Category Archives: Sports

Social Media Matters: Boston bombings bring out best, worst in social media

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, April 19, 2013
Metro section

Boston bombings bring out best, worst in social media

The Boston Marathon bombings earlier this week brought out the best and worst in the social media world. From heroes to zeros:

It was clear that social media has made significant progress since the last time a major terrorist attack (domestic or foreign-led) was perpetrated on U.S. soil. On September 11, 2001, in the days before social media, finding loved ones online was virtually impossible.

Boston Marathon 2013 logoIn stark contrast, today, with high-speed Internet, texting and smartphones, relatives and friends worried about those at the site of the bombing were able to find their loved ones quickly. The Boston Marathon’s website also kept running tallies on who’d already finished the race, so those who finished a few hours prior to the attack were likely long gone from the site and safe.

The bad? Hoax photos of children reportedly killed posted to Twitter and Facebook and being shared willy-nilly. Charity scams telling Twitter users that $1 per retweet would be donated to victims. Companies for not understanding that business-related social media posts during tragedies is dumb. And the winner: Epicurious.com’s Twitter team for suggesting post-bombing recipes for you to try. I kid you not.

Top running-related websites

In honour of the runners out there — whether you just jog or participate in marathons — here’s a list of the top running-related websites online according to rankings by Alexa.com. The runners I know are resolute in their goals and dedicated to pushing themselves beyond their limits. It is by using these skills that I hope you continue running in marathons free of the fear of terrorism — or perhaps even despite the fear of terrorism.

Runner's World magazine
Runner’s World magazine

1) Runner’s World Online (Daily running news, tips for beginners and advanced, injury prevention, equipment reviews. U.S. race listings.); 2) Map My Run (Provides running enthusiasts with the tools and community they need to improve their training and become better runners through interactive maps, workout logs, fitness calculators, community groups, etc.); 3) Active.com — Running (Running, training information, racing tips, and race registration); 4) LetsRun.com (Links to news items covering running topics, nutrition and health information.); 5) About.com — Running and Jogging (Regular features, forums and chat as well as nearly 500 tested links to training tips, running gear, hashing, trail running, youth, masters, etc.); 6) Cool Running (News, fitness information, race event calendar, message board, online running log and training tips.); 7) Marathon de Paris (Race standings, merchandise, etc.); 8) New York Road Runners (Running, yoga, health-walking, deep-water running, stretching clinics and training.); 9) The Sports Coach (Brian MacKenzie, senior U.K. athletic coach who provides coaching and training information to improve performance.); 10) MarathonGuide.com (Complete marathon race directory, results, athlete and race news, results, history, etc.)

Top 10 mobile apps for running

CardioTrainer
CardioTrainer

According to an article entitled The Best Mobile Apps for Running written by Kissairis Munoz for HuffPost Healthy Living Canada on November 9, 2012 — so it should still be current — here are the top 10 apps available for runners to use when practising the sport they love. Unless otherwise noted, the apps are available for both Apple and Android versions.

1) CardioTrainer (free — Android only); 2) Couch to 5k ($1.99); 3) Fooducate (free); 4) Ghost Race (free version with fewer features or $0.99, Apple only); 5) iSmoothRun ($4.99, Apple only); 6) MapMyRun + GPS Running (free version with fewer features or $2.99, also available for Blackberry); 7) Nike + Running (free); 8) RunKeeper (free); 9) runtastic (free version with fewer features or $5.99, also available for Blackberry and Windows Phone); 10) Upbeat Workouts for Runners ($2.99, Apple only.)

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Keeping with this week’s theme, the featured channels this week focus on running. Statistics are current to April 16. Have a favourite channel? Let me know and I may feature it here.

1) Natural Running Center (2,323 subscribers): This is the companion YouTube channel for the website www.naturalrunningcenter.com. According to its channel description, its mission is “educating all runners on form, footwear, and running naturally.” In total, the channel’s videos have nearly 350,000 views. (Most popular video: Principles of Natural Running with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella — 293,799 views.)

