Cyber Monday Giveaway with Future Shop

Happy Cyber Monday everyone!

We’ve got a Cyber Monday giveaway from our good friends at Future Shop. futureshopgiftcardThis contest runs until tomorrow, Tuesday December 2nd. The winner gets a 50 dollar gift card. It is open to our Canadian followers only. Head on over to our Facebook page and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to earn a chance to win.

 

 

Top 10 trending hashtags for #Sochi2014 include #WeAreWinter and #GoTeamUSA

Hashtracking Inc. is pleased to share live data on hundreds of Olympic-related hashtags that the company has been tracking since the start of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Several trends have emerged since the start of the Games. These include:

  • Hashtag Hijacking: Hashtracking is following McDonalds hijacked #CheersToSochi Hashtag as well as the #LGBT hashtag, associated with the hashtag’s activist takeover.
  • Hashtag Humor: Hashtags have provided comic relief throughout the games, as evidenced by the popular #OlympicPickupLines, #OlympicMovies and #SochiToilet Hashtags
  • Political Hashtags: Commentary on #Putin and #Russia and #SochiProblems hashtags have highlighted regional tensions
  • Virtual Spectatorship: Individual sporting event and ceremony hashtags like #OpeningCeremony, #SlopeStyle, #FigureSkating and dozens more invite second screen viewers to experience the Olympics in real-time from anywhere.
  • Social Media Team Pride: From Canada’s #WeAreWinter to The US Team’s #GoTeamUSA slogan, Olympians are vocal online. Practically every nation participating is sharing their pride via team tagged tweets.
  • Athletes working social platforms as well as Olympic podiums: Hashtags like #TeamTucker have sought to find dates for a lovelorn Olympian. Other athletes are using celebrity to save stray #SochiDogs. Fans & athletes seek to support a Lebanese Olympian and make a political point, via #StripForJackie
sochi olympics
image courtesy of http://www.sochi2014.com/en/news-defending-champion-title-canada-opens-with-win

As hashtag news and trends continue to stream from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Hashtracking will be keeping tabs on and offering free access to all 400+ hashtags they are following via their Winter Olympics Super Tag Leaderboard located at https://www.hashtracking.com/events/olympics/.

About Hashtracking, Inc.: Hashtracking, Inc. provides real-time hashtag & cashtag tracking and intelligence that give subscribers instant access to actionable data, helping them to run more successful campaigns and gain greater insight into customer conversations. Hashtracking, Inc. provides full-featured drill down reports, which supply powerful hashtag and cashtag insight, including detailed contributor lists, influencer data and complete, searchable/filterable transcripts.  Hashtracking, Inc. reports and graphics can be exported for use on websites and in presentations and/or shared on social media. For non-subscribers, Hashtracking, Inc. offers a Free Explorer tool which provides a quick and easy way for anyone to get a snapshot of recent hashtag activity.

For more information, visit www.hashtracking.com.

SOURCE Hashtracking, Inc.

Will the bird take flight? Can the IOC limit Social Media usage at London 2012?

Twitter Logo
Twitter Logo

Prior to the Olympics getting under way last week The Globe and Mail reported some interesting findings on how the International Olympic Committee (IOC) plans to manage athletes use of social media at the games in London this year.

Thinking back to Vancouver 2010 I don’t remember the same type of concern by the IOC or VANOC as to how the impact of social media or the use of it by athletes who were involved in the Games could potentially have had any negative effect on the games. Social media, and let’s stick to Twitter and Facebook here, if anything it offers free advertising for the Games and for athletes as they tweet and tag their way through the games at high profile events and other places associated with the game including medal ceremonies.

The use of social media has increased so much since the last Summer Games in Beijing that it’s almost hard to fathom the numbers. The Globe reports that usage of Twitter has jumped from “6 to 140 million in the last four years and Facebook accounts now top over 900 million.” Facebook and Twitter are the two most popular social media applications and there are a host of others including Reddit, Digg and the ever popular Pinterest.

