Social Media for Social Good: Donate for Philippines Flood August 2012 Victims

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Philippines Flood August 2012

The last few days in the Philippines is a test for Filipino spirit. Thanks to social media, it has never been easier to seek help and rescue in times of crisis using crowd-sourcing.  In fact, hashtags helped rescue and relief efforts in many ways. Technology also helped in bringing more awareness of flood risks. Websites like NOAH and nababaha.com helped in preparation and crisis management while Google People Finder helped in getting crowd-sourced emergency information.

About 90% of Metro Manila was flooded and nearby provinces suffered the same fate due to prolonged torrential rains enhanced by south-west monsoon, displacing many people in low lying areas and left many people homeless.

It\’s never too late to donate

For international donations for Philippines Flood victims, you can\’t go wrong in donating to Philippine Red Cross. There is a PayPal donate link in the donation page and other methods of donation as well.

For in-kind donation please follow their instruction in shipping goods:

  1. Send a letter of intent to donate to the PRC.
  2. A letter of acceptance from PRC shall be sent back to the donor.
  3. Immediately after shipping the goods, please send the (a) original Deed of Donation, (b) copy of packing list and (c) original Airway Bill for air shipments or Bill of Lading for sea shipments to Philippine Red Cross – National Headquarters c/o Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang, Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila 1018, Philippines.

If you are in the Philippines you may want to bring your donations in any of these relief/donation areas.


View 2012 August – Donation Center Map in a larger map

I struggled to look for an infographic to include in this post but I finally found the best one. See below. I also featured the links from the infographics and made them clickable:

http://x.co/phflood1 – Philippine Red Cross

http://x.co/phflood2 – LBC Foundation

http://x.co/phflood4 – Google Crisis Map: Philippine Flood August 2012

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Twitter Bird Logo Remixed

I shared a post last week about Twitter\’s new logo guidelines and it was hilarious. Credit goes to Dino for compiling that meme-like Twitter bird logo/branding backlash.

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I know more than a handful about branding and I do understand why Twitter has to put the guidelines but I thought that these guidelines would apply only to media partners and to anyone else who uses Twitter logo to market Twitter services.

Normal users would not really care much about the logo but the brand resources is very clear about it — you can\’t change the new Twitter logo in any shape or form. What if you like the old Twitter bird, Larry? Will Twitter sue you if you still use it? What if you like to spell out the words Twitter using that bubbly font we used to know. I\’m not sure what Twitter will do if you slightly tamper their brand. This is an irony for a service used by so many people to voice out freedom of speech.

New Twitter Bird Logo = Meme Friendly

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We all know how ubiquitous Twitter has become so their IP lawyers are just pro-actively protecting the brand. However, imposing a brand guidelines to the public looks quite ridiculous. To be fair with Twitter, anyone can write a blog now so media kits should be available for everyone. I just don\’t think sane people will do some of the examples cited by Twitter. But who knows? Some people might be crazy enough to give this new Twitter bird logo a leg or some random accessory. How about an extra wing or an eye?

Those who were bemused with the guidelines have created meme-like Twitter logo modifications like the Sonic the Hedgehog and Batman in the shape of Twitter new logo.

Creativity Sets You Free

Yesterday I found these  awesome Twitter logos (drawn as avatars) from Flickr.

The artist has made these avatars since 2009 and with the new Twitter logo just released last week, he already added several new ones in the gallery. It is a genius idea.

I have included 5 new ones here including Robin (above), Krusty, Marilyn Monroe, Totoro (Studio Ghibli mascot) and Woody Woodpecker.

There are about 70 of them in the Flickr gallery but most are patterned with the old Twitter logo.

Now Twitter, how do you like your new Twitter bird logo remixed?

HT: Messing with Twitter Logo | Subtraction

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Building Relationships On Twitter Using Commun.it

Commun.it

I have blogged about Commun.it before when it was still in beta. At first I don\’t really know how different it is with other contact management tools for Twitter but the more I use it the more it becomes clearer to me that Commun.it is unique.

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Building relationships in Twitter is not a walk in the park. You will meet spam bots, scammers, flooders, trolls and all sorts of shenanigans so you should know how to focus your effort to potential partners and allies that will help grow your business or social media influence.

Enter Commun.it — the name doesn\’t roll off your tongue but as long as you remember community, you can remember and say it easily. Commun.it is all about community.

Community Management

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In Commun.it you can see who are your high-value community members and you can prioritize them easily. The first and the default landing page when you login is Recent & Prioritized which shows the latest engagement or discovery that you should act upon. The left column of the dashboard shows how many engaged you since the last time you checked them.

