Tag Archives: Twitter

#flightvsbike: Social Media Takes on JetBlue for Carmageddon

19 Jul

In case you were hiding under a rock over the last several weeks, July 16-17 was Carmageddon weekend in Los Angeles. Ten miles of the 405 freeway, from the 10 to the 101, were to be shut down for 53 consecutive hours while contractors demolished and rebuilt the Mullholland Bridge. Thankfully the contractors completed the project 17 hours in advance — go contractors!

As a fun publicity campaign, JetBlue–known for online innovations–offered a limited number $4 flights, including taxes and fees, from Burbank to Long Beach over the weekend. The idea of taking a 15 minute flight across town is a customary LA daydream.

On Thursday before the pending doomed weekend, Slate journalist Tom Vanderbilt casually asked on Twitter:

This tweet sparked a fast and furious revolution amongst cyclists and Vanderbilt, who together concocted a challenge: Wolfpack Hustle, a non-professional yet avid group of cyclists, would race two friends from the same Hollywood residence to Long Beach on Saturday, starting at 10:55 am. The cyclists had to adhere to all rules of the road–no offroading, running lights, or knocking over pedestrians–while the two friends would go to the Burbank airport and fly JetBlue to Long Beach. Whoever reached the Long Beach aquarium first wins.

SPOILER ALERT: The cyclists won. By a lot. They already reached Long Beach before the JetBlue flight took off. There are great details of the contest on Slate and the cyclists highlighted key minute-by-minute tweets on Storify and LA Streets Blog.

Besides this being a totally fun exercise, #flightvsbike, which became a trending Twitter topic, is a great example of how individuals can use social media to engage directly with mega brands. From a brand’s perspective, #flightvsbike shows how publicity campaigns create and extend conversations via social media. I’m sure JetBlue spent a good deal of money on this marketing campaign, not even including the extra flight costs. But did JetBlue really care if — or honestly think they could — beat the cyclists? Probably not. Regardless, the friendly contest gave JetBlue’s campaign extra press coverage, surely adding to their social media ROI.

Personally, I think every day in LA is Carmageddon. According my unscientific survey of Google Maps, as well as screenshots that friends are posting of the freeways on Facebook, it seemed like traffic over Carmaggedon weekend was at an all time low.

Congrats to @wolfpackhustle! Thanks for making Carmaggedon fun to watch on Twitter!

10 Things I Like About the Internet: April 14th, 2010 Edition

14 Apr

Here we go again. Week 3 of my Top 10 List. As always, lots happening online, particularly on Twitter (check out #9).

1. This Week’s Viral Video: Sarah Palin Network. Tina Fey reprises her classic role as Sarah Palin in this week’s SNL.

2. Location, Location, Location: CauseWorld

I know the net is buzzing with changes from Foursquare, though I wanted to give a shout out to a new check-in based location service that does good for the world. CauseWorld, an app for the iPhone and Android, allows you to check in and get “karma points” to donate towards a variety of charitable causes. According to ReadWriteWeb, the mission of CauseWorld’s parent company Shopkick is to bring virtual and physical shopping worlds together. In addition to checking in, CauseWorld allows users to scan products for extra karma points. What a great amalgamation of brand marketing, local communities, social media and philanthropy.

3. There’s an App for That: A Site for Apps

I love my Droid, and now I love the user-friendly site 101 Best Android Apps that lets me search the 101 most popular apps by time frame (today, yesterday, this week, this month, and all time) and by subject matter (business, education, entertainment, etc). As opposed to lists that are published weekly by Gizmodo, Mashable, Techmeme, etc (which are incredibly helpful), this is a dynamic site that changes daily.

4. Exploring Online Communities: Lostpedia

This is neither a new site nor one that implements any novel technology, but I have to give a shout out to Lostpedia, the user/fan-generated wiki for LOST, one of my all-time favorite television shows. The site is an incredibly comprehensive encyclopedia of all things LOST, from detailed episode, character and actor synopses to literary references, trivia and mythology questions.  I recently added my own two-cents for a new LOST episode:

“Penny asks Desmond to meet her at a coffee shop on Melrose and Sweetzer in Los Angeles. There is no coffee shop on Melrose and Sweetzer. However, there is an antique shop called ‘Thanks for the Memories.'”

