Archive for the 'Facebook' Category

Great New Feature from SocialOomph

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

This feature is actually a month or two old. I decided that it was worth writing about after using it for few weeks. SocialOomph’s official name for the feature is update queue but it is being promoted as a drip feed for your Twitter account.

I love this feature because I live in a different time zone from some of my clients. I created three queues for my Twitter account that all drip tweets at different rates. I load one up with topical stuff that I think is of interest to my followers. I load another one up with market specific information that I have found through various sources and I have a third queue that tweets links to my own blog posts. My twitter stream is a good mix of give and take and the tweets drip into the stream at an optimal time of day even though I am asleep. My morning routine is tea and checking Twitter for replies.

SocialOomph can be used to schedule content for several social websites including Facebook.

The King of Burgers…and Viral Marketing

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Sometimes really silly marketing ploys work amazingly well. Somebody in marketing thought that it would be a great idea to offer a free Whopper to anyone who was willing to ’sacrifice’ (delete) 10 Facebook friends. I would have done this in a heartbeat although I don’t even know if the franchise exists where I am presently living. Alas, it was an idea that worked too well. As this screencap shows, the deal was suspended after thousands upon thousands of people jumped on it.


I would be very interested to know the total cost for this promotion. It’s safe to assume that the majority of vouchers would be redeemed since the chain has 11,550 outlets in 71 countries. The design and development costs for the Facebook App were probably borne in part by Facebook (note: I have NO idea what I am talking about). The cost is nearly irrelevant when you try to get your head around the amount of word of mouth advertising that branches off of this for both Facebook and BurgerKing.

The guy who ditched 10 Facebook friends will be waiting in line at Burger King to get his free Whopper and he will feel compelled to talk about how he got the voucher. The US is the target market of this idea and Facebook has only recently become the #1 social website there. There is still lots of room for increases. Many of the people who are not yet on Facebook are waiting in line at Burger King.

The genius part of this gimmick will benefit Burger King. When friends were deleted, the deletion and the reason behind it was broadcast on the member feeds. Logic would seem to dictate that the people most willing to sacrifice friends are the ones who have a very large number of friends.


Does Information Technology Make Us Safer?

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

I was just reading an old story about a student who got arrested for posting a threat on Facebook.

I used to be an RA at a small college residence way back when the Internet was strange and new. I think there was only one or two people in the building that had their own computers. This was in Canada, I can’t remember whether there was even a ban on gun at our campus. I know that a couple of my friends got in a bit of trouble for shooting at pigeons on the school’s farm complex. I think they just got a warning from the school. I invited one of my other friends to go hunting with me on my dad’s farm and I seem to remember his car trunk being pretty well armed when we left the campus. There was never any gun related violence in the dorms or elsewhere on campus. My only memory of dealing with violence in my job as RA involved physically detaining a very large, very angry and very drunk basketball player. I was one of about a dozen people who were blocking his access to the guy that he wanted to fight. The big guy was well-liked by most if not all of the campus policemen and RAs and there were no punches thrown, just a lot of shoving.

Reading about the campus-wide instant messaging system that alerted the Akron student body to the event and reassured them that they were safe made me wonder if measures like that effectively increase security. If that technology had existed when a fire broke out at the residence where my wife had been living in the early 90s, it could have been evacuated more effectively.

I wrote a short paragraph about how an effective multifaceted warning system could have saved lives at Virginia Tech. When I was fact checking I saw that a system was put in place there after April 16, 2007 and that it malfunctioned the first time that it was needed (a gunshot was heard on campus, but it turned out to be a nailgun cartridge). An important part of any warning system these days is cell phone text messages. The mass texting vendor had a hardware failure shortly after it was triggered.

I think communication technology can and will save lives at schools. I also think that individual alertness and preparedness are probably more important.