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Category Archives: Google

PR and Social InkLings for the Week of November 28

This past week in the wonderful world of social media was fitting for the bustling pre-holiday season: articles covered everything from Facebook’s IPO to Britney Spears on Google+, and we were left feeling a little like we do after an impromptu trip to the mall—overwhelmed, but somehow satisfied. Below, I share a few highlights:


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Facebook IPO

There has been a flurry of news surrounding the Facebook IPO—with analysts and users speculating: will they, won’t they? Recently, Facebook officially announced that the company will go public between April and June of 2012. Most of us know that Zuckerberg and the gang aren’t exactly struggling in the revenue department (the company is valued at almost $100 billion) and might wonder why they’re moving forward with this plan. This Mashable article breaks down the pros and cons of going public.


Startups: The New Cambrian Explosion?

It seems as though every day, we hear about new startups forming and getting funded. Many “starters” have taken advantage of today’s ever-evolving tech environment by mastering new technologies and packaging them into products. At TechCrunch Japan’s Tokyo 2011 conference this past week, TechCrunch Editor Erick Schonfeld’s talk focused on this topic, as he compared the startup “boom” to a new Cambrian Explosion, in which many species are created. In this video, Schonfeld dissects why and how many of these species thrive and how others quickly became extinct.


Amazon’s Kindle Fire Burns Hot

Holiday shoppers — If you’re looking for the Amazon alternative to the Barnes and Noble Nook, you’ve probably been inundated with news about the Amazon Fire. Coming in as the #2 tablet (second to Apple’s iPad, of course), the newest edition to the Kindle family is flying off the shelves at a rapid rate: 3-4 million already sold, to be exact. If you’re not sure if the Fire is Christmas stocking worthy, read on here. For more gift ideas for the tech gadget lover on your list, check out GigaOm’s suggestions.


Britney Feeling the Google+ Love

Once primarily dominated by techies, Google+ is now seeing an influx of celebrity accounts. So, who currently tops the Google+ charts? None other than Britney Spears. In our last round-up, we broke down the steps for creating a Google+ page for your brand, and between her CDs, movies, tours and product lines, Britney could absolutely be considered a brand. So, while we’re not suggesting that your business needs to post photos of your MTV awards or of the people camping out to see you, Miss Spears’ popular page may serve as some inspiration.


YouTube’s New Challenges

If you’re a regular YouTube viewer, you may have noticed its new look. Last week, the video hosting site introduced a new homepage. As part of the largest redesign since YouTube’s founding in 2006, users will notice a shift towards a more personalized experience that focuses on video subscriptions and video recommendations from Facebook and Google+. But the homepage has been receiving some criticisms—read on here.

Read more from Whitney Clifford

PR and Social InkLings for the Week of November 14

Wendy’s Stealth Campaign, Google+ for Businesses, Yipit Goes Mobile, Sundance & Twitter, Apple Board Changes and a Fresh Voice for the Crimson


Wendy’s Stealth Twitter Campaign

Wendy’s has gained 33,000 Twitter followers within a month’s time with very limited ad support – an accomplishment matched by few brands. How did they do it? The fast food giant created an online “game show”to promote its new burger using the handle @GirlBehindSix, a reference to the open slot on Wendy’s menu. Fans and participants of the game show received cash prizes, shark sleeping bags, mopeds, and, according to the ad agency behind the campaign, “other things you wanted, but would never buy for yourself.” Was the campaign a success? Well, I’ve never wanted a shark sleeping bag (*blatant lie), and am a vegetarian, but here I am talking about the new burger and its cool contest.


Google+ for Your Business

There have been mixed reviews of Google+ since its inception, but now that it is offering pages for brands, people might be changing their opinion about the social networking site. Creating a business page may prove slightly challenging at first; if you haven’t done so already, create a personal account for yourself to familiarize yourself with the features and then check out these great tips from Social Media Examiner. This new addition may be Google+’s smartest move yet, as last week was the site’s third-biggest in terms of U.S. traffic with 6.8 million visits. Is your brand on Google+, and if so, what are your thoughts?


