In a rare display of online unity many of the world’s largest social media companies announced today an agreement to phase out any use of the #shit hashtag across their websites. A rainbow coalition spearheaded and co-chaired by Twitter and Facebook have set June 1, 2015 as the last day the #shit hashtag would be searchable or clickable within user’s posts. A complete ban on the hashtag is scheduled for late 2016.
“We’re sick of it and so are many of our users” said Twitter’s media spokesperson Randy Steinwig. “Certain elements of the community are using #shit as if it were a clever or fun hashtag – like #funnythingsoverheardatwork for example – but it’s really neither of those things. If people want to go potty-mouth with their friends maybe they should head over to Tumblr”.
When asked about other offensive hashtags in common usage across social media, Steinwig replied “We’re not aware of anything more offensive than the #shit hashtag at the moment, but we’re always on the lookout for anything unsavoury which might start gaining widespread adoption – we’d obviously look to aggressively stamp these out too.”
The Channel 9 network in Australia has unveiled a new 1-hour weekly game show called Who Wants Likes!? The show is modelled on the popular Japanese variety program Gaki no Tsukai where contestants are humiliated and inflicted with pain as part of a series of endurance challenges. Who Wants Likes!? contestants are all small businesses-owners who are competing for Facebook ‘likes’ on their brand pages in a bid to boost their social media presence. Each contestant must last through timed milestones to win increasing numbers of Facebook fans. The winning contestant for each challenge wins an extra 5000 fans and is given $10,000 in Facebook credits to pay for boosted posts.
The show has already come under attack from groups who have labelled the challenges as “denigrating” and “disturbing.” One endurance challenge involves contestants being stripped to their underwear, tied to the floor and smeared with honey from head to foot. 100 bull-ants are then placed onto the body of each person while the host taunts contestants with criticisms about how poor their understanding of social media for business really is. Crazy enough to be dangerous? It could be. Spare a thought for a contestant in a similar game show challenge in Japan in 1994 who was hospitalised for a week after receiving repeated electric eel bites to his nose and ears.
Channel 9 is not shying away from the controversy and has backed its head of programming, Charles Musgrave. “The new format, Who Wants Likes!? is intended as a bit of fun.” according to a statement released by the network over the weekend. “Yes, we’re tapping into the obsession of business-owners to be ‘liked’ by all and sundry on Facebook, but it’s up to each of [the contestants] as to how far they’re prepared to go. Social media is a painful thing for most business-owners anyway – we’re hardly introducing anything new here.”
“This time and they’re racing at the 5000 metres Social Media Market Domination Handicap. First out of the gate is MySpace and she’s pulling away quickly. It’s a fresh track and she’s making the most of it. YouTube off to a slow start with buffering issues. Then it’s blogging, LinkedIn and Twitter in a tight bunch, followed by Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and Snapchat in last position. MySpace now four lengths in front, but Facebook could boost at any moment as we’ve seen her do so many times before. YouTube and LinkedIn both on the pace. But wait… it looks like MySpace is changing jockeys – yes, it’s a News Corp executive now in the saddle – a risky in-race maneuverer, let’s hope they know what they’re doing. But oh no, she’s stumbled badly – she’s out! What a pity for the new owners.
“As they approach the 3000 mark it’s Facebook now firmly in the lead. Blogging moves up on the inside rail – what a great performer he is over longer distances. With a 1000 to go it’s Facebook half a length in front of blogging, followed closely by YouTube in third. Google+ now coming up strong on the outside – just look at him go! Google+ is closing on Facebook – four lengths, three lengths… oh no, he’s thrown his jockey! What a bitter disappointment for the Page/ Brin syndicate who have tried so hard to make their presence felt on this track – they’ll be left searching. YouTube now gaining ground – he could be the one to watch. Instagram makes a break looking like a billion dollars. But it’s still Facebook leading the field, followed by blogging, YouTube and LinkedIn, Twitter fifth then Instagram and Pinterest, and Snapchat closing up the rear.
