Category : Social Media

New Social Media Site Breaks Ground in Breast Cancer Fight

Stepping into the social media landscape is MyBCTeam.com, an online social network that aims to connect breast cancer patients and survivors to each other. Through detailed profiles of their cancer type and treatment plan, these women are given a comforting virtual space to interact and bond despite this distressing disease. As the first social network to cater specifically to breast cancer patients, MyBCTeam.com is utilizing the power of cyberspace to spearhead the fight against breast cancer.

Developed by MyHealthTeams, a California based company that specializes in creating social media sites for people suffering from chronic diseases; MyBCTeam is making leaps and bounds in both the social media and health care industries. Not only does the site provide a network of support between patients and survivors, but also offers a directory of health providers who can be referenced during treatment. To further enhance connectivity amongst its users, MyBCTeam has developed iOS and Android applications for on-the-go support and connectivity, not to mention accompanying Facebook and Twitter accounts that offer insightful articles for cancer patients, seen here:

MyBCTeam’s features are unique in comparison to medical discussion boards and information sites. The social network offers one-on-one interactions between patients and survivors, rather than cold information that can be quite daunting to delve into.

It has been highly noted that a close support system during treatment of the disease is a crucial factor in recovery. Aside from their families, doctors, and spiritual leaders, breast cancer patients are given a further extended system of support that is bound by strength beyond this disease. Spanning beyond this technological feat is a greater achievement that has been made to enhance medical recovery with the aid of social media.

Controversy Looms as Reddit Stands by Freedom of Speech

The self-proclaimed “home page of the internet”, Reddit, has come under recent scrutiny for their questionable conduct in handling controversial discussion boards. Founded in 2005, by two college grads, the site offers user-generated news stories and pictures in forums dubbed “subreddits”. The recent controversy erupted in the last few days over subreddits that contained inappropriate pictures of a voyeuristic nature.

Following public outrage of these message boards, Reddit soon moved to eliminate the discussions and attached pictures. To make matters worse for the company, a noted contributor to the site, Adrian Chen, tracked and confronted Michael Brutsch, also known as Violentacrez, the man who managed the inappropriate forums on Reddit. Subsequently, Chen released an article on his personal website exposing the details of their phone interaction and the charges of ill-willed conduct.

The social news website soon lashed out on Chen, blocking any links to his articles and previous posts on Reddit; this done seemingly to protect Brutsch who is known to have close ties to many of the higher ups in the company. Furthermore, in a move that has baffled many since this dispute erupted, Reddit has stood by their first amendment right to freedom of speech in defense of Michael Brutsch’s actions; this on the heels of their grievance against Adrian Chen who publicly condemned Brutsch’s actions.

While Reddit’s right to freedom of speech is valid according to the U.S. constitution, this company also has a moral obligation to their patrons to filter, track, and eliminate inappropriate content and conduct on its site.  This responsibility spans farther than the issue of patron misconduct on Brutsch’s behalf, but Reddit’s seemingly insincere actions in condoning his behavior by standing by the first amendment.

Encouraging photos and discussion of under-aged girls and female up-skirt shots is unacceptable in every aspect of our lives including the workplace. Why is this instance any different?  Social media sites including Facebook and YouTube enable users with the power to report offensive images and videos from their sites. Why are Adrian Chen’s actions any different? Consider these questions when weighing in on the social site controversy.

RapGenius.com Steps on the Virtual Scene Schoolin’ the World on the Word

Buzz is stirring across all forms of media over an innovative, Wikipedia like site that is making waves in the music and technology industries. RapGenius.com is an annotative-based site that allows patrons to decipher the hidden meanings behind popular music lyrics. For example, in a posting of singer Frank Ocean’s release, “Pyramids”, a user can click on the listed bars and find the meaning behind the lyrics, seen here:

In Rap Genius’ case, the title doesn’t say it all. The site offers commentary not only for music, but political speeches including Michelle Obama’s recent DNC speech, and historical works such as the Magna Carta. By offering such a diverse range of works, the site aims to create an ever-evolving virtual community that is constantly engaged and continuously contributing. Rap Genius would thus span far beyond the music scope into mainstream knowledge that can appeal to anyone from any discipline.

The site works simply by allowing registered users to offer their explanation of posted song lyrics, in addition to posting and interpreting songs that may not have already been added to the site. As a user, if you continuously offer sound explanations, you will earn RapIQ™ and soon be able to edit all posts on the site- a feature reminiscent of the virtual encyclopedia Wikipedia.

An added bonus to RapGenius.com is the “Verified Artist” feature, where real musical artists and experts are given the opportunity to explain their own lyrics and works to the masses. Anyone from Waka Flocka Flame to Intellectual Property lawyer Mark Lemley can verify their user account and contribute to the Rap Genius community. Not only does this feature serve as a source of credibility for the site, but something that the founders like to call “textual crack” for their loyal patrons. In having the real artist explain the meaning behind their lyrics, the site sustains a lifeline of engagement from users, keeping them looking for the next post and the next explanation.