Yipit Goes Mobile

Daily deal sites remain extremely popular, and Yipit is now taking its success to the next level with an iPhone app. Just in time for the holiday shopping season kick-off, consumers can now use the mobile version of the “My Deals” feature to search through Yipit’s 800 deals to receive top product recommendations. So, unless you’re looking forward to waiting in a line at 3:00am on Black Friday, click here and simplify your shopping.


Sundance Channel & Twitter

In an unprecedented move, the Sundance Channel has announced its plans to premier the new season of its returning show Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys exclusively on Twitter. This is the first time that Twitter has been used as a TV platform, however, last spring, Paramount released a movie trailer via the site. This is most likely a very smart move for Sundance, as it can leverage the show’s already large social following to encourage regular viewership. Will other networks be following suit? Read more here.


Changes to Apple’s Board

This week, Apple announced the first changes to the board since the death of co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs in October. The company’s new chairman of the board is Arthur Levinson, chairman of Genentech Inc. Apple also appointed Robert Iger, the chief executive of Walt Disney Co., as a director. Jobs was on Disney’s board before his death and the two companies have had a longstanding relationship. Apple is optimistic that these changes will support the company’s future success. Interested in learning more about the others that fill out the board’s ranks? Click here.


A Fresh Voice for the Crimson

Harvard University has never had an issue with brand awareness, but a few years ago, the school turned to social media to change its stuffy reputation. Through marketing efforts led by its first chief marketing and communications officer, the Ivy League leader continues to attract prospective students by telling its historic story through new outlets. Read Mashable’s interview with the man leading the academic marketing charge here.


Read more from Whitney Clifford

PR and Social InkLings for the Week of October 31

Twitter Experiments, Old Spice Revival, iPhone Does it All, Google Takes TV? and Halloween Infographic

Twitter Tests “Top News” and “Top Story”

Word on the street (and OK, on TechCrunch), is that Twitter is testing out new “Top News” and “Top People” features. It seems as though some users are seeing these categories highlighted at the top of Twitter’s real-time search results. Enter a popular search term and you’ll see a highlighted boxed result with a link to a top news story along with a thumbnail image from that article or blog post. This is a pretty smart idea, and I agree that publishers are going to be vying for that top slot, as they will inevitably see much more Twitter traffic. Have you noticed this new feature on your page? Read on here.

Old Spice Campaign Revival

Most of us remember Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, featuring spokesman Isaiah Mustafa. The funny commercials received numerous industry accolades in 2010 and Mustafa starred in hundreds of YouTube videos, responding to fans and bloggers by name, answering their questions on screen. But, like the famous Budweiser “Wassup” campaign and the “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” character, Old Spice execs worried that Mustafa’s appeal had come to an end. So, how did they revive a campaign that no one wanted to touch? They created another hugely successful social media campaign…and added Fabio.

5 Tips for Creating Video & Audio Content with Your iPhone

In a previous news round-up I shared iPhone 4S news, including glowing reviews for its advanced camera and video capabilities. So, now that you know the camera is awesome, what are you going to do with it? What Social Media Examiner writer Tom Martin is doing is using his iPhone—and only his iPhone—to conduct interviews, edit material, and post the final product on his blog for a new project. Want to know what Tom learned about capturing audio, pictures and video with nothing but an iPhone? Read on here.

How Hotels and Travel Companies are Nailing it on Social Media

Before booking any trip these days, most people’s first step is to read online reviews of that destination, hotel, activity, etc. In addition to the restaurant industry, the travel sector is unique in that its success is so closely linked to online reviews. So when hotel chain Accorhotels—which runs Sofitel and Motel 6, among others decided to feature TripAdvisor reviews on its site, it was a very gutsy move. The key, according to Forrester Research, is to “figure out a way to control some of that social media chatter by using social media as a sounding board for positive experiences.” How have some of the savviest players in the travel industry done just that? Read more about their social strategies here.

Google Disrupting the TV Business?

Could the search giant have its eyes set on TV? Maybe. Already extremely successful in online advertising, Google has announced plans to build a fiber-optic high-speed internet service and may be looking to expand that into video and phone services as well. If the rumors are true, that would mean that Google could not only sell subscriptions to these TV channels, but it could also sell the advertisements that would run on those channels. Find out more here.

