He Already Brought Sexy Back… Now He’s Bringing Back MySpace Too?

MySpace has long been outdated by newer social networks like the ever-dominating Facebook and Twitter. But a newly released video shows that Justin Timberlake has different plans for the forgotten website.

In 2011, Specific Media and Timberlake bought MySpace for $35 million. With a new design (similar to Pinterest), MySpace is almost unrecognizable from the site it once was. White backgrounds and horizontal scrolling give the website the facelift it sorely needed.

Also, instead of battling the social media giants, MySpace works with them. You can update Twitter or Facebook, find your friends from those networks and bring over videos and photos, all on the new MySpace.

Music also continues to be a huge part of the MySpace network, built with radio and playlist sharing. It returns to the original website goals of connecting artists with their fans.

When he purchased the failing website, Timberlake was quoted, saying: “There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. MySpace has the potential to be that place” (ABC News).

While a noble goal, the real question will be: can it work? Can MySpace make a comeback? Will people return to the social network they already left behind, especially with so many other new networks to join?

Its a question every social media agency will want the answer to. Will MySpace join Facebook and Twitter in the social media campaigns or will it just become the musical connection that Timberlake dreams it could be? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see….

Social Networking is Communication on Massive Scale

Social Networking on the internet has been around for a long time but in its earliest forms I remember MySpace was the place to go. It’s funny how things have changed so much, people join social networks to stay connected with their friends and family during all times of the day and just recently companies realized they can harness the power of social networking to connect on a personal level with their consumers, as if a giant rock fell from the sky and hit them on the head. Everywhere I go I see the Facebook logo in store windows. I was even driving on the road and to my surprise I saw a giant Facebook logo on in a gas station window. Marketing firms have been integrating social media into their services as a channel of communication and that is what it is. It all comes down to ‘Communication’ whether it is on a global scale fueling a revolution in Egypt or a company like Old Spice repositioning itself and connecting personally with its consumers. It is communication with a market segment of over 500 Million people and counting.

So where will it go from here and what will we see next? I hate to bring Google into this but we have to. Facebook has all of our personal information (demographics) and knows what we like (interests) but Google knows what we do on the internet, exactly what we do. I am sure that these places are selling our information to marketing firms as I write this, to be honest they kind of already offer some of it for free to the registered business accounts on their sites its called ‘insight’ and lets registered businesses know everything we do on their pages from the amount of time we spend on them to the items we click. I think as new technology continues to develop that social networking will become further integrated into our lives. Lets look at some examples. TV’s, Videogame consoles, and Smartphones have Facebook/Twitter apps now. I cannot wait until the day when I wake up and I can access my Facebook page from my refrigerator or better yet my toaster!!! People also start to think that since these websites are so popular that they will start charging money to register a simple user account. I doubt that would ever happen. Why would a website charge money to a consumer when it can charge money to the business trying to connect with that free user? It doesn’t make any sense, so it wont happen.  If you are wondering what else will happen on these websites just remember anything is possible because it is uncensored communication on a massive level… This is why I was not surprised at all when I found out Twitter was used to start and continue  a revolution in Egypt. Of course it was it is communication on a massive level between thousands of upset youthful Egyptians.

Social Media Sobriety Test

This week a new Firefox plug-in that allows drunken social media users to monitor their actions on sites such as Facebook, Myspace, Tumblr, and G-mail was released. All a user has to do is download the plug-in and create settings that will allow their drunken posts to never make it on the Internet. Users will have to set their hours of intoxication and if they try to log onto their social media sites they will be asked to pass a sobriety test before they are allowed access. The test asks the users to complete what should be a simple task of typing the alphabet backwards, but that’s sometimes even hard to do sober.

The plug-in is not available for mobile phone applications though, so when a person is out drinking at the bar they can update their Facebook status and send out as many e-mails as they want, whether they’d like to or not.

Visit Mashable’s “Don’t Drink and Facebook: New Plugin Mitigates the Fallout”

Photo Credit: Zazzle

Boosting your online presence

You may not be aware of it, but the way you present yourself on the internet matters. It doesn’t matter if you are a recent graduate, a professional with years of experience or still a student, but dedicating a little attention to your online presence can boost your possibilities of promoting and getting a new job.

There are many social networking sites on the internet. Great tools for promoting yourself online are specialized sites like LinkedIn, which focus on professional networking, or Naymz, which focus on creating a reputational network of people that may potentially refer you. Other sites that you may want to check are AboutUs.org, where you can create a professional profile within your company one, and ZoomInfo, a professional directory where you want to have your profile.

The problem with online networking is not if you use it, but mainly the way you use it. The main difference between these specialized sites and your MySpace or Facebook account is that the specialized sites give you little option to include information that you do not want other people to find about, while MySpace and Facebook do. The main thing with these two sites is that you may be giving an image of yourself that may be cool and fun among your friends, but that is clearly inappropriate in a professional environment. Is not only that your employer (current or prospective, it does not matter) is going to Google you, but they may also look for your information in these social networking websites.