With a recent $15 million investment from Internet entrepreneur Marc Andreessen, RapGenius.com harbors potential that will surely captivate genres that reach far beyond rap music. In a recent interview, the founders also mentioned talks of iPhone and Android applications; in addition to browser extensions and Java plug ins for external annotation viewing on other sites.

Rap Genius’ loyal community is fostered in social media, leading an additional pathway for growth and expansion. Annotating is only the beginning for RapGenius.com; in a virtual landscape where knowledge can be acquired instantaneously, the site’s offerings have the potential to develop new cultural habits, while enhancing our understanding of the world around us. Take for instance Facebook; what was once a small start up firm that aimed to connect college students has now grown to global proportions, now connecting long lost friends and family, enhancing personal and professional reputations, and changing human interaction, as we know it. Rap Genius may be etching closer and closer to a similar destiny.

Growth of PearlTrees in the Social Media Jungle

PearlTrees is a digital library designed with a unique interface and mapping style. It’s a place to classify, store and save your favorite media found online.

This is popular social media ground to tread: Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Pinterest – These would all be considered social bookmarking. We’ve watch them rise and we’ve watched some fall, some change, and some become super trendy. So what makes PearlTrees different? A visually unique interface. Taking cues from Pinterest and Facebook, PearlTrees offers a visual approach online media storage. The PearlTrees map-like style works well with tablets and the smartphones and integrates well with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Looks a lot like ThinkMap Visual Thesaurus, but with websites.

The biggest problem with Pearltrees is that it is Pinterest with cumbersome organization. Where Pinterest relies on pictures and videos to identify content, Pearltrees uses screenshots. Rather than neat boards you have branchy trees that are not easily sorted through. I imagine bailing on this program quickly once a pearl tree hits a certain, hard to filter size where I’d no longer be able to sort through what it there.

I’m approaching this just as I would television’s new Fall lineup when I’m deciding which new shows look really appealing . It’s a big fat no to Matthew Perry’s Go On, and it’s a big fat no to PearlTrees.

Meme Madness

meme  (miːm)   — n an idea or element of social behavior passed on through generations in a culture, esp by imitation

You might not know what the original definition is, but you have undeniably seen them throughout the World Wide Web. Memes have become an inseparable part of our pop culture in the form of TV shows and movies.

Here are some of the best that the Internet has to offer:

“Nope, Chuck Testa”

The famous ads for this Californian taxidermy has caught the Internet by storm with its catchphrase and it’s GOTCHA moment. It has caught on with spoofs that have included deceased celebrities such as Mufasa, Dumbledore, and Tupac.

Chuck Testa

My Little Pony

Real men watch cartoons about ponies. #bronies

First World Problems

War, poverty, and disease…favorite shows aren’t in HD, waking up at 10am to get breakfast at McDonald’s, and more!

Mambo Number 5

College Freshman

We all knew or were “that kid” during our undergraduate years.

Nyan Cat

The flying 8-bit, cherry pop-tart wearing cat that sparked a media sensation. The Internet is truly made for cats.

Nyan Cat Cover

 

As funny and entertaining some memes have become, they have also generated a considerable amount of criticism. With the Internet becoming easily accessible, memes are now more prominent as they have become faster to upload and spread. However, such convenience has turned memes into a product of quantity instead of quality. With more user-generated memes comes an influx of unfunny memes and even offensive ones. In addition, with more memes comes an inability to find quality memes in a sea of mediocrity.

 Lame Meme

The comedy gold of Conspiracy Keanu and Good Guy Greg can be the highlight of any Internet user’s day. Nothing could taint a meme’s reputation more than a Reddit or Facebook user posting a weak meme and then spending hours defending it. Even too much of a good thing can be overkill.

Social Communication for Your Business: Jump on the Pinterest Brand Wagon

The benefits of social media for businesses are practically endless.  Here is a list of reasons why your company- big or small- should be on Pinterest.

1. Build traffic to your websiteShareaholic, a third party measurement company, recently found that Pinterest drove more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined.  When you pin a picture, it provides a direct link back to the website that you got it from.

2. Recruit Employees.  With many online classified websites charging for recruitment ads, your company can recruit using Pinterest by creating a board for the job, which is free!  The New Traditionalists, a furniture company out of New York, currently has a board called “HELP WANTED!”  They are creatively searching for a Client Services Superstar.

3. Engage customers.  The more your company engages with customers, the better.  Some ideas that companies have used include having contests for the best pin board about why a user loves your company, or have customers pin pictures of them using your product.  Familiarize your customers with the company by putting up a board of executives or from the company Christmas party.  Southwest Airlines’ Pinterest page dedicated to employees and day to day activities, including a photo of CEO Gary Kelly.

4. Emphasize your brand.  If you do a lot of work with charities, pin pictures from events or anything related to the work and donations your company has done.

5.Visualize your data!  An infograph is a visual representation of information or data.  Is your company the number 1 in your industry?  Illustrate it!

