Social Media and Society

Written by on February 1, 2012 under Facebook, Twitter


Social Media platforms are showing just how much people want to communicate with others, whether known or unknown. People are now able to freely communicate with each other without being constrained by time and place.  New social relationships are quickly developed while existing ones are reinforced by the availability of a means of communication.

It is an understatement to say that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have made their mark in society.  People are now finding more new friends through this venue compared to the traditional way of being introduced personally.  The primary reason why this set-up appears to work for most is the perennial lack of time to interact socially in the more conventional manner. 

Social media use has made it possible for physically-challenged or disabled people to communicate. People can now form groups based on similar interests without having to physically assemble which is usually difficult to do with the busy schedules of most working professionals.  Knowledge and information can be obtained from communicating with other people.

Like in all good things, there will always be disadvantages.  The threat to privacy is very real with most participants not realizing enough that some information meant for consumption of close friends and family are actually out into the open for everybody to see.  With the current revelations about privacy intrusion among members of different social media platforms, it can be surmised that absolute and full control over provided personal information is not possible.  Many members have learned the hard way that there are risks in relying solely on security features that can be violated at will by determined offenders.

At the end of the day, we should know that there are still some things best kept to ourselves or at least revealed personally to only those who need to know.



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“Pointless Babble” in Social Media

Written by on November 30, 2011 under Twitter

Based on a short study conducted in 2009 regarding Twitter use by Pear Analytics, it segregated tweet contents into at least six (6) categories namely pointless babble – 40%, conversational – 38%, pass-along value – 9%, self-promotion – 6%, spam – 4% and news – 4%.  Pointless babble which sounds so useless and wasteful of time when categorized as such includes the desire to know “what people are doing, thinking, and feeling” as pointed out by a social networking researcher.  The term has understandably offended many tweeters which resulted to some sort of word war for its clarification. 

The phenomenon which makes it possible to provide the most mundane and inconsequential information available to everyone as observed in other social media platforms as well is probably the crux of the matter.   Social media today has inadvertently allowed people to impose their “will” on others by flooding the platform with information that are better kept to themselves.  I would like to think that this communication venue has been developed for people to stay connected and not be burdened by a tremendous load of messages that are mostly “pointless babble”, so to speak.

Relevance of tweets or posts is highly subjective.  What constitutes pointless for some may be important to others.  It really all depends on who is getting what messages.  It is a fact that some of these messages can be classified under “conversational” which is obviously not offensive.  That said, social media platforms should provide an option for people who think that they are being plagued by tiresome messages from their own acquaintances.

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Yahoo And Twitter Join Forces

Written by on February 28, 2010 under News, Twitter

Two of the most recognizable names on the Internet today have joined forces, causing quite a stir, especially in the world of social media. Both names – Yahoo and Twitter – have been around for quite some time and have gathered their own set of ardent followers. Due to the merger, more possibilities are arising, creating a lot of excitement.

What’s the best thing about this move? You may already know that Twitter users can access their tweets AND update their tweets through Yahoo’s plethora of products. In effect, we can say that Yahoo has made itself a Twitter client. Obviously, this allows for more flexibility and accessibility on the part of the user – which is always a good thing.

On the widgets end, I will not be surprised to see widgets at the center of this flexibility and accessibility campaign. Perhaps in a few months – maybe less – we will be hearing of Yahoo-Twitter widgets that will make tweeting an even easier and more fun activity.

There aren’t a lot of specific details as of now, but it seems that both parties are very excited about the merger. According to Bryan Lamkin, the senior vice president of Yahoo’s consumer products group, they’re “turning the key to the online social universe — you will find the most personally relevant experiences through Yahoo! We’re also simplifying people’s lives by bringing their social worlds — and the world —- together for easy access.”

Twitter is just as happy with this statement: “The information in one single tweet can travel light-years farther with this Yahoo! integration. Tweets in more places brings relevance where and when you need it most.”

I suppose it’s a win-win for them, but my question is: will we (the users) also come out as winners? I hope so!

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Twitter Widget Disabled

Written by on January 26, 2010 under Twitter, Widgets

v66If you’ve been using the Flash-based Twitter widget on your blog or web site, you might have noticed that it isn’t working. That’s because Twitter has disabled this widget due to security concerns. The problem lies in a vulnerability that was discovered in the widget. According to the people at Twitter, a security analyst raised the red flag about the widget. Apparently, the vulnerability can lead to hackers finding out the login details of the user.

Twitter was quick to respond to this issue and promptly disabled the widget. Gaj-It tells us more:

“We’ve been notified about a vulnerability in our Flash widget and out of an abundance of caution we’ve disabled access as we assess the situation,” Twitter’s staff said in a status update.

Despite this action, the configuration error reportedly stems from a basic programming mistake back in 2006. Mike Bailey, a senior security analyst with US-based company Foreground Security, said that the problem exploits a widely known vulnerability in the Adobe Systems Flash programming language.

Bailey emphasizes however, that the problem is not Adobe’s fault. He says that it is actually the programmers who make the mistake and that Adobe has already issued guidelines on how to avoid this flaw when creating Flash programs. Indeed, he says that there are a lot of other widgets with the same vulnerability – thanks to “bad programming.” That is, the programmers do not follow the recommendations of Adobe, hence exposing widgets users to the risk of having their login details hacked.

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Get Your Hands On New Twitter Goodies

Written by on November 13, 2009 under Facebook, Twitter, Widgets

twitterAre you one of us? Those who tweet on a regular basis, that is. If you have not discovered Twitter yet, then it’s about time! Once you try it out, you’ll find yourself tweeting non-stop. Ask anyone who uses it and you’ll hear the same words.

