Wanna Tweet for Obama?

14 02 2010

Social Networks Manager

Organizing for America, the successor organization to Obama for America, is building on the movement that elected President Obama by empowering communities across the country to organize around the issues they care most about. The Democratic National Committee and Organizing for America is hiring a Social Networks Manager.

The Social Networks Manager is responsible for maintaining the Democratic Party and Organizing for America accounts on all social networks (such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace accounts, etc.) The Social Networks Manager works closely with the rest of the New Media department to execute grassroots campaigns to advance the President’s agenda for change.

Good Luck!

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Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!

12 02 2010

Wow, Lee Alexander McQueen is no more. It was reported as a possible suicide in his London flat late last week. He is thought to have been depressed over his mother’s recent death.

We were not close in fact we never met. I couldn’t even afford a stitch of the clothing he designed. But, I like many others appreciated his often irreverent, uncompromising vision.

I will always remember him when he first came onto the scene. Why? Because he requested that his interviews be conducted with his back to the camera. Eccentric? Yes. Ultimately a kick-ass designer? Goes without saying.

The Internet, in its ever ravenous immediacy, is more up to date than ever. His Web site has been replaced by a death notice, his Twitter account has been deactivated but the Internet is alive with commentary by the media, fashion sites, celebrities etc. on this sad news. A/Some UK newspapers even have photographs of him being carried out of his home! As I reach his Facebook page, fully expecting it to be gone, I breath a sigh of relief when I find that it is being update by the minute with messages from his fans whose numbers have reached over 85,000 to date. It has made a quick transition to a memorial page.

McQueen once said that he was too tired to Tweet but none the less he found the wherewithal to post his first message on September 1, 2009 through his @McQueenWorld account ~ “STRESSED! Microwave head meltdown! Sparks flying out of my brain! Preparing for the show—Lee McQueen.” As I mentioned, I went to his Twitter page but inspite of it silently announcing “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!” I am glad that he did and that he had the opportunity to share his fashion with a world that came to embrace his unique vision. (Photo: Released by Gaga of herself and McQueen)

RIP Lee Alexander McQueen.





Anyone for Chatroulette?

29 01 2010

Just when you thought that YouTube was as wacky as it could get here comes Chatroulette. Chatroulette is a brand new service for one-on-one text-, webcam- and microphone-based chat with people around the world. The site notes that you can “use this service to find new friends or to have interesting conversations at any time.” BTW it’s LIVE! The roulette part kicks in because this service allows users to enter into and out of random conversations at the click of a button. Interesting concept no?

Clutch my freaking pearls…myEYEEESSSSSS!!!!!

Ok, so I went on to see what it was all about. I wanted to give a clear and precise report on this new service. But I saw exactly what I was about to propose would happen on this service. I anticipated a whole lot of opportunity for exhibitionists to exhibit themselves…I got that and then some.

I sign on and I click through four connections. The first was a young guy looking bored, the second was an upside down guy in a court jester hat, the third was another bored looking young guy and the fourth? I was ultrasonically creeped out to be presented with an extreme close-up of some guy’s area while he “mastered his domain,” if you know what I’m saying.

[sign] I rest my case.





The Pope goes Social!

26 01 2010

Pope Benedict XVI uses YouTube, Facebook and iPhone apps? Who knew? Well, he is now encouraging the Catholic clergy to reach out to their congregation and beyond using blogs and social media.

The Pope was right on point in his reasoning that communication has changed from traditional to online interactions. In his message, he called on priests to harness technology to evangelize and teach. He further said, “Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of A/V resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs and websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis.”

I have to hand it to the Pope for being so forward thinking. He is taking his message to the current believers, and possibly potential ones, through a medium that has become a primary source in their lives. But can religion communicate effectively and truly keep its integrity in the social media sphere?





That’s one live tweet for man; one giant leap for Twitterkind

26 01 2010

Wow, just when you thought that the newest of the new would be Apple’s impending Ithingy we are privy to a momentus high, really high, tech first. It was reported that astronauts in space finally have Internet access. Not to belittle this achievement but I was surprised that they didn’t have it already!

