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Social Media Roundup: Best of Halloween 2010

This week’s social media roundup is special for Halloween, here are seven of our favorites from around the social web.

Enjoy and have a safe and awesome Halloween from all your friends at Social Media Group.

Quoth the Raven, Nevermore

I always have a soft spot for Edgar Allan Poe’s “Raven”.  I’m pretty fond of the Simpson’s version, but this version read by John De Lancie (who played Q on Star Trek) is excellent. (via BoingBoing)

Foursquare offers Two Halloween 2010 Badges

More treat than trick, Foursquare has released two badges for users this Halloween. Confession: I checked into the office today today just to unlock the badge. I’ve been a sucker for badges since Brownies.

Via Jaunted:

2010 Foursquare Halloween Badges

In order to score Halloween 2010 badge (above, at right), simply check in anytime this weekend, anywhere on Foursquare, but make sure to shout “Happy Halloween!” when you do. The more coveted badge, the Spooky Swarm (above, at left) is only for those hosting the rowdiest parties, as you’ll have to check in at a party spot with as-yet-undisclosed large number of fellow Foursquare checkins. We’re guessing somewhere between 50-100 others, but listen for the full how-to on Twitter over the weekend as people unlock this.

Much healthier than those tasty teeny chocolate bars

All this Halloween-related surfing has made me peckish. Perhaps I should grab one of these Halloween-themed Bento Box Lunches? (via: The Kitchn)
Halloween Bento Box Lunches

Trick-or-Treater Index: Data Crunched for List of Best US Cities

Over at The Daily Beast, Richard Florida writes:

“The idea for the Trick-or-Treater Index came to me several years ago, right after my wife and I spent our first Halloween in Toronto and I wrote about it in my Who’s Your City?. I’d lived in many urban neighborhoods in the United States in New York, Boston, D.C., Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Buffalo, and frankly never seen many trick-or-treaters…”

Chicago, San Diego and Trenton, NJ made the list. For all the details, check out the Best Cities for Trick-or-Treating media gallery at The Daily Beast.

John Savio’s iPhone 4 Costume Rules

(Via Gizmodo)

Adam Frucci at DVICE writes of John Savio’s costume: “This epic homemade costume consists of a jailbroken iPhone 4 hooked up to a 40-inch LED LCD panel, a back camera LED light and a whole lot of polish. The phone connects to the display via VGA out, allowing John to control the screen and display, making it look like a real-deal giant iPhone.”

Awesome halloween costume bonus link: Ben Heck’s Portal Costume (via OhGizmo!)

Best Social Media-Themed Costumes

Staying with costumes, Mashable ran a Social Media Media Halloween Costume Contest this week. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube make a good showing. I’m all about memes as Halloween costumes, so the guy dressed as Sad Keanu gets my vote.

New Yahoo! Game uses Zombies to Teach Economic Theory

Just in time for Halloween, Yahoo! labs developers have released a zombie game that goes beyond the norm (rising from the dead, eating brains, etc) and enters the realm of (gasp) education.

Via PCWorld:

Shambling Hordes is a simple game of territory control that challenges players to assume the mantle of “Zombie Warlord” and conquer a desolate island with a limited supply of undead legions.

Shambling Hordes from Yahoo! Labs

Best Carvings: Pumpkin Geek

Elevating the time-honoured tradition of carving faces into pumpkins for jack-o’-lanterns, is Alex Wer, the Pumpkin Geek who has an incredible online gallery of carvings. Hmm, I wonder if it is too late to order a Social Media Group logo-carved pumpkin?

Pumpkin Geek Yoda

Social Media Roundup for October 22, 2010

NASA Astronaut Checks-in from Space

That’s right,  NASA astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station, Doug Wheelock, has checked into Foursquare from Space! Normally most users check-in to their favorite venues, restaurants, and work places. Since the International Space Station technically qualifies as Wheelock’s work place, we’re all for it. In honor of the check-in, Foursquare has created a special badge for the occasion with the following description:

“You are now 220 miles above Earth traveling at 17,500 mph and unlocked the NASA Explorer Badge! Show this badge and get a free scoop of astronaut ice cream.”

Of course, our default question becomes, “how close to the International Space Station do you technically have to be to check-in?”

(via TechCrunch)

Drag-n-Drop for Your Facebook Photos

This week Facebook continued to improve the photo services for users by now allowing for drag-n-drop organization of albums. This is a very welcome update as now users can simply drag photos in their albums to change their display order.

(via Mashable)

Startup Funded by Web Giants

Do you have the latest and greatest idea, service, or tool for social media? Getting help starting may have just gotten easier for you. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, Zynga, and Comcast have joined forces to create the $250-million sFund to help entrepreneurs get started. The fund will help with costs and providing counseling for social media startups. Cafebots is the first startup that has taken advantage of the fund and received $5-million.

