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Tag Archives: Beacon

Things that made us go “huh?” in 2007

Oh, what a year it was. Between freedom of information faux pas, a fake press conference, and a shiny new new object from Apple, we obsessed about these stories:

The amazing role that social media played in letting the world know about the violent reaction to the peaceful protests in Burma, in September

Larry Craig, Republican senator for Iowa, accused of soliciting sex in an airport bathroom, pleads guilty, but then attempts to deny charges.

Southwest Airlines gets a passenger to change his T-shirt because of it has a slogan that could be considered rude. It also gets another passenger to get off a plane for wearing a too-revealing mini skirt. Southwest later apologized and called launched mini skirt fares.

Lisa Novak, the astronaut who drove across the country in a diaper, is arrested.

Strumpette, the PR blogger who postured about PR, resigns, and re-emerges.

FEMA holds a fake news conference after the California fires, using employees posing as journalists.

Apple fans camp outside electronics stores to be the first to buy the $600 iPhone.

Soon after this, Apple warns iPhone customers it would cripple it should they try hacking it.

Wal-mart is investigated on charges that an employee could have been spying on text messages and phone conversations between a New York Times reporter and a PR employees.

Jeff Jarvis begins to say nice things about Dell.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg apologizes for Beacon, a feature that would have shared users’ personal information with others without their opting in.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrests the owners of a newspaper, The New Times, for refusing to submit information about the dates and times and other information about visitors to its web site. The case was later dropped.

Comcast responds to the “Comcast Must Die” angst started by Advertising Age columnist (and NPR’s On the Media co-host) Bob Garfield, saying “real world developments” such as becoming the largest cable provider makes it difficult to keep promises.

John McCain responds to a New Hampshire high school student’s question about his age with “thanks for the question, you little jerk!”

A blog calling itself Fake Steve Jobs, is tracked down to senior editor of Forbes, Daniel Lyons.

British rock band Radiohead releases its album In Rainbows online, for free, with a prompt to downloaders to pay what they want.

Earlier in the year, Prince gave away a 10-track album, Planet Earth, free through the ‘old media’ a.k.a. newspapers, The Mail on Sunday.

The protest by Londoners over the ‘ugly’ 2012 Olympic logo. The wisdom of the crowds was ignored. The logo remained unchanged.

Barry Bonds if pleads “not guilty.” Don Imus is fired by CBS, and returns to radio via an ABC affiliate.

 

 

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10 things we obsessed about in 2007

Here’s what I will remember about 2007 from the perspective of marketing, social media and communications. We obsessed about these stories in PR, marketing and social media.

1. Facebook made us rethink what social networking could do for one-to-one communications.

2. Network neutrality became a debate that not just the geeks and telcos were interested in.

3. Short codes gained popularity as the new URLs, as text messaging took off. Sadly, it took the shootings at Virginia tech for universities to realize the value of this kind of messaging.

4. Mashups became more entertaining than the original. Think: the “1984″ spoof ‘commercial‘ about Hillary Clinton, viewed over 3 million times.

5. It was the year micro-blogging (with Twitter and Jaiku) got taken seriously,

6. This was the year email spam (in the form of “co-worker spam” and “PR spam”) hit a tipping point, forcing communicators to take a good hard look at databases, and how to try to target better. Not convinced? See the rumpus Wired editor, Chris Anderson’s “sorry people you’re blocked” post did.

7. A new, intriguing search engine called Mahalo (made possible by humans, not just algorithms!), the future of Wikipedia, and whether “amateurish” knowledge is helping or hurting us.

8. The toy for grown ups: the iPhone, what else?

9. Beacon, Facebook’s daring experiment with something called “social ads.”

10. Obama-mania, both here and abroad.

(cross posted from ValleyPRblog)

 

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Facebook’s behavioral targeting: good, bad and inevitable

You’ve probably heard the news that Facebook has added what’s almost the equivalent of Google’s Ad words. I say almost, because there are some key differences, since we do not subscribe to Google, among other things.

The program, called Facebook Beacon, is quite interesting –and controversial. That’s why I like it. It pushes the envelope. It sure raises privacy issues, because no one wants to involuntarily share personal information with one’s personal network.

Facebook states that there are safeguards, but its critics (who created a protest group on, you guessed it, Facebook!) won’t buy that. The Facebook group has 5,802 members.

I don’t quite agree with all this weeping and gnashing of teeth. No one forces you to joint a network. As one visitor to the protest group wrote, “I don’t understand. They made the site, they make the rules. If you don’t like it, leave. It’s how they make $ and what drives innovation”

Some of you will recall how people got all in a dither when Amazon began a “recommendation” feature using cookies that tracked purchases and saved that information to recommend products based on what people in a similar demographic had bought.

Back to Beacon, there are ways for subscribers to opt out of it, but it is annoyingly cumbersome. Opting into many services is an inevitable by-product of using social media. We could protest, stay as far away as possible from the network, or … just get over it.

 

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