Hottest Halloween Costumes Infographic

Thanks to Jen’s last post on how visual aids can help you understand abstract ideas and retain important subject matter, we all know how powerful infographics are. And, this past week, the subject matter on the forefront of many minds was Halloween costumes and what was going to be the top trend in 2011. So, for fun, I share this spooky infographic to show which costumes (and candy) received the most online buzz this week. Boo!

Read more from Whitney Clifford

PR and Social InkLings for the Week of September 26

New Profiles, Don’t Give up on Google+, Twacking Infographic, Twitter = Olive Branch, Mobile App Tips, Exercise and Creativity

Facebook’s New Profiles

This week’s social news was dominated by Facebook and its new profiles. From old information once believed to be long buried being uncovered and other privacy concerns, to fun cover photo suggestions, to a recent trademark infringement suit from, Facebook has been quite the media hog. So, what do you think of the new profiles? One thing is clear: for personal accounts, we can expect to continually discover changes. And what does the update mean for brands? It could be huge.

Twacked: When Twitter Accounts Go Bad

Most of us Twitterers take great care in cultivating a quality following. We share our expertise, opinions and, sometimes, personal information with the Twitterverse. Imagine if your treasured account was hacked and someone had free reign to use it to damage your Tweeting rep? It happens more often than you think. Check out this infographic and evaluate your account – is your password strong? Have you clicked on any suspicious email attachments lately? Remember, even though you may not have a following of Bieber caliber, you can still be at risk.

Israel Prime Minister Extends an Olive Branch over Twitter

Last Friday, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu (@IsraeliPM) reached out to Palestinian officials via a Tweet: “We’re in the same city, in the same building, let’s meet here today. I extend my hand in peace.” That message, along with other tweets, was sent after weeks of controversy. Could 140 characters be the catalyst for change and peace talks? Wouldn’t that be something? Read more here.

Six Tips for Building a Mobile App

GigaOM held Mobilize 2011 this week, a conference that brought top mobile company founders and executives together to share what they’ve learned throughout their careers. Couldn’t make it to San Francisco for the conference? Don’t stress — GigaOM has the top tips for building a mobile app from Pandora, Flipboard, Instagram, and other experts here.

20 Ways to Master Google+

When Google+ launched, people could not wait to join and explore all of its features. It wasn’t only the “new Facebook,” it was a “better Facebook.” Now, however, perhaps some of the newness has worn off, as user activity has declined. If you’re one of the many that are considering giving up on the site, maybe you just need to learn how to use it more effectively. Before you call it quits, check out these great tips to becoming a Google+ master. Because, really, everyone deserves a second chance.

The Creative Brain on Exercise

Tomorrow is the first day of October, and, in my mind, the unofficial start of autumn. For many, autumn signifies a transition into a busier time: school’s back in session, projects begin to ramp up at work and it’s hard to schedule time for yourself. This is exactly the problem. The time when you need to be the most creative is also the time where it seems your brain has hit the proverbial wall…and it’s not getting up. So what’s the solution? Tactics for making space for creativity vary from person to person, and for me, it is running. Check
out Fast Company’s article about Japanese Writer Haruki Murakami and his thoughts on the relationship between creativity and exercise – move your legs and your brain may follow.

Read more from Whitney Clifford

PR and Social InkLings for the Week of September 19

Facebook’s New Profiles, Netflix Flops?, Google+ on Klout, WSJ on Facebook and Augmented Reality


Facebook’s New Profiles: First Impressions

This week, Facebook held its F8 developer conference. After unconventional introduction, the main focus of Mark Zuckerberg’s talk was about the much anticipated profile redesign. The profile changes are a part of a broader launch, including a music and media platform, and are designed to make profiles “stickier,” or encourage users to stay on longer; profiles will also feature a prominent new timeline. Check out Mashable’s first impressions of the updates here. The changes will obviously affect users, but marketers on Facebook are really beginning to feel the pressure to produce more gripping content. Find out why here.

Netflix Flop?

