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Facebook have done it again….

To take there website more like twitter they have made the move again,

”Connect to Facebook from your phone, Facebook is now available via SMS”faceweb

We all new this was going to slowly happen and each time they do something like this it doesnt really come as much of a suprise to us as avid viewers of the competition between the two social networking sites. Its now giving users the ability to

a) Update your status, browse your News Feed and view friends’ Profiles all from your phone.

B) Work now on all phones with mobile web access.

C) Update your status or send messages to friends using texts from your mobile [like Twitter also did, but it seems to be making it for all mobiles]

D) Receive text messages with status updates, messages and Wall posts as they happen.

E) Send photos and videos straight to Facebook from your phone by sending an MMS.

F) Download rich, interactive applications built for your phone [though this only works for certain phones that the programs are built for]

fblinkFacebook has taken the technology that Twitter has been using and added to it, the aplications for phones will make it very appealing to people with free web and large phone memories. They will also emphasise the ability to conect to friends through facbook via text’s.

What will Twitter’s move be? How will Facebook continue to evolve?

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Recyling Charity Boom In Credit Crunch Society

The charity organisation TRAID is now fast becoming the most popular way to purchase and recycle clothes, with its new range unveiled last friday it shows that the organisation if flurishing in the credit crunch.traid

TRAID or Textile Recycle for Aid and International Development, since its launch in 1999 it has donated more than $2 million to projects in underdeveloped regions around the globe, including Darfur, Sudan. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam. The organisation helps to tackle the 900,000 tons of textile waste produced in Britain every year! Traidremade is slowly becoming one of the biggest fashion labels to have, using old materials to create fantastic new original pieces. Though the organisation manages to through all its eliments into one big basket with Traid, Traidremade and Traid Second hand to create a wounderfly appealing clothes shop.

traid-logo The Traid logo is most recognisable to most people from the recycling banks that it has placed in local communities, though unlike most clothes recyling facilities you can enquire on their website for one to be placed somewhere close to your local community.

The organisation is such that it’s donations are able to be used for providing clean water and sanitation facilities, distributing essential items (blankets, utensils and clean clothing) and the movement to reduce the people’s dependency on aid through training schemes and providing animals and farming tools in 3rd world countries. This link with charity work has given it a large attractioin by the fashion community because you can be seen to be buying a fashionable  brand whilst also doing something good for the developing countries and the environment.  Its not only charitable and environmentaly friendly but its quite cheap and at this point in the credit crunch that makes these charity shops even more apealing to the every day person.  Though celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan lindsay-lohan-traid have been seen to be supporting this new and exciting brand which has recently become even more established in London by opening yet another store to mark their 10th anniversary. It is to be their  flagship store in retro mecca, Camden  and it will be opened on Thursday 7th May. Because of the central location of this new store it is expected to find la crème de la crème of designer, vintage as well as the company’s Traidremade label.

There Traidremade label has had its own success in the past week with their catwalkshow Traidremade collection featuring new hand crafted asymmetric dresses, bags which are customised from old leathers, signature hand-printed tee shirts and dresses. Paul Kirkwood, head of design at Traidremade said,

“Every Traidremade garment is made using clothes and textiles that would otherwise go to landfill, and all the profits raised support international development projects to fight poverty. Truly fashion with a conscience.”

So in our credit crunch time, were people are spending drastic amounts of money on cheap clothes that will get worn once, has Traid found the perfect way to help people spend less and make them think more of what happens with their clothes after they have worn it. Whilst also creating a brand name that people are feeling is fashionable enough to be up there with Burbery and Gap! This brand is deffinatly going from strength to strength through its unique marketing and identity it is slowly becoming the clothing brand of the credit crunch.

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Free speech online upheld!

apple-new-logo-lg1 After a quiet couple of weeks on easter break ive been looking around the web and papers to find something interesting and relative to an online/pr environment and stumbeled across an article in the Metro newspaper which i found interesting about Apple. That Apple is being sued for attempts to censor an online forum that discussed how to bypass iTunes software. The technology giant has been reported as  to have been bullying the website BluWiki.com into removing any offending post’s that it had.

