like a brilliant way to monetise millions of terabytes worth of Belieber spam. I wonder how long until artist management bods demand their cut.

Facebook Home: Facebook are serious about their new immersive mobile experience. They moved quickly to address the privacy concerns about having your entire private life display on your home screen on their newsroom blog (if you don’t want Home to appear as your lock screen, you have the option to turn that off) and they’ve launched their first ever TV ad. But is it going to be enough to get kids excited about Facebook again?

Social media investor relations: a great post from Edelman on what the SEC rule on disclosure in social media means for IR.

Crowdsourcing products: Nissan is using its social channels to allow fans to help customise and name a one-off version of the Juke Nismo. At Saino’s, we’ve crowdsourced feedback on our 20×20 sustainability plan with Green Mondays and our 20×20 event last year. We’ve also asked our fans what cookie flavour they’d like to see in store and put the results to a vote.

Source: Sainsbury’s Facebook page

Econsultancy looks at what other brands are crowdsourcing.

InstaAds are here: The Internet was up in arms when Facebook bought Instagram for $1bn because it though all photos would now be used in and as ads against their will. It’s been six months and the InstaAds haven’t materialised. Obviously, things aren’t moving fast enough for brands because they are advertising on Instagram – and neither Instagram nor Facebook are seeing a single dollar for it. Unilever and Pepsi have teamed up with celebs such as Beyonce and Nicole Richie (OK, ‘celebs’ might be stretching it a bit) for sponsored posts.

Video of the week: Dove hair care for men

and Samsung test their new washing machine in the extreme of conditions – with unexpected results.

And finallyVinetune.com

Facebook Home, pizza box art and this week’s bits and bytes

It’s that time of the month where I compile some of our favourite tweets of the month. This edition contains a hilarious dose of Comic Relief goodness from our colleagues around the country, featuring everything from a gorilla in a mankini to a life-size T-Rex chomping its way through the South of England.

Facebook Home: Facebook is doing exactly what they said they wouldn’t do, launch a phone. Well kind of. Only not. It’s called Facebook Home and changes your phone into one giant Facebook app (I’m most freaked out by your phone’s lock screen becomes a direct link to your Facebook profile, messages and notifications. Privacy?). Facebook Home will come pre-installed on the ‘HTC First’ or you can convert your existing Android handset into a “Facebook Phone” by downloading the new software on 12 April. Unsurprisingly, the people at Twitter weren’t impressed.

Source: Mashable

Classy Brits: Class was the big story this week (isn’t it always?) with the BBC publishing the The Great British Class Calculator. No longer are there just three classes (upper, middle and lower), we now have seven; ranging from ‘elite’ to ‘precariat’. My favourite though has to be ’emergent service workers’, possibly the best euphemism for ‘hipster’ I have ever heard.

Now that’s one pissed off journalist: There is something poetic about beautifully phrased foul language. The Indie’s Tom Peck has provided a cracker.

Social media investor relations: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week unveiled new rules that allow companies to to make key announcements via Facebook and Twitter – only if shareholders have been alerted beforehand about which social-media outlet they should turn to (as to how shareholders are alerted, the SEC doesn’t say – suppose I wouldn’t be surprised to see @CompanyNameIR accounts popping up soon).

Blogs more influential than Twitter: An interesting post from The Wall Blog (who I suppose would agree) that blogs drive sales more than other forms of social media. Confirmation comes in the Technocrati 2013 digital influence report, that sees blogs come out ahead of Facebook, Youtube, Google+ and Twitter.

Facebook get’s in line: Great news if you provide customer service through Facebook. The big blue social network is launching in line replies on posts, allowing community managers to respond directly to questions. This will of course also make any type of topical interaction such as live Q&A much easier to manage on Facebook, so customer service and social media managers around the world should welcome this with open arms.

Sketchy customer service: Fast food deliveries that come in a cardboard box provide a great canvas and opportunity for fulfilling the demands of your customers. A splendid gallery of pizza box art at the behest of customers from around the world in this gallery.

Source: takeaway.com

Twitter for business: Twitter launched a page chock full of case studies from companies on how they use the micro-blogging service to meet their business objectives – hoping (I suppose) that you’ll end up using their services and tools and spend more money.

Faking it on Twitter: Faking a tweet isn’t the most difficult thing to do. Take a screenshot of an existing tweet from an account you’d like to spoof, modify it in your image editing software of choice, post it to t’interwebs as ‘check out what so-and-so said’ as a screenshot, adding that they’ve since removed the tweet (t’interwebs loves a cover-up!). However, this requires a basic level of image manipulation skills and a bit of effort – until now, with a new web-based software that allows you to fake tweets in a few clicks. Brian Solis looks at why this is a dangerous situation, one that I imagine Twitter can’t be too happy with!

Video of the week: Arthur C. Clarke completely predicts the Internet. In 1974.

Some of my favourite April Fool’s stories from this past week: with its Guardian Goggles video, the Guardian showed that they not only know exactly who their readers are, but that they also have enough of a sense of humour to poke fun at themselves.Meanwhile, Google went slightly OTT with their pranks – here are just three of them: Youtube announced that after eight years, they were shutting down the site to give the 30,000 strong jury until 2023 to announce the best video ever. Google Maps got a treasure hunt upgrade to find Captain Kidd’s treasure. Finally – a way to plug in your olfactory senses into Google search and find that smell you were always looking for. Or, to put it simply: Smell-o-vision! I’d argue though, that The Metro did the best with their made up April Fool round-up. Very meta.

Workplace etiquette in poster form: a beautifully designed set of posters for today’s office population. My favourite: “Respect headphones as a sign of intentional isolation”.

Mad Men Season 6: The penultimate season starts with a double episode in the US on Sunday, coming to Sky Atlantic in the UK on April 10th. To get in the mood I am rewatching season 5 and enjoying this post on Business Insider about how SCDP’s ads compared with the actual ads that ran in the 1960s. And yes. I am hyperventilating.

And finally: three new memes popping up over the last few weeks that are looking to take on the mantle of ‘the new planking’. First, we have Pottering. The trend looks to have kicked off in Oz and there’s a Pottering Facebook page with some quality efforts. I have to admit though, I’m quite fond of Vadering – something that has already made it into The Sun and The Metro. My favourite though has got to be Hadouken. Anyone with a mispent youth playing ‘Street Fighter’ will know the move and the precise flick of the wrist required to generate that devastating fireball will recognise these poses.

Source: The Tech Journal

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