Twitter-owned Tweetdeck, arguably the most popular platform for social media users to manage the Twitter conversations, has released a set of column filters for both the Tweetdeck web and Chrome apps.
Twitter recently released content filters for search columns as well – part of its efforts to bring features and functionality of its AIR app to the Web.
Users will be able to show (match) or exclude specific words and phrases from an individual TweetDeck columns as well as choose to view only those Tweets (or retweets) that contain media (images or video). It’s not difficult to see how improved filtering will make it easier to scan and find specific tweets or content within them.
Gamification is a digital trend that captured my attention since it first began to emerge. Why? Well, I think people need motivation – but motivation doesn’t always have to come in the form of money. Sometimes it’s enough to be about our ego alone.
Bunchball is one of those gamification providers that seems to have everything figured out – as if you couldn’t tell from our coverage (seen below). But the gamification technology provider apparently has no plan to stop bringing gamification to the digital business masses in every way possible.
The company has announced plans to release a connector to Twitter for its Nitro gamification engine and its Integrated Nitro solutions.
Bunchball’s Nitro Connectors enable enterprises to connect gamification programs to enterprise applications and social networking tools. With Nitro Connector for Twitter, Bunchball customers will have at their disposal a rather powerful way to motivate site vistiors, consumers and employees to post tweets that support brands and campaigns. Companies can define and track phrases and hashtags that relate to their products, services or indstures and detect when users include them in tweets – rewarding users for their activity.
"Bunchball's Nitro Connector for Twitter is a great example of the value that our Nitro Connectors bring to customers. You can easily and quickly extend your gamification initiatives to include tweets containing the hashtags or phrases you care about most, at the moment that you care about them. With Nitro Connector for Twitter, we're helping customers drive the behaviors that drive their business."
More from Website Magazine on Bunchball:
It’s no secret that content marketing has a phenomenal ROI (the statistics only seem to get better with each passing year). In fact, Kapost and Eloqua recently produced an eBook on the ROI of content marketing in which they stated that per dollar content marketing produces three times the number of leads as compared to traditional marketing.
Unfortunately, many businesses have shied away from content marketing, mistaking the term for a synonym of “blogging,” which is not the end-all-be-all of content marketing. In fact, I can think of seven ways you can do content marketing without a blog…
Not much for writing, but love talking? Share your experience and knowledge through a vlog series on YouTube, and promote it through your Twitter and Facebook page. Trust me, this works. If you need any evidence, allow me to point you to the wildly successful "Will It Blend?" campaign by Blendetc.
You aren’t much for appearing on camera either. That’s fine – go the route of the podcast. Interview experts in your industry, or just take 10 minutes to address your customers’ frequently asked questions. The podcast is still a viable form of content marketing. Plus, it’s the only non-visual form on this list.
Facebook & Twitter
It almost goes without saying that Facebook and Twitter are great ways to drive a content marketing strategy, but don’t take my word for it. 76 percent of businesses are using social networking for business objectives.
Are you in an industry that loves statistics and facts? (Hint – the answer is a resolute ‘yes’.) Put the right amount of creativity and effort into it, and you can have an infographic that goes viral. Seriously, any business can leverage an infographic to their advantage. As an example, take Brilliance, a jeweler whose “Kardashian Wedding vs. Average Wedding” infographic went viral in 2011. The infographic brought in thousands of visitors to the company’s website because it was well done and interesting.
So, I said I have seven strategies that avoid blogging, but not writing. If you’re a B2B company, then a white paper could be just the thing you need to widen your reach and generate hundreds of new leads. If there’s no one in your company capable of writing a rock-solid white paper, then it’s worth budgeting some cash to pay a professional to do the job. A half-baked white paper receives the same critical acclaim that a half-baked research paper earned you in high school. Back then, it was a C+. Today, it’s money down the drain.
You can approach the Knowledge Bank strategy in one of these two ways (or both): your bank could be an organized index to all of the resources on your website, and/or it could serve as a roundup of the web’s “Best of the Best.” Either way, the point is to make valuable information organized and easy to find.
Pinterest & Instagram
At the end of Aug. 2012, the Los Angeles Times described Pinterest and Instagram’s growth as “meteoric,” citing a 2,183 percent growth over the course of one year for Pinterest. Instagram has performed remarkably well, too. From July 2011 to July 2012, monthly traffic increased from 56,360 to 12 million. On Thanksgiving Day 2012, Instagram users shared a jaw-dropping 10 million photos. If your product or service has a visual draw, then sign up with these sites today.
