Tag: social networking

Social networking marketing might be illegal

thumb-mark-zuckerberg-facebook-pro-4566Using social media
to market products might end up being illegal, according to a German court.

The German courts have looked dimly on a  feature that encourages Amazon customers to share links to products of the online shop with their contacts. The Amazon “share” feature invites customers to share a product via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or Pintrest and really it could be part of any consumer marketing operation.

The court said that sharing by e-mail without approval of the recipient was illegal. It is “unsolicited advertising and unreasonable harassment,” the regional court in Hamm said, confirming the ruling of a lower court in Arnsberg.

The case was brought against one of Amazon’s resellers by a competitor.

The ruling comes after Germany’s highest court ruled earlier this month that a similar feature that encourages Facebook users to market the social media network to their contacts as unlawful.

At the time, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV), which brought the Facebook case to court, had said the ruling would have implications for other services in Germany which use similar forms of advertising.

Twitter becomes urban planning tool

  Layout of businesses, nightlife and leisure areas in Madrid using Twitter are illustrated here. The uncolored part corresponds to residential areas.Computer scientists believe that Twitter is a good way to aid urban planning and land use.

Brother and sister scientists Enrique and Vanessa Frias-Martinez have ussyed a report suggesting that geolocalised tweets can be used for urban planning. Vanessa is a scientist at the University of Maryland while her brother works for Spanish telco Telefonica.

According to Enrique Frias-Martinez, geolocalised tweets are useful for planning because of the number of people tweeting on where they are and what they’re up to.

He said: “Thanks to the increased use of smartphones, social networks like Twitter and Facebook have made it possible to access and produce information ubiquitously.”

He said that Twitter can include latitude and longitude and information can be captured more efficiently than by using questionnaires.  It’s also far cheaper and more accurate than using traditional methods, he said.

The pair have mapped land use in New York, Madrid and London. The pair have published their paper in the journal Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence.

Families frightened of social media

facebokTwo thirds of people in the UK won’t share their photographs online because they’re worried about privacy.

That follows widely publicised hacks of different social networking products including Twitter and Facebook.

A survey conducted by Berland on behalf of KatchUp showed that while 82 percent of families believe keeping in touch with each other is most important, the most common way people share photos using email, at 59 percent.

Other worries about sharing photos online include the time taken to filter photographs (49%), a fear of their data being collected by the social media (33%) and a dislike of advertisements (17%).

Two out of five people said they were worried about what the rest of their family could come across on social networking accounts.

As many as 59 percent of British people only want an inner circle of people to see photographs on social media.

And 38 percent and 30 percent of people thought it was “inappropriate” to share christening and photos of children.

Social networking can damage your business

University of Bergen researcher Cecile Schou AndreassenA study of 11,000 Norwegian employees has led researchers to the conclusion that allowing people to play with personal social media at work can be detrimental to business.

The University of Bergen’s Cecile Schou Andreassen and her colleagues concluded that using personal social media during working hours impairs employees’ performance.  “This type of distraction has a negative effect on self reported work performance,” she said.

However, the researchers cannot rule out that some workers can benefit from using their own social networking to stimulate creativity and inspire some people.

She said: “Employers typically fear financial loss due to employees cyber loafing.”  It is the first study of its kind she said, and further research is needed.

Earlier this year the same university showed that policies prohibiting the personal use of social networking at work could benefit businesses.

The 11,000 people studied included 811 top execs, 1,821 middle managers, 2,764 other people with leadership roles, 5,622 work proles. The median age of the participants was 35.4 years.

Use Facebook to talk to your heating

washingmachineA report suggests that pretty soon now we’ll be friending our washing machines, heating, lights and cars and telling them what we’ve had for breakfast. If we didn’t already know.

Scientists from the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil suggest that interfaces of social networking sites are likely to change to allow us to interact with things connected to the internet.

The internet of things, say the authors, could hook up with weather feeds so that your heating turns on when snow is expected.

