Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cyber-bullying leads to new levels of depression

Cyber-bullying leads to new levels of depression
In the days gone by, kids and teenagers used to have to tackle bullies in schools and colleges by enduring taunts and being pushed about. But kids could escape this nightmare after school; in the warm comfort of their homes. Not anymore!

Bullying has reached new levels and has grown beyond school playgrounds. Bullying is now reaching our homes. Even in the safety of their bedrooms, kids are no longer free of the threats and taunts that cruel bullies like to dish out. And this has been made possible through social networking sites and online gaming sites.

Cyber-bullying is latest way to be mean online and harangue other kids and teens your own age. From cell phones and computers to social networking sites, cyber-bullies use any medium to harass, threaten or humiliate people. Apart from making people absolutely miserable, cyber-bullies can hide behind their anonymity and don’t really have to face their victims. Yet, the impact is just as traumatic, as sending messages through social networking sites can spread quickly.

The Internet takes bullying to a whole new level and online bullies don’t give other students a chance to heal or to move on because there is always a chance that a harassing email can be forwarded to thousands of other people just for kicks. Since teenagers spend most of their time online, this can be very devastating to them and can lead to new levels of depression, and in some cases, suicidal tendencies.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is ‘Facebook Depression’ the latest to hit the Social Media scene?

Facebook Depression - Social Networking SitesThe latest warning to be issued by doctors is Facebook Depression! This is the latest in a series of disadvantages that social networking sites have been presenting off late, and it poses as a serious emotional danger for troubled teens especially.

Although there are many debates about whether the depression already exists in these vulnerable children and just gets worse or is triggered off by negative influences; it is still being recognized as a condition that is triggered off by social networking sites. Facebook is no place for emotionally vulnerable teenagers.

Social media sites present a false reality to youngsters through friends, contacts, status updates and happy pictures of popular contacts. To emotionally vulnerable youngsters who are yearning for popularity, this may make them more depressed. Most youngsters do not realize that the image created on social networking sites is far from the truth.

Texting, emails and spending time on social networking sites can increase mood swings and make them obsessive about online issues instead of getting back to the real world.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Should Teachers talk to children about Facebook usage

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Social media is literally everywhere! The latest to make it into the news is how it is affecting the way teachers and students get connected outside of school. But is this a good thing?

A school district recently placed limits on peer to peer communications between students and teachers through social media. But many school authorities have said that talking about issues of public concern is alright.

Some schools do not see this is as a problem, but others have developed certain guidelines for their teachers. There is a certain unspoken code of ethics that teachers have to abide by.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Social Media boosts Pfizer’s anti-counterfeit campaign

Social Media boosts Pfizer’s anti-counterfeit campaign
Pfizer, the pharmaceutical conglomerate, has been using social media to boost its Real Danger Patient Safety campaign. The second phase of this campaign, which began as a cinema advert, uses Facebook and Twitter to warn the public about the dangers of medicine spam.

The campaign’s website explains that medicine spam is in fact an unwanted online communication that is not only confined to email but can also affect other social media sites as well. Counterfeiters adopt the latest technologies and prey on unsuspecting people.

The campaign explains how Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other online forums can be used by counterfeiters to send medicine spam. Pfizer’s own Viagra and other erectile dysfunction treatments are some of the most counterfeited drugs, and there are thousands and thousands of websites that sell fake versions. However, the problem is growing what with counterfeiters now targeting lifesaving medication for cancer and heart problems.

Friday, March 25, 2011

MySpace going down

MySpace going down
MySpace is a troubled company and is sinking very quickly. According to recent reports, the social networking site witnessed a drastic decline in traffic by a whopping 10 million visitors in just one month!

From the start of this year right till now, MySpace’s web traffic has dropped by nearly 14.4 percent, from a total of 73 million users to 63 million. In addition, the traffic to this site has been halved by what it used to receive nearly a year ago. This news comes as the company’s owner is desperately trying to sell the company.

MySpace’s troubles have been reported widely and there have been rumors that the company’s owners are looking to sell the site. At the start of the year, the company began laying-off nearly half of its staff. Many different companies could be interested in MySpace. The social gaming site Zynga has been mentioned a few times. News Corp., the company that bought MySpace is steadily losing money on the site.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Facebook tries new Ad Format

Facebook tries new Ad Format
In a bid to ramp up its revenue increasing efforts, social networking giant, Facebook is testing out a new ad format that would essentially target used based on the keywords that they use in their wall posts and status updates. This move might rekindle the debate that was brought about over privacy that has plagued Facebook for many years. This format will be called as “related adverts” and is specifically designed to provide advertisers with a far more targeted audience by offering those products and services that are based on a user’s activities and thoughts.

