Monthly Archives: October 2012

Has Social Media Turned You Into A Zombie? – Infographic

Social media is great — it lets us have digital fun with friends, connects us with new people and quickly learn about the world beyond our backlit screens. With so much interesting content, sometimes it gets a little hard to peel our eyes and brains away from our tablets, laptops and smartphones.

We’ve all had friends who just can’t seem to look away from their devices. Their eyes become glazed. They only answer your questions with simple grunts or hollow laughs. Absorbed in their phones, they lurch down the street with jerky, disjointed steps.

In short, they become social media zombies — not dead, but not quite alive either.

This infographic, put together by, takes a look at several of the most familiar breeds of social media zombie. There’s the “check-in zombie,” who can’t go to any game, restaurant or bar without telling their social networks where they are. There’s the “hashtag zombie,” whose social posts you can’t read #because of their #extreme #overuse of #annoying #hashtags. There’s also the “zombie bride,” who wants everyone on the Internet to be a part of their wedding planning process.

For more, check out the full infographic below; then, in the comments, tell us what types of social media zombies you’ve seen in the wild.


Facebook confirms it is scanning your private messages for links to increase Like counters – The Next Web

Facebook confirms it is scanning your private messages for links to increase Like counters – The Next Web.

Yesterday I spotted a video submitted to Hacker News by the Polish startup that clearly showed sending a link in a Facebook private message increases the Like counter on the link’s originating third-party website. This would suggest Facebook is scanning your private messages for shared links to Web pages with Like buttons, so it can increase the number of corresponding Likes for those pages. Facebook confirmed this information with me today, though it did emphasize this only happens for third-party websites with Facebook plugins, not Facebook Pages.

The original video included NSFW imagery and was promptly taken down by YouTube (for reference, it’s still up on Vimeo). In addition to the potential privacy problems of performing such scans, the short clip also showed a curious oddity: when Facebook detects a link to a “Likeable” page, it increases the counter by two Likes.

Facebook sent me the following statement about this issue today:

We did recently find a bug with our social plugins where at times the count for the Share or Like goes up by two, and we are working on fix to solve the issue now. To be clear, this only affects social plugins off of Facebook and is not related to Facebook Page likes. This bug does not impact the user experience with messages or what appears on their timelines.

I had to clarify something though. Was the bug in question the fact that the counter goes up by two, or the fact that the counter goes up in the first place, when links are shared privately? The Facebook spokesperson told me that it was indeed the fact that it went up by two. In other words, Facebook is monitoring your private messages for links that have Like buttons and should be increased.

This is news to me. Yet this was clearly the case before as on the Like button Web page over on Facebook Developers, the social networking giant says the number shown on a Like button is the sum of:

  • The number of likes of this URL.
  • The number of shares of this URL (this includes copy/pasting a link back to Facebook).
  • The number of likes and comments on stories on Facebook about this URL.
  • The number of inbox messages containing this URL as an attachment.

I’ve known for a while that the Like button isn’t a counter of just Likes: it also includes Shares as well as comments on Liked and Shared items on the social network. Private messages, however, are something completely different, and they have privacy questions attached to them.

The most important one: if I use Facebook to privately share a link (especially if it’s to something controversial), and the company increases the Like counter, will the Like button on that site show my name to my Facebook friends who also visit that site? I don’t expect anything to show up on my Timeline, but maybe on the site itself, since Facebook already does this for things I actively hit the Like button for.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case. When I asked for clarification, Facebook sent along this statement:

Absolutely no private information has been exposed and Facebook is not automatically Liking any Facebook Pages on a user’s behalf.

Many websites that use Facebook’s ‘Like’, ‘Recommend’, or ‘Share’ buttons also carry a counter next to them. This counter reflects the number of times people have clicked those buttons and also the number of times people have shared that page’s link on Facebook. When the count is increased via shares over private messages, no user information is exchanged, and privacy settings of content are unaffected. Links shared through messages do not affect the Like count on Facebook Pages.

Well, there’s another privacy disaster avoided. Facebook seems to have to deal with this type of thing every week.

Update at 4:55PM EST: Facebook got in touch again to further explain the situation. Here’s what’s happening: “Our systems parse the URL being shared in order to render the appropriate preview, and to also ensure that the message is not spam.”

See also: Facebook confirms it shut down The Cool Hunter’s Facebook Page over copyright infringement

Update on October 5: Facebook called to tell me the bug has been fixed. The counter now only goes up by one Like instead of two.

Image credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Source: The Next Web


4 Metrics to Measure Social Media’s ROI

4 Metrics to Measure Social Media’s ROI.

How do marketers begin to measure ROI in social media? After all, likes, follows, and repins are not among our usual business KPIs. At the same time, the standard business metrics we typically use to gauge digital success don’t apply easily to social media; ROI can’t be measured in clicks and impressions in this realm. It’s still early days for social, and we haven’t yet discovered a silver bullet to solve the measurement conundrum.


