Facebook Friday: Sponsored Stories

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Facebook will turn friend activity into a new ad format with “Sponsored Stories.”

Sponsored Stories is “a way for marketers to sponsor activities that happen throughout the News Feed,” Facebook Product Marketing Lead Jim Squires told Mashable. Companies can choose to take certain user actions — such as checkins or actions within Facebook apps — and feature them in the column on the right side of the News Feed.

via Facebook Turns Friend Activity Into New Ad Format.

So if you check into Starbucks, for example, it can appear in the sponsored stories column on the page of any of your friends. . . whether you want it to or not.

Likes, check-ins, page posts, and actions within certain applications can be turned into stories.

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

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What do you think about this? Let me know in the comments below!

Mandatory Facebook Credits

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Do you pay Facebook games? On July 1st, all social game developers will be required to use Facebook credits to process payments.

This decision is fantastic news for Facebook, as they take a 30 percent cut of all Facebook revenues.

“In other words, if you pay $2.00 for a talking horse on FarmVille, Facebook collects $0.60 from the Zynga. Already, Credits has made promising contributions to the company’s ever-rising revenue estimates (currently at $2 billion annual for 2010.”

via Facebook to Make Credits Mandatory for All Onsite Gaming.

I know that I’m a social media person (it’s my job, after all), but I just don’t get why people would pay actual money to play online games.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a gamer myself. I had a Gameboy, back in the day, and I used to play Crash on our Playstation 1, but my idea of a good computer game is Spider Solitaire.
However, I can’t deny that it’s a smart move for Facebook.

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What do you think about this? Do you play Facebook games? Let me know in the comments below.

Facebook Friday: 2010 Status Trends

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On Tuesday, I posted Twitter trends for 2010, so for Facebook Friday I thought I’d give you the 2010 Facebook status trends. This information is courtesy of the Facebook blog. The comments on the trends are all mine.

  1. HMU
    • This apparently stands for “hit me up.” To be honest, I have never seen someone use it. Have you?
  2. World Cup
    • Self-explanatory, though I don’t follow soccer (“football” for all of you non-Americans).
  3. Movies
    • Specifically, Alice in Wonderland, Inception, Toy Story 3, Eclipse, and Iron Man 2. Why isn’t Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on this list?
  4. iPad and iPhone 4
    • I kind of want both of these.
  5. Haiti
    • The earthquake in January.
  6. Justin Bieber
    • Let me just say it . . .  what’s with Justin Bieber anyway?
  7. Games on Facebook
    • I don’t play any . . .  I should probably see what they’re like, but I don’t have the time!
  8. Miners
    • The Chilean miners.
  9. Airplanes
    • Because of that song . . . “Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now . . .”
  10. 2011
    • What, this was used more than 2010?

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What were your top statuses for 2010? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter Tuesday: 2010 Trends

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Twitter can be a powerful tool for communication.

The site recently released a list of its top trends and tweets for 2010. This information is all courtesy of Twitter and can be found here. The things in this color are items that I remember tweeting about.


Overall Top Twitter Trends for 2010

  1. Gulf Oil Spill
  2. FIFA World Cup
  3. Inception
  4. Haiti Earthquake
  5. Vuvuzela
  6. Apple iPad
  7. Google Android
  8. Justin Bieber
  9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
  10. Pulpo Paul

10 Most Powerful Tweets of 2010

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


6.


7.


8.
http://twitter.com/#!/foster208/status/29551172941
9.


10.

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What are your top trends or tweets for 2010? Let me know in the comments below!

Facebook Friday: Cartoon Profile Pictures

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Were you wondering why your friend looks like a cartoon character all of the sudden? There’s a new meme going around Facebook, where people change their profile picture to match their favorite childhood cartoon.

One of my friends posted this as an invitation:

Change your Facebook profile picture to a favorite cartoon from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same. Until Monday (Dec.6) there should be no human faces on Facebook, but an invasion of memories. It’s for a good cause.

Another posted this:

Change your FB profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal is not to see a human face on FB till Monday, December 6th. Join the fight against child abuse, copy & paste to your status to invite your friends to do the same!

Now it’s an interesting enough concept on its own, but why are people doing it?

It apparently began in Greece and Cyprus to support a campaign against violence on children. This campaign started on November 16th and will end on December 6th. The United Nations is also running a campaign to fight violence against women and children; it runs from November 25th to December 10th.

