All posts in “youtube”

The Shared Experience: Live TV and Social Media

 

Ruth is the Director of Business Development at Social Media Group. You can follow her @rutbas.

Our family recently moved into a new house. My husband was lobbying hard to “lose the cable”. It would have been cheaper, but I resisted. You never know what’s going to happen I said. I may have felt differently if we had a fancy new TV set… but I’m still working with the TV we got when we first set up house, way back in the 90’s, so I held firm. I just suspected that there would be times when only live TV would do.

These last few weeks have been such a time.

We have all have snuggled around the TV to discuss the merits of Presidential candidates, marvel at how vulnerable “life as we know it” is with the onslaught of Sandy, and generally counted on the cast of characters across all the networks to guide us through the build up to election night. I still love that CNN map. And did you see Letterman do his show on the night of Sandy? I found it hilarious, and poignant all at once. OK, granted, I saw it on YouTube after the fact (Check it out)… but I love that Letterman went live with the show.

And nothing beats seeing those election results come in live. Loved it when Peter Mansbridge held up cue cards because the “number machine” was acting up, and was presenting everything backwards…

Granted, at any one time, all of my family members supplement live television viewing with various devices. It was very entertaining to watch the last set of Presidential debates while following Twitter. I’d never done that before, and I get the appeal. When Sandy hit I could track power outages via the Toronto Hydro Web site on my phone, and feel very on top of things. But the main event for us was still on that little box in the living room.

While we continue to have our shared experience with respect to media, around the television screen, families like ours are supplementing the experience with those various tweets, posts and conversations that clearly expand the “shared experience” outside of the household. My husband got thousands of views for one of his election posts one night. Sometimes, it’s just weird. It’s like we’re having this shared experience, and publishing it to the world at the same time. Or something like that. I hardly know what to call the emerging model- but I suspect it’s the new normal.

Check out the info-graphic below,  ”TV Goes Social: The Rise of the Second Screen”  to see how radically our TV viewing habits are changing…  and integrating into the social media experience, whether watching the live version or canned version.

What has the experience in your household been in the last few weeks with regards to live TV viewing and social media?

 

Social Media Roundup for January 27

Kirsten McNeill is a Co-ordinator on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group. Follow @kirstenmcne.

McDonald’s Social Media Disaster

Last week McDonald’s launched a Twitter campaign to increase awareness around their use of fresh produce in their food, using the unique hashtag #MeetTheFarmers, which they used in paid-for tweets which were inserted into the streams of Twitter users. This campaign appeared to have a positive start but things took a turn when McDonald’s decided to change the hashtag to #McDStories. This new hashtag was meant to be used to tweet about positive stories customers had with the fast food chain but it was quickly hijacked with tweets of the opposite – very negative and unpleasant tales!

Check out the video below to see some more of these negative tales:

The brave McDonald’s decided to give it another go with another new hashtag campaign on Wednesday, #LittleThings. This change was meant to be used to tweet the little things that bring joy. They kicked it off by tweeting, “No line at the bank, a large tax refund, & those extra fries at the bottom of the bag. What are some #LittleThings that bring you joy?” Even though this seems to be a very open-ended hashtag for the campaign, so far it hasn’t been used to bad-mouth the brand. Let’s hope they have this one under control.

Timothy’s Social Media Backlash

Here we have another social media fail. Timothy’s Coffees of the World ran a promotion on Facebook in December. Just for “Liking” their Facebook Page, the company promised to send fans four free 24-pack boxes of single-serve coffee. Because boxes of these retail for about $17.95, the deal ended up on contest-aggregating websites and an overwhelming number of customers jumped on the promotion. The company underestimated how many people would sign up and their stock was depleted within three days, but they had already sent an email to all of the entrants letting them know that the coffee was on its way. Once they realized that they couldn’t fulfill their promise, they fell silent.  At the beginning of January, Timothy’s tried to cover themselves by claiming that the promotion was “first come, first serve” and those that were unable to get samples would be sent a “great email offer.” Only now, a month later, has the company put out an apology video. This was one of their biggest mistakes because when it comes to social media, you need to respond as soon as possible; a month is far too long.

