Category Archives: Twitter

The Google Play Store Comes to Twitter



google play twitter account

The Google Play Store, formerly known as the Android Marketplace,  has finally launched it’s own Twitter account.  It may sound like a pretty minor event, but it could actually be a fairly big deal for all of the Android device owners out there.  Many businesses today have not only taken to Twitter to answer customer questions and handle complaints, but also to run promotions.

The latter is exactly how Google plans to use their new @Googleplay handle.  According to Alex Dumitru over at Android Geeks the Mountain View company “will begin tweeting special promotions, updates and exclusive contents through its official Twitter live channel.”

The Play Store account already has over 28,000 followers, despite having posted only two tweets, and no deals, so far.  It”s actually a bit surprising that it took Google this long to set up something that the Amazon App Store had from day one.  Regardless, it’s better late to the party than never.


Shell’s “Let’s Go” Campaign – Brought to You by Greenpeace



The other day, a good friend of mine retweeted something that was originally posted by Social Media Team @ShellisPrepared. It caught my attention for two reasons. One, this friend doesn’t make a habit of retweeting a lot of things. Two, the original tweet implied that Shell Oil had been the victim of a social media attack.

I went to the Twitter profile of @ShellisPrepared to learn more. Things didn’t look good. Every single tweet mentioned something about “subversive” or “inappropriate” ads that they were trying desperately to remove. My immediate thought was: “Somebody at Shell doesn’t know how to properly use social media”. I would never have known about the ads that they wanted to take down if it wasn’t for them tweeting about it. Wouldn’t it have been smarter to quietly shut down the website, remove the offensive ads, and keep it quiet?

Naturally, I was curious about just what those ads were. The @ShellisPrepared profile contained a link to their new campaign, which appeared to be called “Arctic Ready”. I rushed over to their website. hoping to get a glimpse of the ads before they shut down the website that contained them.

What I saw was a train-wreck of a marketing campaign. There was an easy to use “ad generator” on this page. Anyone who wanted to could choose from one of several photos: swimming polar bears, an arctic fox, a bird with some baby birds, a floating iceberg, and more. Next, you could type in a slogan. The phrase “Let’s Go.” would be automatically added. The best ones would be placed on billboards. This was basically a way to “crowd source” some ideas for their ads.

It was immediately apparent that no one at Shell was reviewing the ads that people created before they went “live” onto the website. Every single ad was negative. Slogans like “Birds are like sponges … for oil!” and “Some say catastrophe, we say opportunity” were generated. Nothing here was positive. People either really hate Shell Oil, or emphatically don’t want oil companies to drill in the Arctic.

Other ads pointed out how badly Shell failed at using social media. Slogans like “We still haven’t noticed we are being trolled”, and “The ad generator is not down for maintenance” and “This is the biggest marketing fail in the history of failing” appeared. The internet has a plethora of trolls, and many of them found their way to the ad generator. Shell got picked on for “not knowing how to internet”, so to speak.

I scrolled through several pages of these ads, laughing all the way. Then, I thought, “Wait a minute! How am I still able to access these ads if Shell is frantically trying to take them down?” It turned out that there was a very good reason for this. The website isn’t run by Shell Oil. It was created by Greenpeace. The entire purpose was to create a user generated attack against Shell Oil.

To me, the most fascinating part of this entire hoax was that no one questioned it. People didn’t question the idea that a company like Shell Oil would be inept enough to set up an ad generator, that anyone could use, and then fail to monitor the contents that people created. Nobody questioned the sight of a big company failing with their use of Twitter.


55,000 Twitter Accounts Have Been Hacked



An anonymous source, (but not the hacker group that goes by the name “Anonymous”) has hacked more than 55,000 Twitter accounts. This includes the username and password of each of the compromised Twitter accounts.

Was yours one of the thousands that were hacked? There is a huge list of the Twitter accounts that were affected that you can sort through. Someone put them onto Pastebin. There are so many of them that the list had to be split into five separate lists.

They are: Page One, Page Two, Page Three, Page Four, and Page Five. According to AirDemon.net You can find your account by using the find feature in your browser (CTRL + F) and typing in your email ID.

At this time, it appears that Twitter has disabled many of the accounts that were hacked. A spokesperson from Twitter said:

“We’ve discovered that the list of alleged accounts and passwords found on Pastebin consists of more than 20,000 duplicates, many spam accounts that have already been suspended and many login credentials that do not appear to be linked – that is, the password and username are not actually associated with each other”.

It sounds to me like perhaps, some anonymous hacker decided to take action against the plethora of spam accounts that keep popping up on Twitter, (since Twitter doesn’t seem to do a whole lot to get rid of them or prevent new spammers from appearing). We are all tired of being followed by spam Twitter accounts. Perhaps the anonymous hacker is sort of acting like a modern day “Robin Hood”, only, instead of taking money from the rich and redistributing it to the poor, he or she is taking spam accounts from Twitter, and making Twitter do something about them.