Netflix recently came under fire for splitting its services: DVD and video streaming, causing subscription fees to skyrocket and angry customers to feverishly cancel services. As if that wasn’t enough bad press for a lifetime, Netflix learned another very valuable lesson this week – always do your research. The popular DVD mailing service underwent a rebrand, including a name change to Qwikster. After the official launch, Netflix learned that the Twitter handle Qwikster was already taken – by a foul-mouthed user whose profile picture was a doctored imageof Sesame’s beloved Elmo smoking marijuana. This was a huge misstep for Netflix, as they have been active on social media sites for years now, and should’ve known better. And now, the owner of the Qwikster handle wants to negotiate. Stay tuned for more details as this saga continues. In the meantime, find out what CEO Reed Hastings thinks went wrong.

Klout Now Measures Social Influence On Google+

Google+ is now open to everyone, including influence rater Klout, apparently. Klout has doubled the number of services it offers in just a few months and users can now connect to 11, including other recent Klout adds Blogger, Flickr, Instagram and Tumblr. You’ll notice the Google+ button on your dashboard, right next to Twitter’s and Facebook’s buttons. It will take a few days for Klout to pull in everyone’s data. Learn more here.

Also jumping on the Plus1 button band wagon? Social guru Chris Brogan recently added it to his blog and shares how he’s finding it useful here.

The Wall Street Journal Brings Its Content to Facebook

In support of its “WSJ Everywhere” strategy, the Wall Street Journal has launched a Facebook app that republishes content on Facebook. Known for making readers pay for article access, the WSJ believes this will give that content greater visibility and that by providing content where the customers are (Facebook) without having to click through will attract more viewers. Is this the future and will other print publications be following suit? Let Mashable help you decide.

Augmented Reality: 5 Ways it Can Change Your World

Have you heard of augmented reality? Before reading this blog, I only associated the term with the Gary Busey, Charlie Sheen and Michele Bachmann, but it turns out that augmented reality is also a really cool new technology that is being developed to “heighten” reality. Previously reserved to enhance video games, it is now being used to boost businesses’ productivity. How? Read on here.

Read more from Whitney Clifford

How Unofficial Activity Drives Innovation: Lessons from Google, 3M and Pitney Bowes

Something about September makes me yearn for a new side project to tackle. I chalk it up to a combination of back-to-school withdrawal, the crisp fall air and my general inclination towards multitasking. I read a Wall Street Journal article about a new concept the author dubbed “work-work balance,” juggling your main work duties with more experimental side projects. The concept is intriguing and many of the most innovative companies already encourage employees to take time for “unofficial” activity to spur creative thinking. InkHouse is no different and making space for creativity is something we all strive for on a daily basis.

The WSJ article specifically points to innovative companies like Google and 3M, which allow their employees set time to work on creative, company-related ideas. Fostering innovation is not the only goal: these companies also want to keep employees engaged and challenged by providing opportunities for side projects distinct from daily work tasks. According to a Gallup Management Journal study, engaged employees are more profitable, create stronger customer relationships, stay longer with their company and are more likely to contribute to future innovation.

Google’s Gmail, Earth and News all came from Google’s policy of letting engineers use 20 percent of their time for company-related projects of their choosing. Not all of these ideas take off (remember Google Buzz?), but as someone who relies on Gmail and Google News in my everyday life, I’m happy to endure a few duds to reap the rewards of the winners. Failure is expected during these trials and embraced as a learning experience.

3M has employed its famed creative time off rule for more than 60 years, encouraging all staff (not just the engineers) to devote 15 percent of their work time to pursue ideas they discovered through the usual course of work but didn’t have time to follow up on. The famous Post-It Note was invented during one employee’s 15 percent time back in 1974. Other ideas now on the market with roots in 15 percent time include clear bandages and painter’s tape that sticks to wall edges. It’s no doubt that companies with high levels of inherent creative competitiveness have the most successful employee-driven innovation programs. One of 3M’s most beloved company events has employees present poster boards of their 15 percent time projects to fellow employees – science fair style – and receive feedback and suggestions.

In 2009, Pitney Bowes launched IdeaNet, an internal web community built around “idea challenges” that enables employees to generate and shape ideas. Since launch, 4,000 ideas have been submitted and unit leaders have adopted 900 ideas for implementation. The payoff? $8 million in revenue for Pitney Bowes. Pretty impressive, especially given that, on average, ideas from U.S. employees are implemented only once every six years.

