Verizon (Screenshot by Scott Webster/CNET))
The official DroidLanding Twitter account has reactivated itself and is broadcasting beacons again.
After sitting dormant for the better part of two years, @DroidLanding is teasing followers with transmissions and videos.
This account has been used to help drum up interest in previous Droid models as they neared launch. While one might assume that a new Droid-branded smartphone is in order, there is nothing in the rumor mill to suggest that will be the case.
As to what exactly will happen should become clear in short order; a YouTube video tells us “combat begins in June.” Reading the other new tweets one could sense that this is merely a new Droid-themed game. With talk of “nationwide sightings” and “wARriors” under the control of civilians, it smells like an augmented reality game exclusive to Verizon.
If history is an indicator, we might see some scavenger hunts and races to specific destinations. And while there might not be a shiny new Droid at the end point, one might walk away with some Verizon or Droid memorabilia. With that in mind, now would be a good time to keep an eye on the Google Play store (Droid Combat Mission Alpha) and App Store (D: COM Mission Alpha) to look for the new apps.
Twitter added new features to Tweetdeck today that makes it easier to arrange and consume various feeds.
Column headers now have “grab handles” in the top-left corner so they can quickly and easily be rearranged. If you are looking at fewer than four feeds, the selected column will now snap its left edge to the sidebar; if four or more columns are visible, the selected column will still be in the center of the screen, like before.
Finally, when you click a column icon twice, it will scroll to the top and reveal any Tweets you may have missed, a similar function to Twitter for Mac.
Tweetdeck, which Twitter acquired for $40 million in 2011, is a web, mobile, and desktop client for sorting and reading many customized Twitter feeds in a short amount of time. Twitter seems to be working hard to keep their core “power users” loyal to digesting most of their media through the service; the company redesigned Tweetdeck two weeks ago and added some “often requested features.”
Today’s updates are available now for web and Chrome, and the company says updates for Mac and Windows will “follow soon.”
Created in 2006, Twitter is a global real-time communications platform with 400 million monthly visitors to twitter.com, more than 200 million monthly active users around the world.
We see a billion tweets every 2.5 days on every conceivable topic. World leaders, major athletes, star performers, news organizations and entertainment outlets are among the millions of active Twitter accounts through which users can truly get the pulse of the planet.
TweetDeck is a Twitter client for desktop, web, and mobile devices.
TweetDeck was originally an Adobe Air desktop application, designed with a unique columned user interface. Its goal was to be a realtime application that allowed users to monitor that information in a single concise view. TweetDeck integrated services from Twitter, Twitscoop, 12seconds, Stocktwits and Facebook.
In 2011, Twitter acquired TweetDeck and rebuilt the application in HTML5.
Twitter has signed a deal to begin delivering social video ads built around Viacom’s most popular TV shows.
In the announcement, put out by Viacom, the two companies said that the campaigns would center around shows aired on networks like MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, VH1, CMT, TV Land, Spike and more. The first ads will appear during the MTV Video Music Awards on August 25. During that show, MTV will tweet a series of the most notable moments, as well as backstage access, interviews, and more, all with integrated advertising.
Bloomberg first reported in April that a deal between Twitter and Viacom was in the works.
Twitter’s pact with Viacom is just the latest in a string of deals the social networking giant has made to bolster its advertising scope. In recent weeks, it has agreed to work with ESPN, the NCAA, the NBA, and others, with each arrangement geared to bring richer advertising content to Twitter users in a bid both to give marketers new ways to get their message out, and to bring Twitter substantial new ad revenue in advance of what many observers expect is an initial public offering sometime in the next year or so.
While Twitter’s user base has continued to grow — it now boasts more than 200 million registered users — most of its moves in the last year have been geared towards solidifying its advertising platform. It has worked hard to unify users’ Twitter experience regardless of platform, all in a bid to ensure that advertising works across mobile, Web, or apps.
A big part of that strategy is clearly to partner with a wide range of TV networks, and others — like sports leagues — that provide compelling TV content. Twitter believes that its platform offers marketers — and users — an amplification element unique to social media. As such, the Viacom deal is being lumped under what Twitter is calling TwitterAmplify. At the Cannes Film Festival in France yesterday, the Deb Roy, company’s chief media scientist, unveiled a video demonstrating the power of that social amplification.
Lady Gaga’s dad turned into a little monster on Twitter after health inspectors fined and downgraded his Manhattan restaurant.
Joe Germanotta, who owns Joanne Trattoria, took to the social media site last week to vent his frustration with the Bloomberg administration.
David Handschuh/New York Daily News
Lady Gaga’s father Joseph Germanotta, who owns the NY eatery Joanne Trattoria, wasn’t happy with the health inspector who paid him a visit.
