Posts tagged ‘humour’

June 14, 2012

Father’s Day and your Digital Dad

When I was a boy (way back in the 1900s), Father’s Day and Mother’s Day were easy. You got together with family, ate a lot of food, and gave mom and dad cards and gifts. Simple, easy, done. But earlier this week, I started thinking about all the other bases I have to cover because my dad is on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and of course email. I figured that this now means a wall post, tweet, G+ hangout, and possibly a lame animated eCard. But after a little bit of my daily internet rummaging, I realized that the wonderful world wide web has a lot to offer if you’re looking online for Father’s Day ideas…Here’s what I found:

Social Coupons. Groupon, and other community buying services, are tailoring their offers this week for dad. You can get a great deal for dad on: 5-hour competition BBQ cooking classes, exotic car racing laps at race tracks, $150 worth of golf equipment, photo mugs,  6-hour charter salmon fishing trip, etc.

As a mild warning, I bought a Groupon from FTD florists this past Mother’s Day and was seriously disappointed. The flowers never showed up. So I tweeted about  the issue, and within 24 hours I was refunded in full and a great bouquet arrived for my mother. Good customer service from FTD and Groupon to make this right.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas. Sure, there are plenty of retailers and other websites offering their ideas for dad, but my favourite has to be the 10 Best Father’s Day Gifts for Geeky Dads from @Mashable. Here you’ll find binary code t-shirts, lego tie clips, Moleskine notebook shell cases, and more.

iPhone Apps. curated a list of iPhone apps dad might like. With offerings of primarily sports games and reading apps, this list left me scratching my head a bit; perhaps it is designed for the teen-dad in your family.

Google Doodle. Google has showcased a Father’s Day Google Doodle (log0) every year for over a decade, so watch for a new one this Sunday. I anticipate they will use the one below originally posted March 19, 2012 when Father’s Day is celebrated in some European and Central American countries.

And, of course, if you were out late on Saturday night and you’re due at the pulpit in 15 minutes but forgot your sermon at the pub, don’t worry: pull out your smart phone and check out these Father’s Day sermons from

Hope everyone has a great Father’s Day full of red meat, relaxation, and good beer!

May 1, 2012

Want to know if you’re an online jerk? There’s an app for that! [Interview]

Tom Scott – Creator of Klouchebag

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of, a service that attempts to measure how influential your social media profiles are. People are scored out of 100 by an algorithm and are assigned influence ratings on topics. They can also compete for titles and rewards. It’s the gamification of influence online. Some people love it, some hate it. Last week one Londoner decided to poke fun at it by creating his own service designed to measure your online “asshattery“.

This new parody site, named, was created in a few hours by Tom Scott  (@TomScott) – a British geek comedian, programmer, and social media contributor.

Klouchebag ranks Twitter accounts by evaluating online activity using the ARSE system:

  • Anger: use of profanity and rage.
  • Retweets: “please RT”s, no or constant retweeting, and old-style.
  • Social Apps: sharing every useless check-in on Foursquare or its horrible brethren; and
  • English Usage: if you use EXCLAMATION MARKS OMG!!!, or no capitals at all, this’ll be quite high.

Getting a good chuckle at this site, and learning that I’m “Quite Noisy“, I shot Tom a quick email to get some more background on his latest creation. Here’s what he said about Klouchebag….

What spawned this idea and how fast did it come together?  
I had the idea on April 26th, 2012, after reading this article in Wired. I’d been annoyed with the idea of Klout for a while, and that crystallised it. On April 27th, 2012, I registered the domain name (sadly, “” was already taken) and built it in a couple of hours of spare time.

What type of feedback have you been getting so far?
Almost all positive – fortunately no-one seems to be taking it seriously!

How much traffic did you get on the first day?
No idea. The stats won’t be in for a while. It’s certainly the fastest-launching project I’ve ever had.

Is there anything that you left out that you would have liked to have included?
Given another few hours, I might have added some awards or badges – but I’d worry about people competing for them!

Who, besides yourself, has the highest score?
Someone did discover one natural 100, which I didn’t think would be possible – a US morning radio show! For their sake, I’ll keep quiet as to who it is.

After a little Googling, I found this…

Do you have an axe to grind with Klout? or could this have been any “influence rating” service? 
Klout annoys me for the same reason that search engine optimisation annoys me: it’s an enormous amount of effort designed to game an arbitrary and often-changing system. Imagine if all that time went into actually making interesting things, or caring about the people around you. To quote the WOPR computer from WarGames: “the only way to win is not to play”!

Social media in a business context is all about measurement. If influence isn’t a viable measure for ROI, how would you suggest evaluating the effectiveness of social media campaigns? 
I’m not sure I can actually answer that question without throwing up a bit in my mouth.

Now what do you think? Do  you care about your Klout score? Do you try and improve it?

January 1, 2011

Social Media in 2011: 4 trends to watch

The ThinkerSocial media made some great leaps in 2010: Facebook reached 500 million users, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga battled for most viewed videos on YouTube, and the Gulf oil Spill was the highest ranked trending topic on TwitterWe even saw a big-budget Hollywood Blockbuster bring home almost $100 million, telling the story about the controversial beginnings of Facebook.

As exciting as the past year has been, 2011 will undoubtedly continue to build on the social media movement as we connect with companies, colleagues, and friends. Here are my thoughts on what to look for in social media over the next 365.

Continued and rapid monetization: Especially with third-party apps and clients designed to help users interact with their social networks. Advertising, data mining, and promoted tweets are the current answer to the question “how do we make money out of this?” With continued “upgrades” and new features added, users are prompted for more personal information. At the same time, advertising and fee structures are being implemented for use of some social networks ot the tools we use to access them. The common user will not see much of a difference, but organizations can expect to begin to pay for previously free services.

Community buying boom: Expect more deals, not necessarily better deals in 2011. We’ve all heard of the community buying giant Groupon, mostly due to the recent interest Google has paid to it causing the estimated value of Groupon to reach over $4 Billion. Don’t expect the interest to calm down in 2011. Groupon will continue to be number one, but several other services have, and will, continue to sprout up to challenge for market share; a few to watch:

Geo-tagging networks popularity: This is a controversial one, but I believe 2011 will be the year users and businesses really get to know these tools and harness the social power of geo-tagging games/services.  Increased integration with existing networks (Facebook Places) helps users see the social value of these location-based services. Businesses will continue to integrate geo-tagging into sales and awareness campaigns. Some businesses are offering deals to the “Mayors” of their shops, but most are reaping the simple value of awareness. Aside: I recently tried a sushi place I learned about through Foursquare without being offered a deal, just a recommendation. It’s more than just Foursquare and Facebook Places. Others are already getting into geo-tagging:

Interest in “International” networks: By nature, all social media is international, but all social media is not necessarily popular on an international level. Businesses around the world will look to Social Media networks that have taken hold in other countries to connect with potential customers.  Opportunities exist in some of the world’s largest populations.  In China, QQ is the most popular IM tool; and 90% of the worldwide traffic to comes from China. Orkut (by Google) is very popular in Brazil and India, making up 70% of the worldwide user base combined. Check out this great post for more examples and details on international social media opportunities.

Final thoughts: 2011 is poised to be another great year for social media. Everyday, more and more users signup and engage. More users + more conversations = positive Social Media outlook. Signup, engage, and enjoy 2011.

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