2) insidenikerunning (14,172 subscribers): This is Nike’s official running-related channel that features a number of videos aimed at enhancing your running experience. The channel is very popular with nearly 11.3 million total video views. Playlists include Nike Running Race Coach, Nike Cross Nationals, and Inspiration. (Most popular video: Join the Nike+ Revolution — 3,934,430 views.)

3) The B.A.A. Boston Marathon (751 subscribers): This is the official YouTube channel for the Boston Marathon. Current total channel views are slightly less than 300,000. (Most popular video: 2012 Boston Marathon — 37,667 views.)

Social Media Matters: Facebook posts viral within three hours

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, March 29, 2013
Metro section

Facebook posts viral within three hours

A recent study by Optimal claims that if Facebook content hasn’t gone viral within three hours, the chances of it doing so are quite slim. Optimal is a Facebook analytics and advertising company.

According to an article written by David Cohen and published on AllFacebook.com on March 21, a Facebook page administrator shouldn’t expect much activity after three hours. “According to proprietary analysis by Optimal, 75 per cent of post-level engagement for Facebook pages occurs within the first three hours after the content is posted, with 50 per cent occurring during the first hour.”

“That being said, after three hours, marketers will probably have a good idea of whether or not they’ve created a winner,” Optimal is quoted as saying in the article.

Facebook best practices

Facebook recently released a document updated for 2013 entitled Building your presence with Facebook pages — A guide for causes and non-profits.

Latest social media statistics

If you’re looking for a good site that provides some valuable insight into Facebook statistics, including country-specific, look no further than socialbakers.com. All statistics are current to March 26.

Overall top 10 Facebook pages: 1) Facebook for Every Phone (218,704,953 likes); 2) Facebook (89,687,170); 3) YouTube (72,321,054); 4) Texas HoldEm Poker (69,846,105); 5) Rihanna (68,172,098); 6) Eminem (67,809,090); 7) The Simpsons (62,540,775; 8) Shakira (62,111,614); 9) Coca-Cola (62,078,873); 10) Harry Potter (60,426,972).

Top 10 brands on Facebook: 1) Coca-Cola (62,078,873 likes); 2) Disney (43,157,540); 3) Red Bull (37,048,346); 4) Converse (35,832,554); 5) Starbucks (34,104,014); 6) Oreo (32,586,853); 7) PlayStation (31,432,239); 8) Walmart (27,836,936); 9) McDonald’s (27,756,922); 10) iTunes (25,695,462).

Top kite-related websites

Kite flyingEvery week, I take a look at the top 10 websites in a category among Alexa.com’s website rankings. This week’s rankings are for all the kite lovers out there. Every year, the City of Dieppe hosts Dieppe Kite International, a very popular kite festival. Here are some cool sites for local fans to check out! Statistics are current to March 25.

1) Power Kite Forum (join discussions about kite surfing, kite buggying, kite skiing and kite skating); 2) Charles Benton Kite Aerial Photography (guide to kite aerial photography including background, equipment, discussion section and large gallery of aerial photographs); 3) KiteAerialPhotography.org.uk (kite aerial photography services in Scotland); 4) Kite History Organization (kite history website); 5) KiteLife Magazine (leading source of kiting information since 1998); 6) American Kitefliers Association (AKA) (largest association of kiters in the world with 4,000 members in 35 countries); 7) Kite Aerial Photography on brooxes.com (kite aerial photography ideas and images); 8) British Kite Surfing Association (BKSA) (U.K.-based association with news, instruction resources, etc.); 9) National Kite Month (non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting kiting); 10) Washington State International Kite Festival (Long Beach, Wash., festival held every August).

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to March 26. Have a favourite channel? Let me know and I may feature it here.

