There are 150 million reasons not to date through social media

Wednesday, 3 May, 2017

When lonely hearts meet via social media, where – we are told – 150 million fake profiles now reside. The concluding twist to this short film, by Mexican film production company WabiProductions, is unsettling to say the least.

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What to do about photos banned on Instagram? Put them in a book

Monday, 13 March, 2017

In years gone by we used to place our photos, taken with film, into book like folders called albums. Now our photos, in digital format, are stored on photo sharing services, and social networks, such as Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram.

But what happens if the powers that be dislike, for whatever reason, some of our pictures, and delete them? How do we preserve these images, and memories, in these situations?

US digital artist Molly Soda, who has had numerous of her photos removed, as they’ve been deemed somehow inappropriate, has written a book, Pics or It Didn’t Happen, on the subject, and offers another method of retaining your photos.

A selection of these deleted photos can be seen here. Note: NSFW.

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YouTube stardom, it’s not the way you look, it’s the way you talk

Wednesday, 8 March, 2017

If you want to succeed as a YouTube influencer, listen to the way those with large followings speak. In fact, you may have already noticed some similarities in their style. Long story short, it’s all about delivering your message with an “intellectual used-car-salesman voice”, says Julie Beck, writing for The Atlantic.

So it turns out the “YouTube voice” is just a variety of ways of emphasizing words, none of which are actually exclusive to YouTube – people employ these devices in speech all the time. But they generally do it to grab the listener’s attention, and when you’re just talking to a camera without much action, it takes a little more to get, and keep, that attention.

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How to build an Instagram following from scratch

Monday, 16 January, 2017

A few years ago, Tel Aviv based digital marketer and community manager Dana Lanzer Meschiany, was tasked with establishing a social media following, or community, for her employer.

The catch though, the start-up she was working for was still someway from releasing the product they were developing. In other words, Meschiany needed to get people interested in something that didn’t, in a sense, yet exist.

Long story short, there were no real shortcuts, and much perseverance was required, when she took to Instagram to start the process:

Then a crazy Google Spreadsheet was created with the handles of thousands of West Coast Instagrammers, who would potentially make up our dream community. We selected them based on geo-location, quality of photos (no selfies!) and even their bio.

Once some connections had been made, Meschiany took to email to firm up the relationships established on Instagram:

The next step in formalizing these relationships was emailing. It’s actually a lot more personal than people give it credit for, and I’ve always found that people are much more responsive if you speak to them like a human being and not push so hard. No cold-emailing allowed.

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Red, the grass is always greener on the other social media profile?

Friday, 21 October, 2016

Red, a short film by Los Angeles based art director and animator Daveion Thompson, touches on all too familiar subject matter, social media profiles that portray our lives as being more than perhaps they are.

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How much do you spend making your Instagram page look cool?

Tuesday, 12 July, 2016

I’m sure for most people there’s an indirect cost behind many of the photos posted to their Instagtam pages. For instance, to take a photo of, say, a cafe meal, would have meant paying for it. The cost though is something few people would think about, after all, they most likely intended to have the meal in the first place.

Would you however spend upwards of several thousand dollars a month, simply to give your Instagtam page credibility? Would you expressly dine at expensive restaurants, or even travel to another city to do the same, for the sake of taking a photo that might boost your status as an influencer, increase your following, and, of course, likes?

Needless to say, there are people, probably a lot of people, doing just that:

This year, all told, I’ve spent nearly $3,000 on Instagram ($2,800 to be exact), in the interest of growing my “brand” and also, if I’m being honest, growing my ego. I like to tell myself that this is something that could be considered work, but I also know that compared to the real influencers who actually make a full-time living on Instagram, I’m nowhere close. I would need 10x the followers and engagement, plus representation by an agency, both of which would require way, way more up-front investment that I can’t make. I’m already using pretty much all of my free money on this project, and going further would require credit cards or loans – something I’m simply not ready to do at this point.

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Radiohead, it seems, have disappeared into the electronic abyss

Tuesday, 3 May, 2016

British rock band Radiohead have eliminated all traces of their online presence in recent days. Their website has gone, along with various of their social media pages. It goes without saying, but there’s something behind all of this…

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A good business is not built upon bells, whistles, and buzzwords

Monday, 2 May, 2016

Your Media Business Will Not Be Saved, focus on your core competencies, forget the bells, whistles, and buzzwords, they may even be worse than useless, is, I think, the message here.

Video will not save your media business. Nor will bots, newsletters, a “morning briefing” app, a “lean back” iPad experience, Slack integration, a Snapchat channel, or a great partnership with Twitter. All of these things together might help, but even then, you will not be saved by the magical New Thing that everyone else in the media community is convinced will be the answer to The Problem.

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Should children ok photos posted on social media by their parents?

Thursday, 17 March, 2016

It seems innocuous enough, parents posting photos and videos of their children to their social media pages. But should there be limits, or boundaries, to this sort of activity? Ought parents to be seeking the permission of their off-spring, before posting material that potentially could be publicly accessible decades later?

And what if a child is too young to understand what is being asking of them? Should parents therefore refrain from sharing images of their children until they are old enough to understand? It’s perhaps a matter that requires more thought than it is being afforded presently.

But there was one surprising rule that the children wanted that their parents mentioned far less often: Don’t post anything about me on social media without asking me. As in, no pictures of them asleep in the back of the car. No posts about their frustration with their homework. That victory picture after the soccer game? Maybe. The frustrated rant about the fight you just had over laundry? No way.

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Sure you can Snapchat, but can you Snapchat like a teenager?

Thursday, 11 February, 2016

A BuzzFeed writer who isn’t au fait with Snapchat, the messaging app whose name is mentioned in conversation at least once every five minutes, by the under-twenty set?

Actually, that’s not quite the situation, Ben Rosen does snapchat, but when he saw his younger sister, Brooke, in action, he decided he needed to up his game, so asked her for some tips. And now, as a result of his research, we can all Snapchat Like The Teens:

We live in different states, so I rarely get a chance to hang out with her. That’s what made Thanksgiving so eye-opening. I would watch in awe as she flipped through her snaps, opening and responding to each one in less than a second with a quick selfie face. She answered all 40 of her friends’ snaps in under a minute. How was this even possible? Is she a freak of nature, or is this just how things are done when you’re young? I had to find out what I was missing. What do these “teens” know that I don’t? I decided to investigate further…

I’m not a user myself… I have enough social media channels to deal with as it is. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. For now, anyway.

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