6. And what do these things generate?  More sales.  Sales are obviously huge to a business.  According to a case study by online boutique Boticca.com on BusinessOfFashion.com, Pinterest users not only spent double what Facebook users were spending ($180 from Pinterest vs. $85 from Facebook), but Pinterest also influenced 10% of transactions, while Facebook influenced 7%.

Live Facebook News Feed: Dig’em Frog Wants Kellogg’s® Honey Smacks® cereal

You’ve liked brands, you’ve written on their wall, and coming soon, you’ll “want” some of the products they have to offer. The ubiquitous social networking site has been rumored to be testing a “Want” button that will allow brands to gauge how desirable their products are. This is another stride that both Facebook and retailers are taking to enhance the E-commerce side of social media.

The Want button has tremendous potential to be a hit. Similar to the like button, the name speaks for itself. Because of this, “Want” can fit in perfectly with Facebook’s “easy-to-use” brand image. The real winners of this innovation are the brands themselves. With an average of 483 million people logging on to Facebook every day, the brands have an unrivaled marketing research tool in which focus groups and research surveys can’t compare.

Facebook “wants” can also be a fantastic tool for friends and families trying to find the perfect gift for birthdays and the holiday season. Instead of giving the friend the generic retail chain gift card, Facebook users can now buy a gift he/she will really enjoy. Be on the lookout. “Want” can change the way we communicate on Facebook just as “Like” did in 2009.

Jump on the Pinterest Bandwagon!

There have been many emerging social networks in recent years, but Pinterest is definitely one to take notice of. Started in 2010, Pinterest did not take off immediately, but as soon as it caught on its growth became the fastest in social media history. According to an article by Gayle Falkenthal featured in the Washington Times, Pinterest now ranks third amongst the most used social networks behind Facebook and Twitter with over 104 million users. Women dominate the Pinterest user base as of now, but men are starting to catch on as well.

Pinterest aims to connect people around the world by allowing them to “pin” and “re-pin” photos of things they enjoy. You can pin anything; from beautiful landscapes to delicious recipes, Pinterest has it all. Each user’s Pinterest profile consists of boards, where all their pins are displayed. These boards can be titled anything you want, from “dream house” to “clothes I love,” and you can have as many boards as you’d like. Friends go through one another’s boards to re-pin things that they enjoy. Many users also purchase the things they pin, making it an extremely important marketing and business tool for companies.

Because of Pinterest’s easy-to-use set up and appealing visuals, people have become obsessed. It’s the new, trendy network to belong to, and the few clicks that it takes to pin something to your profile turns into hours of exploring pictures and products. So even if you belong to a few other social media sites, think about giving Pinterest a try!

How to be a Hit on Instagram

Attention all iPhone and Android users:

If you haven’t made an account on Instagram, then you probably should, especially if you love photos. That’s what Instagram is all about, sharing photos. You may be groaning about another social media website and more photo sharing, but what makes Instagram so special is that you can apply filters to those photos. Facebook sure thinks it’s special because Instagram was recently purchased by the social media giant for $1 billion.

The photo sharing app has exploded recently and people are all over it. But what is it about Instagram that makes it so interesting? Well, the photos themselves are interesting. They tell a story. Instagram’s main method of communication is sharing photos, so people post the best photos they have for the day. For example, celebrities like @Rihanna and @justinbieber will post:

– A photo that tells a story.
– A picture with a new article of clothing.
– A picture of you lounging at home.

Celebrities like Drake and Taylor Swift, among others, post pictures of their work, behind the scenes, and some photos from their daily life. This shows that they are people above all else. In common with people, brand pages can:

– Post pictures of their location. Burberry, “A 156 year-old global brand with distinctly British attitude”, has pictures of a London sunset.
– Post pictures pictures of events. Burberry has a few photos about an event in Taipei, while Urban Outfitters had a nail art event.
– Post pictures of special deals. Urban Outfitters has a photo promoting a giant Vans shoe giveaway.

There are certainly various ways to gain followers, but some of those ideas can certainly help. Most importantly, keep things interesting.

And I know you’re asking yourself, “Who’s that male model in the Instagrammed photo above?” Ehh, just some guy.

Facebook Offers an “Offers” Tab

On somewhat of a limited basis, Facebook is unveiling their new ‘offers’ tab. Offers are free for administrators to create and share but are only available to a small number of local business pages. Offers are a great way to drive new people to your business and to engage your customers. They also encourage people to talk about your page when your offers are shared between friends.

With the new ‘offers’ option, businesses will have the ability to promote special deals to those who like their Facebook page.
Facebook gives you the ability to customize the offer any way you’d like:
• Upload a picture of product (FB recommends using people using the product as picture)
• Craft a headline specifying the deal (ex. Spend $50 and get $10 off)
• Decide number of claims (unlimited, first 500 people to claim, etc.)
• When the deal expires
• Craft precise terms & conditions (ex. Limit four per customer)

The ‘offers’ option for businesses will allow them to strategically drive traffic to their retail locations as well as increase that business’ social media presence.
To redeem the deals, Facebook users can either print out the e-mailed version of the deal or show they redeemed it to employees straight from their smart phone.

Facebook plans to launch offers more broadly soon.