The move is the latest made by the social network to leverage on its users’ personal data and use it for advertising purposes. In January, Facebook rolled out the “sponsored stories” section that enables brands to attach themselves to a user’s status update, click on “likes” on a homepage and place check-ins as well.

Supporters of this new move say that advertisers could especially gain from presenting users with a product that they were already thinking about, making it more likely for them to buy it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Will Social Media replace market research surveys

Will Social Media replace market research surveys
Will market research surveys be replaced by something more powerful and effective like social media? Many global consumers and marketing experts feel that this is highly possible, what with social media taking the world by storm!

The marketing research industry needs to finally break free of its conventional barriers and resort to using other, more groundbreaking means. Survey research is not a solution to every single thing. With the onset of social media, customers interact and engage with each other in a whole new way across the globe. Social media has indeed changed the way customers think and this is why they are less likely to get involved with research surveys.

Most people in the research industry come in with a firm belief that representation is what it is all about. Yes, it is important to have samples that are representative of a population for some research, but it is important to break free from the notion that being representative is the only solution.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Facebook to help with Health Care Needs

Facebook to help with Health Care Needs
Facebook is no more only about interacting with friend, updating status messages and posting photos. Now, more and more users are taking to Facebook to gather more health information.

Statistics have shown that 41 percent of the people, who use social media, use it as a healthcare resource. Many people confess to using Facebook for the medical content contained in it right from diet plans and exercise tips to the health education videos. The information gleaned from these social networking sites does have an impact on most people’s future health decisions. Yes, many responsible citizens are now turning to social networking sites for their health care decisions, thus ensuring that many hospitals and health care providers are also ramping up their social media presence.

Patients use social media sites for a number of health care needs, including:

  • Watching health education videos.

  • Getting diet plans and exercise tips.

  • Learning about future health events.

  • Studying various diseases.

  • Health Statistics.

  • What’s more, thousands and thousands of patients are also flocking to health care agencies with social media pages because, unlike visiting traditional websites, these pages allow users to interact better with the staff and other patients. You can now watch videos of doctors giving health advice or you could read comments about the health agency right from your Facebook account!

    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    Go Sushi franchise harnesses the power of Social Media

    Go Sushi franchise harnesses the power of Social Media
    The latest in the fast food franchise network to use social media to grow is Go Sushi! Go Sushi is the latest store to harness the power of Facebook in order to build its business.

    The owners Angela Matthews and Jo Watt turned to Facebook to promote the brand. There are now around 273 fans who keep receiving special offers and updates from the store.

    The national marketing manager for the brand, Carly Taber has said that the growth of the customer base and popularity of the store has continuously been increasing since last year. The brand owes much of its success to social media sites like Facebook for building its online popularity.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Is Social Media good for the Fashion Industry

    Is Social Media good for the Fashion Industry
    You bet! It doesn’t matter whether you are into fashion or not! It is still very difficult to escape the clutches of social media, what the information on the latest fashion trends doing its rounds every day. From live streaming videos of catwalk shows to fashion blogs and social shopping sites where you get all sorts of tips and opinions, social media plays a very big role in the fashion industry. Facebook, Twitter and many other social networking sites have made a very big impact on the fashion industry, and why not?

    Yes, with the Internet, the fashion industry has definitely become a lot more accessible to the general public. Brands and retailers are now resorting to using social media in order to communicate with customers and listen to them. The Shopping Forecast is a new social site that provides fashion enthusiasts and bloggers with a platform on which to vote and participate in fashion competitions. The fashion voter’s opinion does really count in this site! The information that is collected goes a long way in helping the fashion industry.

    Social Media and Art? The next big Thing

    Social Media and Art? The next big Thing
    Many art shows and museums have taken to using social media to talk about art. But for many, social media is a lot more than that! Many people feel that the photos and videos shared online are works of art themselves!

    The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has recently created a work of art from anonymous Flickr photos, the 4 Guggenheim Museums recently displayed 25 YouTube video that were selected by esteemed judges, and the Volta art fair at New York exhibited videos that were uploaded to Vimeo.

    Many art collectors and curators feel that the whole concept of posting on various social media sites has led to a logical reflection of art in our times. Art basically characterizes its time and explains what life is all about now. The art of today is all about the Internet and is longer about being in galleries and museums.

    But for many others, the very concept of art is hazy. What after all qualifies as art? Computer and video art made by artists have found places in museums for years now. But the whole concept of photos, videos and even Twitter posting on the Internet being art can be a very controversial one.

    As artists utilize social media to create their works, the role of museums and art shows could change for good, as these works can now be viewed and accessed by anyone and everyone right from their computers and mobile phones.

    Such art that forms a direct link between the audience and viewers can be nothing but radical and necessary!