“Into the final straight and Facebook’s the one to beat – she’s looking mobile, showing true responsiveness. Now with 140 meters to go Twitter throws it on, but has she left enough room? Instagram still looking for a way through. Now it’s Snapchat coming on – wait, yes, he’s done a face-swap with LinkedIn – have you ever seen anything like it folks? Screen-grab that one while you can! Twitter left with no room to fly as Pinterest has her pinned against the inside rail. It’s Facebook in front by a length followed by Instagram neck-in-neck with Pinterest. But it’s Facebook! it’s still Facebook! Yes it is! Yes it is! Yes – Facebook takes it all the way home! Instagram and Pinterest in a too-close-to-call photo-finish for second and third places.
“Congratulations to Facebook and her Wall St owners. A beautiful 12-year old mare by Zuckerberg out of Harvard. And thanks to the tireless support of the fans, investors and advertisers, without whom this race would not have been possible.”
100% crazy, 100% fun and 100% certified true!
Since 1997 there have been 28 recorded incidents of websites spontaneously combusting! Totally unexplained!
North Korea is close to launching its own private internet which will be powered entirely from potatoes! Whacky!
Google spelt backwards is ‘Elgoog’. Creepy, but true!
At the sub-atomic level a social media post can be on someone’s newsfeed and not on anyone’s newsfeed simultaneously! Quantum spookiness!
NASA research reveals that cat memes are remarkably persistent, even in zero-gravity environments! Watch out Mr. Astronaut!
The world’s smallest website weighs only 4.6 grams! Unbelievable!
The word Instagram originates from the German ‘instag gramute’ meaning goose fat. Weird huh!?
In the early days of social media people commonly believed that posting a selfie would take their soul away! LOL!
Most people don’t know that old Facebook posts can be stuffed into shoes to keep your feet warm in winter! Try it out!
Hashtags originally contained small amounts of hashish, hence the name! Don’t tell your parents! 🙂
5000 average-sized social media posts draw about the same amount of energy as does a single-bar eclectic heater. That’s a LOT of joules!
QR codes are still commonly traded in some African nations despite a 2009 international ban on their use. Not cool kids!
Lab rats repeatedly exposed to Richard Branson quotes will stop eating and eventually die. That’s toxic!
The word ‘hyperlink’ is actually two separate words put together: ‘hyper’ and ‘link’. Who would have guessed!?
With some basic at-home tinkering Google Analytics can also be used as a two-way radio. Chat long-distance with your friends!
Even today no-one knows how GIF’s actually work. Modern mystery!
Scientists believe they have isolated and can suppress the over-sharing gene in humans. Social media breakthrough!
Status updates from the Bard…
“Now is the algorithm of our discontent.”
– Richard III
“The course of launching a website never did run smooth.”
– A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you fill our newsfeeds with self-serving promotional content shall we not disengage?”
– Merchant of Venice
“To boost, or not to boost, that is the question.”
“If content be the food of social media, publish on.”
– Twelfth Night
“Brevity is the soul of Twitter.”
“Love all, trust a few, have a social media policy.”
– All’s Well That Ends Well
“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have no social media assisted conversion insights!”
– King Lear
“When online detractors come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.”
“False Facebook must hide what the false heart doth know.”
“Wisely, and slow. They stumble that post fast.”
– Romeo and Juliet
“So foul and fair a heavily filtered Instagram post I have not seen.”
“Give every major social media platform thy ear, but few thy voice.”
“What’s posted can’t be unposted.”
“Out, damned stock image! out, I say!”
“Video, video – wherefore art thou video channel?”
– Romeo and Juliet
“All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little website.”
“Facebook fans sought is good, but given unsought, is better.”
– Twelfth Night
“The complaining fan seeking something free doth protest too much, methinks.”
– Twelfth Night
“There’s many a brand has more fans than wit.”