Apparently astronauts could only get their Tweets posted by sending an email, which was then posted by someone at Mission Control. However, on Friday, January 22, 2010, Timothy Creamer, a resident on the space station, sent the first live Tweet from space . He wrote “Hello Twitterverse!”





Goo Goo for GaGa

26 01 2010

To say that 23 year old Stephani Germanotta aka Lady Gaga’s persona is a little off centre would be an understatement. But behind this modern day Glam Pop performance artist lurks the mind of a marketing and social media genius. Consider this:

  • 20,000 to upwards of 13 million views on YouTube
  • Over 4 million Facebook friends
  • Nearly 2.5 million followers on Twitter

Everyone is goo goo for Gaga, she’s all over YouTube with music videos and performances that are rarely ever performed in the same way twice. Nor does she wear the same outfit twice.

Love her or hate her when she steps out in public the cameras start snapping and the online posts soar. Chatrooms and Websites are alive with commentary about everything ranging from her fashion to questions about her sexuality.

Her marketing mix uses all available channels including print, radio, TV, social media, and Websites (official and unofficial), to reach out to and keep her fans up-to-date on all things Gaga. Furthermore, she forms/accepts strategic partnerships that are mutually beneficial e.g. performing with Beyonce in the “Video phone” video and with fashion designers.

It is also fair to say that she inspires the creation of unofficial Web sites specifically about her fashion or general information from her “number one” little monsters aka fans.

Twitter

Here is an exerpt from Gaga’s recent Tweets:

TODAY IS OFFICIALLY GAGA FOR HAITI DAY! GO TO www.ladygaga.com

ANYTHING YOU PURCHASE 100% PROFIT GOES TO HAITIAN RELIEF. SHOP LIL MONSTERS! about 4 hours ago from web

warming up for the show. i can hear u screaming from my dressing room. slutty little monsters about 19 hours ago from web

The team of doctors and nurses who saved my dads life came to the monsterball, one of the best nights of my life performing for u.Rejoice NY 11:47 PM Jan 21st from web

what a show last night, my little monsters are everything.thinking its time to get a little monster tattoo.thoughts? headed to rehearsal 7:57 AM Jan 21st from web

Makes clicking good sense!

Polaroid had the good sense to snap her up as their creative director on a specialty line of imaging products. During a short Q&A, Gaga noted that she “was outraged,” when Polaroid stopped making cameras and film. “I’m interested in bringing it back … (and) combining it with the digital era and making something new.” Gaga said that her “creative partnership” with Polaroid is not an endorsement deal. “We won’t be selling cameras with my face on them,” she said. “I’m working on bringing the instant film camera back as part of the future.”

So, it is clear that she is there for more than her colourful personality. But, she would be THE most interesting figurehead wouldn’t she? But again, she’s probably got another surprise up her sleeve regarding her role/goals in the world of the clicking suits. But I would love to see the revival of the Polaroid Instant cam so bring it on Gaga!

Fashion! Turn to the left…

Lady G. wears unique designer outfits and costumes, which garner tons of coverage across many media outlets for their creativity or plain outlandish qualities. She is styled by a personal stylist, Nicola Formichetti, in conjunction with Haus of Gaga, which is her very behind the scenes creative team that also designs her stage sets and props.

One of her impressive high profile partnerships has been with Alexander McQueen. Lady Gaga apparently collaborated on the designs in his 2010 Spring/Summer collection, launched “Bad Romance” during fashion show AND wore some of the fabulous pieces in her video. McQueen’s collection titled, Plato’s Atlantis, was live-streamed on Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio.com, intercut with the photographer’s premade video footage. However, 30 minutes before the show, Gaga Twittered that McQueen was about to premiere her new single. Her millions of followers crashed the site. Now, if that’s not cross-promotion at its best, I don’t know what is.

Nicola Formichetti

Nicola, has styled ad campaigns for Uniqlo, Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander McQueen to name a few but he doesn’t usually like to work with celebrities. However, a chance meeting with Lady G led him to find an outrageous kindred spirit in her. And and the rest is history.

Alexander McQueen – 10 to 12 inchers?


I just HAVE to comment on this impossibly jaw dropping creations. which are apparently protected by copyright. When I saw these shoes in Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video they jogged a latent memory and thanks to the archival forces of the Internet and social media I was able to dislodge it.

