Archive for April, 2011

Police Departments Take Note – Start Tweeting

Note: This post was originally written for Emerson Social Media

Today in the UK, West Midlands Police started tweeting results from court cases in the Birmingham Magistrate Court. This is in an effort to educate the public on the type of court cases that go through the system on a regular basis.

According to The Next Web, local press recently had to reduce the amount of coverage it gave to local court hearings due to constraints on their budgets and not having the number of people available. Through tweeting the rulings, the West Midlands Police hopes to increase the amount of coverage given to the cases and garner interest.

In some ways, this is an example of what social media has done. It has almost eliminated the need for traditional news reporting, and it gives the public a much needed source of information.

On the other hand, does this violate any privacy of the people involved in these crimes? To me, not really. The public has a right to know what cases go through their local system and if they’re reported on traditionally, they can be reported on via social media.

In my local community, Boston, we have our own version of the @WMPolice Twitter handle, aka @Boston_Police.

The Boston Police Department tweets about local crime and happenings around the Boston area. If there was a robbery, shooting, death etc, you will know about it. Although they don’t tweet about court rulings, they make sure that you know anything and everything going on in Boston.

Personally, I believe that police departments tweeting can only be a good thing. It lets us know important information quickly.

What do you think about police departments tweeting?

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Stop Sex Trafficking With Social Media

Note: This post was originally written for Emerson Social Media

The Demi & Ashton Foundation (or DNA Foundation) recently launched an online video campaign called “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls”. It features celebrities such as Jamie Foxx, Bradley Cooper, Sean Penn, and Justin Timberlake.

My personal favorite features the Old Spice guy Isiah Mustafa and Mashable’s Pete Cashmore.

The videos focus on “real men” who know how to run their lives, be independent and are overall awesome. As a result, they don’t buy girls who are trafficked for sex.

The campaign is mainly focused on YouTube, but also has an outlet on Facebook. Through Facebook, you can “Prove You’re a Real Man” or that you “Prefer Real Men”. Personally, I prefer real men.

1.2 million children are trafficked for sex every year, with 150,000 of them in the United States. And, every 10 minutes, a woman or child is trafficked to the US for forced labor. The sex trafficking industry is the third largest criminal industry with over $27 billion a year in profits.

Moore was quoted saying, “The goal of our Real Men campaign is to inform men about the reality of child sex slavery. People need to know that this isn’t a problem that is happening ‘somewhere else.’ Hundreds of thousands of children are currently enslaved in the United States. These girls could be your neighbors, your sisters, or your daughters. We are committed to raising awareness about child sex slavery and ending this horrible crime.”

The DNA Foundation is also selling t-shirts on Threadless to support their cause.

It’s unseen whether or not the celebrity overshadows the message of the ad, but I personally think it’s a great tool and idea to gain awareness for the cause.

Why I Broke Up With BlackBerry

Note: This post was originally written for Emerson Social Media.

This is the start of a wonderful relationship

The other day, I broke up with my BlackBerry. To be honest, we just weren’t getting along lately. I could barely get through a day without needing the charge it several times, it would always freeze on me, I couldn’t get BlackBerry 6, and for some reasons companies now or days don’t even bother to develop BlackBerry applications (case and point, SCVNGR). I’d always get the shaft.

So, I decided it was time for a change. Since my father barely can use a computer, let alone his own BlackBerry, he decided to let me use his upgrade as an early birthday present (yes, you can start with the Happy Birthdays. I love it).

When it came time for me to chose a phone I was confused. The Thunderbolt had just come out on Verizon, the Incredible was a good option too, but there’s something about the iPhone. After upgrading my computer to a MacBook back in August, I had already become pretty familiar with the Apple OS. The thought of learning a whole new system on an Android phone wasn’t that appealing, even though the Android marketing is growing fast. In fact, the Android just beat out the BlackBerry in terms of smartphone market share.

But it’s hard to deny the iPhone. It’s a powerhouse and it seems like everyone has one (not literally). It’s fast, sleek, and with the huge number of apps available for downloading, you can make it your own. There is something for every possible need.

Not to mention the fact that people always develop the iPhone applications first. If there is a new app on the market, you know they’re going to have it on the iPhone before anything else (ex: Color).

A friend of mine today actually said, “I never thought I’d see you as an iPhone person, but I’m glad you are”. So am I.

Here are some of my initial thoughts on my iPhone:

  • Typing on a touchscreen isn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. It’s taking some getting used to, but I’m learning quickly
  • I’m going app crazy. There are so many different things to chose from. WHICH ONES SHOULD I CHOSE?
  • I’m really glad someone told me about the iPhone multitasking and how to stop running apps to conserve battery power.
  • Apparently there is a glitch with Gmail and the iPhone 4. My email doesn’t update automatically on my phone, I need to tell it to update. Being a freak about checking my email, this poses a problem. Or, if I’m doing something wrong, please let me know.
  • I’m terrible at Angry Birds. After waiting forever to actually play it, this makes me very angry.

Since I’m still in the honeymoon phase with my phone, things could change. But for right now I’m happy I broke up with BlackBerry.

Don’t Piss Off Your Intern

Note: This post was originally written for the Emerson Social Media bog.

A few days ago, one Marc Jacobs intern got fed up. The CEO of the company, Robert Duffy, let an intern oversee the official Twitter account while let looked for someone to manage their social media full time. Those who sent in clever tweets to the @MarcJacobsIntl handle could get an interview with the CEO.

Eventually the intern had enough. After helping present over 50 people to Duffy to manage the Twitter, he still wasn’t happy. So, the intern let loose on their Twitter feed.

Clearly the intern understood through their actions that they would no longer be able to work in the fashion biz again.

Eventually, the intern was thrown out and someone else took over for the account deleting all of the unfavorable content the intern has posted. All of the tweets took place from an iPhone, making it obvious they trusted their intern with a too much (including important passwords).

This will all make a funny story later and will become another example of why it’s so important to monitor who controls your Twitter, Facebook, blog, YouTube and more. However, I’d like to think of this more from the intern’s perspective.

As many of you may or may not know, interning is a double-edged sword. Thankfully, I’ve been lucky enough to have internships where I’ve been given the opportunity to grow, learn and hone my expertise. But, there are those internships where you’re treated more like a slave and less like a human being. You’re their bitch that brings them coffee, makes copies, sits at a desk and feels ignored.

This is a perfect example of an intern who probably wasn’t being treated fairly. They had to take on the massive responsibility of monitoring a huge brand’s Twitter page alone and trying to organize interviews with every Joe Schmo who wanted an opportunity to get paid doing what this intern was already doing.

If you overwork, ignore or mistreat an intern, don’t expect them to sit around and not do anything about it. We come from a generation who doesn’t take anything lying down. So please, don’t piss off your intern.