Posts Tagged ‘Fraud Scam’

Facebook and Spotify: Two, together

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Facebook’s been gearing up to take on the biggest challenge of all: your taste in everything.

The social media giant is growing older and maturing. With 800 million users worldwide, it’s still the top site of its kind, but some changes may be due to its need to stay relevant and compete with the Google+s of the world.

Unveiled in June of 2011, Google+ now has 20 million users – still a far cry from the global domination of Facebook, but its numbers are steadily climbing.

Some changes to Facebook are simply aesthetic – a new “Top Stories” feature, extending the 500-character post limit to 5,000, and an overwhelmingly up-to-date news ticker about all Facebook friends’ activities all the time.

Probably the most important change to Facebook, announced on September 22nd at the F8 developer conference in San Francisco, is their partnership with almost a dozen different music services – including Spotify, Slacker Radio, Soundcloud, Earbits, Vevo, Rhapsody and others.

Launched in 2008 in Sweden, Spotify has gained massive popularity in the past few months, thanks in part to its promotion by Zuckerberg. The new partnership will surely further the music service’s success and possibly establish them as the social media music service of choice.

Integrated to Facebook’s Open Graph app platform, Facebook users can use Spotify to share songs and playlists with friends in real time. Endorsed by Zuckerberg as an excellent way for users to make new musical discoveries and further share interests with friends, Spotify is indeed the most prominent of Facebook’s new batch of musical partnerships.

Facebook users can expect to see play buttons to start popping up on their pages, seamlessly connecting them to music shared by friends and allowing them to stream it on the spot.

Instead of developing their own music service, Facebook decided to be a host to others. By not having to deal with licensing and expansion, the service can continue to focus on its number one priority: growing its user base.

There has been some controversy surrounding Facebook’s partnership with Spotify, but the biggest debate has been over Spotify’s new necessity for users to belong to Facebook in order to create a new music account.

When a user goes to the Spotify page, they are required to have a Facebook account and are prompted to create one if they don’t already. Similar to the game service Zynga’s growth – which was linked to the success of the social network – Spotify is now connected to Facebook in more than just sharing music.

Before their partnership with Facebook, Spotify was its own entity and required no connection to another service. But, now one cannot exist without the other; It’s become a symbiotic Internet relationship.

Whether or not Spotify will rise to such web stardom as its new partner will depend upon Facebook users’ abilities to willingly accept the new integration. At this point, however, it seems like it’s just a matter of time before Spotify does assume a leadership role in the music streaming industry, eventually ousting competitors like Rdio and Grooveshark thanks to it being Facebook’s default music service of choice.


Butcher, Mike. “Controversy as Spotify requires new users to be on Facebook first” TechCrunch

Roettgers, Janko. “Facebook teams up with Spotify, to let users share music” Gigaom

Warren, Christina. “Spotify Comes to Facebook” Mashable Entertainment

Social Media and the Hurricane

Monday, August 29th, 2011

In this day and age, there could never be a natural disaster without a significant amount of social media commentary. According to a recent article by USAToday, people waiting for its arrival and those already affected by Hurricane Irene took to Facebook and Twitter to post comments and share information with the online world.

Some posts were used to share updates about power outages, road closings and other trouble cause by Hurricane Irene. Dozens of pages on Facebook were dedicated to the storm. People took to social media to express concern, inform loved ones of their safety, and show remorse for those who lost their lives.

Yet others chose to use social media to express emotions of a different sort related to the hurricane; irritation. Category 1 was one of the top trending topics on Twitter this past weekend. Posters on Twitter accused the media and local and state officials of blowing the hurricane out of proportion and overreacting, calling it a Category 2 storm instead of Category 1.

Twitter posts from residents of New York City talked about the inconvenience of shutting down the city. The mass transit system in NYC was closed down for the first time in its history to prepare for the hurricane’s landfall upon the city.

Still, as some cared to share their irritation or blast their media over the hurricane, some took to the social media airwaves to urge others to take it seriously. No matter what category the hurricane was or how it compared to storms in the past, Irene still caused billions of dollars of damage up and down the East Coast, left hundreds of thousands without power, and killed at least 24 people.

It’s no surprise that social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter were flooded with comments and posts about Hurricane Irene. Any monumental event such as a natural disaster will provoke social commentary, and the easiest way to share your opinion with the world these days is via social media. If our country was being bombed to pieces, there would still be people running from the path of destruction with a smartphone in their hands, trying to type out a message about the inconvenience of it all with buildings blowing up left and right and jets flying overhead.