And as things get ever more connected, you might even find that your gadgets defriend you because you’re not really needed at all.

The scientists at Bahia say that we will soon find ourselves waking up to what they dub a “social web of things”.  Think, for example, that in the future you can send a text message to your house to fiddle about with the heating. You will not be necessary in the future, and, says the team: “The archicture could be extended to remove the intermediate, us, from the equation and so give us domestic bliss with minimal intervention.”

Facebook warns about satire

facebokSocial notworking site Facebook is so worried that people have been posting bogus stories as truth that it is experimenting with a satire tag.

The problem is that – generally speaking – people in America can’t tell the difference between a news story with the headline “New Study Finds Humans Shouldn’t Spend More Than 5 Consecutive Hours Together” and a real scientific study.

To be fair it is tricky to spot the difference. The woman who posted a story which claimed that turmeric was the perfect cure for Ebola was being serious as were the posts which claimed vaccines were full of mercury and give kids autism.

It has not helped that some US publications cannot tell the difference between satire and just “making stuff up” so these very unfunny or dim stories are easily confused with fact.

All that could be outdated, however, as Facebook is currently testing the infamous “satire” tag that will distinguish fake news from the real deal. If you click on an Onion article, for example, Facebook would then automatically tag related articles with the aforementioned “satire” text in the headline.  Sadly, this does not apply to the Daily Mail articles which are still being presented as true.

Facebook said that it is all in the testing stage and the idea came from feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units.

Conservative social network killed by trolls

ronald_reaganAn attempt by US conservatives to set up a social networking site has collapsed under a sea of trolls and spam.

Ohio Republican Janet Porter pre-launched ReaganBook – “Facebook for Patriots”. The move was a reaction against employees from the better known social media site took part in a LGBT rights demonstration in San Francisco.

To be fair it was more a reaction to those “evil homosexuals” thing rather than an attempt at a real site. But several “left-leaning sites” (for European readers that is the same as centre right) gave the site more attention than it was read for.

Soon the real social network’s members were drowned out by a flood of phony accounts including Vladimir Putin, Sarah Palin, and Manuel Noriega and more sock puppets than a Muppet Theme Park.

Even Conservative blogger Amy Jo Clark thought the idea was half baked. She said that they should not have used Reagan as a brand.

Many users posted profane criticisms of former President Ronald Reagan, while others posted pornographic images.

Porter, who is president of the anti-abortion group Faith2Action, pledged to cull out all the duff posts.

She is claiming that what users saw was actually the pre-launch which gave the site the chance to tighten our security for the real launch.

Porter said that the fact that so many leftists have invested so much time in the site, “it provides confirmation that we’re on the right track,” she said.

We would have thought that actually all she has done is given “leftists” an avenue to give conservatives a good kicking.

Attempts to weed out the trolls and socks proved a little different. In the end it looks like Porter gave up. The site was taken offline by Wednesday afternoon. All this happened about 24 hours after the site launched.

Without a shred of understanding the PR implications, Porter asked users to be patient while we make the necessary changes to keep the site free from obscenity, pornography, and “those intent on the destruction of life, liberty, and the family”.

She promised that when the site opened it would have additional protections in place. “As Reagan taught us, trust, but verify,” the site said.

Social media rants bad for businesses

visa-epayNot that long ago dissatisfied customers used to ring up companies or show up at their door. Neither option was something businesses looked forward to, but they had to deal with it anyway. Then the social networking revolution came about and for a while it seemed like the internet would help improve customer service and lessen the hassle at the same time.

It did, but it also created another problem. People don’t tend to call customer service anymore, they just head to Facebook and start posting bile ridden posts about companies.

Dr. Donald Patrick Lim, chief digital officer of ABS-CBN and managing director of McCann’s digital arm, said companies must converge technology, performance and creativity, but they also need to address the social media threat, reports SunStar.

“Consumers today are very wired. They don’t call. They just go on Facebook and rant there,” said Lim.

