social media

Why "FourSquare Day" Succeeds in Portsmouth

Apr 16, 2012
Downtown Portsmouth.
Squirrel Flight via Flickr/Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/squirrelflight/1355544138/in/photostream/

New England athletes know today as Marathon Monday – history buffs call it Patriots’ Day. And tech watchers know April 16th as Foursquare Day, named after the social media app.

On Foursquare Day, businesses and communities offer special discounts and free stuff to users who drop by and “check in” to Foursquare using their smartphones.

The Skinny on Pinterest

Apr 5, 2012

Pinterest is the new darling of the social media world. Users—over 10 million of them—‘pin’ digital images they like to their site, where others can browse and comment. Pinterest has run into recent issues surrounding potential copyright infringement, and now, a new problem has emerged: what should they do about a wave of pro-anorexia images and comments on the site?

When Loren Williams died in a motorcycle crash in 2005, his mother used his Facebook password to read posts on his wall.

"These were postings from personal friends that [said] he meant a lot to them in their lives, and it was very comforting," Karen Williams told KGW television in Portland, Ore. "There were pictures that I had never seen before of his life and just evidence of the wonderful relationships that he had established."

As I write today's entry for "Here's What's Awesome," I'm listening to a tune by Richard and Linda Thompson called "Lonely Hearts." The chorus speaks of lonely hearts in "an ocean of loneliness" and "a shipwreck of pain." As if that wasn't sunny enough, along comes this cheerful verse:

No-one needs a friend, no-one cares no more
They'll look hard at you but they won't take the chain off the door
O they work and slave, keep their conscience clean
They come home at night and they talk to an empty screen

Posting on Facebook is an easy way to connect with people, but it also can be a means to alienate them. That can be particularly troublesome for those with low self-esteem.

People with poor self-image tend to view the glass as half empty. They complain a bit more than everyone else, and they often share their negative views and feelings when face to face with friends and acquaintances.

The shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Florida has sparked heated reactions across the country, but there was a lag before mainstream media picked up on the story. Not so online, where a more immediate outcry grew into a petition drive this week to encourage a federal investigation.

Now the Justice Department is looking into Trayvon Martin's death at the hands of a neighborhood watch volunteer, and black media and social media were key in demanding closer scrutiny.

After 40 years on the stand-up stage, countless comedy albums and iconic movies, Steve Martin is still finding new ways to make people laugh.

The comedian got on Twitter in 2010, and by now he has attracted nearly 2.5 million followers with his funny and slightly demented tweets.

Photo by John Lam via Flickr Creative Commons

"Mesh networks" are set up the way the original internet was envisioned to work – users hosting and transmitting as individuals, rather than using centralized networks. Back then, users also communicated differently with each other – on platforms with funky names like IRC and NNTP. Those systems live on today.

A select few are choosing to bypass Facebook and go old-school, with an online forum that lacks pop-up ads and animated banners, where there’s no double-clicking, no need for a mouse, and no graphics…

Shameless Self-Promotion

Mar 5, 2012
Photo by kowitz, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

As the journalism world continues to grow and change, media companies are constantly brainstorming ways to find the next best revenue stream, while still trying to maintain integrity.  Some experts say journalists could help the cause by building their own personal brand outside of the institutions they work for.  It’s a concept that has caused lots of discussion, and some controversy, among journalists across the internet.  Owen Youngman is a journalism professor at the Medill School at Northwestern University who teaches and

To the list of weird-sounding hybrid words of the digital age, like Googling and tweeting, we can now add "pinning." As in Pinterest. It's sort of an online scrapbook or bulletin board, and it's one of the fastest-growing websites in history.

Last month, more than 10 million unique visitors signed on to Pinterest. But some of them, like Billy Winburn, are still trying to get the hang of it. At an office in Alexandria, Va., Jennifer Folsom, who works a few desks away, is walking him through the process.

