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Archives: January 2011

Report: Facebook, Twitter Being Targeted By Hackers More Than Ever Before

Think all you have to worry about when you log into Twitter, Facebook or FourSquare is the threat of an annoying spam attack, a viral worm or the release of your private information? Think again, and take caution. Sophisticated hackers are now using social networking sites as home base to launch targeted attacks, according to a new report from security firm Mandiant.
Read more at Social Times

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Customer Service on Twitter Case Study: Bank of America

Companies are rushing to Twitter to increase their brand presence, but the really savvy ones are using it for more creative reasons. One of the best ways businesses are using Twitter is for customer service. They are engaging with customers who have questions, complaints and comments, all in 140-characters or less. However, customer service on Twitter is not as simple as setting up an account, planting a rep in front of a computer and reaping the rewards of a robust social media presence. We take a look at the Bank of America customer service Twitter account for our take on the pros and cons of customer service on Twitter.
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Most Profitable UK Companies Choose Twitter over Facebook, YouTube

Twitter is the social network of choice for some of the top companies in the UK. According to data gathered about the companies in the FTSE100 – the share index of the 100 most highly capitalized UK companies trading on the London Stock Exchange – they overwhelmingly turn to Twitter rather than any other network to build their brand presence.
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Lady Gaga Will Reach Twitter Milestone This Week: 8 Million Followers

Lady Gaga is poised to become the first Twitter user to reach 8 million followers this week. Her popularity is unmatched on social media – she is the #1 Twitter user, has one of the top five most popular Facebook pages, and is the fourth most-watch YouTube personality.
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5 Ways to Have Fun with Your Tweets

If you’re caught in a Twitter rut and feel like you need some new material to contribute to the social media universe, the following apps promise to provide entertainment for both you and your followers. Check them and out and add some flavor to your tweets.
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How to Follow the Egyptian Protests on Twitter

The protests in Egypt are gaining momentum, as protesters gathered in the thousands over the weekend, Al-Jazeera was shut down by the government, and foreign nationals were urged to leave the country. Twitter played a big part in helping early protesters organize themselves (before it was shut down by the government, preceding the internet-wide blackout), and the conversation on the microblogging service has continued. We’ve compiled several different ways you can use Twitter to get up-to-the-minute reporting and analysis about the protests in Egypt.
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An Anecdotal Example Of How Promoted Trends Can Lead To Sales On Twitter

Two weeks ago I logged in to Twitter.com and went about my business, paying a very casual glance at the Trends box (as I usually do). I happened to notice that the promoted trend/tweet for that day was for something called #themechanic. I didn’t know what that was, so I clicked on it.

Turns out The Mechanic was a new action movie starring Jason Statham. I’m a big fan of Statham’s, and a sucker for the 80s-style post pub movies (The Transporter, Crank etc) he bangs out seemingly every other month. But The Mechanic had somehow escaped my radar. The promoted trend changed all that, as it led me to watch the trailer, and suddenly the film was very much on my ‘to do’ list. Sure, there’s every chance I would have found out about this in a different way, but Twitter planted a seed.

I saw The Mechanic yesterday. Loved it. Job done, Twitter, job done. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Freedom Of Tweets: Does Twitter Need Policy To Protect YOU From Defamation?

Interesting piece over at the official Twitter blog about how they manage freedom of expression on the network (i.e., they don’t):

The open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. This is both a practical and ethical belief. On a practical level, we simply cannot review all one hundred million-plus Tweets created and subsequently delivered every day. From an ethical perspective, almost every country in the world agrees that freedom of expression is a human right. Many countries also agree that freedom of expression carries with it responsibilities and has limits.

Our position on freedom of expression carries with it a mandate to protect our users’ right to speak freely and preserve their ability to contest having their private information revealed. While we may need to release information as required by law, we try to notify Twitter users before handing over their information whenever we can so they have a fair chance to fight the request if they so choose.

Twitter has policy for what you’re allowed to do with your profile (see here for details), but as I’ve written before (over 18 months ago) they don’t seem to have published (or act upon) anything that deals with defamation. The upcoming lawsuit involving Courtney Love will likely expose this as a gaping hole on the network.

Let’s not forget that the vast majority of tweets are indexed on the major search engines, too, and therefore cross well beyond Twitter’s 200 million (ish) users and are, potentially, out there forever.

My guess? It might take another couple of celebrity lawsuits, but pretty soon that official Twitter defamation policy will be in place.

All of which begs the question – should a Twitter abuse team be enabled with the authority to remove tweets that cross a predetermined line? Or maybe we need a system where the users police themselves, perhaps with a variation on the +/- scoring mechanism used by many social bookmarking sites. If a given tweet breaches a negative threshold (or somebody complains directly) then Twitter’s abuse team steps in to investigate.

This isn’t about celebrities – they’ll have lawyers in place to handle this stuff, and you have to take a lot of it with a pinch in this PR-crazy world. Lots of ‘normal’ people stand to get hurt by baseless allegation and libel. I’m a huge believer in freedom of speech, but only if somebody is looking out for the little guy. I’m not convinced Twitter is doing enough in this area, and saying that they don’t have time to go through all the tweets sounds like an excuse, and isn’t really the point. Set up that abuse team and install a system where users can police themselves and let that become your filter. It’s a fine line, of course, but any community by definition needs to have some limits in place.

What say you?

20 Twitter Influencers Every Photographer Needs to Follow

The noble art of photography may remind you of time spent alone in a dark room or a loner wandering a city looking for great vantage points. But every artist needs information, and photographers can benefit from myriad messengers on Twitter. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, networking, or just cool tips, these 20 tweet-rich sources will improve the photographer’s daily feed.

Read more at Social Times

Twitter Scores During Super Bowl XLV

Last year, between 40 and 50 percent of all tweets during the height of the Super Bowl were related to the game. And this year Twitter will capitalize on this huge fan base by offering Super Bowl fans a new way to join in on the game-day excitement. Partnering with the Super Bowl and Visa, Twitter is creating an all-in-one location for the best of Super Bowl tweets from the fans, the players, the coaches and the commentators. So take off those foam fingers from time-to-time and get tweeting.
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