There are many benefits of doing content marketing with a blog. According to the 2012 Digital Content Marketing Survey, blogging is the second-most utilized form of Web content (75 percent), right behind social media (90 percent). Also, the best results come from social media content, e-newsletters and blogs.
Though we’re still waiting on the 2013 Survey, I’d be surprised if the blog isn’t holding steady.
About the Author
Amie Marse, is the founder and managing partner of Content Equals Money, a content writing service for agencies and Web-based clients.
By Richard Pasewark, CEO, Visible Technologies
This past year the social media and marketing world saw many evolutionary changes including the IPO of Facebook, market consolidation and increased adoption of social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram. As we move forward into 2013, companies of all sizes will realize the necessity of utilizing social media data and analytics to better serve, engage and help their customers. Simply participating in social media is no longer enough. Companies need a well thought-out social media strategy to stay ahead of the competition. Below is a snapshot of what the industry can expect to see this year and which areas companies should focus on when developing their marketing plans.
“If you build it, they will come”
As more and more of the large enterprise technology companies acquire social marketing tools and stitch together social media “suites”, clients are increasingly assessing if these toolkits meet their needs. 2013 will be the year that marketing leaders determine what type of software and solutions they can count on – whether it’s delivered from an independent vendor or the result of acquisitions. Many marketers need clear and clean solutions that meet immediate needs – as social media analytics and engagement continuously play a prominent role in their actions and effectiveness, they will need agile vendors to address their dynamic needs.
English isn’t the only language spoken in the world
The growth of social media in English speaking channels is enormous; yet we need to acknowledge the same rapid ascension of the social global movement, driven by mobile in many parts of the world. In 2013 it will be imperative for global brands to establish a multi-region, multi-language footprint in social channels to reach customers in all markets. Even though Facebook has been banned in countries like China, there is still a major adoption of social media use on homegrown sites such as Sino Wiebo. According to eMarketer, 54 percent of Internet users in China would make a purchase because a friend “liked” or follows the brand on a social network. That’s too big of a figure for companies to ignore. In order to be successful it will be important for companies to monitor their activity on international social channels as well as in non-English speaking channels in order to penetrate new markets. In turn, software companies will need to focus their efforts on developing solutions that can accurately understand and measure the sentiment expressed in languages beyond English. With nearly 20 percent of the world’s population speaking Mandarin or Arabic, both character-based languages, companies will also need to focus on identifying and reading these characters as well.
The rise of Pinterest will foster new technology that tracks the sharing of images (vs. text only)
The rise of visual social media like Pinterest will create a need for businesses to track the sharing of images versus just text. With the proliferation of images, videos and infographics going viral over the last few years, enterprises will begin to demand software to track these mainstream marketing and advertising methods. A fun example is the smiley face ;-), which is one of the most tweeted terms, making it imperative for companies to shift their technologies in this direction. With this will come new abilities added to search engines allowing users to copy and paste images to find a match versus relying on text-only options. This will open the gates of opportunity for other search engines to flourish if Google and Bing don’t evolve with these changes. It will also open new avenues for analytics as data sharing and influence will have new dimensions of insight.
Social media analytics will become the de facto source of customer input
Social media has already begun to pave the way of transformation in the customer service sector. As more and more customers voice their opinions online, companies have been forced to engage with consumers on their medium of choice. In 2013 we can expect this to continue and establish itself as the primary means of gaining customer feedback to improve customer experience. Data analyzed from social media sources will become a de facto way for companies to measure customer sentiment and satisfaction and be an essential channel to identify problem areas. Companies will no longer rely on surveys to gauge the success of their products and service, and will increasingly use social media analysis and community engagement to solicit and respond to customer input.
Product development will begin to lean on social channels
Much as customer service teams began addressing customer issues via social channels this year, product development teams will begin to look to social media to determine their next move. In order to meet consumer needs in a constantly changing marketplace, product development teams will begin sourcing ideas and preferences from social chatter when determining which capabilities or enhancements to focus on. This in turn will give the customer more power, allowing them to have a say in what innovations they see next.
About Richard Pasewark
As Chief Executive Officer of Visible Technologies, Rich provides strategic leadership to bring value to clients and partners. Prior to this role, Rich was President of Cymfony, where he scaled the organization to meet the growing demand for insights delivered from Cymfony’s technology and analyst services. Rich brings more than two decades of experience as a business leader, strategist, and software visionary for industry leaders such as Quark, Adobe and EDS. Rich values the opportunity to create new solutions in the emerging and continually evolving social media analytics market.
New research from eCommerce and digital marketing company Acquity Group reveals that more than 75 percent of brands lacked a cohesive social media presence across the major platforms.
