"Verizon finds US developer outsourced his job to China so he could surf Reddit and watch cat videos." -- The Next Web, January 16, 2013. Here is a funny story of Internet craziness: according to a 2012 case study from Verizon, last year an employee of a U.S. software firm was caught outsourcing his work to China, where a developer did his job for less than a fifth of his salary.
Social media will be the most important technology channel used by companies to engage with their customers within three to five years, according to a survey of 1,700 CEOs from around the world conducted by IBM. Currently just 16% of companies use social media as their primary means of interacting with customers, but that proportion will rise to 57% three to five years from now.
The wonders of social media never cease: a new study by researchers at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health suggests that individuals may benefit from group weight-loss programs on Twitter, in which participants post details of their progress and encourage each other in the struggle to shed pounds.
Say what you want about the New York Post, it doesn't shy away from a fight. New York City's newspaper of discord appears to be locked in an epic statistical pissing match with Facebook over the number of active users at Instagram (note to self: try to fit "epic statistical pissing match" into more conversations).
Given the prominent role of social media in his first presidential campaign, it's no surprise that Barack Obama is bullish on social media as a means of communication between the government and citizens. But given the size and general unwieldiness of the federal government, it's also no surprise that implementation of social media initiatives has been uneven.
Could Facebook ever go the way of MySpace? Given its ubiquity and continued growth around the world, that may seem unlikely, but here's an interesting fact to consider: more 10th graders are using Tumblr than Facebook, according to a survey of 1,038 teens and young adults conducted by blogger and techie Garry Tan.
Rumors disseminated via social media could "wreak havoc" on the world economy, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum titled "Global Risks 2013." The deliberate or accidental spreading of misinformation, poetically termed "digital wildfires" by the report, could result in mass stock sell-offs as well as (even) more serious consequences like disorganized, panicked mass evacuations -- basically stampedes on a giant scale that could cause thousands of deaths.
While it's great for casual stalking, gossip, and relentlessly comparing yourself to other people, social media actually has some potentially useful applications too. One of the biggest is emergency information of various kinds, including alerting people about criminals on the loose, impending inclement weather, public health crises, and so on. Now we can add earthquake warnings, delivered in real time, to the list.
Boy kids are dumb, aren't they? I mean, in general. Not your kids. Unless you think they are, in which case, I'm sure you're right. Teenagers and social media, in particular, are such a bad combination it's astounding. Social media basically allows teens to take all the idiotic things they do as a matter of course, and give those things the gift of immortal life.
One way to measure the ROI of social advertising on Facebook is by incorporating a social element into promotions, for example by requiring users to share offers or redeem them together with other users. With that in mind, San Francisco-based social media ad firm Aditive is combining display ads on Facebook with social utilities to produce ads that can be measured in terms of sales at "brick-and-mortar" retail establishments.