Increase Click-Through Rates for your Tweets

Dan Zarella, HubSpot’s social media scientist, has put together a really insightful infographic on how to get the highest number of click-throughs for you tweets. Some of the more obvious findings were that tweets between 120 and 130 characters get retweeted more than those that are longer or shorter than that. He also found that tweets on the weekend and later in the day have a higher click-through rate than those on weekdays and in the morning. But an interesting finding is that the phrase “daily is out,” indicating that the tweet is using online newspaper tool paper.li, had the greatest positive effect on click-through rates. Take a look at the rest of his findings:

 

Facebook Introduces Clicks to Action

We have already started seeing some of the new applications that Facebook’s Open Graph platform enables, such as seeing what your friends are reading or listening to. Coming soon, Facebook will be increasing these apps and going live with over 60 Timeline App partners. These apps will combine in-network sharing with your interaction on outside sites so that Facebook users can not only see what their friends are “Liking” on Facebook but also what actions they are taking on other sites. In order to share these external actions, a range of new buttons will be showing up on the partnered external sites. Recipe Box, one of Facebook’s partnering sites, will have “Cooked” and “Want” action buttons so that when you see a recipe that you have cooked or want to try, you can click the appropriate button, which then distributes that action to your Timeline, News Feed and Ticker.

 

The idea is to increase sharing, strengthen relationships through interests and foster conversations. What do you think? Will you be sharing some of your actions from outside sites onto your Timeline?

Google Services Unified

Google will be rolling out a major change on March 1 – unifying their privacy policies and creating a set of integrated products. The change will work towards integrating all of your Google uses and account such as search, Gmail, YouTube, social (Google+) and work so that users can have one continuous Google experience. In order to allow for this unified experience, Google is overhauling of all of its privacy policies into one aims to be a lot shorter and easier to read. The new policy will allow Google to gather information from one of their services and deliver it to you via another. This will make your experience more customized because Google will have more of your personal information – it can know your location, what’s on your calendar for the day, spelling suggestions based on words you’ve used before or names from your address book, etc. This additional information will also make it easier for marketers to reach their target market and provide personalized messaging.

Check out Google’s video explaining this change:

What do you think of this upcoming change? Do you think that this will be helpful or do you feel that Google is invading your privacy?

Social Media Round Up for Jan 20th

Facebook Event Takeaway

During the Facebook Launch Event this Wednesday in San Francisco, Carl Sjogreen, Facebook’s Director of Platform Products, announced the improvements to their new Open Graph and Gestures platforms it introduced during the f8 Developer Conference last September.  With the new Open Graph, developers are able to create apps that allow users to add anything they want directly to their Timeline. Later on, they introduced 60 new now live apps that are tightly integrated to the new platform including some by well-known companies such as eBay, Foursquare, Airbnb, Foodily and LivingSocial.

Not familiar with the new Open Graph concept? Take a look at the video below:

SOPA and PIPA Outrage

Wikipedia, the most respected free encyclopedia website on the Internet, blocked their service  for 24 hours on Wednesday to raise awareness, for those outside of the technology community they claimed, of two proposed legislations regarding Internet censorship – Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Internet Property Act (PIPA).

For those of you who are not yet familiar with the proposed legislations, here are the descriptions, as described by Wikipedia:

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a law (bill) of the United States of America proposed in 2011 to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. Proposals include barring advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with allegedly infringing websites, barring search engines from linking to the sites, and requiring Internet service providers (ISP) to block access to the sites. The bill would criminalize streaming of content, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

The Protect IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or PIPA), also known as Senate Bill 968 or S. 968, is a proposed law with the stated goal of giving the US government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to “rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods”, especially those registered outside the U.S. The bill was introduced on May 12, 2011, by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and 11 bipartisan co-sponsors. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that implementation of the bill would cost the federal government $47 million through 2016, to cover enforcement costs and the hiring and training of 22 new special agents and 26 support staff. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill, but Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) placed a hold on.

