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November 2011

Facebook Updates News Feed, Again

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Remember that one day, back in September, when the whole world was shaking their fists at Facebook? That was a fun day wasn’t it? We woke up to a Facebook we no longer recognized.

The most notable change was in our Facebook news feed. We could no longer choose between the “Top Stories” and “Most Recent” links. Facebook put them all together and decided to choose themselves what they thought you would find most interesting.

They’ve now tweaked the news feed again by allowing you to choose between Recent Stories or Highlighted Stories. They made the announcement about the update via their blog yesterday.

Now you have a new way of sorting your News Feed: most recent stories first.  You can also continue to view highlighted stories first, followed by recent stories, like what you see today.  If you don’t have the updates to News Feed yet, you can expect to see them over the coming weeks as the rollout continues.

Do you think bringing the recent stories option back will make some Facebookers happy?

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Jimmy Kimmel’s Halloween Candy Video Goes Viral, 16 Million and Counting

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While at BlogWorld LA last week, a few of us were crammed around a computer laughing hysterically. It was all because of a challenge late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel had given parents.

He told parents to tell their kids they ate all of their Halloween candy and film their reaction. What followed was tons of submissions, a lot of crying kids and a video gone viral.

Before I go on, if you haven’t seen it yet, here you go. If you have seen it, you know you want to watch it again.

It’s so mean it’s funny right? The video has done so well and currently has 16 million views and counting. Jimmy Kimmel’s videos usually average around 5 million views a week, so as you can see, this one is a huge hit for him and the ABC network.

Before this Halloween candy fiasco, his single most viewed video was when Justin Bieber surprised a three-year-old fan back in March 2010. Crying kids outrank the Biebs. (For those of you who don’t know, “The Biebs” is a nickname for Justin Bieber. If you already knew that, you’re probably a Belieber.) The Justin Bieber video does have 37 million views, so it will be fun to see if the Halloween candy one can surpass it.

The two kids who stole the show were the ones at the end of the montage – CJ and Jacob. The reaction of “What the heck?” was priceless, as was the little brother trying to add 2 and 2 together. He got 5. So, so close. CJ and Jacob have been invited to Los Angeles to be guests on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” this Thursday, November 10. I can’t wait to tune into that!

So, why did this particular video resonate so well with audiences? It has 16 million views and it just went live November 2nd! I think we all love to be entertained and obviously we all love to see little kids cry. What is wrong with us?!

Long story short, you never really know if a video will go viral or if your idea will take off. As Amber Naslund said in her keynote, “Sometimes you need to take a step on the path before you see where it’s going to lead.” Come up with a creative idea and go for it.

Twitter’s Activity Tab Helps Users Discover More

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Back in August, Twitter announced a new feature – the Activity tab. They described it as “a rich new source of discovery by highlighting the latest Favorites, Retweets, and Follows from the people you follow on Twitter – all in one place.”

The roll-out of the new feature has begun, although some users are saying it seems to come and go. Once it appeared on my Twitter account, it’s been there to stay.

When I first started tinkering around with the Activity Tab, the verdict was still out as to how I felt about it. But now that I’ve been using it for a couple of days, I can see the benefits.

It opens up the Twitter world to me a bit. It’s nice to see, in real-time, who the people I choose to follow have followed on Twitter. It definitely makes the whole Twitter process more fluid, interactive and more like a social network.

Another feature you may have noticed, is the @username. It replaces the @mentions and gives you the ability to see who re-tweeted you,  which of your tweets are favorites, tweets directed at you, what lists you’ve been put on and who just followed you.

For those of you who don’t like all of the other “noise” and just want to see who mentioned you, Twitter has made it easy. Just click the box that says “Show mentions only”.

Two questions – Have these new features been made available to you yet and if yes, what are your thoughts on them?

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Which Came First – The Android or the iPhone?

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No, the above headline isn’t a joke with a punchline or anything, it’s in response to an interview with Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt.

He’s currently in South Korea and was asked by reporters about a comment Steve Jobs made saying  Android was a rip-off of the iPhone.

