Cleveland SMC E-Book

I’m excited to announce that the Cleveland Social Media Club has launched its first e-book, “Welcome to Social Media!” There’s a lot of great content about using social media professionally and personally —  and lots of different points of view. It just goes to show how many smart people there are right here in Northeast Ohio!

Check out the e-book below or find out more about the cool project here. I wrote a chapter on measuring social media and determining ROI. Good stuff!

Twitter Timeline Visual

Okay, I know I blog about Twitter and its gloriousness all the time, but I can’t help it – I’m a twittadict!

I’ve only been on Twitter for a year and a half (you can find out when you joined here), so it’s hard to believe it’s been around for THREE years! Unless you’ve been tweeting for that long also, you probably don’t know everything that’s happened in that time. So for your enjoyment, I’m posting a cool graphic of the story of Twitter. I stole it from Manolith, who stole it from Infoshot. Start at the bottom, and scroll up for the cool visual of the history.

the-story-of-twitter

Graphic by Infoshot, please feel free to use this image on your blog, just be sure to link back here to the original source.

Applying For A Job? Give Us Your Email Address, Facebook Log-in and Other Passwords

I can’t believe this is true… According to this article, applicants applying for a job with the city of Bozeman (that’s in Montana for you non-geography folks) are asked to provide their provide social media log-in information (Facebook, YouTube, etc. usernames AND passwords!) in order to be considered for the job.

A concerned job applicant contacted the local CBS affiliate about this practice. According to the individual, the job application requires people to list all “personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.” and leaves space where applicants are instructed to leave their usernames and passwords for their corresponding sites.

According to city attorney Greg Sullivan, the practices are in place because “[Bozeman has] positions ranging from fire and police, which require people of high integrity for those positions, all the way down to the lifeguards and the folks that work in city hall here. So we do those types of investigations to make sure the people that we hire have the highest moral character and are a good fit for the City,” Sullivan said.”

Um, hello?! Is anyone else bothered by this? No WAY would I write my FB password on a piece of paper and hand to someone I didn’t even know. I mean honestly, with all the phishing attacks that have been going on, why would I be so stupid as to give a random stranger access to my personal accounts (and therefore personal information, messages with friends, access to friends’ profiles, etc.). I share specific information with friends (including photos, info about where I live, etc.) and would not want one of my friends sharing their password (and therefore access to my information) with some random person either. Honestly, who knows who will have access to my application – from the person who types my information into some sort of database to even an HR person.stealyourpassword

The local CBS website also has a poll if you’re interested, where you can vote whether or not you are  in favor of this practice. I voted! As of now, 99% of those surveyed think it’s an invasion of privacy. What do you think?

Note: Thanks to @jewelsann for linking to this article on Twitter.

Facebook Vanity URL Saga: Part Three

After all the chatter about the Facebook vanity URLs, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I did not, as I suggested I would, stay up until midnight with the rest of the nerds world on Friday night, waiting to get my very own FB username. I went to bed early because I was running a 5k Saturday morning, and my rest seemed more important at the time.

I also did not race to facebook.com Saturday morning to get my URL. I forgot about it until (*Gasp*) Sunday night – and went then. Luckily, my name isn’t the most popular one out there, or at least not super popular among tech geeks Facebook users, I was still able to get it.

If you’re like me, and you forgot to get your own URL, don’t worry-  it may still be there. You can use this form to check the availability of your vanity URL or sign into your Facebook account. They’ve conveniently reminded you to choose your URL once you log in.

Did anyone experience any problems obtaining their username? Were there network overloads to those who stayed up until midnight? Did any of the mass chaos as predicted here occur?

The FB Username Countdown Continues…

For those of you who are counting down the days and hours until you can obtain your very own Facebook Vanity URL, here’s something you can do in the meantime. Stop twiddling your thumbs, biting your nails, etc. and check out this funny post, mapping out day by day, hour by hour, what will happen during the Facebook username goldrush. Written by @anildash, it’s pretty funny, but I can definitely see parts of it coming true. My favorite part? The post suggests that when things don’t work out as planned, people suddenly realize that Facebook username can be shortened to FU. Anil writes:

June 13, 1:00am: #FUFacebook becomes a Trending Topic on Twitter. People who are presently whining about how expensive it is to buy a new iPhone because they bought a new iPhone last year will have the chance to see how obnoxious and overprivileged they look, but will not take the opportunity.

