The Tech Gods have been busy this week, with Apple’s new Retina MacBook being touted as the laptop of the future, with rave reviews about the depth of colour and the razor sharp resolution that the new screen technology gives pictures and graphics.
It’s also been announced this week that real time bidding, aka Facebook Exchange, is being introduced in the next few weeks, enabling third parties to use information from other sites to deliver targeted Facebook ads.
Not sure how that will sit within the ongoing debate about online privacy, which have stepped up a notch this week following a British mother winning a court order to force Facebook to reveal the identities of trolls who abused her online, but in the meantime businesses will no doubt find Facebook Exchange a welcome targeted tool.
In other news, the media has been full of reports that Habbo Hotel, a popular virtual world for children, is a ‘Mecca’ for paedophiles and filled with pornographic chat. We have to confess that this really isn’t news at all for those of us who bother listening to teenagers, although obviously it has been a massive shock for those who are supposed to have their finger on the pulse. What is news is that Sulake, Habbo Hotel’s Finnish parent company, is finally being forced to take action to clean up its act after the EU warned them that the site will be shut down if they do not improve moderation and two major investors dumped their shareholdings following the news.
Many lessons can be learnt by businesses and organisations from this – Habbo Hotel, by its admission, is only policed by a mere 225 moderators, which for a service with more than 250 million registered users and 70 million daily conversations is simply ludicrous. Also, every teen in the UK appears to have known for years what the media and the government have only just found out - “it’s a paedo site” – so it would seem sensible for organisations to start using social media for what it is best for and actually start listening to people, rather than keep push push pushing information at them or ignoring them.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: an old fashioned, Mad Men-type advertising, marketing and sales approach does not work in social media. Like tech in general, which research has now confirmed is predominantly adopted and bought by older women (and yes, wasn’t that a shock for all the shiny tech companies who keep pushing their products and services at young men using scantily-clad women, although avid followers of this blog will obviously not be at all surprised because they know how passionate we – a female-founded and female-led digital company – are about tech), social media is a predominantly feminine arena, based on conversations, sharing and listening to people to find out what is happening, and the few scantily dressed chaps that come along are always very welcome.
Interestingly, seems the government have come to this conclusion (the listening bit, not the scantily-dressed men) faster than any of the so-called cutting-edge tech companies, although whether its ‘snooping bill’ is really the answer to anyone’s problems remains to be seen.
It’s been somewhat refreshing to read about the committed online transparency of VisitSweden, who’s decision to hand over the curation of its flagship @Sweden twitter account has caused some raised eyebrows and degree of consternation, especially in America, but as Tommy Sollén, social media manager at VisitSweden says, it does humanise Sweden and show different points of view, although whether any other organisation, let alone country, will follow suit is another matter entirely!
Talking pure tech again for a moment (one of our favourite subjects) we are completely in love with the serious tech gorgeousness that is a dynamic touchscreen with real buttons developed by Tactus Technology… yum yum yum!
And looking quickly at the other news this week, Coldplay have been harnessing technology to rather lovely uses via their LED-illuminated Xylobands wristbands, which were activated using a radio signal to integrate their fans’ into the whole gig experience with an array of twinkling lights. The wristbands have the Twitter hashtag #coldplayfilm printed on them to promote the band’s live DVD, but sadly we found 3G was blocked when we attended the Manchester gig, thus preventing the audience live Tweeting about it; Games continue to be hot news, with Zynga’s Bubble Safari having just topped the list of Fastest Growing Facebook games, with an astounding 14,800,000 monthly active users, gaining 10.6 million of those in the last week; Apple have indicated that they are killing off Ping in the next update or iTunes as no one wanted to use it.
And finally, artist Adam Koford has been busy recreating the Twitter bird icon as well-known cartoon characters, including Crusty the Clown, which he shared on Mashable this week. You can see more of his work, including the reknown Laugh Out Loud cats, at his blog at Hobotopia.
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