Many tech companies like Google, Wikipedia, etc. state that the two bills, if passed by the United States Congress, would fundamentally hurt the Internet Industry.  For example, websites like Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr all seem likely to shut down if the bill becomes law, not to mention the developments of many emerging Internet and social media websites would be forced to stop, which would push technological innovations into the Dark Age according to one Mashable article published on Wednesday.

Content sharing website Reddit, as well as the famous tech blog Boing Boing, also joined forces and shut down their services for 24 hours. Many other websites added banner links, protest pages and published articles on the front page regarding the issue. One of the notable changes was Google covered its logo with a giant black ‘censor’ bar and wrote ‘Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!” below with a link to its online petition.

Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, also commented on this issue by tweeting (for the first time in three years) and posted a longer statement on his Facebook page calling the bills “poorly thought out laws” that “get in the way of the internet’s development”.

Watch this infographic video (originally created by Fight for the Future and posted to their Vimeo Channel. Reddit put it up during the service shut down) regarding the SOPA and PIPA bills and the effect they would have on the Internet Industry.

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

The Effect of the Joint Force

The joint actions of the big players seem to work. The issue soon dominated the Internet and social media world. SOPA and PIPA related discussions exploded on Twitter, generating 2.4 million tweets in merely 16 hours on Wednesday according to Mashable. Around 1,500 protesters gathered outside the offices of Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (senators who support SOPA and PIPA)  for the rally in NYC.

The official SOPA protest website, sopastrike.com, called the protest ‘The Largest Online Protest in History’ with an infograph showing the overall effect to date, and listed all the participating companies and organizations.

Click the image to view the entire infograph

The protest results that were reported on Thursday were quite amazing. According to PC World, more than 162 million people saw the protest message on Wikipedia asking ‘ if you could imagine a world without free knowledge’,  4.5 million people signed a petition,18 representatives have backed away from the proposed legislation, 25 senators now oppose PIPA (the Senate version of SOPA), two SOPA co-sponsors and several others dropped support for the House bill

Still think internet and social media aren’t that of a big deal in legislation? It might be time to reconsider more seriously.

Social Media Roundup for December 2

 

 

Biggest Social Network IPO in 2012?

Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook is planning to roll out its long-waited IPO between April and June, 2012. The Journal also reported  that the social network is planning to raise a total of $10 billion by selling roughly 10% of the company’s shares through the IPO. This means that Facebook could be worth $100 billion if the deal goes through next year! According to CBC News, this amount is more than four times the market cap that Google had when they released their IPO back in 2004. Take a look at their poll results that asked readers if they agree with Facebook’s valuation. What do you think?

Facebook has remained private for the past seven years, so why release an IPO now? According to Mashable, one of the major reasons that Facebook decided to do an IPO now is because they have to.

Under the U.S laws, once a company get 500 or more private shareholders, you have to publish detailed data about your company’s financial performance.

The Economist believes that as the social media industry continues to grow,  Facebook will continually see more competition from other networks, such as Google+.

Facebook will want to seek a listing before rivals erodes its lead in the social-networking sphere.

Below is an infograghic, created by Namesake, that documents Facebook’s current status and its IPO path.

 

IPOs Continued

Looks like Facebook isn’t the only one that plans to hit the public sector. Today, the biggest social gaming company Zynga filed IPO documents with SEC (Securities & Exchange Commissions). Shares were priced between $8.50 and $10. If the deal goes through, Zynga could be vaulted to a valuation of $850 million to $1.15 billion (max $7 billion). According to Mashable, The company, which is famous for its popular social gaming series Ville (Farmville and CityVille), originally planned to IPO several months earlier but delayed due to volatility on the stock market. The company was originally valued at around $10 billion dollars.

If everything goes to plan – Zynga will be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker ZNGA in mid-december.

