Missouri Teachers Can Be Facebook Friends Again. . . For Now

Earlier this month, the State of Missouri passed a law making it illegal for a teacher to be friends with a student on Facebook or any social media site. They did this because they felt that social media could lead to inappropriate contact and many people agreed.

The Missouri State Teachers Association did not agree. They fought and won a temporary stay, saying the law is unconstitutional because it denies free speech. The judge who overturned the ruling  gave the teacher’s union 180 days to test out the concept, at which time, presumably, a final decision will be made.

Google+ Expands Third Party Widget

It really feels like a horse race now. Google has added new functionality that makes sharing links to Google+ faster and more targeted.

With the new third party widget, you can add a comment before posting to Google+ (just like Facebook) but you can also choose which circle of friends will see the post (better than Facebook).

This new functionality gave me a whole new outlook on Gooogle+ and their circle system. Before this, I only saw the circles as a way of categorizing the relationship. People I work with, family members, friends, people I’d like to work with.

Now, I see new possibilities. Movie Fans, TV Fans, Scrapbookers. Having said that, I still don’t like Google+’s search function. Is it me, or is there no way to search for people who have the same interests so I can put them in my interest circles?

Nearly Half of All Marketers Are Willing to Pay for a Post

Word of mouth is one of the best means of marketing a product, but sometimes the process needs a little help to get started. Help in the form of cold, hard cash. For a long time, the Pay-for-Posts business was considered only slightly less shady than buying watches from a guy who carries his stock in his coat.

A few years ago, I wrote a paid post for one of my blogs and Google promptly slapped me with a drop in my page rank (does anyone care about page rank anymore?) and placement in the search returns.

Now, paying for posts, Tweets, Facebook shoutouts or video mentions is not only acceptable, it’s good business.

My [Music] Space Gets Ready to Relaunch

MySpace has 70 million active global users but you wouldn’t know it to look a the site. In the past few years, they’ve gone from being a hub of personalized social activity, to a billboard for big entertainment brands to. . . the laughing stock of the internet world.

But MySpace’s new owners could be laughing all the way to the bank and sooner than you think.

Talking to AdAge, Al Dejewski, the new senior VP-global marketing says that MySpace started out on a clear path but lost its way as it grew. Now, the new owners are ready to clear away the brush and strike out all over again – with music as their one and only map.

Marketers Warm Up to the No Clicks Campaign

Have you clicked on a display ad today? The odds are you haven’t since, “99.8% of users who view an average display ad don’t click.” But if you spent any time at all on the internet today, you probably saw dozens of ads and maybe you even remember a couple of them. See, that’s the interesting thing, you don’t have to click an ad to remember it and clicking doesn’t mean you bought something when you got there. And yet, clickthroughs are still our chief means of measuring ad success.

Moat wants to change that with their “No Clicks Campaign.” Their position is that an ad can be engaging without being clicked and they use a heat map to prove it.

To Share or Not to Share, That is Facebook’s Question

This week, Facebook is introducing a batch of tweaks that are all designed to “make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with exactly the people you want.” Or, as the rest of us see it, make it easier to stop certain people from seeing posts, photos, tags and other content.

A lot of the change is all about clarifying the terminology so there’s no mistake. They’ve removed the word “everyone” as a sharing option and replaced it with “public” and even though they mean the same thing, “public” does feel more. . . well. . . public.

To make switching it up easier, Facebook is adding the functionality to a drop down alongside photos and status updates so you can assign items individually on the fly.

Twitter Adds Photo Gallery to Profiles

Twitter started out as fast way of telling everyone you’ve ever met that you just saw Johnny Depp eating a hot dog at the airport. But soon after we learned that anyone could say they saw anything which led to the creation of the phrase, “pics or it didn’t happen.”

From there, third party apps took over such as TwitPic and YFrog (leading me to wonder why frog?), giving you a way to upload the photo of Johnny that you snapped with your phone.

Soon, Twitter got tired of sharing the glory, and made it so you can upload photos directly to your account without the use of a third party but you still had to click and leave Twitter to see it.