1) The You Generation (179,812 subscribers): Simon Cowell and YouTube have partnered to create this new channel focused on running a variety of competitions aimed at finding new talent. Launched on March 20 in 26 countries, The You Generation will be seeking audition videos on a variety of subjects. The current competition is for a host (or “presenter” as they call them in the U.K.). (Most popular video: One Direction on #1DYouGeneration LIVE LAUNCH / The You Generation / OPEN NOW! – 633,795 views.)

2) JASH (31,248 subscribers): This new channel is a collaboration of comedic talents Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim and Reggie Watts. The group will be creating comedy videos for the new channel. So far, it look like it’s going to be quite entertaining after watching their first (and so far only) video. (Most popular video: What is JASH? – 410,973 views.)

3) Nismo.tv (1,112 subscribers): This is yet another new channel and is dedicated to carmaker Nissan’s racing division. According to an article written by Claudio Rebuzzi and published on gearburn.com on March 25, the channel “will be a behind-the-scenes view of everything from its top racing programs to its training program in yet another step forward for original content on YouTube. Nismo is Nissan’s racing and performance division, responsible for all its race cars and fast road cars, like the manic GT-R and its GT3 brother.” (Most popular video: Welcome to nismo.tv – 3,341 views.)

Social Media Matters: Local ballet star loves disco, too!

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Feb. 15, 2013
Metro section

Local ballet star loves disco, too!

Leigh Alderson as Romeo and Janie Richard as Juliet during the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada's performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton on Jan. 31, 2013. (Photo by Aleksandr Onyshchenko)
Leigh Alderson and Janie Richard during Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada’s performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton on Jan. 31, 2013. Click on the photo for a larger version. (Photo by Aleksandr Onyshchenko)

Irish-born Leigh Alderson, 26, one of Moncton-based Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada’s star dancers, is a man of many talents.

Not only can he — along with his other Atlantic Ballet Theatre dancing colleagues — bring audiences to their feet with his graceful moves on stage, but he also creates online music in a genre that definitely predates him — good ol’ disco!

In fact, Leigh has an album called Curly Disco which is available on iTunes. Most of the music is instrumental only, but there are a few vocals in there, too. If you like something with an electronic disco beat, you’ll likely love his stuff. You can also listen to some of Leigh’s original creations on SoundCloud. As well, be sure to check out his Facebook page.

Great Twitter disclaimer

I was looking through a variety of news organization Twitter accounts the other day when I came across a great disclaimer on ABC Nightline’s profile (@Nightline on Twitter). Basically, they sent a shot across the bow to the rednecks and haters out there that some of their outlandish comments could end up on television. If you’re on Twitter, you’re never tweeting into a void. People are reading.

And in the case of ABC Nightline, they tell you up front that they may use your tweet on air. “Legal Notice: If you send us a tweet, you consent to letting ABC use and showcase it in any media, possibly even on television.” So, before you send that nasty tweet about something you saw on Nightline, be sure to edit yourself carefully because everyone you know may end up knowing what you really think… and sometimes, that’s really not a good thing.

Pope’s surprise resignation sparks funny tweets

Pope Benedict XVIPope Benedict XVI’s surprise resignation on Monday sparked a number of funny tweets from Twitter users. Here’s a sampling: 1) @Nicolucci1899: The Pope is resigning. Probably wants to spend more time with his wife and family; 2) @suddain: Right, the Pope resigns just weeks before the Church’s official inquiry into eminence enhancing drugs. How convenient. 3) @RexHuppke: Dear Vatican: Two words – Poprah Winfrey. Think about it.

Top hockey websites

NHLEvery week, I take a look at the top 10 sites in categories among Alexa.com’s website rankings. With NHL hockey back in full swing after this fall’s lockout, here are the top hockey websites on the Internet. Considering the fact that the NHL dominates the entire top 10, I’m not so sure the lockout did them much harm. Statistics are current to Feb. 12.

