Timeline – Facebook’s new profile

I LOVE Facebook’s new profile design. the only problem is, how long is it going to take to remove all the old relationship statuses you don’t want to bring back up?

I hope that Facebook will enable the non-‘power-users’ to create a minimal version, whilst those who have time can create historic masterpieces.

Here’s Facebook’s ad-video demonstrating some of the new features…

Why I’m unplugging on social media day

Mashable has deemed the 30th June to be Social Media Day – “A day to celebrate the revolution of media becoming social”. It’s the second year of the annual occasion, but this year, I won’t be partaking in the celebrations.

Don’t get me wrong. Social media has undoubtedly changed our lives, and for the most part, for the better. We’re able to communicate with friends easier. Share photos without sending monumental zip files over email. Interact with brands on a more humane level – there are a thousand and one benefits.

However, it has come at a price, and this goes for the internet too. The problem is our inability to unplug.

Connecting online is something we do almost unconsciously now. I pull out my phone to check in somewhere, to take a photo, to edit, upload and share that photo, to tweet, to check links friends are sharing. The list goes on, and it all happens without thinking about it.

I’m regularly advising clients on how to use social media more efficiently in the workplace, and at work, I’ve become militaristic on organising my time on social platforms. Working in an agency, and even more so, freelancing for six months, taught me that very quickly. Being so plugged in can be a huge detriment to productivity if not managed right, hence I strongly recommend any client of ours to have a social media policy in place (contact me if you’d like us to help with yours).

However, it all seems to fall apart once I leave the office. I get sloppy, and browsing becomes lazy. The commute home is led by a check on Twitter, Facebook, and then another check after dinner, and last night I even found myself on Facebook in bed. I idly browse through friends photos, uploading some of my own, check on the progress of some of my client’s pages. It doesn’t really stop.

I’m addicted, which I guess is partly why I do what I do. But tomorrow, I won’t be celebrating social media day. I won’t be tweeting. I won’t be on Facebook. I won’t check LinkedIn, and I won’t be blogging. I won’t surf. I won’t browse. I won’t poke.

This social media day, I’m going to be unplugging, and I’ve scheduled this post. Besides, the 30th of June is my fiancée’s birthday, and I’m taking the day off to go hot air ballooning.

 

Ok, so I might tweet a photo…

Hot air baloon fail

(this post was written and published at Receptional.com on the 29th June 2011)

Top 10 Social Media Sites

In part 1 of a series of “Top 10’s” that are buzzing round in my head, I want to highlight some of the best social media news and resource sites out there for anyone looking to keep an eye on all the latest developments in the world of social media.

Forgive me. Top 10 lists are lazy writing, but of course, time is money, and I don’t give money away for free…

Rather than trawl through each of these sites daily, I recommend you start plugging yourself into the RSS feeds of these sites (top 10 list of RSS readers to follow soon), if you want to stay ahead in an industry moving faster than most seem to be able to keep up in!

1) Mashable

2) Social Times

3) SocialMedia.biz

4) Social Media Today

5) Our Social Times

6) The Next Web

7) Social Media Explorer

8) SMSEO

9) ReadWriteWeb

10) Soshable

Google will replace your wallet sooner than you think

Google Wallet Logo

Yesterday, Google officially announced the launch of their latest product, Google Wallet, at a joint press conference in New York with MasterCard and Citibank. Initially available on the company’s Android mobile handset (with plans to roll out the technology across other mobile platforms), users will be able to wave their phone in front of an in-store reader to make purchases in stores.

Barclaycard have been utilising the Near Field communications (NFC) technology for the last few years now, with their contactless payment readers in many stores across the UK. However, the real benefit of Google’s venture is that not only will you be able to partner it with more than one credit card, but in the future you will also be able to link your store loyalty cards and coupons.