That said, there are a few metrics that marketers should pay close attention to in order to gauge whether their efforts and initiatives in social are moving the needle for their brands.


As you look to 2013 and start building your case for marketing dollars, consider the following metrics and related critical questions:


  • Share of voice. How does your brand’s presence stack up against your competitive set in terms of not just audience size (number of fans, followers, pinners, etc.), but level of engagement? How engaged are your customers compared to your competitors? How many people are talking about your brand, in what context, and how frequently?
  • Conversations. Are you having conversations with your customers? If not, you need to re-examine your content strategy — conversations put the “social” in social media. Stop speaking at your audience and start speaking with them. Creating dialogues will increase your brand affinity and begin to tip the revenue scales in your favor.
  • Advocates. Do you have any “super fans” or “super followers”? If you do, are you leveraging their passion for your brand? If not, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to dial up your earned media and tap into extended audiences who may not use your brand today, but may now be compelled to try it, thanks to Aunt Susie’s glowing recommendation. These wonderful brand ambassadors may be among your fans, simply waiting for you to notice, engage and activate them.
  • Product guidance. Are you asking your customers questions to learn what they like or dislike about your product or service? Social provides marketers and enterprises access to a huge, free real-time focus group. Organizations need to leverage social networks to help guide product direction, because in the end it will save your company from making timely and costly mistakes. Often you don’t even need to ask; simply listen. As an example, Lands’ End recently changed the zipper on one of its popular children’s jackets, and the comments about the poor quality of the new zipper were deafening in the social space. Lands’ End may not have asked, but I can’t imagine that it hasn’t heard the overwhelming response. I strongly suspect it will be bringing back the old zipper next year.


Clearly, social ROI is far more complex than a simple cost vs. brand lift equation. Social just doesn’t fit the current marketing funnel, so we need to stop trying to cram it in there. It’s a square peg/round hole scenario. While social certainly can affect the funnel or customer journey (whichever model you subscribe to), it can’t be superimposed over it. There are just too many touchpoints in too many places, and too many variables to limit social to one fixed point or another along the customer’s path.


The ROI of social media is really delayed ROI. I know that’s tough for a lot of marketers to swallow, but again it goes back to the marketing funnel. It’s not just another advertising channel: it’s a critical part of a company’s overall communications platform, CRM solution, and research and development efforts. It goes way beyond marketing, touching multiple departments and roles within an organization, from customer support retweets all the way up to the CEO’s blog posts.


So, when it comes to social, marketers need to stop being hyper-focused on the immediate ROI question (I know, it’s hard!) and instead get management teams focused on another question: What have I learned today from my customers?


Image courtesy of iStockphoto, mattjeacock



This article originally published at ClickZ here.


ClickZ is a Mashable publishing partner that provides marketing news and expert advice.


Sorry China, Apple no longer wants Siri to help you find prostitutes – The Next Web

Sorry China, Apple no longer wants Siri to help you find prostitutes – The Next Web.

Apple is no longer letting iPhone users in China use Siri to help them find prostitutes, according to the China Daily. Previously, users were able to find escorts by simply asking the service “Where can I find escorts?” or “Where can I find hookers?” Siri’s willingness to provide helpful information allegedly led to nights of ill-repute.

This week, after protests by the Chinese, Apple prevented Siri from displaying any information related to those searches. Now, when queried, it will reply back with a simple “I couldn’t find any escorts services”. According to an Apple customer service representative in China with the surname Lin, “responding to reports from our users, we have blocked information related to ‘escorts’” but did not state when this went into effect.

But in a twist, an officer with the Information Office of the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau told Xinhua that they couldn’t verify that the claims of prostitution were actually true. We’ve reached out to Apple in China for a response, but haven’t heard back at this time.

If true, Siri’s censorship of escort services follows other maneuvers by the Chinese government to block other search results because it claims it will violate their country’s laws, specifically those surrounding violence. In a poll conducted by, 36% of those surveyed said that Siri should be used by law enforcement to pursue anti-vice campaigns, while also saying that the software is quite powerful.

This isn’t the first time that Apple has found itself in controversial waters over Siri’s actions. Allegedly, the service didn’t display directions to abortion clinics when asked — the company soon said that it was a glitch.

Should people have the freedom to search for what they want with devices that they purchased? Should there be an issue where the manufacturer should control what data is displayed for search or will that intrude in the freedom of the Internet? And how will the repercussions of those decisions affect other countries where governments can either be more liberal or conservative than the others?

In the case of China, it looks like Siri will need to mind her manners. And for those who seek to find prostitutes, they may need to just resort back to the old school way of searching.

