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The Twitter History of the World: Book Review

Ever wonder what world history would look like through Twitter? If the major events in human history (skewed ever so heavily towards creationism) had occured through social media, perhaps they would look something like this:

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Social media and B2B: the reign of Twitter and the rise of Google+

Want to win in B2B marketing campaigns? Social media is the way to go, as an increasing number of businesses realize the importance of tweets, updates and videos as part of their selling strategy. Although social media platforms are potential minefields for businesses that put their foots in their mouth or fail to connect with who they are trying to talk to, it looks like companies have taken the leap towards the social media stratosphere for good.

This infographic by B2B Marketing shows that there is more awareness surrounding the impact of social media on B2B strategies: 61% of companies asked had a definite social media strategy for their B2B marketing campaigns. The importance of social media as a means to achieve greater impact in campaigns is now apparent to companies, who label social media marketing as part of a campaign as something ‘important’ or ‘very important’, a shift from the unconsciousness or ‘ignore it and it will go away’ attitude of previous years. Twitter is still by far the most popular platform for companies to spread their message, with 85% of businesses betting on that platform for promotion.

One change in the trend will become apparent in the immediate future. The rise of Google +, an unlikely competitor for Twitter, is imminent. By 2014, Google + will be three times as relevant as it is today to B2B strategies online, according to the data in B2B Marketing’s 2013 Social Media Benchmarking Report.

b2b-socialmedia-infographic

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Brace yourself: the Facebook Phone takeover is here

facebookOn Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally let everyone out of the dark. After months of speculation, rumors and heavy-handed hints about a possible Facebook Phone that would ‘rule them all’ (very Lord-of-the-Rings-like), he managed to leave everyone frustrated and slighty bemused.

The final unveiling, an app that would transform any Android OS phone into a ‘Facebook phone’, might have been a disappointment for many after the hype, but it might be the most intelligent move possible for Zuckerberg’s Facebook.

If they had tried to bring out a new gadget with the associated operating system, the production demands and the massive market competition might have sunk them before they even set foot in the stores. After the recent launch of Facebook Graph, a search engine that promises to compete with Google, the rumors of a new gadget sounded like Facebook was biting off more than it could chew.

Facebook might have noted their own dependence on operating systems with their mobile users (and that they would be making some powerful competitors by launching into mobile phone construction territory). An app to transform the operating system to their advantage made a lot more sense. Is it exciting? Not as much as a new smartphone, but the implications should send a shudder through Facebook-haters everywhere, because in strategy, they might have hit the jackpot.

How does ‘Facebook Phone’ work?

The social platform minds worked alongside HTC on this project that (unlike the unfortunate ‘Facebook shortcut buttons’ on handsets, which sold badly), looks set to reach many users in the Android operating system.

Facebook hasn’t come up with a new main home screen to take over devices upon installation; instead it created Facebook Home within the new HTC First, a 4.1 Android OS device which will be released this month in the US and later this year around the world. Although HTC’s new gadget is particularly similar to those of the HTC One and proves to be quite bland, it shows that the new application can adapt to different devices that use the Android OS without any issues. The device also has predetermined apps like Instagram and Chatheads, the new Facebook messaging IM system, at users’ disposal.

As soon as you kick-start the Facebook homepage, the social platform news feed is unveiled in an attractive and easy to use display. The convenience is that Facebook works in the background, notifying uses of news, messages and allowing you to share photos, your location and status updates directly.  It controls your lock screen and also has control over the phone system and WiFi settings, to avoid the need to switch between apps.

Divide and conquer

Facebook’s tactic has been to please everyone. For Facebook users, the convenience of a unified system and easy updates will make their connected lives easier. Advertisers will be delighted if they continue to please with mobile phone advertising, capable of reaching more phone users than ever. Mobile phone makers won’t have to choose sides (for or against Facebook). If their strategy works, it might be translated to other OS and makers might decide to transform their phones into predetermined Facebook-installed gadgets.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Sean MacEntee

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Social media habits: What are yours?

file0002054526820Do you use social media platforms regularly? How many? As someone interested in the world of technology and news, it’s likely you’ve tried out a few, and might use some of them on a daily basis to update your statuses, share pictures or information with the world and catch up with a few internet friends. Whoever isn’t on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Linkedin are probably people not knowing, right? 

Wrong. You might be surprised to find out that in this survey conducted by usamp.com and shown in this infographic, 13.2% of respondents said that they don’t use social media sites at all.

