Web Site Story – CollegeHumor video pokes fun at trendiest Web sites

Story of our lives, huh?

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This summer vacation brought to you by Twitter

I reckon you’ve heard of the H1N1 flu epidemic (née swine flu). Maybe you’re currently wearing a face mask to work and changing seats on the bus when someone nearby sniffles. Or, perhaps, you’re in my camp and are thinking that maybe, just a little bit, this whole thing is sounding overhyped.

When a family friend’s condo in Puerto Vallarta suddenly become available for mid-June, I began following the minute-by-minute news with a more personal interest. I had to decide: take the plunge and commit to a possible flu-tainted vacation, or pass up the condo and remain, pouting, in the relatively safe backwaters of Oakland.

Like any good researcher, I turned immediately to my online resources. I Googled “swine flu and Puerto Vallarta,” which revealed some incredibly helpful blogs by local PV residents. Particularly useful was a frequently updated blog by a local Registered Nurse. I was also connected to chat rooms via TripAdvisor and Yahoo Answers, all with posts by people who had just completed, were currently enjoying, or planned to soon enjoy their Mexican vacations. Twitter Search provided the final piece I need to make my decision.

Sure, some folks were afraid. “Pandemic” is a pretty scary word, after all. But mostly, people were enjoying their time in Puerto Vallarta, flu free and happy. When I realized that there were fewer cases of H1N1 in PV than there were in my own backyard – and when flights dropped $200 in one day – I took the plunge. Tickets were purchased and I’m now on my way in five weeks. Olé!

To celebrate said ticket purchase, I posted a status update to Facebook, which was seen by an old college buddy of mine who also happens to be a local TV news reporter. She was just closing a story on the swine flu epidemic when she saw my post. She contacted me via Facebook and asked if I would agree to go on camera with my tale of bravery in the face of disease-tainted travel. Sure, why not?

Within 10 minutes, she was downstairs with a camera crew. I shared my story and gave Twitter a complimentary shout-out and, just like that, my anti-fear, pro-Mexico message was broadcast to the Bay Area. Huzzah!

Thanks, Google and Twitter. I’ll raise a banana daiquiri to you in five weeks.


The White House launches its new blog!

Today was certainly exciting. And amid all the excitement – and following up on the heels of Obama’s near-flawless digital campaign, including his YouTube weekly addresses which I’ve vowed to watch regularly now! (NY resolution #43925732890!) – the re-vamped Whitehouse.gov site (did anyone visit the White House Web site when Bush was in office? I sure didn’t) launched its new blog!

Change has come to Whitehouse.gov

Heading up the blog is a new name (to me, anyway) – Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House. Macon explains the new Administration’s goals for the blog in one of the first posts.


I find this all very, very cool, as I think I’ve blogged about previously. Can’t wait to see all that comes out of this Presidency and our Government, moving foward.

Would be interested in your feedback on the site – what would you find most valuable from your government on its Web site and blog? Engage!


Also – some fun trivia for the day from Mashable via the CNN/Facebook alignment for inauguration day coverage:

1. There were 200,000+ status updates through the Facebook integration on CNN.com

2. at that time, 3,000 people commented on the Facebook CNN feed per minute

3. Obama’s Facebook Fan Page has more than 4 million fans and in excess of 500,000 wall posts 

Did anyone tune in to this live streaming? I personally watched on the big (old school) screen with the office. Do share thoughts if you tuned in!


Peace! Enjoy your inaug celebrations!

Web 2.0 is never gonna run around and desert you

Web 2.0 and the Internet in general has had a massive effect on the music industry. If you need proof, let me point you to a short list of examples that are sure to ring a bell.

The latest example of the Internet’s effect on the Music Industry is quite amusing. As a result of the Rickrolling Internet meme phenomenon, Rick Astley is currently being considered for an award at the MTV Europe Music Awards along with Weezer and Snoop Dog. The reason is simple – over the past year countless eyeballs have seen the music video for his 1987 single “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

As we all know, word-of-mouth is considered to be the holy grail of marketing because audiences consider the opinions of friends, colleagues and peer leaders to to be more reputable than other forms of marketing like paid advertising. In the past, word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) was great but difficult to scale, but today social media has put WOMM on steroids – and the impact stuns me sometimes. Who would have thought a guy that recorded a catchy yet mediocre pop song 20 ago would be on the tip of everyone’s tounge today and be on the short list for an award to boot? These are crazy times!

By Cristina

Wordle & Obama

Thought this was really cool. Found via Twitter from a dude who was at the same concert as I was last night.

Barack Obama speech word cloud

Barack Obama speech word cloud

This was created via Wordle – kind of neat if we were to paste in a client’s press release or other collateral, may help with SEO?

“Wordle is a toy for generating ‘word clouds’ from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.”

 By Jes

The DNC and new media

Anticipation for the Democratic National Convention is palpable. And, of course, there has been much to-do about the (continued) role that social media and technology will play at this particular event.

Arianna Huffington posts today about a panel that the HuffPo will be hosting – with Universal Music Group – during the DNC about the ways that social media has impacted this campaign. The panel line up includes representatives from the new media (YouTube co-founder and Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, who launched the “Yes We Can” music video on YouTube) and traditional media (Stephanopoulos of ABC and publisher of Washington Post) sides, as well as a panelist from SNL – on the role that satire has played in this campaign (interesting!) and also repping the business perspective, a UMG public policy/government SVP. The  happens Tuesday at The Brown Palace hotel in Denver. Should be interesting, wish I could go!

Cliz – if you go, will you please take pictures and blog about it? Pretty please??? With a cherry on top!!?