The following statement was included in the Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Isaacson.

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Sshmidt’s response was “I’ve decided not to comment on what’s been written on a book after his death. Steve is a fantastic human being and someone who I miss very dearly. As a general comment, I think most people would agree that Google is a great innovator and I would also point out that the Android effort started before the iPhone effort.”

Some are saying it’s not the timeline that’s in question here, rather the features of the Android phone.

The Next Web says, “When the HTC Dream was introduced (sans multitouch) in 2008, it had transformed itself into a mirror-world version of the iPhone. By 2010, Android phones had incorporated multitouch technology and other features popularized in the phone market by Apple, sparking Jobs’ ire.”

What are your thoughts – Is it a timing issue or a features issue? Or, do you even care?

 

Shuffler.fm Launches an iPad App

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Shuffler.fm, the audio magazine made up of music blogs, has launched an app for the iPad. The site received quite a bit of buzz this summer. For those of you not familiar with the site, it basically turns music blogs into streaming music. It plays a continuous stream of songs directly from the blogs.

Shuffler.fm iPad screenshot

Music blogs are an incredibly popular way for music lovers to discover new music. Shuffler.fm calls their iPad app a “flipboard for music”.

Shuffler.fm made the announcement today via their blog:

Shuffler.fm was made for tablets and today it’s finally here on the iPad. It’s the world’s first real audio magazine, one which compiles itself and changes by the hour, giving you the latest, hottest, newest music from around the globe. Sit back, relax, listen, and read.

Shuffler.fm is a free download from the App Store. Find out more about the app on their site.

Google+ is Delighted to Be Underestimated by Facebook

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During an interview between PBS’s Charlie Rose, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg Monday evening (November 7th), Zuckerberg was asked what he thought about Google+. He called it Google’s “own little version of Facebook”.

Google+ VP of Product Management, Bradley Horowitz, has fired back in reaction to that statement by Zuckerberg saying, “We are delighted to be underestimated. It’s served us very well to date.”

Of course everyone looks at Google+ and Facebook as competitors, especially now that Google+ Pages have rolled out. Horowitz has a slightly different view of the whole competitor aspect.

He says it’s less a direct competitor and more a new way of using all of Google’s existing products.

As for when we can all start to create our own Google+ Page, the answer is right now. It is open to the world and any Google+ user can now create their own page.

Watch the video interview below to hear Horowitz talk about engagement, Google+ growth, Facebook and more. To create your own Google+ Page, go to https://plus.google.com/pages/create.

Do you see Google+ and Facebook as competitors or are they two different social networks used for different purposes?

Google+ Pages Are Here, Connects Brands with Customers & Fans

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During the Google+ for Business session at BlogWorld Expo Los Angeles, it was mentioned Google+ didn’t have business pages yet, but Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan gave some tips on using it for your business anyway. Well, only 4 days after that session, Google+ Pages are here.

Google announced Google+ Pages on their blog and are saying that at first, Google+ was about connecting people with people. Now, with the addition of Google+ Pages, we can “build relationships with all the things you care about—from local businesses to global brands”.

What does Google+ Pages do for brands and businesses? It connects them with customers and fans, in real-time. As the guy from Zen Bikes said in the video below, it helps brands break down those walls and make their customers feel at home.

What does Google+ Pages do for the people? Google says it “gives life to everything we find in the real world” and helps us create lasting bonds with brands.

There are several Google+ Pages already live and it will be interesting to see how the different companies start using this new feature. I was excited to see that The Muppets have a page and will be hosting a Google+ Hangout today at 4:30 pm PT.

Also, not only has Google + launched their pages, but different ways to add pages from Google search.

People search on Google billions of times a day, and very often, they’re looking for businesses and brands. Today’s launch of Google+ Pages can help people transform their queries into meaningful connections, so we’re rolling out two ways to add pages to circles from Google search. The first is by including Google+ pages in search results, and the second is a new feature called Direct Connect.

I do believe this is huge for brands. Google+ Pages isn’t ready for everyone quite yet, but they say it will be released soon. In the meantime, watch these two videos which highlight Google+ Pages and Google+ Direct Connect.

