Archive for the Twitter Category

Syria Restores Access to Facebook and YouTube

Posted in Facebook, innovations, Social Networking, Stuff You Should Read/See, Twitter, YouTube on February 10, 2011 by Kay & Project Management

According to the NYTimes, Syria has restored Facebook and YouTube.  Now that Egyptian President Murbarak has resigned, it will be interesting to study the role of social media, and Web 2.0 technology in the 2011 revolutions.

From the article: “The Syrian government began allowing its citizens Wednesday to openly use Facebook and YouTube, three years after blocking access to Facebook and other sites as part of a crackdown on political activism. Human rights advocates greeted the news guardedly, warning that the government might have lifted the ban to more closely monitor people and activity on social networking sites….”

There’s a great quote from the Secretary of State camp: ” “We welcome any positive steps taken to create a more open Internet, but absent the freedoms of expression and association, citizens should understand the risks,” said Alec J. Ross, senior adviser for innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who helped organize a delegation of business leaders from technology companies to meet with Mr. Assad in Syria last year. In those meetings, the business leaders said that opening the Web would be important to drive innovation.”


Cloud Computing

Posted in Cloud Computing, innovations, Stuff You Should Read/See, Twitter, Web & Enterprise 2.0, YouTube on November 10, 2010 by Kay & Project Management

Links and tools for learning about “cloud computing”

youtube link (search for “cloud computing”)

Twitter How To

Posted in Introductions, Social Networking, Stuff You Should Read/See, Twitter, Web & Enterprise 2.0 on November 5, 2010 by Kay & Project Management

Two Minute Video: Quick and Easy Tricks for Using Twitter on Your Phone

This whole Twitter thing might… just… catch… on. Did you know you can handle a lot of Twitter functions simply by sending text messages?

It’s a great way to quickly update your status, send messages to other users, and pull up stats without waiting for a big graphics- and data-intensive app to load on your phone. Here’s a look at some of what’s possible.

Read more:,32068,660209359001_2029465,00.html

Kay’s note: I’ve been trying to embed the video in our blog, but I’m still learning.  In the mean time, go to the original article on techland, and just watch the video there….sorry)

Phil Simon

Posted in Facebook, Homework, innovations, Stuff You Should Read/See, Twitter, Web & Enterprise 2.0 on October 31, 2010 by Kay & Project Management

Paige pointed out that our current book’s author has a helpful and insightful website:

While I facebook friended him, and am now following his tweets, if you want to “connect with Phil Simon” on facebook, it asks for permission to access almost, if not all, your information including your personal e-mail address.  I wasn’t willing to “give all that up” but it’s fascinating that it asks for all that information that you have given to Facebook.  Any reactions?

Also check out the Web 2.0 application that Simon is using to “kickstart” his next book “The New Small”

Homework #7

Posted in Facebook, Homework, Social Networking, Stuff You Should Read/See, Twitter, Web & Enterprise 2.0, YouTube on October 29, 2010 by Kay & Project Management

Great article: so good I’m going to repost most of it and it will start your homework #7.  More details to follow, but familiarize yourself now:

October 29, 2010 This might be the last election cycle in which we write about how the phenomenon of social media — interactive, friend-driven websites such as Facebook and Twitter — is affecting national politics, because next time around, the practice of social media may be such an integral part of the process we won’t even notice it.

But for the moment, it’s still a little jarring to click on the Facebook page for Republican straight arrow Thaddeus McCotter from Michigan’s 11th District and see a profile photo of the congressman in white dress shirt and red tie rocking out on a guitar. On his page you can find a link to a video of the congressman in jeans and T-shirt playing “Gloria” with a boomer band.

Or to peruse the personal Facebook page of John Heckenlively, Democratic candidate in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. On his Facebook wall, he mixes the public Heck (his nickname) with the private Heck, as he links to a Huffington Post story about the coming elections, “likes” fellow Wisconsin Democrat Cory Mason, and asks for your support — in his quest to amass a fortune in the silly online game Millionaire City.

Or to click on the Facebook page of Ilario Pantano, a Republican vying for North Carolina’s 7th District. More than 4,000 users “like” Pantano for Congress. And he has taken to social media like a songbird to suet, posting a frenzy of Facebook messages — 64 in one recent week. More than 7,000 Twitter users follow Pantano, and he has emitted more than 4,000 tweets during his campaign.

