How Facebook Pissed Off My Wife…Again!

Seriously guys? Facebook’s last attempt at advertising pissed off my wife. I specifically told them: “Facebook, thanks to you my wife is unhappy…and if my wife is unhappy, then I’m unhappy. Fix this!” At least in that case, there was some idiot developer to complain about…but in this case, I’m having trouble figuring out who is to blame.

For an average individual to be offended by facebook is rare, but for someone like my wife (I love you), who spends more time on Facebook than with me, it’s easily possible. In fact, she spends more time on Facebook than most people spend  working at their day job (probably because they’re on facebook too!).

What Did Facebook Do To Piss Her Off?

Having only been married for less than a year, my wife was simply doing what any newlywed would do…try to see what it’ll be like to have a kid with her new last name (Russak). She picks the name “Layla Zehava Russak” (…solid choice if I may say so). As protocol, she decides to see if there was anyone on Facebook with the name already.

She enters in the search and find her result: Uncle-Semit.com’s Shitler’s List Vol. 18

Facebook Anti-Semitic Search Result

I didn’t believe it myself, but there it was…a Bing! generated result that couldn’t have been any more irrelevant and offensive.

Freedom of Speech Applies To The Internet…

Now I’m facing a huge dilemma. My wife is pissed off at Facebook for offending her, while I’m trying to figure out how this happened and if it can be stopped from happening again. And the answer is simply “No!”.  The right to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). International, national and regional standards recognise that freedom of speech, as one form of freedom of expression, applies to any medium, including the Internet.

Unfortunately, it seems as if search engines are not allowed to censor information in the US as it’s integral to upholding the idea of “Free-Speech”. As a result, Facebook using Bing! search results means anything goes.

…But It Still Pissed Off My Wife!

Whether or not it’s legal…doesn’t make a difference to my wife. It still pissed her off. And as I stated in my last article, “Facebook, thanks to you my wife is unhappy…and if my wife is unhappy, then I’m unhappy.” Yet another week on the couch. I should write an article “How Facebook Ruined My Sex Life” (…though they do have a Facebook group here)

In this case, Facebook may claim “Freedom of Speech”, but here’s the issue. Bing! is only a last result for when a Search Result can’t be located. Facebook needs to get smarter about the results Bing! pulls up. Otherwise, one day a child is going to try and find a name that doesn’t exist and  get XXX related search results instead.

Thanks a lot Facebook.

Posted under Online Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on April 14, 2010

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Sparking Social Media With Video

Brands and businesses are using video, but few are realizing video’s true value as the ignition point of a targeted social media marketing campaign or, the spark. Likewise, many brands and companies are embracing social media but not getting as much out of the experience as they could. With a “videocentric” approach, video serves as the center of conversation from which layers of additional conversation evolve across social networking channels, blogs and forums often extending into traditional publications and beyond. This conversation goes from being

  1. About the video
  2. To being about the brand or business behind the video
  3. To the products and services offered
  4. To the  fans of the brand
  5. To the people behind the brand and so on…

As with any successful marketing effort, this requires proper planning and execution. I’ll explain how we attack the process at Supercool Creative, from start to finish and offer some fresh ways for marketing executives, brand managers and entrepreneurs to look at video as a crucial piece in the social media puzzle..

Step one is not “go shoot a video.” Too many campaigns fall flat or flat out fail because they start with a video and end with a plan of what to do with the video. That’s retrofitting and as you know, retrofitting can be more costly than doing something the right way the first time. We start off by establishing objectives that can be measured against hard goals like “more site traffic” and “increased sales” as well as soft goals like “more blog mentions, retweets and interviews.” Next, we identify the target audience. Who is the ideal customer and where are they online, right now? Then, we establish what the video will be about, what will be the bigger conversation surrounding that video and where and how that conversation will happen. The time to figure all that out is not after you have posted the video.

Content is king, be creative! The video should be engaging and above all SHAREABLE. Make it funny, shocking, quirky, confounding or whatever but be sure that it’s something worth talking about. The video itself is not and should not be enough to tell or sell the entire story. This is where a lot of marketers go wrong, packing too much into one video or making it into a commercial.