(via Montreal Gazette)

Happy Birthday from Google!

Have you ever noticed the special Google Doodles for various anniversaries and events on the Google homepage? Google now announced that if a user has a Google profile that contains their birthday they will now see a special Google Doodle on their special day. Of course, this is probably just a way for Google to get better demographic data on their users… but who doesn’t enjoy a good birthday wish?!?

(via Google Blog)

Viral Video Launches Atomic Tom to the Forefront

Last but not least this week, proof that with enough practice and creativity, you can achieve almost anything with technology and the Internet. By using the iPhone apps iShred, Drum Meister, Pocket Guitar, Virtuoso, and Microphone, 3 iPhones to shoot the video, and a surprised audience on a New York subway train, the band created a live performance video of their single “Take Me Out” that has had almost 2,456,000 views on YouTube to date. In addition to bringing the band almost instant stardom, the video has also persuaded enough people to head over to iTunes to purchase the single which made it to #86 on iTunes top 100 list this week.

Feel inspired by the creativity of the video? We’d love to hear what kind of creative things you like to do with your BlackBerry, iPhones, Androids.

Social Media Roundup for September 24, 2010

Its a bird, its a plane, its the Social Media Group roundup.

Google Search with My Location Experimental Ad: “Pizza. Pizza. Pizza.”

Via The Daily What:

Google just released this experimental ad to promote geolocation-enable mobile search in which a guy says the word “pizza” for ten minutes straight. Some intrepid soul who managed to tough out the whole thing reports that Easter Eggs abound:

Click on the basketball at 0:42, on the word “azzip” at 1:22, on the fire at 1:47, on the word “Florida” at 4:39, on the horse head at 5:49, on the dinosaur at 6:36, on Santa at 7:58 and on the toast at 9:06.

How long can you last?


Social Media for Social Good: Dan Savage Creates YouTube Channel to Help Gay Teens

Michelle’s pick this week is this incredible project:

(via Mashable):

Sex advice columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage has launched a YouTube channel called “It Gets Better.” He’s soliciting videos from fans who want to provide support and encouragement to gay teens who face adversity, discrimination and bullying in high school.

Savage announced the new channel today in episode 205 of his podcast. He’s also hinted on his blog that further explanation will come in the next issue of his sex advice column “Savage Love.” The channel was created after Indiana teenager Billy Lucas committed suicide in response to bullying from his classmates, who assaulted him with epithets and told him to go home and kill himself because he was gay.

Each video will feature a role model sharing personal experiences that illustrate that life for gays and lesbians improves beyond high school.

Twitter for real-time journalism: Did Mother Jones coverage take it too far?

Hasdeep pointed me to Phil Bronstein’s column at HuffPo:

Everyone’s a critic in the digital mosh pit. But the venerable and politically earnest magazine Mother Jones was accused last week of “retweeting rape.”

So what really happened? And is a “rape feed” something we shouldn’t do, just because it hasn’t been done before?

Mother Jones reporter Mac McClelland, currently in Haiti, decided to live-tweet her day spent with a Haitian rape victim trying to get medical care. The power and immediacy of the real-time, staccato exposition, punctuated with emotion …  was unpleasantly jarring for some followers used to the magazine’s typically lengthy, contextual articles.

Data Mining of social networks: insights in social connections

This article about network data mining from The Economist captured Mark’s imagination:

“Of course, companies have long mined their data to improve sales and productivity. But broadening data mining to include analysis of social networks makes new things possible. Modelling social relationships is akin to creating an “index of power”, says Stephen Borgatti, a network-analysis expert at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. In some companies, e-mails are analysed automatically to help bosses manage their workers. Employees who are often asked for advice may be good candidates for promotion, for example.”

List of the Week: The Seven Best “Why Facebook is Down” Cracks

Over at GigaOm Mathew Ingram compiles seven of the most awesome cracks made during this week’s Facebook outage including this doozy:

Social Media Roundup for July 30, 2010

Are you ready for your 15 minutes?

This week YouTube announced that it has changed it’s video upload limit from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. This is good news for users who enjoy posting their lengthy video feedback responses to the newest episode of Jersey Shore.

YouTube says that since it now has a tight handle on dealing with copyrighted content, users who upload large chunks of TV shows and movies are less of a concern and therefore longer videos can be permitted.

Groupon introduces personalization

We’ve all heard of the Daily Me phenomenon, but what about the Daily Deal phenomenon? I remember that exciting time of week when all the retail sales flyers would arrive in the mailbox and the whole family would scour over the week’s door crashers. Now, daily deals are arriving in inboxes instead of mailboxes, courtesy of websites like Groupon and RedFlagDeals.

