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November 3rd, 2012

Who Did It!?

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One of these guys is guilty!

Cracked Eggs

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October 29th, 2012

My Kitten Does This When Cold

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He has his own heated bet

Cold Kitten

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October 29th, 2012

Giving Candy To Kids

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What to do and what Not to do

Kid Candy

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October 29th, 2012

Bad Luck Brian

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This guy has no luck

Bad Luck Brian

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April 17th, 2012

Friday App Review: PlayUp, Now On Android

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If you’re one of those people who enjoy being connected while watching the game, then PlayUp may be for you. This social sports network has it all when it comes to making sure you’re plugged into your favorite sport with friends and fans.

The Experience

I was able to connect both my Twitter and Facebook accounts (very

Playup.com

important), explore the “hangout areas” and meet other fans, get notifications, and check out a few international sports. Now I know many of you are thinking the ESPN app does a lot of these things as well. Keep in mind that PlayUp is  in the market to socialize the sports fan experience, not just push news and scores. This app allows for instant messaging, public discussion, and a chance to meet new people. It’s like being at home in your living room interacting with friends like they were sitting right beside you.

Currently I have it on my IPad, but the company as announced it will be made available to Android users.

Here's what PlayUp USA CEO Dennis Lee said recently in their company press release:

“With our availability on Android devices we are greatly expanding the ability for sports fans to enjoy real-time sports with more friends, family and other sports enthusiasts...This Android version enables better personalization and deeper social network integration so the app will conform to every individual user's preferences. We are thrilled that Android users can now experience what iOS users have been embracing since October - we expect they'll be thrilled about the app as well. It's perfect timing with the start of baseball season."

Verdict: Download, it’s worth a try.

It’s free, and worth the time to check out.  It's one of those apps that can really make watching the game more enjoyable if you don't have tickets to attend it live. You can check out a video of the app in action at http://www.playup.com/.   I would love to hear what you think.

 

 

 

 

 

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April 10th, 2012

3 Ways Social Media Saved Sports, and Fans

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SOURCE: Guyspeed.com

Even though we now live in a world where  you can lose your job to one wrong tweet, pin, or Facebook posting, it’s good to know Social Media has made being sports exciting. Here are 3 reasons how that's possible:

  1. Watching sports has never been this cool. You can share your thoughts with the entire world. Redskins fans can finally unite against Cowboys fans while everyone enjoys reading the fun rivalry in real time.  Shea Bennett of Media Bistro says this in her article, “Twitter, Facebook, and the Social Sports Fan": “Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have given fans the opportunity to stay connected  with organizations, teams, sporting personalities, news outlets – and each other – which has been hugely successful for everyone involved…combined, the NBA, NFL, NHL and MBL have around 20 million Likes on their respective Facebook Pages.
  2. You can talk to your favorite athlete, and keep up with your team.  Owners like Jim Irsay of the Indianapolis Colts are constantly tweeting out the business affairs of the team to fans. As a result, fans get an inside look at the thought process of the team, it's stakeholders, and never have to wait for the 6 p.m news again to know what's going on. Athletes talk in real time about their lives, their careers to fans directly.
  3. Sports and Social Media, together,  created companies. Consider Social Media Firm Fizzology, for example.  Here's a company whose entire operation is based around Social Media. Rich Calabrese gave me a better look at the company's objectives. He said, "How Fizziology differs from other social analytics firms is that we utilize trained Social Media Analysts- rather than a keyword algorithm- to determine sentiment, refine true volume counts and provide insights. This allows us to not only triangulate relevant buzz and grade sentiment to a 95% accuracy, but spot trends, threats and opportunities in the social conversation."  He added, "From the sports prospective, millions of people are talking every day about their favorite teams, players, and events in social media. From all those social conversations, collecting, filtering, and interpreting that data in a way sport professionals can understand can help the industry better understand the pulse of their fan base or targeted consumer. These meaningful insights can yield actionable business intelligence for sport professionals to create more effective marketing, crisis communication, and ticket strategies, as well as provide proactive opportunities to uncover emerging threats."

 

When you look at sports and social media from these angles, you can't help but think one thing: It's a great time for sports and the fans who love their leagues and respective teams.

 

 

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April 6th, 2012

Twitter Takes on the Spammers in New Lawsuit

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It’s happened to all of us. We get the ‘ding’ notification that we’ve been mentioned on Twitter. Whether out of excitement or just sheer curiosity, you quickly push the proper buttons to find out what nugget of wisdom you’ve tweeted caught someone’s eye.  Disappointment and annoyance quickly abound when you realize that you’ve been spammed with one of a number of messages out there aimed at getting you to click their links. 

