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Four Minutes of Video Awesomeness: Is Social Media a Fad?

If you’re going to produce a viral video packed with stunning facts, then the secret to its success is to use Fatboy Slim’s "Right Here, Right Now" as the theme song–I’ve lost track of the number of videos that use that track.

Still, that doesn’t stop this video from being any less fascinating than the many that have gone before it.



Facebook Privacy: California, Canada Concerned

Facebook IconFacebook is gearing up to face off with the government again—this time over privacy concerns in two different venues: the California courts and a Canadian commission.

In California, five users are suing Facebook for disclosing their information to third parties for commercial purposes, without the users’ permission. The plaintiffs are two children under the age of 13 (who, BTW, aren’t allowed to use the site according to the TOS), a user of the “original Facebook,” a model/actress and a photographer. They argue that Facebook violated California consumer privacy laws. They’re looking for a trial, damages and fees. Facebook, naturally, says they “see no merit to this suit and . . . plan to fight it.”

Twitter Putting the Kibosh on Pay for Followers Services?

Twitter Bird GoofyWould you pay for more followers on Twitter? Apparently some people would—a few providers have found a way to monetize the popular microblogging site with selling more followers.

uSocial is one such service. For a mere $87, you can get 1000 new Twitter followers. uSocial made headlines recently when they claimed that Michael Jackson’s family bought the late pop star 25,000 more followers after his death. uSocial also claims to strive to match your profile to potential followers‘ interests, and to grow your Twittership over time—a far more organic approach than it sounds like on the surface (admit it—you were thinking they just had thousands of dummy accounts).

But soon, even that seemingly-legit kind of matchmaking may disappear from Twitter. CNET reports that uSocial says Twitter’s gunning for them as spammers.

Social Site Sued for Harvesting Emails

tagged logoSocial site is facing the second big lawsuit over its registration process in as many months. First NY AG Andrew Cuomo (always a popular figure with social networks!) threatened to bring a lawsuit against Tagged for stealing emails and spamming “millions of Americans,” and now two women from California are suing Tagged for stealing their email contacts.

Okay, so maybe that’s not “big,” but it does stand to set a precedent.

In response to the NY AG’s similar accusations, Tagged founder Greg Tseng explained that Tagged’s registration process is abundantly clear, including several screenshots of the registration process (PDF), such as this:
tagged invite

Which could easily support either of these lawsuits, especially since the California case states

Will You Like Twitter’s Plans to Make Retweeting an Official Feature?

If you’re a new Twitter user, you’ve probably stumbled over the correct etiquette for "retweeting" someone else’s tweet. Do you use "RT: @andybeal…." or "Retweeting @andybeal….."? And what about those precious characters lost when you retweet? We only get 140 to start with!

Well, Twitter has watched the practice of retweeting closely and thinks it has an official solution. The question is, will you like it?

The plan is to add a "Retweet" link to each tweet in your timeline. It’ll look like this:

Once you’ve retweeted, you’ll see that Twitter didn’t add "Retweet @andybeal" anywhere in the actual text. Instead, it will add a small discrete note below the tweet. Like this:

Google Reader Gets Updated; Now More Social

If you’ve ever been knee-deep into your Google Reader and wished you could tweet that awesome story about the dog that saved the family from a burning house, now you can.

Thanks to a host of announced updates to Google Reader, you can now send any item to Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, Delicious, Digg, etc, etc. In fact, Google not only provides an already extensive list of social networks you can share RSS items with, but even includes custom fields so you can send an item anywhere you wish. Head to your "Settings" and you’ll see the new "Send To" tab:

At the bottom of each item in Google Reader, you’ll now see the new "Send To" option:

Viral Video & Social Media Marketing Up

A survey from Association of National Advertisers (ANA), BtoB Magazine and ‘mktg’ indicates that marketers are turning to viral videos and social media marketing more and more, despite continued reservations.

Two-thirds of marketers surveyed said they were using SMM, up from only 20% of marketers in the 2007 survey. The most popular social sites for marketers were Facebook (74%), YouTube (65%), Twitter (63%), and LinkedIn (60%). Only a quarter of marketers were using viral video in 2007; now half are using this tactic. But marketers are concerned about how effective these techniques are:

Despite the growing use of social networks and viral videos, marketers do not think they are using these media in the most effective ways and are still struggling with measurement and media-mix allocation issues. The top concerns for marketers when considering newer media platforms are the inability to prove ROI (45%) and worries about not having metrics to properly allocate the mix of traditional and digital media (43%).