Social Media Matters: French government bans word “hashtag”

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
Metro section

French government bans word “hashtag”

In an attempt to move social media terms away from English in the predominantly French-speaking country, France is moving to ban the term “hashtag” in certain areas, including government and legislation. (I can’t imagine the term being used in legislation, though.)

hashtagAccording to an article by Camille Bautista published by Mashable on Jan. 29, the Commission Générale de Terminologie et de Néologie made the move in order to preserve the French language. The term that must be used – at least officially – is “mot dièse” – which literally means “sharp word.” “Dièse” is normally a word used in music.

No one will be forcing everyday Twitter users to use “mot dièse.” However, when it comes to official types such as government, the new term will rule the day. English technical terms are by far the most used in social media, so I doubt the new term will catch on with the masses.

YouTube considering paid subscriptions?

YouTubeAccording to an article by Jose Vilches published by TechSpot on Jan. 29, YouTube is considering allowing some popular content creators to start allowing paid subscriptions of between $1 and $5 per month.

The big question is whether YouTube users will actually pay to watch their favourite YouTube stars when the platform was always based on free viewing. Sure, users had to put up with ads, but everyone is accustomed to that. Many popular YouTubers are making big bucks simply through the ads on their channels.

Will they want to mess with that success by basically shutting the door on (most) people under 18 who don’t have credit cards? My advice is to not let greed rule the day. By forcing some channels into a paid mode, will that cut off a huge chunk of the viewership? Since when does paid content go viral? Or perhaps it will open up a new premium part of YouTube where racier content is allowed?

ContractMe.ca opens shop

contractmeAre you a consultant looking for a good database of requests for proposals or potential clients?

Check out the recently launched ContractMe.ca based in Nova Scotia near Halifax. For $30 monthly, the website provides: 1) a database of professional service providers for hire by contract; 2) local-to-local contract job postings; 3) valuable resources for contracting out in the Maritimes.

Top biotech and pharma websites

Every week, I take a look at the top 10 sites in categories among Alexa.com‘s website rankings. This week, it’s all about the complicated world of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Rankings are current to Jan. 29.

1) Express Scripts (pharma company); 2) Procter & Gamble (multifaceted manufacturer of products including prescription drugs); 3) ClinicalTrials.gov (according to its website, “a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world”; 4) Pfizer (pharma company); 5) GlaxoSmithKline (pharma company); 6) TrialX (helps patients find trials matching their health condition); 7) Merck & Co. Inc. (pharma company); 8) Novartis (company specializing in pharma, agribusiness and health); 9) Bayer (pharma and health-care company); 10) Roche (pharma company).

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Jan. 29. Have a favourite YouTube channel? Let me know and I may feature it here. I’m always looking for New Brunswick-based YouTube channels to feature and would love to hear from you if you know of any.

1) VICE (779,515 subscribers): According to its channel description, “VICE specializes in exploring uncomfortable truths and going to places we don’t belong. Now, thanks to YouTube, we have compressed two decades of our unique immersive approach to these subjects into delicious bite-size morsels.” In short, the channel features brief documentary-style pieces in playlists that have amassed more than 110 million total views. (Most popular video: “First Animal to Survive in Space” – 10,344,159 views.)

2) Red Bull (1,444,812 subscribers): Sponsored by the well-known energy drink of the same name, this channel features high-energy action sports clips and YouTube-exclusive series. Playlists include Rob’s Dirty Business, B.A.S.E. Jumps, Red Bull Stratos, Mountainbike Chronicles and Winch Sessions. (Most popular video: “Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall from 128k – Mission Highlights” – 32,300,240 views.)

3) The Lonely Island (2,957,243): With nearly three million subscribers and more than 1.1 billion (yes, that’s billion) total video views, there’s no denying former Saturday Night Live star Andy Samberg’s comedic video skills along with his Lonely Island cohorts Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. Until 2012, their many SNL digital shorts were often the highlight of the show and gave us some pretty funny stuff that had teenage boys laughing their heads off and their parents cringing. We thought the Lonely Island’s contributions to SNL were over after Samberg left the show in 2012, but they were back at it last weekend with guest host Adam Levine of Maroon 5. It was good to see them back! (Most popular video: “I Just Had Sex (feat. Akon)” – 190,406,876 views.)

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