Pretty much everyone seems to agree that Bing's recent attempt to promote itself on Twitter using the on-going disaster in Japan was, well, a marketing disaster in itself. For those who missed it, Microsoft -- hoping to get some publicity for Bing, while appearing to be charitable --promised to donate $1 for every re-tweet of a message whose only content was, in essence, the invitation to re-tweet it.
Twenty-six percent of American consumers say they are "far more likely" to tell family, friends, and coworkers about a bad experience with product or service than a good one, according to LoyaltyOne's Colloquy, which recently released the results of a survey of 3,295 U.S. adults. This anxiety-inducing finding confirms my long-held belief that people are more likely to communicate negative feelings about brands, because they view it as the only means of retribution available to them.
I hate having to admit that I'm wrong, so I'm not going to. However, I will concede I was overhasty in generalizing about user-generated content in last week's column, where I said professional video crews did a better job documenting the earthquake and tsunami in Japan than regular folks.
One of the big promises of the digital age was that journalism would be transformed by an army of amateur videographers - namely, all of us regular citizens - who might just happen to be nearby when something important goes down. And it's true this kind of user-generate content has provided some pretty amazing scoops and footage from incidents which might otherwise have been missed by "real" TV news outfits: some of the most alarming video I have ever seen is amateur, close-up footage of tornadoes (I mean really close-up - way closer than any professional news outfit would get). …
Here's one of those stats that makes you sit up and take notice: Facebook was identified as "the 'primary source'" of evidence in divorce cases by fully two-thirds of divorce lawyers surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. This figure is especially incredible when you consider that Facebook didn't even exist ten years ago -- a testament to how quickly technology and social change can advance in our mad, modern world.
Say what you want, but spell my name right, the old adage goes, and Charlie Sheen certainly spelled internships.com
right. On March 7, internships.com was just another Web site whose aim was to bring college kids and recent grads closer to the post-recession American Dream: the elusive (mostly unpaid) summer internship that often ends with a pat on the back and a gift card to Red Lobster.
It seems clear now (unless you are a totally pigheaded columnist for The New Yorker) that social media played a significant role in the revolutions which changed the face of the Middle East over the last two months. The question now is: what next? Can social media help Egypt -- the biggest country in the Arab world, which has traditionally led its neighbors by example -- make the transition to a peaceful, stable democracy?
The argument over the role of social media in the revolutions which shook the Middle East over the last two months has meandered along in that particularly unsatisfying way that public debates tend to nowadays, with pundits lobbing generalities in online echo chambers unlikely to produce any decisive conclusion, with scant evidence that anyone is even listening to the other "side." Indeed, I would be hard pressed to identify the central issue or issues of this disjointed non-dialogue at this point, after all the straw men have been duly demolished: does anyone seriously believe that social media made the revolutions …
Bubble or no, the value of leading social media companies just seems to keep going up -- even when analysts can't point to anything which happened to justify the increases. This week brings the news (first reported by CNBC) that Facebook has been valued at $65 billion by General Atlantic, an investment firm which is trying to acquire a 0.1% stake in the company by buying up 2.5 million shares from former Facebook employees.
This week brought the news that celebrated self-celebrator Charlie Sheen has set a world record, which will be recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records and everything, for the shortest time to gather more than one million Twitter followers.