Anyhow, Twitter has just released a new widget on its Goodies page. If you log on to the platform, you can find the link to this page at the bottom of the home page. The new widget basically allows Twitter users to display their tweets on another web site or blog. It also is compatible with the more popular social networking web sites such as Facebook and MySpace. With this widget, you do not need to copy paste your tweets to change your status!

There are currently four different kinds of widgets which you can from. These are Profile, Search, Faves, and List. Naturally, to make it easy on the users, Twitter provides the codes that you will need to embed in your site of choice. Everything will be done automatically, so you just need to do whatever it is you do with Twitter and the changes will be reflected on the web site.

You may also tweak the widget. For example, you can choose the settings for the frequency of refreshing. You can also choose the specific information that you want to show on your web site. Another important tweak is the ability to resize the widget so as to fit your site properly. Go get the widget now!

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New Business Widgets From WorkLight

Written by on July 19, 2009 under Facebook, mobile, Software, Twitter, Widgets

Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have taken the world by storm. Even people who do not usually spend a lot of time online find themselves doing so because of these platforms. Businesses have also realized the potential of these platforms, and software developers are capitalizing on this. As such, we get to see all these new platforms advertising themselves as the “Facebook of business” or the “Twitter of business.”

WorkLight is a company which develops various social networking software, much like other software companies out there. However, unlike the “Facebook of business” companies, WorkLight takes on a slightly difference approach. Instead of creating whole new platforms and selling them as the “[place popular social networking platform here] of business,” WorkLight is bringing their widgets to the existing popular platforms.

WorkLight specializes in business applications which can be used for online banking, travel management, and other basic collaboration tasks. The good thing is that the applications can be published in various platforms such as Facebook, iGoogle, iPhone (yep!), and blogs. To date, WorkLight is working in collaboration with 17 consumer channels. This means that anyone who uses a widget that WorkLight has created can publish it easily to those channels.

The main advantage of this idea is that businesses need not spend a lot of money on developing widgets for different platforms. They only have to invest on a single application and then simply publish to the relevant platforms wherein the business may already have an established presence.

For more information on WorkLight, visit their web site here.

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New Widgets For FiOS TV

Written by on May 10, 2009 under Twitter, Widgets

More and more, technology is making things convenient and easy for us. One of the things that I like about new technology is the goal of integration. With each new wave of new technological developments, users get to gain access to various platforms without the need to change from one gadget to another, or one system to another. Here is a perfect example – a widget providing access to no less than Twitter and Facebook to FiOS users.

FiOS is Verizon’s service which allows users to have Internet, phone, and TV service in one go. There are different bundles available to suit anyone’s needs and preferences.

So is it really t hat cool to have this widget? Why should anyone be excited? First, I am assuming that you are into Twitter and Facebook as much as the next person. These days, I do not think I know anyone who is not very much involved in these two social networking sites. Different people may have different reasons for being hooked on Twitter and Facebook but the fact remains that there are so many users worldwide.

Now just imagine watching a TV show on FiOS. You will definitely be enjoying yourself if it’s your favorite show, but with the new widget, you can even find out what other people think about the same show! I can already imagine sports fans dishing out their opinions on the current game, play by play. Now you can see the huge potential of this widget!

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When Twitter And Gaming Collide

Written by on May 9, 2009 under Games, News, Twitter, Widgets

One of the main goals of widgets is to make various platforms accessible to users. Widgets bring together these platforms, making it much easier to share information with other people. And this is exactly what PlayXpert had in mind when they came up with the idea of the PlayXpert Twitter Widget.

CNET reports:

Combining two of the most addictive things about the online universe—Twitter and World of Warcraft—seems like a good way to bring productivity in the Western world to a screeching halt.

If that happens, you can blame PlayXpert, a maker of various in-game widgets for PC gamers. The company today announced the PlayXpert Twitter Widget, adding Twitter functionality to the existing PlayXpert software, which works with WoW and other online PC games.

In-game widget engines such as PlayXpert (which bills itself as an “in-game operating system”) run alongside PC games, offering voice chat, Web browsing, and other tools for players, without the need to quit or ATL+TAB out of the game to launch another app (popular examples include Xfire and Steam).

“A screeching halt” is but an understatement, I think. Having personal experience with both Twitter and World of Warcraft, I am pretty sure that a large number of people will get hooked even more. And you know what the best thing about this new widget is? You can download it for free – along with other widgets – at PlayXpert’s web site.

I can now see critics (of spending too much time playing games) shaking their heads right now.

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Government Turns To Widgets

Written by on March 14, 2009 under News, Twitter, Widgets

Ethernet Cable and Binary Digits
These days, it’s not simply all about attracting people to visit your web site. The idea is to get the information out, to disseminate the information in as easy a way as possible. And that is why widgets have become so popular.

Indeed, their usefulness is highlighted not only by the countless widgets that we use for sports and other pursuits of leisure. In fact, even the United States government has turned to widgets to disseminate information. Take the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for example. They have created a widget that automatically publishes important information regarding critical cases.

It’s not only the CDC that is making use of widgets. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office makes use of Twitter, which has its own widgets that can be placed in web sites.

Mitch Wagner of Information Week recently wrote a feature on this “movement” in the government:

One of the ways that social media changes the Web is that social media require you take your message to the people. The game is no longer about attracting people to your Web site—it’s about bringing your content to Twitter and other people’s Web sites. That’s a lesson that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) put into practice in the recent recall of tainted peanut-butter, and that the Ohio Attorney General is using for home foreclosure information.

I am sure that widget developers are aware of this and that they are scrambling to get the deals to develop widgets for government agencies. On our part, we have more widgets to make use of!

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