The parent company [OdioWorks] has now chosen to retaliate with legal action. OdioWorks who are backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have said that Apple’s attack was unjustified and that they had no right to try and stiffle free speech and make an attack on the website which is a place were , [quoted from its website ]

”BluWiki is a site dedicated to helping you say something online. It uses wiki software to make it as easy as possible for anyone to put content on our site. This means Grandma can upload her cat photos, Dad can create an online book of recipes, and Mom can collaborate with co-workers. Yeah, it’s cool – but don’t take our word for it; create your own page and give BluWiki a spin. Oh, and it’s completely free.”

This website like many allows people to put there own opinions out there, its the key to the social networking sites that are out there. Facebook, Youtube, Twitter [no offical Apple or Facebook site] and many other sites are there for people to put there own opinions out there. The problem with this, like Apple has unfortunatley found is that there are some good things around being in the social networking environment and there are also negative things being said about companies. It good to see that the free speech idea is being held even when sites are under preasure from such large and famous an organisation as Apple, i have tried to find a press release from Apple but they do not seem to have embrased this new age of social networks. Maybe this is because they fear this freedom of speech mentality that everyone has at the moment, they don’t want to listen to opinions about their company just silence them! This seems another step back for the ipod giant in its move towards the social online environment that it has yet to embrase.

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Starbucks now part of the Online World…coffee anyone?

Like many companies on the internet Starbucks have gone in head first and are continuing to try and create their online community. Their sites have been growing in number over the years, with the most recent one being Starbucks V2V which has been introduced by the company to promote their volunteer work among staff and customers.starbucksv2v It is a site to try and build not just a community feeling among staff but to make the customers feel that they are part of it all and able to make a difference in the local and wider community. Starbucks even went as far as to create a youtube channel in 2005 which has meant that they have been able to show this community relationship by posting video’s from their corporate expeditions to the Farmer’s in Costa Rica and their stories.

The company have many different sites and each is unique to the company’s country clientele a couple of examples are the uk and german sites. The international one is the oneuntitled5 with most of the social networking links on it to bring customers to regard Starbucks as not just as a cafe but as an online commmunity. It has links such as Twitter, Facebook, my starbucks idea and Starbucks Red each with their own community and social networking aspects. Starbucks Idea is a unique website in that its just there to get the customers idea’s and perspectives to influence the company, it gives people the ability to vote on ideas that are put forward by Starbucks employee’s. I am sure that there are some area’s of the site that get more involvement by visitor’s than other’s, but this ability to have power or at least the illusion of power means that maybe the customers are more likely to visit the actual stores to see whats happening. The question here is that do they actually make any changes thanks to these opinions?

The company are talked about on many different sites, including blogs that discuss their new product via ready brew and ones that look at how they are leading the ways in fairtrade coffee. Why not have a look around them, to see what this coffee shop has done to use social networking to its advantage?

What could it do to make these better? In my opinion this would be by making their site more like skittle to encorporate all these different sites they have, it would also make it a lot easier to travel between several ones. Maybe create a more Starbucks Zone with links to the international sites and the country orientated ones to make it more of a world wide community.

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Social Media : Be careful what you choose to post!

This morning i have come across many articles/blogs. I wouldn’t call them horror stories but they are lesson’s in life, telling you to be careful what you post on your social media sites. One named “How to Tweet yourself out of a job” in which we see how posting how your feeling on Twitter may not be the smartest move you can make. There is also someone who work’s for the company out their watching what is going on, monitoring what people are saying about the company because they deal in its reputation. So when this person was offered a position at Cisco and was less than thrilled he voiced his lack of enthusiasm on the social networking site. Though this is not the first case that this has happend in, it has happend previously with a PR professional, yet again on Twitter.  The blog post that it is highlighted in is  by Peter Shankman , is a warning to all those PR proffesionals out there who don’t think that posting effects the offline environment.

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This Twitter feed from a proffesional shows how he chose to discuss his feelings about being in Memphis  doing a presentation  on digital media to the worldwide communications group at FedEx. When it was found by an employee they were very offended and chose to respond to the agency personally. It didn’t help Mr Andrews case that many of the employees where local to the Memphis area so when he posted it there was a link to them. This shows that you have to be really carefull about what you post on the web as even if you are just giving your opinion, you have to be mindful of who is going to be reading this such as future employeers.