Results from the agency’s 2012 Brand eCommerce Audit, which evaluated Interbrand’s 2012 Best Retail Brands on customer engagement across major digital channels, indicated that while every brand on the list (except one) had a Facebook page, and 45 out of 50 are on Twitter, only 12 of the brands had a cohesive presence across all five of the major social networks that were analyzed ( Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
Twitter had the largest gap between usage and interaction according to the study. Less than 27 percent of brands analyzed actively participated in Twitter conversations with consumers, even though 90 percent of those brands had a presence.
Other highlights from the Acquity study include:
- 80 percent of the brands analyzed leveraged YouTube with an impressive 85 percent engagement rate.
- 56 percent of brands do not yet utilize Instagram, but there is a high level of interaction at 79 percent.
- 60 percent of the brands had adopted Pinterest and interaction rates on the social pin-board were 70 percent.
Acquity Group also profiled 10 brands that scored best overall in social interaction including Target, Home Depot, RadioShack, Bath and Body Works, Nordstrom, Gap, eBay, Coach, American Eagle Outfitters and Banana Republic (in the order of their ranking).
"Although most brands are signed up for the major social networks, many struggle to understand how they fit into their overarching business strategy. As a result, our audit revealed several critical areas of improvement when it comes to actually connecting with consumers across social channels," said Jay Dettling, Executive Vice President at Acquity Group.
"The important take away for brands is to avoid haphazard or sporadic use of social media. When a new social media channel is introduced, brands need to take the time to analyze the potential impact and return, and develop a solid strategy from there."
Image tagging services make it possible for content publishers to monetize their pictures by making them more interactive, and as social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook make it increasingly easier to share images across the Web, marketers are growing more interested in finding ways to advertise or even sell products from inside their photos.
Stipple is the industry leader in image tagging, boasting a roster of major clients that includes Zappos, Nike, Nordstrom and L’Oreal. It’s also the only service that has been able to accurately tag images at the enterprise scale without relying on gimmicks. Currently, the company estimates that it will have tagged and made “monetize-able” over 100 million images with 100 percent accuracy by the end of 2012.
This extreme growth hasn’t gone unnoticed, and just yesterday it was announced that Stipple had received an additional $3 million in funding from Sands Capital in order to “accelerate its growth and product innovation.”
Just last month, Stipple was responsible for tagging an impressive 12 million images, but that would quickly be overshadowed, as now the company is on pace to tag over 80 million photos by the end of December. When asked about what has helped propel this surge in image tags over the last year, CEO Rey Flemings said the company’s success was all about providing its clients with the ability to scale to tag a lot of photos accurately so that those tags follow the images as they get shared across the Web. Moreover, it doesn’t hurt that Stipple is the only image tagging service to have attempted (and succeeded at) such a feat.
“At the end of the day, the challenge isn’t in helping people tag photos,” says Flemings. “It’s all about distribution.”
As part of the company’s push for greater distribution, it recently integrated with Twitter to bring its interactive images to the social network’s content stream, which could be one of the first steps towards unlocking in-stream commerce on Twitter.
Much of Stipple’s success can, and has, been attributed to its ability to scale to meet the image tagging needs of all of its clients. When the company launched, it wanted to help “solve the image problem,” and now it has done that for some of the largest brands in the world. Some of its clients have thousands, if not millions, of images that need to be tagged, and Stipple is able to help them do that not just with a streamlined, automatic process, but also with 100 percent accuracy across distribution channels, which his of utmost importance considering how often images are shared on the Web.
“[Stipple] builds a bridge between our product images on others’ websites and our own, with no human interaction, unprecedented accuracy and at scale,” says Greg Colando, President of FLOR.
Now with a significantly fatter wallet, Stipple is looking ahead to 2013 and hoping to build upon, and increase, its impressive numbers from 2012. That means growing its current database of images and expanding its client base to include even more enterprise-level brands. It also means hiring more staff members, particularly engineers and sales representatives. That is on top of the two big hires the company just announced: Darr Gerscovich (formerly of LinkedIn and Yahoo!), who will run Stipple’s marketing organization, and Stephanie Palmer, who will be in charge of working directly with the company’s growing network of publishers.
It seems safe to say that affiliates and advertisers may want to keep an eye on Stipple in 2013, particularly if they’re looking for a way to turn their images into money. And who wouldn’t like to do that, right?
The role that social media now plays in successful search engine optimization campaigns is immense.
The more pronounced a social media profile, the greater the likelihood that a brand will make its way onto search results pages. The challenge of course is how to amplify awareness, while maintaining some semblance of readability, accessibility and well, fun, with social updates. One of the best ways right now is to use hashtags.
