AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Archive for May, 2011

Tweaking Twitter

Posted by mccaul202 on May 31, 2011

Afternoon Cohort Et Al,

Just came across this posting (via Twitter) in the Washington Post Faster Forward blog reporting that Twitter will be adding its own photo-sharing service, eliminating the need for popular applications such as Twitpic and yfrog. Twitter also announced it will acquire TweetDeck, which some of us were introduced to in our last class.

I think this is a smart move on Twitter’s part. Streamlining the Twitter experience and making it more of a one stop shop instead of a platform for 3rd party sites and apps should just make the brand stronger. Anyone see any issues with this?

What program do you currently use to share photos via Twitter?



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Do You Need To Go on a Digital Diet?

Posted by dcprmantony12 on May 29, 2011

“Say you spend a total of two hours each day posting to Facebook or Twitter, mindlessly surfing the Web, sculpting your online image, or all of the above, in ways that don’t relate explicitly to your job?” 

Daniel Sieberg made that statement in his piece in today’s Washington Post that I wanted to share for those who may feel as I do: gadgets are threatening to overtake our lives (whether we like it or not). Essentially, Sieberg is advocating that everyone take a moment to find out if they need to go on what he calls “A Digital Diet” — a self-assessment of how much your electronics and social media activity impedes your lives.

Not that any of us needs anymore tests to take, but this one — which he calls “The Virtual Weight Index” — seems kind of fun. Much like the test you take that measures obesity (Body Mass Index or BMI) this test helps you figure out how much your gadgets and activity are “weighing” on your minds.

My score, you may ask? 30. I surprised myself in that I thought I’d be on the low end since I do as much as I can to avoid joining the electronic craze (Note: My personal cell phone doesn’t even have texting on it).  My score puts me in the “Mid” range (25-35). According to Sieberg, that means a “digital diet” could help me stay better organized and slightly more sane.

For those who take the test, report back and tell us how you did and if you agree that you need to go on a “Digital Diet” too.



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Happy Birthday, WordPress!

Posted by szczcass on May 29, 2011

I know a lot of us are new to using WordPress so I was surprised to see that the platform turned 8 years old on May 27!

Mashable posted this tribute, showcasing the transformation of WordPress over the years. It’s pretty cool to check it and out see how the different features have enhanced the user and reader experiences.

I know we have touched on blogs quite a bit in our classes and discussed how blogging has evolved. While some think blogging is on the decline, we learned that blogging is still in full-force, but perhaps taking a different form (facebook, twitter, etc.).

It should be intersting to see if and how WordPress incorporates these trends into future releases. A new feature of WordPress 3.2 is “Distraction Free Writing” which literally is just a page with a title and body of your post. Could it be they are streamlining their platform to mirror the trend of short, no fuss posts?

The next release should happen sometime in June 2011…perhaps it will be in the midst of our blogging experience. 🙂

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Google Wallet: Safe or Sorry?

Posted by szczcass on May 29, 2011

By now most of you have probably heard of Google Wallet…and if you haven’t you can learn more here.

Basically, it allows users to use their smart phones at the cash register (think those pay passes some people have on their key chains and use at gas stations).

I think this is an interesting concept and will be curious to see if it catches on (right now it is being pilot tested in San Francisco and New York). However, it immediately raises questions and concerns about privacy issues and the amount of personal data we store on our cell phones.

Often I think if I were to lose my smart phone it would be devasting…mainly because of the price of replacing it! But I admit that I don’t think too much about the amount of personal data someone would have access to should they steal my phone. I have it password protected but is that really enough?

It should be interesting to see what sort of security features are developed alongside products like Google Wallet. I think I’ll go delete that Bank of America app now… 🙂

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Caring Bridge: Social Networking During a Medical Crisis

Posted by lazdinsa on May 29, 2011

Hi everyone,

I wanted to share a social networking site with you called Caring Bridge, which I discovered last year. Sadly, I learned about it from a good friend, whose father, Aivars, had just suffered a stroke and was functionally paralyzed on his left side.

Over the past year, my friend’s family has used the Caring Bridge social networking site to keep family and friends updated on Aivars’ progress from initial treatment to rehabilitation. At the same time, the site has served as a platform for people to express their empathy and support for the family, and to share encouraging words with Aivars on a daily basis. In all, Aivars’ Caring Bridge profile has received more than 3,000 visits and has hundreds of “wall posts” dating back from last October.

