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Social media stress? There’s an app for that

A piece on how one marketing company is capitalizing on what it says is growing stress among social media users.  Nestle, purveyor of the decades-old KitKat snack, has launched an app it says addresses a growing problem among young social media users – giving them a break from the stress of posting updates by doing it for them. The software, Social Break, automatically sends random updates to users’ Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. It will be officially launched in Singapore later this week and is free to download from kitkat.com.sg/socialbreak. While the application is a tongue-in-cheek marketing gimmick, the developers behind the software, ad agencyContinue readingSocial media stress? There’s an app for that

We’re Not in the Business of Understanding our User

A few years ago I wrote about sometimes your product is useful to people in ways you didn’t know—and that you’d be smart to recognise that and capitalize on itn (What Your Product Does You Might Not Know About, 2007). One of the examples I cited was ZoneAlarm, a very popular firewall that was bought by Check Point. The point I made with their product was how useful the Windows system tray icon was in that it doubled as a network activity monitor. The logo, in short, would switch to a twin gauge when there was traffic. Really useful: it wasn’t directly related to theContinue readingWe’re Not in the Business of Understanding our User

Phishy Facebook Emails

Facebook phishes are getting better. Compare this one: and this: Notice how the key bit, supposedly defining that it’s a legit email, is successfully and convincingly faked: The only difference that stands out is the domain: facebookembody.com. Although Google classified it as spam they didn’t warn that it would go to a website that contains malware. So be warned. Notification emails aren’t such a good idea anymore, if they ever were.

My War On ATM Spam and Other Annoyances

By Jeremy Wagstaff (This is a copy of my weekly syndicated column) You really don’t need to thank me, but I think you should know that for the past 10 years I’ve been fighting a lonely battle on your behalf. I’ve been taking on mighty corporations to rid the world of spam. Not the spam you’re familiar with. Email spam is still around, it’s just not in your inbox, for the most part. Filters do a great job of keeping it out. I’m talking about more serious things, like eye spam, cabin spam, hand spam,  counter spam and now, my most recent campaign, ATM spam.Continue readingMy War On ATM Spam and Other Annoyances

Podcast: HP, Palm, Spam and Social Media Cold Turkey

This podcast is from my weekly slot on Radio Australia Today with Phil Kafcaloudes and Adelaine Ng, wherein we discuss HP buying Palm, students going cold turkey on social media, and China no longer being the spam capital of the world? To listen to the podcast, click on the button below. To subscribe, click here. Loose Wireless 100430 I appear on Radio Australia Today every Friday at about 9.15 am Singapore time (that’s 0.15 GMT/UTC.) There’s a live stream of the broadcast here, or find out your local frequencies here.

The Undignified Death of Social Networks

I’m intrigued, and slightly depressed, at how social networking sites deteriorate so quickly into what are little more than scams. I think it started about a year ago, when a number of sites started pulling the stops out to build up membership. Now, it seems, it’s all about the money. Take Quechup, for example, which has never had a very good reputation, though some say it’s undeserved. I don’t think anyone would try to argue that now. I opened an account at Quechup about a year ago, and left it, with no friends. no connections, no activity (a bit like my real life.) I didn’tContinue readingThe Undignified Death of Social Networks

How to Rip People Off Like Disney World

If you’ve ever visited Disney World, or some other overpriced resorts (last year I visited Warwick Castle and Legoland in the UK, both appallingly people-traps) you’ll have done what I did: vow never to come back. Of course, the companies running these places both know that and don’t care — which is why they are ripping you off royally while they can. Seethu Seetharaman, an associate professor of management at Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management, calls it a variety-seeking market and says it doesn’t just apply to tourist attractions: Turns out that the resorts in Orlando are in a market whereContinue readingHow to Rip People Off Like Disney World

Stoop to Congoo?

Is business networking site Congoo resorting to spam to build its user base? I suspect it is. Congoo is on one hand a good idea — a place to gather and monitor content on your industry, including content that is usually subscription only (like WSJ.com, who publish my weekly Loose Wire column.) But it’s also a networking tool — indeed, its blurb emphasizes that over the content: But I don’t like being spammed, and I think Congoo may be doing that. Of course, they’re not alone in being accused of spamming — the likes of Plaxo, Zorpia and other networking services make it overly easyContinue readingStoop to Congoo?

“How’s the Review Going?” Spam

At a conference I have been attending I was asked to explain to PR folk there what journalists want. Apparently, by the time my session came around, the PR folk had been put off by several previous journalists who had presumably used clear language to express what they want because most didn’t turn up. Wisely, since the three who did either nodded off, feigned stomach convulsions and left the room or got overly fresh with their BlackBerry. This didn’t stop me ranting and raving like a lunatic about how PR people don’t often understand what we want. One thing I didn’t mention is the Bane ofContinue reading“How’s the Review Going?” Spam

Your Phone as Stalker

Phone spam feels like it’s getting worse. I and my wife have been receiving numerous calls from the local arm of ANZ Bank — a bank I am happy to identify by name because I’ve sought comment from them without reply for nearly a week now. Our mobile phone numbers were probably sold by another bank or possibly by the cellphone company. Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase starts picking up SMS and phone spam on Hutch in India within a day of activating his SIM card, and finds that the company is three times as slow at removing his number from their spam lists: Locals inContinue readingYour Phone as Stalker

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