Thursday, February 25, 2010

Olympian Lindsey Vonn Won't Break The Blogging Rules

When anyone puts rules on social media it gets confusing.

Wired magazine reported that ski superstar Vonn won't touch her blog or tweet because of rule violations. It's all a big misunderstanding--sort of. 

Vonn wrote on Facebook "because of the Olympic rules I will not be able to post any updates from now until march 3rd. Sorry, it bums me out too!"

The Olympians have been told about rules in which they must only blog and tweet about their experiences. It's all due to a rule that states that only credentialed journalists can report on the games. They define reporting on the games as reporting on other's experiences. Yet, with social media, we're all reporters. There have been some great blogs and tweets from the olympics.  You can see them on NBC's website among other places.  I love the fact that you can actually get a sense of who these Olympians are first hand. 

Apolo Ohno has some good ones:
"Was my last training in these Olympics. 1 more day! Yes!!!! I'm in the zone. Call me Mr. 25/8"
Ben Agosto also gives us more of a first hand look into his mind:
"The twi-drought is over!!!! Vancouver is AMAZING!! When I used to dream of my perfect olympic skate, it didnt live up to how I felt on mon"

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Top Olympic Blogs. Go USA!

Want to know what's going on at the olympics?  The field of blogs is ten times deeper than that of different nations.  From independents to ESPN and NBC, there is so much to discover that it's fun shopping around for the gold medal of blogging. 

At, you can get headlines from several top blogs.  It's a great way to get information, especially if you want that information condensed into the top headlines.

NBC has a section on their site for tweets and blogs.  I especially am impressed with the athletes tweets.  Talk about a mini-look inside their life: from meeting the VP to what they think is funny ie. Apolo Anton Ohno "RE: this is hilarious!!."

Then, if you look up your own town's newspaper or TV station you'll be sure to find an olympic blogger somewhere in the mix.  It's enough to make you think that there are no other people in Vancouver but olympians and reporters.  Which, with social media, is true.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

You can't take anything too seriously!

Introducing the Hot New Social Network, PhoneBook

Allows User to Call Friends, Speak to Them
SILICON VALLEY (The Borowitz Report) – A new social network is about to alter the playing field of the social media world, and it’s called PhoneBook.
According to its creators, who invented the network in their dorm room at Berkeley, PhoneBook is the game-changer that will leave Facebook, Twitter and even the much anticipated Google Buzz in a cloud of dust.
“With PhoneBook, you have a book that has a list of all your friends in the city, plus everyone else who lives there,” says Danny Fruber, one of PhoneBook’s creators.
“When you want to chat with a friend, you look them up in PhoneBook, and find their unique PhoneBook number,” Fruber explains.  “Then you enter that number into your phone and it connects you directly to them.”
Another breakout utility of PhoneBook allows the user to arrange face-to-face meetings with his or her friends at restaurants, bars, and other “places,” as Fruber calls them.
“You will be sitting right across from your friend and seeing them in 3-D,” he said.  “It’s like Skype, only without the headset.”
PhoneBook will enable friends to play many games as well, such as charades, cards, and a game Fruber believes will be a breakout: Farm.
“In Farm, you have an actual farm where you raise real crops and livestock,” he says.  “It’s hard work, but it’s more fun than Mafia, where you actually get killed.”

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blogging at the Winter Olympics

The new W2 social media center just opened in Vancouver yesterday to broadcast the olympics over your computer.  The plan is to have the building produce independent reports 24-7 webcast through its satellite distribution system, digital media labs, and a TV studio.  W2 will be the first ever social media center created to help non-accredited media journalists and bloggers cover the Olympics.  Pretty cool. 

Press briefings have been scheduled and media outlets such as CNN iReport, CFRO Radio, 24 Hours, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Observer, The Tyee,, will use the W2 complex, as well as bloggers from the UK, Norway, USA, Japan, and the Netherlands. W2 is also providing subsidies to Downtown Eastside community media looking to cover the games from their own perspective.

After the games the center will continue to be used as a social media outlet.  It will become an incubator for dozens of those crazy Canadian bloggers. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Social Media In the Super Bowl

Every year, the Super Bowl means one thing for many Americans.  A renewed interest in television advertising.  Today, everyone is ranking their favorite ads.  People across the country are blogging about the ones that caught attention (Hello Betty White) and the ones that fell flat (Hello Men Without Pants). 

One thing you didn't see a lot of was social media.  But oh yes, it was there, bubbling under the surface, supporting every ad and brand.

1. For instance, "Man Crunch," the gay dating site that got punted off the superbowl got plenty of publicity.  It also got tons of views on YouTube.

2. Similarly, when GoDaddy's ad was banned, the company smiled and put "Lola" up online.  They get the publicity, the views, and they still had two spots on the multiple screens in every sports bar.  Who cares if you can't hear that message.

3. Several companies are using social media to tie into their super bowl investment.  Coca-cola's live positively spot goes along with a facebook page.  Budweiser used Facebook to allow their fans to pick the spots they most wanted to see on the big game.  And Monster has it's super ad supported by the site fiddle a friend.

4. What's really interesting, is the typical Super Bowl advertisers that didn't do ads, but relied more on social media to carry their brand.  Target this year got in on the Super Bowl action of facebook with its Super Love Sender. Pepsi, another Super Bowl regular, opted to spend it's $20 million on a social media campaign called Refresh Everything rather than on 30 seconds.

So, I hope everyone enjoyed the game, the commercials and the social media.  Geaux Saints.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Is Twitter and Facebook failing kids?

It used to be TVs jobs to turn our brains into slush.  Then the commercials came out claiming it was Hulu's fault.  But no, a study just came out blaming Facebook and Twitter for a growing number of high school students who have the English grammer skills of a New York cab driver.

CTV News reported that social media is failing the kids.  At Ontario's Waterloo University, accepted students are required to take an English language skills exam.  Professors have watched the scores over the years drop further and further.  This year almost a third of the incoming class failed.  At Simon Fraser University in Brittish Columbia, one in 10 freshman can't take the manditory writing courses require for graduation.  Why?  Facebook of course.

"There has been this general sense in the last two or three years that we are finding more students are struggling in terms of language proficiency," says Rummana Khan Hemani, the university's director of academic advising. "Emoticons, happy faces, sad faces, cuz, are just some of the writing horrors being handed in. Little abbreviations," show up even in letters of academic appeal, says Khan Hemani. "Instead of 'because', it's 'cuz'. That's one I see fairly frequently," she says, and these are new in the past five years.
That's right, kids can text at 120 words per minute, they can create hilarious short films, and even create full web sites for themselves, friends and brands. Yet, they can't write a simple letter.  But wait, a letter, what's that?