Here at InkHouse, we work with innovative companies at various stages – from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. It’s important to understand each client’s culture and what makes them innovators in their respective fields. Disruptive products and ground-breaking technologies make for great product stories, but don’t forget to look behind the scenes to see where the idea originated. Stories of employee-driven innovation in action can be equally powerful and are happening right now.

Are you part of an idea-driven workforce? Share your side project and “unofficial time” stories here. After all, collaboration drives innovation.

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PR and Social InkLings for the Week of September 12

Social Launches, TechCrunch Feud, Facebook Marketing Success Stories, Walmart Schools Media Companies and the Warlock Social Media Experiment

Google Launches Flight Search

This past week, Google quietly launched Flight Search, a tool that allows users to find and book flights. Flight Search is a more user-friendly version of a similar service Google launched last May, and so far it has offered us an “early look” at the service with flights to and from a handful of cities, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas. Google is aiming to become a strong competitor in the flight search arena currently dominated by travel heavyweights Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz and TripAdvisor. Already thinking about holiday travel? As Flight Search continues to expand, we’ll have the convenience of searching and booking trips to many popular destinations – all without leaving Google’s page. Check out this video to learn more about Flight Search’s features.

How Twitter Web Analytics Will Help Your Business

In other recent launch news, Twitter announced its new tool Twitter Web Analytics. Website owners will now have access to more detailed information: how much of their content is being shared on Twitter, how much traffic Twitter is sending their way, how well Tweet Buttons are performing and more. Until now, Twitter had only offered Analytics to advertisers, and businesses had to rely on the word of online marketers that the traffic that was being reported was actually coming from real accounts. Now that owners will be able to have the data delivered to them, Twitter may gain a lot more marketing clout. The product will be available to the masses within the next couple of weeks, but if you can’t wait to hear more, read on here.

TechCrunch Founder VS. New Editor Turns Ugly

Recently, AOL issued a formal statement about its “parting ways” with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. The statement left readers believing that it was Arrington’s decision to move on, as he wished to focus on his newly formed venture fund. Is there any truth to that statement? Perhaps — but, Arrington’s recent actions suggest some bad blood. At last week’s TC Disrupt conference, newly appointed TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld made a comment referencing  a few of the finalist companies and Arrington’s relationship to them. Arrington responded with a not-so-nice comment on the TechCrunch blog. So, what’s next for Arrington? A new blog, of course.

Nine Facebook Marketing Success Stories You Should Model

Does your company have a Facebook page? Is it used as an outlet to promote products and company news? Great. But are you truly using it to its fullest potential? If you’ve had the account for a couple of years, you may have found yourself slacking a bit when it comes to customer engagement and fresh approaches. If so, check out this article. From Wisconsin cheese to American Express to Petco, these companies’ innovative tactics are sure to provide some inspiration.

What Media Companies Can Learn from Walmart

Recently, Walmart acquired social advertising company OneRiot. OneRiot joins Walmart Labs, a unit created to sort and analyze all of the data coming in from users on social networks. You may not expect it, but the retail giant has actually long-been focused on customer needs and trying to make sense of its business data; way before social networks existed (or even the Web for that matter), Walmart owned an extensive satellite information network that tracked the movements of every one of their delivery trucks. Why should media companies pay attention to what Walmart and their Labs are doing? GigaOM explains here.

Comedy Central’s Ambitious Social Media Experiment

Just because it airs tonight (and fine, also because I’m one of those awful people who still loves saying “winning!”), I had to share this story. We’ve all seen the roasts on Comedy Central, and now raunchy comedians have hit the mother-load of controversial subjects: Charlie Sheen. Building on the online response to a past roast of Donald Trump, Comedy Central developed a few social tools, including incorporating two main hashtags: #SheenRoast and #CrazyTrain into a digital dashboard where the audience can comment, interact with other participants and share with their social networks. Is digital the future of network TV? Learn more about Comedy Central’s social media experiment here.