If you are concerned that your Twitter account is among the thousands that were hacked, you might want to go ahead and change your password. Those of you that connected your Twitter account to your Facebook account, or other forms of social media, might want to check to see if those connected accounts have been affected as a result of the hacked Twitter accounts.


Why Cable TV Subscribers Are Making It Miserable To Cut The Cord



This is what I look like waiting for TV shows to be released on Netflix. Not really – this is what I look like all the time. Image Credit – BigStock

There’s a new report out this week (to be filed in the “Duh” folder…right next to “No Kidding”) showing that some 2.6 million cable television subscribers cancelled their service in favor of Internet-based streaming services between 2008 and 2011.

Reported by Slashdot, Yahoo and others this morning, Canadian research firm Convergence Consulting Group summarized the following from their…well, research:

“We estimate 112,000 TV subscribers were added in 2011, down from 272,000 in 2010, and forecast 185,000 TV sub additions for 2012. 2000-2009 annual TV sub additions averaged 2 million. Based on our TV Cord Cutting Model (takes into account economic conditions, annual subscriber additions, digital transition), we estimate 2.65 million (2.6%) US TV subscribers cut their TV subscriptions 2008-11 to rely solely on Online, Netflix, OTA, etc, 1.05 million (1%) in 2011 alone. We forecast cord cutters will reach 3.58 million year end (3.6%) 2012.”

So, essentially, folks are fleeing traditional television for streaming services in decent numbers, but those numbers seem to be slowing. News reports on this are rounding up the typical line-up of culprits for this dialing-back on the rush to streaming – content limitations of streaming services (a.k.a. ‘ I can’t believe Netflix doesn’t have so-and-so) based on sluggish deals being struck by Netflix and others with studios and networks; and the ultimate price-tag of achieving a more robust catalogue of content will break the cost model for places like Netflix and their service will become prohibitively expensive. Continue reading Why Cable TV Subscribers Are Making It Miserable To Cut The Cord


What Social Media Really Deserves



Shitter Toilet RollHere at GNC, we pride ourselves on the quality and integrity of our writing, but for one article only, it’s going to go down the pan….literally.

Much of the Internet is full of crap and Twitter is responsible for its fair share. Put the two together and you get Shitter, toilet paper printed with a Twitter feed of your choice. No, really.

It’s a bit pricey to clean up your number twos at $35 for four bog rolls but imagine the satisfaction you’ll get from wiping your arse with the musings of some Z-list celebrity. Alternatively you could view it as a post-modern critique of the “me” culture.

Perhaps “sheeting” will catch on as the verb of the year – remember you heard it here first!


Twitter – A School Playground



Twitter LogoTwitter has always come in for criticism over the inanity of some messages; people describing what they’re having for breakfast or other mundane activities that are of no interest except to their own ego. However, the Internet and Twitter will always reflect the composition of the real world so it’s irrational to expect every tweet to be worthy of the Poet Laureate.

Despite this, the level of tweet erudition at times fails to rise above the level of the school playground. Take the traditional childhood mantra of last resort – “My dad is bigger than your dad.” Transferring this to Twitter, Piers Morgan and Sir Alan Sugar frequently go back and forth regarding the viewing figures for their respective television shows. It’s as if neither of them have quite grown up. Not only is it childish, it does them a disservice for both have considerable achievements.

At times I wonder if it really is the personalities tweeting or whether it is an extension of their entertainment persona into the on-line world. Regrettably, I have to conclude that they are who they purport to be and there is no redeeming reason for their behaviour. Lest it be taken that I’m singling these two out, I’m not. Any seasoned Twitterer will recognise these behaviours in celebrities and it seems that their carefully managed stage act is left behind once the real person gets hold of a Twitter account.

Perhaps I’m just not a big enough celebrity-watcher. I don’t read Hello or any of these weekly fame-orientated magazines. I follow people, whether famous or otherwise, because we have a shared interest. Whether it’s entrepreneurship, technology, motorsport, music or literature, doesn’t matter; I’m not following you because you are simply a celebrity.

So it is with regret…@Lord_Sugar – unfollow….@piersmorgan – unfollow.

And if anyone wants to follow me, I’m @andrewhpalmer. I guarantee the egocentric tweets will be few and far between.


Contest Post-Tweeting: How People Don’t Read Contest Info



iPad
iPad

Next week I’ll be headed to San Francisco for TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco. Naturally, I added the hashtag #tcdisrupt in my Tweet deck. I went through the posts, and one seems to keep coming up:

TechCrunch Giveaway: White iPad 2 and Nook Color #TCDisrupt {link removed} via @techcrunch

I went to the page in question and they gave away a White iPad2. Yes, I said GAVE AWAY. This was for TechCrunch Disrupt in New York that happened back in June.

