Eagle-eyed gamers may have already noticed that the Xbox 360′s dedicated Twitter and Facebook apps have gone missing after the latest Dashboard update, and now Redmond has confirmed it’s put the applications out to pasture. According to a Microsoft representative that spoke to IGN, the firm is “retiring the Facebook and Twitter apps” as it works to streamline functionality. When asked if the pair of apps will ever make a comeback, Ballmer and Co. didn’t comment.
Updates from Tvs was a fad the last few years, and thankfully it’s going away. Why would someone want to check or update a social network from a TV? The XBOX 360 doesn’t even come with a keyboard, so I’m not exactly sure how this was supposed to ever work. All the data actually points to people using mobile devices to access social networks while they use their TVs. That makes sense.
“Sixteen months ago we received the same number of monthly referrals from search as social. Now 40% of traffic comes from social media,” Scott Havens, senior vice president of finance and digital operations at The Atlantic Media Company, said in a phone conversation ahead of his on-stage interview at our Mashable Connect conference in Orlando, Fla. last weekend. “Truly [our writers] are not really thinking about SEO anymore. Now it’s about how we can spin a story so that it goes viral.”
And the capper:
And what kind of headlines do well? “A great headline is just a great headline,” says Cohn. “It has to be clear; it has to be intelligent. We’re not writing for machines. We’re writing for humans.”
In today’s workplace, young people who have grown up fearing conversation show up on the job wearing earphones. Walking through a college library or the campus of a high-tech start-up, one sees the same thing: we are together, but each of us is in our own bubble, furiously connected to keyboards and tiny touch screens. A senior partner at a Boston law firm describes a scene in his office. Young associates lay out their suite of technologies: laptops, iPods and multiple phones. And then they put their earphones on. “Big ones. Like pilots. They turn their desks into cockpits.” With the young lawyers in their cockpits, the office is quiet, a quiet that does not ask to be broken
I haven’t worked in an environment quite like this, but I do wear headphones a bit at work (usually just one so I can hear if someone is trying to talk to me). If people are going into the office to be alone, I think they’er missing the point of being in the office. Most offices are sterile places that do not inspire creativity. The whole purpose of showing up at a place with drab walls and corridors lit by subtly blinking, dingy flourscent lights is to be by coworkers and see what they are up.
Lord knows we don’t show up at most offices to be inspired to do great work. My home office is leagues better than my work cube. It’s a place that inspires me to push myself.
Perhaps these stories are really pointing to the fundamental illogic of coming into the office on a daily basis.
Some people really like being social at work. Others like to lose themselves in their work. Maybe it just has finally become socially acceptable to lose yourself in your work and try to seek solitude.
To me, this points to the need for employers to allow people to work remotely more often. Have employees come into the office for meetings and social events. Have those times where people are in the office be centered around social interaction.
For the other days, let people work at home or a coffee shop or a coworking space or even in the office. Our goal should be to make employees as happy as possible and get the best work out of them.
Some of this hang-wringing over people talking less while being hyperconnected is a bit of “The Kids These Days.” Technology changes. Times change.
People no longer go out and get drunk at lunch while at work. Social mores change. Work has largely become a place for work, and younger workers are spending less time socializing while at work.
That doesn’t mean what was before was right. It was just what was before.
We adapt, we change and we figure out new best practices. I have a feeling that are in the middle of a great work upheaval. People don’t know quite how to use a lot of these new technologies at work or at home. But we’ll figure it out.
U.S. military officials assigned to the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, as the coalition is known, took the first shot in what has become a near-daily battle waged with broadsides that must be kept to 140 characters.
“How much longer will terrorists put innocent Afghans in harm’s way,”@isafmedia demanded of the Taliban spokesman on the second day of theembassy attack, in which militants lobbed rockets and sprayed gunfire from a building under construction.
“I dnt knw. U hve bn pttng thm n ‘harm’s way’ fr da pst 10 yrs. Razd whole vilgs n mrkts. n stil hv da nrve to tlk bout ‘harm’s way,’ ” responded Abdulqahar Balkhi, one of the Taliban’s Twitter warriors, who uses the handle @ABalkhi.
The volume of Arabic messages has multiplied by 22 (+2 146%) in the last 12 months. Arabic is now the 8th most used language on Twitter, and Arabic messages represent 1.2% of all public tweets (2.2M per day). With recent events, Twitter has grown exceptionally fast in the Middle East. Although they are not part of the top 10 most used languages, Farsi (+350% in one year, but only 50K messages per day) and Turkish (+290%, 0.8% of all tweets) have also grown fast over the period.
For those wondering, English now makes up about 39 percent of tweets, showing the truly global nature of Twitter as a platform.
I’ve been very impressed with how Peter Jackson and his team have been using social media sites and a blog to show fans their progress while making The Hobbit.