Depending on the kind of engagement you do on Twitter, Commun.it will determine if the people you interact with are supporters and influencers. What you really to do here is support your supporters to give back to them, like mentioning them or RT-ing their tweets, and influence your influencers; your goal is probably to get noticed by influencers so that they start mentioning your tweets as well and get more eyes on your content.

Actionable Insights

One of my feedback to Commun.it before is that there was no \”system helper\” or recommendations on what I need to do to make more engagement in my community.

With the latest version you can already track any unreplied engagements from high-value members.

You can easily check the latest status of your community member and what was the your latest engagement with them. Commun.it also records the total number of engagements and mentions for all your community members which is very helpful in improving relationship with your followers.

Using advanced feature like engagement report, you can easily find who are the good people re-tweeting your tweets using proprietary rating system or follower count — and when you feel generous, perhaps you can mention them on the next #FollowFriday.

You can easily build meaningful and high-value relationship by giving personable messages to anyone who  mention or RT your tweets.

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Lead Discovery

Almost all Twitter tools I know have search functionality but it only relies on keywords and hashtags.

What I like in Commum.it is that you can also track websites, even specific pages that is directly related to you or your business.

With this tool, you won\’t miss any person who tweets your blog posts or your website even if he or she does not @mention you.

You can also use this to spy who are tweeting your competitor\’s website so that you can poach those customers but you should be focusing more on how to improve your own product, service and more importantly – your relationship with your current customers.

Getting Better and More Features

During beta, Commun.it is a bit on the slow side but the recent upgrades made the site very snappy. The advanced features works quicker than ever and the options to include more than 1 profile is really awesome.

I want to use Commun.it in the future for a popularity contest campaign – this is because Commun.it can smartly detect duplicates or repeated tweets so it can determine who has the widest reach without skewing the real numbers by gaming Twitter.

What I am interested now is the possibility of Commun.it expanding beyond Twitter. I\’m sure it can easily scale up to Facebook, Pinterest or any other social networks using the same features they employed on Twitter.

To sum it up, I see Commun.it as one of the most important Twitter tool that you should use when you are serious about building relationships with your community.

How about you? What do you think of Commun.it?

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Google Plus Redesign Introduced New UI, More Whitespace

Google Plus  Redesign

Among Facebook, Twitter and Google+ I am still most active in Twitter but I want to be more active in all these social media and I am happy with Google Plus redesign because I know Google+ is getting stale. Having this redesign will keep the platform fresh and give way for more interaction among users.

I think it\’s a great time to be a Google+ user because the new design introduced a revamped navigation and more customization. If you wonder what Google calls it, they call it \”dynamic ribbon\”. Now the major navigation is at the left side and you can drag icons and reorder them as you wish. You can filter your streams at the top. By default it shows all, as in everyone or everything that you have circled, but you can choose friends, family or any custom circles that you created.

The top banner now features what looks like a copy of Facebook timeline cover but you can still choose whether you want a big 960 x 185 banner or 5 little photos. The profile picture now looks even bigger when you look at the profile pages.

The new chat list at the right side looks like Facebook chat without the ticker and I actually like it better than what is on Facebook.

I think more and more social networks will move in optimizing photo sharing. Looking at how Facebook just acquired Instagram and the increasing popularity of social networks with focus on images like Tumblr and Pinterest, I am not surprised that Google+ is stepping in this direction as well.

MOAR White Space

Well, everything looks nice like except one thing– white space. There is so much white space in the new design and it is a trending topic in Google+ at the moment. If you are using  a small screen like a netbook or Macbook air, you will not see the big white space. However, if you are using bigger screen with 1080p resolution you will see something like the picture below.

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Notice that I was able to fit 3 chat windows there without blocking any content? I am sure Google will use this white space — maybe on ads or more interactive content. You can search for #usesforwhite space to look for the parodies that users came up with.

Personally, I don\’t mind the changes Google introduced. I think this version of Google+ is better than the previous one. How about you, what do you think?

Watch the video about the new Google+ below.

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Pinterest Profile Pages Redesigned – Is it Better?

Pinterest revamped the user profile pages with a new design. The change was already anticipated as Pinterest CEO spoke at SXSW about the planned release of the redesigned profile pages.

The goal is to make Pinterest profile pages look different from the profiles people got used to in Facebook and other social networks as well as to make the new profile pages easier for users to discover the people their connections are repinning from.

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What you can notice immediately when you look at the new Pinterest profile pages is that the boards are now highlighting the most recent pinned picture and below it are 4 recently shared pictures. In total there are only 5 pictures — 1 big and 4 small ones, instead of the 9 equally sized thumbnails.

