Social Media: Facebook Power, Google Me Staff

Who is more powerful: 400-million-user strong Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, or the leader of the free world? That was the question posed to Soraya Darabi, #53 on our Most Creative People in Business list, who explained that their power, at least in terms of reach of voice, is not so different. Darabi broke down the access to communication tools that Obama and Zuckerberg hold, comparing the old-age methods of the president (network TV, radio, newspapers, etc.) to Facebook’s reach as a social network.

“Google Me” Social Network Rumors Fueled: It’s Real, Heavily Staffed
7diggsdigg Those rumors about Google’s Facebook-rivaling social network just got a whole lot more interesting. A former Facebook exec has been quizzing contacts inside Google and discovered that it’s all real, with large numbers of Google staff busy on task.

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Mashup: Historypin v Google Maps

Historypin, created by the social movement We Are What We Do, who are partners with Google, is a virtual time machine that allows users to take a peek at what the world looked like way back when. The website, which launched in London in June 2010 uses Google Maps and Street View tech and hopes to become the largest user-generated archive of historical images.

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“The Man” Online: China Shuts down Foursquare, BP’s SEM

The U.K.’s Telegraph paper is reporting that “according to some sources” access to Foursquare has been shut down in mainland China. The reasons behind the censorship haven’t been explained, but it’s pretty typical behavior from a government that has regularly closed access to online services when they permit users to behave in unapproved manners–Twitter and Facebook have been targets, and the recent spat over Google‘s censorship is now the stuff of media legend.


BP buying “oil spill” and other terms on Google
As consumers turn online for information regarding the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP is looking to do some damage control by buying search ads on relevant keywords, and by broadcasting its cleanup initiatives on a dedicated YouTube channel. BP is said to be putting between $600,000 and $1 million into its paid search ad effort and $50 million more on TV ads.

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Google goes Trans-Siberian

Google Maps v Trans-Siberian Railway
The joint project between Google and the Russian Railways guides virtual travelers on a detailed tour along the famous route where you can see Moscow, the Khekhtsirsky range, the Yenisei river, Vladivostok and many other views of Russia without leaving the comfort of your house. During the trip, experience classic Russian literature and stories that accompany sites along the route. Make sure to select audio and hear the rumble of the wheels to complete the trip.

Travel the Trans-Siberian Railway From Your Sofa, Using Google Russia’s YouTube and Maps Mash-up [Google] (gizmodo.com)
Trans-Siberian Railway Views, a Click Away (thelede.blogs.nytimes.com)
Take a Virtual Journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad (centernetworks.com)
Google Sends You On The Trans-Siberian Railway (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
Google sends us to Siberia (timesonline.typepad.com)
Will virtual travel ever replace real travel? (guardian.co.uk)
Virtual Tour on the Trans Siberian Railway (downes.ca)
Google Russia creates virtual tour of Trans-Siberian railway journey (guardian.co.uk)

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iPhone leads in satisfaction … but where’s it made?

iPhone, Verizon Lead in Smartphone Satisfaction
Despite the traditionally high Blackberry penetration among business users, smartphones with more consumer-oriented functionality – such as the iPhone, Google’s Android and Palm Pre – score the highest in a customer satisfaction study (pdf) from CFI Group. The CFI Group Smartphone Satisfaction Study, based on surveys of more than 1,000 US smartphone users, also found little relationship between smartphone satisfaction and consumer satisfaction with network provider. Verizon and T-Mobile get top scores for satisfaction in this category, despite the fact that the iPhone is exclusive to AT&T.

iphone love

MIT’s Media Lab has designed a way to help you understand the economic and ecological implications behind different products you buy–it’s an interactive map that displays where each component came from. Specifically designed to be a “collective tool for transparency and sustainability,” SourceMap’s intended to demonstrate how important supply chains are, and what the consequences of each part of the chain work out to be. It’s set up like a social network, so that anyone from producers to end-users can take part (as long as you’re a registered member). Check out the demonstration video to get a better insight:
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Social Media: Monopoly City Streets, Facebook v 911, Employers v SocNets

Monopoly City Streets
Hasbro and Google have teamed up to create the biggest game of Monopoly ever, with the board being the entire world in Google Maps. “We’ve enlisted Google’s help to find three new Monopoly game pieces. You have the chance to have your building design (and bearing your name) included in the biggest game of Monopoly of all time. Use Google SketchUp to design a 3D building, then upload your dream structure to the Google 3D Warehouse to enter it into the competition. “Use Google SketchUp to design a 3D building, then upload your dream structure to the Google 3D Warehouse to enter it into the competition.