Though maybe we have head into a world were there is no privacy and everything is out in the open. Though of course there is the ability to make your profiles private and to determin who sees your updates/profile. Maybe its becoming one of those things we need to be taught, how to not say to much on facebook or twitter. As a PR professional maybe we should be prepared  more to deal with the reputation online, so that we can deal with unexpected slips by employees . I feel that the online world gives us good points and bad ones, because in the way that it is accessable and creates this online social world makes people feel like their opinion is a valid one in the new media world. Though  it also has the bad points that is maybe too open and accessable now and unfortunatley people might not have relised this yet.

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Facebook Vs Twitter : The game is on!

Twitter has now become one of the most written about social networking sites in the media. It was recently featured in the ShortList magazine, the headline ‘How Twitter took over the world’, ‘Can it make money? Will it last? And where does Barack Obama find the time?’

It goes on to say that from the beginning in 2006 (as a research project at US podcasting company Odeo) and has now taken over from Facebook as the ‘tool du jour’! Brent Hoberman says that ‘It’s an excellent way of understanding trends, seeing what people are talking  about and what’s firing their imaginations’, it is a site that has delved into our celebrity culture and the nosiness that makes us who we are. Though the article goes on to say that at the moment this is a popular site, it seems that industry experts are seeing other organistations gathering to take down this new top dog!

Though there is the fact that there is a lot of media buzz around them may be cloaking the reality that it is just like everything else.

Though Facebook seems to have taken Twitter’s success as a challenge. It has today re-launched its website with a Twitter base to it facebook2. Its even changed the status updates by calling it a ‘Whats on your mind?’ box, the change to create the status update as the main feature of the website is what has made Twitter so popular. It has even got a filter effect so you can select certain networks to have shown to you on the status update’s page instead of everyone in your friends list. The only problem that can be seen is that you have to refresh the page to see the latest updates, though this isn’t such a bad flaw as it means if you have lots of friends you aren’t being bombarded constently.

There has been so much discussion on the web about this change by Facebook and what Twitter will do, and how will Facebook keep up with Twitter in its accessability/news feeds/celebrity status. Though maybe Facebook’s change to follow Twitter’s style may relate to the bid they had on the organisation to encorporate it into their site, it also shows that they saw the potential in the company when it had started to become noticed(2008).

Facebook has also gone into a lot of detail on it’s blog discussing the changes that have gone on to help people through it all. Twitter and Facebook do seem to be in a race to be the best social networking site, what will happen next?? Will Twitter now take another step in the race?

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Everyone’s talking Twitter!

When i first started my PR and New Media course i had never heard about Twitter. twitter community

Though now shortly after discovering it i am seeing it everywhere, it’s in the News, Magazine’s and all over the internet. Its been mentioned and discussed in many different blogs, Chris Brogan in several of the post’s on his blog. It is a new community that everyone can get involved in and as it appears everyone is!

This morning whilst on the train i found several articles in The Metro. One article was about a missing snowboarder and the use of twitter to find him. They also had an article about a fundraising campaign for comic relief by Twitter and Dave SpikeyTwitter and micro blogging promoting a new story book, to witch the contributions of it had all been found in several weeks through Twitter. This also included the incorporation of the editor, illustrator and project co-ordinator for the book.

Though this hasn’t been my only experience of Twitter since becoming a member. I have read articles in popular magazine’s telling people who’s on Twitter and how its the new service to get logged in on after Facebook. There are seen to be a lot of celebrities/bands/journalists/professionals using this platform to get people involved. Even companies have started using it. Skittles have just re-launched their website and have gone away from the traditional website format by including Social Platform’s on their website. There have been a lot of discussion about this on the internet including the Wall Street Journal.

Mars Snackfood has said that it made this bold move to better get connected with the teenage audience which is it’s key demographic;

“The teen audience relies heavily on their peers for advice on products. This is a unique, unexpected way to engage and to be a part of the conversation,” says spokesman Ryan Bowling.

The Twitter feed on the Site is used for chatter to discuss the brand and whats going on with it. The makeup of Twitter means that any updates that include skittles will automatically appear, though like many things there are lots of ups and downs to this type of consumer freedom. I personally think this is a brilliant move forward but i do wonder that if by doing this they are loosing some of their corporate identity by using these other sites and just having the widget style icon in the corner?

Twitter has become a multi functional site, catering for many different people. Its not only been used for a company’s website but is now more and more being used as a news feed . Many people getting information via Twitter before the main stream media has got any idea whats going on. The connections that are built between the people on Twitter are becoming one of the fastest ways to get information across the globe. Is it now becoming part of the 24 hour news category?

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