We heard many of you screaming about the Giants on the streets and in bars last night — but only 500 of you lucky fans will get to celebrate tomorrow afternoon at City Hall. For the rest of you, though, there’s a parade!
Late last night, the mayor’s office announced plans for football festivities, which include a ticker-tape parade starting at Battery Place and Washington Street at 11 a.m. tomorrow. It will continue up the Canyon of Heroes (or, y’know, Broadway, as most of us like to call it), and end at Worth Street. At 1 p.m. at City Hall Plaza, the mayor — who loves the Giants — will present the team with “Keys to the City.”
The city is conducting a public giveaway right now — and is using the win as a chance to boost its social media presence! Follow them on Twitter, guys!
From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. this morning, the city is conducting a public giveaway for 250 winners (500 tickets) to the City Hall ceremony — which is already being prepped. You can go to nyc.gov to try to get your ticket or access the entry form through Twitter.
It ends promptly at 11 a.m., so hurry! You must be a tri-state area resident (sigh of relief, New Jersey), and you must be 18 or older. If you’re adverse to the internet, you can call 311 and select the Ticket Giveaway menu option. Or, as the city’s press release reminds usyou can become a follower of the mayor’s office twitter page. (To support the twitter cause, we’ve already linked to it three times!)
Or, dear readers, you can just click here.
“Big Blue gave us a game to remember, and on Tuesday we’re going to give them a parade to remember,” Bloomberg said in the release.
If you don’t get a ticket, fear not — the city will set up three larger screens around City Hall for folks to watch the ceremony. (Some of you probably have work anyway, right?)
Winners will be notified beginning at 2 p.m. and will have to pick up tickets at a location in Midtown by 8 p.m. tonight.
(The city has also taken this opportunity to remind us how cool 311 is. Press release says: “The City’s 311 Call Center representatives use a state-of-the-art database of information and services about City government. Information can be updated in real time, and 311 works closely with other City agencies to maintain the most current information. All calls to 311 are answered by a live operator, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Immediate access to translation services in over 170 languages is available.”)
Also, beware of scammers. The mayor’s office notes that there have been reports in the past of fraudulent offers for tickets to the parade — including access to floats — and to the ceremony. Those don’t exist, so don’t pay for them if you hear about them. In fact, if you hear about them, call the mighty 311. Also beware that there will be some street and subway closures in lower Manhattan tomorrow, including these guys for limited times:
the Fulton Street 4, 5, A, and C stops, the Wall Street 4 and 5 stops, and City Hall’s R stop.
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind readers about the lovely bet Bloomberg made with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino last week. A Giants win, according to a release sent out last week, means one New York City family will win a Super Tour of Boston. This includes: four roundtrip tickets on JetBlue, two-night stay at the Ritz Carlton, dinner for four at Legal Seafoods Harborside, dinner for four at the Top of the Hub restaurant, four tickets to a performance at the Citi Performing Arts Center, four box seats at a Bruins or Celtics game at the TD Garden, a behind-the-scenes-tour of the newly expanded Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, a Duck Tour ride, a VIP tour of the personal diaries of John Adams, and a VIP tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery in Jamaica Plain. Oh and best of all: a photo with Mayor Menino! The lucky family (who also has the good fortune of helping boost folks’ interest in Boston tourism — Menino said “either on the field or off, the City of Boston wins by being able to showcase some of the best our great city has to offer”) will be chosen through a lottery.
At the end of the day, the two mayors really are good buddies after all — and they showed us with this little video.
[SamTLevin / @SamTLevin]
Go to Runnin’ Scared for all our latest news coverage.
Updated, 2:35 p.m. | Toward the end of January there was an unusual development in one of the 700 criminal cases emanating from the Oct. 1 Occupy Wall Street protest march across the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge.