I’m not a World of Warcraft gal, but the WoWWiki is also a fabulous community resource.

5. A Stumble from StumbleUpon: Mark and Angel Hack Life

I found this helpful, informative and fun blog written by a married couple who write lists about practical tips for practical living. While these are their personal opinions, I like the authenticity and personality of their blogging voice. I was particularly drawn to their blog because of this post. I’ve only read 1/3 of these…better get cracking.

6. Apple News: iAds

Also known as “Mobile Ads with Emotion,” Apple this week announced iAd, its new mobile advertising platform, part of the new iPhone OS 4.0. The platform will be built directly into the iPhone OS interface. Steve Jobs claims that iAd differs from Google Ads in that the ads will keep users within an app, rather than redirecting users to a browser window. TechCrunch provided detailed play-by-play from Jobs’ iAd demo, and emphasized that both ad agencies and app developers will be able to create interactive ads for Apple.

7. My Geek Factor: Penn Olson Infographics

Following my love for all thing beautiful, informative and cool, below are some relevant infographics from digital marketing consultant Penn Olson about various aspects of social media. These are just a handful of neat statistics — on Google Facts and Figures and Social Media Demographics — this site provides in graphic form:

8. Online Legal News: The FCC Loses Ruling on “Net Neutrality”

A federal appeals court denounced efforts by the FCC to create standardized rules for the Internet, claiming that the agency cannot require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic. Edward Wyatt writes in the New York Times that “the decision will allow Internet service companies to block or slow specific sites and charge video sites like YouTube to deliver content faster to users.” The court ruling, which came after Comcast asserted that it had the right to slow cable customers’ use of BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer services to view free streaming of shows and channels normally relegated to paid subscribers. The principle of “net neutrality,” in which Internet providers must provide the same speed to everyone who wishes to access whatever websites users wish to see, is central to maintaining an open Internet. Austin Schlick, General Counsel of the FCC, said the ruling would affect it’s plan, announced in March, to connect 100 million homes to broadband by 2020. TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb and Big Think provide good commentary on the court’s ruling from a tech industry perspective, highlighting a general consensus that the laws regarding telecommunications need to be updated to reflect the current state of the digital age.

9. Getting Excited For…The Future of Twitter

Lots of big announcements about the future of Twitter on the heels of Chirp, the Twitter developer conference in San Francisco. Besides declaring some major milestones, there’s already drama brewing between Twitter and developers. Twitter’s impressive growth indicates that social media is not only growing more powerful technologically, but also as a business tool and cultural phenomenon:

  • Twitter Statistics from Chirp: Twitter has over 105 million registered users, receives 180 million unique visitors per month, 75% of Twitter traffic comes from third-party apps, and there are 600 million search queries on Twitter per day.
  • Promoted Tweets: Twitter’s much-anticipated program for making money off advertising, Promoted Tweets will show up when Twitter users search for keywords that advertisers have bought to link to their ads. Although Twitter argues that this program differs from ads, Twitter users seem to be confused about the value and nature of promoted tweets. What do you think — are promoted tweets equivalent to spam?
  • Library of Congress To Preserve Twitter: In what I personally think is a very cool move to that validates new media as important cultural literature, the Library of Congress has announced that it will digitally preserve ever public tweet since the site launched in March 2006.
  • Twitter Acquires Atebits: In its third major acquisition, Twitter acquired Atebits, the start-up that develops Tweetie apps for Mac and iPhones.
  • TweetUp: A new venture that aims to make money by allowing Twitter users to bid on keywords to give their posts top ranking. The service will organize posts according to popularity as measured by how often readers retweet and click on links contained in the posts.
  • Points of Interest: Twitter’s new feature that will use geo-tagging to identify physical places. The feature will show a map and a stream of Twitter activity nearby: a real-time view of what’s happening at a particular place at a particular time.