Amid social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, where people are posting updates about their favorite colors and what they ate for lunch, Caring Bridge feels like a breath of fresh air. It demonstrates the humanity of social networking and how it can have a truly meaningful impact on our society.

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How Distracted are You?

Posted by ayofemikirby on May 28, 2011

Hi folks,

I came across this social media study that was released this week proclaiming that on average, we are wasting $10,375 per year in productivity because workers are distracted by social media. Companies with more than 1,000 employees, are said to be loosing more than $10 million per year.  To be honest, I’m surprised it’s that low.

I know how much time I spend on social media per day, and not only because its a part of my job, but because I have developed the impulse to check my FB, Twitter and email even if I’d just checked in 20 minutes before. Honestly, it’s just procrastination and without a solid dose of discipline, these tools can become the bane of our existence and the death of our efficiency.

Here’s the link:

Now get back to work.

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The latest endeavours in computing technology

Posted by jabbar Alshuwaili on May 28, 2011

I read that there are specialised agencies which are  looking now at how they can turn hard-wired desktops into virtual workspaces, transform mobile computing into a secure reality, and deploy rapid computing power to stand up IT projects in record time at a fraction of the cost. However, we do not know yet what are the implications from a technology, management, and end user perspective?

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You Have the Right to Remain Archived!

Posted by lisaw88 on May 25, 2011

How do you feel about your digital media outlets being archived in the Library of Congress and labeled as history in the making? Is it a violation of Cyber Security, or even against the law?

With celebrities constant use of twitter they had somewhat of an influence on their fans and many others within society to join these various social networks, specifically Twitter. However, there are some people who just joined out of curiosity or because it was the “thing” to-do.

Having your tweets archived, does it make you feel like you’ve done something wrong or almost like “you’re on the phone and you have someone listening and recording everything you say?”

I often think “if we have security settings to block out “crazy and unwanted viewers,” what’s the point of having that because you don’t know who is reading your tweets once it is archived through the Library of Congress.”

The idea of archiving came about because of the amount of statuses celebrities were posting on a daily basis and became interesting. According to the New York Times, there are 55 million messages posted a day by users while limited to only 140 characters.

Trending Topic…..

Twitter is much more convenient and easier for people to communicate because it’s simply a page with statuses and the uploading of pictures and the option of sending direct messages. Part of the reason the Library of Congress decided to archive all tweets because they want to embrace the “digital media” world, according to the New York Times. Also, they stated as the 211 year old “guardian of knowledge and cultural history,” all they had were books, magazines, and newspapers.

The Library of Congress felt like this was history in the making because not only do actors, actresses, and entertainers use twitter, but even politicians; such as, President Barak Obama. It’s embracing culture and history.

While Facebook is fun too and was launched before Twitter, it takes more time to update and use, from the status updates, to uploading pictures and videos, to playing games and buying electronic gifts for friends and using many more applications.

As Jackie mentioned in class on Saturday, once you make a post although you may delete it; technically, it is still in the cache. Therefore, the Library of Congress still has that post. Can that be dangerous or helpful? It can be helpful to those that are “cyber” bullied so the messages are retained but it can be dangerous because your post and messages can be used against you somewhere down the line.

Anything you say or do can and will be ARCHIEVED…

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Never thought to use social media as a lost and found…

Posted by taniapaiva on May 25, 2011

I found this story to really convey the reach and power of social media today. A tweet with a posted photo and contact information were responsible for returning a stolen bike that police were unlikely to find. Interesting and good idea to keep in your back pocket….

Twitter justice: Boulder woman uses social media to recover stolen bike
Social media helping turn more citizens into detectives
By Vanessa Miller, Camera Staff Writer
Boulder Daily Camera
Posted:05/24/2011 06:30:39 PM MDT

When Elaine Ellis returned to her downtown Boulder apartment Saturday morning to find her bike lock ripped from a brick wall and her Trek Allant bicycle gone, she was heartbroken — for a moment.

But instead of simply calling police to report the theft and hoping to one day see her bike again, Ellis — known as a leader in the Boulder technology community and a social media butterfly — decided to take action.