The social media company Twitter received a fax from the Manhattan district attorney’s office that included a subpoena asking for three months of information connected to the account @destructuremal, which belongs to Malcolm Harris, a writer and prankster who was arrested on the bridge and charged with disorderly conduct. Mr. Harris is perhaps best known for starting a false rumor that the band Radiohead was going to perform at Zuccotti Park in September.
The subpoena asked Twitter to provide “any and all user information” related to the account (characterized by Mr. Harris as including “real stories, callous revolutionary humor, trickery”) from Sept. 15 to Dec. 31, 2011. But on Monday, a lawyer for Mr. Harris asked the court to throw out that request.
The lawyer, Martin R. Stolar, filed a Notice of Motion to Quash in Manhattan Criminal Court saying that the subpoena did not comply with federal laws governing requests for information from electronic communications services and remote computing services, and that it failed to comply with procedural requirements for delivering a subpoena to a witness outside of New York State.
In addition, Mr. Stolar wrote, the subpoena was overbroad, was issued for an improper purpose and constituted an abuse of the court process.
In his motion (see also below), Mr. Stolar wrote that the request for “any and all information” could be interpreted as asking for private messages between Mr. Harris and others, as well as a host of data collected by Twitter, including e-mail addresses and phone numbers used by Mr. Harris, Web pages he has visited and information about his physical location at different times.
The range of information sought by prosecutors, Mr. Stolar wrote, suggests that they may be using the subpoena for investigative purposes rather than to provide evidence to uphold a charge of disorderly conduct.
“Such use of a subpoena cannot be countenanced by the court,” he wrote in his motion, “and the subpoena must therefore be quashed.”
Neither Twitter nor the Manhattan district attorney’s office would comment on the subpoena or the motion to quash it.
After Twitter informed him last month of the subpoena, Mr. Harris, who writes for The New Inquiry, took to his Twitter account to call the request by prosecutors “fishing.”
Referring to the day in mid-September that the Occupy protests began in Lower Manhattan, he posted: “How can they justify that scope? They clearly want to see what I was saying around Sept. 17th for unrelated reasons.”
Later, Mr. Harris appeared to wonder whether the authorities believed that he might have organized the roadway march, writing on Twitter: “This is the legal equivalent of busting a party with loud noise and demanding my phone records for 3.5 months to see if I helped plan it.”
At another point Mr. Harris noted that he had used the @destructuremal account in September to deliberately spread a false rumor that Radiohead was planning to perform at Zuccotti Park, even manufacturing a fake e-mail message that purported to be from one of the band’s managers. The purpose, he later wrote, was to attract a crowd to the site of the Occupy Wall Street encampment.
Last week he suggested he might draw on that episode for a last ditch legal defense if he ends up being implicated in any way by his Twitter account information. Using the @destructuremal account, he wrote: “I plan to subpoena the band Radiohead to testify as to the reliability of the information on my Twitter.”
@destructuremal Malcolm Harris
I want to point out that the Radiohead prank was not only from this joke of an account, but is actually covered by the subpoena. Lulz.
How active was social network Twitter during Super Bowl XLVI? The company revealed during the final three minutes of the game between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, an average of 10,000 tweets were sent every second.
Twitter usage reached its peak right after the Giants secured their fourth Super Bowl victory in team history, with an average of 12,233 tweets per second.
The next highest occurred during Madonna’s halftime show performance, which notched 10,245 tweets per second.
While the numbers seem huge, they’re nothing compared with the tweets-per-second record, as Mashable points out. An airing of the anime film Castle in the Sky in Japan netted 25,088 tweets per second last December.
Technology – SCITECH
By Zach Epstein
Published February 06, 2012
A time-wasting addiction?
A team from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business recently conducted an experiment involving 205 people in Wurtzburg, Germany to analyze the addictive properties of social media and other vices.
Participants in the week-long study were polled via BlackBerry smartphones seven times per day and asked to report when they experienced a desire within the past 30 minutes, and whether or not the succumbed to that desire. They were also asked to gauge each desire on a scale from mild to “irresistible.”
