Parents holding Facebook back

Would you invite your parents to a party you’re having with your friends? Probably not, unless you’re maybe 35.

This reality helps explain why teens and college kids are spending less time on Facebook – their parents are there as well. This is obviously very bad for Facebook, which is having all sorts of problems since it went public.

I remember hearing teens I know tell me how they use Facebook less and have moved to new options like Twitter. They didn’t mention their parents, but the reason was obvious.

It’s not the only issue of course. Social media has made some teens much more careful about who they have around when they do stuff like smoke and drink, as everyone now has a camera on their phone. The times they are a changin’!!

  

Erin Andrews and the perils of Twitter for celebrities

Erin Andrews of ESPN talks to a reporter as she arrives for the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington, April 30, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT)

Erin Andrews has advice for celebrities who decide to use Twitter. Andrews has a huge following, and she explains how famous people need to have thick skin to handle all of the tough comments thrown their way.

“There’s so many great things you can do with Twitter: get a message out; try to help people in need. I think the biggest thing you have to know with Twitter, and anything else from a blog to a newspaper, is that you just have to have a thick skin,” she said during a media luncheon for the 25th season of GameDay in New York last week. “You just have to let it roll off. You can maybe cry about it privately with your family. Talk about it by yourself. But you just can’t respond. It’s too dangerous.”

Tweet at your own risk.

  

Shaq retires on Twitter: #thismeansnothing

Jeff Morgan isn’t too impressed with Shaq’s Twitter announcement that he’ll retire.

Shortly after the announcement – a 15 second video clip in which a cheery Shaquille said “I’m about to retire. Love you.” – the tech blogosphere lit up, thrilled that such a mainstream event had been announced over the web. Some said it “proves the power of Twitter.” But how? Perhaps the only thing bigger than Shaquille O’Neal’s physical form is his online presence. He has nearly 4 million followers on Twitter and 2 million Facebook fans. His real world celebrity status still exists on the internet – what is so powerful about that?

Check out the entire article. In the end, Shaq was hyping a new service called Tout which let’s you upload 15 second video clips and send them out on Twitter. It was really just a PR stunt, and in that sense it worked!

  

Bloggers pitching products

The shift from old media to new media is accelerating, and now more companies are using bloggers to help deliver their brand messages. Here’s an interesting example from Vaseline.

If you’ve been complaining about dry skin on the Internet, Vaseline may have heard you. With winter just around the corner, the brand is announcing a new advertising campaign for its Vaseline Intensive Rescue skin cream product, sold by Unilever. The campaign represents the first time Vaseline has used crowdsourcing to find product spokeswomen.

“The core of the idea here is to find women where they talk about this problem,” Anne Jensen, the senior brand building director for beauty care in the Unilever personal care division, said of the company’s decision to the scour the Web looking for women who were talking about their dry skin.

Vaseline worked with the New York office of the agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty on the campaign to restage the brand with things like new packaging and product improvements and to find women bloggers who could represent the campaign.

“Most Vaseline campaigns are rooted in real stories by real people. That’s what makes it authentic,” said Ashley Bekton, group business director at Bartle Bogle.

The agency worked with a subcontractor to crawl the Internet for conversations around words like “dry skin,” “lotions” and “skin issues,” and to scan blogs and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook for conversations people were having about those topics.

The company ended up selecting three bloggers who will write about their experiences and be spokespersons for the brand. Interesting stuff.

At least the approach is methodical. Some companies think they can hire a couple of interns to run Twitter and Facebook and all will be well . . .

  

Kevin Smith is an online god

You know Kevin Smith as a very successful movie director, despite the recent box office disappointments. He’s also become quite a force online, with a huge Twitter account and a very popular podcast – called the SModcast.

Wired recently caught up with Smith and he gave them a very funny interview in which he discussed his social media popularity.

Wired: But online, you can do just that, right? You seem to have amped up your Web presence since that movie.

Smith: Oh, I’m online all the time now. I’m not an outdoorsy type. Everything I do that’s not related to filmmaking or child-rearing or trying to fuck my wife is online. The medium of Twitter is built for me. I recently did a 24-hour tweetathon, and people asked me how I did it. I said, “The only difference between this and my normal regimen is that I let you know I was doing it.” I have 1.6 million followers—this army of people who think like me. There aren’t enough of us to invade a whole country, but we could probably take Quebec.

Wired: They’re numerous enough to put a book-length collection of your blog posts on best-seller lists and fill auditoriums to see you talk about whatever pops into your head.

Smith: Yeah, I used Twitter to sell out Carnegie Hall. My dream is to never have to take a real job again. If my next movie bombs and nobody ever gives me another dollar to make more, I wouldn’t care. I don’t need to do it anymore. I was never convinced that the film thing would last anyway. It just made me interesting enough to have a Web site.

Smith also discussed the tweetathon recently with Will Harris on Bullz-Eye.com.

I thought it was awesome. I’ve been training for it for, like, 15 years, though. We’ve been on the web since 1995, so I guess that’s actually 14 years. But I was ready. I was always curious, because I’ve spent hours upon hours on the web answering questions over the years, but the one that I’d never done was do it for 24 hours straight. I was kind of curious: “Can I pull it off?” And, alas, I could. (Laughs) It’s a mean feat. It’s not like someday my kid’s gonna be standing over my grave, and somebody’s gonna hang her a folded flag and say, “You know what? This is ‘cause he did 24 hours straight on Twitter.” But it’s just one of those little personal victories, like, “I wonder if I can do this.” And I did it. A stupid goal, but I accomplished it. Life’s all about…for me, at least…having very stupid achievable goals. That way, you always feel like a winner.

This interview also goes into great detail regarding Smith’s Smodcasts. The guy really gets this stuff.

  

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