– Comedy of Errors
“Give thy personal thoughts no brand tongue online.”
“Your endless sales posts are as tedious as twice-told tale, vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.”
– King John
“Brands do not care that do not demonstrate their care online.”
– The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Hopefully the hard slog of the past few months feels well and truly behind you now. There is a New Moon eclipse this month and it is urging you to stop worrying about accumulating more followers and fans, and to start engaging more with existing ones. Also, your sensitive nature is likely to pick up on algorithmic changes on one of more of your social media accounts which may detrimentally affect your organic audience reach. You’ll find that you can incorporate some of this new knowledge in a way that gives you a greater advantage.
Note that with eclipses, problems start if we cling on to social media platforms which are not working and pretend everything is ok when it’s not. Release what needs to be released before the Universe releases it for you. Get the picture? As this New Moon eclipse is in the deepest part of your chart it also makes it the ideal month to experiment with other social media platforms which may reveal your brand’s hidden depths. Try looking for inspiration in the Houses of Pinterest or Instagram.
Although you do have all the cosmic support you need to enjoy your social media manager duties this month you must force yourself to work through your fears of analytics and data interpretation to get to the ‘really good stuff’.
Your transient ruler, the rambunctious Mars with a take-no-prisoners manner, will zig-zag through your social media channels. Mars forms a trine to the Lunar Eclipse – this is almost always an emotional time. You may forget a login password or send out a post with a broken hyperlink, so try to stay strong! But Mars also rewards the curious and adventurous – time to shake off your propensity to play it safe and produce everything in-house the way it’s always been done. Try outsourcing a few $5 gigs to an overseas freelancer on Fiverr.com and add some exotic spice to your next posts!
As Pluto remains in the Tenth House it is a rare chance to change the way you think. “What’s the good of that?” you might ask. Well, according to ancient wisdom and New Age theory, we create our reality with our thoughts. If you have got into the habit of thinking negatively about your social media presence, it’s time to retrain your brain. Monitor your thoughts and swerve them towards positivity. You could achieve some amazing business-level outcomes.
This is a wonderful month to expand your mind and you have full cosmic support – the Universe knows you are ripe for change. If you need to, undertake a NET:101 social media course to help make some sense of your longer-term strategic goals. The more realistic you can be, the better.
As the end of the month approaches, you should feel like you finally have achieved the KPI’s that you so deeply desire and this happiness adds a new dimension to your online persona. You better understand the rules, your superiors are more aware of your particular talents, and you are concentrating on playing the game of social media more skillfully.
Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has unveiled a low interest lending facility called Facebook Universal (FU). The new service is aimed at small to medium sized organisations who require a fast line of credit to fund their sponsored posts. The practice of paying to increase the reach of individual posts, known as ‘boosting’ is now widely considered to be the only way that page owners can effectively reach their fans anymore.
Time Magazine was the first to break the story in an interview with Facebook’s Head of Revenue Streams, Franky Holsworth. In the interview Holsworth candidly admitted what many social media managers have feared for some while: “In the coming days brand-page owners will see the complete and total suppression of their organic [unpaid] page posts onto anyone’s personal newsfeed. Of course no business will ever be forced to pay a dime to have a page, but those who don’t make the investment will fall into what Mark jokingly calls the ‘obscurity vortex’. But we’re determined not to let a lack of an allocated budget for boosted posts to be an obstacle for any organisation wanting to build an engaged fan base – we’ll just lend you the money at a great interest rate. It’s as simple as that.
“Full page monetisation really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. We’ve been gradually throttling organic reach for some time now. And all along we’ve clearly stated our intention to do this within our Terms of Service – the same ones everybody agreed to when they first opened their account. Of course anyone is free to transition their community across to another social network if they don’t like how Facebook is running – I hear there are some interesting networks popping up in China and Russia that might be worth checking out.”