In total, 10,558 responses were recorded and a total of 7,827 “desire episodes” were reported by participants. The results of the team’s study will soon be published in the Psychological Science journal, however preliminary data provided to The Guardian suggests the highest rate of “self-control failures” were tied to social media services.
“Modern life is a welter of assorted desires marked by frequent conflict and resistance, the latter with uneven success,” said Wilhelm Hofmann, the leader of team conducting the study. Hofmann suggests people may fail to resist social media so much because there is no obvious or immediate downside to checking services like Twitter or Facebook. He does warn that these services can ultimately be a huge drain on users’ time, however.
“Desires for media may be comparatively harder to resist because of their high availability and also because it feels like it does not ‘cost much’ to engage in these activities, even though one wants to resist,” Hofmann said.
”With cigarettes and alcohol there are more costs – long-term as well as monetary – and the opportunity may not always be the right one. So, even though giving in to media desires is certainly less consequential, the frequent use may still ‘steal’ a lot of people’s time.”
More news from BGR:
- Samsung airs $10 million anti-iPhone ad during Super Bowl [video]
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- Lawmaker launches assault on violent video games
NEW DELHI/BANGALORE |
NEW DELHI/BANGALORE (Reuters) – Internet giants Google Inc (GOOG.O) and Facebook removed content from some Indian domain websites on Monday following a court directive warning them of a crackdown “like China” if they did not take steps to protect religious sensibilities.
NEW DELHI/BANGALORE (Reuters) – Internet giants Google Inc (GOOG.O) and Facebook removed content from some Indian domain websites on Monday following a court directive warning them of a crackdown “like China” if they did not take steps to protect religious sensibilities.
The two are among 21 companies ordered to develop a mechanism to block material considered religiously offensive after private petitioners took them to court over images deemed offensive to Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
Two cases have been brought by individuals against internet companies in India, stoking fears about censorship in the world’s largest democracy.
“(Our) review team has looked at the content and disabled this content from the local domains of (Google) search, Youtube and Blogger,” Google spokeswoman Paroma Roy Chowdhury said.
At the heart of the dispute is a law that India passed last year making companies responsible for user content posted on their websites, and giving them 36 hours to take down content if there is a complaint.
Last month, the companies said it was not possible for them to block content. Google’s Roy Chowdhury declined to comment on what had since been removed, and a Facebook representative said only that the company would release a statement later.
A New Delhi lower court hearing one of the cases, a civil suit brought by an Islamic scholar, told the companies on Monday to put in writing the steps they had taken to block offensive content, and submit reports within 15 days.
“Microsoft has filed an application for rejection of the suit on the grounds that it disclosed no cause of action against Microsoft,” a spokesperson for the company said. “The matter is sub judice and no further comments can be given.”
That suit was brought by scholar, Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasm, who runs a website called fatwaonline.org that gives answers to moral questions.
Google, Facebook, Yahoo! (YHOO.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) have appealed in the Delhi High Court against a separate criminal case successfully brought by journalist Vinay Rai.
The High Court has yet to rule on their appeal, but the sitting judge warned in January they were responsible for content on their websites and said he could block sites “like China” if they did not get their house in order.
In the Rai case, the court ordered the companies to stand trial for offences relating to the distribution of obscene material to minors, after being shown images it said were offensive to Prophet Mohammed, Jesus and various Hindu gods and goddesses, as well as several political leaders.
“If the companies have actually removed some content, they should put in place a mechanism to do it regularly, instead of waiting for a court case every time,” Rai told Reuters.
Fewer than one in 10 of India’s 1.2 billion population has access to the Internet, but that still makes it the third-biggest Internet market after China and the United States. The number of Internet users in India is expected to almost triple to 300 million over the next three years.
Despite the new rules to block offensive content, India’s Internet access is still largely uncensored, in contrast to the tight controls in neighbouring China. But like many other governments around the world, India has become increasingly nervous about the power of social media.
While civil rights groups have opposed the new laws, politicians say posting offensive images in a socially conservative country, which has a history of violence between religious groups, presents a danger to the public.