10. Just For Fun: Create Your Own Google SearchStories

I absolutely loved Google’s SearchStory ad that aired during the Super Bowl. Now, YouTube has a channel where you can create your own Search Story. Can’t wait to play around with this!

10 Things I Like About the Internet: April 4th, 2010 “iPad” Edition

4 Apr

Here is the second weekly installment of my soon-to-be viral hit list of 10 cool things I found on the Internet this week. Bold? Ambitious? Why not! Bring it on, Internet! And bring it on, iPad!

1. This Week’s Viral Video: IT’S A TIE, with a theme. Boys Will Be Girls and He’s Not a Single Lady.

LMAO. The Ivy League comedy sketch troupe Harvard Sailing Team shows how Boys Will Be Girls. They had more than 600 new YouTube subscribers within a day after posting this video. The girl’s response is worth watching, though not as funny in my opinion.

And here, a boy cries because he’s not a single lady. Oh, if he only knew the tears of real single ladies.

2. Location, Location, Location: SimpleGeo

As the explosion of location-based apps continues, one of the coolest new startups that launched out of private beta this week is SimpleGeo. The service offers a suite of geo-data products for purchase and is positioning itself as the single access point of geo-data for app developers. Robert Scoble reported on SimpleGeo’s buzz from the Where 2.0 conference (the fact that such a conference exists for developers says plenty). According to articles on TechCrunch and Mashable, SimpleGeo will offer two products – the SimpleGeo Storage Engine and a Marketplace – for companies and developers who are looking to capitalize on the geo-data trend. SimpleGeo offers different pricing models depending on the API call usage. SimpleGeo’s founder Matt Galligan mentions in an interview that the products will also work with non-profit and business sectors. I’m looking forward to seeing the proliferation and different uses of geo-data across industries. Should be interesting.

3. There’s An App for…lots of things…on the iPad

There’s an overwhelming amount of news about yesterday’s iPad release. Gizmodo had a great app review marathon liveblog and also has a list of essential iPad apps. I was lucky enough to play with an iPad yesterday, and I must say that Plants v. Zombies and Marvel Comics looked AMAZING. The graphics are unbelievably beautiful. The only apps not readily available for the iPad? Microsoft Office. Surprise surprise. See #6 and #9 for more on the iPad.

4. Exploring Online Communities: GOOD and GlobalGiving

I recently signed up for a subscription to GOOD Magazine. I’m in love with GOOD’s mission: “a collaboration of individuals, businesses and nonprofits pushing the world forward.” The website is an incredible collection of articles and message boards where people can post and comment on ways to make “good” in the world, whether through government, business, art, design, education, green initiatives, etc. As an experiment, GOOD is offering people to “pick their price” of their subscription. Granted, they only offer two choices – $20 or $5o. Both offer one year subscription to GOOD magazine, full access to Good.is website (which can also be accessed for free), and a GlobalGiving credit in the total amount of your subscription. (With $50 you also get a t-shirt and your name mentioned in the magazine). Why donate 100% of the subscription fees to GlobalGiving? GOOD offers two reasons: “1) it’s smart business and 2) we believe in this.” GOOD acknowledges that most magazines don’t make money off subscriptions or newsstand sales. The subscription model reflects GOOD putting their “money where our mouth is and empowering people who are driving change in the world.” GOOD reflecting Good business practices in a 360-degree fashion.

What is GlobalGiving? It’s an organization that connects donors with community-based projects that need support. GlobalGiving has pre-screened over 700 grassroots charity projects and gives donors the ability to connect with these projects in a positive, transparent way. You can filter causes by issue (women, education, technology, etc) or location, and GlobalGiving ensures that your tax-deductible donation will be available to the project within 60 days, and donors have the option of covering the 15% administrative fee, after which the entire donation goes to the charity. GlobalGiving is a great site to list grassroots projects and have donors find you, and a great example of crowdfunding.

5. A Stumble from StumbleUpon: We Are Hunted

A very cool site that tracks the 99 most popular emerging songs in the world. You can create your own chart of favorite songs and the links allow you to play full versions of the songs (as well as purchase them). There is also a filter showing the 99 most popular songs mentioned on Twitter and 99 most popular remixed songs in the world. You can also filter by genre and date (popularity today, this week, this month). A great new way to find music!

