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…

Happy 25th Birthday .com!

In the busy world of Tech PR, pause for a moment to celebrate the 25th birthday of .com! On the 15th March, 1985, a computer manufacturer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts called Symbolics, Inc was the first company to register a .com address. Now, with close to 80 million .com addresses registered, the .com suffix has become one of the most ubiquitous keywords of the internet.

Now if only I’d registered .com for BradJ, Technology PR and Online PR whilst I had the chance. BradJ.com wasn’t taken back in the early 90’s, but .co.uk was much cheaper (and still is), and had a better ring to it…

http://www.25yearsof.com

New Tory poster campaign a stroke of viral genius?

This week saw the launch of the Conservative’s latest nationwide campaign, seemingly aimed at reaching out to those who have never voted Tory before.

Along with the usual YouTube videos, leaflets, tweets, etc, there are also three accompanying posters.

The Tories’ last poster campaign, you know, the one sporting a rather smoothly airbrushed David Cameron, looking more like Morph then a regular human being, didn’t take long for the blogosphere to say something about it.

Doctored versions of the poster started springing up everywhere, from Facebook to websites such as mydavidcameron.com, which even uploaded blank templates for people to edit as they saw fit.

And it only took a few hours Monday morning for exactly the same thing to happen again:

If the Tories had replaced their entire poster campaign from the previous in order to stem the effort non-conservatives were going to with parodying their messages as The Independent had reported, they failed. Before lunchtime #ivenevervotedtory was trending worldwide on Twitter:

  • #ivenevervotedtory because actually I think Gordon and Alistair have done a great job … mwahahahaha
  • #ivenevervotedtory because that New Labour, New Danger ad campaign still gives me nightmares
  • #ivenevervotedtory because I believe in genuine co-operative values not made up twaddle
  • #ivenevervotedtory because of their position on Europe. Oh and because they remind me of all the stuck-up braying arses I was at uni with!
  • #ivenevervotedtory because Phil Collins will come back if I do
  • #ivenevervotedtory because they are home to homophobic bigots and promote an unequal society
  • #ivenevervotedtory because Jim Davidson does. And you don’t want to be associated with that c**t

By mid week, the ‘I’ve never voted Tory but’ poster parodies had made pretty good coverage, both online, and nationally. They had spread across all manner of social networks and news sites, from Facebook to New Statesman. Seemingly a fail for the Conservatives, and a win for the Government. However, was this exactly what the Conservatives wanted to happen? (Cue evil genious laugh)

As Paul Owen wrote in his blog over at the Guardian, the new posters practically beg to be altered. The slogans are set out on big blue oblongs, making them so simple to edit my 5 year old cousin could manage it, and that half sentence; “I’ve never voted Tory, but” pleads for defacement louder than a whitewash wall in the middle of Hackney.

The defacement of the posters helped elevate public interest in the original campaign to levels well above what our political apathy often allows for, and at far lesser cost. Plus, by the end of Monday, #ivenevervotedlabour had replaced #ivenevervotedtory, which was no longer trending:

  • #ivenevervotedlabour because ultimately they run out of other people's money
  • #ivenevervotedlabour and never will because the bastards have stolen my hard earned pension
  • #ivenevervotedlabour because they are a bunch of joyless self righteous authoritarians who want to dictate how we all lead our lives
  • #ivenevervotedlabour because their policies are designed to keep poor people poor
  • #ivenevervotedlabour because ALL Labour Governments run out of our money in the end
  • #ivenevervotedlabour Because quantitative easing is the economics policy of Mugabe

The Tory tweeters had come out in force, in their Uggs and Jack Wills, probably sitting in the Sloaney Pony in Parsons Green, tweeting furiously on their iPhones.

If anything, the tweets from both sides provided a lot of public opinion, more so than you’d expect to get from spending thousands on focus groups.

As the dust slowly starts to settle and the posters continue to bounce through peoples’ inboxes, you’ve got to ask, was this a stroke of viral marketing genius? 

Tech PR agency wins Miss Universe?

What do Maria Vicente, Dayana Mednoza, Yeidi Bosques and Chameleon PR have in common?

Good question. And this is exactly the question I found myself asking as I logged into YouTube to check out their latest changes to their interface for an upcoming blog post. 

When searching for a recent video we uploaded (Chameleon’s view of PR in 2010’ – a short video highlighting some of our predictions for public relations in the new year), I took note of the ‘Related Videos’ to the side.

Whilst Steve was insistent that the relation of our video to clips from Miss Universe 2010 had something to do with the fact that he was first to appear on the film, after a quick look we realised it was in fact the titles were very similar.

This is interesting as the tags for each video are completely  different. It would appear that for the moment, YouTube is favouring indexing videos via the titles, placing less of a weighting on the tags users have specifically selected to categorise their content.

Whilst having the advantages of stopping users spreading content across YouTube, tagging videos with irrelevant key words, with the internet expanding rapidly, and more and more digital content pouring onto the internet, have YouTube picked the proper way to index their videos? Is there a better way?