Back in October of this year, Dan Wilkerson of LunaMetrics published a study about the impact of hashtag use on reach and the results were mind blowing to say the least. According to the report, using two hashtags per tweet resulted in 87 percent more retweets and 255 percent more mentions. That alone should get you to include as many hashtags as possible (without looking spammy of course) in your next tweet.
But what hashtags work best? Well, that depends on your vertical obviously, but what’s more important is understanding which specific hashtags are trending and when. For that’s it is essential to turn to one of the many resources available for the explicit purpose of researching hashtags data and any emerging trends on Twitter. Some of my favorites include:
Twitter.com: If you’re quick to post a status update or tweet, the only resource you really need is Twitter itself. The platform provides its top ten most trending hashtags but a quick search on Twitter can also yield some interesting insights.
Hashtags.org: While accessing just 1 percent of total tweets, Hashtag.org does provide some interesting historical data. Check out both the popular hashtags (those that you may want to include on every post) as well as the trending hashtags which are updated frequently.
WhattheTrend.com: The real-time Web presents an excellent opportunity to discover what’s trending and when. WhattheTrend updates its list constantly and it can be filtered to show verified definitions of individual hashtags and undefined so you know what you’ll be tweeting. The service even provides a “trends by location” feature which shows what hashtags are trending around the world.
Another fun way to research hashtags by location is TrendsMap.
We all know how online marketing and social media can be a goldmine of potential consumers.
Brands like Whole Foods Market and Samsung have succeeded on Twitter with as many as 3 million followers each. Coke triumphs over Pepsi on YouTube with about 108 million views and 83,700 subscribers. Among media brands, Disney dominates with nearly 38,700,000 Facebook fans. In 2011, Netflix’s display advertising received 36.9 billion ad impressions and was cited as one of the top 10 display advertisers in the United States.
But when you look at political spending, campaigns are still spending more on traditional media platforms than online. Consumer brands are learning how to harness online and social media, but political marketers can take a lesson from those finding success with digital marketing. Online and social media is an advantageous investment if political campaigns wisely use online channels, especially their analytics tools.
But if online and social media are so powerful then why are the presidential candidates and Super PACs not investing more into online advertising? Why are campaigns and Super PACs less interested in social media than offline?
Traditional media is still the force in political spending. True, online spending is six times higher for this year’s election than it was in 2008, but for political advertising, TV is the main medium—approximately $7.3 billion dollars for broadcast TV, cable and radio versus $159 million for online, according to Borrell Associates.
Historically, political campaigners had two rivals in the final stretch on an election: a Democrat versus Republican, and those two camps spent money on their campaigns. Now, Super PACs have flooded the ad market, driving up the competition and the inventory price within paid search advertising. For instance, if there are only two people bidding on keywords, there’s a limited competition with keyword bidding. However, if you have 10 people bidding on the same keywords, it drives up the price of inventory and increases the cost-per-click.
Obama advisor, David Axelrod, may have put it best when he said that local TV is “still the nuclear weapon” within an election. This doesn’t mean, however, that political marketers are not concerned about the digital battleground. One of the biggest wins is the investment by the Obama campaign in its social and online media. By numbers alone, Obama leads in many fronts on the digital battleground—from Twitter, online display ads and paid search marketing. But you need more than mere numbers to be successful. Candidates, like consumer brands, can better leverage online and social media to keep and win supporters.
First, test, track and analyze your political messaging in the digital space. For instance, let’s say you have a rally in the battleground state of Ohio and want to ensure high voter turnout. Social and online marketing are useful to engage and motivate your base, as well as communicating with your base quickly and in real-time. As you gather your online following, you can test and track which messages resonate with those people before creating a costly TV ad or making a speech. That’s a competitive strategy that marketers can use before going to market.
Second, marketers should invest marketing dollars into online display ads to target undecided voters. Marketing is not solely about the size of your budget but who’s going to spend their budget more intelligently. Display advertising or banner ads can be the tipping point because of its granular level of targeting. Within this channel, you can find such information like demographics, geography, and user behavior, making display ads far superior than TV and allowing marketers to gain more precise and targeted reach.
Third, think like your competitor both online and offline. Some people believe that “big data” can solve many marketing problems but that’s a misconception. Like any amount of information, you need to gather, organize and properly analyze it. You need the attention to detail and objectivity to find any missed opportunities or big wins – for you and your competitor. By investing more resources into data analytics tools (Google Analytics and Adobe SiteCatalyst), you have greater insight into the effectiveness of your online advertising than with other medium, such as how many donations are you receiving from a banner ad versus a paid search campaign.