6. Apple News: Get Your iPads! Hot of the Presses! And at Best Buy!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock and/or without the Internet, the news, live blogging, discussion, discourse and overwhelming excitement over Apple’s iPad release on April 3rd was, well, overwhelming. Here are some articles I found informative and interesting.

New York Times Live Blogging iPad’s Release and a summary of the blogging

iPad By the Numbers: statistics on prices, percentages, and estimates for iPad sales

How Green Is My iPad? Op-Ed Chart in the New York Times. Let’s just say books are still in play.

Is the iPad Magical?

iPad Gets Half-Hour Product Placement on “Modern Family”. The show is really funny and worth watching, by the way.

Mega A-to-Z list of iPad Reviews

My favorite business idea for the iPad:

7. My Geek Factor: Things for Twitter

Now that I’ve figured out Twitter, it’s like a new toy. Here are some blogs, apps and info I’m exploring to help with my Twitter usage:

TwiTip: A blog to getting more out of Twitter

Top 10 Twitter Trends This Week from Mashable

5 Big Twitter Trends to Follow Right Now: how Twitter is shaping journalism, television, and business

MonkeyFly extension for Google Chrome: A client interface built-in to the Twitter homepage. Add columns to show @mentions, DMs, RTs, etc. MonkeyFly has customizable capabilities like TweetDeck or HootSuite, but you don’t have to leave the Twitter site.

Helpful people to follow on Twitter: @Twitter_Tips, @SocialNetDaily, @CleverAccounts, @kikolani, @jeffjarvis

8. Online Legal News: Google Earth to the Rescue!

So this isn’t real online legal news as much as an example of how online technology and social media are helping the legal system. Mashable reported how Google Earth helped a Deputy in Florida arrest a man charged with dumping his one-ton boat. The Deputy found an archived satellite image of the boat in question parked near the suspect’s house. Mashable also has a list of ways law enforcement uses social media to fight crime. While I’m pleased about the positive use of these applications, how “Big Brother” are we going to get? Where do we cross the line between safety and invasion of privacy with surveillance?

9. Getting Excited For…Subsequent Generation iPads

I was lucky enough to play with a friend’s iPad yesterday. It’s cool and beautiful, and certainly, the upcoming emergence of tablets will forever change personal computing. Personally, as much as I love Apple, I will never buy their first generation products. We all know that, within the next 6-12 months, a much better, faster, functional, cheaper version will be on the market. I understand the hype and excitement of being “the first” to have a new toy (though I wouldn’t wait outside starting at 3 AM to buy ANYTHING), but why not be patient and spend money on a better piece of a equipment with better software in a few months? Everyone who got the first generation iPod and iPhones were miserable in the long run (slow, short battery life, expensive, etc). The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over with the expectation of a different result. There’s no difference with the iPad. I will want one eventually, but I’m waiting it out. Cory Doctorow lists several reasons why he isn’t even interested in buying an iPad. Sure, it may be gadget of the zeitgeist, but it’s still cool.

10. Just for Fun: GroupÖupon Exclusive

With the plethora of online April Fool’s jokes, my favorite by far was from GroupOn, or should I say GroupÖupon, “an invitation-only, private sales site offering designer apparel and accessories to the consumer elite.” There is a place to “Assert your exclusivity” and the list of titles is just hilarious. Prospective members must supply documentation proving their net worth, along with other proofs of status, including sex tapes or domestic organizational charts. I’m not sure what a Dowager Marchioness is, but that would be a fun title to have. Good luck getting approved!

Getting to Know All About You…Twitter

8 Mar

SPOILER ALERT: For those who already love and use Twitter regularly, this post may seem like a no-brainer…but for those other non-Twitterers or newbies, read on.

Before joining APOC, I had been avoiding the Twitter bandwagon like the plague.