(Additional reporting by Annie Banerji and Suchitra Mohanty in NEW DELHI; Editing by John Chalmers and Mark Potter)
Get ready for advertising to hit the mobile version of Facebook in early March as the company looks to generate more revenue leading up to its forthcoming initial public offering, according to an online report.
Nearly half of the social network’s 845 million monthly active users log onto Facebook from a mobile device. But Facebook last Wednesday said in its IPO filing that it isn’t making any “meaningful revenue” from its mobile apps or the mobile version of its site. Facebook’s dearth of mobile advertising appears about to change, however, according to the Financial Times.
The first round of ads to hit Facebook on your smartphone and tablet will reportedly be Sponsored Stories, which launched on the desktop version of Facebook in early 2011. Sponsored stories let advertisers pay Facebook to notify you if a friend reports some action that implies endorsement of a product, such as liking Coca-Cola’s brand page, checking in at a retail store, or making plans to visit a local restaurant. Sponsored stories started on the right hand side of your Facebook home page, but the company in December said Sponsored Stories will make the jump to your regular News Feed.
Sponsored Stories will reportedly make another move onto your mobile devices by March, according to the FT. Facebook also hinted in its IPO filing that it is considering such a move. “We believe that we may have potential future monetization opportunities [for Facebook mobile products] such as the inclusion of sponsored stories in users’ mobile News Feeds,” the company says.
When reached for comment by PCWorld, Facebook declined to discuss the FT’s report.
But will users tolerate social ads while on the go? Mobile devices have far less screen real estate than a desktop computer, so sponsored stories are sure to take up more space when they scroll by on your 3.5-inch iPhone screen or even the 5.3-inch display on the new Samsung Galaxy Note.
Beware The Dickbar
The challenge for the world’s largest social network will be to ensure its mobile ads aren’t too intrusive for its users while still being a useful channel for advertisers. Twitter tried to extract revenue by pasting sponsored ads into its mobile product in early March 2011 with its “Quick Bar,” a persistent strip of text that displayed a promoted Twitter topic whenever you refreshed your tweet stream. The concept so annoyed users it quickly became known as the “Dickbar,” and Twitter killed the concept soon after.
So far, Facebook has avoided Quick Bar-like user outrage on the desktop version of Sponsored Stories; partly because the stories look like any other newsfeed item except they have a “Sponsored” tag at the bottom of the post. Mobile versions would also likely blend in with the rest of Facebook.
Whether or not Sponsored Stories on mobile devices pay off, you can bet Facebook will be trying other ways to make money off your smartphone in the coming months. A recent report by market research firm Canalys says that in 2011 smartphone shipments overtook those of PCs for the first time. And, as The New York Times points out, mobile phones are more popular than PCs for getting online in emerging markets such as Chile, Venezuela, and Brazil. With such a large and growing mobile audience and profit-hungry investors soon to be watching the company’s bottom line, Facebook can no longer afford to offer ad-free mobile apps. Especially when it will soon have a lot of new stockholders to satisfy.
Micro-blogging phenomenon Twitter is stepping up its efforts at international expansion and has pinched a senior Google executive in a clear sign the company could be looking to target Asia in the coming months.
Shailesh Rao was managing director of Google India and also headed up the web giant’s display advertising business in Asia.
Bloomberg had confirmation from Twitter that Rao would start work later this year on the “advertising side of the business”.
His official job title is vice president of international operations, and although it is unclear exactly what this role will entail, Rao’s familiarity with the Asian markets would seem to suggest that he was picked to focus Twitter’s push into these regions.
Twitter hit the 100 million global user mark last September, although the vast majority of its subscribers are based in the US. It has been looking to expand its international reach, however, with support for 17 different languages including Hindi, Malay, Filipino and Chinese.
One major barrier to expansion in the region is that the micro-blogging site is currently banned in the People’s Republic of China, although last month Twitter announced plans designed to make it much more popular to hardline governments.