To sum it up, it might not be that political campaigns are less interested in digital marketing. They also need to consider if they are investing their ad dollars where it counts—through quality analytics.
About the Author: Jon Morris is the founder and CEO of Rise Interactive, a digital marketing agency in Chicago, specializing in digital media and web analytics.
As if you needed it, here's a little more evidence that social media remains of great interest to the venture capital crowd these days (as it should be with the Web technology worker, too): social media analytics company Dataminr has secured $13 million to grow its client roster and drive further technology innovation in the Twitter-powered "sensor" network.
Dataminr provides an "earling warning" system of sorts that has been used primarily in the financial (big banks, hedge funds, wall street, et al) and government sectors to identify market-relevant information, noteworthy events, and emerging trends. Being able to mashup their own data set with raw data from Twitter proves incredibly valuble to these companies as their own viability is so closely connected to market demand and interest.
Dataminr is one of only a few social media analytics providers today that has full "firehose" access to Twitter, which affords the company the ability to analyze upwards of 400 million tweets per day in order to identify any activity hotspots. As Twitter tightens its control over its developer API, expect the likes of Dataminr and others to take center stage.
Twitter certainly made some waves this week with the announcement that its users could now create custom header images for their profiles. Amazing, right? Not exactly.
In a page virtually torn almost directly from the likes of Facebook and Google+ (yes, it's still hanging around, even without a write API), the new capability does little to inspire this user beyond shrug his shoulders. Fortunately, the process for adding a header image to Twitter is incredibly simple.
In the hopes of keeping up with the digital Jones', below you'll find a step-by-step guide to getting started with Twitter header images. The total time for this project should take 60 seconds if you've got the image you'd like to use ready.
If you've created a new Twitter header image today, show it and share it with the Website Magazine community by commenting below. You might even earn yourself a retweet as we'll feature the five best redesigned Twitter profiles in an upcoming post, so share your handle now!
Get ready to dive into a deluge of tweets – thanks to real-time social analytics provider Topsy.
The company just launched Topsy Pro Analytics, which is an analytics solution that provides users access to hundreds of billions of public tweets, as well as enables real-time and multi-year access to posts and pages gathered from millions of socially active websites across the ’Net.
By leveraging Topsy Pro Analytics, users can make better business decisions by analyzing exact measurements of terms, topics, hashtags, links, images, videos and trends. The platform offers users instant results for searched topics, and also enables them to highlight important content in order to down-score spam.
Topsy also added additional data to each of the more than 400 million Tweets and other social posts that the company indexes daily – including geographic location, social sentiment, language and influence. With this data, marketers can find their top influencers, determine how positive (or negative) a conversation regarding specific terms or topics is, discover which geographic location is home to the most social activity and analyze the exposure and impact of particular topics.
Although Topsy Pro Analytics will be especially helpful to marketers who will be able to monitor their competitors' social campaigns and websites, it should also prove beneficial to journalists who can leverage the platform to analyze, detect and follow breaking news and trending topics.
"Organizations want to tap into the public social web to identify, quantify and understand what people are saying and Topsy Pro Analytics puts the world's largest social media dataset at their fingertips," says Duncan Greatwood, CEO of Topsy. "The analytics technologies we've created are scaling to power what has become the world's largest index of the public social web. Companies including sparks & honey and The Washington Post are already tapping into our realtime social analytics to fulfill their needs."
How to sum up Twitter's latest acquisition? Discover, discover, discover.
Twitter snapped up Canadian startup Summify on Thursday. It's little bit of genius: Summify found the stuff that mattered to you (it generated a daily email with links to the most shared content in your social networks).
And that's the one thing that Jack Dorsey wants Twitter to do much, much better: Filter through millions of updates and massive amounts of information overload that flood users' streams to uncover the hidden gems. And he's been pecking away at how best to do that.
Last month while unveiling Twitter's latest design, Dorsey said one of his primary objectives is to "bubble up" the most relevant tweets, messages of up to 140 characters in length that users broadcast.
So Twitter is shutting down Summify (to the great chagrin of its users) and its team is zipping down to Twitter to focus on Twitter's "Discover" tab, which suggests content to users to encourage them to stick around longer and do more on Twitter.
The yawning need for more and better curation on the Web is, of course, not unique to Twitter (yes, we're talking about you, Facebook). Twitter does have a secret weapon: Flipboard's Mike McCue, who sits on Twitter's board and who is probably an excellent source of advice and wisdom on the subject for Dorsey.
– Jessica Guynn
Photo: Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Credit: Dave Getzschman
On Wednesday, some of the Internet's largest entities blacked out their websites — or their logos or some of their content — in a protest against the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills making their way through Congress.