Will you be creating a Google+ Page for your business? Why or why not?

Technorati Employee Tracy Williams is Missing

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Update: A reader let me know (thank you David), that Tracy Williams has been found at a local hospital alive and safe. Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word.

I woke up this morning to discover a news story on the disappearance of Technorati employee Tracy Williams (pictured to the right).

The company is asking everyone to help spread the word, whether it be through a tweet, Facebook status, blog post or by liking the Missing – Tracy Williams Facebook page.

Tracy Williams went missing on November 2, 2011 at the Whitehorse Bar located in San Francisco. She was there with colleagues from Technorati Media, who after going outside for a smoke, came back in to find Tracy no longer at the bar. After leaving the bar, they believe Tracy texted a friend to let them know she was heading home.

On Thursday, November 3rd, Tracy did not show up for work and everyone is very concerned.

A description of Tracy Williams:

Tracy is 40 years old, dark wavy hair that she usually wears back in a ponytail, prominent freckles on her face, brown eyes, light brown skin, athletic build, 5’8 inches tall, approximately 135 pounds and was wearing blue jeans, a black hoodie and carrying a small bag.

Technorati is updating the story on their blog. They are still looking for anyone who has any information about Tracy’s disappearance.

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Ford’s Exclusive Invitation to #BWELA Attendees

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In conjunction with BlogWorld and Ford Motor Company, the Los Angeles Auto Show would like to cordially invite you to attend the exclusive Auto Show Press Days Nov 16 & 17.  The LA Auto Show is one of the top automotive industry events worldwide and will host more than 50 significant World and North American vehicle debuts.  As the first major auto show of the new model season, thousands of media will gather with top industry executives to learn what is in store for the future of the automotive industry.

  • Witness 25 press conferences featuring more than 50 World and North American Debuts
  • Learn about the latest in-car technology and see how cars are rapidly becoming the ultimate personal assistant
  • Drive 30 of the latest electric and alt fuel vehicles from 16 different brands during the Green Car LA Auto Show Ride on Nov 17
  • See a dozen concept cars offering a glimpse into the future of transportation

To qualify for Press days please visit the Ford Exhibit at Blog World and either have your photo taken and share it online or download and share Ford’s mobile app in and around the show.   Ask someone at the desk in the Ford booth to take your contact information and Ford will submit it to the LA Auto Show Press Days registration department.

Chris Garrett and Sonia Simone Talk Tribes

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“Tribes are united by passion.” – Sonia Simone

One of the track keynotes at BlogWorld LA 2011 was given by Chris Garrett and Sonia Simone. The two partnered to talk about tribes, and whiles you can check out the entire presentation by purchasing the virtual ticket, here are some key take-away points:

#1: Your tribe starts with you – your passion and how you frame that passion.

Chris and Sonia talked about the need to be a leader in your community. While it is important to listen to your crowd, the vision for the tribe has to be your own. What’s your unique spin on your topic? People want to get behind that idea, and they need your vision as a guide.

#2: You are the leader, so start acting like it. Set the rules that will support your tribe.

I think this point can be best summed up in two quotes:

  • “If you’re not getting hate mail, you’re not trying hard enough.” – Chris
  • “It’s not all unicorns and rainbows. It’s a lot of drama…If you’re going to have a tribe you have to accept that you are the law.” – Sonia

There will be people who hate what you do and aren’t afraid to tell you that. There will also be people within your tribe who are argumentative, mean-spirited, and annoying. The great thing with your tribe is that you get to make the rules – but you also have to enforce them.

#3: You can move from free to paid when you know what your tribe will pay for.

Lastly, think about what you know how to do really well and what your clients really need. That’s the intersection you want to find if you intend to build a paid membership community. People are willing to pay for lots of different stuff; it’s just a matter for finding your community and getting them involved with your product!

I definitely enjoyed this insider’s look at the membership community-building experiences Chris and Sonia had. Remember, the virtual ticket allows you to hear the entire presentation as well as ALL of the other sessions from this weekend.

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