This is the type of situation Twitter themselves are taking head on in their latest attempt to stop spamming on their popular social networking site.  On their official blog yesterday, Twitter announced that they had filed a lawsuit in San Francisco against “five of the most aggressive tool providers and spammers.” The hope is to cut the spammers off at the source by shutting down those companies that create the tools that allow for excessive spamming.

In addition to the lawsuit, Twitter went on to describe the measures they have taken to prevent and eliminate spam, including a new anti-spam measure that takes on @ mentions spam.  Twitter’s link shortener is being utilized as well, now serving as an analyzer to ensure that links that are tweeted do not lead to sites that contain malware, etc.

The Twitter blog post goes on to encourage Tweeters everywhere to unite against the spammers of the Twitterverse, reporting and blocking all spammers that are encountered. With the “140 million active users and over 340 million Tweets a day” that Twitter claims to have, it sounds like they’ve got their work cut out for them.  It seems that yesterday’s filed lawsuit is certainly a step in the right direction.  One thing is for sure:  It’s going to take these spamming companies more than 140 characters to talk their way out of this one.

 

Image Source:  shebytes.com

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April 5th, 2012

Requiring Employees to Provide Social Networking Passwords: Invasion of Privacy?

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When filling out a job application, you can expect to provide your future employer with personal information such as your address. What you would not expect, however, is to be required to hand over your house keys for a home inspection. Such is what is happening virtually to a growing number of job applicants in regards to their social networking sites.

According to an article on PCWorld.com, an amendment meant to give the FCC the right to bar employers from requiring employees to provide social networking account passwords was shot down by the House of Representatives recently. This growing trend that demands employees to allow their employers access to their accounts has savvy social networkers everywhere scrambling to remove any content from their Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, etc. that might be considered questionable.

These social networking sites are supposed to be just as their name indicates:  Social. There certainly is some merit to an employer checking a prospective employee’s Facebook page, for example. It is a look into the life of the individual that the company is considering hiring and will count on to complete tasks and promote business. The problem comes with the demand for the passwords to these accounts. This would allow employers access to private messages and personal information that, let’s face it, probably isn’t any of their business.

So what do you do if your prospective employer asks for your social networking passwords?  You can politely offer to allow him to become your friend on Facebook or to follow you on Twitter. Another option is to create a Linkedin profile, which is targeted specifically at professionals. If all else fails and the employer is insistent, you will need to take a step back and determine if this is a job you really want to have. If the answer to that question is yes, then you know what you have to do:  Delete, delete, delete.

 

Image via: www.servicesphere.com

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April 5th, 2012

Alec Baldwin Defends Fiance in Twitter Attack

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Never one to keep quiet, Alec Baldwin is at it again, lighting up the Twitterverse with his boisterous opinions and blunt observations. This time, his focus is on one former Philadelphia Daily News reporter in particular.

Alec Baldwin proposed over the weekend to fiance, Hilaria Thomas.

On Monday, Baldwin, in apparent defense of his new fiancé’ Hilaria Thomas, tweeted, “Shame on the no-talent trash from the Daily News for invading the privacy of 75 people in a yoga class to take a picture of someone.” The yoga crasher in question, Simone Weichselbaum, seemingly showed up at one of Thomas’ yoga classes with a photographer in tow, leading to the Twitter outburst by Baldwin.

Baldwin went on to post Weichselbaum’s picture and Twitter handle, @SimoneWei, referring to her as a “nutty bitch” that

crashes yoga classes.  Although not one to shy away from conflict, the reporter, who is now with the New York Daily News, has yet to comment in response to Baldwin’s twitter attack.

Baldwin, who celebrated his 54thbirthday on Tuesday proposed over the weekend to 28 year old Thomas.  This outburst, it seems, is Baldwin’s act of valiancy to protect his new fiancé from the prying eyes of the media.  Young love…it can make you do such crazy things.

 

Image via:  People.com

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April 4th, 2012

The Twitterverse Provides a Happily Ever After for One UK Couple

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The happy couple tied the knot in front of family and friends on February 25th.

A woman’s wedding day is often dubbed the most memorable day of her life.  So, what happens when six weeks from the big day she finds out her chosen venue has shut down and taken her $7,000 deposit with it? If you are Lauren Lane of the UK, you take to twitter.