Then there is Mike Shoen, the Libertarian candidate in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District, who boasts in a YouTube video ad that his website is five times better than both of his opponents’ websites — combined. With digital bravado — and a misplaced apostrophe — he crows, “My opponent’s websites are fluff.”  Fluffy websites, amateurish videos, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts — digital politics in 2010 is, IMHO, a trend in transition.  Conner is speaking on a recent Monday evening at George Washington University. He is a participant in a panel discussion titled: “Going Viral: How Campaigns Are Using Social Media.”  Moderated by Ben Smith of Politico, the panel of political digerati also includes Mindy Finn, a partner in EngageDC and the director of “e-Strategy” for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign; and Matthew Hindman, an assistant professor in the university’s School of Media and Public Affairs. Watching the discussion on C-SPAN, one is struck by how fast the digital politics landscape is shifting.

With 500 million users, Conner says, Facebook is a free, direct route between candidates and voters. It is a novel way for politicians to be, or at least appear to be, transparent. And he foresees a day when elected officials use Facebook and other social media “on a personal level” to affect how they legislate and how they govern.

“Authenticity is really what is helping to carry the day,” Conner says.  There is much talk among the panelists of “authenticity” — the notion that a candidate who sends out her own online messages and interacts with voters electronically is perceived as more real than a candidate who doesn’t, or who leaves the tasks up to staff members.

One of the ironies of contemporary politics is that the more comfortable a candidate is with being virtual, the more real she seems to be.  “Very few congressional candidates are doing a good job using these tools” says Hindman, author of The Myth of Digital Democracy and, as described by moderator Smith, a “technoscold.”  Hindman says he did a quick social media study of the dozen closest races and discovered that the median candidate has about 200 followers on Twitter and about 1,500 Facebook friends. The numbers did not impress him.  Some candidates are social media aficionados, he says. He calls Pantano “a Twitter machine.” And 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is roundly acknowledged among the panelists as a whirling digital dervish who knows how to connect directly to voters with folksy observations on multiple platforms.

But the group also points out that many politicians find the communication method cumbersome. Social media sites must be updated constantly. “So many candidates,” Hindman says, “just use them as window dressing.”

He adds: “I have yet to see any evidence that social media is going to persuade truly persuadable voters.”

Mindy Finn is more positive about the power of social media. She says that campaigns have used it successfully to train volunteers and to rally troops.

Several of the panelists say that the cumulative effect of seeing public affirmation of who your friends support — plastered all over walls, blogs, tweets, message boards, e-mails and other digital public spaces — is extremely and unquantifiably powerful.

No one points out that just a generation ago, many Americans did not talk about who they voted for. At all. It was considered a secret and private matter.

Double-Edged Swords

The increase in social media has had escalating influence on political campaigns.

Shrewd politicians and strategists have used the Internet to instruct supporters to take specific actions, such as donating money and recruiting new converts. Using shorter message blasts, they have lured people to websites for major announcements. They have highlighted videos that humiliate their opponents.

In 2006, a YouTube video made by an aide from his Democratic opponent’s campaign captured Republican Sen. George Allen of Virginia on the campaign trail referring to that young Indian-American man as “macaca.” The incident became an embarrassment for Allen and helped cost him re-election.

In the 2008 presidential election, “meetups” organized online by Barack Obama supporters raised huge amounts of cash. Mass e-mails mobilized Obama’s volunteers.

“The interesting thing in 2010 has been that social media tools and techniques have really taken off up and down the electoral scale, from state-wide campaigns down to local races,” says Colin Delany, founder of, a site that explores online politics. “In particular, we’ve seen a real explosion of Facebook advertising, because it’s typically relatively cheap and it’s very easy to target at residents in a particular district, meaning that you don’t waste ads and money.”

The ads are not always targeted well, however. Hang out on Facebook and you’re likely to see an ad along the right rail for some politician you’ve never heard of. You can’t vote for her. But if she appeals to your political leanings, you can send her money. Instantly.

It’s a toss-up as to whether Facebook political ads really make a difference when voters enter the booths. “We do not have publicly available statistics on political advertising on Facebook during this election cycle or in 2008,” says Facebook spokesperson Andrew Noyes, “but in both cycles, campaigns certainly embraced Facebook.”

