Category Archives: Social Media

Rep. Weiner tweets his wienie

When Facebook tells you your password’s been compromised  … it’s probably a call to immediate action.

Anthony Weiner. BPaper photo

Brooklyn’s Rep. Anthony Weiner — recently wed but a perennial source of single-guy-on-the-prowl off-color humor — was shown on Twitter in [drumroll, please!] all his glory.

His bulging wienie, cloaked in gray briefs, appeared Friday night on his official account, available to 45,000 followers (and by extension to an indeterminable number of their friends).

The NY Post is calling it Weiner-gate.

The congressman had been warned by Facebook about a week ago that his password might have been compromised. Although he’s a proud technophile, like most users, he took no action, giving the hacker plenty of time to engineer mischief.

Weiner had been tweeting about a hockey game a few minutes before the shot went up [“followers of my lame hockey tweets recall i picked tb and nashville”]; he was monitoring his stream and quickly spiked the offending item — but not before it had been retweeted and screen-grabbed by several followers, the Post reports.

He quickly posted, “Tivo shot. FB hacked. Is my blender gonna attack me next?” and later, “Touche Prof Moriarity. More Weiner Jokes for all my guests! #Hacked!”

The congressman’s spokesman, Dave Arnold, told the Post that the wiener wasn’t Weiner’s (although we’re not certain if Arnold used those exact words).

Once again, for members Congress and all of us plebeians, the gods of social media are not to be trifled with. Protect your passwords!

Here’s the full NY Post account.

• • •

Who’s the Weiner? Let’s say he’s not afraid to speak his mind; he will not yield. Here’s the congressman’s classic House explosion last summer in defense of 9/11 emergency responders—

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Never miss a promotional opportunity…

This is precious.

Raygun — which calls itself “The Greatest Store in the Universe” — is a grass-rooted shop in Des Moines’ East Village (mostly T-shirts lauding or laughing at all things Iowa). They sell shoes, too. Their customer service and marketing is consistently exceptional. And they never miss an opportunity to exploit any [wholly unplanned] promotional opportunity.

SuperBowl commercials: Best [Chrysler’s hymn to Detroit] and Worst [Groupon’s tasteless humor]

My personal favorite: American industry, American workers, and the power of a great American city, by Chrysler

Groupon easily wins for the worst ad. Unless you agree that saving $15 at a Tibetan restaurant in Chicago is the equal of the cultural annihilation and genocide that’s been underway in Tibet, you might even call it creepy. What will they think of next — equating the Holocaust with one of the Second Avenue Deli’s incomparable hot pastrami sandwiches? All this proves is that having a company valued at $6-billion doesn’t mean you have a dime’s worth of common sense or an ounce of sensitivity.

Twitter exploded last night with instant revilement over Groupon’s commercials. This morning, there were plenty of angry posts by bloggers and newspaper writers. Time asks: “Did they merely push the envelope, or did they cross a line?” The NY Times wondered “whether the start-up has burned through a lot of good will.” Groupon’s hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, said the company “cheapened itself” when it “trivialized the oppression of the people of Tibet.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese — oppressors of Tibet — were also not happy about the spot (but, obviously, for other reasons).

In addition to the Tibet spot, Groupon prepared two other commercials:

In a bid to illustrate that it understands that the problems of Tibet, the Brazilian rainforest, and high seas whaling are indeed serious, Groupon created a web page that invites viewers to contribute money to aid these causes. But even here, Groupon is on slippery ground. Under Cuba Gooding Jr’s video about whaling, there’s a “urgent message” and a “donate” button in which viewers are urged to donate $15 to Greenpeace — and get a $15 Groupon credit in exchange: “Your essentially free donation will go to help end commercial whaling.” Greenpeace is hardly a universally admired advocate. Meanwhile, no kickbacks are offered for contributions to Tibet, the rainforest, or building schools “in some of the world’s poorest villages” (the schools video was not yet up).

The attitude conveyed by last night’s commercials might have been predictable — it’s reflected in this commercial that was prepared by Groupon when it was just getting started, in early 2009 [WARNING: the following video may not be suitable for young children] :

You’ll find all of the SuperBowl commercials through a link at YouTube.

Groupon, iPad and Twitter: Not so fast!

Alan Mutter has an excellent post in which he seeks to moderate some of the wild projections surrounding Groupon, the iPad and Twitter.

