Facebook and Women’s Privacy

Trending on social bookmarking sites and blogs is the subject of Facebook and women’s privacy. Mashable published an article last week on some shocking statistics found by Oxygen Media and Lightspeed Research. A study of over 1600 people was conducted regarding their social media usage. The company found that the majority of young women check Facebook first thing in the morning even before the bathroom and 42% of women feel it’s “okay” to post pictures of themselves drunk. With so much time being spent on the internet and the little effort to protect one’s own privacy, Facebook can ruin careers and reputations.

Last week I went to a networking lunch and met a very nice accounting student. She was friendly, intelligent and seemed like she’d be a great contact. I asked her name and told her I’d be looking her up online to connect later on. My first stop was Facebook. Her profile picture displayed ample cleavage, the page was littered with profanity and her photo albums included multiple pictures of alcohol and drugs… I went no further and decided not to befriend her online.

The Eco-Friendly Internship has put together a checklist to make sure your Facebook is not only clean, but also easily found. These tips are relevant to males too, but are geared especially towards young women.

The Facebook Clean Up Checklist

  1. Get rid of all alcohol and drug related content.
  2. Monitor pictures others are posting of you. Anything remotely questionable, delete.
  3. Defriend anyone you don’t know personally. The use of fake profiles to steal information is growing.
  4. Go through your applications and get rid of any you don’t need or trust.
  5. Edit your interests to things that will promote your talents and strengths instead of hurt you.
  6. Make sure all of your information is complete
  7. Communicate with others effectively and professionally: People, brands, pages.
  8. Keep notes and videos relevant and re-post worthy.
  9. Create a URL tag that matches your other social media profiles (http://facebook.com/yournamehere.)

Photo Credit: Flicker user Marisa beth

Facebook is about marketing yourself and connecting, so do your best to advertise yourself well because all of the information is going to be shared (no matter what Facebook says otherwise.) Employers will be looking at this information so target to them as well. You wouldn’t show up to an interview drunk or in a micro-mini, so don’t let those images be the first thing someone sees. Once you’ve made sure your content is clean, ensure that you are found easily. Facebook pages are no longer just to keep in touch with John Wewenttopromtogetheronce. It’s an effective marketing tool so that you can promote yourself without a single word leaving your lips. Remember: first impressions are crucial and YOUR first impression may happen online without you knowing.

Google Chrome Experiments and Fastball Stand Out

Google Chrome is the newest addition to the Web browser game. According to recent browser stats, Chrome is ranked number 3 as of May. The folks at Google have implemented an interactive marketing strategy that allows designers and programmers to create “Experiments” for visitors using Javascript, HTML5, Canvas, and more. It has been tagged as “Not Your Mother’s Javascript,” and indeed, it is much more. One such designer, Mr. Doob, created Harmony- a procedural drawing tool. By clicking around, I made this:

It’s not much in the way of art, but it is quick, easy, accessible, and an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon researching at Ingenex Digital Marketing. Other experiments are more geared toward gaming such as Stewart Smith’s “Browser Pong” and Paul Brunt’s “Bert’s Breakdown”. Google is taking submissions and posts the best experiments so design away.

Developers at Google have also developed a race across the internet called Chrome Fastball. Google takes you on a scavenger hunt around the internet. Time yourself and see how quickly you can tweet, find a bike route, or translate text. See if you can beat me!

Future of Location Based Apps

rAmmoRRison

Location-based apps are one of the newest frontiers in Digital Marketing. Google Maps, Foursquare, even Twitter are in on the “check-in” game. On platforms like Foursquare, users can see who is currently checked into a place, leave messages there, and receive incentives for checking in. Twitter and Google allow location broadcasting to approved friends. But where is this technology going? I did some deep digging to find out.

1. Tracking
Tracking on social Web sites is not new. We have all heard cautionary tales about Joe Inappropriate losing his job over an indecent picture his company found on Facebook or Jane Toomuchinformation missing out on a second interview because of too many updates on Twitter about how much she hates her current job. Location based tracking seems to be ahead. ZDnet suggests that insurance companies or assessors may be able to use your check in history to determine risk factors and rates. If you were to check into multiple bars every night for 2 months and you don’t own one, this might be an issue for you. It’s not all bad though, an auto insurer could set up a maintenance check-in program that tracks how often your car’s oil is changed or whether or if you check in to a car seat inspection station.

2. Real-time coupons
Some Web sites, like Foursquare, are already in the infant stages of adopting this technology. As a user checks in, incentives, or coupons, are shown for his or her presence. However, Mobile Commerce Daily has reported that Where, another location-based site has introduced location-based, real-time mobile deal alerts. “[Where’s] deal alerts service pushes mobile coupons and discounts to consumers based on preference and location.” For instance, let’s say I have selected to receive alerts from Ingenex Digital Marketing on Where. 2 weeks later, I walk past Ingenex and my text alert goes off. It reads:

Hey there friend! Ingenex Digital is offering a free cup of coffee when you stop in and say “Hello!”

The text service is free but regular text messaging rates apply, but for most of us, that really shouldn’t be an issue anymore. Business owners could have the ability to schedule daily offer changes and control the amount of time the coupon is active.