“Have you seen this Boulder bike thief?” Ellis, 30, tweeted around 11 a.m. Monday. She included a link to her blog, where she’d posted a cell phone photo that her neighbor snapped of the crime as it happened.

Within hours, one of Ellis’ 3,391 Twitter followers spotted a man matching that photo riding her Trek along the Boulder Creek Path. The police were notified, and that sighting led to an arrest — and Ellis’ reunion with her bike.

“Got my bike back!!!” Ellis tweeted Monday evening. “4.5 hours after my blog post. Well done Boulder.”

Ellis, like a growing number of today’s crime victims, decided to employ social media to help do her own detective work. Legal experts say members of the public who can navigate popular social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook now have access to some of the same methods law enforcement utilizes to crack cases.

Police, while welcoming the help, do stress that amateur sleuths should call 911 rather than approaching suspected criminals on their own.

Boulder County authorities say social media is fast becoming a crucial investigative tool, and there are few cases that detectives don’t at least check to see whether there is pertinent information about a suspect or a crime online. In many cases, according to local law enforcement officers, a victim’s own online sleuthing can be helpful to detectives — as happened with Ellis’ bike theft.

Spreading the word

In her case, Ellis — a social media manager at Trada — said she quickly learned that someone across the courtyard at the time her bike was nabbed snapped a picture of the suspected thief in action. Monday morning, after obtaining the photo, Ellis posted it to her blog,, and then linked back to the picture from Twitter and Facebook.

“Bike thieves are one of the worst things about living in Boulder,” Ellis wrote on her blog. “This is our chance to make sure we ruin his joy ride of thievery.”

Ellis asked followers to look out for her olive green bike after it was taken from her apartment near 16th and Walnut streets around 10 a.m. Saturday — and they did. More than 140 people retweeted her initial link, and 900 people viewed Ellis’ blog post.

One woman told Ellis via Twitter that her son recognized the suspected thief as “Dready Dave,” and Dan Pierson — who was running with his dog along the Boulder Creek Path around 3 p.m. Monday — reported to Ellis on Twitter: “Found your bike 13 and arapahoe on the boulder bike, called 911 but he looks like he’s leaving. NEED BACKUP.”

Ellis said she called 911, too, and hurried to Liquor Mart, 1750 15th St., where Pierson last saw the suspect. Once police responded, they contacted the suspect’s girlfriend, and she led officers to Ellis’ $500 bike stashed in a parking lot near 18th and Walnut streets.

Police arrested David Carroll Oldham, 41, on suspicion of theft, and they returned Ellis’ bike. Oldham remains in the Boulder County Jail on $100 bond.

“It was amazing how quick it was,” she said. “I think Twitter has the potential to be the new Amber Alert for crimes because the community — in Boulder, especially — is so interested in helping out the rest of the community.”

Pierson, 24, told the Camera that he wasn’t actively looking for the suspect when he spotted him during an afternoon jog.

“I kind of had an ‘a ha’ moment of, ‘I’ve seen that bike before, and I’ve seen a picture of that guy,'” he said. “It all came together.”

‘Really taken off’

Boulder police Detective Tom Dowd said social media sites have become an important part of criminal investigations — especially investigations into stolen property.

“I think it’s completely changed how we investigate crimes,” he said. “And it’s really taken off in the past few years.”

For example, Boulder police in March used Facebook, in part, to help identify a man suspected in a fatal shooting on University Hill. People who knew Kevin McGregor told detectives that they could find Facebook photos of him wearing a sweatshirt like one worn by the attacker, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

In January, the Eagle Police Department sent messages to the 120 Facebook friends of a burglary suspect asking about his whereabouts and warning them not to harbor a fugitive. Daniel Arment eventually was arrested in the Boulder area.

And there have been several instances of Boulder residents launching their own successful investigations via social media for stolen property — including Gracie Currier-Tait, 16, who recovered her stolen bike after a Twitter, Facebook and Craigslist campaign last month.

“It has given some empowerment back to victims of crime to be able to do some research on their own,” Dowd said. “Resources being what they are, and with our case loads, we don’t really have the opportunity to track down and search Craigslist for every stolen bike in the city. Some victims have researched on their own, and that has been helpful to us.”

Social media training

Law enforcement groups are now offering social media training to law enforcement officers, and Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said his office doesn’t have any major cases “where we don’t investigate whether there is social media evidence available to us.”

