Archive for the ‘Internet’ Tag

Yahoo wins round in Oregon nude photo court battle

According to the Associated Press and the Mercury News:

PORTLAND, Ore. — Yahoo has won a legal battle over removing nude photos that an Oregon woman claimed her boyfriend posted on its Web site without her knowledge or permission.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirms that Internet service providers such as Yahoo are generally protected from liability for materials published or posted on their sites by outside parties.

Cecilia Barnes had filed a lawsuit in 2005 in Portland, Ore., claiming her boyfriend not only posted nude photos, but also created a fraudulent profile and posed as her in an online chat room to solicit sex.

Although the court says Sunnyvale-based Yahoo isn’t liable for those actions, it left open the possibility that Barnes could sue Yahoo over whether it had promised to remove the photos and the profile.

While I’m happy that Yahoo! won its appeal after stating that the loss “‘threatens significant mischief’ to other Web companies” the final line in the AP release is what has me worried.

it left open the possibility that Barnes could sue Yahoo over whether it had promised to remove the photos and the profile.

Barnes next suit– win or lose– will likely influence and change the way that users interact with companies on a daily basis as one “bad apple” (or in this case, rogue agent) ruined the bushel. Rather than allowing their agents to provide more of a customized experience for each user, it’s possible that agents will be forced to adhere to an even more robotic, contrived speech that compels them to respond only to black and white situations– creating more frustration for users who approach companies with “grey” issues.

Looking for the full story on the Yahoo/Barnes case in Oregon? Find it after the jump.

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Social Media: Conversation for the greater good

A friend of mine used to work for the Los Angeles County Department of Health and would often tell me about their proposed initiatives and how they were working on new ways to spread the message about health issues using social media.

Like many companies, they followed the typical route:  creating a MySpace page and/or a YouTube channel, and would regularly publish content. However, unlike most companies, any Health company or Department has the added luxury of having to sell a “product” that is often incredibly “unsexy,” which often results in lower CTRs and a harder sell. They also bear the burden of marketing a product that people are often unable to interact with or, in some cases, are ashamed to interact with.

Think back. How often do you scan the internet, looking for the latest public service announcements? Probably never. And, if you’re like most people, if you do see one on TV, online, or anywhere else, you probably don’t talk about it with your friends or family because it just doesn’t have the same “appeal” as talking about the latest movie trailer or tv show you watched, right? For the few of you who said that you DO actually talk about the PSAs you see on TV with someone you know, 9/10 chance that the PSA you watched had to do with drugs or alcohol. And the person you talked to? Your child/parent/dependent, right?

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Fortune Encourages You To Tell Your Recession Story

Fortune, like many publications recently published an article highlighting ten unemployed Americans, and their search for a new job “Fortune: The New Jobless“. (Disclaimer: I was one of the 10 featured in the article) Like most articles, Fortune included a link that enables readers an opportunity to “discuss” what they’ve read.

However, instead of discussing the stories that are contained within the article, Fortune opted to encourage readers to engage with the article, and publication in a different way: by sharing their own story.

To me, this creative use of social media enables users to engage with the content in a much more intimate way; and, in turn, creates much more genuine commentary.

After the jump? Snippets from Fortune’s “Talkback: Tell Your Recession Story”

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Review: Sysomos

sysomosLast week I spoke with Steve Dodd and Nick Koudas of Sysomos, a social media tracking/monitoring service. They walked me through their product, features and showed me how it could be successfully implemented in a business or even by someone with a successful personal brand. Below is my review. Please note that this review is based on a presentation given to me by the Sysomos team, and I have not had an opportunity to actually try the Sysomos product or implement it firsthand.

Structure of this review: I’ve broken down the core elements of the product into categories and have reviewed them based on their merit. I’ve also included a brief review of additional features that are “added bonuses” or things you’d expect to see in a service like this towards the end of the review.

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Hiring trend: Social media– contractor?

With the economy in dire straits, it seems as though many companies are turning to hiring on social media strategists as consultants instead of full-time,  full-salary (and benefits) roles. Though this is a bitter-sweet turn of events for the social media field, it’s also a great opportunity for true pros to prove their worth, all while having the flexibility of bouncing from company to company.

Why this is good for social media: By continuing to offer positions (though they’re contract positions) it proves that companies are still willing to spend some of their limited budget on social efforts, and understand their value. By offering the position as a contract role, the company is able to save on their end by not having to pay for pesky things like benefits and contributing to your 401k.

Why this isn’t good for social media: By failing to completely integrate a team member into a brand or company, that team member (or in this case, social media strategist) isn’t given the opportunity to truly embrace the brand in a way a “full time” employee might. They’re also (potentially) seen as a much more expendable line-item in the company’s budget. Continue reading

It’s all about the STRATEGY

True “experts” like Robert Scoble and Chris Brogan have argued that the term “social media expert” is, for most people, a moot title– a point I agree with. In an industry that’s constantly changing, it’s impossible to be an expert in a field that has no predefined boundaries. (Perhaps the only exceptions are Scoble and Brogan, who have proven themselves champions in multiple battles, though the war has hardly been fought). 

With that being said, it comes as no surprise that an article published on cnet today discusses just that: the title, and role, of the social media “expert.” The article, which covers the high ticket price many social media-ites demand(ed) points out many of the flaws many companies are seeing in their current social media “strategy.”

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The Emerging Role: Community Manager

I previously worked for a start-up called, Passenger, where I was as a Community Manager for brands like Nike, JcPenney, and ABC. While at Passenger  I posted to the company blog about the role of a Community Manager. Though the post remains mostly relevant, it does read much like an advertisement (ironic since at the time I clearly remember trying to ensure that it didn’t feel like an ad, but instead embraced the voice of the company, just as any Community Manager would do.) 

I’ve included my post below, and have amended it slightly to reflect my current views, noted in purple

Please note, that this was written while working for Passenger, not Yahoo!, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the company at this time. 

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