Monday January 13, 2014 | 08:00 AM
Posted by Rob Gould

It's 2014! Time for this year's first edition of Social Media in the News. We're off to a busy start. This week brought all sorts of news from the social media universe — primarily from the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Personally, I found all of that news very boring, so I didn't include any of it. If you care, it's easy to find. Use Google.

It was also a cold week with lots of chatter about #PolarVortex. Fortunately, with the assistance of my new light therapy box and a whopping dose of Vitamin D3, I was able to summon the energy to sift through the reams of social media news out there and bring you what I thought were some of the most informative and entertaining articles. 

As always, I love getting feedback. If you have suggestions regarding topics, interview subjects or just what you've liked or disliked, please leave them here in the comments section or get me directly on Twitter at @bobbbyg.

Now I'll leave you with the real news from the real journalists ...

Consumers Becoming Less Trusting of Google, Warier of Facebook, Twitter, Tim Peterson, Advertising Age

"People are becoming more aware of the data being collected about them online. And that's eroding the trust they have with collecting companies, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google."

"Asked which companies are the greatest threat to the future of privacy, 59% of 1,100 respondents cited Facebook and 40% said Twitter, according to a survey conducted by McCann. Thirty-two percent pointed to Google, almost doubling from the 18% who said as much when McCann conducted the same survey in 2011."


Google Glass Crosses the Line with Facial Recognition, Erik Sass, The Social Graf, MediaPost

"Well, this was probably inevitable, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. In the ultimate mash up of social media, wearable technology, and facial recognition, a company called NameTag has produced an app for Android, iOS, and Google Glass that will allow you to snap a photo of a stranger and then match it against photos in social networks and dating sites to find out who they are."

"Frankly, I already disliked Google Glass, and this just confirms that judgment in spades. And I am talking about visceral, deep-seated unease and distaste. Indeed, while I normally try not to judge people on their appearance or what they wear, I am now stating publicly that if you are wearing Google Glass I will deliberately avoid contact with you, and if you try to talk to me I will refuse unless you take them off."


Online Harassment and the Cruel Paradox of Being a Woman on Social Media, Alison Herman, Flavorwire

"If you haven’t read Amanda Hess’ “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet” yet, please do. The Pacific Standard piece is an essential exploration of what it’s like to be a woman online, describing Hess’ experiences with Internet harassment in chilling detail. From the moment a Palm Springs cop naïvely asks the author, “What’s Twitter?,” she builds a convincing case for women’s right to, and need for, more effective protection against people like Twitter user @headlessfemalepig, the latest of Hess’s many online harassers."

"Hess’ story points out a reality for women that’s as pervasive as it is unacknowledged: every time we enter a public space, we’re putting ourselves at risk, and that’s now as true for the internet as the street. We’re taught to brush off creepy OKCupid advances and anonymous Tumblr messages the way we’re taught to inure ourselves to catcalling and other forms of unwanted attention. And when those threats cross a line, women are often told it’s their fault; in Hess’s case, the updated version of “You shouldn’t have been walking alone at night” is telling women to just step away from the smartphone."


Listen to Pandora, and It Listens Back, Natasha Singer, The New York Times

"Pandora, the Internet radio service, is plying a new tune."

"After years of customizing playlists to individual listeners by analyzing components of the songs they like, then playing them tracks with similar traits, the company has started data-mining users’ musical tastes for clues about the kinds of ads most likely to engage them."

"'It’s becoming quite apparent to us that the world of playing the perfect music to people and the world of playing perfect advertising to them are strikingly similar,' says Eric Bieschke, Pandora’s chief scientist."


There Is a Digital Talent Gap, Lucia Moses, ADWEEK

"For its report, The State of Digital Marketing Talent, The Online Marketing Institute surveyed almost 750 Fortune 500 and ad agency execs, and the results are grim: There's a vast gap between the digital marketing expertise needed by organizations and the talent actually available to them at every level. Across brands and agencies alike, there's insufficient focus on grooming talent, training and formally assessing skills. That might seem to spell a great opportunity for recent college grads looking for work. But think again: almost three-fourths of respondents say young hires suffer from an inflated sense of entitlement."


Brands Couldn’t Resist The #PolarVortex Hashtag, Haniya Rae, Digiday

"Baby, it’s cold outside. Freezing arctic air has blanketed the eastern two thirds the nation – with temperatures in some areas dipping below zero. Yikes."

"One side effect of what has become known as the “polar vortex” appears to be a chilling effect on the common sense of brand social media editors. As they so often do, companies have spotted an opportunity in a trending hashtag in #polarvortex and, rather stiffly, attempted to play along."


30 Social Lessons To Take Into 2014, Bryan Boettger, Social Media Insider, MediaPost

"If last year was anything, it was certainly the year when social media became a serious business venture. Whether you are an agency, brand or vendor, “social” most definitely became strategic and financial."

"As we all kick-start 2014, I thought I’d share some of the lessons I’m bringing with me: 30 of them, to be exact."

"1. Facebook will defend its territory with vigor (see: Instagram, Instagram Direct)."


IMAGE CREDIT: Viktor Koen, The New York Times


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Social media has changed the way that many of us learn, purchase, interact and explore the world around us. And, things are just getting started. Social, Social is a place to discuss social media with people from all walks of life. No experts allowed.

About the Author

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).

Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg

His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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