Noyes points out that the social networking website keeps up-to-date stats on politicians’ fan pages. A recent check of the Facebook Ratings, on the blog, shows that Republican congressional candidates have more “fans” than Democratic candidates.

The folks at Facebook maintain that a candidate’s following can translate into success at the polls. They look to history for validation. The primaries of 2010 “once again demonstrated Facebook’s role as a critical tool for political campaigns,” the company says in a statement. “Many candidates who won their primary races have more Facebook fans than their opponents and actively posted campaign updates on their Facebook Pages.”

Facebook points to the Delaware Republican Senate primary race as a good example. When voting day came, Christine O’Donnell had four times the number of fans as Rep. Mike Castle and O’Donnell won. Facebook also alludes to the Washington D.C. mayoral primary contest. On primary election day, challenger Vince Gray had twice as many fans on his page as incumbent Adrian Fenty. And Gray won.

Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat running for re-election in Florida’s 8th district, is about to find out if the promise of social media is meaningful. According to a recent Sunshine State News poll, Grayson is trailing Republican challenger Daniel Webster by seven points. According to Facebook, however, Grayson is far, far ahead of Webster (30,467 to 4,584) in Facebook users who “like” the candidates’ respective pages.

But as Facebook users know all too well, a “fan” may not always be a fan and a “friend” may not always be a friend. And sometimes “likes” is just a five letter word.

Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, according to Delany, can be double-edged swords. Engaging with a vast digital audience can attract supporters from outside your district. “The good thing is that they can donate,” Delany says. “But the bad side is that they can’t vote for you.  So, if it’s not careful, a campaign can spend a lot of effort on people who can’t actually help them on election day.”

Which brings us to the story of Artur Davis.

Bells And Whistles

Writing for The Birmingham News, Mary Orndoff reports that Davis, a Democrat who represents Alabama’s 7th congressional district, “went from national rising star to the losing end of a gubernatorial primary landslide back home, said hyperpartisanship in Washington and open hostility from fellow Democrats in Alabama have left him aggrieved and politically homeless.”

In early 2009, Davis announced he was running for governor of Alabama. For a while he was expected to win and at one point enjoyed a 30-point lead in the polls. He ended up losing the Democratic primary in June 2010 to Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks — by 24 points.

According to Orndoff,  Davis — who is African-American — says he was a victim of racist sabotage by black political leaders who disliked “Davis’ centrist record and go-it-alone style.” She says he was outfoxed by the state’s black political groups, who were never comfortable with Davis in the first place. They were rankled by several of his political initiatives and by his vote against President Obama’s health care plan.

And, Orndoff adds, Davis relied too much on social media.

“Davis has long acknowledged that he ran a poor campaign that wasted money on Internet and social media ‘bells and whistles’,” she writes, “but was slow to respond to attacks. It burned through $800,000 in 2009 with no real campaign infrastructure to show for it.

“Instead of hiring field operatives and priming the get-out-the-vote effort, he was left with lots of friends on Facebook and a nice website. It was that lack of a ground game, the kind of face-to-face network of advocates in small towns and coffee shops, that allowed the campaign attacks against him to take hold, he said. Even after seven years as a congressman, he did not have a grassroots organization.”

And so, for politicians, the lesson may be clear: The media is not always the message. It is easy. It is relatively cheap. It may ultimately transform American politics. And the conventionally wise say a politician is a fool to not have a social media presence.

But caveat tweeter. Just because people respond to you through social media — by liking and friending and following you — that does not mean their virtual support will always translate into actual support.

But it might. For now the vote is still out.

Facebook Outage

Posted in Facebook, Social Networking, Stuff You Should Read/See, Twitter on September 24, 2010 by Kay & Project Management

But now: the outage explained….

Yesterday, Facebook had some problems.  ABC news reported on TV this morning, that during that time, twenty Tweets (on Twitter) PER SECOND were about frustrated Facebook users and the outage.

