Tuesday February 11, 2014 | 08:00 AM
Posted by Rob Gould

The Olympic Games! Valentine's Day! Facebook is dying! There has been all sorts of stuff going on in the world of social media recently. Therefore, there's been no shortage of great articles being written on all sorts of thrilling topics. My challenge was narrowing it down to just a few which I thought were both important and interesting.

With everything going on in Sochi, I could have devoted this entire post to all things Olympic Games. However, I thought that might be boring. No one likes boring. So, instead you also get to read about naked people and eating disorders. That should hold your attention.

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 ...

Google Joins Criticism of Sochi Olympics with Rainbow Doodle, J. Bryan Lowder, Slate

"Google has joined the chorus of criticism against the International Olympic Committee for its hypocrisy regarding Russia's anti-LGBT discrimination with the posting of a particularly blunt, LGBT-supporting Doodle. The image, a rainbow spread in which each of the letters of Google sit beneath a figure from a different winter sport, appeared on the site on Thursday; in a wonderfully shady maneuver, the graphic design of the Doodle appears remarkably similar to the style being used in Sochi-branded materials. And in case there is any doubt as to Google's meaning, the Doodle comes paired with the actual text of Principle 4 of the Olympic Charter, which banishes discrimination from the 'Olympic spirit.'"


Naked on the Internet Is Not Forever, Patrick Di Justo, The Atlantic

"In Autumn 2007, someone took a picture of me and put it on the web. In this low-angle shot taken at my peak weight, I looked like Jabba the Hutt wearing a blue T-shirt. Since the picture illustrated a popular blog post, it immediately became the first result when you did an image search on my name. Mortified at the sight of what I had become, I immediately did two things: I started to eat better and exercise in order to lose weight, and I flooded the Internet with better-looking images of myself hoping to drive the fat picture off the front page of search results. The second effort was a lot easier than the first, but eventually both were successful."

"Recently I wanted to show someone what I used to look like, but the picture wouldn't turn up. Every search term I tried, every date range, every filter, returned nothing. While the picture is probably still sitting on a server somewhere, there seems to be no reasonable way to get at it. For all intents and purposes, I am no longer grossly obese on the Internet."


The Other Super Bowl Contest: Twitter vs. Facebook, Vindu Goel, The New York Times

"From the start of the Super Bowl on Sunday, it was obvious that it was a one-sided match-up: the Seattle Seahawks quickly took the lead, leaving the Denver Broncos further and further behind in every quarter."

"Meanwhile, in the digital Super Bowl — the long-running contest between Twitter and Facebook over bragging rights as the nation’s online water cooler for television chatter — the game play was much harder to assess in real time."


Airbnb Swoops to Rescue of Reporters With #SochiProblems, Brian Morrissey, Digiday

"Now here’s a real-time marketing execution that fits."

"Airbnb has spent today tweeting reporters complaining of horrendous accommodations at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, offering to help them find more hygienic digs. The apartment- and house-sharing platform began this morning by putting out a general notice using the now-popular #SochiProblems hashtag."


Are Brands Getting Their Own OKCupid Profiles? Pizza Hut Looks for 'The One,' Maureen Morrison, Advertising Age

"If anyone is feeling lonely this Valentine's Day, Pizza Hut is on OKCupid looking to find 'the one.'"

"The largest pizza chain in the U.S. claims that it gets "marry me" proposals on Twitter from fans daily, including more than 10,000 social-media proposals from fans in 22 countries and every state except South Dakota over just the last year."


Is the Facebook Like Dead for Marketers?, Jason Abbruzzese, Mashable

"What Derek Muller alleges is a quirk of the Facebook ecosystem that has emerged as a byproduct of how the newsfeed has evolved to display content. In short, phony Facebook likes have become all too common even among pages seeking legitimate followers. Facebook is complicit in allowing bogus accounts to run up like totals because they act as a buffer between pages and their actual fans."

"As a result, Muller saw his engagement percentage plummet as his page built more likes. His posts were appearing on the News Feeds of phony accounts that had liked his page that never interacted with his page or any other. Since Facebook's algorithm is built to reward posts that have strong engagement, the phony likes were making his posts look bad."


Social Media Blamed For Rise In Eating Disorders, Erik Sass, The Social Graf, MediaPost

"Social media appears to be contributing to a big increase in the prevalence of eating disorders among children and teenagers over the last few years."

"ChildLine, a U.K. charity, told The Independent that the number of young people calling its emergency hotline or using the online version increased 110% over the last three years, with girls outnumbering boys by 32 to 1, and teens ages 14-15 the most likely to reach out for help."



IMAGE CREDIT: The Atlantic


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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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