When asked about the risk Facebook would be taking on by suppling unsecured credit to total strangers from around the world, Holsworth’s response was obtuse: “Let me frame it this way: we know a heck of a lot about you, your family, where you live, even the names of your pets – I don’t think it would be in anyone’s interest to fall behind on a loan repayment. That’s not a threat, just a fact… we’re on your side after all.”
The Australian Department of Education and Early Childhood have released a report for public discussion entitled Emoji – the New Language of Life. The key recommendation is for the social and business applications of emoji to be taught as formal topics in Australian schools through to year 12. Emoji are ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages and across many social media sites. They first gained popularity amongst Japanese schoolgirls during the late 1990’s as a counter-culture derivative hip-hop underground street-movement form of expression. The loose Japanese translation of emoji is ‘ears of puppy-dog’.
Dr. Jim Marin, Chair the Department of Education’s Committee on Emerging Things, is a vocal supporter of bringing emoji into the classroom, “They are the franca lingua of all electronic mediums. Australian children must not only learn the emoji building blocks of facial expressions, common objects, places, types of weather, flags and animals – but they must master the subtleties of the idiom. In Sweden for example there are 7 distinct emoji which express different qualities of snow. In Australia many children would struggle to use even the standard emoji snowflake in its correct context. If Australia as a nation wants to compete internationally we must teach our people 21st century skills and competencies – we should be investing heavily in all five STEME disciplines: science, technology, engineering, math and emoji.
“And we need to start early. By the time most Scandinavian children enter school they are already conversant with over 250 different emoji, including animated variants. Is it any surprise that Ikea now provide alternate assembly instructions for their products fully in emoji, and many people find them easier to follow?”
But the Department of Education’s report is not without its critics. Professor Peter Standage, Head of Linguistics at the University of Melbourne is damning in his appraisal of emoji, “They dumb down our collective emotional repertoire and hamper meaningful communication at all levels of society. Whenever I see an emoji within an email or text I despair… are we losing the fine art of nuanced communication? There are also Orwellian overtones – how can we possibly engage in open political debate concerning the important issues of the day if the voice of the people has been reduced to a yellow facial expression? I don’t support the use of emoji in any context whatsoever – they give me a sad face… a big old-fashioned one.”
Our client is about to kick their social online digital media presence into the stratosphere! The challenge: get them there with limited resources, a minuscule budget and virtually no internal support. Don’t worry, because If you’re the type of self-starter we’re looking for you’ll smash your KPI’s standing on one leg!
Of course it’s essential you be a social media rock-star with 10+ years experience and a proven track-record when it comes to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Vine, Google+, Pinterest, blogging, Snapchat and Webo. And your quick mastery of every hot, new online thing is an absolute given. With drive and sheer-guts determination you’ll generate more followers, more fans and more likes on every social media channel than all of our client’s competitors put together. That’s what social media gurus do!
You have an online street-hip thing happening already – and just as well because you’ll frequently be required to communicate with external stakeholders using the very latest hashtags and emoji! O; Luckily your hipster online persona is backed up with a high-voltage brain, as you’ll be capturing and analysing swaths of BIG DATA as part of your everyday decision-making. Yes, you’re also a triple black-belt ninja when it comes to analytics!
Naturally you also can cut computer </code> in several languages. Bob the Builder won’t have anything on you by the time you’re finished building and launching new websites for each of the 18 brands our client owns. Plus, you’ll get to show off your talents as a wordsmith – the content for each new site will need to be written from scratch!
Oh, and did we mention search engine optimisation? Not a problem for you, right! Using your own secret magic SEO sauce, you’ll propel our client to the top of Google for the top 500 keywords in their space within weeks. What algorithm you say – boom!
Once you’ve trimmed my client’s sails and have them sailing on smooth digital waters you’ll get the chance to relax with the set-up of an international online affiliate sales program. Bonus fun!
Interested? Up for the challenge? We’d love to hear from you!
Total Remuneration Package: up to $60K for the right candidate.