Online videos do not always require insane production value but they do need to be valuable. Three questions we ask before writing and shooting any video are

  1. How will this video add value to peoples’ lives?
  2. Should the video be funny or entertaining, shocking, controversial? Which genre if any will best fly with our client’s audience?
  3. How likely will people be to share the video if given the opportunity? Basically, “why should somebody care about this video enough to watch it?”

After that, we outline and write the script then plan the shoot.

social-media-marketing-and-pr-20

Unlike other forms of media including TV, radio, print and billboard, social media is not a broadcast channel intended to reach the masses but rather an interactive channel intended to mingle with the masses. As such, time and attention need to be given to setting up the right channels and building and maintaining relationships. Is the client’s audience mostly on Facebook? LinkedIn? YouTube? Twitter? How much time does the client have to spend on social media marketing each week? These factors will help determine which and how many channels are selected and developed.

One last thing to consider before locking down a video shoot is integration. Will the video be part of a larger marketing strategy including TV, radio, banner, video pre-roll, website integration, PR? This is an important thing to consider, especially if we are working with multiple agencies including traditional, interactive and PR agencies. As with retrofitting, integration is much easier and more cost effective the first time around.

Shoot and edit the video, including pre-production, casting, crewing up and executing according to the script and objectives. After post production, the video is encoded for the places it will live online for a very long time. To establish the video as the originating medium, we upload to YouTube and several other selected video sharing sites. Video search optimization is very important at this point so research is always key.

Now, we have a video link or two to work with. Just a few of things we do to help that link see the light of day include sharing the video with the client’s new YouTube community, inviting new friends, emailing the link, posting the video story and a link on Twitter; embedding the video on Facebook sparking conversation whenever possible; posting the link on LinkedIn status updates and starting a few discussions based on the bigger story surrounding the video.

The final step is to start building a genuine conversation surrounding the video. Outreach is a very important part of this process and includes reaching out to relevant influencers, launching local, topical and/or industry related press releases and contacting relevant online and offline publications. Just be sure that the story is compelling, the video is engaging and the product or service is sincere.

David Murdico is the Executive Creative Director of Supercool Creative, a Los Angeles based agency specializing in online video creative & production, viral marketing and integrated social media campaigns.

Posted under Online Marketing

Check Out Facebook’s *NEW* Streamlined Inbox!

facebook new inboxFacebook has officially launched their *NEW* Streamlined Inbox.  According to an article written a month ago on Mashable, Preview Your New Facebook Inbox, “the new feature isn’t live for everyone yet, and might not be for a few weeks.” Facebook provided the above preview image for what the updated Inbox will look like…and tonight, IT WENT LIVE!

My *NEW* Inbox Has Been Updated

For your own viewing pleasure, here’s what it looks like, for real. Click on the image below to get a closer look.

Facebooks New Inbox

As you can see, the new filters appear to make it much easier to filter through read and unread messages as well as messages from people versus groups. Mashable did a good job of asking the question: What’s missing? “Being able to reply to messages from your own email address would still be nice, but don’t expect to see that feature added any time soon.” But that’s fair…we wouldn’t need to ever visit Facebook otherwise…and that wouldn’t be smart.

So What Does This All Mean?

For starters, it seems I’m one of the first to get the update (and blog about it) and secondly…I’m not sure, but it seems like Facebook is turning into a Facebook describes the upcoming changes as follows:

“The new Inbox design gives you more control over organizing messages and choosing which messages you receive. You’ll notice that there are now filters at the top of your Inbox to help you identify unread messages as well as to report any spam, or unwanted messages, you may receive …

To find specific messages within your Inbox, you can type a keyword or a friend’s name in the search box in the upper-left corner of the screen.”

How Will This Change The World?

Well, I’d formulate my own opinion, but another (random) blog did a pretty good job of saying it better a month ago: “The company had previously claimed that they aimed to make Facebook Inbox as usable as any dedicated email service so that users can in fact use it as their primary email client.” (Stuff.TechWhack.com)…and it’s quite evident that this is happening. Could this be the beginning of the end end of dedicated e-mail services as we know it? Will Google, Yahoo and MSN find a way to fight back? Stay tuned to find out what happens next…

Posted under Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on July 21, 2009

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How is Michael Jackson slowing down the internet? (Top 10 List)

In yesterday’s article, How Will The Internet React?, I said it very clearly: “This is going to be HUGE!”And I was right! According to BBC News, “the internet suffered a number of slowdowns as people the world over rushed to verify accounts of Michael Jackson’s death.”