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Should schools regulate Teachers’ use of Social Media

    Should schools regulate Teachers’ use of Social Media
    In a recent occurrence, a teacher from Central Bucks East High School has been reprimanded and might even lose her job for blogging about her students. This is the latest news of a teacher having to bear the consequences of social media.

    She however, is not likely to be the last teacher to be out of a job because of social media. There are plenty of teachers and aspiring teachers who grew up in the first generation using social media for their entertainment. Last year, at the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur in Villanova, a teacher was dismissed for blogging about a student’s classroom presentation. These two examples are just a few in a list of teachers and professors who have found themselves in deep trouble for just expressing their views about their students through social media.

    Educators on the other hand, who use social media, argue that if done right, it can provide immense benefits. Students, they say, should learn to use such tools proficiently and responsibly. Some districts have maintained guidelines for social media usage and this includes allowing teachers to make friends with students on Facebook. But school boards could also ban the use of social media as it breaches school regulations or confidential obligations.

    Use Social Media to Donate for Japan Rescue Efforts

    Use Social Media to Donate for Japan Rescue Efforts
    Yes, cash is the best way to donate and it is precisely what all the relief agencies need in Japan right now. Organizations are requesting people to focus on monetary donations after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on Friday last week.

    With more than 430,000 people displaced and around 24,000 literally stranded, disaster response is of utmost priority right now, with all the necessities such as food, water and medical attention topping the list. But collecting donation, bottled water or canned food in your locality isn’t really the best way to help.

    It is extremely time consuming and expensive to ship donations overseas to Japan at the moment. It is more useful for relief agencies to use money to purchase resources locally instead.

    Taking this into account, the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are groups that are now accepting donations via text messages. But text donations also have their own set of limitations. Organizations do not receive the donation money from the phone company until you have paid your bills. This can also be very time consuming.

    If you’re looking for immediate impact, then visit a charity-based website. You could also use social media posts and blogs to provide updates and to solicit donations. Doctors Without Borders has been constantly posting details on its Facebook page about its relief efforts in Japan. Click on a post to get to the group’s website and donate.

    Online donation do indeed reach groups faster than checks being dropped in the mail, but it is important to be careful when entering your debit or credit card information. This is especially true if you are donating via a social media site.

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Social media becomes the preferred form of communication after the Japan Earthquake

    Social media becomes the preferred form of communication after the Japan Earthquake
    Sitting here in the comfort of our homes, we cannot even begin to imagine the extent to the damage that the recent earthquake has caused in Japan. The devastation has not stopped though; it continues to occur as we sit this minute, and reports of new death tolls keep coming in with more and more people on the missing persons list. The scariest part about all this is that all lines of communication has been shut down, making it very difficult for people to contact their loved ones.

    Telephone lines have been down since Friday and getting in touch with loved ones has become a very difficult task to undertake. Owing to this, Facebook messages and Twitter Tweets have helped the locals keep in touch with their near and dear ones.

    Yes, research has shown that the human spirit can indeed be found with these social media platforms. Kotaku is a Japanese video game site that has even posted various articles from Japanese video game developers who have tweeted about their experiences. A famous Japanese actor has also been tweeting non-stop in an attempt to inspire more and more people to donate to the Red Cross.

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Social Media helps Increase Jobs in Silicon Valley

    Social Media helps Increase Jobs in Silicon Valley
    Today, many people are being employed in companies as community managers. You may ask what a community manager is. Community managers are basically the social media voice of the specific company on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other such social networking sites.

    Jobs like this were practically nonexistent a decade ago, but are now helping to fuel a company’s popularity. Just last week, California reported in spite of the job losses taking place, the San Jose metropolitan area had at least 8,000 tech-related jobs in IT and manufacturing.

    Reports show that nearly 40 percent of the 130,000 job openings in Silicon Valley are for engineering positions. But there are many types of positions in social media, mobile applications and cloud computing that are now becoming key job drivers.

    Company takes a Social Media lesson from College Kids

    Company takes a Social Media lesson from College Kids
    As far as social media is concerned, Sprint is one company that you wouldn’t consider backward or lacking in knowledge. Yes, many consumer brands and sports have now started taking to social media and social networking in an attempt to get noticed, and this is the same case with Sprint as well.

    Sprint was recently given a valuable lesson in social media by a group of college kids. Here’s how the story goes! Sprint, the cellular giant, recently gave a marketing class about 10 Smartphone’s with unlimited wireless access. And, in return, Sprint wanted free marketing tips for their 4G network from the students who were able to show them in a very hands-on way, the benefits of social media.