Twitter recently revealed a new feature enabling it to comply with local laws by removing tweets if instructed to do so at a country level. Twitter’s justification was that such a move would help it “enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression”.
Shortly afterwards, Thailand became the first nation to publically endorse the controversial plans, after a senior government official there said it wanted to work with the site to use the feature.
Whether Rao’s role will be to help promote this functionality in a bid to win over the likes of China remains to be seen, although even if it were unblocked, Twitter would have some serious competition in the country from home-grown site Sina Weibo.
Twitter is not alone in looking to target China and other Asian countries, of course. Facebook’s recent IPO filing revealed that the social networking giant has not given up hope of cracking the People’s Republic at some point in the future. ®
Your tweet near the end of Super Bowl XLVI may have very well been lost amid a sea of other tweets, as Twitter has revealed that 12,233 tweets per second churned through its system “at the end of the game” last night.
The second greatest influx of Super Bowl-related tweets apparently came during Madonna’s half time performance, with 10,245 tweets per second.
Both figures are a far cry from the tweets-per-second record reportedly set on December 13, 2011 during a Japanese TV screening of a movie called Castle in the Sky, which garnered just north of 25,000 tweets per second.
Both instances of the massive Super Bowl tweets beat out Beyonce’s baby bump at the MTV Video Music Awards in August, though, which apparently resulted in 8,868 tweets per second and held the record until Castle in the Sky came along.
China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblogging service lays claim to the most messages sent per second with 32,312 — reportedly sent during Chinese New Year a little while back.
Washington Post reporters or editors recommend this comment or reader post.
* Former Microsoft exec Everson is linchpin of effort
* Commissions first study of ad effectiveness of network
* New ad products to be unveiled by end of February
* Facebook’s rates still trail most other online ads
By Peter Lauria
Feb 5 (Reuters) – About a year ago, when it became
clear that taking Facebook Inc public was a matter of when not
if, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg went out and poached
Caroline Everson, then global advertising head at Microsoft Corp
Landing an executive with Everson’s pedigree was a coup -
prior to Microsoft, she was a top advertising executive at
Viacom Inc’s MTV Networks and at Walt Disney Co
. The hire also sent a clear message to Madison Avenue
from the world’s largest online social network: We want to work
Until Everson’s arrival as vice president of global
marketing, Facebook’s relationship with the advertising
community was at best politely dismissive, at worst outright
Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has said he views Facebook
more as a way to connect people than a business, and he has been
adamant about limiting the impact of ads on user experiences.
Indeed, his reluctance to flood the social network with ads is
widely viewed as one reason why Facebook endured while an
earlier rival, MySpace, expired.
“Mark has an evangelical approach to advertising,” said
Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP Plc, the world’s
largest advertising agency. “He sees Facebook as a vehicle to
open up communication, not to monetize.”
But with 85 percent of its revenue derived from advertising
last year — when revenue was $3.71 billion, Facebook realized
it needed to strike a more cooperative tone with Madison Avenue
ahead of its initial public offering and the accompanying
intense scrutiny on profit growth.
Advertising sources identified Everson, along with David
Fischer, vice president of business and marketing partnerships,
and Blake Chandlee, vice president of global agency relations,
as the triumvirate leading Facebook’s charm offensive.
“It’s been remarkably different over the last 12 months,”
Michael Hayes, president of digital at advertising firm
Initiative, said of Facebook’s attitude toward the advertising
“They didn’t really have a relationship with us before, but
now they are trying to establish a relationship. I’ve definitely
seen an uptick in their interest in working with us,” he said.
Last September, Facebook set up a committee consisting of
executives from brands that advertise on the site, as well as
representatives from many top ad agencies, to regularly provide
feedback on its advertising products and services.
The company also commissioned Hayes’ firm, Initiative, to
compare the success of Facebook ads against other media, such as
television, the first time it asked for such a study.
