My favourite Christmas social media video’s

In the run up to Christmas  I have been preparing for my Christmas holidays by running around like a headless chicken (or should I say Turkey) trying to buy Christmas cards and presents, finding an outfit for the big day and putting an end to the endless emails via my BlackBerry.  I have however, when I’ve had time to spare seen some great Christmas video’s on YouTube, below are my two favourite of the year so far (I don’t think anyone can beat them…yet):

The Digital Story of The Nativity

This brilliant YoutTube video has had over 3.9 million views since it was uploaded a week ago telling the story of The Nativity via Social Media with appearances from Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipeadia and Foursquare.  If social media were to describe The Nativity story this is the only way I could imagine it would be like.  Not a massive fan of the Jingle Bells background music but the video on a whole is a brilliant and entertaining watch sending the message that although times have changed, the miracle most definitely stayed the same.

A Social Network Christmas

Igniter Media uploaded this video on YouTube 6 days ago and although it hasn’t got as many hits as The Nativity video,  in little under a week it has managed to be viewed 428,000 times.  The ‘A Social Network Christmas’ video tells the story of Joseph through his Facebook status, wall, posts and friends.

Both are brilliant video’s especially telling the story of Christmas in present time what with all the social media, digital/online and technology that is part of our lives in the present day.


BranchOut. Is this the new LinkedIn?

Earlier this year Facebook brought out a new application called BranchOut, a new startup that pulls together information from your friend’s profiles, about what companies they work for, have worked for in the past as well as any other business-related details the app can find. It also includes a job board feature, which makes it easy to see whether there are openings at any of the companies friends in your network are associated with.

The question we should ask ourselves is…Should LinkedIn be afraid of this new competitor?

Rick Marini, ex Founder and CEO of SuperFan, an entertainment based social network that produced social games for clients such as CBS, MTV and Universal Music, which hit more than 200 million users before it was bought by monster.com in 2004 for about $100 million and later shut down. Marini founded BranchOut “your professional profile on Facebook,” earlier this year. So how does it work? Well check out this video:

I don’t think so. I originally started using BranchOut after seeing it advertised on a friends’ profile as a great new way to network within the work industry. I joined, thinking that maybe just maybe thanks to Facebook’s incredible expansion over a small number of years, it could kick LinkedIn in the backside and become the new number 1 career network. I would say it’s far too early being set up in July this year but I haven’t seen through my friends connections and my postings of jobs a dramatic change since day one. Whereas my LinkedIn account has had more views in the past 3 days than the whole of my BranchOut account probably has done since it was launched.

My career network stats:

I have 376 Friends on Facebook, of that 3 of my friends are on BranchOut, 916 Friends of Friends working at 113 companies and 256 companies are in my BranchOut Network. Whereas my LinkedIn I have 530 connections of friends and colleagues, 269,600 friends of friends (each connected to one of my connections), 10,581,800 three degrees away of users connected through a friend and one of their friends with a total of 10,852,000 users I can contact through an introduction with 31,746 new people in my network since December 19th 2010. Meaning from just LinkedIn I can contact 85,000,000 + users directly just through my network which puts me in a better networking position that BranchOut could and quite possible ever would.

There’s no question that BranchOut was brought on to ping an arrow into the face of LinkedIn and that someone sooner or later would launch a rival to LinkedIn via the Facebook network but I’m surprised it hasn’t done so well. What LinkedIn has in comparison is 80 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide but it’s a corporate network and Facebook just won’t ever be like it. I have a lot of connections on LinkedIn with not a massive amount of friends on Facebook but I’m not one to add people after meeting them after a few minutes. I also keep the two very separate because, well my Facebook is private and LinkedIn is work/networking related.

Although, I’ve had a different experience using this app, the success of this all depends on whether all my friends download it and use it, and the only way they seem to do this is if I constantly promote it on my wall. I don’t think LinkedIn has anything to worry about with this app, They are both too different and on opposite ends of the scale. If I wanted to know if my friend has got a job (that’s if I haven’t already spoken to them about it over a glass of vino, over the phone or via email) then I can easily just type their name in LinkedIn and hey presto there’s their details in my extended network.


Facebook updates its privacy controls

Great news for us Facebookers the social networking giant is now expanding the tools to its mobile platform where Facebook mobile users can now access a detailed overview of the data they’ve shared across various apps and websites as well as tweak their settings on the go. Giving Facebook users the same privacy control as found on the Facebook.com website. Controls include limiting access to basic profile data, photos and videos and friends’ information. Facebook ads it will roll out the new privacy features over the next few weeks.

More than 200 million consumers worldwide are now actively using Facebook’s mobile products across all platforms, up from just 65 million a year ago. According to Nielsen Company data published in mid September 2010, Facebook is the most popular application across most operating systems: 50% of iOS users have accessed the app within the last 30 days, compared with the 45% of BlackBerry users and 32% of Window Phone users. Facebook is the second most popular app among Android users (45%), only Google Maps rank higher, and just barely at 46%.


Erik Qualman’s Socialnomics..a must read?


Erik Qualman is most well-known for his contributions over at Search Engine Watch and on the trade show circuit but most recently is known for his ‘Socialnomics’ book where it gives a great insight into social media and the online environment. From Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Wikipedia, social media is redefining human interaction and business.

