Facebook is Using Your Face in Their Ads

Friday, July 24, 2009

Did you know that Facebook has agreed to let 3rd party advertisers use your posted pictures without your permission? I bet you didn’t know you signed up for that!

I know, I know. Facebook is not the bad guy here because all of this is clearly stated in their privacy policy, but really people, who actually brews a nice, hot cup of tea, turns on their favorite tunes and reads a privacy policy from end to end? I don’t even look at website agreements before I register. You know what I mean; it’s all about finding the “I agree” checkbox as quickly as possible. I just want to use the service, never mind that I am possible signing my life away.

Facebook doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to privacy and they haven’t always properly guarded the privacy rights of its users. However, in a statement last week, a Facebook representative said "Facebook's industry-leading privacy protections do an outstanding job of empowering users to make their own choices about sharing information on a complex and ever-changing Internet. Nonetheless, if there are suggestions for improvements, we are sure that we will continue what has so far been a productive dialogue"

Earlier this year, an online revolt among Facebook users over the question of who owns content posted to the website forced Facebook to withdraw a new "terms of service" document that raised concerns among users. I guess that’s a form of dialogue…

If all of this is not cool with you, take two minutes to keep your photos of Facebook from becoming clip art, stock photos and the potential face of a brand that you do not support.

Protect your privacy:
  1. Click on SETTINGS up where you see the log out link.
  2. Select PRIVACY – Manage.
  4. Select the tab that reads FACEBOOK ADS.
  5. There is a drop down box, select NO ONE.
  6. SAVE your changes.
  7. PASS this post along!

Tworphan’s: Creators of Orphaned Tweets

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Estimates suggest that the micro-blogging service Twitter now has more than 10 million users and is growing faster than any other social network; however, despite the explosive hype surrounding it, research shows that a small percentage of users actually contribute to the vast majority of content.

After probing exactly 300,542 Twitter accounts in May 2009, a Harvard Business School professor reported that 10 percent of the service's users produce more than 90 percent of the tweets.

In contrast, on other online social networks, the top 10 percent of users account for an average of around 30 percent of all production. That’s quite a stark difference, but why? To me, this implies that Twitter resembles more of a one-way or “one-to-many” publishing service; as opposed to other social networking tools that represent a two-way, “peer-to-peer” communication network.

The study compliments recent analysis by the media research firm Nielsen. Nielsen’s claim is that 60 percent of Twitter users do not return from one month to the next. Cooperatively, these findings suggest that, so far, Twitter has been a great deal better at signing up users than keeping them.

PROBLEM: the median number of lifetime tweets per user is one — when new people sign up for Twitter, they post once and then never return.

Twitter describes itself as a way to "communicate and stay connected" with "friends, family and co-workers". The team at Twitter needs to decide if this lack of member longevity is a problem. If they decide it is, they need to figure out how to spin Twitter into something more acceptable to the average Web 2.0 user.

Twitter + Fares = Twares

Monday, June 1, 2009

Like many other business sectors, the travel industry has adopted Twitter as a medium for B2C communication. But how are they using it and how can you benefit?

JetBlue, one of the most followed Twitter members, offers Twitter-based customer service (note: they even present the name of the customer support agent currently on duty).

By means of their Twitter profile, Southwest Airlines manages non-official and sometimes amusing discussions with their customers.

United Airlines is now jumping on the bandwagon, offering “Twares,” which, as you might have already guessed, are exclusive, time-sensitive fare offers from United to its Twitter followers. You’ve already missed the first few specials, but don’t fret, a “Mileage Plus Special Offer” is still available — a customer rewards program where consumers can register for and collect a “small bonus” when United’s Twitter account hits 10,000 followers — a token of United’s appreciation.

The UA marketing tactic is quite elegant in its approach, offering up a set number of special fares exclusively to Twitter users, because you need to follow them closely if you want to have any chance of getting the deal.

Travel is a multi-billion dollar industry and the companies in this space are using social media tools more often as they look for cost-efficient marketing techniques in this cool economy. Listed below are a few other Twitter players who hold a big stake in the travel industry:

Luxury Las Vegas
Twitter Name: LuxorLV

Marriott International Hotels and Resorts
Twitter Name: MarriottIntl

Carnival Cruise Lines
Twitter Name: CarnivalCruise

Twitter Name: ConnectByHertz

Tweets From The Grave...Creepy

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How does the afterlife embraced the world-wide web? Through Tweeji of course! Tweeji is a new Twitter-like site with an idea similar to CelebrityTweet - a place for Tweets from famous people. However, in this case, the famous people are…ummm, deceased. Yes, this site boasts itself as the original dead celebrity’s website.

Wondering what William Shakespeare, Anna Nicole Smith, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney or even Notorious B.I.G are up to these days? Heck, you can always “suggest a dead celebrity” if someone is missing.

Go ahead and join in if you like, not me though, there’s just something creepy about “following dead people” – quite morbid. I've got to agree with Pete Cashmore over at Mashable:

"If the angle was more like the wonderful Historical Tweets, which humorously creates faux tweets from historical figures, it would be great. It’s simply the case that wallowing in morbidity doesn’t appeal."

There you have it. Now you can get the latest from beyond… and you thought the original Twitter was waste of time…

WARNING - Another Facebook Phishing Scam!

It seems that I just posted about this, and yes, it’s getting a bit repetitive, but scammers continue to exploit Facebook with very formulaic phishing scams that more or less do the same thing.

Today’s is from a site called “Areps.at,” and like other scams before it (see FBAction.net and FBStarter.com), it simply asks for you to input your Facebook username and password, with a design that looks similar to that of Facebook.

Don’t give this site your information. If you do, it will proceed to send all of your friends a message telling them to go to Areps.at, and hence, the scam will continue to spread like wildfire.

Harmless to your computer, but your Facebook password may be compromised - who knows how long you will lose your account if this happens to you...