The W. 68th St. spot racked up 19 violation points for its June 12 inspection, including “critical” violations for sanitation problems.
“The inspector gave us 7 points for a bad potato in our storage bin,” the irate upper West Side restaurateur ranted.
Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News
Mayor Bloomberg was the subject of bizarre Twitter venom from Lady Gaga’s dad, Joe Germanotta.
“We had a bad potato in a bin with 40 good potatoes,” Germanotta tweeted to his 50,000-plus followers.
Germanotta accused Bloomberg’s food safety czar of being “corrupt” and tweeted the name and phone number of an inspector who ruined his day.
He said the inspection nixed Joanne Trattoria’s “A” grade rating. Now the Italian eatery has been downgraded to a “B.”
(MoneyWatch) Twitter can help you land a job by letting you connect with people and stay abreast of what’s happening in your industry. But what if the microblogging service just isn’t your thing?
Perhaps Goziak can help. The online service offers a way to organize and search the 50,000 or so job vacancies that are posted daily on Twitter. You can then search the already sorted and identified tweets, which will help you find what you’re looking for in the area you’re looking at. You don’t need to follow company X to find out that they are hiring a new director of marketing.
Yes, you can try to do this manually, but the Goziak is faster and easier. It also allows you to enter the location you are looking at and and look for jobs within a certain radius. That can be helpful in finding work in or around a city’s suburbs. Because, after all, do you know the name of every town within the area you’re willing to travel to?
You can also enter your resume and profile information directly into Goziak and apply for a job by replying to the tweet with a link to your profile.
On the surface that last part sounds awesome. Fill out a profile one time. Click “apply with Twitter” and — bam! — the person who manages the Twitter account now has all your information. But before you go crazy with that, stop and think — is the person who manages the Twitter account most likely to be the hiring manager, or even the recruiter that is actively sourcing that job? No. It’s likely to be someone not directly related to the actual job you want.
So I advise you to skip that part of Goziak’s offering and instead apply for the job as you would if you’d discovered it on your own. That is:
– Check if you have contacts working at that company.
– Check if any of your contacts knows someone who works at this company. (LinkedIn is a great tool for these two steps.)
– Find out what you can about the company and the job by scouring its website, searching for any related articles and talking to your contacts.
– Tailor your cover letter and resume for the job you are applying for.
– If you have a contact at the company, seek out the person’s advice on how to apply and follow instructions.
– If you haven’t found a contact, apply by following the instructions on the job posting.
If you are a job seeker, definitely give Goziak a try. It may help you find positions you didn’t even know existed.
I can’t say enough good things about Twitter. If you don’t use Twitter, you really should. It’s an amazing, life-changing thing.
But if you’re running a business that sells products out there into consumerland, Twitter offers some tangible benefits by making it very easy to proactively reach out to existing customers that are struggling, or creating an easier-to-access channel to create help.
Microsoft does this with gusto and to great effect across all of its brands.
But Apple doesn’t even try. It doesn’t even have a proper Twitter account. This is what @Apple looks like:
On the other hand, this is what @XboxSupport looks like:
And yes, that’s not a joke, @XboxSupport really is the Guinness World Record holder for the “Most responsive brand on Twitter.” (Although that record was set in 2010, which in internet years is like a thousand years ago, but still, impressive.)
The first advantage to Apple would be being able to reach out to people like @ArghMyLife, who this morning tweeted the following diatribe:
If Apple were actually monitoring their social media, they’d be able to reach out to her and do something about that. But they don’t, so all that’s going to happen is she’s going to spend the rest of the day annoyed, and still have a broken phone.
And then what’s next? Windows Phone purchase? Android? Or another iPhone? And we know how this works — what about her friends? “Oh no, I had a lousy experience when my iPhone went wrong…”
I should say that finding examples of Microsoft being proactive in their support is tricky, as they deal with a lot of reactive queries. (The reason why I know they do this reactive support is that they’ve pinged me a few times when I’ve moaned about various Microsoft products on Twitter.)
Anyway, here’s an example of part of a conversation with @WinPhoneSupport. There are hundreds and hundreds of these.
And the response time is good. There’s an average time of around two minutes between each of these replies. That’s enough to feel engaged, but not too stressful for Microsoft to manage.
Technical support is always difficult. Phoning someone up is always a pain, always costly in terms of time and often costly in terms of money. Live chat is better, but demands an immediacy of response from the vendor that is difficult to achieve when engineers are fielding multiple chats at once.
Doing technical support like this on Twitter is quick and easy for the customer, and I suspect much easier to manage for the vendor because of expectations around how the channel works.
The only problem with it is that it’s very public — it’s easy for everyone to see what people are complaining about and struggling with.
