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Social

  • Diaspora scores on privacy but will it ever go mainstream?

    Diaspora, the open source social network that puts user privacy above all else, is now rolling out in private alpha. The question is: can it hold its own against Facebook, or MySpace, or even Ning?  Early indications seem to indicate that the answer is no. Although Facebook has run into backlash several times over its approach to users’ information, it continues to grow like gangbusters, surpassing more than 550-million unique users in October, according to ComScore. Clearly, privacy concerns are something plenty of people pay lip service to, but rarely do anything about.  If Diaspora is to succeed, it will need...

  • Facebook makes dating more complicated than ever

    Social media has added an entirely new dimension to our lives. It has also complicated our relationships beyond measure. In the past, it may have been possible to stay below the radar; now your friends know about your break-up the moment it happens. Facebook in particular has taken that which was conveniently tacit and brought it into the public realm. It’s this mutual visibility that makes social media so tricky – I know that you know that I know - and it has led to a situation where identity has become both performative and narrative: We’re always putting on a...

  • Facebook revisits confusing promotions rules for Pages

    Facebook is revisiting its promotions and competitions guidelines for its wildly popular Pages functionality. Facebook Pages are effectively mini-websites within the social network used by companies to tap into the social graph. Running competitions and promotions on Pages has become an increasing source of mystery and obfuscation for companies, which has most likely prompted this latest set of changes by Facebook. Facebook sales representatives have been emailing key clients informing them that the new changes are afoot, namely: Previously, promotions and terms and conditions needed to be explicitly approved by Facebook – this is now no longer required. Facebook no longer require a minimum...

  • The social media consumer: How to complain, and be heard

    Congratulations. You can now make your voice heard via Facebook or Twitter, and tell your least favourite companies exactly what you think about them. But does that give you the right to be rude and obnoxious? Do you even realise that there are real people who have to respond to your "input"? It seems that consumers everywhere have suddenly hit the end of the year 2010 and woken up to the power of social media. Brands routinely make the news because of Facebook status updates on business decisions they’ve taken or a tweet that slipped out at the wrong moment. Some...

  • Celebrities abandon Twitter for a good cause

    Do not be alarmed if you cannot find your daily dose of high-flying celebrity on World Aids Day, the 1st of December. There is nothing wrong with your Twitter feed, and your Tweetdeck is working fine. But celebrities like Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys are abandoning Twitter until US$1-million has been raised for the charity Keep A Child Alive. According to PCMag.com, the celebrities will post tongue-in-cheek "last tweet and testament" videos in which they'll be lying in a coffin, to depict their "digital deaths." The campaign is the brainchild of soul singer Keys, who is the...

  • The magic of generating ROI through social media

    Ethan Hunt, David Copperfield, Luke Skywalker and even Julius Malema have each had their fair share of boldly attempting the truly unfathomable. From near impossible missions and unbelievable feats, to head-to-head battles with Darth Vader and the courage to take on Twitter, these individuals have all succeeded in achieving the seemingly impossible. But even they would struggle when attempting to quantify the Return on Investment (ROI) of a social media campaign. Our interwebs are littered with blogs discussing the impact social media on companies. In most cases, it's been fairly positive and few product managers today would fail to...

  • Interview: ZANews on the future, social media and life after SABC

    ZANews is one of the most innovative and ground-breaking media properties to have come out of South Africa for many years. The satirical, political puppet show is the brainchild of producer Thierry Cassuto and cartoonist Zapiro. After the show was denied a national TV platform by the SABC, the producers were forced to innovate and adapt to life on the web. ZANews latest satirical offerings features President Jacob Zuma as “Old Spin Guy”, spoofing the "Old Spice Guy" viral sensation, and answering questions sent in by viewers and fans. Memeburn caught up with Thierry Cassuto, the show’s "geek-in-chief" and advertising...

  • Five ways Twitter makes you a better journalist

    Many journalists still balk at the idea of Twitter. They’re put off by the noise, the loud celebrities and the gushing streams of irrelevance. Of course there are pros and cons to the micro-blogging platform, but whatever way you want to look at it, it's undeniable that Twitter is a valuable resource for both print and online journalists. These are five reasons why. 1. The ultimate networking platform If you’re starting out in journalism or are a freelancer, Twitter allows you to get your name out there and make connections. As a journalist, one of your most valuable resources is your network...

  • 12 social media personality types to look out for

    Billions of people use social media everyday, all over the world. Once you start using networks like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube often enough, you start to notice that people share similar (and often rather annoying) online media habits, and can be categorised into common personality types. Which ones do you identify with? 1. The Newbie These are people who are new to the network, and are largely confused about how everything works and what the right etiquette is. We’ve all been there, so be patient and give guidance, but if they haven’t got it after 6 months then ignore them because...

  • Abortion by jury…the social network will decide

    Alisha Arnold works in a small software company. She has a Bachelor's Degree in English, and is married to Pete Arnold who also has a Bachelor's Degree in Technical Writing and works at a small IT consulting business. They are an ordinary American couple in every sense of the word, except that they are using social media on their website, Birth or Not, to decide whether they should abort the foetus, nicknamed...

  • How should brands respond when being cyber-bullied?

    Many brands are struggling with the burden of social networking and the power it has put in the hands of the consumer. In days of old, you phoned a customer complaint line, and they told you that they were recording the call for quality assurance. Your complaint usually fell on deaf ears, because brands weren't that worried about a private phone call between the company and an individual. Now imagine broadcasting that recorded message to a possible listenership of 500-million users on Facebook. Imagine thousands of people agreeing with your complaint and voicing their own on this public platform...

  • Stop whining: You’re losing influence

    Gary Vaynerchuk, the famous host of Wine Library TV, a daily internet webcast on the subject of wine, mentioned in his SXSW 2010 keynote that inevitably we’re all going to be in one industry i.e. customer service. I have to agree, over the last five years, the internet has become more a platform for people to express their opinions and less about porn and music. Even more so, by empowering the average consumer, the internet has become a reverse mass medium. How so? Well, in the glory days when television was the mass medium, brands used to talk...

  • Engaging your Facebook fans: 5 tips from Simphiwe Dana

    On October 29th 2010, a fan posted on Afro-Soul singer Simphiwe Dana’s Facebook wall this message: "I love the fact that you actually interact with us. Happy to be your friend" With social media making it easier to reach superstars, the ones who see the value of interaction are the ones who reap the rewards of the medium. Simphiwe recently posted an update on her Facebook status, lamenting the fact that she was finding it hard to find a good school in Cape Town that offered her children an indigenous language as a first or second language. The post...

  • 7 ways to make the most of your Twitter Profile

    Cast your mind back -- how much time did you spend on your Twitter profile? Probably less time than you spent tying your shoes this morning, right? It’s the first thing someone sees when they click on your user name, but too many people (and brands) neglect this space or fill it with rubbish. Take the time to craft your profile – including your picture, bio and wallpaper – and you'll reap the rewards of more interesting followers. Here are a few ways to do just that. 1. Don’t leave your bio blank It’s not mysterious or intriguing, just annoying. Most...

  • LinkedIn adding a member every second

    Business networking website LinkedIn is adding a member a second as users seek to keep their professional lives separate from private antics they may share at Facebook. LinkedIn chief executive Jeff Weiner said that LinkedIn had 85-million members and was growing faster than ever as the economy recovers and people get back to cultivating connections that could land them better jobs. Half of LinkedIn members are outside the United States, with China and Brazil among the countries where the social network is seeing its fastest growth, Weiner said during a talk at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. When asked what...