Empowering the end user and those considering a career in digital media

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook

Are url shorteners the new badge of cool?

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In the age of sharing, social media and real time, anything long and cumbersome slows us down. The ability to shorten urls to ease this process served a clear function which became a necessity thanks to the character limitations of Twitter.

Functional it may be. Smart, certainly. But, cool? Well apparently, it is now.

Today, both Google and Facebook have launched their own url shorteners, which will soon see our Twitter streams flooded with and Both are not currently available for wider consumer use but I’m sure this will be right around the corner.

This shows there’s clear business potential in url shortening and makes the fight a little bit funky.

I see the beginning of a new marketing avenue. Bespoke url shorteners developed by all the big brands. At the very least it would give a clearer indication of where the link is directing you – potentially increasing click through.

This is something that Coke experimented with, creating its own url shortening site – perhaps paving the way for others to follow.

For now, the question is, will you be going or


Written by sociauxanswers

December 14, 2009 at 10:50 pm

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Bono makes me see red

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For some time now businesses and organisations have been dipping their toes into the social media pool. More recently, we have seen some harness the medium to create some spectacular campaigns.

Charities however have struggled with implementing effective social media campaigns and it was only last week when I wrote a post on this very topic.

Yesterday, Bono changed everything. In honour of World Aids Day, we were given the ability to turn our tweets and facebook posts red.

This is a simple concept yet incredibly effective. Rather than the usual direct requests for cash, we’ve seen a charity which is enhancing the user experience and making use of the tools at hand in a highly creative way.

The results paid off – an instant trending topic and well, everything had turned red!

This heralds a new benchmark, particularly for the not for profit community. I’m certainly looking forward to the creative innovations to come.

Written by sociauxanswers

December 2, 2009 at 8:01 am

Collaboration will help us through the winter

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In a week when both Facebook and iPhone have been infiltrated by yet another viral worm, one would think we would all be on a bit of a downer. In actuality, these bugs and hickups seem to draw us digital geeks closer together.

When the Internet entered out homes, it was a scary world, full of spam, hackers and new online threats. Today, it has become a world of collaboration, sharing and a vehicle for conversations to take place.

What always astounds me is others willingness to offer help and support in the digital world. Ask a question on Twitter and you will be overwhelmed with answers, ask for advice on LinkedIn and you will be inundated with support, ask what your friends are having for lunch on Facebook and you will find out about the best restaurants in your area.

The digital sphere is no longer associated with fear but with collabaration and honesty.

If you’ve been infected by one of the latest attacks, tell us about it. You’ll find a community at your fingertips ready to help you tweet your sorrows away.

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November 24, 2009 at 8:26 am

You either love it or hate it

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After making an agreement with my siblings to never move abroad, my brother chose to emigrate to Spain. At one time this would have been horiffic news but in actuality, we stay in touch as much as I do with the other siblings. Thank you social media.

I would like to give particular thanks to Skype and it’s iPhone app. This means my brother and I can message each other any time of day and when I get home we see each other face to face on the web cam. That’s more than I get from the northern brother!

So, why is skype only worth $2.75 billion? Alright, that’s a lot of cash but nowhere near what certain social networks are going for.

Facebook has just been valued at an estimated $9.5 billion. That’s a lot of bread for not a lot of work. Skype allows people to truly connect, Facebook allows people to boast about what they had for breakfast.

When formulating a social media campaign for clients, it’s clear we’re overlooking a crucial factor: people want to boast more than they want to interact. I just wish I had Marmite as a client!

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November 20, 2009 at 8:01 pm

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Just don’t turn up to the party empty handed

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Depending on the size and notoriety of a brand the appropriate social media strategy must differ greatly.

Smaller companies are focused on creating a presence, developing an authoritative voice and SEO, SEO, SEO.

When it comes to larger companies, it’s more about managing the existing buzz, guiding and interacting with networks.

The constant between the two is the need to monitor and evaluate these conversations. There are numerous free and paid for tools to aid this task. They can tell you who’s tweeted when and who’s blogged about what.

The sticking point is closed networks, such as Facebook and some forums. These are the virtual living rooms where consumers feel comfortable to voice their true opinions and therefore are a valuable resource.

Machines have no place in closed networks so this leaves us with two options: either revert back to the ideals of social media and go in yourself, open handed, with transparency and honesty, or create a forum to let the people come to you.

Actually, why not do both?

When representing a brand, we need to be there no matter how the consumer wishes to communicate with us – be that through a Facebook group, a tweet or a message on a paper aeroplane.

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October 20, 2009 at 8:38 am

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I’ll be surfing the Twingly wave

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OK, so Google Wave has started sending invites today. Well, I didn’t get one – so I won’t be talking about that for a while!

However, today I had the opportunity to see a demo of something perhaps equally as exciting. Those clever Swedes at Twingly, known for the blog search facility, have developed a new product called Twingly Channels.

By aggregating news from blog posts and social media portals, Twingly Channels provides a window of clarity on the blogosphere, updated in real time.

Users can create channels on a chosen topic then choose search terms which feed content in a similar way to an RSS feed. Users can also post their own links (as in Digg) or comment on posts made be other users. Channels can then be shared with likeminded individuals or organisations who can sort by most popular or most recent content.

The implications for businesses could be significant as companies could use a channel to propel itself to a leader in its field – welcoming in the industry and hosting discussions.

Me, well you may know I’m a bit of a geek. What you may not know is I’m also an animal nut. My first channel will be for bunny hugging chicken kissers and I welcome you all to join.

Here are some screen shots so you can make up your own mind:

An example of a Twingly Channel - by popular content

An example of a Twingly Channel - most recent content

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October 1, 2009 at 4:33 pm


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Facebook users are now able to update their Twitter profile in sync with their Facebook status. Err… is it just me or has this application existed for, oh, about a year?

I personally saw the announcement on Mashable but I assume this was Facebook propaganda.

In other news to hit the headlines this week – Twitter vs Facebook in the real time search war. Now, Twitter has offered this facility for some time and it is an integral part of its business model. Every event or trip to the toilet is now given its own #tag. However, I’m pushed to believe Facebook has innovated in this way in order to retaliate. Is it not the next logical step to improve user experience?

I digress. So, why would you want to update your Twitter and Facebook status at the same time? You don’t. Ease of use? Maybe. Sensible? No.

Even for those who use social networking portals purely for keeping up with news of school friends’ divorce, it’s clear Twitter and Facebook serve different purposes. Twitter is for the egomaniac inside us all. Once I have written this I will post it on Twitter, I will tell everyone how brilliant I am, then I will repost anything anyone has written about my post just to emphasise how much everyone likes me. On Facebook, I will tell my friends what I had for breakfast.

I get the point. Facebook is saying Twitter is just one long Facebook status newsfeed and is therefore redundant (Mashable’s view on their collaboration was rosy but wrong). Except, it’s not.

This is highlighted when using social media to promote a brand. On Facebook, one should be tactful, build a group of likeminded individuals, then subtly, nicely, ask if they wouldn’t mind buying your product. On Twitter modesty goes out the window. And that’s ok. As long as it comes with knowledge and transparency, it’s fine. If Facebook is the press release then Twitter is the advertising slogan.

If you know what’s good for you, you will run along and delete the application. And you can stop tweeting about Twitter. It’s getting on my nerves.

Written by sociauxanswers

August 22, 2009 at 8:37 am