If you're wondering whether all of this had an effect, the answer is yes. Big time.
Wikipedia, the largest Web player to block access to its pages for a full 24 hours, reports that a whopping 162 million people experienced the blackout on the online encyclopedia's landing page. In addition, 8 million U.S. readers took Wikipedia's suggestion and looked up their congressional reps from the site.
Google reported Wednesday that as of 1:30 PM PST, 4.5 million people had signed its petition asking lawmakers to reject the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and the Protect Intellectual Property Act in the Senate.
Twitter said 2.4 million SOPA-related tweets were sent in the first 16 hours of the day Wednesday. The top five terms were SOPA, Stop SOPA, PIPA, Tell Congress, #factswithoutwikipedia.
WordPress reports that at least 25,000 WordPress blogs had joined the SOPA and PIPA protest by blacking out their blogs entirely, and an additional 12,500 had posted a "Stop Censorship" ribbon.
“The Wikipedia blackout is over and the public has spoken,” Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, said in a statement. “162 million of you saw our blackout page asking if you could imagine a world without free knowledge. You said no. You shut down the congressional switchboards, and you melted their servers. Your voice was loud and strong.”
– Deborah Netburn
Photo: A laptop in London shows Wikipedia's protest page on Wednesday. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images
Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said his group is considering filing a letter with the FTC.
EPIC made the complaint that resulted in Google's settlement with the FTC that requires the Internet search giant to submit to external audits of their privacy practices every other year.
"We believe this is something that the FTC needs to look at," Rotenberg said.
Google calls the new feature rolling out to users of its English-language search engine "Search Plus Your World." It blends information such as photos, comments and news posted on its Google+ social network into users' search results.
It mostly affects the one in four people who log into Google or Google+ while searching the Web. Those users will have the option of seeing search results that are customized to their interests and connections, say, a photo of the family dog or a friend's recommendation for a restaurant.
Google has been working for years to create a personal search engine that knows its users so well it delivers results tailored to them. It's also trying to catch up to social networking giant Facebook, which, with more than 800 million users, knows its users far better than Google does.
But critics contend Google, a laggard in social networking, is using its dominance in Internet search to favor its own products and take on its chief competitor.
"Google is an entrenched player trying to fight off its challenger Facebook by using its market dominance in a separate sector," Rotenberg said. "I think that should trouble people."
Critics also say the move raises alarm bells for consumer privacy.
"Although data from a user’s Google+ contacts is not displayed publicly, Google's changes make the personal data of users more accessible," EPIC said in a note on his website.
The effect of Google's latest search feature may be fairly limited — at least for now. The 6-month-old Google+ has 40 million users.
Google is not the first search engine to do this. Microsoft's Bing, which has an alliance with Facebook, has been tapping some information shared on Facebook since May. But Google is attracting more attention because of its dominance in search. It handles as many as two-thirds of all search queries in the U.S.
Twitter has also complained about the new Google search feature. So far Facebook has stayed out of the fray, declining to comment.
When a user is logged into Google or Google+, Google will now tap information from Google+ and photos from its photo-sharing service Picasa, to deliver personalized search results. In the future it will also incorporate other Google services.
Seeing how much information Google gathers could make some people uneasy, said Danny Sullivan, editor of SearchEngineLand.com. Google has tried to assuage privacy concerns by switching to technology that encrypts all of its search results.
Rotenberg says the FTC needs to go further to protect consumer privacy on the Web.
"This is a problem the FTC needs to look at closely," he said.
In an interview this week, Google Fellow Amit Singhal said Google has taken significant steps to make its new feature private and secure. He also said Google was open to including information from Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.
"However," he said. "It has to be done in a way that the user experience doesn't deteriorate over time and that users are in control over what they see from whom and not some third party."
– Jessica Guynn
Photo: Google's new search feature has raised concerns. Credit: Virginia Mayo / Associated Press
It's not easy being a kid today. Everywhere you turn it seems like adults are out to make you look like a spoiled, entitled brat.
The most recent example is comedian Jon Hendren's list of real tweets from kids who were angry that they didn't get an iPhone, or iPad, or a car for Christmas. Hendren assembled the tweets on Christmas Day and published them on his own Twitter feed.
Here is a G-rated sampling:
"No Iphone. I hate my dad."
"Seems like I'm the only one who didn't get an Iphone for christmas."
"If you got an iphone i hate you."
Hendren's list of bratty re-tweets quickly made its way around the Internet, showing up in blogs and other Twitter feeds where adults expressed dismay at the entitlement of the youth today.
"Twitter reveals the worst Christmas gift getters ever," Leslie Horn of PC Mag wrote.