June 13, 9:00am: The first mainstream coverage of the feature happens in the New York Times, which includes a one-line mention of the launch in a lengthy feature about Twitter’s Verified Accounts. The story includes a colorful illustration of Kanye West, but omits any mention that you can also register a real domain name that you can own, instead of just having another URL on Facebook.

If you’re one of the few people actually counting down for your new Facebook username, you’ll probably enjoy the rest of the post.

Get Your Facebook Username While It’s Hot!

Facebook announced today that it will be finally offering vanity usernames. This landrush begins June 13 at midnight. Not sure what a vanity username is? This means that you will finally be able to control your FB profile url! Instead of the link to your FB page reading something that looks like: facebook.com/profile.php?id=987654321, you can have it be something like: facebook.com/FirstnameLastname.

I know what I’ll be doing Saturday night!

For more info, see what Facebook has to say here.

Thursday = Fun Day in Cleveland this Summer

Downtown Cleveland is celebrating summer this year with the expansion of their Sparx Concert series. In addition to the free live Thursday night concerts, local restaurants will be offering promotions and other fun activities. The concert and promotions start today (June 4) and go until Sept. 11.

e4th Restaurant promotions will take place throughout E 4th, Playhouse Square and the Warehouse District each Thursday evening throughout the summer. According to Cleveland.com, lots of nearby restaurants will be hosting events on their patios, which is awesome. I love when the weather gets warm enough for us to enjoy some patio dining! Some of the highlights include:

  • Erie Island coffee is offering free samples of smoothies and coffee-bean roasting on its patio
  • Flannery’s Pub will be hosting a  patio barbecue
  • Pickwick & Frolic will open a bar outside on its patio

In addition to the free concerts and restaurant promotions, there will also be free outdoor movie screenings on the Thursdays between July 23 and August 13th. The movie showings include:

  • July 23: The Dark Knight
  • July 30: Casino Royale
  • August 6: Twilight (My obsessed-with-Edward colleague is super excited about this one!)
  • August 13: Iron Man

Food deals at some of my favorite places PLUS free music PLUS free movies? Count me in! The full concert schedule can be found here.

For more information, check out the Downtown Cleveland Alliance website and Cleveland.com.

My New Favorite Commercial

I’ve really been liking the new Intel “Sponsors of Tomorrow” ad campaign. I first noticed it when they took out a full page ad on NYTimes.com, a mockup of what the paper would look like in 31 years.

Last night, I saw this commercial, featuring Ajay Bhatt, one of the inventors of the USB.  You can watch it below. What do you think?

San Francisco Uses Twitter to Support 311 Services

I read on Mashable today that effective immediately, the city of San Francisco will be using Twitter to support all of the city’s 311 services.

San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newscom announced this new use of Twitter via a press conference, viewable on YouTube. All SF residents need to do is follow and tweet at the new sf311 account. Using Twitter, residents can submit their 311 requests/questions (i.e. non-emergency SF incidents such as flooded streets, potholes, etc.) and in return, those monitoring the account will provide the required answers and support. The account will be monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, guaranteeing access to all 311 services, all the time.

According to sfgov.org, the idea to enable 311 support through Twitter came from a meeting with Mayor Newscom and Twitter’s Evan Williams and Biz Stone. The mayor supposedly received a tweet about a pothole during the meeting, leading him to talk with his Department of Technology to see how else Twitter could be used to communicate with the SF residents. Interesting note – this isn’t the Mayor’s first look at Twitter – I read in TechCrunch that he also announced his bid for governor of California via Twitter.

Twitter is based on one-on-one, instantaneous communication, and to me, this seems like a perfect use for this social media application. It will be interesting to see how it works and how else Newscom decides to use Twitter to communicate with his constituency. Also, will other cities follow suit? I’d love if Cleveland did something similar, and with all of our technological expertise and brilliant minds, I don’t see why we can’t!