It seemed annoying. Unnecessary. Too much volume. I rarely use status updates on Facebook…so what reason would I possibly have to provide constant updates to followers about the fact that I’m sitting at a coffee shop or am going to yoga class or picking up groceries? Wouldn’t my tweets get lost in the heavy stream of traffic? Who pays attention, or even further, who cares? What is the point of another social networking site when I can find out all I need from Facebook?  Following and followers and lists, oh my!  The cartoon below says it all:

Slowly but surely, as I’m learning the fundamentals of Twitter, I am changing my ways.


Because Twitter is all about discussing topics in a public forum.

As opposed to picking and choosing with whom you interact, who and what you see, and who can see you, Twitter provides an opportunity to spread news and ideas in a less private setting.  But less private does not mean less personalized.  As discussed in this recent New York Times article, Twitter allows users to create custom news feeds targeted to their interests, as well as tap into daily hot button topics.  In essence, Twitter is a constant revolving door of information that captures the cultural, political and social zeitgeists in 140 characters or less.  Here are my top three reasons why Twitter is now inherently crucial for social media:

Twitter for Customer Service:

Twitter is a fabulous tool for engaging customers in real time, alerting followers about new products and services, and truly allowing customers to have a dialogue with a brand or company.  For example, I was recently exploring The Home Depot Twitter page.  I have recently moved and needed to go to Home Depot for the usual random things that one needs from Home Depot.  The Twitter feed was fascinating – customers were tweeting that they couldn’t find certain products, and a Home Depot representative @replied to them, asking what store they were in and saying they could help guide them in the right direction.  When someone posted about a negative experience, the reps asked what they could do to make the experience better.  When someone posted about a positive experience, the reps thanked them.  The entire feed represented a public dialogue between Home Depot and customers.  Free to access, free to view, free to converse.  Companies would be remiss not to take advantage of this service to build, maintain and engage with a loyal customer base.

Twitter for Engaging Public Conversations

Just last week I received the following email from one.org, that I wanted to reprint in full:


Dear Julie,

When you think of the United States Senate, you probably don’t think of cutting edge technology. But the numbers don’t lie: 55 senators are on Twitter, evenly split between Republicans and Democrats and covering almost the entire country. Sounds a lot like ONE, huh?

Washington’s fascination with Twitter gives us the opportunity to send a message to Congress in real time, on their favorite new platform, about the need for smart investments in the fight against global poverty.

Check out our new “Tweet Your Senator” tool and tweet a message to Senator (and active Twitterer) Barbara Boxer asking her to support the president’s request for a $58.5 billion International Affairs Budget to fund proven solutions that are saving lives:


Right now, senators and members of Congress are furiously typing away on keyboards and smart phones, trying to out-do one another and be the most effective at using Twitter to communicate directly with their constituents.

If all of us send our senators tweets, you can be sure they’ll see and hear about it – some senators even update their accounts personally. They’ll know we’re turning the pressure up to make sure this year’s budget continues to support our anti-poverty priorities, such as eradicating malaria, treating AIDS and tuberculosis, promoting food security, and expanding access to clean water and basic education.

Tweet @ your senator now:


Happy tweeting,

Aaron Banks
Online Campaign Manager

P.S. Not on Twitter? You can go to http://www.twitter.com now to set-up an account and then check out our “Tweet your Senator” tool. Or, you can make a difference by calling your senators in support of the International Affairs Budget, here: http://one.org/call/signup.html?cp_id=71&mode=senate&id=1514-117919-3tL4mlx&t=4


This demonstrates Twitter’s power to enact real change on a legislative level.  Regardless of political leanings, the government is following Obama’s lead in utilizing social media efficiently to interact with constituents.  Furthermore, constituents can follow Senators, as well as view real time conversations about topics and issues.  It’s a great way for people to chime in without having to reveal too much personal information, meaning that it’s low risk with high potential reward for information gathering.

Twitter as Q&A and News Service

#FollowFriday? #Firstdaterules? #Snowpocalypse? Finding out what people are saying about certain topics just involves adding a “#” hash tag.  The simplicity, however, belies the wealth of information that is produced at the speed of light.  This month, Twitter received it’s 10 billionth tweet.  The GigaTweet counter shows the incredible pace at which people are discussing just about everything.  Yes, the volume is overwhelming, and I wish that Twitter provided a more comprehensive search feature whereby you could search specific topics by date and author, as opposed to scrolling through a newsfeed.