Read more from Whitney Clifford

PR and Social InkLings for the Week of September 5

Facebook Jams, Toyota “Diggs” Itself Out, Remembering 9/11, The 10 Commandments…of Steve Jobs, Yahoo Fires CEO and Google Buys Zagat

Facebook to Launch Music Platform

Will Facebook soon be dominating the online music service scene? It’s possible. The site intends to launch its music service next month with Spotify, MOG and Rdio as three of the company’s partners. The new platform will most likely be announced at Facebook’s developer conference on September 22, and will allow Facebookers to listen to music from within the site. Of the new venture’s predicted success, Mashable’s Pete Cashmore said, “Why wouldn’t everyone in the world want to listen to and share free music with friends? This is the web equivalent of giving away free ice cream.” By providing free music to millions of people, Facebook is encouraging users to stay on the site longer and is expanding to become a platform for media content the same way it did for applications and games. It seems like a guaranteed success to me…because seriously, who doesn’t like free ice cream?

How Toyota Used Social Media to “Digg” Itself Out of a PR Nightmare

We all remember when Toyota recalled over two million vehicles due to faulty accelerator pedals, and, as a result, their previously pristine reputation took a huge hit. When customers flocked to Twitter and other social media sites to voice their concerns, Toyota’s digital team, which was only a few months old at the time, knew it had to join the conversation. Enter Digg, and a video interview with Jim Lentz, Toyota’s president of North American sales. Lentz fielded questions during a 28-minute interview and within a week the video had reached over one million people. This study shows how Toyota has been able bounce back, and how the Digg video played a huge role in giving Toyota “the appearance of achieving social media branding nirvana: Transparency.”

9/11 iPad App Documents 10 Years at Ground Zero

The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is this Sunday, and people will be taking time to think about those who lost their lives and reflect on where they were on that tragic day. This year, New York-based documentary producer Steve Rosenbaum is sharing a selection from his collection of more than 22,000 images and videos with the public via an iPad app. The app provides facts about the Twin Towers’ construction, details about the day of the attack and information about the National 9/11 Museum’s creation. Rosenbaum says the iPad app was designed so people could skip around to the parts they wanted to see. The app is free for the first eleven days — find out more here.

Infographic: The 10 Commandments of Steve Jobs

Recently, Apple CEO, technology icon and all-around “magic man” Steve Jobs resigned. After battling pancreatic cancer for the past few years, the announcement didn’t come as much as a shock. Jobs will remain involved in the company as elected chairman of the board and Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook has been named acting CEO. From the first Apple computer, to iTunes, iPad and the iCloud, Jobs encouraged an entire generation to think about things in a new, innovative way. Check out this infographic that highlights some of his words of wisdom.

Carol Bartz Rips Yahoo Board

This week, after only two years, Carol Bartz was “dismissed” from her CEO position at Yahoo. The real reason behind this decision is debatable, but some believe it was Bartz’s gruff personality and frequent public cursing. Bartz believes the Yahoo board was simply flexing its muscles, trying to disprove its reputation of being inactive and inept… and she’s not keeping quiet about it either. Get the bleep button ready and read on here.

Google Buys Zagat

Google recently announced that it has acquired seasoned restaurant rater Zagat for an undisclosed amount. Probably prompted by the desire to compete directly with Yelp, the acquisition will allow Google to add to its daily deals service Google Offers. In the past, in addition to Yelp, Google failed to acquire another well-known daily deal site, Groupon. Find out more about what the collaboration will bring here. Rumors are already swirling about Google starting its own restaurant reservation service, leveraging its existing relationships with restaurants that advertise on it. Congrats, Google – now you can tell me who has the best tiramisu AND show me how to get there. I give you a 26.5 rating.


Read more from Whitney Clifford

PR and Social InkLings for the Week of August 29

Google Rolls Out Chrome Extension, Tweeting Irene, Dealing with Angry Fans, Yipit Success and Talking to Oprah


Google Rolls Out the Chrome Extension to Bring +1 to Entire Web

This week, quietly, Google launched the +1 Chrome extension. The Google +1 button extension allows you to “+1 a Web page, anywhere you go on the Web.” You don’t have to rely on a site to implement the +1 button, you can invoke the functionality through your browser. The broader plan? The button will affect which advertisements Google presents to you (somewhat controversial) and will even play a role in Google Search itself. Google also explains that by installing the application, all of the pages you visit will be sent to Google. Do you like the sound of this, or does it concern you? TechCrunch provides more detail here.