I found via Scott Monty’s The Social Media Blog that according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, 80% of the employers Google you, and 20% of them is getting into the social networking sites to learn more about you. Their main areas of concern are the following:

  1. Information about alcohol or drug use (41% consider this a top concern)
  2. Inappropriate photos or information posted on a candidate’s page (40%)
  3. Poor communication skills (29%)
  4. Bad-mouthing of former employers or fellow employees (28%)
  5. Inaccurate qualifications (27%)
  6. Unprofessional screen names (22%)
  7. Notes showing links to criminal behavior (21%)
  8. Confidential information about past employers (19%)

In other words, and among many other things, you may not want to post pictures of the last time you got drunk (especially if you are underage), and you may consider changing your screen name from JoeSixPack to maybe your real name/last name.

Finally, just try to think that your online presence may be as valid as your real-world presence, and that no one is anonymous on the net anymore, so you want to make your online profiles look as good as possible

Mission: Local Bloggers – Ross Johnson

When we were asked to follow a local blogger (based in Ann Arbor, Michigan) as part of our Eco-Friendly Internship, it occurred to me that the concept of a blog has changed since they first entered the public view. Blogs began mostly as a method of personal expression, either standalone on sites like Blogger.com or as part of a MySpace profile. That was three years ago. In the time since, something called the “blogosphere” was born. I never really understood what that meant, since it implies that there’s some collected space where all blogs hang out. MP3 blogs got really popular, since people love being able to download a song or two and stay tuned in to what’s “cool.” Political blogs also boomed, not only as a response to mainstream media, but sometimes as a unique source of political news.

Today it seems that the majority of blogs exist as part of a business model. As a journalist and natural skeptic, I’m a little worried about that. It is great for companies and employees to get information out to the public, but it also blurs the lines between personal expression (i.e. – creativity), journalism (i.e. – seeking truth while documenting events), and public relations (i.e. – selling something…at least, most of the time).

One way to keep blogs valuable is to center them around a geographical community. The ArborWiki has an open list of local bloggers. For the Eco-Friendly Internship, I’ll be following Ross Johnson, co-owner of 3.7 Designs, a website design company in Ann Arbor. His Web Design Marketing Blog and Podcast features a unique, attractive appearance and seems to focus largely on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). For those not familiar with web development, CSS is a relatively new branch of coding for fonts, colors, and other front-end elements of a web page. Having just finished developing my own web site with HTML and a basic grasp of CSS, I’m hoping that Ross will have a lot to teach me on the subject.

Politics and Social Networking

Social Networking and politics are developing a strong relationship during this current presidential race. The use of social networking as a tool to get votes is not new; social networking sites were already used by the candidates in 2004, but they were not given the importance that they have now.

So what has changed? In the first place, social networking sites were not as popular as they are now. Also, the candidates were not so active in the social networking and their profiles were more an extension of their campaign websites. Facebook now has more than 100 million users, and the more professional focused network, LinkedIn, already counts 24 million users. Politicians are also realizing that they can also get votes through using these social networking sites, as they allow them to interact with potential voters and let them be perceived as someone closer than the candidate we only see on the news. Regarding this matter, Barack Obama has asked two questions using the Questions and Answers service of LinkedIn: “What ideas do you have to keep America competitive in the years ahead?” which already has 3,108 responses and “How can the next president better help small business and entrepreneurs thrive?” which at this time has 1,493 answers.

The Obama campaign has also launched my.barackobama.com, a social networking site similar to Facebook for Obama supporters, where you can connect with your friends, create events and even create your own blog.

In many senses the Obama campaign seems to be more connected with social networking and in my opinion is doing a better job than the McCain campaign. I was able to find Barack Obama on LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Myspace and Twitter. I was only able to find John McCain on LinkedIn, Facebook and Myspace.

I am not sure on how the social networking efforts of both candidates will be reflected in the elections results, but at this time, if we took Facebook as a reference, Barack Obama has 1,791,490 supporters, while John McCain has “only” 332,949 supporters. However, the main problem with these numbers is that the number of potential voters among these supporters is unknown, and if you look carefully you will notice many teenagers that are not able to vote yet and also many foreigners. If these results will have a reflection on the real elections, only time will tell.

User-generated content on the rise, experts want revenge!

In the past few years, user-generated content has been on the rise. Nowadays anybody with access to the internet can create reviews, videos, articles, and much more. Compared to ten years ago, more people have internet access and have faster connections to upload photos, videos, music, etc. Amateurs can become celebrities through YouTube or MySpace and become experts through Wikipedia and various review sites. Social networking has become a very popular way to meet professionals and to stay in touch with friends. However, with the public having so much power in creating and editing information, there may be a need for professionals to step in to make user-generated content more reliable.

The internet has become notorious for inaccuracies and scams. The demand for a more reliable web and the potential for more advertising money have given the experts their jobs on the web: to edit user-generated content to make it accurate. Advertisers are willing to pay more for space next to trusted information. With Web 3.0 on the way, the experts are likely to come with it, adding a refined layer to user-generated content.

For more information, go to: