• NJ Attorney General Warns Against Social Media Scams
    Stupid is as stupid does, mama always said. I'm not quite sure what that means, but I have a feeling it has something to do with giving money to people you don't know online. The rise of social media has been accompanied by all sorts of exciting innovation by clever crooks, for example burglars spying on social network users to figure out when they'll be away from home. But social networks are even better-suited for con men and identity thieves, who exploit the inherent sense of trust and affection between friends to scam unsuspecting users. That's according to New Jersey …
  • Second Life Chugs Along
    Second Life is a great case study in social media trends. First came the huge wave of hype in 2005-2006, when every marketer and his mother felt compelled to get into the pioneering virtual world created by Linden Labs, which was touted as the future of online virtual interaction. Then came the backlash, as self-identified "original" users bemoaned the influx of newbies and corporate brands, with some even engaging in acts of virtual terrorism. And then came the anticlimax: growth slowed dramatically, many newbies and marketers lost interest, and Second Life slipped from the headlines. Last month it was back …
  • Here Comes The (Social) Neighborhood
    This is something I've been wondering about (and hoping to see more of) for a long time: local social networks, functioning at the neighborhood level, which reflect real communities. That's the idea behind Neighbortree.com, a "free neighborhood website" which allows users to create their own neighborhood social networks, and businesses to deliver hyper-local targeted advertising. Neutrality is an important part of its mission, as highlighted by the disclaimer: "We are not your Home Owners Association's website."
  • Bosses Can't Stop Workers Goofing Off
    Karl Marx may never have anticipated the contemporary corporate workplace or its Dilbert-esque conflicts, but I am going to invoke the Communist Manifesto nonetheless: workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your page views! The battle lines have been drawn, and I am pleased to report that the bosses are totally losing, according to the Cisco 2010 Midyear Security Report, which includes the results of a survey of employees from around the world.
  • Ford Makes New Friends The Right Way, Revealing Explorer On Facebook
    With everyone struggling to figure out how to use social media for marketing and advertising, it's obviously helpful to look at examples where a big company gets its right, demonstrating what can be done with an appropriate investment of time and money (and planning). Today, Ford hit the nail on the head with its "2011 Ford Explorer Reveal" on the Ford Explorer Facebook page. Let's take a quick tour of the multifaceted project.
  • Sex, Lies, and Cranberry Bogs
    Okay, there's isn't actually any sex in this story, but it's still pretty tart and juicy. Two leading manufacturers of cranberry products are duking out in court and online, with claims and counter-claims of deceptive advertising and related social media subterfuge. It's pretty ridiculous, kind of funny, and fairly pathetic, but also a great illustration of how companies -- even manufacturers of fairly mundane agricultural goods -- will push ethical boundaries online.
  • ROI Isn't Always $imple
    Yesterday I wrote about the need for long-term ROI metrics in social media -- and today, coincidentally, I came across a report by Forrester pointing out that social media success can mean different things, and it doesn't always necessarily boil down to money money money (although that is obviously one of the important ones). Nor can it always be reduced to clicks, downloads, visits, or other purely functional metrics.
  • Wanted: Long-Term ROI Metrics
    I don't think too many people would argue with the statement that social media is both similar to and different from other media. It has reach comparable to broadcast TV and radio, and frequency like print newspapers used to enjoy. On the other hand it is a "lean-forward" activity and obviously differs from traditional media in including a large proportion of user-generated content. And that's just the tip of the iceberg: you could probably spend a couple hours listing areas of similarities and difference. But one of the biggest differences, in my mind, is the time scale over which social …
  • You Can Check In, But You Can't Check Out: Users Worried by Location Apps
    Unsurprisingly, young adults are more likely to share more information: 27% of males ages 18-29 share their location with friends every day, and 10% check in daily at specific locations (which would allow potential miscreants to construct a fairly reliable schedule). By the same token, women are more likely to express concern about the potential threat posed by geolocation services, with 49% saying they're very worried about a stalker using their information, compared to 32% of men.
  • Social Networks Extra-Popular With Gays, Lesbians
    Gays and lesbians are heavier users of social networks than the population at large, according to a new national survey from Harris Interactive, which also found they are more likely to read blogs than their heterosexual counterparts. These findings aren't particularly surprising, basically confirming earlier studies showing that -- like young adults and ethnic minorities -- gays and lesbians tend to index higher in social network use. But in the case of gays and lesbians there is an interesting issue of correlation versus causation (at least, I find it interesting).
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