Category Archives: Twitter

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: Seven things you didn’t know about Twitter

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, March 22, 2013
Metro section

Seven things you didn’t know about Twitter

Business Insider recently published an interesting article by Eli Langer that highlighted seven things that many Twitter users likely don’t know about the very popular microblogging service.

1) Twitter nearly didn’t happen. The idea for Twitter only came to light after workers at Odeo, an audio service that helped users publish audio, came up with the idea during a brainstorming competition meant to save it from failure. The rest is history!

Twitter2) During the brainstorming, one of Twitter’s founders, Dom Sagolla, got the idea for Twitter while sitting at the top of a slide in a playground in San Francisco. You never know where inspiration will hit!

3) In Twitter’s first days, all tweets were automated and read, “Just setting up my twttr.” The first tweet was sent seven years ago on March 21, 2006 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

4) Canadian pop star Justin Bieber recently overtook Lady Gaga as the Twitter user with the most followers. Meanwhile, the user who has tweeted the most is @Yougakduan_00, a girl from Japan who sent an incredible 36,402,262 tweets (crazy!) before she was booted by Twitter. The most popular brand? YouTube!

5) Ever wonder how many verified accounts exist (the ones with the little blue checkmark verifying that the celebrity or public figure is really who they say they are on Twitter)? There are 47,815 verified accounts.

6) The name of the bird in Twitter’s logo? It’s Larry!

7) According to the article, “Twitter didn’t create retweets, replies, hashtags, a mobile app or social ads—it was created by users and developers in its ecosystem. Those features were later supported by Twitter.”

Current Twitter rankings

1) Justin Bieber; 2) Lady Gaga; 3) Katy Perry; 4) Rihanna; 5) Barack Obama; 6) Taylor Swift; 7) YouTube; 8) Britney Spears; 9) Shakira; 10) Ellen DeGeneres.

Top performing arts websites

Cirque du SoleilEvery 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 of you who love the performing arts. Statistics are current to March 19.

1) Cirque du Soleil (mix of circus arts and street entertainment); 2) Broadway.com (featuring theatre listings and showtimes for more than 1,900 separate venues); 3) Broadway World (theatre resource featuring news, message boards, video previews, show information, photos, etc.); 4) Playbill.com (magazine for fans of the theatre); 5) Actors Access (resume services, articles, audition monologues and links); 6) IMDb: Daniel Day-Lewis (career information on the three-time Oscar winner, including filmography, biography, photos and related links); 7) Belly Twins (website for belly dancers Veena and Neena from Los Angeles, including products, classes, events, photos, FAQ and newsletter); 8) Backstage (performing arts website for actors, including editorial and casting, auditions and job notices); 9) Sounddogs.com (400,000 sound effects and production music files); 10) James Randi Educational Foundation (magician and skeptic James Randi debunks psychics, medical frauds, televangelists, etc.).

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to March 19. Have a favourite channel? Let me know and I may feature it here.

Jon Cozart
Jon Cozart

1) Paint (409,450 subscribers): YouTuber Jon Cozart spent an entire month producing the latest viral video to hit the Internet – a clever and very entertaining video called After Ever After focusing on possible “real” endings to the lives of Disney princesses. In just a couple of days, the video went viral and has earned approximately five million views so far.

In addition to After Ever After, enjoy 14 other videos that have accumulated a pretty incredible 33,455,648 total video views. Despite the popularity of After Ever After, Jon has another video that’s even more popular. (Most popular video: Harry Potter in 99 seconds – 13,046,325 views.)

Pope Francis I (Photo credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP)
Pope Francis I (Photo credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP)

2) The Vatican (51,229 subscribers): Newly elected Pope Francis I seems to be taking the media world by storm, probably because he seems a lot more likable than his predecessor. Because of that, the channel should see a correlative uptick in the number of subscribers. According to its official channel description: “This channel offers news coverage of the main activities of the Holy Father Pope Francis and of relevant Vatican events. It is updated daily. Video images are produced by Centro Televisivo Vaticano (CTV), texts by Vatican Radio (RV) and CTV.” Total video views: 8,892,628. (Most popular video: Announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation – 151,593 views.)

BBC3) BBC Expert Women (15 subscribers): The U.K.’s BBC network recently launched this new YouTube channel as “a women’s expert database and dedicated YouTube channel in an attempt to boost the number of female contributors featured on its TV and radio programs,” according to an article written by Emma Barnett and published March 19 in the British newspaper The Telegraph.

According to the article, the BBC and other media outlets have faced criticism for the lack of female experts they use in their reporting. This channel aims to rectify that. So far, the traction isn’t great with only 15 subscribers and just more than 200 total video views after one week. (Most popular video: Expert Women: Day One Training at the BBC Academy – 219 views.)