1) NHL (official website of the National Hockey League); 2) Yahoo! Sports – NHL (Yahoo! coverage of NHL-related news); 3) ESPN: NHL (ESPN coverage of NHL-related news); 4) TSN – NHL (TSN coverage of NHL-related news); 5) Hockey’s Future (coverage of NHL players’ prospects in Europe, news, etc.); 6) CBS Sports: NHL (CBS coverage of NHL-related news); 7) Vancouver Canucks (official website of the Vancouver Canucks); 8) Montreal Canadiens (official website of the Montreal Canadiens); 9) NHL.com – On the Fly Statistics (NHL statistics); 10) Toronto Maple Leafs (official website of the Toronto Maple Leafs).

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Feb. 12. Have a favourite YouTube channel? Let me know and I may feature it here.

Grammy Award1) The Grammys (32,951 subscribers): The Grammys were awarded last weekend, so what better time is there to subscribe to their official YouTube channel? Here, you’ll find acceptance speeches, interviews and performances. (Most popular video: We’re All Fans: Lady Gaga – 2,937,120 views.)

Oscar2) The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (117,741): If you’re a movie buff and a fan of the Oscars, you’ll absolutely love this channel which is chock full of interviews, promos, opening monologues, acceptance speeches and winning moments from recent years and years gone by. The Academy Awards will air in Canada on CTV on Sunday, Feb. 24, beginning at 9 p.m. My only beef with the channel is that — for some inexplicable reason—– it doesn’t allow embedding of many of its videos on websites. Ridiculous! They’re really missing out on some free publicity, especially since we’re always hearing about how ratings are down in recent years. Sad, since the channel has a huge archive of 825 videos with total of 177,899,193 views. (Most popular video: Jack Black and Will Ferrell “Get Off the Stage” Oscar song – 8,851,167 views.)

NCAA Basketball3) NCAA OnDemand (985 subscribers): With March just around the corner, fans of U.S. college basketball will be watching television en masse for the very popular annual NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, otherwise known as March Madness. To cater to fans who love March Madness history, the NCAA recently launched their new NCAA OnDemand channel that features archival footage of past tournaments. The channel was launched in celebration of 75 years of March Madness. You can expect the number of subscribers and video views (2.8 million) to rise significantly in the coming weeks and months. (Most popular video: March Madness Buzzer Beater – 1992 Duke vs Kentucky – 29,771 views.) (Editor’s note: Number of views updated on Feb. 15 due to previous error in count earlier in the week.)

Social Media Matters: Are distraught Bieber fans hurting themselves?

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Jan. 11, 2013
Metro section

Are distraught Bieber fans hurting themselves?

Photos allegedly showing pop star Justin Bieber smoking marijuana surfaced online several days ago. Some of his most ardent (or should I say “obsessed”) fans were so upset that reports claim that many jumped on a trend started by troll pranksters called “Cutting for Bieber” that urged his fans to cut themselves to shame him into stopping the practice.

Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber

The issue got so out of hand that Bieber took to Twitter to ask for his fans’ forgiveness. His PR team knows a potential disaster when they see it.

Some obsessed fans reportedly posted graphic photos of themselves surrounded by razor blades, slashed wrists and blood. It has not yet been determined whether the photos are real, however I would hazard a guess at least some of them were. I looked through the posts under the Twitter hashtag #cut4bieber and the ones I saw were obviously fake or parodies. (The only blood I saw was ketchup — and the only things being “cut” were toenails, paper, bananas and lawns.) Earlier versions may have been more graphic (and real) before word got around to some of his more naïve fans that the campaign was all a sick joke started by anonymous pranksters.

Every celebrity has fans that go too far — and many of Bieber’s fans are too young to rationalize that the Cutting for Bieber campaign was just a horrible prank.

More top websites

Every week, I take a look at the top 10 sites in categories among Alexa.com’s website rankings. This week, we look at food-related websites and websites in the anomalies and alternative science category.