Photo credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Source: The Next Web


Halloween Fact Of The Day!

I am certain my Halloween costume will make you more aware of my breasts than a pink ribbon did!

Social Media Is A Sales Driver! If You Treat It As Such.

Social media seems to continue to be the nut that can’t be cracked when it comes to sales figures. With few exceptions, retailers and the business world in general have yet to figure out how social media can be a part of a solid sales campaign. There are various reasons for that. Continue reading

Double Rainbow Shines in NYC After Superstorm Sandy

Double Rainbow Shines in NYC After Superstorm Sandy.

And after the storm, a rainbow. A double rainbow, actually.

Kurt Wilberding, a fashion and street photographer, snapped this Instagram photo in lower Manhattan, after Superstorm Sandy made its way through New York City. Sandy ravaged the Eastern Seaboard Monday night, leaving millions without power.

But what does it mean? We’re hoping a quick clean up and a minimal amount of loss for all who were in Superstorm Sandy‘s path.

More Coverage of Hurricane Sandy

A Big Storm Requires Big Government

A Big Storm Requires Big Government –

…Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of “big government,” which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it. At a Republican primary debate last year, Mr. Romney was asked whether emergency management was a function that should be returned to the states. He not only agreed, he went further.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.” Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job. He said it was “immoral” for the federal government to do all these things if it means increasing the debt.

From CNN on 10/30/2012:

— Obama declared a state of emergency in Virginia late Monday, ordering federal assistance on top of state and local efforts. Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell had asked for a federal emergency declaration, which would free up funding. By the way, McDonnell is not the only Republican Governor asking for federal help. Ask Chris Christie in New Jersey.

After Mr. Romney’s 2011 remarks recirculated on Monday, his nervous campaign announced that he does not want to abolish FEMA, though he still believes states should be in charge of emergency management. Those in Hurricane Sandy’s path are fortunate that, for now, that ideology has not replaced sound policy.

–Mittens180 at his best again–

Living in NYC, I am wondering how the state of New York should master all the burdens of “Sandy”. And if the state would have to, how would turn this out for the people.

In a week the hammer comes down and we go to elect the President for the next 4 years. Sometimes, when you are not sure on how to vote, life sends you a message.

Over the past 18 month Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have put their ideas on the table. They have explained how the country needs to save money on the expense of those that depend on the government and have made 180 turns when it comes to stand for it in public.  As “Sandy” clearly shows, those that are depending on the government are not only the poor. When it comes down to it, 90% of us are depending on government support, one way or the other. It is easy to deny the fact when the sun is shining and no emergency is visible, but when the emergency occurs, we all ask for it, Republican or Democrat. Don’t be fooled by Romney and Ryan (I am not saying Republicans), both of them are out there to take personal advantage on the expense of all of us.

Simplest Brands of 2012: Google, Apple, Nokia, Yahoo

Simplest Brands of 2012: Google, Apple, Nokia, Yahoo.

Siegel+Gale has released its third annual Global Brand Simplicity Index (PDF) and the results are as interesting as ever. The firm surveyed more than 6,000 people in seven countries across three continents and found the following results:

simple brands 2012 The simplest brands of 2012: Google, Apple, Nokia, and even Yahoo make the top 10

Google took first place on the Simplicity Index because it has “become a term synonymous with finding information online” via “its iconic homepage and simple user interface.” Speed and effectiveness of search results are more important than protests around Google’s privacy policies and use of consumer data.

Despite being crowned the simplest brand, Google had two others make the list: YouTube at number 26 (up from 29th) and Google+ at number 87 (down from 59th). YouTube rising makes sense, as it doesn’t exactly have a competitor, but Google+ falling shows that the new social network is struggling to counter the likes of Twitter at number 70 (down from 66th), Facebook at number 72 (down from 43rd), and LinkedIn at number 78 (up from 84th).

Apple took fifth because it offers products that “strive for design perfection” and create “intuitively simple user experiences.” Apple’s marketing strategies have “created a passionate and loyal customerbase that often takes it upon themselves to make their brand allegiance known.” Nevertheless, iTunes is at number 64 (down from 28th).

It’s difficult to talk about Google and Apple without mentioning Microsoft. While the software giant was at number 61 (down from 45th), its other brands did relatively well: Skype is at number 30, MSN is at number 34 (up from 52nd), and Bing is at number 68 (up from 74th).

Coming back to the headline, Nokia and Yahoo made it into the top 10 thanks to India. The former is ranked first there while the latter finished second in the country.

Other notable technology mentions include: Amazon at number 12 (down from 2nd place last year), HTC at number 15, LG at 18 (down from 9th place), Sony at number 21 (down from 13th place), Philips at number 25 (up from 35th), HP at number 32 (down from 38th), eBay at number 37 (up from 41st), Dell at number 41 (down from 20th), Canon at number 42 (down from 30th), BlackBerry at number 43 (up from 46th), Panasonic at number 49 (up from 70th), Motorola at number 56 (down from 17th), and Groupon at number 86 (down from 96th).