Hurricane Irene was a Flop in Massachusetts, a Strong Force on Social Media Sites

The Northeast was bombarded with hurricane warnings leading up to Irene’s arrival last weekend. We expected the worst and unlike comparable storms in past years, residents had multiple resources at their fingertips, as Irene was immersed in social media. NYC residents used Foursquare to find their nearest evacuation centers, and Irene allowed Twitterers to follow her track, offering reassuring statuses like, “I don’t want to hurt anyone,” and to retweeting the NYC Mayor’s Office messages. A crowdsourced project also helped people report incidents such as fallen trees, damaged cable lines and flooding.

Seven Tips for Dealing with Upset Facebook Fans

When I was little and facing a conflict, I remember my mom saying, “You can’t make everyone happy.” This was as true on the playground then as it is on social media sites today. When you, or your brand, are interacting with so many different personalities on Facebook, you are bound to run into a less-than-happy and vocal customer. The key is to address the problem and come to an agreeable solution. How exactly should you do this? Check out Social Media Examiner’s tips, and remember to repeat Beth’s mantra, “Stay above the fray.”

Yipit Rides the Daily Deal Chaos to Success

With a slew of daily deal sites recently receiving negative press, you might think a new startup wouldn’t stand a chance in the tumultuous market, but deals aggregator and recommendation service Yipit sees this time a great opportunity to rise to the forefront. What helps Yipit stand apart is that it scans the deals from the other sites and presents them to users based on their interests and location. I personally subscribe to four daily deal sites – having only purchased from one – and recently unsubscribed to one that inundated my inbox with deals that I was never interested in. Sound familiar? Maybe Yipit would be a good fit for you. Read more about their success here.

Oprah to Appear Live on Facebook

I love Oprah for many reasons: her strong work ethic, her dedication to worthy charities, her “Favorite Things” show (especially the audience reaction), and now, I might actually be able to tell her how much I love her…live! On Thursday, September 8, the media mogul will appear live on Facebook, answering viewers’ questions on-air. The social-media site event is nothing new for Oprah, as she has long been immersed on Facebook and Twitter, but this appearance creates a lot of buzz for the former queen of daytime TV, keeping her “front of mind” for audiences. Have a question for her? Find out more here.

Read more from Whitney Clifford

Social Media as a Ubiquitous Force? Not Quite

I came across a Mashable article the other day that stopped me in my tracks. Shockingly, only 50 percent of adults in the U.S. use social media, according to a new survey by Pew Internet. Being entrenched for so long in a field where social media is ubiquitous (in fact, it’s a primary job requirement), I had a hard time believing that this could really be true. That is, until I got a call from my parents the other night.

I live states away from my family, and while it’s always great to catch up with them, when it comes to discussing my job, or any form of Web activity – social or otherwise – I know I can count on some laughs (after I hang up, of course). Just for fun, here’s a quick 60-second “take” from our recent chat:

Dad: Hey there, Jill! I was just thinking about you – wanted to see if you and your hubby have set up your family email account yet? I wanted to send you guys this great email I got the other day.

Jill: [Read: another chain email. Groan.] Hi, Dad. No, we’ll probably just keep our own – feel free to send it to Patrick, though. [haha]

Dad: Hmmm…well, it would be easier if you got a family email so we could keep in touch with both of you. But anyway, your Mother wants to talk to you, hold on, let me give her the phone. Oh, and your brother should be home soon – he finds out about football tryouts today.

Jill: Great – I saw on Facebook that he made varsity this year! And Jana has been tweeting about it all day.

Dad: What?! Wait – he did?! How do you know?

Mom: And WHAT has Jana been doing all day?

Jill: I saw it this morning. Anyway, don’t you think it would be easier to use Skype so I can see all of you guys?

Mom: That sounds technical – but speaking of, did your Dad tell you? We just switched to high-speed Internet a few days ago. The kids staged a coup, something about needing to get to the Google in under two hours, I’m not really sure. What ever happened to microfiche? That’s what I want to know.

You get the point.

