by Erik Sass on Mar 31, 12:19 PM
Mental health is very much in the news lately. An article from researchers at MIT and Northwestern claims that a social network dedicated to mental health can help people with depression to manage and cope with their illness. The article, published in the "Journal of Medical Internet Research," describes an experimental social network created by the researchers, called Panoply, which serves as a "peer-to-peer," "crowd-sourced" platform for people with depression to discuss their illness with each other -- in effect, kind of like a virtual support group.
by Erik Sass on Mar 30, 12:45 PM
Predicting the demise of online display advertising has become something of an industry pastime, with doomsayers pointing at various times to rivals including search, video, and native ads as the likely culprits. But all this preemptive gloating doesn't seem to be making much of an impression at all on display ads, which will continue to grow insolently at a double-digit rate -- in open defiance of literally hundreds of whitepapers and keynotes.
by Erik Sass on Mar 27, 12:56 PM
The last few years have brought plenty of examples of social media helping ordinary people communicate despite government repression -- and now at least one big news organization is following suit. Following a number of government-mandated "interruptions in service," BBC Thailand has been using Facebook to reach millennials in that country and raise awareness of its new Thai-language online news service. Last year the Thai military overthrew the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and to quell dissent, the country's military rulers have cracked down on journalists and news orgs that were critical of the junta's policies. These …
by Erik Sass on Mar 26, 1:58 PM
"'Curiouser and curiouser,' Cried Alice." Get ready to go down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass: Facebook is testing "spherical videos," which create a fully immersive 360-degree video experience for users similar to 3D games, as part of the newsfeed, founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed at the most recent annual F8 developer conference on Wednesday.
by Erik Sass on Mar 25, 12:44 PM
Starbucks' heart may have been in the right place, but its brain was on vacation. That seems to be the general sentiment on social media a week after the coffee juggernaut's controversial "Race Together" program, in which barristas encouraged customers to engage them about race relations, widely regarded as the "third rail" of American culture, society, and politics.
by Erik Sass on Mar 24, 12:48 PM
David Carr was on the money about Facebook's plans to host content from major news organizations directly on its own platform. Carr's reportage from back in October was confirmed and elaborated by a second article in the "NYT" this week. Facebook is said to be in talks with news publishers including the New York Times itself, as well as BuzzFeed and National Geographic. News stories would be hosted on Facebook and the social network would share the ad revenue with the publishers. Among other benefits, this would mean Facebook users could read news content from reputable sources without having to …
by Erik Sass on Mar 23, 11:20 AM
The revelations of widespread government surveillance by NSA contractor Edward Snowden may have dominated public discussion, but they didn't have much impact on how Americans actually use digital technology. That's the conclusion of a new Pew study based on a survey of 475 U.S. adults, polled about their use of technologies including mobile devices, social media, and email, among other channels.
by Erik Sass on Mar 20, 12:27 PM
If you ever feel like you're experiencing "social media exhaustion," don't worry, you're not alone -- in fact you're in very good company, because some very famous people are ditching (and dissing) social media as well. And no, they're not just some cranky Hollywood old-timers who didn't get it in the first place.
by Erik Sass on Mar 19, 11:45 AM
Education giant Pearson, the world's largest publisher of textbooks, has been routinely monitoring the social media activity of students taking its tests to detect cheating. The company has agreed to suspend the monitoring of students on social media at the request of a number of U.S. states - which will conduct the surveillance.
by Erik Sass on Mar 18, 11:22 AM
Facebook is moving to dominate yet another important sector in the emerging digital economy with the introduction of its peer-to-peer payments service. Now Facebook users can send money to friends via Facebook Messenger, putting the social titan into competition with peer-to-peer payment services like Square, Venmo, and Snapcash, introduced last year by Snapchat and powered by Square.