And when I look at what they’ve been able to do with social media, I have to wonder how much traditional entertainment media outlets matter anymore? Director Peter Jackson and the The Hobbit team are able to connect directly with fans and show them what they are working on. It used to be that they would have to work with entertainment magazines and TV shows to get this information out there.
Now film makers can directly connect with fans and show what they’re working on, and they can do so in a way that keeps fans much more interested. A magazine is not going to profile the same movie every month, but a Facebook page can be constantly updated with new photos, videos, Q&As, links to stories about the movie and more. Having a well-stocked Facebook fan page is probably worth a lot more to The Hobbit and other movies than getting coverage in traditional media outlets.
Yes, The Hobbit is getting coverage in some traditional media outlets, but the best information by far about The Hobbit is on The Hobbit’s Facebook page. If you’re looking for ways to keep fans engaged for an upcoming project, you really should check out what they’re doing. They started using social media to wet fans appetites almost two years before the first Hobbit movie will be released. They started with a few teaser shots on Facebook and expanded to videos and other content to really delve into the making of the movies.
The heart of The Hobbit’s social media strategy have been a series of behind-the-scenes video pieces that detail the making of the movies from a variety of different angles. These are the kinds of videos that would have been traditionally included in the DVD/Blu ray version as a bonus feature for fans. Instead, The Hobbit team is using them before the movie comes out to generate buzz and interest in the movie, and I think this is a much more effective way to use these behind-the-scenes materials.
These production diaries, or video blogs as Peter Jackson calls them, are 10-13 minute vignettes that show distinct areas of production for the movies. They are clearly shot and edited so that they’ll work well on social media and be shared across the Internet, and all of them are available in HD on Facebook to view and share with friends. Fans have uploaded these videos to YouTube and it doesn’t appear that Peter Jackson or Warner Bros are trying to take them down.
Part of what has made this strategy so successful is that the production diary videos are high quality and interesting. Combining the high quality of these videos with social media has allowed them to be seen all over the Internet.
CNET ran a story about the production diary that focuses on the 3D cameras that are being used for this movie. The Verge and other sites also ran stories about it too. And of course fans sites dedicated to The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien or just movies are showing and talking about this content too.
Facebook is clearly the star of this social media strategy. That was a good decision. Facebook has about 800 million active users, and the site is very easy to use and it has a culture of sharing that can greatly expand the audience of your materials.
Think of it this way: A hardcore fan of The Hobbit can watch these videos and then share them on his wall with all of his friends. Many of them may not have known about the movie and may now be interested. Some may even decided to share the video on their walls as well.
There is a Twitter account for The Hobbit, but it’s not nearly as good as the Facebook fan page. Facebook simply makes more sense for a project like this. On Twitter, all you can really do is link to content, whereas on Facebook you can show it. Twitter is a much better platform for content happening right now, whereas Facebook is a much better place to park evergreen content.
A few keys that make these production diaries work:
They are well shot and edited and each has a distinct theme. These aren’t just a random 10-13 minutes about the movies or rambling interviews. Each video has a theme and the video tells a story. One shows the pre-production and the beginning of filming. Another shows the technical aspects of making a film in at 5K in 3D at 48 frames per second with the new RED Epic-M digital cameras. The other two have distinct themes as well.
All of them are shot in HD (not with movie studio cameras but with good HD handhelds that news outlets and non-profits could afford), edited professionally and with a tight narrative arc. They are interesting, visually appealing and sound good (complete with theme music from The Lord of the Rings). Because their quality is high and its HD, I was able to watch these videos on my HDTV in my family room (using the YouTube app on my Apple TV).
You can view them in a variety of places. The Hobbit’s Facebook page is showing them, as is Peter Jackson’s. The official blog for The Hobbit movie also shows these videos. You can share the videos with your friends and subscribers on Facebook. The videos are unofficially all over YouTube.
These videos could be done by a lot of people and organizations. Look at these videos and say to yourself, “I could make these.” They aren’t using really expensive cameras to shoot them and they aren’t doing crazy editing or post production tricks on them. In fact, most of the time they aren’t even using external microphones.
The main thing is that they decided that these videos should be high quality in terms of planning and execution. Any news organization or non-profit could produce similarly interesting and high quality videos. The videos each tell a story, are tightly edited and make good use of b-roll and voice overs.
We mourn the passing of Flash. Err, something like that.
We also discuss the momentous news that Internet Explorer — once the Dark Lord of the Web — is fading fast and has dropped below 50 percent marketshare. May the alliance to save the Internet keep the Dark Lord at bay.
We discuss much more, including ESPN’s new myopic social media policy and this whole ridiculouslessness about journalists using NT instead of RT. Because apparently some old-timey journalists can’t wrap their heads around the fact that a retweet does not mean an endorsement.