(Andy Rooney voice): Ever noticed how you don't appreciate something until it's gone? I sure don't. Take electricity: Everybody uses it. Heck, you can't do anything without it. Most of the time we go through our daily routines counting on electricity to just be there, almost like the air we breathe -- except air doesn't come out of the wall.
Hurricane Sandy -- you've heard of it -- has produced all the usual social media ephemera which accompany major events, including the obligatory Twitter parody accounts, narrated in suitably belligerent fashion. Meanwhile the powers that be are making admirable use of social media to keep the public updated about the monster storm, which some are calling (perhaps prematurely) the storm of the century.
Team sports have always been inherently social, as demonstrated by the phenomenon of baseball cards, which could be amassed, shared, and traded; now a new company called the Virtual Fan Network, founded in 2011, is helping athletes and advertisers reach fans via "virtual fan cards," which carry key stats and can be shared via social media, and which can also carry advertising and sponsorships.
Europe's business movers and shakers are embracing social media in a big way, according to a new survey by CNBC titled "Europe's Mobile Elite 2012." In the CNBC survey 69% of European execs agreed that "it's important for businesses to integrate social media into marketing and business plans," and 87% reported being a member of at least one social network -- compared to 74% in 2011 and 60% in 2010.
Finally some good news for Facebook: a favorable third quarter earnings report, including promising growth in mobile advertising revenues, has buoyed the stock price for the world's dominant social network by $4.05, or over 20%, to $23.55 at the time of writing. But there's still plenty of skepticism out there regarding the company's valuation.
One quarter (24.1%) of doctors said they use social media in a professional capacity every day, including searching for medical information, according to a new survey of social media use by medical professionals funded by Pfizer and published last month in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
While most churchgoers are probably used to rules demanding cessation of all electronic activity during services, a church in Arizona is taking the opposite stance: the congregation at Fellowship Church in Anthem, AZ is encouraged to tweet, update their Facebook profiles, and post to Instagram from the pews, according to CBS5, a local station which first reported the news.
Social media has huge potential for doing good -- or rather, for enabling people to do good. But it also enables plenty of, um, not-so-good. Just consider a recent study from the Philippines' Department of Health, which linked social networks to a rise in cases of HIV in that country.
Brands generated a mind-blowing 38 billion social media impressions worldwide in the third quarter of 2012, according to a quarterly survey from research outfit PQ Media and uberVU, which measures social audiences; in addition to a demographic and regional breakdown of these impressions, the partners also produced a list of the brands with the most impressions.
Although sites like Facebook supposedly prohibit individuals under the age of 13 from joining, this rule has failed to prevent millions of children from becoming members, according to a new survey of over 25,000 European kids by the London School of Economics' EU Kids Online project.