Interestingly, it appears that Microsoft use its own software to do this kind of support, despite off-the-shelf software being available for this. HootSuite is one that’s commonly used.
Although the official Twitter clients no longer report which software was used to post tweets onto the platform, this data is still available within the APIs.
@WinPhoneSupport and @XboxSupport both use the same “XCSWatchtower,” whereas @MicrosoftHelps and @WindowsSupport use a client called “Microsoft Helps.” @Office uses a client called “_Microsoft,” and perhaps peculiarly @Surface uses its own “Microsoft_Surface,”
Of course, these may all be branches of the same software. What’s relevant here is that they are homegrown systems, which implies a cost involved, which in turn implies a non-trivial level of seriousness about doing technical support over social media.
Just in case you were wondering whether it’s possible to run the social media of a multi-billion dollar global IT empire on free software, you certainly can. @Microsoft uses TweetDeck, one of the official Twitter clients.
There are also examples of various Microsoft Twitter accounts using Sprinklr. Sprinklr is a product designed to support large enterprises with their social media engagement. So it’s not all homegrown stuff.
I think what’s so surprising about all this is that it’s so obvious, so easy, and yet Apple seems to be studiously avoiding doing anything in the social media space at all.
If you Google around, you’ll find a bunch of accounts purporting to do Apple support. None are verified by Twitter, most offer very shady responses to their interactions, and at least one is NSFW. But there isn’t even a Twitter account spouting marketing messages about Apple’s products.
But then, what about Google? There is an @Google account, but they don’t do support over it. (And if you’re wondering, Google doesn’t even use a Twitter client — all of the posts on @Google are done through the Twitter website!)
Social media support of consumer products provides benefits to both the customers and the vendors. It allows vendors to proactively find customers who are unhappy and make them happy, and provides a reactive channel that’s easier to use than the phone, live chat, or ticketing systems.
Apple should totally add this to their repertoire of traditional technical support systems.
And Apple should totally buy that @Apple account. That’s someone’s retirement plan right there.
What do you think? Post a comment, or talk to me on Twitter: @mbrit.
There’s no debating Twitter has firmly established itself as the go-to real-time companion to TV, allowing viewers to connect with each other about what they watch while they’re watching.
But rather than relegating itself to a marketing vehicle for vid programmers, Twitter could be in position to move up the media food chain. Think video and social intertwined — not just the occasional six-second Vine clip.
It’s a notion being put to the test via two different productions that treat Twitter more as an exhibition window than as a promotional platform.
Have a look at @EpicEDM, which intersperses links to videos featuring profiles of luminaries on the electronic dance music scene with news and chatter from the various celebrity DJs who have massive Twitter followings. @EpicEDM is produced and financed by Believe Entertainment Group, a digital studio with a strong track record as a first mover for programming digital platforms with top talent, including LeBron James.
The other pioneer here is the Chernin Group, which is launching @SummerBreak, an unscripted narrative that follows the real lives of a group of coincidentally attractive high school graduates in the months before they head off to college.
It makes sense that @EpicEDM and @SummerBreak are programming content on social media itself rather than conventional TV or video platforms, given youngsters spend so much time there anyway. But there’s something potentially deeper at play here.
While @EpicEDM so far is limited to just video and tweets, its backers envision it evolving away from a broadcast model and incorporating content from the users itself. Imagine the telecast of a DJ performance, for instance, where in addition to seeing footage of the event from the performer’s cameras, there are additional stills, video and text from those in the audience. The program becomes more of a curation of experiences than the feed from just one source.
Distributing video on the hyperconnected platform of Twitter can mean so much more than the traditional notion of what a show is, beyond just a unidirectional linear transmission at a fixed time.
To truly hew to the contours of Twitter, a show can generate content from the audience that can be incorporated back into the primary material in a participatory way, like a quizshow, or maybe even influence the outcome of the program, like the options of a multi-stranded vidgame or a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. Seen through to its fullest extent, this would create an entire new style of programming.
At its core, Facebook is a photo-sharing company. It’s enhanced by other features such as status updates and shared links.
To be the ultimate social site, Facebook needs to be the best sharing platform out there for all types of media, including articles, photos and video.
Twitter has proven to be a worthy competitor. It’s arguably a better source for social news and link sharing despite having fewer global users. Its video product, Vine, has been gaining in popularity while Facebook lacks a good video solution (although Instagram may be launching a video product on Thursday).
The only thing Twitter is missing is a powerful photo tool. It tried to secure one – Instagram – but Facebook smartly blocked the sale.
In a recent interview with PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy, Union Square Ventures investor Fred Wilson discussed how “genius” it was for Facebook to acquire Instagram, especially because Twitter’s Jack Dorsey made an offer first.
