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A Higher Education in Social Media

By Trisha Lyn Fawver

Forget spending years in grad school toiling away on an advanced marketing degree.  Birmingham City University in the UK is going to begin offering a MA course in Social Media.  All you social media junkies out there, grab your backpacks and passports!

Jon Hickman, the course convener, had this to say about the year-long program:

It’s not for freaks or IT geeks, the tools learnt on this course will be accessible to many people.

During the course we will consider what people can do on Facebook and Twitter, and how they can be used for communication and marketing purposes.

There has been significant interest in the course already, and it will definitely appeal to students looking to go into professions including journalism and PR.

Does Social Media Really Have the Pulse of the People?

Advertising Age has an interesting position in the business world these days. The publication is sometimes representative of the old guard. I ad-age-logoremember at PubCon in Las Vegas where that point was made in a video that Rance Crain, AdAge’s editor-in-chief, was shown saying that Blendtec simply needed to take out print ads to accomplish what was done with its “Will It Blend” campaign. Ouch. He didn’t appear to be on top the one of more impressive stories of the social media marketing age.

Facebook Grays: Over-35 Users Double in 60 Days

Inside Facebook regularly examines user demographics on the world’s most popular social network. The graying of Facebook trend continues, they report, with women over 55 constituting the fastest-growing demographic, while the number of active users over the age of 35 nearly doubled in the last two months.

However, despite this growth, the largest single demographic on Facebook is still the 18-25 age bracket (where I fall for one more week. Sigh.), which constitutes 35% of Facebook’s overall membership.


However, this graph obviously shows positive skew: just over half of Facebook members are past the college years (at least, I hope you’re done with your undergrad by the time you’re 26).

Google Friend Data Goes Portable

Google is getting really adamant about the whole “not not not building a social network” thing. So adamant that they’re letting you take all that shared information among your peer group—including your list of contacts—all over the web now.

That’s right, folks—Google has enough social network-like information on your friends and contacts to roll out the data portability, or at least for just your friend list.

The reasoning behind the new open standard, Portable Contacts, is that many websites like to invite your friends to come participate. (Hey, it’s a party!) But when you give them your Gmail login and password (WHY?), they can scrape your whole contacts list (and, um, lots of other stuff).

China and That Freedom of Speech Thingy

Remember all the discussion of China and its approach to the Internet that was heard around the Beijing youtube-logoOlympics? It seems that a lot of that type of coverage has slid into the background until recently. Apparently once Google gets involved these items become news again.

At this moment China’s Internet users cannot view YouTube. The Chinese government claims that it had nothing to do with the outage but its timing with the airing of footage on YouTube of detained Tibetan protesters being beaten seems a bit more than a coincidence to the rest of the thinking world.

Google’s take on this is

Google spokesman Scott Rubin told that it is still working to bring its video-sharing site back online and identify the cause of the outage.

Free Webinar: Social Selling – Live Q&A on Selling with Web 2.0

Thanks to our long-standing partnership with The Customer Collective, we’re able to bring you cool stuff and educational training. The Customer Collective’s upcoming online panel Q&A will help you understand how to use social networking to actually sell stuff–as opposed to just wasting away your day.

Social Selling: Live Q&A on Selling with Web 2.0 takes place 11 a.m. PST / 2 p.m. EST March 31, 2009 and registration is FREE!

Want more details? We’ve got you covered!


How do you take the proven fundamentals of good selling and apply them to social networking? What Web 2.0 tools should you as a sales professional be utilizing to find new prospects and keep the customers you have loyal?

Why Facebook’s Conceding the Redesign Battle to Win the War

chess-move2Ever since Facebook rolled out its new design, we’ve heard how millions of users hate the decision, but founder Mark Zuckerberg apparently didn’t care what they thought.

Now Facebook is responding to the vocal minority–yes a few million is a minority among 175 million total users–and will look at making changes to the new layout. I won’t go into all of the changes Facebook has agreed to make because that’s not what I won’t to focus on in this post. Instead, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my theory:

Did Facebook users win the war, or is the social network merely conceding territory it’s apathetic about in order to give the appearance that its users have a say in the company’s future?