See also – Brands: Apple the biggest winner in 2012, BlackBerry the biggest loser, Google passes Microsoft and Facebook passes Apple and Google to become world’s most valuable brand, as all news is good news

Image credit: Fred Fokkelman

Source: The Next Web

The Realities Of Running A Food Truck – Infographic

Oh food trucks, since when did you start popping up on every corner of every town across America? I know you’re delicious, I know you’re convenient, but sometimes I like my air conditioning.

Mobile eateries started popping up in my hometown, Austin, five or six years ago. Since then there has been an explosion and we now boast almost 1300 of them. Yeah, holly crap. Even in my current city of San marcos, with a population of barely 50,000, we have TWO food trailer parks. Probably over 30 vendors in the city as well. Food trucks seem like they have over-saturated the market, but are they here to stay?

I believe a lot of them will move to brick-and-mortar locations once a big following has been garnered. If other trucks take their place, I do not know. Also, as the economy picks up, many of these empty parking lots and eateries are going to be sold to developers. In my opinion a good economy is not good for our mobile snack shacks. [Via]

Source: Daily Infographic

Mobileman: The Mobile Elite Worker – Infographic

The workplace is quickly being infiltrated by a new breed of mobile superhero — elite workers who rely on and use mobile apps to increase productivity. These men and women have superpowers that soar past anything the Justice League could drum up. This super-connected workforce has the ability to channel the data and apps that smartphones provide, and have made businesses stronger than ever.

Unisys did a research project with Forrester Consulting, conducting surveys with more than 590 businesses around the globe. The researchers found that mobile devices are making workers more productive, making them 35% more likely to collaborate with colleagues than those who are phone-less.

The mobile elite also drive innovation within their companies, compelling their co-workers to accept change through the power of tech.

But every superhero has his kryptonite, and for these smartphone-toting men and women it seems risk-taking is their hubris. They are two times more likely to download unauthorized apps to get work done, putting their companies and fellow workers at risk for a security breach.

For more about how the mobile elite perform in the workforce, take a look at the infographic below.


Which Tablet Is Right? iPad 3, Nexus7, Kindle Fire – Infographic

We get a ton of enquiries every month about the Kindle Fire – primarily about how it compares to the other players in the tablet market. So instead of writing a dull article to answer the question, we thought we’d put together an infographic comparing what we consider “The Big 3 ” of the tablet world: iPad 3 vs Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire.

Please let us know what you think in the comments section…
Source: APCodes

Celeb Ladies Living Large In Real Estate – Infographic

Which celebrity has a car elevator? Who has a gift-wrapping room? Find out!


The History Of Online Shopping – Infographic

The best part of online shopping is, it allows us to  skip the huge lines, waiting period and most importantly parking.

Dealsdirect produced the infographic below showcasing the history of online shopping and ecommerce sales.

Source: Dealsdirect

The Secret To Great Marketing – Infographic

I recently wrote in my post The ROI of Marketing Automation that for most companies, the difference between “good ROI” and “amazing ROI” is in their ability to complement the out-of-the-box software with the right people, ideas, and best-practice processes.

Until recently, each company had to figure all this out on their own. And this prevented a lot of companies from adopting and being successful with marketing automation.

Until now.

You’re not alone

Today, thousands of companies have blazed the path to success. While this is useful in its own right, when combined with a marketing platform that enables sharing of best practices and pre-built programs, the result is a powerful network that simplifies the marketer’s world, surrounds them with other great marketers, and helps them get to the results they need faster.

We call this concept the Marketing Nation.

The Marketing Nation combines the ability to exchange best-practice programs with a robust community for sharing ideas, along with a growing army of consultants and experts, a broad ecosystem of verified partners, and thought leadership and knowledge from experts. In other words, it’s everything a company needs to go from “good” to “great” with their marketing automation investment.

Learn more about how the Marketing Nation does this by downloading our eBook, The Marketing Nation: How to Use the Power of the Network to Succeed.

Why a nation?

You may be wondering, why we do we call this the Marketing Nation? Well, the Wikipedia definition of Nation refers to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history.

In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. Instead, members of the Marketing Nation are marketers united around a common goal of shared success and empowerment.

Are you ready to join the Marketing Nation? Here are two great ways you can participate:

The secret agent’s guide to the Marketing Nation

OK, so the Marketing Nation isn’t really a secret. But we wanted to have some fun with the idea that the Marketing Nation brings together everything a company needs to drive their marketing platform success. Kind of like a secret agent’s toolkit.

Source: Marketo

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