All posts tagged Featured

  • Wikileaks tosses a virtual pie into Bill Keller’s face but who gets last laugh?

    Bill Keller (presumably the real Bill Keller) was angry. How angry? Apparently, all-caps angry:

    Wikileaks had some fun at his expense by going to the trouble of faking an oped under his name and posting it on what, at first glance, appeared to be the New York Times website. On closer inspection, you might notice that the URL was for “opinion-nytimes.com,” rather than the legit “nytimes.com.” I wonder what made Keller, a columnist for the paper and its former executive editor, angrier — that he was the butt of what he called a “childish prank” or that the column he supposedly wrote was so stilted?

    Read more

  • Zynga, Facebook having some tough times down on the farm

    It’s been a tough year in Farmville. Make-believe fields are sitting fallow and make-believe cows aren’t getting fed. I’m sure if there was a make-believe John Mellencamp, he’d be in Farmville right now organizing a benefit concert.

    Let’s get this straight, up front. I’m not hating on Farmville or Mafia Wars or the other game you play on Facebook where you pretend you’re a vampire. I’m a gamer. I get it. I’ll even confess that I was hooked on Scrabulous (the Scrabble rip-off) back before Hasbro, the owners of the real Scrabble, shut it down.

    These days, I’d pretty much forgotten about Farmville and Mafia Wars. Thankfully, Facebook made it easier to hide those annoying, bordering on maddening, requests from friends to join their games or, even worse, the announcements that one of your friends had just added some critter to his farm.

    But in making my life a little more pleasant, the Facebook team ignored the goose that laid the golden egg. That goose, gamemaker Zynga, announced Wednesday afternoon that it posted a $22 million loss in its second quarter. And just like that Zynga, which made a fortune selling virtual (i.e. make believe) commodities for real (i.e. real!!) money, saw its stock pummeled, losing nearly 40 percent of its value as investors rushed for the exit. Zynga, maker of Farmville, Mafia Wars, Words with Friends and dozens of other titles, raised $1 billion last December when it went public. At its height, Zynga stock reached $15.91 a share. On Wednesday, it had sunk to $3.12 a share in after-hours trading.

    Read more

  • How a 14-year-old girl stood up to the fashion establishment – and won

    Seventeen magazine knew what it was up against and called for a truce, or in this case something the magazine’s editor calls the “Body Peace Treaty” — a pledge to never digitally alter girls’ faces or bodies and to use diverse models of different body types, skin tones and hair textures, among other promises. The pledge was not only the right thing to do, it was the smart move from a public relations standpoint.

    The magazine had found itself the target of a petition on Change.org to “Give Girls Images of Real Girls!” Julie Bluhm, a 14-year-old from Waterville, Maine, started the petition a few months ago, asking Seventeen “to commit to printing one unaltered — real — photo spread per month. I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that’s supposed to be for me.”

    The petition struck a chord, not only with other girls, but with mothers and fathers, as well. As of this writing, more than 86,000 people have signed the petition. One mother who commented on the petition wrote:

    I grew up reading “Seventeen,” and I spent a large part of my adolescence agonizing over the fact that I did not look like the models in magazines. Now, I am raising a daughter, who is the most perfect and awesome human being that I have ever seen. I want her to know that she is beautiful just as she is, because she is smart and funny and clever and talented, and that she does not need trickery or computer magic or expensive cosmetics – smoke and mirrors – to be “beautiful.” Our daughters are already perfectly lovely, just as they are.

    Read more

  • Digg’ing its own grave: Hard times for social media pioneer

    Digg HQ sign

    Remember Digg? Just a couple years ago, it was a major player in crowd-sourced news. Getting a link on the the site’s front page meant tons of traffic. Nowadays? Not so much.

    Digg is done. A New York tech firm called Betaworks bought Digg last week for a mere $500,000 — about what they find under the couch cushions over at Google. Just four years ago, Digg was valued at $160 million. To put that in perspective, that’s like spending $900 for a Ferrari that sold for $300,000 in 2008.

    Of course, a $900 Ferrari might still get you from point A to B, but I’m not sure you can say the same about Digg. Of Technorati’s top 15 ranked blogs, I found the Digg sharing icon visible on only one site’s individual posts. All of them had Facebook and Twitter icons; most had G+, several had LinkedIn and a few even had Pinterest share buttons.

    Read more

  • Pentagon looking to develop Twitter, Facebook Special Ops

    6a00d8341c68bf53ef014e8a5accaf970d-320wi

    The Pentagon is gearing up for a looming social media war–battles the military envisions will be won by being one step ahead of Twitter- and Facebook-powered insurgencies.

    For the Pentagon that means developing social media tools that combine the code-breaking know-how of its intelligence services with the propaganda skills and manipulation techniques of its Pys-Ops group. On top of all that, the Pentagon hopes it can revolutionize the analysis of social media trends and conversations.

    It’s all part of the Defense Department’s new Social Media in Strategic Communication program, which the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) first announced a few weeks ago.

    Read more

  • Top 10 reasons Google+ will fail (Or why Facebook isn’t losing sleep)

    4323977677_46ff6d70e0_z-600x429

    If you follow the major online influencers (yeah, I’m talking about you, Scoble, Brogan, Kawasaki, Rowse et al) you’ve noticed that all of them are gaga over Google+. For sure, G+ is a fascinating platform with tremendous potential. Google took some of the best features of Facebook and Twitter and rolled them into an easy to use (if difficult to fully understand) social media network.

    But despite its upside, G+ is far from perfect. And while those smart guys in Menlo Park will surely be adding features and improving things in the coming days, weeks and months, here are the Top 10 reasons Google+ will fail:

    Read more