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solongfarewel128649668179526520The 9 weeks of Emerging Media at WVU seemed to just fly by. I can believe it went by so fast! This was my first blogging experience and although it was a little rough out of the gate (my first couple blogs were shaky at best) as the semester went on I started to see social media examples all around in everyday life. So many news articles or conversations with people would pop an idea in my head for a future blog entry. By October this blog became less of a chore and more a fun little escape into the world of social media. Who knows I may blog in the future once my schedule slows down but for now I will just be grateful to IMC 619 for the chance to step outside my comfort zone and embrace the world of blogging.

When friends would hear that I had a blog most were shocked-mostly that I would choose to write my ideas rather than use my big mouth to talk about them. Ask anyone what the best adjective to describe me would be and it would be chatty so in a way even though blogging my ideas is different than calling people and talking their ear off for two hours in a way it fit me perfectly. I will save the blog and who knows maybe in a year or so Speedofasupernova will get a facelift as a blog about crazy celebrities or people with an addiction to buying shoes. Whatever my blogging days hold for me I truly enjoyed writing my blog and reading others. Hopefully everyone else in class did too!

See everyone in the IMC world!

iPhone may have strong advertising success with mobile media, however, they have the whole mobile phone world gunning for them. Recently Verizon launched their “There’s a map for that” parody ads in which it shows maps of why Verizon’s 3G coverage area covers a broader range than AT&T, which is the sole service provider of iPhone. Mocking iPhone’s famous “There’s an app for that” which shows all the things iPhones can do-order pizza, get movie tickets, land yourself in a load of media trouble when apps are deemed offensive to women (app of cheesy pick-up lines to use on cliches of women then a tally board if guys “scored” with them) or abusive to babies (the now infamous shake the baby app that you are supposed to use to vent your frustration over a crying baby in a restaurant or store)-and people got tired of those ads really fast.

iPhone is starting to see serious competition in their wireless dominance of the touchscreen technology that they made famous. Almost every carrier now has a touchscreen option and the T-Mobile G1 with Google Search is becoming a staple in almost every commercial break with different stars showing off how they personalize their phone. BlackBerry also has the Storm which is similar to iPhone in almost every way and which would be a very good phone for marketers to target for mobile marketing since it has the large screen just like the iPhone.

More and more companies are going to start going after iPhone and their share of the mobile market by pointing out the iPhone weaknesses or just simply buzzing about their own product more. BlackBerry really missed the mark by not using this commercial that never aired as it seems to make a clever and creative statement and attacks the iPhone without ever mentioning it or its cheesy catch phrases. We will see how long iPhone will keep its dominance or if it will become just another face in the crowd of touchscreen phone.

Just last week Bing felt they had scored a major victory in defeating Google for real time updates of Facebook and Twitter pages. The “coup” was even written about on this blog. Just a few days after Bing’s “victory”, Google today launched Social Search which allows users to “find more relevant public content from your broader social circle”. Social Search allows you to conduct regular searches but at the bottom of the page it highlights relevant content from friends and social contacts. Searches can also be filtered to feature only social circle content by changing options.

Some people might think that Google is invading people’s privacy by publishing all their results on Social Search, however, it is information that is already out there and able to be found on the internet-Google is just packaging it together.

Google users can create an account where they register all the social networks they are a part of. This is where Google generates Social Search results from-by searching through user’s friends and contacts on Twitter or FriendFeed etc. Social Search is way to get your friends opinions without really asking them. Want your friends real opinion of the new iPod they bought last week or the restaurant that you are dying to try? See if they have Tweeted about it or talked about it on Facebook or FriendFeed. Maybe you want a collective opinion of whether a trip to New York in December is a good idea-see what your friends have said on their social network sites rather than bother them right away.

Social search is just another way that social media is providing totally different ways of communicating with each other that we would have never imagined years ago. If you are interested in Social Seach take a look at the demo below.

This past weekend was Homecoming Weekend at WVU, the time to catch up with all your old friends that you have painfully lost touch with and try to recapture some of those magical college times in just a few short days. It is also the time when you find out some shocking and heartbreaking news about friends and their lives. While tailgaiting at the football game conversation soon turned to a girl that used to live on the same floor as some of us. None of us were really close friends with her but occasionally she would hang out with us so we knew her pretty well. She lost touch with a lot of people a while back because she got married to a guy in the army and they moved from place to place. Over the weekend someone that still kept in touch with her on Facebook broke the news that she is now a widow. Her husband was 25 when he died.

This weekend we found her page on Facebook just to post some condolences and found that her husband still had a page. This got me thinking about what happens to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace pages, blogs etc when the owner passes away. Each site deals with issues differently. Facebook allows accounts to be “memorialized” and they literally stay as they were the last time the user logged in. Privacy settings are put in place so that only existing friends can access the page to use it as an online memorial. Status updates and contact infomation are disabled from the account. Also the account will never be able to be logged into again-even by a spouse or family member that may have known the password. Any changes to the page are done with the help of Facebook staff.

MySpace enacted similar rules that allows family members to contact them and they will remove anything on the page the family wishes to or close the account but will never let anyone access or log onto the account of a deceased user. Family can also leave the page up as a memorial. Twitter probably has a similar set of guidelines in place but Icouldn’t find anything about it.