3. Tourism
Why not make being a tourist a little bit easier. Gowalla seems to be the predominant player in this so far. Users can create “trips” with check in points. The site features sponsored tours by University of Oklahoma and National Geographic. Not many other players have embraced the tourism possibilities and with Gowalla’s page visits down approximately 45% in the past two months, the possibility of dying in the shadows of Foursquare and Google Latitude grows stronger. Roseindia, a leader in Web tutorials, offers a few points for utilizing location-based tourism. Based on your GPS, a platform that provides traffic information, weather updates, local information, city guides and check-in spots could possibly be available in the near future for tourists with smartphones.

The landscape of local-based applications is wide open for innovation. Tracking, real-time coupons, and tourism are all areas that apps are beginning to target. So, what would you like to see come to fruition?  Any ideas?

deanj

A Taste of Ann Arbor – Seva

It’s restaurant week here in Ann Arbor! That means gourmet food at phenomenal prices. Megan and Lauren are both on vacation, so Eric Rodriguez (our Client Services Manager) and I decided to take on A Taste of Ann Arbor.

Seva is nestled into the heart of downtown on E. Liberty St. As a fully vegetarian restaurant, Seva takes pride in creating new, tasty, and organic dishes. Eric chose the Burrito con Elote stuffed with butternut squash, corn, beans, and cheese (which can be modified into a Vegan dish) while I munched on a Quinoa-Spinach Salad. Both were served by friendly staff that smiled as they passed and never let our water glasses go dry. 

Seva offers as many organic and local products as possible. In keeping with the eco-friendly theme, the restaurant offers biodegradable items, such as little paper cups of salsa and guacamole instead of plastic. If you are looking for a natural pep, try one of their juiced drinks. I decided to order a Ginger Shot. The ingredients are simple: ginger, which is known for its healing properties.

The vegetarian hot spot offers reasonable prices, but during Ann Arbor’s Restaurant Week, Eric and I enjoyed our entrees for $12 and found a new place to frequent.

BP Oil Spill and Digital Marketing

BP has been taking on a multi-faceted marketing campaign in attempt to offset the bad press as a result of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. Recently, BP began bidding on  keywords such as “Deepwater Horizon,” “Gulf of Mexico oil spill,” and “oil spill,” in which the landing page provides information on BP’s response to the environmental disaster. Visitors can click on video updates, pictures and news releases to get the company’s perspective on their clean up efforts and tactics. Yahoo!, Google, and Bing reveal PPC ads with links to BP’s response.

Social media sites have been targeted by BP in order to control the message being broadcast. To date, BP’s official Facebook page, BP America, counts 30,343 “likes.” Fans can read updates from the company as well as watch YouTube videos and review BP’s commenting policy. However, the majority of Facebook users have chosen to befriend BoycottBP with 694,898 “likes.” Facebook users have the ability to participate with the page instead of BP’s controlled approach that only allows the company’s commentary. The anti-BP page allows users to vent their frustrations and with over 8,400 photos being added by users of the aftermath and more than 51,000 links associated with the boycott, users are, indeed, frustrated.

BP has also taken their voice to Twitter. The company states:

Updates of BP’s ongoing response efforts are provided by our social media team as well as on-the-ground personnel working in the affected Gulf regions… From time to time, CEO Tony Hayward and COO Doug Suttles will be giving first-hand updates via this channel. These tweets will be identified by ^Tony or ^Doug.

Once again, BP’s one-way conversation with its followers are not doing enough to ease the tension. BP Public Relations , another anti-BP account takes a more whimsical approach as it weaves in dark humor and quips about the company’s response efforts. It writes:

My staff told me I shouldn’t wear my monocle in Congress but now I can’t read the lies they’ve written for me. ^Tony

and

We’re not blocking all reporters from the gulf – just the ones who aren’t going to say nice things about us.

The false BP Twitter account boasts 175,820 followers while the official BP America claims 15,735.

It seems as though what the world wants now is to be heard and have a discussion instead of being spoon fed information from a very intentional marketing strategy. Essentially, BP’s social media involvement and PPC ads are not geared toward a direct response, which is quantifiable. Instead, one must ask his or herself: When someone is searching the keyword “oil spill,” what is he or she looking for? The answer may be news, pictures, videos or what BP is saying in general. So, BP’s strategy is a successful one, albeit, a bit of a perversion of the point of social media and PPC ads.

FIFA World Cup 2010 for the Struggling Sports Novice

Soccer, or football, is in season. This means, if you are a sports novice, you must struggle to maneuver through workplace conversations, small talk, and Facebook threads without revealing that your silent nods are really a desperate attempt to not let anyone know how clueless you feel. You wish you could scream, “I have no idea what round Brazil is in!” or “why does the United States refer to it as ‘Soccer’?” Fellow novices, choose to suffer in silence no longer, for today, I Googled it.

Property of FIFA

A quick search clarifies the soccer vs football query; the sport’s full name is Association Football. The US shortened it to Soccer from “asSOCiation.” But whether you call it “soccer” or “football” it is a sport that ultimately unites. Mike M. from Ann Arbor writes, “[Soccer] is a sport that everyone around the world plays, really, the only one.” The world coming together as one is something every one can get into; so, let’s get into it.

The Essential Facts:

  • FIFA stands for Federation International de Football Association
  • The World Cup occurs every 4 years
  • The 2010 World Cup runs one month: June 11th- July 11th
  • South Africa is hosting the event this year among 10 cities within the country
  • 32 countries are competing for a top spot
  • Soccer can tie and the completed games receive points:

Easy ways to get connected:

Although you may still be a FIFA World Cup beginner, you now have a few talking points at the water cooler. Enjoy and relax, Soccer is for everyone.