Social Media Matters: Worst passwords revealed

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Nov. 25, 2011
Metro section

Worst passwords revealed

A list of the worst passwords of 2011 was published by Splashdata on Nov. 21. According to company CEO Morgan Slain, the list was compiled from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers.

“Just a little bit more sophistication in choosing passwords will go a long way toward making you safer online,” Slain was quoted as saying in a news release.

This year’s 25 worst passwords are (drum roll…): password, 123456, 12345678, qwerty, abc123, monkey, 1234567, letmein, trustno1, dragon, baseball, 111111, iloveyou, master, sunshine, ashley, bailey, passw0rd, shadow, 123123, 654321, superman, qazwsx, michael, football.

Airline’s marketing hashtag hijacked

QantasIt was supposed to be a good thing – a gesture to help repair relations with customers, but a contest sponsored by Australian airline Qantas ended up backfiring after angry customers hijacked a corporate hashtag.

In the middle of a labour dispute with employees in late October, Qantas cancelled all of its flights around the world with no advance warning in order to put pressure on its unions.

This left thousands of travellers and employees suddenly stranded until the lockout was reversed shortly thereafter by government authorities.

Earlier this week, to try to earn back some goodwill among customers, Qantas launched a Twitter-based contest called Qantas Luxury. It started with this tweet on Nov. 21: “Ever wanted to experience Qantas First Class luxury? You could win a First Class gift pack feat. a luxury amenity kit and our famous QF PJs.”, followed by “To enter tell us ‘What is your dream luxury inflight experience? (Be creative!) Answer must include #QantasLuxury. TCs http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/twitter-a-touch-of-qantas-luxury-terms/au/en”.

The #QantasLuxury hashtag was soon adopted by disgruntled passengers who used it to bash the airline for everything from lost baggage, late flights, the worldwide cancellation fiasco and everything else imaginable.

Within 24 hours, the promotion drew the ire and mockery of many active in social media astonished that Qantas truly believed a hashtag, pyjamas and a toiletries kit were enough to even put a tiny dent in their massive public relations problem.

It even sparked a biting and hilarious Downfall parody clip. Downfall is a 2004 film focusing on the final 10 days of Adolph Hitler. There are many parody voiceovers of one major scene where Hitler goes on a tirade after realizing the war is lost. The Quantas parody can be found on the YouTube channel youtube.com/AlexJBaldwin. The subtitles actually give a good overview on why the contest backfired.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

This week’s three picks are a mishmash of choices covering the arts, advertising and comedy. What’s your favourite YouTube channel? Let me know via e-mail and it may show up here, too! Subscription and view statistics are current as of Nov. 22.

1) nickwallacesmith (760 subscribers) – This channel is managed out of New South Wales, Australia, and focuses primarily on classic ballet performances from television, movies and the theatre, as well as other dance-related videos. (Most popular video: “Martha Graham Finding Meaning Through Dancing” – 101,722 views.)

K-TEL Records2) K-TEL Classics (500 subscribers): If you grew up in the 1970s and 1980s – especially the 1970s – K-Tel was a household word. Its commercials for gadgets and music compilation albums – from the very popular to the very obscure – were a staple of television. This channel is K-Tel’s “museum” that seeks to archive all the commercials issued by the company.

Trust me, once you start going through these commercials, you’ll get lost in memories and nostalgia and certainly will end up getting distracted for an hour or two. Deliciously cheesy and retro, these are a wonderful look back at advertising. There’s also a Japanese commercial on the channel from years ago for a kitchen tool that looks pretty much exactly like the modern Slap Chop device that was a big craze a few years ago. In fact, the number of fad food chopper devices featured on the channel is surprising! (Most popular video: “K-tel ‘Record Selector’ commercial” – 33,395 views.)

Ultimate Dog Tease3) Klaatu42 (500,559 subscribers): This is the fifth most-subscribed-to Canadian YouTube channel and is run by Andrew Grantham of Halifax. He specializes in doing comedic voice-overs of user-submitted pet videos. His videos are wildly popular. In fact, his channel has been viewed more than 10 million times and the ensemble of his clips have been viewed about 180 million times – yup… 180 million! Just goes to show that geography means nothing online. Everyone has access to the same technology. With a bit of imagination, anyone can be a YouTube star!

I was really surprised looking through his videos since many of them were ones I’d seen posted over and over again online. They were really well done and entertaining, too! I never would have guessed they were produced by a Maritimer! Follow Grantham on Twitter (@klaatu42 – more than 4,000 followers!) and Facebook (facebook.com/klaatu42 – more than 50,000 likes!). He also sells T-shirts online to support the Nova Scotia SPCA at talkinganimalmerch.com. Grantham even quit his job to focus on videos and voiceover work! Thanks to Kent Bulmer for the great suggestion. (Most popular video: “Ultimate Dog Tease” – 70,461,315 views.)

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