Social Media Matters: Carnival Cruises takes on PR nightmare online

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

Carnival Cruises takes on PR nightmare online

You have to give it to Carnival Cruises, when its ship Triumph broke down recently on a disastrous cruise that created headlines in the media for a week, they didn’t back down from talking about the issue on their social media channels. But was it enough? Some say no.

They get points for trying, but according to online reports, their efforts only kicked in a few days after the ship’s power went out. They used two Twitter accounts to respond and update (@CarnivalCruise and @CarnivalPR) and used their Facebook page, as well. They weren’t terribly reactive to negative posts but responded to positive posts quickly. With 3,100 passengers on board tweeting their anger about living conditions on the (former) luxury cruise ship, it wasn’t exactly an option to ignore it all. A negative hashtag about the ordeal even trended for a time on Twitter — #cruisefromhell.

Carnival Cruises logoEventually, the crippled ship was towed to Mobile, Alabama, where tired and dirty passengers finally disembarked and sent home on Feb. 15. Unfortunately, the corporate tweets and Facebook updates stopped from Feb. 15 to Feb. 19 over an American long weekend. Just when the company could have continued damage control after the passengers disembarked, they stopped talking. Yeesh!

To read about Carnival’s social media mistakes during the ordeal, search for “Carnival’s missed opportunity for social media success during the Triumph crisis” posted to Skift.com on Feb. 21.

According to the article written by Samantha Shankman, “As one of the more favored cruise lines on the Internet, the troubled travel giant was in a prime position to (… use social media to its advantage): It is the most liked cruise line on Facebook with 2,192,322 likes and the third-most followed cruise line on Twitter with 72,643 followers.

“Although it posted 20 Triumph-related posts to Facebook since the incident, it failed to use social media to update family members, press, and onlookers to the conditions and status of the Triumph during last week’s travails, choosing instead to use it as a mouthpiece from CEO Gerry Cahill’s press conference and apology session.”

Top survival websites

SurvivalEvery week, I take a look at the top 10 sites in a category among Alexa.com’s website rankings. If you’re a worrywart and are constantly concerned about disaster striking, these survival-themed websites will be right up your alley. Statistics are current to Feb. 26.

1) Ready (According to its website, “Launched in February 2003, Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters.”); 2) NOAA Weather Information (U.S. government weather information and alerts); 3) The Disaster Center (Internet resource for worldwide disaster information); 4) Solar Cooking Plans (All the information you need regarding for solar cookers, ovens and water pasteurizers); 5) Potassium Iodide Radiation Protection FAQ (Nuclear disaster survival information); 6) Mrs. Survival (One-stop source for preparedness information geared toward women); 7) Fire Extinguisher 101 (Everything you needed to know about fire extinguishers); 8) Institute for Business and Home Safety (Information for making homes more resistant to hurricanes and other planning advice); 9) Captain Dave’s Survival Center (News and information including disaster types, evacuation planning, food and water preservation); 10) Emergency Preparation Forum (Emergency and disaster preparation).

This week’s featured YouTube channels

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

1) Every Steve Jobs Video (7,176 subscribers): Apple co-founder Steve Jobs would have been 58 on Feb. 24, so the same Apple fan who created the YouTube channel featuring all the Apple ads he could find (see next featured channel on this list) decided in late December 2012 that he would commemorate the day by creating a second channel, this time dedicated to hosting every video of Mr. Jobs that he could find online. So far, about 150 videos have been uploaded, giving the channel a total of more than 120,000 video views to date. (Most popular video: Steve Jobs FUNNIEST moments (1978-2011) – 77,650 views.)

2) Every Apple TV Ad (ever made) (15,776 subscribers): This is the original YouTube channel started by the same Apple fan who went on to create the first channel on this list. Launched as a one-stop resource for every Apple television ad available online, the channel was founded in October 2012 and has racked up more than 1.5 million views to date. The channel hosts an impressive 510 videos. (Most popular video: Apple iPhone 5 ad featuring Venus & Serena Williams – Dream (2013) – 101,320 views.)

3) Apple (1,051,555 subscribers): The two previously mentioned Apple fan sites are a marketer’s dream come true. What better tribute can there be to a venerable brand such as Apple than to have fan-created websites dedicated to its greatness? Well, this particular channel is the real deal – Apple’s official corporate channel on YouTube featuring playlists focusing on the iPad, iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. (Most popular video: Apple – Introducing Siri on iPhone 4S – 8,756,108 views.)