This week Groupon introduced it’s Personalization feature which will send users one deal a day based on their preferences, purchase history and overall profile putting an end to scrolling through dozens of tire and mattress sales and cutting straight through to the good stuff.

Celebrities are also jumping on the band wagon to promote these daily deals websites. Lindsay Lohan is reportedly being paid by shopping club website Beyond The Rack to tweet about designer sales.

Speaking of celebs and Twitter…

The man who once said ““Everything that Twitter offers, I need less of” has now joined the ranks of Twitter. Kanye West, not one to do things quietly, ended his boycott against Twitter this week and celebrated his new account with a live appearance at the Twitter head office in San Francisco. Kanye makes up part of the 0.4% of celebrity Twitter users and has already attracted 306,105 followers – that’s 1,000 times as many as the average Joe.

Check out Kanye’s Twitter performance below.

Social Media Roundup for May 28, 2010

Youth get smart about privacy settings

Today’s youth may have a reputation for texting in short hand, but they are proving to be a savvy bunch when it comes to privacy on social networks. A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project has sparked discussion about how young people are rising to the top when it comes to online reputation management. The study highlights how young people in the 18-29 age bracket are actively deleting comments that others have made on their profile and locking down privacy settings in an effort to maintain a clean image online, particularly those who are entering the workforce.

Google adds Moderator to YouTube

YouTube users are now able take their comments to another level with the integration of Google Moderator – a platform that lets users ask viewers to answer specific questions. Moderator lets you set up parameters for the dialogue, including the topic, the type of submissions, and the length of the conversation. Users are then able to vote questions up or down, with the top-voted submission responded to with a video post on the channel. Here’s an example of how The New York Times is using Google Moderator.

Mark Zuckerberg responds to privacy concerns

In a column in The Washington Post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about how Facebook missed the mark with it’s latest privacy settings. Users recently began to complain about the overly complex Facebook privacy settings, a move which Zuckerberg described as an attempt to give people more granular control over privacy settings. Zuckerberg promises that they will be releasing simpler controls for privacy settings in the coming weeks, which will help users easily turn off all third-party services.

Nike’s “Write the Future” ad goes viral

Nike’s latest ad, which captures the excitement of the fast approaching FIFA World Cup, broke all kinds of viral video records this week. The video captured 7.8 million views in it’s first week, breaking the previous record of 6.8 million which was set by Nike’s Tiger and Earl ad.

Check out the ad below (via CatchUpLady):

Social Media Roundup for May 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mukhtar!

A Copenhagen bus driver named Mukhtar got a big birthday surprise this year – a flash mob of almost 100 people celebrating his special day. Mukhtar was planning to take the day off for his 41st birthday but was asked to take an extra shift for a friend. A candid camera shows how his day ended with almost 100 people assembling to wish him a happy birthday.

The flash mob was part of a five week campaign undertaken by Copenhagen bus companies Movia and Arriva to promote public transportation and driver contribution.

Google TV is here

Yesterday Google, along with Sony Corp., Intel Corp. and Logitech International, announced plans to launch Google TV in the fall. Touted as “smart TV”, the TV will have many customization options to personalize content, with the main goal being to turn televisions into giant monitors for web surfing and increase ad revenue. The televisions will be sold exclusively at Best Buy, but no word yet on what the price tag will be.

Stay in touch with Facebook page rankings

If you’re looking for any sort of Facebook page ranking information, Fan Page List can connect you with the info you need. The realtime site ranks Facebook fan pages and shows how many users are being added each day. You can check out stats for a variety of categories, including products, actors, politicians and TV shows.

I checked out the brand page to get the scoop on the most popular pages as of today:

  1. Facebook
  2. Starbucks
  3. Coca Cola
  4. YouTube
  5. Disney

SMG Connects with the Web Community at mesh 2010

mesh conference, Canada’s web conference was this week in Toronto. We sponsored a pretty cool party on Tuesday, and our fearless leader Maggie Fox spoke to a packed room Wednesday afternoon about The Art & Science of Scaling Social Media. As with the best content at mesh, it certainly got people talking and was covered in posts by Matt Hartley at The Financial Post and David Brown at Marketing.

Pacman’s back!

Social Media Roundup for May 21, 2010 - Social Media Group Helps Business Navigate the Social Web._1274460750769

Pacman has resurfaced just in time for his 30th birthday and Google is celebrating in typical logo fashion. Cruise on over to the Google homepage to see the logo turn into a playable game of Pacman. Happy weekend!