It is very sobering to look at an old page as we did this weekend but it is also kind of nice to see the outpouring of emotion and support that comes from a persons social network of friends. Friends and family that still talk to the people like they are still here. A sister who says that she really wishes that her big brother could have been at her wedding but she knew that he would be thinking the whole time, “this guy isn’t good enough for my sister” has a poignancy that suggests that the brother missed the wedding because of a previous commitment or deployment to Iraq rather than a death. Its something that we never want to think about but at least Facebook provides an outlet for families and friends to grieve in their own way.

In an age when people blog about just about anything and everything there are more and more unofficial blogs starting to pop up. Everything from Google to Twitter to Facebook to Apple are being blogged about on unofficial blogs and it raises the question whether these blogs are helpful or hurtful to the companies. Can people be more honest about their true feelings and complaints on an unofficial blog?

Many unofficial blogs are written by fans of the companies who talk about different features they like and are generally praiseworthly of the sites or products. Unofficial blogs about Twitter and Facebook usually include news about the sites as well as user likes and dislikes. Generally blog postings are positive on these two sites it seems only occasionally users complain about certain features.

However, there are also unofficial blogs that are geared negatively towards companies such as Wake Up Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Watch which seek change from the world’s biggest retailer. Both blogs seek change for workers, better working conditions, and changes in communities which have been adversely affected by the addition of Wal-Mart in their town. These blogs seek to raise enough attention to initiate change.

So this raises the question do unofficial blogs become an unbiased forum for discussion about companies, products, sites etc or is there bias in these sites as well? Clearly users might not feel comfortable raising negative comments about Twitter and Facebook on the sites themselves and would therefore want to use an unoffical blog to vent their frustrations, but sometimes blogs are so so biased one way or another it would be hard to be the dissenting opinion. If the Facebook blog is talking about all the new features and upgrades how many people would want to be saying they hate all the changes Facebook is making?

While the unofficial blogs may provide a more open forum for people they still feature opinions and biases of people that are very passionate one way or the other. Some are more “fan” blogs while others are negatively aimed at their target. Regardless, as much as we would like to feel like they are impartial places to express opinions they have agendas just like many other sites and therefore many people might not feel comfortable posting their real opinions.

172996-google-bing-search_originalIt’s no secret that Google and Microsoft have been in an intense “rivalry” for some time now. With the new launch of Bing in June, Microsoft was supposed to have been the first company to come up with a suitable “Google Killer” after two previous failed attempts. They started out strong in their initial few months of business as people tested out the new kid on the block to see how the search capabilities compared. Bing even had one of the strongest and most successful opening few months breaking into the top ten and becoming a formidable rival to Google when it merged with Yahoo, however, recent polls show that Google lovers are returning back to their familiar search tool.

Depending which polls you believe, Google still has control of anywhere between 70 and 90% of the Internet search market. Microsoft did score a victory last week when they announced that they had scored a major coup by winning a battle with Google for social marketing powerhouses Twitter and Facebook to provide real-time search results on the sites by using Bing. Real time searching has become an extremely important criteria for search engines but it would be naive to think that Google doesn’t have some sort of Plan B in the event that happened, so the victory may be short lived.

Also, while social media can provide some potential as a source for firsthand breaking news, most times Twitter and Facebook are hardly on the cutting edge of breaking news. Yes Tweets or Facebook posts can give on the ground pictures or updates about breaking events but mostly they are only news to members and their friends but not  really to 99.999% of the world.  For every Tweet about conflict in Iran or the political news there is one about Joe being “Bored at work & craving a sandwich.” Only time will tell if this is a major victory in terms of searching for Bing/Microsoft or if it was only a victory because they beat Google at something.

There has been an influx of internet copyright infringement and other ripoffs of intellectual property rights and there is now starting to be a movement to police it. Not all infringement though is malicious- a lot of it is just based on ignorance of laws governing the internet and intellectual property. Many people feel like if it is on the internet it’s fair game to use. Half right. It’s fair use to borrow and cite but not fair use to claim as your own original unique idea. Every rule that you learn in school about citation needs to be applied when using websites or blogs. “Isn’t that what the internet is for” is the often used excuse for why people used a logo or idea and don’t cite it which is the same as claiming it as their own. The internet is a great place for varied ideas and is the most used reference now but the same way as you didn’t think to not use the Encyclopedia as a source in your 8th grade history paper is the same way you shouldn’t rip off Jenny Jones’ blog now without sending readers her way and giving her some credit with a link to what are hopefully her own ideas and not a continuing cycle of uncopyrighted ideas.

People also feel that if they are not gaining any sort of personal profit from the information posted than it’s not really stealing from wherever they got their uncited information. This is wrong as well because even though they are not stealing an idea for profit they are claiming ownership of ideas that never belonged to them and receiving recognition for it in terms of readership, comments, accolades, and sometimes honest people citing them as a source rather than the originating source.

We all know how easy it is plop an idea or a picture on Facebook pages, blogs, or Twitter and we are all guilty of doing it…perhaps sometimes even on this blog, however, people should be aware of the growing trend of infringement on the internet and try to do their part not to be a contributor to it.

So that I am not part of the problem some ideas for this post came from here http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html