The Dalai Lama Joined Twitter… Wait. What?

So he did it, like really. Check out @DalaiLama. And he even received a welcome from Twitter VP Sean Garret.

It was influenced in part by a hoax that happened last year. @OHHDL, The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The incident was one that actually influenced Twitter to create verified accounts. Check out who @verified is following for a list of verified accounts.

Conon O’Brien also joined the twitter scene on Wednesday. And Bill Gates joined back in January...

It seems like the big voices are starting to realize Twitter has an audience that’s willing to pay attention. And I think it's a bigger step for contemporary leaders to make, opposed to celebrities. If religious leaders, especially, can begin to utilize social media they ultimately will be reaching a whole new audience. A younger audience that could be more receptive to these ideas when posed in a realm they feel comfortable with. One that is modern and new.

Twitter just passed Myspace in daily status updates, 30 million for Myspace vs. Twitter's 55 million. Twitter continues to grow! I wonder who else is going to join the conversation...

Is Podcasting Social Media?

And what exactly is social media? …

From what I understand social media is like a framework in which infinite conversations continuously evolve. Conversations between consumers and marketers, between teachers and students, fellow peers and followers. It’s person to person. It’s a two way street, where both sides share in the discussion. A continuous exchange of ideas.

That doesn’t really sound like a podcast.

Podcasting isn’t social media. But it does have the potential to be social and the potential to start a conversation. A huge concept behind podcasting is mobility, but a listener on the go isn’t likely to carry that excitement home to immediately comment on a website. So if a listener could leave a voice comment maybe then it would truly be social.

But maybe the majority of listeners are at home at their computer. Then it's not about when they can listen, but what they're listening too. Generally podcasts are integrated with social media aspects though. The series could be paired with a blog post, or the author could have a twitter or website. The fact is, it takes less time to read than it does listen.

Podcasts can be important to social media strategy among companies, and social media can expose and be a pr tool for podcasts. Podcasts can be social because of the sharing aspect, and in that sense social media and podcasts are really both tools that can attribute to the same outcome.


New Kids on the Web

In Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba's Citizen Marketers they state that "content creators online tend to be young, and they're getting younger."

Today social media and the world wide web are so connected it is normal and almost natural for an internet user to eventually add something to the webscape. Nearly everything is accessible when you sit down at a computer, add in cellphones (ownership of cellphones among 4-14 year-olds has shot up 50% since 2005), and you can have middle schoolers updating their Twitter and Xanga accounts over lunch.

One new kid on the web, that of whom I'm a fan, is Tavi. Tavi Gevinson started her blog "Style Rookie" in March of 2008, when she was 11. She also works for British magazine Pop where she writes another mostly photo blog, and has been featured on the cover. She's a superstar in Japan, and a "dork" as she claims on her blog. Check her out at fashion week here! Also... she's the inspiration for the new Rodarte line at Target.

Pretty cool for 13. I think.

Google's Buzz Going to Far?

A couple weeks ago Google released their new social networking platform Buzz. Buzz initially required no set up, and at the time was connected with the a users Gmail account. The first step was to create a circle of friends using your most recently emailed contacts... and to opt out of this, and several other elements you had to individually turn each one off. It was like Google thought,"Let's just throw everyone out there and see what happens." 

There's something concerning about Google playing with address book contacts. Google already has numerous features that a user has access to once you create a Gmail account. But the vast majority just want the inbox and the outbox and the good ol' stuff, what we're getting now is a whole new world. There's been a quite an uproar over the platform, which provides very open social messaging features. Buzz allows users to upload full resolution photos and inline videos, as well as connect easily to Picasa, Flickr, and Twitter. 

Last Wednesday laws firms in San Francisco and Washington D.C. filed a class action lawsuit against Google on behalf of a 24 year-old Harvard Law School student Eva Hibnick. Besides probably several million dollars they're also asking Google make a commitment to not do this again during future product launches. I think Google definitely crossed the line. There's a line between personal and social and I'm so surprised and almost hurt they forgot that.

While Google has apologized and added an opt-out feature there's a bleak cloud hovering over Buzz right now. What's going to happen with the fledgling service? Do we need to create more regulated ways of controlling our privacy? The World Wide Web is an ever changing legal field and privacy has always been an issue. Google knows they did something wrong, but look how much information they have about each individual user... Someone has to protect that information if they're going to forget to.


Fanatic or Foe?

It bothers me when my friends and family discount social media for something less than a brilliant marketing tool bringing global masses together. I’ve had several late night debates over the benefits and failures of Twitter, my own self dramatically involved in the future potential this one website holds for millions of individuals and hundreds of corporations.

Reading Ben McConnel and Jackie Huba’s Citizen Marketers (When People Are the Message) is going to give me one more tool to help bridge the gap and usher my peers into the social tech of the next decade.

Here are a few of the citizen marketers McConnel and Huba mentioned:
Hacking Netflix, Ilounge, The Barqs Man, and Vincent Ferrari

I definitely consider myself a fanatic when it concerns certain hobbies and leisure activities. Mostly Harry Potter and TV. I will forever be obsessed with the wizarding world imagined by J.K. Rowling, the mystical yet demonic Sunnydale of Joss Whedon’s Buffy, the special world of Peter Petrelli and The Invincible Girl set in Tim Kring’s Heroes, and currently the Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica airing next Friday on the newly rebranded SyFy.

I am a fanatic about TV in my daily life; surely I could harbor this personal oddity for greatness?

The series Caprica is just beginning, and I see such potential in this beautifully original new show. I spent a couple hours of my Saturday afternoon reading up on Battlestar Gallactica, a show I’ve never seen before but follows the same timeline as Caprica, only to slightly understand the world of The Twelve Colonies better. But I want to be a part of the discussion because Caprica is posing great questions about religion and the philosophy of science.

So whether I’ll be a filter, a fanatic, a facilitator, or firecracker… I hope to find a voice among the masses.


The New Playground

A hundred years ago buildings and rooms were keeping people in, and not just physically, but psychologically and emotionally as well. Today the significance of the physical realities in our world are lessening. Today we think different.  The teenage version of my grandmother would be baffled by such alien terms as texting, blog, and website.
Information travels across the world now, through walls, and through pockets. You can be anywhere and have a meaningful experience, even alone in front of your computer. You can find out what your best friend did Friday night, or where Ashton Kutcher went for lunch on Tuesday. You can order dinner online and blog about it during breakfast telling your mom to do the same.
The environment within which all of us are allowed to play has changed. Every person is represented virtually on the internet. You’re identity transformed into something intangible yet very real. And social media supports the building blocks of that virtual existence. Who you are, what you like, how you spend your time, what you find funny, what you don’t support, what you love, what middle school you went to, where your parents grew up, where your grandma died, what you did on the fourth of July two years ago, and where you had your last birthday party… It’s all online now. (AND SO MUCH MORE) Probably. For me some of it’s in my profile on Facebook, a bulletin on MySpace, a re-tweet on Twitter, a blog on Live Journal, a Google search on my dad, or a website my thirteen year-old self made.  
I’m a little bit there, aren’t I? In all those places?
It’s not exactly me, but it sort of is.
[I’ve been watching Caprica, a new science fiction series, in it a girl is able to replicate herself virtually and later that virtual self is transferred to the real world. It’s weird and oh so interesting.]