Word of Mouth 02.18.2012

Feb 18, 2012
(Photo by chrisinplymouth via Flickr Creative Commons)

 

Parts 1 and 2:

Before the Arab Spring, there was Martin Luther

Feb 15, 2012
Photo by Foxtounge, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

One year after the Arab Spring, protestors in Syria are uploading videos and images of the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown of the opposition. The use of new technologies to spread messages and unify resistance against authoritarian regimes is by now familiar. Five centuries before demonstrators tweeted from public squares in the middle-east, an obscure minister and theologian named Martin Luther exploited the social media of his time to challenge entrenched power. We know, at least, how that revolution fared.

As comedian John Fugelsang recalls, all in life was dandy until one fateful day, at age 6, he noticed an odd motif in some photos: "In every family picture ... my mother was wearing a habit."

Last August, he tweeted his parents' unusual love story — with photos — on the first anniversary of his father's death. In a series of blurbs 140 characters or less, he tells it better than I ever could:

Fugelsang, who has hosted America's Funniest Home Videos and consulted for Rosie O'Donnell, among other things, explained more in an interview.

Here are two things you don't often hear mentioned in the same sentence: social media and nuclear weapons.

Rose Gottemoeller, acting undersecretary of state for arms control, quickly links those two unlikely partners in conversation. She's behind a campaign to discover how new communications tools can help rid the world of some of the dangers of nuclear weapons.

Crowdsourcing Nuclear Problems

Gottemoeller is an avid user of Twitter, and it made her wonder how Twitter and other methods of crowdsourcing a problem can help her in her work.

When a company files to go public it has to lay out in black and white the biggest risks that face the firm. What could kill it? What could undermine its business? Wipe out all its investors' money? Executives are required to reveal this by law.

From Russia with Facebook

Feb 7, 2012
Photo by jasmine8559 courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Produced by Jessica Golloher

If you're sitting on the couch alone watching an event like the State of the Union, you can feel less alone if you follow its hashtag on Twitter, a lot less alone. It’s your choice, really, whether you want to join the conversation, and I (as Word of Mouth) didn’t necessarily plan to last night, but it can be kind of hard not to tweet about what we might say if we were on the air at that moment.  

One of our most popular New Hampshire primary posts looked at how much the months-long political circus affects Granite State tourism. (You can read that post here.)

Political tourism is definitely a niche hobby.

2012 Social Media Predictions

Jan 3, 2012
Photo by Michelle Tribe, courtesy of Flickr creative commons

NHPR’s resident web trawler and afternoon host Brady Carlson is here plays Nostradamus for our Word of Mouth Futurama Edition, making some educated guesses as to where the social media explosion that’s figured so profoundly in our public and private lives in recent years will go going next.

Do you have Klout?

Dec 15, 2011
(Photo by Mr. Wright via Flickr Creative Commons)

The CEO of Reppify, a start up offering employers a new way to measure prospective employees by their use of social media, explains why "Klout" is what it's all about.   

Death Talk Goes Viral

Nov 17, 2011

Produced by Chris Cuffe

A Little Birdie Told Me

Nov 10, 2011
Photo by See-ming Lee, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

The latest attempt to predict the future: scientists use digital data from Twitter, traffic webcams, and bazillion other places to create a model that can foresee epidemics, social upheaval, and more. That' the theory anyway.  Much like the weather, you can't always count on the forecast.  Sharon Weinberger writes for Nature. She tell us more about the project.

LINKS

<a href="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4003/4701287229_54d730cb49_m.jpg">RuffLife</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

What makes someone a true friend?  We use the term friend in so many different ways to refer to so many different kinds of relationships and people: we friend hundreds of people on Facebook; spouses, children, parents are all supposed to be our friends now; we have bffs, friends with benefits, and frenemies.  On the one hand, when we use the term so widely we risk emptying it of all meaning.  On the other hand, we use it so widely because we value friendship so highly.  How can we cut through all the confusion and find our real friends?  What does genuine friendship entail?  Can we foster g

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