CornucopiaTop 10 food-related websites: 1) Open Table (online reservation network for fine U.S. restaurants); 2) Restaurant.com (connects restaurants and diners through gift certificates and coupons); 3) Food & Wine Online (recipes, menus, reviews, articles); 4) Wine-Searcher (searchable database of wine merchant lists); 5) GrubHub (food delivery, menu and online ordering guide for San Francisco, Boston and Chicago); 6) Zagat (restaurant guide); 7) Beer Advocate (guide to beer, breweries and brewpubs); 8) Sapporo (brands, company profile, distributors and brewery technical information); 9) RateBeer (personal numerical beer ratings and forum); 10) Hershey’s (Hershey’s brand chocolate website).

BigfootThe 10 websites regarding anomalies and alternative science: 1) The Interactive On-line Encyclopaedia of the Unexplained (UFOs, crop circles, ghosts, etc.); 2) Unknowncountry (daily news); 3) Educate-Yourself.org (alternative healing therapies); 4) ViewZone (new age news website); 5) Earthfiles (environmental anomalies); 6) Fortean Times (online version of print magazine on strange phenomena); 7) Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (scientific research organization exploring the bigfoot/sasquatch mystery); 8) HAARP Home Page (official website of High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program); 9) Cryptomundo (blog about “bigfoot and friends”); 10) TalkOrigins Archive (collection of articles and essays from the Usenet newsgroup devoted to the discussion and debate of biological and physical origins).

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Jan. 8. Have a favourite YouTube channel? Let me know and I may feature it here.

1) Super Mario Bros. U Channel (3,595 subscribers): Nintendo launched this channel in December “for New Super Mario Bros. U gameplay videos. Check back frequently for tips, tricks, and Super Play runthroughs!” I’ve never been much of a gamer, but this is pretty much the only one I’ve ever played at my brother’s place years ago. If you were one of the lucky ones to receive the Wii U for Christmas and are a fan of the classic game, this is a channel you may want to check out! The channel launched on Dec. 2 and already has more than 150,000 total video views. (Most popular video: New Super Mario Bros. U — Flying-Squirrel Super Play in Acorn Plains Way — 28,932 views.)

2) Global Cycling Network (5,910 subscribers): If couch-potato’ing it playing Super Mario Bros. U isn’t going to do it for you this winter, then dream of springtime and catch up on some cycling action on this new channel started last July. According to its channel description, “The Global Cycling Network (GCN) puts you in the centre of the action: from the iconic summit of the Stelvio to the epic trails of Fort William, Scotland, everywhere there is pave or dirt, world-class racing, and pro cyclists. GCN is a new global cycling channel dedicated to bringing you all the action, essential analysis and unparalleled access from the worlds of road and mountain biking every week, every month, and every year.” (Most popular video: GCN – The Global Cycling Network – Coming Soon — 16,710 views.)

3) The Muppets (231,607 subscribers): Everyone loves The Muppets, who debuted way back in 1955. Today, they’re as popular as ever. In fact, the feature song from their latest movie even won the Academy Award for Best Original Song (“Man or Muppet”) in 2012. Their YouTube channel hosts a number of playlists that have accumulated more than 111 million views. Playlists include: Compiled Criticisms, Slightly Sketchy, Kermit’s Party and Mostly Music, to name a few. (Most popular video: The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody — 29,593,335 views.)

Social Media Matters: Facebook shuts down Taliban page

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Metro section

Facebook shuts down Taliban page

If it isn’t bad enough that your boss and mother want to be your friend on Facebook, now you have the Taliban out there, too.

Facebook recently shut down a page belonging to TTP, short for Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. According to a Dec. 10 article in The Washington Post, “the TTP page was recruiting contributors for a new quarterly magazine called Ahyah-e-Khilafat, or Sign of the Caliphate.”