The nature of social media is that anyone can post anything they want at any time. This means that we must take the good with the bad. Certain people decided to use Facebook and Twitter to provide useful information to the rest of the world about the hurricane, such as its path of destruction, road closing, power outages, and refuge shelters for those stranded.

But of course, others like to abuse the access and wide broadcast of social media to complain about the media coverage or the inconvenience of having to evacuate. Social media represents all spectrums of society, and if we are going to subject ourselves to the content, we must hear what everyone has to say.

Google and Microsoft Engaged in Bitter Online Feud

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Google and Microsoft have been in competition with each other for a while now. It makes sense. They are both tech giants, offering similar services and products. Google has Chrome, Microsoft has bing. Google has the Android, Microsoft has its own Windows-based mobile devices. They are beasts of the same nature, and therefore they must compete for the title. Sometimes the battle can get ugly. This past week, both Google and Microsoft have taken to the social media airwaves to speak out against each other. This time, the feud is over patents.

According to a recent article in the Associated Press, Microsoft teamed up with Apple and Research in Motion to buy a large number of patents from Novell and Nortell Networks. Nortell Networks is a Canadian telecommunications gear manufacturer that went bankrupt and is now selling off its business, including thousands of patents.

According to Google, Microsoft is in cahoots with the other companies to compete against Google’s Android operating system. In order to keep Google from developing new software, Microsoft went ahead and bought up all the patents.

In a recent blog post, Google’s chief legal officer went so far as to say that Microsoft, Apple and others are in a “hostile organized campaign” against Google, and that’s the only reason they went ahead and bought all of the “bogus patents” from Novell and Nortell Networks. Instead of competing by building new devices, said Google, they simply want to make it harder for other manufacturers to sell the Android devices.

In response, Microsoft took to its own social networking platform of choice, Twitter. Microsoft’s communications chief tweeted an image of an email sent to Microsoft from Google, declining to take part in the purchase of all the patents from Novell and Nortell Networks. Google blasts at Microsoft with a blog post, and Microsoft comes right back and slaps them with a tweet.

The nature of this feud demonstrates how dependent upon and obsessed with social media our culture has become. It adds a new element to everything that goes on in the world. If it weren’t for blogs and Twitter, the only people that would know about this spat would be the people that read the technology section of the newspaper every day; that is to say, computer geeks.

But since everyone is so involved with what is posted online, we are so much more aware of what goes on and what other people have to say about it. Recent examples of how society is influenced by social media concerning news events have been the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, Jackass star Ryan Dunn’s death and its response in Twitter, and the outcome of the Casey Anthony trial and all that anyone and everyone has to say about it.

It’s a global community these days, and if you are not involved in everyone else’s business via Twitter, Facebook or various blogs, apparently you are out of the loop.

How much Klout do you have?

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

It was inevitable.

Since social media’s sphere of influence has expanded to include people and businesses around the world, a system in which individuals could be “scored” based upon their effectiveness was bound to take shape.

Klout – which creatively plays off of the word clout – is a social media monitoring website designed for individuals. While it lacks certain tools for businesses, it can be somewhat useful for them, as well.

Klout monitors a user’s Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts to rate them on their effectiveness, which is displayed via a 1-100 score.  It doesn’t just look at how often you tweet or how many followers you have – it’s a bit more mathematical than that.

For one, it looks at the effectiveness of those who follow you. If you have 1,000 junk followers on Twitter, your score is guaranteed to be lower than an individual with 500 extremely influential ones. Your consistency (or overuse), retweets, and mentions also play a strong factor in influencing the overall stability of your score.

The system also looks at your Facebook profile, measuring the number of likes and comments per post, as well as how many unique commenters there are.  The number of connections that you have on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn definitely count, but there comes a point when you can have too many and the number won’t increase your score.

Again, it really depends upon the kind of people that you surround yourself with – if you keep socially engaged friends, then chances are that your score will be more likely to go up.

After inquiring with Klout via email about how often job seekers put their scores on resumes, they said that there have been a few instances where individuals with the higher Klout score got the job. Granted, these were mainly for PR / social media / community management positions, but there are millions of these types of positions in the world, so it’s an important thing to keep in mind.

Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily equal. It’s not an individual’s fault that their friends aren’t socially engaged. Having a few hundred good friends on Facebook from college or high school isn’t uncommon, but perhaps only 10 percent of those might actually be engaged.