This begs the question of whether the IOC can really stop information from getting out at the events and as part of the Games as a whole. While they certainly have to limit the bad press that can spring up from tweets and posts I’m wondering if it’s a case of if you can’t beat them join them and benefit from doing so.

Now truth be told as the Globe article notes the IOC has been extremely protective of the games and its sponsors. Sponsors such as Coca Cola and McDonald’s will contribute 3 billion in funds to the games itself. Negative publicity for such sponsors via social media could have hugely damaging effects.

However, something like Twitter could also give these sponsors and the IOC tonne of free publicity should they choose to harness the power of social media. Nothing would work better than street teams of Coca Cola employees at the events tweeting and handing out samples of Coca Cola products all the while talking up the role that Coca Cola is playing in London. A quick visit to the Coca Cola Twitter account and you can see some activity on the account but nothing earth shattering about the Olympics or the events beyond the standard good luck to all the athletes.

The McDonald’s USA Twitter feed shows quite a bit more activity for the USA account and it looks as though McDonald’s is attempting to engage followers with regular tweets and information about the Olympics. There appears to be some intention of engagement is there.

The benefits of using social media at events and in conjunction with other parts of the Games can only further and grow the Olympic spirit itself and all the while enhance the positive aspects of the events. While IOC Guidelines for Social Media regarding social media usage have been set I wonder how far the IOC can go to actually enforce this.

As the Globe Article notes the IOC has no plans to monitor Twitter or Facebook accounts and the hope is to “work on education and through our national Olympic committees to share the guideline.” Breaches will be dealt with by national Olympic committees “based on common sense.”

So far one athlete has been expelled by Greece for offensive Twitter comments.

It would be interesting to do a post Games analysis of how many violations actually occurred by athletes and whether the IOC and Olympic Committee’s like the Canadian Olympic Committee have been able to mitigate any social media violations by social media policies. Only time will tell.

 

TELUS Optik TV poised to gain even more ‘followers’ with Twitter on Optik TV

TELUS is giving Canadians in British Columbia, Alberta and Eastern Quebec something to “Tweet” about with a free Twitter app on its Optik TV service. The Twitter app is designed to provide Optik TV viewers with convenient access to Twitter features and content without missing a moment of their favourite TV show. This must-have app introduces a whole new dimension to both TV watching and social media. Users are now able to Tweet what they’re watching with one click and even follow what others are saying about their favourite show through ‘TV Tweets’, creating an innovative, new social TV viewing experience.

“IPTV is the future of television, and with Optik TV the future is here at TELUS. We are committed to enabling a truly connected home, offering new ways for our Optik TV customers to stay connected with their friends while still enjoying television,” said David Fuller, TELUS Chief Marketing Officer. “TV apps are a great example of the power of Internet-enabled TV. This Twitter app brings social networking into the living room – it’s all about making TV viewing a social activity again, in an exciting new way.”

The app wraps around part of the perimeter of the television screen, allowing users to Tweet to their hearts’ content while simultaneously watching TV programming. Offered free as part of the Optik TV subscription, the Twitter app uses the standard Optik remote control, allowing customers to not only Tweet and view their Twitter feeds but also find other users to follow, view trending topics and Tweets about the show they are watching.
The Twitter app was developed by TELUS and ES3, the premier developer of iTV (interactive television) applications for the award-winning Microsoft Mediaroom platform upon which Optik TV is based.

To learn more about the Twitter app on Optik TV, visit telus.com/twittertv. To order TELUS Optik TV, or for more information, go to telus.com/tv or call 310-MYTV (6988).

About Optik TV
Optik TV provides never before seen functionality and features as well as more than 500 channels, including more than 100 in High Definition (HD). Optik TV is an IPTV based service and features applications such as Facebook and remote record, an application that allows subscribers to manage their PVR recordings from any Internet connection or select smartphone. One PVR is all you need to enable every digital box in your home with the ability to pause, rewind and replay live TV, schedule recordings, access your existing recording and pause a show in one room and pick it up in another room from the same spot. A single PVR can record up to three shows at once. Optik TV also offers Picture-in-Picture browsing, onscreen Call Display, HD Movies On Demand, and HD Pay Per View. It also features an improved search capability that enables effortless searches for shows and movies by actor, director, show title or sporting event, for immediate viewing or recording in the future.