The Pins and Activity tabs are almost identical so I don\’t know  what\’s the difference. Is the Activity tab supposed to replace the activity streams that includes the information on who repinned your pins, followed you or liked your pins? Those information are not showing on my Activity tab so I am confused. In the old design the list of activities are also listed in your profile at the right side but now it can only be seen on \”Pinners you follow\”.

The header is detached with the rest of the content with the profile picture, bio description, social networks links and location. Right beside it is the list of top 3 people you repin from. I think they can design a better header. It looks out-of-place and isolated right on top. IMHO, it doesn\’t blend well.

Maybe more changes are coming out as Pinterest team test out the best layout in the coming weeks or months. For now, it may take some time before I get used to the new profile pages but I have nothing against it except the Activity streams being hidden on your profile.

Let me know what you think about the new Pinterest profile pages layout and give me a shout out in Twitter. Follow me in Pinterest too!

 

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Bottlenose Lets You Browse the Social Web Visually

I have covered Bottlenose before and this time I\’ll talk about the latest beta, version 2.

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New Layout

Bottlenose beta 2 features a new 3 pane layout. The sonar is at the right side of the stream instead of the middle and it\’s always visible with the single column mode.

The left pane always show the folders, assistants, topics, people and searches that are tracking.

The multi-column view is also changed for better viewing.

Bottlenose Improvements

You can send out message directly from Bottlenose and they are shorten by Bottlenose using bo.tt short URL domain. I\’m not sure if people will interpret it as bot but it is not a bot. It\’s like Twitlonger service — a short version goes to Twitter but the longer message is hosted in Bottlenose.

Now you can also post a message to Twitter, Facebook and even email.

Photos, videos as well as article previews are now embedded. It adds more context on what you are tracking and it is now more visual.

Search seems to be much better now too. With the aid of sonar you can easily navigate your way through different topics and conversations and see the profiles of people.

The Profile tab next to Sonar shows the basic Twitter profile showing the number of tweets, followers and following using TwitterCounter. It also shows the influence of the profile using Klout score.

A smarter way to surf the stream

Using Sonar you can analyze the person and brand you are following. You can even use Sonar to analyze the news, conversations and trends in Twitter.

It\’s easy to get lost in social media conversation especially when you don\’t know where to start. Bottlenose helps you find the source and related information using Sonar.

For example, in the screenshot I used above, I don\’t really know why JK Rowling is trending. So I searched her name and I came up with helpful tags like #newjkrowling #RowlingReturns and non-Potter. Clicking these topics and hash tags reveal that JK Rowling will have a new novel for adults that is not related to Harry Potter.

You can also use it to analyze your profile or someone else\’s profile.

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If you click on my profile, you\’ll find out that majority of my topics cover Google, Android, Apple, iPhone, iPad, Social Media, Pinterest, #privacy, Twitter, Facebook, Windows 8 and more.

Sonar can also shows you topics you\’ve been missing and surfaces the messages that matters most.

Let me know your opinion on Bottlenose below the comment section.

 

 

 

 

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PostRank Analytics and Widget – Goodbye Farewell

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I only knew this recently and I was upset the first time I learned it. If you follow the news about Google acquisitions, you might already know that PostRank is now part of Google. Their popular services are PostRank Analytics and Top Post Widget which also comes as a plugin for WordPress and other blogging platforms.

The talented team of PostRank is now doing projects mandated by Google and because of that, PostRank API access and top post widgets is going to disappear after April 1, 2012.

Denial.. then Acceptance

It seems like a bad April Fools\’ joke to me — and I hope it is really just a joke.

However, keeping my denial aside, it seems real because the Chrome extension is not available anymore from Chrome web store. Since January 12, Google Reader extension and the Top Posts widget is no longer available. I wish there is a way to get a win-win situation out of it but it seems Google is the only one winning and the rest of the community using PostRank are all losing.

Google Empire

PostRank is just one of those social analytics company that started a very good service and became part of my workflow. I find it very useful in filtering noise in social media. In my opinion, by discontinuing what PostRank offered to the public and by removing support on what PostRank has given to the community, Google is doing a disservice to a lot of people.

I\’m not sure if PostRank solely existed to get acquired. The so-called \”exit strategy\” by being taken by a bigger company usually results to unexpected results such as this. Now, it seems that Google is using all the data PostRank have gathered over time for their own advantage only. Everything that made the service great is now gone. I feel betrayed somehow.

There are many times that you would really doubt if Google\’s mantra \”Do No Evil\” is true…

I\’m just sad. Really sad.

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