What I find funny is that this morning, there are already jokes about how the outage affected the US economy.  Were you affected?????:

funny graphs - US Productivity At An All Time High!
see more Funny Graphs

Shutdown “FAIL”

Posted in Blog, Facebook, Homework, Social Networking, Stuff You Should Read/See, Twitter, Web & Enterprise 2.0 on September 16, 2010 by Kay & Project Management

From the article: ” The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology made waves last week when it announced it would block access to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and AOL Instant Messenger from its campus wireless network for one week. The idea was to make students, faculty, and staff reflect on the role social media plays in their lives.   Several days into the “shutdown,” the college’s inability to keep students away from social media is showing.  It was a bold ambition to begin with. Nationwide, 92 percent of students log into Facebook and spend an average of 147 minutes there per week, according to the Student Monitor. Harrisburg will not have a firm idea of how many students actually abstained from using Facebook and other blocked sites until it does exit surveys and focus groups. But Eric Darr, the provost behind the plan, says that based on his own anecdotal observations, the proportion of students who are actually going cold turkey is probably around 10 or 15 percent.

Meanwhile, some students have gone to great lengths to foil the university’s attempts to block them from accessing the sites on campus. Darr says he talked to three who hiked three blocks to log into Facebook from the lobby of a nearby hotel. Some particularly tech-savvy students have tried hacking the campus network to get around the block administrators put in place on Monday, says Charles Palmer, director of the university’s Center for Advanced Learning and Entertainment Technologies.

Still, the provost says that even if only a slim percentage of students actually renounce Facebook and Twitter for the week, the project will have been a success, if only because of the conversations it has started. The university never expected full abstinence from students, Darr says, nor was it trying to conduct a scientific experiment. “This extreme media coverage in and of itself is forcing more focus on social media,” he says, noting that he had just gotten off an interview with a radio talk show based in Seattle. “That was the whole point of this in the first place,” he says.

The proposed moratorium, originally reported last week by Inside Higher Ed, spread to some unlikely reaches, including a Latvian news site and NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” In his monologue on Monday, Fallon quipped that students assigned to write about the experience might title their essays, “We all have smartphones, dumbass.”

Not all, but some. “The blackout isn’t really that bad,” says Noel Stark, a junior at Harrisburg. “Anyone with a 3G phone can still view these sites on campus.” A number of faculty have also availed themselves of this workaround, says Palmer.

Then there is the fact, omitted from much of the media coverage (including Inside Higher Ed’s), that Harrisburg is nonresidential. Many students live nearby, but not under the umbrella of the campus wireless network. This means that while the college can try to prevent students from accessing social media sites in class, it cannot make students honor the spirit of the project once they get home. And it appears most students are not.

This is not to say the project has failed to inspire reflection. “Direct social interaction (aka the old fashioned face-to-face kind) seems to be increasing this week based on observation,” writes Rene D. Massengale in an e-mail. Massengale, an associate professor of biotechnology, says he has had thoughtful discussions about the project in his class. He says it has affected his interactions outside the classroom as well. “Sometimes I see a student I know with their head out of their PDA or computer, and I have to resist the urge to go introduce myself,” he says. “‘Hi, I’m Dr. Massengale — you know, that person who teaches your class.’”

Students in Harrisburg’s degree programs are required to have laptops, and, perhaps more than at many other colleges, students have their computers open in class. (“We are a paperless school,” says Mehdi Noorbaksh, coordinator of general education at the university.)  “It turns out that a number of them were on Facebook or chatting online,” says Palmer, the educational technologist. “We had one student who said, ‘I guess now I’ll have to pay attention in class.’ ”  “Some like it, some don’t,” says Gio Acosta, a junior. “Some say they’re getting [more] work done; some of them say, ‘I need my Facebook!’ ”

Acosta says he has been feeling the itch himself. Since being blocked from accessing the site on his laptop during class, Acosta has noticed an impulse to browse Facebook every 10 minutes or so. “I don’t know if that’s because it’s restricted, or because it’s part of me right now,” Acosta says.

He says he misses unwinding with Facebook between classes, when he does not have to be following a lecture but is still beholden to the proscriptions of the campus network. And Acosta has found it hard to keep track of his friends like he is used to, since most of them, remarkably, are more responsive to Facebook than to text messages. But while he is in class, the computer and information sciences major says, being barred from Facebook has helped him focus.  Once he gets home at night, though, Acosta says he makes sure to scratch that digital itch. “It’s fair game at home,” he says. “They didn’t make any rules about that.”