Combining this with Google’s Groupon competitor, Google Offers, also launched this week, suddenly bells start to ring, and you realise that Google, with its primary school colours, left the start line a long time ago, and the competition are still tying their shoe laces. Rather than emailing customers with 2-for-1 deals on their Wednesday night dinners at Pizza Express, Google will have the ability to slip coupons right into consumers’ wallets. Combine this with GPS and the possibilities for advertisers, for brands… It’s endless!

It’s not all clear skies for Google though. PayPal filed a law suit in California against Google, alleging that the search giant hired two former PayPal executives to obtain trade secrets for the project.

But in the grand scheme of things, I don’t see Google loosing much sleep over this. Because whilst other internet giants have been stealing the headlines recently, Google are about to assert their dominance as kings of the internet. So it’s time to say goodbye to the faithful leather friend in your back pocket that you’ve relied on so much to keep your financial life in order. Your mobile phone’s had front pocket real estate privilege for some time now anyway.

(photo cc licensed flickr photo – somegeekintn)

Facebook justifies places

In an unusual move for Facebook, they’ve released this glossy video making the case for their new location based service – Facebook Places. I’ll save you time though, if you watched Apple’s Facetime pitch, you dont need to watch this. Just replace every mention of Facetime with Places, and switch mentions of iPhone with Facebook. It’s all the same “will improve humanity as a whole” speech… you get the gist…

Why voicing your political beliefs on twitter is worse than doing it at the dinner table

Something over the past few weeks has been bothering me, and since noticing what it was, it’s now really starting to get on my nerves.

It’s people tweeting political messages.

Growing up, I was taught there were two things you should not discuss at the dinner table. Religion, and Politics. Both are very similar, in the respect that people can feel very strongly about what they believe. The reason for it being such a social faux pas to discuss over the dinner table is not only that people feel uncomfortable with their beliefs being questioned, but also due to individuals’ strong feelings relating to their political or religious beliefs. That ‘discussion’ can very quickly turn into a heated argument, especially when people make short, flippant comments, without properly considering their point before they make it. This ultimately leads to an awkward vibe over the table, where everyone has lost their appetite, and would much rather just go home then sit and listen to any more of the crap coming out the persons mouth sitting opposite.

One of Twitter’s downsides (and in some ways, it’s the thing that makes Twitter so great) is that you only have 140 characters to get your message across. This forces the author of the tweet to be very blunt, and owing to the nature of tweeting, authors are often not properly considering whether their tweet may be offending some people, especially when it comes to something like politics.

140 characters allows you to voice your opinion on a subject, but leaves no room for explaining your argument, or why you feel that way. This is why I believe that politics and twitter do not go hand in hand. It’s like taking those awkward one liners that ruin the dinner party out of any context, putting them in a frame and hanging them up for all to see.

  • “Anyone who votes Tory is just a bad person or a mental person. There’s no other excuse really”
  • “Anyone who votes Labour needs a slap”
  • “Only a muppet who doesn’t understand politics would vote lib dem”

Tweets such as the ones above (all real, and taken from the general twitter stream) are directly attacking individuals and their voting beliefs, and quite frankly, there is not much difference in directly attacking religions either. There is no reason to directly oppose someone’s political beliefs in such an unfounded way, regardless of your own.

Coming up to an election, many of us are faced with the decision of who to vote for, and I like many have very considered and strong beliefs on who I think should be running this country. I’m not saying ban tweeting about politics altogether. Twitter is a fantastic medium for communication. However, there needs to be much greater consideration of the content of the tweet when discussing a subject people may feel very strongly about. 140 characters isn’t enough to get much of a logical argument across, but it is enough to offend.

Can iPad save newspapers and magazines?

CNET recently held a Reporters’ Roundtable, assembled to discuss the future of print publication, and what effect the iPad, and other changes in technology, will have on the magazine and journalism industries.

The panel included Damon Darlin, the technology editor of the New York Times, and editor of PaidContent.org Rafat Ali.

The group examine several questions, including what is the problem with print media, why didn’t the web save newspapers, how much will readers pay for digital content, and are newspapers antiquated?

It’s 30mins long, but worth a watch…