MJ Goes Viral: Top 10 List

Effecting almost every area of the net, here’s a detailed lists of how MJ’s Death has literally slowed down the internet…(*sources include BBC News, ABC News, and MTV)

  1. GOOGLE: It’s true that between approximately 2.40PM Pacific and 3.15PM Pacific, some Google News users experienced difficulty accessing search results for queries related to Michael Jackson and saw the error page,” said Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker. 
  2. GOOGLE: According to ABC News, Of the top 100 Google searches Thursday, more than 50 were related to Michael Jackson, the company said, adding that as people searched for lyrics to favorite songs, “Thriller,” “Man in the Mirror,” and “Billie Jean” were three most popular.
  3. TWITTER: According to initial data from Trendrr, a Web service that tracks activity on social media sites, the number of Twitter posts Thursday afternoon containing “Michael Jackson” totaled more than 100,000 per hour. That put news of Jackson’s death at least on par with the Iran protests, as Twitter posts about Iran topped 100,000 per hour on June 16 and eventually climbed to 220,000 per hour.
  4. NEWS-SITES: Keynote Systems reported that its monitoring showed performance problems for the web sites of AOL, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and Yahoo.
  5. BLOG SITES: Popular websites TMZ, Perez Hilton and other related blog sites reportedly blacked out continuosly
  6. YOUTUBE: In Jackson’s honor, YouTube spotlighted Jackson’s memorable videos on its homepage and linked to the artist’s YouTube channel. The channel has garnered more than 9 million views. The “Thriller” video alone has attracted two million and counting.
  7. iTUNES:In Apple’s iTunes store, Michael Jackson’s music quickly shot into the top 10 charts within a matter of hours.
  8. NEWS WEBSITES: Full-blown memorial sites, such as MemoriesofMichael.com and Michael Jackson Memorial, have already been launched and invite fans to post videos, news and messages commemorating his life.
  9. FACEBOOK: Less than an hour after Jackson’s death had been confirmed, more than 500 groups remembering Michael Jackson appeared on Facebook, some with more than 50,000 members. The fan page R.I.P. Michael Jackson (We Miss You) had attracted more than 220,000 fans by midday Friday.
  10. WIKIPEDIA: Contributors  arewarring over official confirmation of Jackson’s condition and engaging in back-and-forth edits of the star’s entry eventually forced administrators to lock down all information related to Jackson until there was agreement among mainstream media outlets.

So yea…i’d say he took the internet by STORM :) On a final note, here’s Thriller with 61,348,893 views and still climbing:

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Online Video, SEO/SEM, Social Networks, Viral Marketing

Will Ferrell stars in “Man vs. Wild” on Discovery Channel Special

I really wish I was kidding right now…but I am 100% serious! Man vs. Wild premiered the video Tuesday, June 2, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Here’s how they pitched it on youtube:

“In the harsh arctic tundra of Sweden, Bear Grylls and Will Ferrell from the Land of the Lost set out to conquer the wilderness … together. See if they make it out alive.”

It’s all due to Will Ferrell’s recent film starring in Land of The Lost. Bear Grylls and Discovery Channel used this as an opportunity to promote their Facebook (facebook.com/ManVsWild) and Twitter (@beargrylls) popularity. Just watch the promo:

How the heck did I find this video?

Well, unfortunately I found it by accident. I guess you can say that’s the true art of viral marketing, when it reaches users randomly with an impact. I was researching the youtube trial pre-video ads, when I happened to wittness a post-video, only to be too in shock to hit “print-screen” to capture prof. I’ll make sure to follow up with an article…BUT NOW BACK TO HOW I FOUND THIS VIDEO. I simply typed in Discovery Channel and it was the 2nd one down from the top.

My Thoughts?

This is HUGE! Will ferrell is simply a genius. He is the genius by one of the top comedy video sites online, FunnyOrDie.com. I wrote an article on it about a year ago titled FunnyorDie.com: Online Video and TV Merge. Seriously, Will Ferrell is doing everything right online. I have a feeling this is just the beginning.

Posted under Online Video, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on June 11, 2009

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