The list even became the inspiration for a song by the singer Jonathan Mann. A YouTube video of the song featuring profanity-filled tweets went up Tuesday and got more than 117,000 views in less than 24 hours.
We agree that the tweets are super obnoxious, but we can't help but wonder whether kids today actually feel more entitled than ever before, or is it that thanks to sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, adults are just aware of how entitled kids have always been, and more likely to exploit that entitlement, which could just be called "childhood" and "adolescence."
Consider the popular YouTube challenges that late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel occasionally issues to parents to essentially prank their kids and record their reactions.
Kimmel's Christmas challenge – in which he asked parents to give their kids terrible Christmas presents and then keep the camera rolling while the kids cry or patiently explain that they didn't want an onion for a present — has had 14.25 million views on YouTube.
Kimmel's Halloween challenge, in which he asked parents to pretend to have eaten all their kid's Halloween candy, has been viewed a whopping 25.8 million times.
Yeah, it's funny ha-ha, but it's also kind of mean.
– Deborah Netburn
Video: Jimmy Kimmel's YouTube challenge: I gave my kid a terrible present. Credit: YouTube.
The multibillionaire has made a $300-million investment in the popular social media site that activists used during the Arab Spring uprisings. That's roughly a 3% stake in the San Francisco company.
Twitter confirmed the investment, which was announced in a press release from Kingdom Holding Co. that touted Alwaleed's desire to invest in "promising, high-growth businesses with global impact."
A nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, Alwaleed owns 95% of Kingdom Holding, which has stakes in Apple, Citigroup and General Motors. He is one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of nearly $20 billion, according to Forbes magazine. For more on him, check out this Charlie Rose interview from last year.
Fortune is reporting that he bought his stake in Twitter from insiders, not the company. Twitter spokesman Matt Graves declined to provide any further details. The prince's investment in Twitter has been rumored since October.
The San Francisco company's worth was pegged at $8.4 billion in a funding round led by Digital Sky Technologies in October.
Twitter says it has 100 million active users who send 250 million tweets per day.
One of an elite group of privately held social media companies sporting multibillion valuations, Twitter is taking its time before going public. Facebook, which has more than 800 million users, is planning a $10-billion initial public offering. Twitter is also seen as a major player in social media because of its popularity. The company is still working on its fledgling advertising business.
Twitter's advertising business is expected to generate about $140 million this year, up from $45 million last year, according to EMarketer. Twitter may generate $260 million in ad revenue in 2012, the research firm said. Twitter now has more than 700 employees.
“We believe that social media will fundamentally change the media industry landscape in the coming years. Twitter will capture and monetize this positive trend,” Ahmed Reda Halawani, Kingdom Holdings executive director of private equity and international investments, said in a statement.
– Jessica Guynn
Photo: Square and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in June at D9. Credit: Asa Mathat / All Things Digital
Content marketing technology company HiveFire is helping online marketers be more social by introducing two new features into the Curata marketing content curation solution.
The upgrades will help extend its ability to find, organize and share content with current and potential customers using social elements.
The first upgrade will help B2B marketers find relevant content from Twitter to share through online news sites, social media channels, email newsletters and RSS feeds. This will supplement existing sources with timely, relevant content in another format that can quickly capture trending topics, industry influencers and popular material.
Another upgrade allows audiences to comment on a marketer’s content by leveraging the Disqus platform. This addition aims to help engage audiences as simply as possible by allowing users to access their existing profiles on Facebook, Twitter or Yahoo! to comment, doing away with the need for cumbersome registration forms.
Charlie Sheen was apparently trying to send Justin Bieber a direct message with his phone number over Twitter, but accidentally sent the message — "310-954-7277 Call me bro. C" — to more than 5.5 million followers.
The actor's phone reportedly began ringing off the hook while he was at dinner in Las Vegas, and he humored some callers by answering with "Ray's Pizza" and "Winning!" according to the New York Post.
By Monday afternoon, callers hoping to reach Sheen received an automated message: "The number you dialed is not a working number. Please check the number and dial again."
Still no word on why the former "Two and a Half Men" star wanted to get in touch with Bieber.
– Andrea Chang
Photo: Actor Charlie Sheen during his Comedy Central roast in September. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
How To Get Loads Of Twitter Traffic To Your Website
Twitter is a brilliant way to drive targeted visitors to your Web site. You should not forget about other traffic sources but using Twitter is totally free and will definitely acquire a few more targeted visitors to your site. You got me right, I said free targeted visitors in the last sentence.