“People tend to be unguarded on Facebook,” Garnett said. “People tend to say what they think, and that can often be helpful to the prosecution in a criminal case.”

Garnett said there are some evidentiary requirements that come along with using social media evidence at trial — such as proving it’s authentic. That can be done using photos to prove a person is who they claim to be.

“And there is a developing industry of computer forensic evidence experts,” Garnett said.

Social media evidence has been used in cases of drunk driving, for example, where a suspect might claim not to drink, but investigators have pictures of him doing so on Facebook.

“In virtually any case of any consequence, we’ll make sure that, as part of the investigation, we are looking at social media and electronic communication,” Garnett said.


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Toyota develops special social media presence exclusive to owners

Posted by taniapaiva on May 25, 2011

I thought it was interesting to see that Toyota has just developed an owner-specific social media platform. I found it interesting since I could not help but wonder — aren’t they behind the curve? So, I did some checking, and I confirmed most car makers have social media sites, but they are not specific to owners — the space that Toyota hopes to enter with this page. I think they are hot in pursuit of fostering continued brand loyalty. Would you join a social media site for owners of your car maker? Do you want to get to know others that share your car brand?

Automobile Manufacturers with social media presence: Nissan, Volkswagen, Mini, Chevrolet, GM, Mercedes Benz, BMW

ToyotaDevelops An Owner Social Media Platform

Karl Greenberg, May 24, 2011 04:23 PM

Toyota Motor Co. (TMC) is launching a new social-media platform called “Toyota Friend,” essentially a network forToyotacustomers that includes a real-time Internet connection to their vehicles, dealers andToyotaitself, and a social media platform connecting owners to each other and the company. The Toyota Friend, which represents collaboration betweenToyotaand, will be powered by Salesforce Chatter, a private social network.

Toyota Media Service (TMS) President Akio Toyoda said in a statement: “Social networking services are transforming human interaction and modes of communication. The automobile needs to evolve in step with that transformation. I am always calling forToyotato make ever-better cars. The alliance that we announce today is an important step forward in achieving that goal.” and TMC will each make investments in TMS, which oversees TMC’s global cloud platform development. will invest ¥223 million and TMC will invest ¥442 million. Microsoft Corporation, which on April 6 announced a strategic partnership with TMC to build a global platform for next-generation telematics services, will invest ¥335 million.

Robin Daniels, director of product marketing at, tells Marketing Daily that the collaboration gets the car into the social media space, which it has not been part of heretofore. “The future is really going social and mobile, and the ultimate mobile device is your car. But right now it is disconnected from what’s going on in terms of other drivers, dealers, and owners. This network gives customers an opportunity to connect in a new way and in real time.”

The deal makesToyotaone of 80,000 companies around the world that use’s Chatter platform, which is kind of a closed social network with a Facebook-like aspect. Outside of the car, the “Toyota Friend” platforms presented as a Web and mobile page show each of a customer’s vehicles and real-time data about what’s going on inside that vehicle, since the platform uses wireless diagnostic transmissions from Toyota vehicles on things like tire pressure, fuel and oil levels, or in the case of electric or hybrid, charge levels. If an electric vehicle or partial hybrid vehicle is running low on battery power, Toyota Friend would notify the driver to recharge in the form of a “tweet”-like alert.

The owner page also shows a Google map beside each vehicle that indicates its location. Dealers will also have access to the diagnostic data on the page. The Chatter area, which is accessed via the Toyota Friend portal, is the social network aspect. The Chatter page lets users get updates, connect with other users/Toyota owners, and share information. The closed social network can also connect to the wider world through Twitter and Facebook. The service will also be accessible through smartphones, tablet PCs, and other advanced mobile devices. The platform can also be accessed within the vehicle via a “Toyota Friend” icon on aToyotacar or truck’s telematics/ navigation screen on the console.

Daniels saysToyotaapproached Salesforce in January this year, “so it’s been a quick turnaround. They had wanted to develop the next generation of services for drivers. They really liked our cloud computing infrastructure and our Chatter platform. They wanted to create a new experience for drivers.”

He says the first iteration will roll out initially in 2012 inJapanand then worldwide, and that “out of the box” the Chatter platform comes in 20 languages.


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