As more and more people get tech savvy and dependent on social media for information, the rants can have a very disruptive effect and shouldn’t be ignored.

Many companies now offer online message boards and real time support, which is very convenient indeed. However it also poses a risk, as every unsatisfactory, inappropriate or downright daft chat from support staff can end up on social media in a matter of seconds, thanks to ye olde clipboard.

Salesforce.com integrates Chatter

Salesforce_Logo_2009Salesforce has made some changes to its Chatter service.

The company has  announced that it has integrated the activity stream service, launched in 2010, into its CRM software. This now means that customers will be able to access and edit records as well as  take action on an account, all from a mobile device.

This includes the iPad, as well as Android phones and tablets with the updated app already available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Chatter is a work based social networking site that lets employees create professional profiles, set up an activity stream, join groups, participate in discussion forums and monitor trending topics. Bosses can also use the network to award their employees for specific work and projects they have done.

Chatter users can use the “publisher” tool to create and edit information and notifications on their mobile devices. They can expand their abilities to create a task, edit a contract, post poll questions and configuring custom processes.

Salesforce said there were around 195,000 Chatter customers and  that providing them with access to the CRM via a mobile device was “crucial”.

It said that the new features showed the company was moving into the “huge shift to mobile” and the “new way of working” that mobile devices had dictated.

Phwoarliament: over 50K MPs, peers, staff go on adultery quest

parliamentParliament delivers over 52,000 hits to a dating website that markets itself as a tool to solicit affairs, according to the company.

“Out Of Town Affairs” was allegedly clicked on over 52,000 times in just seven months from parliament, outpacing traffic to the Treasury, Ministry of Justice, and the Department for Education.

TaxPayers’ Alliance spokesperson Robert Oxley told the Metro that taxpayers “expect parliamentarians to spend time making laws and scrutinising the government, not trawling dating websites”. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Parliament said that over 5,000 people had access to its network, including MPs, peers and staff.

Out Of Town Affairs is the fourth Google hit for “extramarital affair UK”.

The website describes itself: “Number one for Adult Dating in the UK, Out of Town Affairs is a discreet and 100% safe adult dating service. We help connect married men and women who are looking for an extra-marital affair. Marital affairs in the UK or very popular – with more and more unsatisfied married men and marrited women looking to do the dirty of their partners whilst out of town”.

Speaking with ChannelEyeEmma Carr, deputy director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “One of the key aims of the draft Communications Data Bill was to record exactly who is accessing websites and to be able to match online activity to a real person. It doesn’t take much imagination to think what could happen when MPs have their browsing history recorded and sites like this are cropping up.
“It’s exactly the same risk that was highlighted during the ID card debate. Valuable data becomes a ‘honeypot’ for hackers and just like MPs expenses it’s very likely that it will end up in the public domain either by being hacked, stolen or lost on a USB stick.”

Half of businesses to get Facebook style not working by 2016

gartnerHalf of large enterprises will have an internal social network, similar to Facebook, by 2016, Gartner has claimed.

Although 30 percent of these firms will consider this medium as essential as email and telephones, Gartner also claims that through 2015, 80 percent of social business efforts will not hit the high levels required to make this a reality, as a result of inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology

According to Gartner, using Facebook-like enterprise social not-working software for communication has several advantages over email and traditional collaboration methods. The analyst house said this is because software enabled information and events that are traditionally sent in emails can instead be turned into conversations and logged onto one system that everyone can see.

To ensure that businesses made the most of this, Gartner said head honchos must shift their thoughts away from deciding what the best communication technology is and instead focus on how to implement and understand how social networks work – and how they can be integrated into companies.

Currently, businesses are stifled because there is too much focus on content and technology, and not enough focus on leadership and relationships.

By 2017, Gartner expects to see companies offering social networking with gamified features – possibly rewarding employees through the social networking on a mobile or PC platform with work incentives.