With Optik TV, TELUS customers can even use their Xbox 360 as a digital television box. TELUS is the first TV provider in the world to offer voice and gesture navigation on both live and recorded TV, via an advanced version of Optik TV for Xbox 360 which takes advantage of Xbox’s Kinect sensor.

TELUS’ Optik TV subscribers can also enjoy an application called Optik on the go, which allows customers to view a selection of TV On Demand shows and movies on their mobile devices, tablets and laptops, at home and on the move.

Twitter on Optik TV is the latest addition to a growing suite of fun and entertaining applications that includes Facebook, Tumblebooks, Black’s Photo, Santa Tracker and Musicroom.

About TELUS
TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $10.4 billion of annual revenue and 12.7 million customer connections including 7.3 million wireless subscribers, 3.6 million wireline network access lines and 1.3 million Internet subscribers and more than 500,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $260 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.2 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Eleven TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead TELUS’ local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.
For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

If Twitter Were Invented In The 80s

Remember the 90s? Modems, Windows for Workgroups and Netscape Navigator? Well the user “SquirrelMonkeyCom” on YouTube has done a fantastic job of creating a video called “If Facebook were invented in the 90s.” This video is a blast and is a great way to reminisce about the early 90s Internet.

 

This next one is called “If Twitter Were Invented in the 80s.” Brilliant stuff and be sure to check out Squirrel-Monkey, they’ve got some great original content. Who is “Squirrel-Monkey”? Well, I’m not really sure who is making and posting these things as they don’t have an about page on their website but they have close to 1,000,000 views on YouTube.

Have a good day and a good laugh.

Jay Kenobi

Leaving Facebook – Leaving Social Media

Thinking of leaving Facebook? Think you’re ready to take the plunge? Well good luck. I tried today and failed. Maybe you’ve got the guts to cut the cord? I got it worked up in my head that Facebook was just an evil corporation gathering data about me and my friends and that it would someday turn into an actual operating system that controls everything we do and we would all be submitting in some way to Mark Zuckerberg. Must have been the paranoid side of me going off on a rant.

Anyways with all these thoughts swirling around in my head I decided to venture out onto Google to add some fuel to the fire. I searched for keywords like “leaving facebook” and “why is it so difficult to leave facebook” and found plenty of results. Then I logged into my Facebook account and got caught up in a conversation, then I started looking at my timeline and all the warm fuzzy memories of my children and family.. Woah wait a minute here. This is why we are all so addicted to this platform in the first place.  It’s because its a story about us that we created. Its a work in progress and I am hooked. I couldn’t do it but maybe you can. Here’s some paranoia to fuel your fire.

Over at Bobby Lin’s website, he has made a great video documentary that asks the question, “why is it so hard to leave facebook?” Some of the commentary there speaks to the issue of inconvenience. For example, you may have friends that are not part of the Facebook community and getting in touch with them can be difficult even to the point of being inconvenient. Do you want to be inconvenient? Then don’t leave Facebook or sign up for an account already! But really now on to some of the more paranoid thoughts I have found around the Facebook phenomenom.

A commentary at Naperville Sun went on to say that after the implementation of the new timeline, “your Facebook presence is now intended to be durable. In 2029, when your firstborn son’s holographic avatar is going off to lunar robot fighting school, you can rewind your Timeline to 2011 and show him what you were up to in the week before he was born.” Now when I started to think about this a little more it weirded-me-out. It got me thinking about the future and the possibility that Facebook could be so ingrained into our lives that we would not be able to turn back so to speak.

Another blog that I was reading some time back, the author, which was a male, said he decided that he wasn’t going to open a Facebook account at all because he didn’t want his potential girlfriends to know everything about him even before they started dating. Which to me makes sense. Why would you want your dates to have all your dirt on your first date? Even if you “friended” your mate after the fact there would this entire history of your past right before their eyes. This would be the offline equivalent of sharing your diary. Any guys doing that are really shooting themselves in the foot.