 

Google + hangout + Free Voice Calls

Google+ users can now make free conference calls within Hangouts. This was announced by Jarkko Oikarinen, the inventor of the first-ever Internet chat function-Internet Relay Chat, through his Google+ page on Dec 1. Anyone with a phone number can be invited to join the conversation, no Google account required! It looks like Google’s ambition isn’t just to attract more people to Google+, but to improve the way we communicate by integrating internet calling with party lines and conference calls. Oikarinen states:

“We are constantly listening to feedback so that we can make Hangouts even better for Google+ users, and we’re excited by the really cool ways people are using the product”

This feature currently support free calls to the U.S and Canada, and is available within Hangouts . Why not give it a try?

 

YouTube’s Biggest Web Redesign

Google bought YouTube and kept it running as a separate entity for many years. We’ve heard that YouTube has been planning on a site wide redesign for quite a while. Well, on December 1st the new YouTube design finally launched for everyone. Our first impression? The black and red side bar on the landing page looks a lot like Google’s new User Interface that rolled out couple of months ago. Pages also look and function a lot more like a social network.

Below is video demonstration of the new YouTube which will give you a thorough walk-through on the changes.

From the video, it is not hard to realize that the redesign is made for just one purpose – to get users to focus on Channels, whether through subscribing to other people’s channels or creating one by themselves.

 

Social Media Roundup for November 11, 2011

Google+ Business Pages

The big news this week has been the much-anticipated release of Google+ Business pages. The pages function in a similar way to that of a regular Google+ profile, allowing the administrator to add people to circles, share, +1 comments and photos and host and join Hangouts. As with a profile, the owner can perform all of these activities and only the owner. The rule of only one person “owning” your business page makes it hard  for your company’s social media team to distribute duties since only one person will be able to update the account. As one blogger put it, “if the brand needs to say something to customers in a high-touch, high-service business like ours (we have customer service people posting and answering phones and talking on chat 24 hours a day 365 days a year) they will need to wake me up to get me to post something? Really?”

Another drawback for the business pages is the inability for fans to directly post on your wall, as currently they can only offer comments on a post that you have already made. Isn’t one of the main initiatives of business pages that customers can interact with you?

Pages can follow people but can only do so once they have been followed. But once you have been added, you can add them to a specific circle and tailor your communication based on location, interests or other relevant categories, which is a great feature. You can also lock posts within a certain circle, making the content exclusive to them. Another way of making content exclusive is by hosting a Hangout with say your breaking stories, enticing people to want to be a part of your Hangouts if they want the inside scoop. The Muppets got creative with this feature by offering a chance for followers to chat live with Miss Piggy.

What will you offer in a Hangout with your company? Get creative, the possibilities are endless!

I do think that Google+ business pages have really great potential to be a strong brand communication tool. Facebook pages obviously have a head start with their already existing communities, but Google+ pages have a one up with its search features, I mean its parent company is Google! Google+ Direct Connect will immediately take you to a Google+ page just by putting a “+” in front of your search query and once you are there you are given the option to add the page to your circles.

Although this feature is not widely available to all pages yet, once it is, it will be a very direct and easy way for fans to get information right from the brand, creating the opportunity for Google+ business pages to be a strong source of information and brand communication.

As for hosting giveaways and contests, Google+ has banned these actions and are currently only allowing you to display a link to where your promotion is hosted. I can understand that Google+ is doing this to protect themselves from any potential liabilities associated with promotions but since Facebook is now allowing Apps for hosting promotions, it will be interesting how long this policy lasts and how it will unfold.

Videos on Social Networks

How often does your company create and share videos? What kind of content are you putting in them and are you seeing positive results in return? If not, check out this Infographic for some insights.

Also getting a lot of attention this week has been the use of social media for bullying. Teens have a very dominant presence on social networking sites, which opens a new channel for them to be bullied; sadly making it a reality that bullying doesn’t end when the school day does. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in partnership with the Family Online Safety Institute and supported by Cable in the Classroom found that the majority of teens using social media are having positive experiences but unfortunately there are still those that are facing negative experiences. Below are some of their findings.

