Archives: October 2009

Twick or Tweet

TwitterHalloweenTweet.jpgTwitter is celebrating Halloween by deploying a special feature for users who interface via the Twitter home page and tweet #trick or #treat, TechCrunch reported.

The social-networking site sent a tweet alerting users to the feature, which, when activated, will turn users’ home-page backgrounds ghoulish and change avatars to zombies and ghouls. TechCrunch cautions that the feature only works for users who tweet only #trick or #treat, with nothing else.

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A Retail Salon

SalonComLogo.jpgAs reported by E.B. Boyd of sister blog BayNewser, Salon will launch a store next month to sell items including household accessories and electronic gadgets curated specially for its readers.

The store will launch around Thanksgiving and will initially carry 50 to 100 items. Salon Media Group CEO Richard Gingras told BayNewser:

The curator of the store will be there. We’re not just putting up anything that people think they can sell to the Salon audience. It’s what we think the Salon audience might be interested in. I don’t know what to expect from it for Salon. This is something we’re going to try and experiment with and learn and grow and evolve. I don’t think any brand can pull this off, but I do think Salon has a good opportunity here.

For the complete story, click here.

Just Cc:Betty…It’ll All Be OK

CcBettyLogo.jpgIf you’ve ever wished you could get into more detail while entering discussions or planning events on Facebook, just Cc:Betty.

According to Inside Facebook, once a Cc:Betty account is set up, users simply need to CC Betty when sending out invites, information or starting group discussions through email, and the service will mine key information into scannable categories, as well as using Google Maps to illustrate addresses, organizing photos and attachments in albums, sorting dates into individual events and creating a sidebar to view each person included in the email, with pictures when available.

Connecting Cc:Betty and Facebook places alerts in users’ news feed so that friends can join in on the discussion, like posts or add comments, as with any other entry in a news feed, but with the added ability to join through the Cc:Betty interface for a more complete picture.

Author Stephen Fry on Social Media (Hint: He Likes It)

British author, actor, comedian, television presenter and film director Stephen Fry isn’t nearly as worried as Miley Cyrus is that social media and the Internet are turning us into passive idiots.

Far from it, Fry says in this fascinating video interview (below) in which he puts such concerns in historical perspective and points out the tremendous advantages of modern communications technology. Fry, by the way, has more than 920,000 followers of his Twitter account and already has been “listed” nearly 5,000 times.

Some excerpts:

“I’m not particularly negative or pessimistic about the social qualities, the linguistic qualities, the concentration qualities of ‘Generation Web’, as they’re called.”

“We are constantly in need of connecting with people for friendship, love, sex, knowledge, growth, enmity, territoriality…all the imperatives that drive us as human beings. And we’ve created villages and towns to help us do that, and roads. And now we’ve created something that allows us to do it even more.”

“Where people make their critical error and criticize all this and think it’s a danger and is reducing our capacity to act as proper human beings is they think it’s all this: You either sit in front of a screen of some kind, tapping away all your life, going ‘LOL’ and being childish, and not writing in proper English sentences, or you sit in an old-fashioned study with books, and you read properly and you engage properly and you go for walks. Well, I do both. And most people do both. It is not one or the other.”

The clip below is billed as Part 1. Looking forward to more.

Facebook Details New Privacy Policy

FacebookLogo.jpgFacebook vice president of communications and public policy Elliot Schrage detailed the social-networking site’s new privacy policy in a post on the Facebook Blog.

Some of the highlights:

Viewing and editing your profile: You may change or delete your profile information at any time by going to your profile page and clicking “Edit My Profile.” Information will be updated immediately. While you cannot delete your date of birth, you can use the setting on the info tab of your profile information page to hide all or part of it from other users.

Deactivating or deleting your account: If you want to stop using your account, you may deactivate it or delete it. When you deactivate an account, no user will be able to see it, but it will not be deleted. We save your profile information (friends, photos, interests, etc.) in case you later decide to reactivate your account. Many users deactivate their accounts for temporary reasons and, in doing so, are asking us to maintain their information until they return to Facebook. You will still have the ability to reactivate your account and restore your profile in its entirety. When you delete an account, it is permanently deleted. You should only delete your account if you are certain you never want to reactivate it. You may deactivate your account on your account settings page or delete your account on this help page.

Limitations on removal: Even after you remove information from your profile or delete your account, copies of that information may remain viewable elsewhere to the extent it has been shared with others, it was otherwise distributed pursuant to your privacy settings, or it was copied or stored by other users. However, your name will no longer be associated with that information on Facebook. (For example, if you post something to another user’s profile and then you delete your account, that post may remain, but be attributed to an “Anonymous Facebook User.”) Additionally, we may retain certain information to prevent identity theft and other misconduct even if deletion has been requested.

Backup copies: Removed and deleted information may persist in backup copies for up to 90 days, but will not be available to others.

Read more

FishbowlNY Takes a Look at Time’s ‘Assignment Detroit’

Last month Time Inc. launched an initiative called “Assignment Detroit,” in which Time journalists committed to “living in and reporting from the city of Detroit” for one year.

We’re only a month in, but Amanda Ernst, editor of our sister blog FishbowlNY, decided to check in via Skype to see how things are going. Earlier this week she chatted with Time magazine correspondent Steven Gray, who lives in the Motor City house the news magazine is using as its Detroit bureau.

Here’s one segment of their Skype interview below. You can find more at FishbowlNY.

Miley Cyrus Continues Hating On Twitter

It’s one thing to make a personal decision to delete your own Twitter account. It’s another thing altogether to declare that “everyone should leave Twitter.”

But that’s what tween singing sensation Miley Cyrus said in an interview this week with a Chicago radio station (video below), as reported by

Cyrus even goes a step further than the California watchdog agency that is considering proposing regulations for the privately owned microblogging service:

“I think Twitter should just be banned from this universe.”

No doubt we soon can look forward to Miley suggesting that insipid television shows marketed toward kids also be banned from this universe. Like, you know, Disney’s Hannah Montana. Because it undoubtedly pains her to see young people wasting their time on mindless, passive entertainment when they could, you know, “get out and do stuff and be in the world” — buying Miley merch!

Does Malware via Twitter Make You Krabby?

Crab.jpgKaspersky Lab debuted a new tool that analyzes the millions of tweets posted on Twitter daily and blocks any malware associated with them, extracting URLs and analyzing the Websites they lead to, as well as expanding shortened URLs, CNET reported.

Kaspersky senior malware analyst Costin Raiu told CNET Krab Krawler scans nearly 500,000 new unique URLs that appear in Twitter posts every day and finds anywhere from 100-1,000 malware attacks, adding that although 26% of total posts contain URLs, most lead to spam sites and are not considered malware.

CNET pointed out that Twitter was also targeted by the Koobface virus, which posts malicious links from infected users’ accounts.

Twitter Listomania Grips Huffington Post on Twitter.gifThe Huffington Post is jumping all over this Twitter list thing, last night launching two pages utilizing the hot new microblog organizing feature — one focusing on health care and the other focusing on the World Series.

Here’s a list of other Huffington Post, um, lists. They offer a good example of how fast and easy Twitter lists can be used.

If you’re not quite familiar with them, Twitter lists allow users to organize people they follow into categories of their choosing. So if you follow a lot of people and want a list of your favorite tweeters, Twitter lists let you do that. Or, as HuffPost has done, you can organize lists by topic. Twitter users also can follow lists created by someone else. CNET’s Don Reisinger has a good explanation of Twitter lists.

Twitter has been rolling out its lists feature all week and could be completed today. Maybe. Then we can all go crazy with the lists.