I absolutely think this is a good cause, but I fail to see how this meme will do anything significant. Here’s why:

  • I have many Facebook friends who have posted cartoon pictures as their profile picture. Only two have posted an explanation in their status, and only one mentioned the fight against child abuse. They just want to play the game.
  • Awareness is good, but does this cause people to go out there and support a cause? I think a better way to raise awareness would be to post hotlines and websites where abused children can find help.

So instead of posting pictures of my favorite childhood cartoons (incidentally, Doug or Inspector Gadget), I’m going to take my own advice and give some links and hotlines.

If you suspect child abuse, or are being abused yourself, please call a hotline.

  • Childhelp.org is the leading national non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Check out their website for more information.
    If you are in the U.S.A., Canada, or U.S. Territories, call:
    1-800-4-A-CHILD (or 1-800-422-4453)

If you know an organization that I missed, or the hotline for any other country, let me know and I will add it on.

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14 Links: Social Media, Apple, and More

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As I was catching up on my Google Reader, I found a lot of interesting social media and technology links. Naturally, I thought I would share them in a quick post.

Here are some of the most interesting links that I came across:

Social Media

  1. Facebook Launches “One-Time” Passwords I think that this could be useful, but seems to be kind of complicated. I can see younger people doing this, but I’m not sure about older generations.
  2. Young People Dumber About Online Passwords I think there’s a difference between sharing a password with, say, a parent or spouse than giving it out to someone you don’t know well. But at any rate, I have found the opposite to be true here.
  3. Are Travelers Overloaded by Social Media? Possibly. I find social media fascinating, but I really don’t want to join a million Facebook groups.
  4. Twitter Turns to Ads I think it’s an interesting concept, but I ignore ads and sponsored tweets.
  5. The Tense “Friendship” Between Facebook and Zynga I was wondering what people use “Facebook Credits” for. I don’t play any Facebook games.
  6. Facebook to Bring Back ‘Clear Chat History’ This seems nice.
  7. Financial Firms take to Facebook, Tweeting

Apple and Other Technology Links

  1. Average Teen Sends and Receives 3,339 Texts a Month This is crazy. Remember the days before text messaging when you would pick up the home phone and call someone?
  2. iPhones for Toddlers Wow.
  3. iPad, Tablet Sales Will ‘Canniblize’ Sales of Other Devices
    Will Apple’s Culture Hurt the iPhone?
  4. Apple Reveals New Operating System, Computers (Liveblog)
  5. Apple TV vs. Google TV
  6. Apple to Offer the iPhone on Verizon
  7. Verizon to Sell Apple’s iPad

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What are your favorite social media / technology links, recent or otherwise? Let me know in the comments below!

Facebook Friday: I Like It On…

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Facebook Friday hopes to demystify Facebook for you and comment on trends, rules, and usage. Although I can’t promise to do this every Friday, I will make an effort.

If you have been on Facebook this week, you have probably seen random women posting “I like it on..” updates for their status. Why? Apparently, it is supposed to raise breast cancer awareness. I received several messages stating this:

Remember the game last year about what color bra you were wearing at the moment? The purpose was to increase awareness of October Breast Cancer Awareness month. It was a tremendous success and we had men wondering for days what was with the colors and it made it to the news.

This year’s game has to do with your handbag/purse, where we put our handbag the moment we get home for example “I like it
on the couch”, “I like it on the kitchen counter”, “I like it on the dresser” well u get the idea. Just put your answer as your status with nothing more than that and cut n paste this message and forward to all your FB female friends to their inbox.

The bra game made it to the news. Let’s see how powerful we women really are!
REMEMBER – DO NOT PUT YOUR ANSWER AS A REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE, PUT IT IN YOUR STATUS!!! PASS THIS TO EVERY FEMALE YOU HAVE ON FACEBOOK

Why is this ridiculous? (Besides the spelling and grammar errors.)

  • The statuses do not talk about breast cancer. Getting men to wonder what women are talking about is the OPPOSITE of awareness.
  • By forwarding this message only to women, it reinforces the idea that breast cancer is a woman’s issue and shouldn’t be discussed in the company of men.
    • Men can get breast cancer. It’s not nearly as common, but it does happen.
  • What do purses have to do with breast cancer anyway?

Instead of posting a coy reference to my bra or purse, I’m going to post a couple of links about breast cancer.

IMPORTANT:

Learn About Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer and the Breast Self Exam

Foundations / Fundraisers / Awareness

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

Comcast Join the Fight

Also interesting:

Breast Cancer Awareness: Women Tired of the Pink Campaign

9 Marketing Strategies from the Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Campaign

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What do you think about Facebook Friday? Do you know anyone who has suffered from breast cancer? How do you think awareness should be raised? Let me know in the comments below.