Social Media Matters: Facebook unfriending can have consequences

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Feb. 22, 2013
Metro section

Facebook unfriending can have consequences

A new study from the University of Colorado Denver suggests that unfriending someone on Facebook can have far-reaching social consequences.

According to an article published on ScienceDaily.com on Feb. 4 entitled “Facebook Unfriending Has Real Life Consequences: Many Avoid ‘Unfrienders’ in Real Life,” study author Christopher Sibona, a doctoral student in the Computer Science and Information Systems program at the University of Colorado Denver Business School, warned that, “People think social networks are just for fun. But in fact what you do on those sites can have real world consequences.”

Sibona went on to explain that he found that 40 per cent of Facebook users surveyed said that — in real life — they would avoid anyone who unfriended them on Facebook. About 50 per cent said they would not avoid the unfriender, while the remainder were unsure. Gender seemed to play a role in who would do more avoiding, as women said they would avoid contact with an unfriender more than men would.

Sibona also wrote a study in 2010 on why Facebook users unfriend others. According to the article, the top four reasons were: 1) Frequent, unimportant posts; 2) Polarizing posts usually about politics or religion; 3) Inappropriate posts involving sexist, racist remarks; 4) Boring everyday life posts about children, food, spouses etc.

Have you ever unfriended someone? If so, was there any negative fallout?

Burger King’s Twitter account hacked

Burger King-Twitter HackedIt’s not very often that you see a large corporate Twitter account hacked, but it happened on Monday when Burger King’s account (@BurgerKing) was taken over by unknown hackers who changed the logo to McDonald’s, announced a takeover by McDonald’s, and then started tweeting obscenities before the account was taken down by Twitter.

The account was back to normal by Tuesday and is now functional again, likely after getting a new password that not even Jesus and the Amazing Kreskin could figure out. Burger King has more than 110,000 followers on Twitter.

Top brand name recipes websites

KraftEvery week, I take a look at the top 10 sites in categories among Alexa.com’s website rankings. It’s winter! Time for comfort food to get you through these cold days! Here are recipe sites that use some of the best-known food brands out there ­— and even a few copycats! Statistics are current to Feb. 19.

  • 1) Kraft Food Recipes (recipes and other cooking information from Kraft)
  • 2) Betty Crocker Recipes (recipes for all types of occasions and tastes, including a recipe finder for specific ingredients)
  • 3) Pillsbury (a wide variety of recipes and tips)
  • 4) Campbell’s Kitchen (meal ideas and recipes using Campbell’s brands, including Campbell’s, Swanson, Pace and Prego)
  • 5) Hershey’s (recipes for everything chocolate)
  • 6) Kraft Canada (recipes using Kraft products available in Canada)
  • 7) Nestle’s Very Best Baking (lots of recipes featuring brands such as Nestlé Toll House chocolate chips, Carnation evaporated milk and Libby’s pumpkin purée)
  • 8) Top Secret Recipes on the Web (make your own similar-tasting copycat brand-name foods at home)
  • 9) CopyKat Creations (more popular food brand and restaurant meals broken down into recipes that you can make at home)
  • 10) Hidden Valley Ranch (recipes from Hidden Valley Ranch products including bottled dressings, dressing mixes, dips mixes and condiments.)

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Feb. 19. Have a favourite YouTube channel? Let me know and I may feature it here.

Michel Goguen Music1) Michel Goguen (6 subscribers): Michel Goguen lives in Dieppe and is well-known area acoustic guitarist and singer. He’ll be releasing a new CD called The Painter’s Drum in the coming weeks and has also started a new Facebook page at facebook.com/MichelGoguenMusic. The tracks will also be available through Amazon.ca and iTunes in June. There are some really beautiful tunes uploaded to this YouTube channel. Do yourself a favour and subscribe! Take a listen to “River Ride” and tell me that doesn’t remind you of Bruce Cockburn! (Most popular video: Ocean Wave – 253 views.)

Leigh Alderson2) electricleo5 (16 subscribers): Last week, I mentioned Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada dancer Leigh Alderson’s disco music talents. I forgot to mention that he also has his own YouTube channel featuring a variety of artistic videos and personal vlogs (video + blog = vlog), many of them made here in Moncton. (Most popular video: Jerry Burns ‘ANGEL’ (trailer) – 4,783 views.)

Commotion Engine3) Commotion Engine (153 subscribers): Commotion Engine is a California-based video marketing firm that creates animated ads and videos for clients. I love these types of videos since they’re usually fast-paced, creative and fun to watch! As ads, they’re very powerful! Check out their website, their Facebook page  and their Twitter account. (Most popular video: Commotion in 90sec – 13,237 views.)