It’s unfortunate to see that younger teenage girls and black teens are having the hardest time on social networks but its not all bad news: 27% of teens online will defend the victim who is being harassed and 20% will tell the person to stop being mean and cruel.

A quick look at Social Media in China

Working at SMG has given me the opportunity to learn from some of the best people in the western social media industry. Luckily, my Chinese background also allows me to experience and observe the difference between western social networks and their Chinese counterparts. And now,  I feel like it is time to share my unique experience.

I put together a simple deck hoping to give you a quick overview of the Chinese social media landscape, as well as the two biggest social platforms in ChinaRenren.com (the Facebook of China) and Sina Weibo (a microblog).

Some highlights:

  • China is the biggest Internet nation in the world with nearly 5-billion netizens.
  • Social media is now the fastest growing and hottest topic in China’s IT and business worlds. As some of the major western social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are blocked behind the Great Firewall of China, local IT giants battle for the ever expanding social space in China.
  • As China rapidly becomes the most important global market, more and more foreign businesses are starting to explore marketing opportunities online.
  • Chinese social networks provide many innovative features for marketers and advertisers. For example, Sina Weibo, the biggest microblog in China, offers corporate account to companies with more customizable features on their profile page and advertising opportunities. The NBA has an official Sina Weibo account with over 5-million followers (about 3-million more than its followers on Twitter);  A-list celebrity  Tom Cruise‘s Weibo account has almost 3-million followers; Even Bill Gates is on it!

Please view the complete PPT deck for more interesting insights, I hope it will give you some inspiration :)

Social Media Roundup for December 17, 2010

2010 Twitter Statistics Revealed

Social media monitoring company Sysomos has released a new study on Twitter usage comparing 2009 data to 2010. The company examined over a billion tweets and discovered some pretty interesting findings. Here are the top line, most valuable insights from their study:

  • 44% of all Twitter users joined during January to mid-August 2010
  • Users with 100+ friends have increased by three-fold to 21% since 2009. 98.5% of users have fewer than 500 friends.
  • 22.5% of users accounted for about 90% of all activity. 80% users have made fewer than 500 tweets.
  • Significantly more users are disclosing their location, bio and web information in Twitter profiles. People who created a profile before January 2009 only accounted for 4.7% of the total population.
  • On the whole, more and more Twitter users are providing detailed information about themselves in their profiles. From full names, locations and website URLs, Twitter users are getting comfortable.

    My favourite finding from the study? Justin Bieber is one of top two-word phrases and top name in user’s bios. That kid sure gets around.

    You can ready the full Sysomos study here.

    YouTube to produce it’s own video content?

    The New York Times is reporting that YouTube is in talks to acquire Next New Networks, a web video production company. If the acquisition goes through, this will be YouTube’s first foray into the world of original content production – a sign that the company is getting serious about showcasing professional video content rather than just amateur videos.

    The potential acquisition raises some interesting questions around whether or not YouTube will favour it’s own content in search results.

    Surviving (and celebrating) the holidays social media style

    If you’re addicted to checking your Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr feeds every hour on the hour like we are, you may want to check out this Holiday Survival Guide for Social Media Professionals to help you get through all those family get togethers.

    Among the suggestions? Schedule time for social media breaks and make peace with the fact that it’s okay to have a “silent night” every now and again.

    Also, if you’re looking for ways to make someone’s holidays a little bit brighter, Mashable has put together a guide of 75+ ways you can do good with social media this year.

    Metrodome roof goes bye-bye

    One of the most popular videos to go viral this week was the unfortunate collapse of the Metrodome roof in Minneapolis. Check out the roof caving in under the pressure of the snow.

    SMG Roundup for November 26: Turkey Time Edition

    Mmm.mmm..Coffee Gravy.