Furthermore, it’s simply applying another number to a slew of ones already on resumes and applications: college or high school GPA, years worked, SAT/ACT/LSAT/GRE scores, and so on and so forth.

There is an upside, however: Klout is a relatively effective system that will only become more so over time. Today, only the most socially-savvy people are using it, meaning that they understand downsides inherent in the system. As long as they don’t base their decision solely upon (or even majorly upon) the Klout score posted at the top, job seekers will be fine.

It is, though, an intimidating idea that in years to come, individuals will start posting a social media score at the top of their resumes for jobs that they dream of having.

Now is the time to get ahead and make scores as stable as possible.

Wordpress Powers More than 50 Million Sites

Monday, July 11th, 2011

If you follow this blog at all, you might know by now that I am somewhat of a fiend for social media. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are changing our world and transforming the ways in which we are informed of everyday happenings.

Blogs are also a useful tool in sharing ideas and information. Anyone can create a blog and therefore anyone can share their thoughts with the rest of the world. Right now, you are reading my blog and taking in what I have to say. It might not be breaking news, but if people read it then I have something worth sharing.

If you are reading this blog right now, you are on a Wordpress site. Wordpress is an open source blogging platform that recently reached the accolade of powering more than 50 million different websites. Half of those sites are hosted on the site, such as this one here.

Every day, Wordpress users create 500,000 new posts and make 400,000 new comments. Wordpress has attracted many users because of its ease and simplicity. You do not have to be any kind of computer geek to create and update a blog. Users can re-arrange widgets without editing PHP or HTML code. It’s so easy, anyone can do it!

Wordpress was released in 2003 and has since made a huge splash in the online world. This open source blog tool and publishing platform is extremely versatile. It can be used to power blogs and many other various types of personal and business websites. Best of all, it’s free.

The idea of a blog is exemplary of the current status of our society. We live in an online, social-networking world, and apparently we care what other people are doing and what they have to say. Twitter and Facebook are both prime examples of how much we invest into other people’s thoughts and actions.

With Twitter, we can follow certain people’s every moves and thoughts they might have. Celebrities attract a lot of attention on Twitter, because for some reason we really care what where they are eating for lunch or what they have to say about current events. In a way, it brings us closer to them and we feel like we know them better by following them on Twitter.

Facebook allows us to exist in a virtual world where everything is wonderful. Posts and pictures on Facebook are usually taken from the highlight reel of one’s life. Everything is great on Facebook, and we like it that way. It’s a perfect world where nothing really goes wrong and everyone is happy. And we can also keep tabs on what our friends are up to at all hours of the day. For the naïve voyeur, this is a utopia.

Blogs are another form of social media, and they enable everyone with a voice. To be able to publish your thoughts and opinions online for others to read makes you feel kind of important – like your thoughts and ideas actually hold some merit tin this crazy world.

The irony is thick here today. I am using my Wordpress blog as a platform to discuss my thoughts on how important blogs have come to be and how Wordpress is dominating that arena. If only somebody would read this…

Social Media, Smear Campaigns & Alec Difrawi – by Alec Difrawi

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

I have regularly acknowledged how important the Internet and the use of social media have been in the development of our society. They have been important in my career and in the success of my business endeavors. Without social media, the world would be a much different place, and I would probably not be where I am today.

But this is not all for the good. As much as I have been able to utilize social media to propel my successes, the same platforms have been used to hurt me as much as they have been to my advantage. These days, it’s just too easy to start a smear campaign or spread nasty rumors, and unfortunately I have become the victim of numerous such attacks.

If you read my blog, you most likely think I am obsessed with both smear campaigns and social media. Well this may be true, but something has to be said. As long as there has existed some form of mass communication, smear campaigns have been possible. If there is a way to get a word to out to a large number of people at once, people are going to use it to spread trash.

It could just be the nature of human beings. Everyone likes to succeed in life, everyone wants to be successful. But what if you are one of those unfortunates who cannot achieve? What do you do? Apparently you talk trash about other people, because that’s what I have seen happen to me.

It seems that these people who are perpetrating the smear campaigns against me must have failed somewhere along the way, because they do not have anything else going on in their lives. Otherwise, I have no idea how they can spend so much time attacking me and my endeavors every step of the way.

Sometimes I feel as if, when I am sitting here in my office, with all these people here hard at work all day long, there has got to be a similar office somewhere else with other people hard at work all day long attacking our hard work.