Syfy’s Haven Hatches an Unprecedented Twitter Plot

Haven, Maine may look like a typical, small New England town but strange things happen here — on a regular basis. People turn to stone. Shadows run off on their own and a giant, killer ball rolling down the street is perfectly normal. In Haven, they call it The Troubles. In TV circles, they call it a hit.

This Friday, the folks behind the Syfy series will launch an unprecedented social media effort, a storyline that flows back and forth between the series and Twitter.

Executive Producer Lloyd Segan says,

“Although Twitter has been featured in TV shows before, this is the first time a storyline from a television series has been fully integrated with the popular online service. The story has been created in such a way that viewers who don’t follow the Twitter plot can still enjoy the show. For those that do, there will be a special meaning to events in Haven during these seven episodes.”

Jail Time and No Facebook? The California Crackdown

The State of California wants to stop prisoners from using Facebook and has asked the social media network to shut down the accounts of anyone who updates while incarcerated.

Is this constitutional? Forget that whole number about “free speech.” I’m thinking more about cruel and unusual punishment!

Department of Corrections officials believe that prisoners are using Facebook for nefarious means. NBC news investigated and found that one prisoner posted, “Listenin 2 sum music tryin 2 unwind.” This madness must stop.

In all seriousness, they also found evidence of harassment and it’s likely that there are worse offenders but that’s not a problem exclusive to the inmate population. There are plenty of free birds who use Facebook to attack others and troll for trouble. Facebook has systems to deal with these kinds of issues no matter who is behind them. Why not deal with offenders as they happen? Why ban every inmate across the board? And is that even possible?

One Third of Mobile Users Aren’t Mobile At All

A new Yahoo! study states that there has been a 54% increase in the time spent on the mobile web and a 29% increase in time spent watching video on a mobile device.

Are you tired of hearing it yet? Your customers are going mobile — sort of. The study, called “Mobile Modes: How to Connect with Mobile Consumers,” also found that one third of the total time spent on mobile devices is spent at home. That’s right. Mobile, isn’t always mobile and we often forget that. Mobile is taking the place of the home PC. For many people, it’s become the primary way they connect with the world as you can see in this chart from the report.

Laptops, Cell Phones: This Baby Got Tech!

Do you remember your first laptop computer? Your first smartphone? Are you still waiting to experience the joy of the tablet? Most of us have been around long enough to see this massive change in portable technology but there’s a new generation that has never known anything else. They’re the iGeneration and they were born, almost literally, with a mobile phone in their hands.

According to a new survey by BlogHer and Parenting, one in four moms said that they’ve let their two-year-old use their mobile phone. You’ll be comforted to know that the average age to have their own mobile phone is 13, with smartphone scaling slightly older at 15.

Quixey: There’s a Search App for That

When Apple created the slogan, “there’s an app for that,” they weren’t kidding. When you look at all the mobile phone options then add in apps for Twitter and Facebook and browsers like Firefox and Chrome, you’re talking millions of options. The downside of that many options is that it can be hard to find what you’re looking for if you don’t know the name of the app. Enter Quixey, the all app search engine backed by Eric Schmidt’s Innovations Endeavors.

The wonder of Quixey is that it searches based on the way people think. If I want an app to help me with my grocery list, I can type in groceries. Stressed? I can type in “help me relax.” Here’s an example of a search page:

Social Connections: It’s Not Who You Know, But Where You Go

Researchers at Cambridge University in Britain are working on a social media friend prediction system that creates more meaningful connections between people online. I guess we can’t all be working on a cure for cancer and there’s probably more fame and fortune in developing a new kind of social media network so. . .

Their theory is that people often bond over a common love of the same location.

Researcher Salvatore Scellato told Reuters;

“We monitored the behavior of people going to places and the connections they made [on Gowalla]. We found that lots of people who go to the same places end up adding each other as friends, accounting for around 30 percent of new social links.”

Fetch, Google! Fetch!

There’s a saying that goes, “if Google can’t find you, then your customers can’t find you” and it’s very true. Google finds your site through a process called indexing. The simplified version is this: Google sends smart cyber-spiders out to crawl all over the web and these spiders bring back news of all the new sites and site changes. Google updates its database to include all these news bits and voila, you’re indexed. Now, when Hubert searches Google for neon-green, 80′s rapper pants, he’ll find them at your Ultimate 80′s online store.

That’s the perfect world. In the real world, some sites, blogs in particular, get indexed faster than other sites. Some sites get indexed late or badly due to issues with keywords or graphics that block the text. (Here’s a tip: Google can’t read a graphic, so make sure the name of your site is in the text or meta text.)