Posts Tagged ‘Social Networking’

Links of the Week: May 14th Edition

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Facebook Has Some Competition

Four NYU Students have raised $100,000 to create a Facebook alternative that allows users to control their own data. The initial goal was the raise $10,000 before June 2nd.

The NY Times will start charging for Online content

The New York Times has announced that it will begin using a paywall for their online content beginning January 2011.

Adobe Responds to Apple’s Anti-Flash Attack

Steve Jobs may have issued a single link that detailed his opinion on Flash but Adobe has retaliated with a full campaign featuring display ads on Engadget and the New York Times.

FTC Crashes Ann Taylor’s Party

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Clothing retailer LOFT – an Ann Taylor brand – has come under fire by the FTC for offering gift cards as an incentive for bloggers to post about a January 2010 preview event. Bloggers who posted within 24 hours of the event were eligible to win as gift cards valued between $10 and $500.

The press surrounding the FTC action, which has consisted of mostly blog coverage, has seen mixed reactions from those familiar with the fashion industry. FTC guidelines demand that bloggers make clear to readers when they receive complimentary services or products – a guideline that does not officially exist for the magazine industry, although it is understood that journalists should not accept gifts for coverage. Although this is understood by the industry, “fashion payola” happens on a regular basis with brands offering clothing, product or services to be used in magazine spreads and often purchasing advertising space adjacent to the spread featuring their product.

Similarly, the Ann Taylor event offered a preview of their upcoming Spring 2010 line and the chance to win gift cards valued up to $500. This in itself would comply by the FTC rules however the brand proceeded to add the stipulation that bloggers must post within 24 hours to be eligible for the chance to win:

“Please note all bloggers must post coverage from our event to their blog within 24 hours in order to be eligible. Links to post must be sent to [address], along with the code on the back of your gift card distributed to you at the event. You will be notified of your gift card amount by February 2. Gift card amounts will vary from $10 to $500.”

While traditional media holds its fair share of back-scratching, this notice is not one that would be issued to print media journalists. The LA Times states: “…there’s a tacit understanding between clothing brands and fashion journalists that editorial coverage isn’t something you can buy or barter for.”

However, bloggers are a whole new ball game when it comes to brand coverage. From a PR perspective, putting on “preview” parties and other such events are a gamble. Sometimes they receive a flurry of attention and other times they’re a waste of time and resources. Ironically enough, the lack of coverage is what will save Ann Taylor from receiving a hefty fine from the FTC. In a statement released April 20th, the FTC decided to not pursue “enforcement action” against the brand due to the fact that this was the first event of its kind, the lack of actual blogger coverage and a company-wide rule that was enacted in early February forbidding any other contests of this kind.

This is certainly an interesting case study for retailers. Apparently, the FTC was not joking when they created these guidelines and brands who are attempting to gain blogger coverage, such as Ann Taylor, need to carefully consider the potential legal entanglement that may come from offering complimentary products and services with a posting requirement.

Links of the Week: April 30th Edition

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Two-Thumbs Down to 3-D

Famed movie critic Roger Ebert is not jumping on the 3-D bandwagon. In a Newsweek article published this week, Ebert explains why movie theaters should not overuse the technology and make it “a way of live” for moviegoers.

Hugo Chavez Twitter’s Newest Political Figure

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is officially a Twitter user as of Tuesday. The anti-US critic will be using the microblogging site as a way to send messages to his followers. He’s also reportedly encouraged Bolivian President Evo Morales and controversial Cuban political leader Fidel Castro to also join the site.

NYS Senator Charles Schumer not a Fan of Facebook

New York State Senator Charles Schumer is not a fan of Facebook’s new personalization of their site. He’s written a letter to the FTC asking that they create stringent guidelines for Facebook and other social networking sites.

Apple Releases “Thoughts on Flash”

Apple’s Steve Jobs has released a statement titled “Thoughts on Flash” in which he explains that due to Adobe’s lack of “reliability, security and performance” the iPhone and iPad will not support the Adobe Suite.

LinkedIn Jumps on the “Follow” Bandwagon

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

In a move that makes the professional networking site LinkedIn a bit more comparable to Facebook and Twitter, the site recently added a new feature that allows individuals to opt-in to “follow” companies.

Followers have the ability to customize the content they receive from companies – opting to get notifications about staffing changes, new job opportunities and company profile updates, and selecting how frequently these updates arrive.  Additionally, when I opted in to follow MWW Group’s page, I received an email alerting me about some of the most popular companies on LinkedIn, with prompts to follow.

While this has some implications in terms of ease of use for job seekers, former employees, partners and stakeholders  looking for a continuous stream of company information, I still think company profiles have a far way to go to reach their full potential.  Some other features I’d like to see:

  • Ability to customize company pages to include blog feed, twitter stream, photos and videos.
  • A list of affiliated groups and/or top groups in which current employees participate
  • An alert feature, that would allow companies to quickly and easily post new job openings or share big news (awards, mergers, earnings, etc).

What do you think? Are there other features you’d like to see on LinkedIn company pages?

Links of the Week: April 23rd Edition

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Online Retailer’s Customer’s Credit Card Information Available on Google

Identity theft is a huge concern with the increased usage of computers for online banking and buying. It’s been found out that shoppers at the popular online retailer Blippy are at risk of having their credit card information shown live in Google searches.

Facebook Announces New Plan at f8

Facebook has launched a whole plan that integrates the web with the social networking site. Dialogue Media’s Alex Payne explains.

Foursquare Creates Business Page

Foursquare has created a space for businesses to engage their customers with specials. This also allows businesses to track the performance of the venue.