New Facebook Fan Box Widget – brand engagement o-rama

Facebook just rolled out a Fan Box Widget. This is basically, as Facebook puts it, “to gain more fans and share your Facebook updates.”

All it takes is embedding the code on your site, so big companies or musicians or …. dog groomers could easily take advantage of this.

To me, this is Facebook’s response to the huge uptick of people and companies embedding their Twitter feed onto their sites. Companies like Zappos have made this a huge part of their community interaction and company transparency initiatives.

This should be a great way to easily create a gateway for brands to socialize with their audiences. Also, there’s a potential to include it or embed it with a product launch release/microsite and to drive fans of individual products (like a new handset, for instance). We at Harold’s Kids will experiment on how to get this going on our blog! To be continued . . .

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

Story of our lives, huh?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Twitter Search is Going 2.0

twittersearch3Twitter Search is one of the most critical tools in my research arsenal.  At times, it’s much more useful than the mighty Google, especially when it comes to checking the pulse of a developing story or trend.

But it’s often difficult to wade through the deluge of tweets generated by a Twitter Search and make sense of the chatter.

That could be changing soon.

CNET’s Rafe Needleman, among others, recently spoke to Twitter’s Santosh Jayaram, the new VP of operations, and reported yesterday on two pending Twitter Search features that could make the tool much more useful:

…Twitter Search, which currently searches only the text of Twitter posts, will soon begin to crawl the links included in tweets and begin to index the content of those pages.


Twitter Search will also get a “reputation” ranking system soon, Jayaram told me. When you do a search on a “trending” topic–a topic that is so big it gets its own link in the sidebar–Twitter will take into account the reputation of the person who wrote each tweet and rank the search results in part based on that.

No word on when these new features will go live. In the meantime, this begs a few questions:

  • When Twitter starts indexing URLs, how will Google respond?
  • How will Twitter Search determine the “reputation” of a user? By their number of followers or retweets? Needleman reports the decision is still in the works, but it’ll be interesting to see if users find ways to game the system.
  • Since Twitter plans to index links, will the new search also include a tool similar to Backtype Connect, which tracks the Twitter conversation around any given link? (A very useful tool for PR, by the way.)

What do you think? What will happen when Twitter Search goes 2.0?

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.


Nanoblogging – the new frontier

Who needs microblogging when you can nanoblog? 140 characters – too long! The next big thing is Flutter – each “flap” is only 26 characters – “a whole alphabet!”

Super creative and WELL worth 3.44 minutes of your time for a good laugh.


Stephen Colbert Hath “Twought” Through Biz Stone Interview


Barbara Walters FAIL

The power of Barbara Wawa is the power to completely render a popular Web site useless, off the grid, effectively dead. Who knew?

According to a top story from Gawker yesterday, Barbar Walters attempted to explain Twitter to Whoopi Goldberg on The View and shortly after, the site went completely dark – apparently, the Fail Whale didn’t even appear.

According to Owen Thomas – here’s a sample of the conversations slightly before Twitter sank:

I know for a fact Twitter is back and healthy — for now. Maybe the ladies of The View should invite Shaq Diesel on to explain next time!