Lauren Lane and Daniel Welch were due to tie the knot in February when, just six weeks before the date, they found out they had been left high and dry with no location for their wedding and no refund on their deposit.  In a desperate attempt to recoup any of her losses she tweeted, “Help needed with aspects of our wedding after venue goes bust with 6 weeks 2 go & with our £4.5k!”

Thanks, in large part, to retweets from UK television host Davina McCall and Australian pop singer Dannii Minogue, Lauren’s tweet reached almost two million twitter followers, sending the Twitterverse into a generous frenzy of donations totaling to approximately £10,000.

Lauren and Daniel happily celebrated with friends and family at their “dream wedding” on February 25th. The couple expressed their disbelief in the power of Twitter stating that the overwhelming response to her Twitter plea was “amazing.” On Tuesday, the couple shared a video from their big day and they posted it, where else, but on Twitter.

 

Image via:  www.dailymail.co.uk

 

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April 4th, 2012

Changes to Pinterest Terms of Use Policy Addresses Copyright Infringement

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Look out, Super –Pinners.  Your favorite social networking site is about to make some changes that might affect what you decide to pin up on your boards.

Pinterest rose to social media stardom quickly reaching ten million monthly unique visitors faster than any other website, according to USA Today.  Recently, however, some eyebrows have been raised regarding copyright issues leaving many to wonder if the powers that be over at Pinterest looked before they leapt.

The frenzy to pin and repin continues to grow with most members scouring the internet for items to put on their boards. In a perfect world, all Pinterest members would get permission from the original sources prior to posting content on their boards, but the chances of that actually happening are slim to none since the average Pinterest member is, most likely, not thinking of copyright laws while pinning a picture of the season’s hottest swim suit from InStyle  Magazine. In fact, one would argue that the original Pinterest mantra offered a more hippie mentality, encouraging its members to pin anything they found beautiful on the web. Not exactly a guideline for copyright infringement.

The ambiguity of the Pinterest guidelines is largely what led to changes to the terms of service policy that will be implemented on April 6, 2012. Previously, Pinterest discouraged its members to promote themselves by pinning their own content.  Changes to the terms of service policy now state that it is okay to promote yourself on Pinterest and that original content from original sources is encouraged.

A new procedure set in place by Pinterest also attempts to discourage copyright infringement. Instead of requiring people to email the company with copyright concerns, Pinterest has added a handy “Report Pin” button, along with a copy right infringement notification form that can be submitted online.

Along with the changes meant to appease copyright lawyers, Pinterest has also made a modification to their own rights to Pinboard content.  The old terms of service policy stated that by pinning items on Pinterest, the company had the right to sell any of the posted content. This left many pinners hesitant to share their original content with fellow Pinterest members. The new terms of service policy has taken this head on with founder Ben Silbermann stating that “selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated terms.”

These new changes to Pinterest certainly go a long way to creating a slightly more realistic approach to sharing content on the web.  Whether or not the average Pinterest member understands the copyright rules or will even read the terms of service, for that matter, is another question.

As Pinterest users around the world continue to search for pin worthy content on the internet, one must wonder if they realize this fun social networking site has put the responsibility of their content on to them.  So the question becomes, to pin or not to pin?

 

Image via:  www.digitaltrends.com

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April 4th, 2012

Woman Sues Facebook For Using Her Picture In Ads

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One woman in Canada is suing Facebook for using her photo and information in ads. Photo via OPWall.

Ever see your friend's picture in a Facebook ad? Most people don't think much about it. Some people complain it's a violation of privacy. A woman in Canada took it a step further and is suing Facebook for profiting from an advertisement last year that used her photo and profile information with out her knowledge.

Vancouver resident, Debbie Douez says that Facebook allowed her name and photo to be used without her permission in an advertisement on Facebook for a group called “Cool Entrepreneurs.”

In her lawsuit, Douez claims that are she clicked the “Like” button for the Facebook group, her photo with the caption “Debbie Douez likes Cool Entrepreneurs” started to appear on sidebar advertisements shown to her online friends.

In January 2011, Facebook started “Sponsored Stories,” which is an advertisement service that the social media giant offers to companies and brands. As of January of 2012, you can find the sponsored stories links were moved down to the right hand side of your news feed and even in the actual feed.

Douez's lawyer said Facebook never asked whether she wanted to endorse the group or not. The lawyer, Luciana Brasil said that if a company is using somsone's name or picture to advertise something, that company needs to get consent from that person. Brasil argues that her client's permission was never obtained or even sought by Facebook.

