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Tag Archives: technology

Social Media Rundown: U.K. Pub Chain Deletes All its Accounts; 5 Tips for Running Facebook Ads

Besides even more shady news coming from Facebookland, it’s been a relatively slow week in the world of social media. While the #DeleteFacebook trend gains steam in the U.K., even a chain of pubs gets in on the action — deleting all its social media profiles (story below).

For this week’s learnings, be sure to check out the tips on running Facebook ads and the handy guide on how to make GIFs (because everyone loves a good GIF).

Animated GIF of The Breakfast Club's Anthony Michael Hall being cool.

Even The Breakfast Club’s Anthony Michael Hall is cool with GIFs.

Social Media News:

  • GOP accuses Facebook of censorship but conservative media flourishes online (NBC News). “There are more than three times as many conservative publishers than liberal publishers on Facebook, and they receive more than 2.5 times the engagement on the social media platform than those who push opposing viewpoints.” Also, the recent string of Facebook scandals doesn’t seem to be hurting the company’s bottom line.
  • Fed up with social media, major U.K. pub chain deletes all of its accounts (Digital Trends). Interesting move. As a social media pro, it would definitely be against my recommendation, but perhaps it’s best for this particular company. It cited concerns over the misuse of personal data and the “addictive nature of social media.”
  • Facebook Tests Out New Video Format to Boost Communal Viewing and Engagement (Social Media Today). Called ‘Premieres’, the new feature would give approved publishers the opportunity to broadcast pre-recorded content through what’s essentially Facebook Live. Thus, allowing viewers to interact with each other in real time.
  • Barack Obama And Jordan Peele Urge You Not To Believe Your Own Eyes (Fast Company). This is sort of on the fringe of social media news, but it’s important to keep up with this emerging trend. Though this article didn’t mention it, digital voice manipulation is also on the rise, which would make the development of 100% fake, yet realistic videos all the more possible. As The Atlantic reports, we’re not so far from the collapse of reality.

Learn:

  • 5 Advanced Tips for Running Ads on Facebook (Sprout Social). Whether you’re looking to start running ads on Facebook or you want to learn a few tips, this is a good look at the basics you need to know. From refining your target audience to running split tests, this is an awesome guide to running Facebook ads.
  • How to Make a GIF: The Complete Guide (Hootsuite Blog). If you’re like me and think animated GIFs are the greatest thing on the internet, then this is for you. Creating a GIF really isn’t that hard so long as you know which tools to use. This is the guide with said tools.

Did I leave out some important news? This week’s edition was heavy on Facebook. Surely I missed something important from LinkedIn or Twitter?

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Tweet-A-Beer: An app for buying your friends a beer via Twitter

Tweet-A-Beer app for buying a beer via Twitter.If you’ve kept a close eye on my Twitter stream, you may have noticed my occasional update on the world of craft beer. Or, maybe you’re aware of my love for a well-crafted brew because you’ve shared one with me. Either way, I’m announcing here on my blog that I enjoy a good beer (shocking, I know).

As most beer lovers would admit, the only thing better than enjoying a well-balanced frothy cold one is enjoying a well-balanced frothy cold one for free. Equally rewarding is sharing a beer with a friend and picking up the tab yourself. Certainly a nice gesture in any environment. The problem, though, is you can’t always be at the local watering hole with your buddy or maybe you’re both out-and-about, but in different locations. I hate to use a cliché here, but well, there’s an app for that! Online networking app Tweet-A-Beer allows for the payment of other Twitter users’ drinks. Cool, right?

I have yet to give the app a try, but it sounds pretty straightforward. Tweet-A-Beer syncs your Twitter and PayPal accounts so you can safely send beer money in $5 allotments. Tweet-A-Beer appropriately rolls out during South by Southwest in Austin, Tex. this weekend.

The Tweet-A-Beer website describes it quite eloquently:

Tweet-a-Beer was brewed and bottled by tenfour and Waggener Edstrom, longtime drinking buddies in Portland, Oregon. Tweet-a-Beer connects your Twitter and PayPal accounts together to ensure that distance, agoraphobia, and gang rivalries no longer prevent you from sharing a pint.

Please tweet responsibly.

Of course, you’re not actually purchasing a beer, you’re just offering to pay for $5 of their experience. Or as Doug Gross at CNN put it:

Technically, we suppose you could use those five bucks at iTunes or Amazon, for online gambling of dubious legality or, well, most anything. But there must be some bad karma associated with not buying an e-beer when a buddy has taken the time to tweet it your way.

With me, however, you can Tweet-A-Beer with confidence by knowing I will enthusiastically consume a hoppy pint and thank you for the kind gesture. I’ll probably announce to the entire bar what a cool guy/gal you are too. So, tweet me a beer. You’ll make my day. My Twitter handle is @eric_wheeler.

Redeeming a beer seems pretty simple as well. According to the FAQ page on the app’s website you just click the Tweet-a-Beer link mentioned in the tweet and follow the steps. Additionally, you will then be set-up to pay-it-forward and start tweeting beers to others, too.

As a PR guy, I can appreciate knowing the app was developed by Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and tenfour with no profits gained. The recipient’s PayPal account is charged a small fee of 10¢ to cover Chirpify’s fee. Chirpify is a ‘Twitter commerce’ platform used to make sure the transaction is secure. Read about their service here.

Please retweet this post and post your comments below responsibly.


My Thoughts on Steve Jobs and a Couple of his Best Quotes

Instagram users react to the passing of Steve Jobs.

Instagram users react to the passing of Steve Jobs.

After having a few days to digest, I feel prepared to write a short piece on the death of Steve Jobs. I learned of his passing via a push notification from the AP news app on my iPhone. At first, I thought it was a tasteless joke. There had been a number of Twitter hacks before, including CBS mistakenly reporting the death of Steve Jobs on Sept. 9, 2011. There was actually not a story in my AP app about the passing of Steve Jobs, so I went to Twitter to see what was going on. Sure enough, several other news sites and trusted followers were tweeting the sad news.

It always seems strange to be upset about the death of someone I never knew, but Steve Jobs was truly a visionary who changed the world for the better. Always modest of his life accomplishments, Steve Jobs made products that were easy to use and visually appealing. He had a way of looking into the future to deliver technologies that would change how people communicate and function in the world. But as I said, he maintained his modesty and focused on the important things in life:

“The problem is I’m older now, I’m 40 years old, and this stuff doesn’t change the world. It really doesn’t.

“I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much — if at all.” (Steve Jobs, Wired, 1996)

Silvia using her iPod touch.

Silvia using her mom's iPod Touch. The success of Steve Jobs is in the simplicity of Apple's products.

Whether or not Steve Jobs single-handily changed the world is up for debate. However, I don’t think too many people will argue Apple products are easy to use. Some may think of me as a bit of a tech geek, but if my aunt asks me to help her install a new app on her Android-based phone, I get lost in the process. Anything I do on my iPhone is easy. Apple’s products are so simple, my girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter can easily use her iPod Touch.

Probably the most profound technological developments of Apple came from the company’s ability to think of products in a new light and to keep things simple. While keeping something simple can often times be much more complicated, the simple designs of Apple products are clearly what sets them apart. Before I over-complicate this blog post, I will simply leave you with a quote from Steve Jobs:

“For something this complicated, it’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” (Steve Jobs, BusinessWeek, May 25, 1998)

Apple products have had a major impact on my life and many others. May Steve Jobs rest in peace.


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