This is not the first time I’ve seen this tweet reaction. Someone sees a post saying “Win this, retweet and your entered”. You do so, but you don’t see the link they post. Now you’ve just entered into a contest that has been over for months.

I have held contests from time-to-time. I remember one where I was trying to increase my followers and said to Twitter the link information and hashtag. Weeks after the contest, I was still getting tweets. I even remember one guy who tweeted me “Did you draw a winner yet?” I had to reply “Yes, but that was back in April.”

This seems to be an interesting way to build people, but also is a bit deceptive. Of course, if people don’t read the rules, it’s not your fault, right?

In this case, I would say “wrong”. Why? Because TechCrunch hasn’t updated the page to say in the first line “CONTEST OVER”. Even in the title, they should put that information.

In the meantime, people are thinking they’ve just entered a contest for a white iPad2.Too bad they didn’t win…


Where Do They Find the Time?



Twitter Icon

I am not a Twitter user.  I have a Twitter account but I don’t remember the last time I logged into it.  Even with just a handful of friends, I felt overwhelmed in trying to keep up with it, and as a rather wordy person, typing what I wanted to say in 140 characters is pretty difficult.  For the short time I used Twitter, I found it difficult to keep up with the postings, and generally found very little useful information once it was all said and done.  I guess for me I’m more of a blog reader, or a podcast listener.   I have wondered, for a long time, how people who are big users of Twitter keep up with it all.

An article in my local paper today brought that rumination to the forefront once more.  The story talks about a bit of a Twitter “war” that took place after a comment from a teenager about how much better St. Louis County is than St. Louis City.  We are one of those odd places where there is a core city, operating under its own governing system and considered the “independent city of St. Louis,” and is surrounded by a larger county full of municipalities, 92 in all.  It’s very complicated and I’m not sure why it ended up this way, but there is a bit of friendly rivalry between those that live on the city side, and those that live on the county side.  So the post by the teenager, who was a Miley Cyrus fan, was commented on by the official St. Louis County Twitter account, which the official St. Louis City Twitter account had to counter, and it went back and forth for several hours, devolving into a name-calling flame war.  In the end, there were posted apologies.

Do the officials of my metropolitan area have nothing better to do with their time?  With the government’s time? And really, for most Twitter users, don’t most of them have something better to do with their time?    I may sit in front of a computer all day, and I may keep half an eye on my facebook account throughout the day on a tab in my browser, but I’m far from posting constantly or allowing conversations to devolve in the way this particular Twitter exchange did.   I have paperwork to complete, deliveries to make, students to train, payroll to submit, filing to complete, etc.  I have plenty to do. In fact, I barely have time to go to the bathroom or carve out lunch some days, much less spend a day having a public online argument about nothing!

Is part of the problem the very nature of the Twitter service to begin with?  Tiny comments, without elaboration, don’t give much room for nuance, nor do they give the person reading them a full idea of the true intent of the comment.  The fact that this devolved so quickly into a flame war leads me to believe that too little being said is almost worse than too much being said.

But I just gotta wonder…where the heck do people find the time to keep up with something like Twitter?


New Infographic – The Demographics of Social Media



The website Advertising Age released a cool new infographic comparing various social media – namely Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  There are some interesting facts revealed here.  For instance the Social Media space is lead by the 35-54 age group, the leading country for Facebook is the US, but the second is Indonesia, the leading country for LinkedIn is also the US, but it’s followed by India, and females outpace males as Twitter users.

While some of this strikes me as common sense (like Twitter being dominated by the 35-54 age group), some of it amazes me (like there are significantly more female users and visitors to Twitter).  For anyone who runs a web site this is pretty good information to have.  It can provide a lot of aim to your marketing and SEO efforts.  For those who don’t run a site it’s still a bit of pretty interesting information to parse over.

demographics of social media


Like It or Tweet It?



For full disclosure, I am not a user of Twitter.  I have a Twitter account and dabbled in it a year or so ago, but haven’t logged on in months.  I am, however, a daily user of Facebook.

Eventbrite recently concluded a study of Tweets and facebook posts as connected to event sales showed that facebook “likes” resulted in higher sales than Tweet posts.

I’m actually not surprised by this.  Despite the fact that Tweeting is “hot,” the fact is that more people are using facebook than Twitter.  On Twitter, I can follow tweets from friends and public figures and entities.  I can follow those same sorts of people on facebook, for the most part.  But the fact is, most of my contacts on facebook are friends.  There are maybe a handful of contacts on my facebook that I haven’t met in person.  And I take my friends’ recommendations highly.  On Twitter, I can have thousands of “contacts” but those aren’t people I know. I’m also not swayed easily by recommendations from the “stars” or others that I don’t personally know.

I wonder if other companies will research which of their social networking nets the most gains in sales and/or income.  I am inclined to believe that, for the moment, facebook is the overall leader.