Before it was shut down, the page managed to accumulate a few hundred “likes”. While it’s probable that some of the likes were mistakes or carelessness on users’ parts, many of them were surely legitimate. Unfortunately for everyone, though, the likes were most certainly recorded by authorities monitoring online terrorist activity and anyone who associated themselves with the page by clicking like didn’t do themselves any favours.

I can only imagine some poor unsuspecting North American freelance writer who was just looking for a writing gig answering the door to find CSIS or the FBI there. For those who clicked like on the page by mistake, the moral of the story is to be very careful when liking any page set up by obscure organizations.

2012 Twitter highlights

Obama Twitter picUnless something remarkable happens between now and Dec. 31, the most retweeted post of the year is one by U.S. President Barack Obama, who posted “Four more years” along with a photo of he and his wife Michelle hugging on the night of his re-election in November. According to a Dec. 11 ABC.com article, the post has been retweeted more than 816,000 times.

The second most popular retweet according to the article? This one belongs to a Canadian — Justin Bieber. After his beloved six-year-old fan Avalanna Routh passed away from brain cancer in September, his loyal fans retweeted his message of condolence in droves: “RIP Avalanna. i love you”.

The most tweets per minute during 2012 occurred on Nov. 6, the day of the U.S. presidential election, when tweets peaked at 327,452 per minute. Other popular tweet-inducing events occurred during the Summer Olympics in London when Jamaican Usain Bolt won the gold medal in the 200-metre sprint (80,000 tweets per minute) and upon the news of the death of singer Whitney Houston (more than 73,000 tweets per minute).

NFL player suspended for social media activity

Brandon Jacobs Twitter profile pic
Brandon Jacobs’ Twitter profile photo

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Jacobs has been suspended by the professional football team for the final three weeks of the season for complaining about the team online. Jacobs was unhappy with the way he was being treated.

According to an article by Matthew Barrows in the Dec. 11 edition of the Sacramento Bee, Jacobs used photo-sharing service Instagram to post photos of himself wearing his former team’s jersey — the New York Giants. Jacobs, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants, wrote (of the 49ers), “I am on this team rotting away so why would I wanna put any pics up of anything that say niners. This is by far the worst year I ever had, I’ll tell you like I told plenty others.”

This infuriated fans and management, causing Jacobs to be disciplined. He’s also taken to Twitter to thank his fans for their support and told them that he’d be back. It doesn’t matter how low profile or high profile you are, if you complain about your job publicly online, there will be consequences.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Dec. 11. Have a favourite YouTube channel? Let me know and I may feature it here.

NBA logo1) NBA (1,090,389 subscribers): Americans love many sports, especially football, baseball and basketball. In fact, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced this week that its seven-year-old YouTube channel reached an incredible landmark: one billion total views!

The professional basketball league is celebrating the achievement in grand style by generating some excellent publicity for the sport. Playlists on the popular channel include Celebrating 1 Billion! (an entire playlist dedicated to the landmark), NBA Top 10’s of 2012, Player Profiles and 2012 NBA Playoff Favorites. (Most popular video: Shaq, LeBron, Dwight Howard All-Star Dance-Off – 18,881,996 views.)

2) DukieAjah (www.entresting.com) (8,597 subscribers): Blogger and entrepreneur Dukie Ajah has started a very interesting YouTube experiment where he will vlog for the next 100 days about being rejected. In his video series (there are still about 75 more videos to go until he hits day 100), he’s trying to thicken his skin against rejection in what he calls “rejection therapy.”

He takes his camera and records himself making unreasonable requests and getting rejected. He believes that being rejected often will toughen himself against the fear of rejection in the future. Plans don’t always go his way, though, because the most popular video on his channel is from day three of the series when a doughnut shop worker went out of her way to get him what he’d asked for. The video then went viral, giving him more publicity than he could have ever hoped for! (Most popular video: Rejection Therapy Day 3 – Ask for Olympic Symbol Doughnuts. Jackie at Krispy Kreme – 5,072,636 views.)