McQueen has redefined and glammed up Ballet heels (See photo of black footwear). He did away with the patent and laces and bulked up the top of the shoe and added a slightly convexed heel. McQueen has essentially reclaimed them from the land of S&M for the runway… and Socialite, Daphne Guiness was the first to don these bad boys in public. [side note: I would love to see an xray of this new version in order to get a better idea of their construction e.g. how high is the platform? what is the actual position of the ball of the foot and toes? I’m in denial and just can’t believe that they’re REALLY on pointe! OUCH and congrats to the models who wore them but I’m more on side with those who said HELL NO!]

However, a couple of celebs have sported the original versions in their videos namely Beyonce (Green Light), Pink (U and Ur Hand), Christina Aguilera (Hard), Meg White of White Stripes (Blue Orchid), and Lady Gaga herself. So what’s old is new again…but now marinated in pop culture with a touch of haute fashion… and a heftier price tag I’m sure.

So, is Lady G. a maven of modern media or a flash in the pop culture pan?





Yes your honor, I WAS sexting on my work-issued Bberry but…

23 01 2010

My workplace has a lock down on MANY sites, I keep my work and personal emails in different accounts and I try not to make personal calls too often on my Blackberry unless it is absolutely unavoidable… but apparently I worry waaaay too much.

A police officer from California named Jeff Quon created quite a love triangle for himself. Not content with carrying a gun and putting his life on the line everyday as a SWAT team sergeant , Quon text, sorry sext, his girlfriend AND wife while on duty. According to reports:

“…eliminating those sent when he was off duty still left 456 messages over a month. On the average shift he would send three work-related texts and 25 personal ones. Most of them went to friends in the department, Quon’s wife and his girlfriend, who worked as a radio dispatcher. Many were…sexually explicit.”

He said

Quon believed that his employer should ask his permission to track and/or review his texting activity. He also considered his employers interest in his excessive use of this service to be an invasion of privacy and sued naming the city, the police department, the police chief and the wireless provider…oh BTW he had company, his EX-wife and girlfriend also sued them too.

Surprisingly Quon won in appeals court which said that “the unofficial workplace policy gave Quon reason to expect privacy for the texts he sent” while on the job.

They Said

  • Quon’s employer had an official policy that stated that they had the right “to monitor and log all electronic communications, including digital pagers.”
  • The Policy on computers barred “use of these tools for personal benefit” except for “light personal communications.”
  • They held a briefing with employees, which Quon attended, where this was communicated.
  • They also sent out a memo to staff about this policy.

However, the employer also had an unofficial policy that anyone sending texts that amounted to over 25,000 characters a month, would have to pay overage and would not be monitored if they did. As such, Quon repeatedly paid extra and it was noticed at work. So much so, that his employer convinced the wireless provider to give them the transcripts for Quon’s text.

The Problem

The lower courts stated that the unofficial policy overruled the official version. This is a prime example of why a company has to be crystal clear about their application and communication regarding policies and procedures that guide employee conduct, use of electronic devices and online activity during “office hours.”

The American Management Association’s survey

In a 2009 survey of 586 companies, with the ePolicy Institute, it was found that:

  • 83% of companies had policies covering personal use of company-provided e-mail.
  • More than 25% reported that they had fired employees for contravening email rules (2001)
  • the newer the technology is, the fewer official policies there are in place to govern it.
  • only one third of employers had rules covering personal texts during office hours.

Dear Auntie Social says…

Yes, the employee won this round but I have a feeling that cases with much audacity will be the exception not the rule…in the future. As the legal system catches up to the many nuances of social media and its relationship to mobile and desk-top devices there WILL be a change. Companies will also have to be very clear in their communication and application of policies and guidelines surrounding this topic. There MUST be a change as if these groups don’t pull their socks up then employees will continue to misuse/overuse workplace equipment and services for personal reasons, and devising early retirement lawsuits when challenged.

Don’t get me wrong, many of us spend more time at work than at home. As such, our work and personal life often intertwine. However, it is the point of intersection that can leave companies open to liability and litigation. And it is because of this circumstance that companies either choose to block EVERYTHING, SOME THINGS or NOTHING at all and there are repercussions regardless of which one they choose.