February 27, 2009

Toward a Facebook bill of rights

facebook-bill-of-rights1JD LasicaAfter last week’s user rebellion that upended Facebook’s attempt to change its terms of service to grant itself a perpetual license to all photos, videos and copyrighted material posted by its members — somehow, Terms of Use Rebellion doesn’t have the same historical ring as Whiskey Rebellion — the company is angling to turn the incident into a net positive by calling on its users to help formulate a “bill of rights” to govern the social-networking giant.

It’s a bold, gutsy and unprecedented move, the kind of envelope-pushing move we’ve seen in the past from founder-CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The proposed Facebook Principles cover topics such as the “freedom to share and connect,” privacy rights, “fundamental equality” and “ownership and control of information.” Facebook users — there are about 175 million of us around the globe — are being invited to review, comment on and ultimately vote on the proposals in “a virtual town hall” over the next 30 days.

If more than 7,000 users comment on any proposed change, it would go to a vote. Trouble is, they’ve intentionally set the bar impossibly high. The measures would be binding to Facebook only if more than 30 percent of active users vote. Based on Facebook’s current size, that would be nearly 53 million people. By comparison, a group created to protest Facebook’s new terms has roughly 139,600 members. (I’m one of them.)
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February 27, 2009

Sage advice to the future of PR

Chris AbrahamEarlier this week, I guest lectured on digital PR at the American University and reported on the experience, Public Relations and Communications’ Future is Bright!. I said that I would not write anything nice unless someone sent me a thoughtful email from the class.

Well, I received two nice notes, one from Juliana Serafini (who promises to email me again next week) and one from Kari Elam, who had a lot of great question.  I will not expose her questions, but the long story short is that Kari is writing for music, culture, arts, and society blogs and wonders if that it good enough as a way of writing herself into a smashing agency job in PR and I told her that while it couldn’t hurt, it is also essential for her to go a little further. Well, here is the ’sage’ advice I give to Kari:

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February 27, 2009

Sites, tools and tips for saving money

David SparkThe economy is hitting everyone hard. And while we all fight for money, often chasing the same dollars, there’s one thing we can all collaborate on, and that’s saving money. Here are a few recommended sites, tools, and tips for saving money.

Be a gourmet for a budget: While the top site for recipes is epicurious, some blogs are going out of their way to deliver you the best dinners on a budget. I recommend you check out Frugal Cuisine, and just launched last week, the Broke Ass Gourmet, which promises that all its recipes for two cost less than $20.

Know when to refinance your mortgage: Finance rates are dropping, or they were. They just bounced back up. But there’s talk of lobbying the government to drop them down to 4% to stimulate the economy. And when the bank rate hits that rock bottom point, it’s definitely time to refinance. Just follow Bankrate.com to see up to the minute mortgage rates.

Gadgets that save money: Simple Dollar has put together a great list of the 25 gadgets that will save you money. For each gadget they give you the cost savings it offers and the time it will take for you to break even on your investment. Love the advice about getting the game “Dance, Dance, Revolution” to replace your cardio workout. Assuming $25/month gym membership fee, they calculate you’ll break even in 8 months.
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February 26, 2009

Social media meets the real world

East Bay Social Media Breakfast

JD LasicaToo often in the world of social media, we connect with each other virtually but hesitate to actually get off our duffs and interact in person. Yesterday was one small victory for face time.

At the first East Bay Social Media Breakfast, 35 of us got together to schmooze, swap ideas, discuss business and consider how to advance the social good. (Above is a photo I took of the gathering.) I was honored to be the first guest speaker.

I talked about social media and the rise of the Sharing Economy, beginning with a trip back on the Wayback Machine to February 2005 — just four short years ago — when Glenn Fleishman, a technology journalist in Seattle, was hit with a $10,000 monthly bill from his ISP because one of his videos became popular. (I’m not sure of the amount and couldn’t find it in a search but remember that an online fund-raiser was held to pay it was.) That was the way it was: create a video people want to see, and you were penalized for it.
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February 26, 2009

An interview with Martin Oetting of Germany’s trnd

Chris AbrahamAs part of my exploration of branding and communication around the world, I am starting a series of interviews with as many European and world-wide movers-and-shakers as are willing to submit themselves to my barrage of probing questions.

I was inspired to start this series of interviews while at lunch with today’s interviewee, Martin Oetting, partner and director research at trnd. We met at a bistro in Prenzlauer Berg, a trendy neighborhood in Berlin, where Martin lives. We ate and talked and realized we had both a lot of thing and a lot of people in common. After we both pedaled away on our bikes, it occurred to me that it would be super cool to be able to share all of this great stuff with you – and it would be great to be able to ask a bunch of questions to as many people in the branding, new media, and communications as possible.

With no further ado, here’s my interview with Martin Oetting:

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February 26, 2009

TheCrane.tv: The first online video magazine

Ayelet NoffLast month at the DLD conference I had the opportunity to speak to Constantin Bjerke, founder of TheCrane.tv.  TheCrane.tv is a new online video magazine all about contemporary culture that is set to launch in March and plans to feature high caliber content on the topics of Culture, Art & Design, Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel, Ideas and “Green”/Ecology around the globe.  TheCrane.tv hopes to raise the bar for superior video content on the Web with what they are referring to as ”Talent Generated Content.”  Constantin describes Talent Generated Content by saying that all of the site’s content ”is produced by people that actually know what they’re doing, both in terms of quality of the film and in terms of the content.”  Creatives from around the world are invited to share their films, videos and animations on any of the forementioned topics.  TheCrane.tv is a unique magazine because it is completely video based.  You don’t have to read articles but can simply “sit back and enjoy the ride” as Constantin puts it.

Aside from offering high quality, high caliber content, TheCrane.tv will also serve as a platform for talented video and filmmakers to showcase their talent and advance their careers.  Contributors can use the site to find an audience, network with like-minded creatives from around the world, share ideas, collaborate and inspire one another.  Additionally, the site is currently in negotiations for a mobile video distribution deal via 3G networks and has several TV and other distribution deals in the works as well.  TheCrane.tv also offers contributors the opportunity to make money through revenue share.
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