    This is a great way to learning more, as most companies prefer to do their market research through surveys. But Sprint on the other hand, have taken it a step further by interacting with the very people who will actually be using their products.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    U.S. Embassies find it hard to Establish Social Media in Host Countries

    U.S. Embassies find it hard to Establish Social Media in Host Countries
    U.S. embassies have said that they find it extremely hard to establish a social media presence in most of their host countries. They feel that it is a labor-intensive practice that is ridden with many probable pitfalls.

    Embassies regard social media as a great way to reach out to a younger audience. But they all say that for a U.S. mission social media site to be successful, it is important to have original content, high levels of audience interaction and serious staff commitment. Most embassies however, tend to lack the latter factor.

    57 missions have been examined by the inspector general, out of which 42 have active Facebook sites. The public affairs section says that it is very difficult to get the other sections to contribute. Only a quarter of these 42 missions update their Facebook pages daily. What’s more, embassies also have had to deal with users adding unnecessary and unquestionable material on the U.S. social media sites.

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Social Media Sneakers: Are they the new Fashion Trend

    Social Media Sneakers: Are they the new Fashion Trend
    Has your love for social media finally become a fashion trend? Brass Monki, fashion shoe designer, typically displays everything on his custom shoes – from Mario to Bob Marley. But his latest fashion collection includes bringing the best of social media to your shoes!

    The latest social media Nike shoes have hit the fashion scene – and how! Now with these shoes, you can prove to your competitors that you’re not only a great player, but you also spend hour’s online networking and tweeting. What’s more, they’ll probably think that you spend hours tweeting about your every dribble and dunk.

    Adidas has also sparked rumors by releasing their own line of Twitter and Facebook sneakers. Keeping with the latest in terms of fashion trends, pretty soon there will be Friendster jackets and MySpace hoodies that will be doing their rounds!

    Talk about the popularity of social networking!

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Student launches a new Social Media Site

    Student launches a new Social Media Site
    Social networking sites have taken the world by storm! Most people will confess that they cannot even go a day without accessing their Facebook or Twitter accounts. Most people prefer socializing and networking over the Internet than in reality. And like most things, this can pose as a problem as it tends to take away the sense of privacy that is shared by people. And secondly, social networks are not as safe and secure as they claim to be.

    For Matthew Foster, a Junior Computer Science major, these are precisely the same reasons for why he created worlpal.com. The site comes as a pleasant surprise to those who wish to communicate in a more private way online. Foster says that he wanted to create a full private platform where students can meet one another from anywhere in the world. The whole idea was to sort of meet someone at random, like at a store or a mall, and become friends.

    Worlpal.com is similar to other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, but a lot more private. When you update your status, one unknown person will be randomly selected to appear under your update. You can then view his or her profile and decide whether you want to become friends. If you decline the person, then you will never be able to see their profile again. If you choose to become friends, then you will be able to message each other, and comment on one another’s updates.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Facebook helps to Boost Self-Esteem

    Facebook helps to Boost Self-Esteem
    If you spend hours on end logged into Facebook, just updating your profile, making new contacts or fussing over your status updates – there’s news for you now! This is no longer considered to be a waste of time! Recent studies have shown that the time you spend on social networks may not be as detrimental as you thought it would be; or as you’ve been led to believe.

    Spending time online and trying to perfect your online identity by making changes to your profile can go a long way in boosting your self-esteem. As opposed to how a mirror keeps reminding us of our flaws, Facebook on the other hand helps by showing us a positive version of ourselves. A mirror just reminds us of who we really are; which in most cases can’t be perfect right?

    Facebook does a whole lot of good for us, but this doesn’t mean it deceives of us of who we really are. It just gives us a positive portrayal of ourselves. When you post anything on any social media site, you will be able to filter out all the negative and unflattering details about yourself. As far as contacts are concerned, Facebook allows us to present our photos in a more presentable way, which further goes to boost our esteem.

    Studies have shown that social networking sites can help people with low psychological well beings and can bring them out of their shells.

    Health Care Fraud Investigators use Social Media

    Health Care Fraud Investigators use Social Media
    Everybody knows how important social media sites have become; so much so that even insurance companies have started taking to social media sites to find out more about the people they insure. Medical liability, disability and workers’ compensation insurers have now started using Facebook and Twitter to check for potential frauds.

    What’s more, health insurers have also begun to use online profiling for the underwriting process. This includes the Twitter and Facebook posts to check where current and prospective members go and what they do.

    Yes, insurance companies have started using social media to outdo their competition when it comes to understanding the profile of the insured. This practice also includes underwriting, like using tweets or posts to find out whether a person’s hobbies are risky – like skydiving or running - and then using this to investigate disability claims.

    So, patients are advised to stay away from social media sites if they are at home recovering from an illness or injury, in order to avoid being suspected of fraud. Even an innocent social media update might be misconstrued by the insurers.