But while my parents may have a long way to go before jumping on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other social media channel, many others are coming in droves to embrace social media use. A similar study conducted by Pew in 2008 showed that just 29 percent of all Internet users used social media; however, social media adoption has more than doubled in three years, reaching 65 percent in 2011. Surprisingly, the growth of social networking is driven by seniors, with social media usage increasing by 150 percent in just two years in the 65+ age demographic.

Email is still the most popular online activity, with 61 percent of respondents indicating that they use it every day. Search engines come in at 59 percent as the second most popular daily Internet activity. Today, about 43 percent of Internet users interact on social channels regularly – and that number continues to rise steadily.

When I do make the long trek home and see my (seven) younger siblings – heads facing downward with smartphones and iPod Touches permanently fused to their fingertips – I realize that it’s only a matter of time before the social media usage gap between these generations closes for good.

A quote by author William Gibson may say it best:

“One of the things our grandchildren will find quaintest about us is that we distinguish the digital from the real…In the future, that will become literally impossible.”

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PR and Social InkLings for the Week of August 15

“Checking in” with Obama, Back to School Goes Digital, Wannabe Robin Hood Ruins Social Experiment, Google+ Tips and Tricks, Psychology of Twitter Infographic and The Onion Dominates

President Obama Joins Foursquare

Foursquare just added a very impressive user to its already 10 million-plus database. According to The Huffington Post, the White House is now “checking in” and offering tips and historical information about the places President Obama has visited, details about what he did in each location and more. As the 2012 campaign ramps up, users can expect to be hearing a lot more about different presidential events. I wonder when he’s going to “check in” from the Black Dog Tavern?

Back to School: 42 Digital Resources for Students and Parents

I’ll admit it – I still get a stomach ache when I see the commercials advertising new notebooks, pencils and corduroys that begin to air around this time of year. I’m sure many students gearing up to go back to school feel the same way, but luckily for them, they are growing up in the digital age and there are a slew of new techie tools, apps and social media tips at their, and their parents’, fingertips. So, while I had to find comfort in a new JanSport backpack, students and parents today have Mashable’s best education-related posts from the past year to help them ease into the upcoming school year.

Starbucks Shuts Down Jonathan’s Card over Fraud Concerns

Last week, I wrote about Jonathan’s Card, a social experiment using digital currency and mobile phones that allowed strangers to download a copy of Jonathan Stark’s Starbucks card to buy coffee, while encouraging them to also add money to the card. The ongoing campaign was a huge success…until one guy ruined it for the rest of us. The communal card was already in violation of Starbucks policy, but when entrepreneur Sam Odio’s “How to use Jonathan’s card to buy yourself an iPad” blog post went live, Starbucks decided to deactivate the card. Is Odio a wannabe Robin Hood or just someone that wanted to steal the spotlight? Let the Consumerist help you decide.

Google+ Tips and Tricks: 10 More Ways to Make the Most of Your Account

This wouldn’t be a proper news “round-up” if I didn’t include the newest tips and tricks for Google+. The social networking darling has been around for quite some time now, and while users are running into a few roadblocks when using the site, such as cross-posting issues, they have also had time to discover how to most effectively use it. From help filtering your notifications to tagging people in your photos, Mashable offers some great tips here.

The Psychology of Twitter Infographic

Why did you unfollow me? Five little words that no one wants to address. There are multiple reasons Twitterers might decide to unfollow someone: tweets are too self-promotional, uninteresting content, automated tweets, oversharing, etc. Make sure to create a quality following for yourself, and if you have to unfollow someone, avoid the awkward questions and send them this fun infographic shared by Mediabistro instead. They’ll get the (visual) message.

How The Onion Surpassed 3 Million Followers

This week, The Onion welcomed its 3 millionth Twitter follower. How does an entertainment magazine that publishes satirical articles on both real and fake news surpass “real news” outlets? A smart social strategy: the news is constantly updated, tweeted at optimal times and is also simultaneously posted on Facebook. According to Mashable, “The attention that The Onion gets on Twitter is a testament to its success of continuing its satire of news organizations onto social media.” So, I can find true facts about the economy AND read stories like this all on the same Twitter feed? The Onion just gained another follower.

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