Socialnomics is a must read, but read it now before it runs out of time and social media moves onto something newer and bigger. Qualman pulls out some accurate case studies and facts and focus’ on topics like the last US Presidential election to help people understand more about social media. Qualman shows how companies and employers can benefit from the social, online tools and information in social media to promote their business and brands and if you’re not doing it, you’re very far behind. In this new and fast growing industry traditional marketing-TV, radio, newspaper and magazines are quickly fading away making room for the new paradigm of digital and online to lead through social media channels and word of mouth.

Social media is one of the most popular activities online today, offering companies, brands and individuals the opportunity to connect with a new audience. It will continue the way we interact with each other. Qualman does a great of offering an insight into what social media holds for a business in the future and how the best way to take advantage of it.

Qualman says himself in the introduction that this book does not need to be read like a novel, from start to finish as in provides useful insights into different topics in social media. Which it doesn’t. I’ve read this book a few times and recommend it. Sometimes I’ve read it like a novel and other times to refer back to chapters. Whichever way you read it, it’s a good book to read of the social media revolution, even if you’re in the industry.

Check out the Social Media Revolution here.


Asics has started a Facebook competition to find the new face for its Ayami womenswear range

Asics the Japanese sportswear brand has kicked off an exciting new Facebook competition to find the new face for its Ayami womenswear range. The idea of the competition is to promote the women’s sportswear brand as stylish and functional calling for real runners to upload pictures or images of themselves to the Asics Ayami Facebook app. Visitors/members who view the images will be encouraged to vote or use the ‘like’ function to vote for their favourite.

The winner will feature in a campaign for the Ayami range in 2011 with the most popular runners featuring in an Asics ‘Lookbook’ gallery on the Facebook page, created by marketing agency Amsterdam Worldwide.

The competition continues a long line of digital campaign from Asics. In August it supported a campaign between digital music retailer eMusic and Intersport to provide free music downloads in aid of the latter’s Run Free Now campaign.


Bebo launches new video chat service

Bebo, the British found social network, has launched a new feature called BChat (powered by vChatter of Facebook fame), designed to bring users together based on their social preferences, age, interests and location. It’s a cleaner, safer version of Chatroulette, a Russian based website that pairs random strangers from around the world together for website-based conversations.

Since AOL bought Bebo back in 2008 for $850million, this is the first real news we’ve heard from them. The bChat announcement is a sign that Bebo means business, indicating the start of a wider plan to become relevant once again , in user numbers and even are claiming they are seeing profits. The idea of BChat is to provide a safe way for the young Bebo audience to chat to each other via their webcams. Bebo is keen to stress the security of the platform, making their video conferencing technology monitor their user activity to ensure user interactions are safe.

It will be interesting to see whether Bebo can pull themselves up in the social networking world, with some tough competition from Facebook amongst others. With their small but surviving teen audience a safer video chat service could prove popular.




Is Twitter coming to London town?

Prime Minister David Cameron bagged himself a table with some of Twitter’s biggest executives this week in London alongside Boris Johnson to see if Twitter would consider good ol’ London Town as a base for its European HQ. If this does happen London’s Old Street would be dubbed Silicon Roundabout.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Twitter has placed their HQ in London, with reports that the new office will probably be open in the New Year. This though is yet to be officially confirmed but Katie Jacobs Stanton, the international strategy maker let slip on her Twitter “Hugely impressed with PM Cameron @MajorOfLondon & the @Number10gov teams.” Katie is said to be controlling the upcoming planning, organizing and staffing of the latest European HQ.

The Silicon Roundabout is meant to be the heart of the UK’s dotcom boom-and no way a poor relation of Silicon Valley-so it seems like a great place for Twitter to make its nest.  Twitter’s main HQ is in San Francisco, California but it has been widely reported that the company wants to spread its wings further afield.

The UK government has already pledged £400 million funds for the new Tech City also around Silicon Roundabout. A number 10 source said the Government is keen to get Twitter to set up its first HQ outside the US into the UK “All that matters is that they come to London” he said. “They met the PM and Boris Johnson, as well as advertising execs and key technology partners.”

So the big question is…Is Twitter even profitable yet?

From the beginning every Tom, Dick and Harry has been asking the same question; How is Twitter supposed to make money? especially when Twitter turned down an acquisition offer of $500 million from Facebook ($100 million cash and about $400 million in equity).

In early spring 2010, Twitter announced it’s first direct sales revenue model, ‘promoted Tweets’ and many hailed the in-stream advertising program as the company’s saviour.

But Twitter COO Dick Costolo told CNN Money that Twitter is not turning a profit from the promoted Tweets. “They’re effective, advertisers love them. We’re making as much money as we need to make off of them right now,” he said. But, he continued. “We’re not profitable right now. The specific thing I say over and over is that we’ve got plenty of time to grow.”

This should be true: Twitter has raised $160 million in venture capital since it was founded in March, 2006.

Costolo insists that the current “promoted Tweets” will be “just one pillar of monetization” in the future. It’s hard to imagine how many more ways the company can leverage its linear content stream, but they’ll clearly need to invent some new ways to make money.

What does that mean for us?

Bringing a big name company like Twitter to join the likes of Google, Facebook and Microsoft would be great to our growing tech market and I’m happy No.10 are trying to get involved in investing and progressing the technology sector in the UK which cannot be a bad thing, they just need to watch where they put the tax payers money. Without Twitter having much of a financial ground, buying a HQ office in London is going to be expensive. Hopefully Twitter will bring lots of employment opportunities to the thousands who are seeking work at the moment.