Posted June 6, 2014 4:55 pm by with 0 comments

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Let’s wrap up the week with a few short stories that have been sitting in my bookmark file.

Flickr gets anti-social

If you use Facebook or Google to login to your Flickr account, get ready to memorize another password. At the end of this month, Fickr will require all users to log in using nothing but a Yahoo account. You remember. . . that free email address you signed up for years ago to catch all your spam?

Here’s what I got when I tried to sign in via Facebook:

Yahoo account reminderIf you don’t have an account, you’ll be prompted to start one. What are the chances that I remember my password. . . or my security answers . . . and now they want my cell phone number for verification, too. Geez, it’s my online photo gallery not my bank account!

There are plenty of stats showing that more people are using social logins because they’re easy. Guess Yahoo doesn’t believe or doesn’t care. Removing social logins might be good for branding but it’s going to annoy a lot of current customers.

Target gets appy!

In order to appeal to a younger, hipper, more mobile audience, Target is rolling out an ad campaign devoted to their digital options. One thing they’re pushing is the ability to order online then pick up the order at the store. This is a hot service for moms, especially if they have curbside pick-up. Another fun idea they’re testing is a map in the mobile app that shows you where in the store you can find what’s on your list. I have a huge Target near me and this would be ideal. Seriously, I feel like I need  golf cart just to do my shopping, the place is so huge.

Bottom line – it’s about using technology to make shopping more convenient. That’s a smart move if they want to pull in the millennials.

The Secret Service wants to understand sarcasm

My favorite social media story of the week comes from CBS News. The Secret Service posted an online work order for software that can detect sarcasm in social media postings. Sounds silly, but the biggest downside to written communication, especially short social media posts, is the inability to hear inflection. “Yeah, right” means two different things depending on which word you emphasis.

To be fair, the whole sarcasm things is just a small part of a large program designed to sift through enormous amounts of social media data in a short amount of time. Such a program could be a lifesaver during a natural disaster or other times of crisis. Due to the real time, fast-moving nature of the feed, Twitter is the first place people turn to when events start to unfold. Unfortunately, people also use the network to post false information and jokes about a serious subject.  Just imagine how much more accurate the data would be if the computer could tell the difference between a joke and a serious statement.