    Turdunkin

    Maggie and I hereby nominate the Turdunkin take first prize in the Great Turkey Meme for 2010. (via someecards)

    Cookie Monster Auditions for SNL

    Muppets Studios releases cool social content around Thanksgiving (last year’s video has 17.3 million views), this year it is this video and Facebook social media appeal for fans to lobby for Cookie Monster to host Saturday Night Live. As of this writing, the video has 875,228 views and the FB page has 92,012 fans. I am an easy mark for the Muppets and have much respect for clever campaigns, so I’m just going to file this under the letter “A” for Awesome.

    I’ll keep it short this week as you recover from yesterday’s festivities and today’s Black Friday traditions. Enjoy those leftovers.

    Social Media Roundup for November 19, 2010

    Got a Minute?

    Would you give a minute to make your city better? That’s all that CEOs for Cities, a “civic lab of today’s urban leaders” is asking you to do. Their new Give a Minute program encourages citizens from Chicago (with Memphis, New York and San Jose to come soon) to enter into a public dialogue with their leaders via social media. The initiative asks, “Hey Chicago, what would encourage you to walk, bike and take CTA [Chicago public transit] more often?” Users then submit their ideas to the site directly or via SMS. Responses, on colorful post-its no less, appear on the site to be reviewed by community leaders like the chairman of the Chicago Transit Board.

    While some suggestions might not take off (as a Chicago-area native and CTA veteran, I think a Starbucks at every stop might be a bit hard to pull off), there are plenty of reasonable ideas like train-tracking apps for your phone or pricing incentives. For everyone who’s ever thought they had the secret to fixing their morning commute, this is a much more productive outlet than grumbling into your coffee cup.

    Let’s Analyze Some Tweets

    In exciting news for data geeks like us, Twitter announced this week that they’re testing an analytics product for a possible release later this year. According to Mashable,

    “With Twitter Analytics, users will be able to see a plethora of data about their account; for example, information about which tweets are most successful, which tweets caused people to unfollow, and who the most influential users are that reply and retweet their messages.”

    As if that wasn’t enough good news, rumors indicate that the product will be free.

    Underworld Goes Online

    In what is bound to be the most interesting news about the Underworld action movie franchise, filmmakers of the latest edition are searching for their talent somewhere new: online. With this first casting call posted to Face of the Fan, Sony Pictures’ foray into virtual casting calls, potential stars can log in, download selections from the script, and upload their audition videos to the site. Will aspiring actors from the Midwest stop packing up their things and moving to Hollywood now that the casting call is on their laptop? (via Onion AV Club)

    Facebook Has a Message For You

    As many predicted, Facebook’s big announcement this week was about their messaging and email capabilities. Over the next several months, Facebook will be bringing users a new type of messaging, complete with a facebook.com email address. But Zuckerberg & Co. stressed that this is not email.

    “There are no subject lines, no cc, no bcc, and you can send a message by hitting the Enter key. We modeled it more closely to chat and reduced the number of things you need to do to send a message. We wanted to make this more like a conversation.”

    It’s going to differ from email, as well, in that Messages will build a conversation history for each person you correspond with, whether it’s by chat, email, or SMS.  And similar to Gmail’s Priority Inbox feature, Facebook Messages will sift through conversations to separate out those that are “more meaningful” (i.e., from your friends and friends-of-friends). Will this be enough for you to move your correspondence into the Facebook system?

    Activist Wizards

    Photo courtesy of TheHPAlliance.org

    With Harry Potter fever going strong this weekend, NPR ran a feature on the Harry Potter Alliance, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes young people to take action on campaigns like Helping Haiti Heal or Wizard Rock the Vote.

    “Our mission is to empower our members to act like the heroes that they love by acting for a better world. By bringing together fans of blockbuster books, TV shows, movies, and YouTube celebrities we are harnessing the power of popular culture toward making our world a better place. Our goal is to make civic engagement exciting by channeling the entertainment-saturated facets of our culture toward mobilization for deep and lasting social change.”

    The HPA should serve as a model for any group trying to mobilize young people. They reach out to kids using cultural touchstones that are important to them, in the shape of the pop culture icons that they love, and utilize social media tools to bring them together.  It’s no surprise they’ve been so successful; their campaigns have raised thousands and helped countless numbers of folks in need.