Nothing is better than a never endless stream of visitors. There are lots of ways for you getting free traffic to your Web site. But there is a huge difference between free traffic and targeted traffic. You could have heard about traffic generating websites sending out tons of people to your homepage. These offers are good to give your traffic stats a push but you will not actually generate a sale or find a prospect for your product. Visitors delivered to you by free traffic Websites will usually leave your Internet site within a few moments.
Targeted visitors instead are interested in the items or information you are offering on your Web site, prepared to break out their credit card! With my Twitter strategy I show you how to get targeted visitors ready to take action. It takes very little while and is simple to do.
What you will need in first place is a twitter account, naturally. I recommend avoid using your own twitter account. If you are having different niche sites create a single twitter account for each niche Web site you have. Please don’t leave the default twitter background and avatar, choose an avatar and background image that fits your product or info best, as it will show your followers that you care about your account.
The next step to do is to deliver content – business relevant good content. The majority of the content you will provide is created by others and will never include references to your own stuff. This may sound strange to you, but here I explain why we will do it.
Make sure to provide best content to your followers and unless you write loads of crappy content or outsource your article writing you just don’t have the cash and time to write all that quality content yourself in a short period of time. When you tweet your own stuff only on every occasion you will seem to be a spammer. Individuals will stop following you when you behave like a spammer. Incidentally, tweets are the short communications called that you send out with your Twitter account.
Second thing of the process is to build a landing page or helpful blog post about your business. This part will be the most significant and you really must ensure to supply good articles. But where will you find all the business relevant content ? Go and google for RSS feeds for your business content, copy the link of the feed and paste the link of the RSS feed to your landing page or blog post. Ensure to pick out high quality RSS feed content. That will make your followers trust you. When they trust whatever you tell them it will encourage them to click your links sooner or later. The links you place in your landing page or blog post is the origin to monetize the traffic you are receiving from Twitter. The Most Important idea behind is that you place links to your products or service you would like to share or sell. The writing in the displayed link should contain a strong anchor text that will call to action and make them click the link that will lead them to your cash site. Here you offer your product or information you want to sell or share.
So, the most important thing is to place a link to your money site at the end of your landing page or blog post. Ensure the link incorporates a strong call to action. The final section of this action will be to build up an email address from your visitors or to get in touch through a contact form or to even make the sale. Because now you are having a targeted visitor on your Web site seeking information. To catch their email address offer a free of charge business relevant ebook or report through an optin form. Once you have your visitors email address you can add it to your email list and feed them with any information or products of your choosing any time you like. Only imagination will make you stop. To automate your information or product emails simply employ an autoresponder of your choosing. Your email list will be growing and growing.
Every tweet you are posting will be of very high quality and will make your followers to believe in you. When people trust you enough they will make your tweets go viral and at this moment in time magic happens.
So, the most significant thing is to place a link to your income site at the end of your landing page or web log post. Make certain the link contains a powerful call to action.
That just about is it. The great thing about this is you will not have to spend tons of dollars to get rolling. As soon as you come to terms with the process this shouldn’t take more than about 20 minutes per day. Give it a try, it’s a superb way to drive targeted traffic to your Website.
By Nancy McCord
Social networkingTwitter is the current top “hot property” on the Web, but its popularity and how to use it has mystified many business owners. Many people think that they want to, or should be using Twitter, but simply do not understand the platform, its use, or its place in building web exposure. This article will demystify Twitter and help you to learn how to use it in the workplace and to promote your business.
First, I have to say that I had been confused on how to use Twitter to benefit my own business until I downloaded TweetDeck. TweetDeck is a desktop
You’ve seen countless articles and e-books written about it, but do you know how to market online with Twitter? If you don’t, you’re not alone. Most marketers are still boggled when it comes to using Twitter in their promotíon efforts. The main reason is because marketers don’t realize the sheer ingenuity of our favorite microblog’s 140-character limit communication. The reality is that the internet is information overload for most people. The genius of Twitter is that communication is forced into small chunks of information which most people can willingly digest.
While training in Hawaii last January, Lance Armstrong received a massage every afternoon at 3 p.m. Shaquille O’Neal often can’t sleep after embarrassing losses–he suffers from what he calls “Shaqsomnia.” On Nov. 10, Britney Spear’s son Jayden was hospitalized for food poisoning.
These celebrity tidbits shared in 140-character blurbs on Twitter were once the paydirt of paparazzi who make their careers selling evidence of the
In the past few weeks speculation has run rampant on the future of search and whether Google might be supplanted by Twitter real-time social search or by Wolfram Alpha, the still to be launched search engine that is billed as a true computational knowledge engine.
Wolfram Alpha (http://www.wolframalpha.com/) is scheduled to launch in May and could very well be a major advance in search technology. In brief,