Of course in the fine print of the Facebook privacy policy, there is statements that Facebook believes gives them the right to use a user's name, photo and profile information.

Brasil argues that the fine print isn't enough notice to it's users and a violation of Canada's Privacy Act.

[Story via CBC.]

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March 31st, 2012

Facebook Changes Causing Headaches For Businesses

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Facebook says the switch to the new timeline feature is going well. Some businesses say otherwise. Photo via Buffer.

Whether you like it or not, Facebook is making businesses and brands switch over their pages to their new timeline. For most organizations the change has been going smoothly, but that doesn't mean that the latest Facebook isn't causing some problems and raising some concerns.

Since Facebook launched the News Feed feature in 2006, the controversial feature has seen a repeating cycle of surprise, anger and eventually acceptance from it's users whent hey change or tweak something. However for the companies, non-profit organizations and any other group that might use a Facebook page, having to change to the new timeline by the end of the month is causing some headaches.

Specifically those organizations are forced to explain the changes to their customers and in some situations, they're forced to deal with their customers anger about the changes.

Michael Fauscette, an analyst with the research group IDC said that the changes may cause some pain, but if you look at the overall picture, there's a lot more positive for most companies. It gives the companies a great ability to promote their brand and really brand their pages to make them stand out from other pages.

Facebook says that so far everything is going well and that more than 8 million brands have switched over to the new format. They added that the new timeline and other marketing tools has strengthened brands interactions with their customers. Facebook says the timeline allows for a more visual profile for the brand and the ability to post historic photos or updates that show their changes over the time.

Facebook was careful about how it rolled out the timeline for personal pages, but they acted more quickly for businesses. Businesses and brands had just thirty days from the time of the announcement to switch over to the new look.

[Story via Chicago Tribune]

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March 31st, 2012

Kony 2012: Proof That Young Adults Get Their News From Social Media

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Young adults learned about Kony 2012 from social media more than anything else. Image via Herald Sun.

Not too long ago, there was a time when most adults got their news from the morning newspaper and the evening network news. Now, those are just two of the choices. Not only are their hundreds of television news sources and thousands of online news publishers, but new research says that younger adults are getting their news from social media sources.

The latest examples comes from the viral “KONY 2012” video that was all over the net earlier this month. It spread across social media platforms like Facebook, was plastered all over Pinterest and was even the most popular story for a time on Twitter. It's on these social media sites that most young adults, 18-29 years old, are getting their news and information.

According to a survey released by the Pew Research Center, the thirty minute video released by the San Diego-based group Invisible Children calling for action against Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony earlier this month shows that young adults have different news agendas and learn about the news from different sources. Younger adults were more likely to hear about the video via social media than older adults who were far more likely to hear about it via more traditional news sources.

The video was so popular with young adults that it was one the most popular videos ever. As of March 13, the video had been viewed more than 76 million times on YouTube and 16 million times on Vimeo. Young adults are more than twice as likely as older adults to watch the video on those two sites. Older adults were more likely to see the video from other news sources such as television news.

The Pew Research Center did special polling and social media content analysis to track how the “KONY 2012” video and information reached American adults.

[via Pew Internet]

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March 29th, 2012

School Bans Students From Graduation For Bikini Photos On Facebook

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If you thought high schools in the United States were oppressive, a Catholic school in the Philippines tried to ban five female students from attending graduation because there were photos of them on Facebook wearing bikinis.

Today a Philippine court over turned that ban and issued a restraining order against the girls' school St. Theresa's College High School, saying the school's decision was un-Christian and unlawful.

School officials banned the girls for what they described as immoral, indecent, obscene and lewd acts. They would've allowed the group to graduate, but not walk across the stage or any other related official school ceremonies.

According to one of the student's lawyer, the photos are from a beach party earlier this year. The photos show all five in bikinis and one one girl holding a cigarette and a liquor bottle.

Earlier this month, the school didn't just call the group down to the office, the principal and other school officials allegedly called the young women inappropriate names, including sluts, drunkards and cheap.

The same lawyer said that school officials illegally obtained the photos because they were not Facebook friends with the students and were not allowed access to their profile images.

The judge attacked the school officials for the inappropriate names and he said that the female students were forced to go through a psychologically and emotionally devastating experience.

The families of the students aren't just stopping at getting their daughters back into the graduation ceremonies, they're also looking into charges of child abuse and oral defamation against the school and it's officials.

[Story via Newsday]

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