    Roundup Flashback

    While this isn’t exactly new, it’s new to me, and too fun not to include. Did you know that rapper Coolio has his own YouTube channel? Did you further know that instead of uploading his music videos or clips from his stint on Celebrity Big Brother, this channel features mostly his web show, Cookin’ with Coolio? Neither did I. Enjoy.

    (via @bud_caddell)

    Social Media Roundup for November 5, 2010

    Yee haw! Calm yourselves, little doggies, it’s time for the weekly Social Media Roundup!

    Over 50,000 people check-in to vote

    This past Tuesday was the mid-term elections in the US and while races heated up, so did social media. There were a number of cool stories and studies like the New York Times showing how actively users were tweeting about different candidates or Mashable pulling in sentiment statistics for Republicans and Democrats. One of the things that caught our eye was Foursquare offering a special badge for people who checked-in in at a voting location and put #ivoted in their shout out. In the end, 50,416 users checked-in to Foursquare from 23,560 different voting locations. Of course this is a very small percentage of all the people that voted in the US on Tuesday, but could it be a sign of services and things to come? Did you get your iVOTED badge?

    Foursquare iVOTED

    Foursquare iVOTED via http://elections.foursquare.com/

    The Big Tweet Off

    Speaking of Foursquare, this Thursday saw debate come alive on Twitter via The Big Tweet Off. The site is the creation of Paul Sutton and Beth Carroll who thought of the idea after an afternoon going back and forth on whether or not Foursquare users were “the modern equivalent of stamp collectors”. The basic idea is that it will be a regular “tweet off” between two people with totally opposing views on a subject debating via Twitter using the hashtag #bigtweetoff. At the end of the debate, those watching the hashtag will be able to vote on who the winner is. What was the topic of the first Big Tweet Off? Foursquare and its ability to be social. After 550 tweets from 90 participants, Foursquare fell. If you’re interested, you can check out the whole debate transcript here. The next Big Tweet Off will be announced soon.

    Facebook is your breakup Magic 8 Ball

    Let’s face it, dating and relationships are hard work. Many end with a breakup that can sometimes feel like it comes at a completely random time. Or is it random? David McCandless data-mined almost 10,000 different statuses on Facebook and was able to map out the frequency of breakups to show when people are most likely to experience one. Unlucky for all of us, one of the biggest spikes happens about 2 weeks before Christmas. So according to the study, you might find yourself single in about 4 weeks. That said, during Christmas breakups drop down to almost nothing as David thinks it just might be “too cruel”.

    Breakups on Facebook

    Facebook breakup graph by David McCandless

    (via InformationIsBeautiful)

    It’s an ear trumpet, not a time traveler

    Proving once again that they like to ruin people’s speculation with cold hard facts, scientists this week may have debunked the cell phone using, time traveler video originally posted by George Clarke. In case you missed the video, you can check it out below. Basically, in the video, George speculates that a woman walking in the background of a 1928 film showing the premiere of a Charlie Chaplin film was holding a cell phone. Seeing as it was 1928, his only conclusion was that the woman had to be a time traveler. The video went viral with over 49,000 comments and views approaching 5 million inside a few weeks. Scientists, however, said that the woman in the film was most likely using an ear trumpet which was the hearing aid in the 1920′s. As Gizmodo writer Kyle VanHemert put it, though, “maybe it was a time traveler from the future using an antique ear trumpet…”

    (via Gizmodo and Life Science)

    Sesame Street: There’s an App for That

    Finally this week, Sesame Street proves that it is still cool and up with the times by releasing a song called “There’s an App for That”. The basic idea is that the characters all sing and dance around a really cool new tool called the iPogo that features useful apps for things like combing a cat and cutting butter. For certain, Apple was probably disappointed that it didn’t come out with the idea first. Of course, my first thought was “who really uses a pogo stick anymore?”

    And that’s the Social Media Round up for this week. As a parting thought, there are only 50 days until Christmas, will you be checking-in on Foursquare at the mall soon?