After learning the Twitter lingo (#, @ and DM), realizing that it’s okay not to be shy about posting publicly, @replying to people that I may not know personally, and downloading applications like TweetDeck and HootSuite to organize my searches, I can now say Twitter and I are getting to know all about each other. Better late than never for joining the bandwagon, especially at a time when Twitter is becoming more widespread and mainstream. Message me @juleschi1. And now I can appreciate this cartoon:

If you printed Twitter…

19 Jan

Wow. Just, wow. And it’s still growing.

These statistics certainly make a case for online media as “green” technology. Though it would be interesting to compare how much energy Twitter’s servers use and how much money and physical resources that energy output saves as compared to below.

Below are some statistic highlights, and here is the link to the full article on Mashable:

If you printed Twitter …

– … the seven billion tweets to date are composed of 104,860,000,000 words, as many as 133,000 copies of the the King James version of the Bible.

– … it would cover 350 million sheets of paper, which is 37 times the number of pages used in bills introduced in the United States Congress since 1955.

– … the paper would weigh three and a half million pounds, the equivalent of 82 school buses fully loaded with 84 happily tweeting kids.

– … and did nothing but read tweets throughout the entire work day, it would take 2,912 years to get through it.

– … and laid the pages end to end, they would stretch 60,763 miles or two and a half times around the earth.

– … on an average HP Inkjet printer, it would cost you $24,500,000 to print in black ink or $55,606,250 to include the Twitter blue.

– … keeping up with the 26 million tweets daily would require 30 inkjet printers working around the clock to print more than 1,300,000 pages every day.

I’m With Team Coco

18 Jan

Have you heard the one about a talk show host getting the boot after a 4th place network gambled with its programming and became a complete laughing stock when its experiment failed miserably?

I’m not reveling in NBC’s misery – I think the network will stay afloat just fine (as well as any broadcast network in the next few years), as will Leno, Conan and late night comedy. What’s interesting is how the online world is responding to the Tonight Show fiasco and the power of online communities to influence corporate strategy.

As of this writing, the Team Conan group on Facebook has over 170,000 members, Twitterers are rallying protests outside of 30 Rock in New York and Universal Studios in Burbank (from where TMZ is streaming live), and people are uploading videos and TwitPicsRevision3 is hoping Conan will join the Internet Television revolution, while the Tonight Show is self-deprecatingly selling itself on Craigslist. And when the Craigslist experiment went exceedingly well, several days later Conan decided to pimp himself under the casual encounters section. Awesome.

While Conan will likely walk away from NBC with $30 million in his pocket, a bright future on another network and his head held high for maintaining the sanctity of The Tonight Show, what will NBC executives learn from this experience? Will Leno take over the Tonight Show yet again, and how will the backlash from Conan’s fans impact ratings? According to the LA Times, Conan has lost 15% of the key 18-49 demographic that Leno held when he left. Sure, Conan’s brand of humor may not be as sanitized or accessible to mainstream viewers, which may account for part of the ratings dip (and the fact that NBC affiliates are losing ratings for local news…though that may have much more to do with online news consumption rather than late night comedy programming). However, it would be interesting to note how many viewers from the 15% watch Conan on Hulu or YouTube, especially since those viewers in that demographic are savvier online users. The fact that the Tonight Show reached out directly to Craigslist – a definitive online community – further supports how Conan’s fan base uses and interacts with online media. People are offering Conan jobs, their apartment, and education in exchange for the show. Where are Leno’s supporters? Certainly not as visible online. How will NBC executives – and media executives in general – deal with the movement of viewership online in terms of programming? As schedules become more and more obsolete, will “prime time” become an ancient relic? Will audience metrics evaluate rating based on viewership of entire shows, or will online single clip viewings become an integral part of ratings?

Frankly, I’m most worried about what will happen to Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. I would be happy to adopt him.