Still another blog Anthill Online, in an article titled, “The Latest Hot Trend in Social Media: Leaving”, discusses the problems with being associated with too many social networks. To paraphrase, there are only so many hours in a day and we need to spend those hours in the most productive ways. If we are spreading ourselves too thin by updating our statuses in too many places we are then becoming only shallow versions of ourselves. Seth Godin, the marketing genius, “doesn’t allow comments on his blog – a heretical decision in the eyes of many digital media commentators. But for Godin, it’s about being the best he can be at what he does best rather than trying to be everything to everyone, everywhere.” It’s really something we all need to consider before registering for the next big social network.

So in the end I am still a Facebook junkie. I still like to read my friends’ updates; I find it entertaining. Plus I like tweeting the occasional tweet on Twitter. I just have to remember that my primary “social-focus” is my blog.

How are you dealing with social media? Is it becoming a problem for you? Thinking about leaving Facebook? Have you already left Facebook? Leave a comment below and lets chat.

Social Media is the Top Story of 2011

One of the biggest stories of 2011 was the use of social media in public displays and gatherings. 2011 was the year of Social Media. Here are some of the ways social media was used this year:

– The Arab Spring (uprisings in Egypt, Libya etc)
– Shaming rioters (Vancouver Canucks – hockey riot)
– Aiding people during riots in cities around the world (London, San Francisco)
– The Occupy movement

By now most people have heard of at least one of the uprisings in the Arab world, now collectively referred to as “The Arab Spring”. The most prominent in my mind were the ones in Egypt and Libya. This was major news for at least the first quarter of 2011. Mashable reported that social media had a significant impact on the world political scene. The uprisings began when, “a 26-year-old Tunisian vegetable vendor set himself on fire Dec. 17, 2010 after police stole produce from his stand. The suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi, a college graduate unable to find work within his field of study, triggered a revolution in his home country that spread across the Arab world. Young Tunisians began organizing on Facebook and Twitter– with Bouazi as their role model — protesting the oppressive regime of the country’s 23-year President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.”

The Vancouver Canucks riot had a significantly negative impact on the City of Vancouver and may affect the tourism sector for some time to come due to the number of videos that were posted on services such as YouTube and Facebook. The effects on that sector may not be known for months or years but lets hope that people have a short memory and move on. Looking on the brighter side of things the riot did have a way of bringing the people of Vancouver together for the morning after clean up of rioters. The Vancouver Sun reported, “an estimated 15,000 people of all ages streamed into the heart of Vancouver as early as 5 a.m. to clean up the bloody footprints, scrub the offensive graffiti, to try to make amends for the damage cause by hooligans and looters after Wednesday night’s Stanley Cup loss.”

The number of riots around the world seemed to escalate in 2011. I don’t recall hearing of so much civil unrest in a single year. The most infamous of the 2011 riots was probably the one in London, England. A government review revealed that there was not any one single motivating factor for the riots and that “increasingly we live in a society where conspicuous consumption and self worth have become intrinsically interlinked. Some would argue consumerism is the ‘new religion’,” (source: The Telegraph) It was found that Twitter and other social media outlets did not have a part in inciting the rioters during the summer riots in London, but actually quite the opposite. “Twitter was a force for good during the summer riots, a study has found after analysing millions of messages posted.” (source: BBC News)

The Occupy Movement on the other hand thrived on the Twitter hashtag #occupy to fuel its demonstrations in cities around the world. Three hours ago @OccupyVancouver tweeted, “Raising the tax bracket is missing the point. The system is flawed. Thus we #Occupy.” I understand that the Occupy Movement is trying to make a point but the latest news stories are showing that the movement is losing ground and is targeting the jobs of regular laborers (the 99%) such as those at ports in Vancouver and Oakland. According to a CNN report,  “they hurt the many businesses that pay taxes and help us create jobs,” Robert Bernardo, communications manager for the port, said.

2012 will be another interesting year as social media continues to become an integral part of everyone’s life. Do you know of any other interesting ways that social media was used in 2011? If so, please leave a comment below.