Sorrell said Facebook plans to introduce new advertising
products by the end of February. A source familiar with the
announcement said it would center on new products around mobile
advertising, but did not provide further details.
A Facebook representative declined to comment on any new
product announcements or to make Everson available for an
interview, citing the quiet period ahead of the IPO.
ADVERTISING, FRIEND OR ENEMY?
Facebook, which boasts 845 million users worldwide, is more
dependent on ad sales than CBS Corp, the most
ad-dependent traditional media company, which derives two-thirds
of its revenue from advertising.
Facebook ranks as the top provider of graphical online
display ads in the United States, accounting for roughly 28
percent of the total “impressions” of such ads last year,
according to industry research firm comScore.
But analysts say the price that Facebook charges for the
bulk of its ads is lower than those of other forms of online
ads, such as the branding campaigns popular on sites such as
Yahoo or the search ads offered by Google.
Facebook is taking steps to make its ads more valuable to
marketers by integrating social networking features with
“sponsored stories” or ads that highlight a user’s friends who
have “liked” a certain product.
The big question is whether Facebook can further evolve its
advertising offerings, which are tempered by privacy laws and
the changing parameters around how social networks can mine user
data for targeted marketing.
“Their ad product opportunities aren’t too robust right now,
and the effectiveness is spotty at best,” Hayes said.
Facebook has come under criticism for the way it has used
member data in the past, including in 2008 when its Beacon
advertising product was assailed for disclosing such things as
what purchases people were making on Amazon.com to
their friends without permission.
Companies have also removed ads from being displayed against
offending user or group profiles, not unlike how brands pull
commercials on television shows in protest.
Facebook listed the evolving nature of privacy and data
protection laws as two risk factors that could impinge future
growth in a regulatory filing.
Still, the key for Facebook, according to David Eastman,
president of digital at JWT, which is part of the WPP group, is
keeping Wall Street at bay while it figures out how to monetize
its role as an identity broker.
“I’m worried about how the IPO will affect creative,” said
Eastman. “I’m worried that the demand for growth and making
numbers will get in the way of really evolving the platform to
figure out how to monetize influence.”
EVERSON AT BAT
If Everson and her team can establish that equilibrium, the
opportunities for Facebook are enormous.
Internet advertising is expected to grow at an annual
average rate of 15.9 percent to $113 billion in 2014, from an
estimated $84.2 billion this year, according to Zenith
Optimedia. That makes the Internet the second-largest ad market
behind TV, which by 2014 will reach $215.7 billion.
Facebook currently commands only a sliver of agency ad
dollars. In 2011, Sorrell said WPP spent $1.6 billion with
Google and just $200 million with Facebook. This year Sorrell,
who labeled Google a “frenemy” in 2006, expects to spend $2.3
billion with the search giant and $400 million with Facebook.
Sorrell said the disparity is because of the greater
difficulty of monetizing social media. Not to mention that the
increased competition with Google in recent years has made it a
“friendlier frenemy,” Sorrell added with a laugh.
“Facebook is a superb branding medium, but right now it is
more about PR than advertising,” he said.
In June, Google launched its own social network, Google+, to
compete with Facebook. The service, which does not currently
display any advertising, has won praise for innovative features
such as group-video-chat technology and a design that allows
users to easily sort friends into different groups.
Sorrell said the two services are preparing for a “battle
royal” to win the future of social advertising.
“There’s a real battle shaping up and the competition is
intense,” he said, adding that from the advertising community’s
perspective more options are better than less.
Everson, who left Microsoft after nine months, is on the
front lines of that battle for Facebook.
A New Jersey native, Everson graduated in 1999 with an MBA
from Harvard. She was pegged as a “Woman to Watch” by trade
publication Advertising Age last May, where her profile noted
that she got married in Disney World and had Wyclef Jean rap a
song about her twin daughters.
“Since she’s joined, Facebook has definitely turned up the
heat on getting cozy with agencies,” said JWT’s Eastman. “There
are lots more opportunities to get closer and more involved with