• Workplace Social Media Use Increased Threefold in 2011
    This week brought more news to make American bosses suspiciously eye their employees through the venetian blinds: social media use on workplace computers increased a remarkable 300% between mid-2010 and mid- 2011, according to Palo Alto Networks, a network security company.
  • Starz Promotes Spartacus with Facebook Game
    Starz is promoting the second season of its Spartacus series, "Spartacus: Vengeance," with a social game on Facebook that allows players to experience the glorious, non-OSHA-compliant career of a professional gladiator-turned-rebel in ancient Rome. Like the show, Spartacus: Vengeance The Game -- also developed for Starz by Large Animal Games -- is a sequel to an earlier installment , Spartacus: The Game, which launched on Facebook in January 2011. The new game takes players to new locales and challenges, and exists dependently of the first online social game. In additional to personal combat there is a strategic layer to the …
  • Twitter Tracked Cholera in Haiti Faster than Officials
    Among the many surprising applications for social media besides its original core mission of encouraging idleness, one of the most interesting and useful has been for public health, where sites like Twitter and Facebook can help track outbreaks of disease, gather data, and disseminate information about preventive measures and treatment to the public. In fact, social media may be even better at tracking diseases than the established public health authorities, judging by an article documenting the use of Twitter to track a cholera outbreak in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in January 2010. The article, "Social and News Media Enable …
  • Four Seasons Embraces Social Media with New Web Site
    Luxury brands have been diffident about embracing social media, which with its mass appeal and egalitarian nature can seem so, well, common. But even high-end luxury brands are realizing they can profit from social media, as evidenced by the new Four Seasons Web site -- product of a $15 million revamp -- which embraces social media in a big way, I mean simply adores it, dahling.
  • Consumers Punish Companies that Ignore Them
    No one puts consumers in the corner. That's the upshot of a new study from Conversocial exploring the consequences for brands and retail chains which ignore questions and complaints from consumers posted on social media. The consequences, as might be expected, are not good. According to an earlier survey of retailers by Conversocial, over 60% of complaints and question about retailers posted online on social media are ignored, in part because of the sheer volume of content created on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Worse, 30% of the retail chains surveyed don't respond to any questions or complaints posted on …
  • Google Wants Your Attention, Please, Now Now Now
    Like a dog making progressively greater demands for our attention, Google is determined to get us engaged with its Google+ social platform one way or another; and with this week's announcement that it is integrating personal content into Web searches, I'd say the search giant has escalated from chewing on our collective shoes to backing its hindquarters into our lap with a sheepish, "I'm not evil" expression on its face.
  • Tebow Sets Twitter Sports Record
    If you haven't heard about Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos quarterback whose every action is guided personally by the Almighty, then you are probably living in a shack in the woods somewhere. You're certainly not on Twitter, where Tebow's 80-yard touchdown pass provoked a (sports-related) record-setting outpouring of brief, impassioned messages on Sunday night. According to Twitter, activity peaked at 9,420 tweets per second just moments after Tebow threw the winning pass, pushing the Broncos to a 29-23 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. That's the most sports-related tweets per second in history, according to the Web site, exceeding the previous …
  • London Olympics Volunteers Get Social Media Guidelines
    The London Olympics, scheduled for July 27-August 12, will be an impressive logistical feat, judging by the sheer numbers of personnel involved. In addition to 13,500 troops on guard duty, a small army of 70,000 unpaid volunteers are expected to help run the London Olympic Games, 30,000 of whom have already been recruited. With admirable foresight, the London Organizing (sorry, make that Organising) Committee has issued guidelines governing social media use by volunteers to ensure security as well as protect the commercial interests of sponsors.
  • Investment Adviser Tried to Sell $500 Billion in Fake Securities via Social Media
    In addition to its many positive applications, it's becoming increasingly clear social media is a fertile field for all different sorts of fraud, including financial fraud on a mind-boggling scale that would make Bernie Madoff proud. One Anthony Fields, 54, a certified public accountant in Lyons, Illinois, tried to sell over $500 billion worth of fake securities via social media, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused Fields of peddling bogus "bank guarantees" and "medium-term notes" on social media sites including LinkedIn. To lay the groundwork for his fraudulent business, Fields created two companies, Anthony Fields & Associates …
  • Pharma Can Use Social Media for Off-Label Discussions -- Well, Kind Of
    Pharmaceutical marketing is one of the most heavily-regulated areas of media, so it's no surprise that the FDA has some thoughts about how pharma companies should be able to use social media to communicate with consumers. Some of the most recent regulations are interesting in that they allow pharma companies to use social media to communicate about off-label uses of prescription drugs. Sort of.
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