Social Media Roundup for November 27, 2009

I see a little silhouetto of a clam.  No…no, wait that’s just the Social Media Roundup.

This week, the Muppets helped YouTube’s recent rollout of 1080p HD video with a fantastic rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.  Since that one’s already making the rounds, I thought I’d kick off the roundup Beaker-style.

The Invasion of the YouTube Directors from Mars
Following in the footsteps of short-film to big-screen District 9 director Neill Blomkamp comes the latest YouTube sensation to catch the eye of Hollywood: Federico Alvarez.  $300, 6 months, a few friends and 50 extras came together to produce a stunning apocalyptic 5 minute short and now his phone is ringing off the hook.  Proving once again that if you want to be noticed, you should do something worth noticing.

Wikipedia is the Most Influential Site in the World [citation needed] RWW is once again checking in on ://URLFAN to bring us this year’s “Most Influential Sites” with Wikipedia leading the way for the second straight year.  While an interesting metric, I’m not sure I’d count “Number of mentions on blogs” as my sole descriptor of “Influence.”  YouTube (URLFAN’s #2 influential site) probably wouldn’t be my first stop if I were looking to buy a new lawnmower, for instance.  However, Wikipedia’s top spot is doubly interesting given the recent stats showing their editors are fleeing in herds.

Photoshop this Unlikely Corporate Partnership [Photoshop] Sponsorship is not a new idea for blogs and the like, and Fark has been no exception.  There was the Yardbarker Sports tab, the Blender on Fark Showbiz tab, and now the Geek tab brought to you by…USA Today?  Leaving aside for the moment the fact that both of the prior sponsorships are now defunct, a glance at the approved articles in the Geek tab for the past week shows not a single USA Today sourced link.  This should end well.

Vee Haf Vays Uff Dealink Mit Google.
Worried about personal privacy, government officials in Germany are looking to ban the use of Google Analytics. Key to the argument is Google’s storage of personal data in the US, so expect the big G to purchase a small German city for server storage in the near future.

Watching the publishing revolution at NAIAS

For the early part of this week, I’m at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit accompanying a group of bloggers we’ve invited to attend as guests of one of our clients, Ford.

We did the same last year, but this time around we had more time to plan and a better sense of the opportunities available. We also had a bigger budget to invite more online content producers – most of whom have been spending their days at demos, walking the show floor and posting content in the special blogger lounge Ford had set up (free wifi!). Their nights have been largely spent sitting at dinner tables with access to very high-ranking executives (Bill Ford Jr., Mark Fields, Jim Farley, etc.) alongside traditional media. It’s a great program, and it clearly demonstrates the Ford commitment to evolving their communications model to align with the new reality of distributed influence.

(I’d also like to brag about another innovation we brought to the table this year. At NAIAS in 2008 we launched SMPRs across a wide range of product lines. This year we upped the ante with what we’re calling the “Dynamic Press Kit” – an application loaded onto a USB key that requires only an Internet connection to bring the latest Ford news right to your desktop, along with image and video assets that are licensed under Creative Commons. Die, press kit, die!)

But I digress. The point I’m trying to get around to making is that I have found it fascinating to have a front-row seat to the future of digital publishing for most mainstream outlets. The place they need to get to if they’re going to be able to continue to compete. It looks like this:

1. Tape/shoot pictures at live event
2. Connect to Internet
3. Upload files
4. Write brief explanation/edit content as required
5. Repeat

All of the above often taking place within five minutes, and rather than one big story, in many cases it’s multiple installments. One of our bloggers recounted a brief exchange with a reporter from a well-known mainstream media website. The reporter watched her tape a brief segment on a flipcamera, load it onto her laptop, edit it and upload it to YouTube. Elapsed time: about four minutes. Slack-jawed, the reporter, fully kitted out with all kinds of digital gear, expressed amazement at the speed of it all.

Welcome to the new world order, friends. Publish first or perish. The opportunity for organizations is to make it as easy as possible to publish the right content and the right information (something your influencers will take you up on if you do your homework and get to know them, what they need and how they need it). Content is not a product to be hoarded; you will do well to set it as free as possible in order to keep up with the new pace of publication (Ford’s head of social media, Scott Monty and I will speak about this paradigm shift at length in our session at Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco this spring).

I’ll leave you with one final example: our friends at Jalopnik uploaded this story about Ford’s electrification efforts (complete with correct, detailed graphics) within minutes of the announcement being made, thanks in no small part to the digital assets made freely available on the Ford SMPRs and the new Dynamic Press Kit. Would you rather they had to scramble for their own assets, or do you think the better business model is to provide everything anyone would need digitally, without restrictions so they can tell the richest, best-informed story possible?