monopoly

The Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) in Adelaide says it is worrying that two girls lost in a stormwater drain raised the alert on a social networking site rather than ringing triple-0. The 10- and 12-year-old girls updated a Facebook status to say they were lost in a drain on Honeypot Road at Hackham in Adelaide’s southern suburbs on Sunday night. Glenn Benham from the MFS says it was fortunate a young friend was online at the time and was able to call for help for them.
“It is a worry for us because it causes a delay on us being able to rescue the girls,” he said.
Police brutality
Nearly half (45%) of US employers say that they now use social networking sites to dig up information about job candidates, a significant jump from 22% last year, according to a survey commissioned by CareerBuilder, which also found that another 11% of employers have plans in the works to start using social networking sites for screening. The study, which was conducted by Harris Interactive, confirmed that as social networking grows increasingly pervasive, more employers are using these sites to screen potential employees.
computer snooping
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Social Media: Four Ps, EyeTracking

The quadruple P acronym is too good to waste. There are some great thinkers in our business, whose work, when looked at in total leads me to believe that we need a new fundamental checklist. Why not create The New 4Ps? Purpose, Peers, Primal and Provide.
social-marketing
Online social networkers spend a significant amount of time looking at paid ads on sites such as Facebook and YouTube and often look at these ads before actual search results, according to a recent social media study conducted by Oneupweb, reports MarketingCharts. The study used eye-tracking technology to examine how attention is allocated across specific areas of interest (AOIs) when social network users conduct searches on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It found that searchers on social networking sites don’t necessarily follow the same search patterns as they would if they were using a traditional search engine, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo.
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Green Marketing: Starwood Chargepoints, Tesco Allotments, ReBurbia

Element Lexington Tells Hybrid Drivers to Plug It In
Starwood has partnered with Carbon Day Automotive to install a ChargePoint™ Networked Charging Station at Element Lexington. Hybrid-driving guests and travelers alike can charge their vehicles via the unobtrusive station, equipped with a universal plug-in for all kinds of electric vehicles, including cars, buses, Segway scooters, and bikes. Drivers can use Google maps to locate the station and determine whether it’s unoccupied.

Tesco has stepped up its commitment to environmental issues by announcing plans to create allotments for recession-hit customers who want to grow their own vegetables. The supermarket giant has applied for planning permission for the 30 allotments on land next to its Southport store in Lancashire which, if granted, will see the sites rented out from next spring.

tesco allotment

Calling all future-forward architects, urban designers, renegade planners and imaginative engineers:
Show us how you would re-invent the suburbs! What would a McMansion become if it weren’t a single-family dwelling? How could a vacant big box store be retrofitted for agriculture? What sort of design solutions can you come up with to facilitate car-free mobility, ‘burb-grown food, and local, renewable energy generation? We want to see how you’d design future-proof spaces and systems using the suburban structures of the present, from small-scale retrofits to large-scale restoration—the wilder the better!
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New Consumer Journey, Heineken Mixtapes, Live Ads, Brands v British Films

Marketing has always sought those moments, or touch points, when consumers are open to influence. For years, touch points have been understood through the metaphor of a “funnel”—consumers start with a number of potential brands in mind (the wide end of the funnel), marketing is then directed at them as they methodically reduce that number and move through the funnel, and at the end they emerge with the one brand they chose to purchase (Exhibit 1). But today, the funnel concept fails to capture all the touch points and key buying factors resulting from the explosion of product choices and digital channels, coupled with the emergence of an increasingly discerning, well-informed consumer.
Picture 1
This summer, every 6-pack of Heineken comes with a USB stick designed to look like an old school music cassette. These USBs give access to three free song downloads, and five different music styles are reflected in the USB designs
Says the show’s writer and star: “In this new world we live in, it’s not enough just to be funny or talented, but you also have to understand the business side of it,” he said. “I’m all for Comedy Central making tons of money off of advertisers doing our show. I want to make it as easy for them as I can. But if it ever seems weird on our show, that we’re holding product X in our right arm and it takes you out of the show, that makes it not good.”
Maybe it’s because marketers, just like the rest of us, are looking for an escape these days, that Augmented Reality (or AR) has exploded onto the marketing scene in recent weeks. In the simplest terms, AR combines real time images with virtual ones, to create entirely new 3D computer-generated graphics, often with parts that the consumer can control.

UK Film Council looks to brands to help fund British films
Although box-office takings reached a record £850m last year, British filmmakers are struggling to secure funding from broadcasters and traditional City backers. The Council is seeking to establish a third-party venture to facilitate relationships between brand owners and filmmakers. Any such tie-ups would be likely to give some creative control to the brands concerned, as well as ownership rights. John Woodward, chief executive of the UK Film Council, said a sponsoring brand would be able to speak directly to filmmakers about projects that fit with its values.

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