“If [Twitter] had Instagram they would be better than Facebook,” Wilson told Lacy. (Disclosure: Wilson invested in Twitter). “They’d have tweets; they’d have photos; and they’d have videos. And I think that would be the trifecta that would kill Facebook.”
Here’s the clip:
Lady Gaga‘s father Joe Germanotta took to Twitter last week to express his frustrations after his Manhattan eatery, Joanne Trattoria, lost its A rating due to various health code violations—which Germanotta himself helpfully listed.
The biggest violation—or at least the one that docked his place the most points out of a 100—was a 7-point wrist slap for having a “bad potato in a storage bin,” according to Papa Gaga, “that shifted us from an A to a B or Grade Pending, inspector said it was our choice [which to display].”
“Seems a little harsh,” he added.
Germanotta first tweeted last Wednesday following the health inspector’s visit: “Great story of NYC making progress, money and corruption. We had a bad potato in a bin with 40 good potatoes.”
“It wasn’t being served to a customer, it was raw, and when the inspector pointed it out we threw it away. How many bad veggies do you toss?” he added. “I’m sure Bloomberg should toss more than 1 a day.”
In addition to name-checking the inspector and posting the badge and phone numbers of others from the Health Department that he spoke to, Germanotta sought to clarify the violations: The potato wasn’t going to be served, a potato peeler left out was being cleaned, a sink they use as a water station was misidentified by inspectors as a hand-washing station and tagged for not being properly labeled, etc.
All violations were doled out 40 minutes after the kitchen had closed and they were in the process of cleaning up, Germanotta wrote.
But Germanotta hadn’t lost his sense of humor, retweeting the following from a fan on Thursday: “@germanottajoe Just be glad Gaga wasn’t in there wearing her meat dress. Lol. Trying to give you a little humor there. They are BULLIES!”
He returned to his bully pulpit on Twitter today, however, writing, “Here is the filthy thermometer used by the health inspector. Nice,” along with a pic of said device.
There’s been no additional word from his daughter, whose namesake wine is proudly mentioned on the Joanne Trattoria homepage.
June 16, 2013 marks the four-year anniversary of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a collaboration of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since 2009, our three federal agencies have been working together to help communities build stronger regional economies, improve their housing and transportation options, and protect the environment.
As President Obama said when the Partnership launched in 2009, “By working together, [the agencies] can make sure that when it comes to development—housing, transportation, energy efficiency—these things aren’t mutually exclusive; they go hand in hand.”
Our collaboration helps communities plan the housing, transportation and economic development they need as infrastructure for economic growth, helping them attract businesses and improve quality of life for residents.
The Partnership is a one-stop shop for communities to access federal resources that can help them become more economically and environmentally sustainable. To date, the Partnership has provided more than $4 billion in funding for projects in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
In Bridgeport, Connecticut, for example, coordinated investments across our agencies are supporting the revitalization of the East Side neighborhood. (Read the case study; watch the video.) An EPA Environmental Justice Showcase Community Grant facilitated renewed access to the waterfront for residents. An $11 million DOT TIGER grant for multimodal transportation is helping build and upgrade roads around the East Side’s Steel Point Peninsula to prepare for redevelopment. And a HUD Regional Planning Grant helped study the opening of a proposed rail station on a cleaned-up brownfield in Bridgeport’s East End. The station will anchor the East Side redevelopment plan, leading to new business investment; mixed-use, transit-oriented development; and affordable homes. To celebrate the four-year anniversary of work on these and similar projects, the Partnership is undertaking three major activities this summer:
- EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe, HUD Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones, and DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari will respond to your questions and comments about the Partnership in a Twitter Town Hall on Monday, June 17, 1:30 ET. Twitter users may ask questions in advance and during the Town Hall using the hashtag #sustainableqs. You may also join us through the live webstream.
- Throughout the summer, the Partnership agencies will host roundtables in Arlington, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Toms River, New Jersey; and other communities across the country. Municipal staff, community leaders, business and industry representatives, and other stakeholders will be invited to tell us about the successes and challenges of their projects—and what the Partnership can do to help.
- In July, the Partnership will host a webinar series about three of the topics on which EPA, HUD, and DOT offer coordinated support: investing in green infrastructure, creating context-sensitive streets, and integrating housing and transportation planning. See www.sustainablecommunities.gov for dates and further details.
Staff from HUD, DOT, and EPA continue to work as a team regularly to find ways to serve tribal communities, small towns, rural areas, suburbs, and cities more effectively. We feel privileged to be a part of this collaboration, and we hope that you will join us in celebrating the progress of communities across the country that are investing in a sustainable approach to economic growth.
Bob Perciasepe is acting administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Maurice Jones is deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
John Porcari is deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation.