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Social

  • The most-watched global YouTube clips of 2010

    More than 13-million hours of video -- approximately 1 500 years -- were uploaded to YouTube in 2010 and more than 700-billion videos were viewed on the site. The top clips of this year worldwide include a quirky television interview "Bed Intruder Song!" by Antoine Dodson, a parody of popstar Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”, and a school pupil's rendition of Lady Gaga's “Paparazzi”. The full list of the top 10, worldwide, below: 1. Bed Intruder...

  • Twitter’s great divide: A clash of product and business

    The audience at Le Web in Paris was stunned last week when Jason Goldman, the beloved VP of Product at Twitter for the last four years, announced he is leaving the company. He tweeted afterward: “Thanks so much everyone at Twitter for the best job I could ever imagine. It's been amazing and I think the future will be even brighter.” Goldman’s departure, hot on the heels of former CEO Evan Williams’ resignation, has revealed a growing schism between the product side and business side of the organisation. Twitter’s business folks (led by new CEO Dick Costolo) have begun edging out...

  • Five of SA’s best social media moments of 2010

    It’s been a year of highlights for South African social media, and for the first time our online trends have made a real impact on the world at large. Here are my top five picks for the funniest, most popular and most bizarre viral messages of 2010. 5. Cell C wants you to tell Trevor At number five, we have Cell C’s sometimes controversial, always intriguing marketing campaign. The mobile operator co-opted comedian Trevor Noah to become its customer experience officer (glibly named the CEO), and after a rocky start amid allegations of faking their viral campaign, it has captured...

  • The global Facebook Page admin fail and the SA connection

    The bug that caused worldwide havoc on Facebook Pages this week was resolved quickly after it was apparently discovered and reported by a bunch of quick-witted South African Page administrators early on Thursday morning. A recently-updated privacy setting had caused a bug that prevented or limited administrators of their respective Facebook Pages from responding to comments from fans. Facebook acknowledged the problem and quickly fixed the error: "We are currently working on a fix that is keeping some Page admins from commenting on their Wall content. Thanks to those who helped us identify this issue." The local Page administrators claim...

  • What the Zuck? Facebook Page admin bombshell causes havoc

    We all know how much of an outcry there is every time the Facebook developers get it into their developer heads that the platform needs a change. Usually I’m rather *meh* about any of the new features, I quietly adopt them, get used to them and move on until the next time a change comes round. This time, I’m sitting in my office flabbergasted, after getting a call from my team telling...

  • Eight ways you should be using Twitter hashtags

    So you've used a hashtag or two in your time, but have you explored their full potential? Since people started using hashtags on Twitter to organise tweets, their has proliferated with almost every second tweet being marked with at least one hashtag. While they’re often exploited by spammers who link their sites to tweets riddled with all the current trending hashtags, they’re also really useful in streamlining information in an ocean of tweets. Here are eight of the most effective ways to use a hashtag. 1. Broad categorisation. The most obvious use of hashtags is to categorise tweets into a searchable...

  • A hardcore gamer makes peace with Farmville

    Here’s an interesting fact for you: 53% of all Facebook users play social games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars. Is that a surprise to you? Probably not. If you aren’t already chipping away at your workplace productivity trying to grow beets and raise sheep, then it’s a pretty fair bet you know someone who is. Social gaming is a global phenomenon. There are in the region of 550-million people on Facebook, so even if we round it off to a clean 50%, that is at least 270-million people dedicating hours of their time to social gaming. That is a huge...

  • Five key points about Facebook’s new profile design

    As with life, the only constant you can expect from Facebook is change. Starting from yesterday, the global social network will be rolling out a new design for its most important building block - the personal profile page. It’s a mark of the influence of the site that founder Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the new design on 60 Minutes, still one of the USA’s most respected current affairs shows. Then again, when you have an audience of nearly 600 million people, CBS’s 12-million strong audience probably doesn’t seem all that daunting. So what should we expect from the design? 1. First things first Your...

  • Race row erupts on Facebook over singer’s comments

    Afrikaans singer and celebrity Steve Hofmeyr has "sparked a racial storm" on his sizeable Facebook Page, reports the Times today. The singer's anger and outrage over recent farm murders of a white couple and their three-year old child spilled over onto Facebook to his 89 000 fans this weekend. This is not the first time that Hofmeyr has lashed out using Facebook as a channel -- and his status updates continue to walk a fine line between justifiable anger and hate speech. Hofmeyer's use of Facebook raises interesting questions around freedom of expression. On the one hand, a Facebook...

  • Facebook rolls out new, improved profile pages

    The official Facebook Twitter account has tweeted news about improvements to user profiles pages on the social network, making it "easier for you to tell your story and learn about your friends". "We're really excited about the new profile. We're rolling it out gradually and plan to get it to everyone by early next year," said Facebook on their official blog. Users can either wait a while for Facebook to make the changes across its entire platform or upgrade themselves to the new profile page layout and features immediately here: www.facebook.com/about/profile. Some of the Profile changes include: A new introduction: A...

  • 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...