Newspapers and the iPad: Publishers are pleased that the iPad is beloved by “exactly the sort of wealthy, middle-aged men who read newspapers,” says Mutter. Unfortunately, “58% of iPad users think the device is such a good substitute for print that they are ‘very likely’ to cancel their print subscriptions in the next six months… [Meanwhile] newspapers have yet to find a way to extract as much advertising revenue from the digital media as they can from the print product.” Mutter concludes: “An alternative to porting the daily paper to the iPad is to use the platform to develop new and differentiated products to serve new audiences and advertisers.”

Groupon’s problem: “Instead of attracting new long-term customers for merchants, Groupon is bringing in one-time bargain hunters who take the deals and run… Some consumers feel ripped off, too, when they are unable to redeem the prepaid certificates they bought for massages, dinners, classes and other goods and services. In an online survey at HubPages.Com, 44% of consumers called Groupon a ‘scam’ and 28% thought it was ‘very good’. The balance of respondents were neutral.”

Twitter: “Although Twitter will tell you that it has 175 million registered users and investors reportedly deem it to be worth $3.7 billion, fewer than 20 million American adults actually use the service [and while a] quarter of users avidly check for the latest tweets several times each day … a fifth of the registered users never use their accounts after they open them. This indicates that Twitter, at best, may be effective in reaching only the limited cohort of consumers who crave a steady diet of 140-character News McNuggets.”

Read Mutter’s entire post at http://newsosaur.blogspot.com/search?q=Groupon%2C+iPad+and+Twitter%3A+2+much+2+hope+4%3F

Think you know the answer? Don’t be so sure. (And what if reading is NOT fundamental?)

Those who present contrary views are sometimes written off as cantankerous cranks. But with accepted formulas so regularly being discredited, those who stand against the grain might be our truth tellers and prophets.

What if, for instance, rather than lamenting the decline in serious reading among young people, we embraced their ability to learn more and learn faster through quick-paced technology that encourages multi-tasking? What if books are, like newspapers, yesterday’s news, and that’s okay?

Jeff Jarvis, an outspoken champion of new, hyperlocal and social media, asks simply, “Who says our way is the right way?”

Reacting to Matt Richtel’s long piece in Sunday’s New York Times, Growing up digital, wired for distraction, Jarvis says that the apparent inability of youngsters to make it through a book is not, prima facie, a problem, only a challenge:

Is this new generation distracted or advanced? How can they best learn? How can they teach? What tools can we use today besides books? What new opportunities do all their tools present? That’s what educators should be asking.

The Times sets up its piece in a predictable fashion: “On the eve of a pivotal academic year in Vishal Singh’s life, he faces a stark choice on his bedroom desk: book or computer?” We quickly learn Singh’s choice.

On YouTube, Singh explains, “you can get a whole story in six minutes. A book takes so long.”

The Times report, which cites studies on the use of technology by young people, is largely displeased with this. “Downtime is to the brain what sleep is to the body,” said Dr. Michael Rich of Harvard Medical School and the Center on Media and Child Health. “But kids are in a constant mode of stimulation.”

Back to Jarvis:

A group of Danish academics say we are passing through the other side of what they wonderfully call the Gutenberg Parenthesis, leaving the structured, serial, permanent, authored, controlled era of text and returning, perhaps, to what came before the press: a time when communication and content cross, when process dominates product, when knowledge is distributed by people passing it around, when we remix it along the way, when we are more oral and aural. …

Gutenberg scholar Elizabeth Eisenstein reminds us that for 50 years after the invention of the press, we continued to put old wine in this new cask, replicating scribal fonts, content, and models. That’s what’s happening now: We are trying to fit our old world into the new one that is emerging. We’re assuming the old way is the right way.

Royals Tweet, taking engagement to the Wall

The British Royal Family, which only last week launched a Facebook page for Queen Elizabeth (titled The British Monarchy), today Tweeted news of Prince William’s engagement to Catherine Middleton.

The Royals also posted an update on Facebook (generating 4,950 “likes” and 1,262 comments in 5 hours) which links to the Prince of Wales’ website (“the official website of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Prince Harry).

On the OM front, People magazine is reporting that Kate Middleton’s family is “absolutely delighted” about the engagement. And the Washington Post phones in a report on how Royal engagements were announced in old days, before Social Media.

Charmed! … and Mazel Tov, of course.

Social media and a smile: The Twitter Singup, by @paul_steele

For earlier Twitter Singups, click here: http://www.youtube.com/user/lohheide

On Twitter, visit the producer, “bald hiker” Paul Steele, @paul_steele