For those who do use social media sites, there is no such thing as too much information. Nobody can be who they really are online: internet users try to be a cooler, wittier, more informed, on-the-ball version of themselves. Having the power on when you’re connected can also mean that what other people see, that better person that you’re showing, might be full of gaps (or an outright lie). Although many people use the internet to communicate things that they would never have said in person or over the phone, the lines are still blurred when it comes to what is acceptable sharing material and what should stay private.

It’s probably not a good idea to put your phone number online, as this following ‘wrong number’ conversation points out:

wrongnumber

Source: Stumbleupon

As the aforementioned ‘Mr Taco’ points out, one has to be a special kind of stupid to share their phone number on their public Facebook profile page. Even though privacy online is considered one of the top priorities for companies now, many individuals don’t follow suit and continue to share and not update their social media profiles regularly. One of the biggest issues that users had with platforms such as Facebook recently was that they thought that their content, likes and personal information could be found through Facebook Graph search (something that the company has since denied, sayingthat the privacy settings in the profile also apply to the new search engine feature).

What do people share on their social media profiles? In the social media infographic shown below, 77.3% of men surveyed and 56.7% would be opposed to sharing their phone numbers online, whereas 61.1% of men and 78.1% of women would be willing to share the companies that they like online (good news for marketers). More than half would be willing to share their education and their occupation online.

social-media-habits-infographic

Creative commons photo by giggs

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The most obnoxious tweeters on the internet

twitterTwitter has trolls. It’s true, although there are less of them compared to Facebook, the world of online social media can be terrifying. In the tech world, there are some people that use their twitter accounts to vent rage, to pick on other people, or even to use an ambiguous joke to get someone else fired. 

This is the cut-throat world of tweets and twats. Although you might not know it, you might be following some of the most obnoxious and repellent tweeters on the internet. In this infographic with cute birds by Conduit, you’ll find out the types of people that make up the odd bunch of online tech lovers. If you’re not careful, one of them might be you.

TheTechIndustrysMostObnoxiousTweeters_5150944b6704f

Creative Commons photo courtesy of petesimon

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The Nokia Lumia 820 Review: Love it or Hate it?

nokia lumiaThe new Nokia Lumia 820 is the phone version of Marmite: you either love it, or you detest it. As one of the main phones on the market with Windows 8 OS, its main features revolve around what you can and can’t do with the operating system and the pre-installed Nokia applications that come with the smartphone.

I took a first look in this video that explored the display and explains how the phone works:

Possibly the greatest feature to within the new Lumia 820 is the fact that it integrates the possibility of cloud computing extremely well. Not only does the smartphone allow you to store all your information in SkyDrive, the Outlook cloud platform in just one click, it also backs up the contact information and mails so that you can access your information without restrictions.

I’ve also tried out some of the charging opportunities that come with the Nokia Lumia 820: some of the new accesories are wireless and have great potential. Although some of the designs (such as the Nokia ‘Fat Boy’ pillow or the wireless casing) seem sort of ludicrous, they do manage to get the job done quickly. The charging time, which for an older smartphone might be under an hour, can be achieved in about half an hour (without using it whilst plugged in like what I’m doing in the video) with any of those accesories, depending on how run down the battery is.

On the whole, I’d say that if you’re a fan of the functionality and design of this device, you’ll probably not be disappointed with the results. Although it’s not the easiest smartphone to handle (it’s rather slippery and takes some getting used to), it’s a good and solid Nokia bet.

Main image courtesy of Nokia Press

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5 Ways to Fail as an Author on Twitter

Whether you are an indie writer or a community manager just starting out, there are some rules that have to be followed right off the bat. If you don’t know how to navigate the murky waters of social media, your message can become confused, or even rejected by the people you want to listen to you the most. 

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Do you know this person? Social Media Fails

“New Friend Request: Athanasi Bengal, Network: Mexico.” As someone who hasn’t set foot in Mexico, this is something I find puzzling (and rude). In the past I have I have imagined a doppleganger with the same name, travelling to the dodgiest corners of the world and meeting interesting people with odd professions and a penchant for religiousness, shouting “look for me online” whilst speeding off into the sunset. The poor buggers then unwittingly waited for their friendship to be accepted online whilst I rejected them outright, putting an end to the fantasies of countless  lonely chaps around the world.

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