The power of social media.

In the wake of the recent Japanese earthquake, the whole world has been galvanised into action. Many are raising funds, volunteering, doing something, anything, to try to help the situation and lessen the devastating impact of the horrifying earthquake and subsequent tsunamis.

An interesting project that has developed in the aftermath is #Quakebook, the labour of love of 300 strangers who came together online to produce an e-book of 89 stories of people’s experiences in the earthquake and tsunami, all in the name of charity to raise funds for the Red Cross, to benefit the victims in Japan. The call to action was made on Twitter (hashtag #quakebook) and the stories unfolded on Twitter.

Read all about how they did it and their motivations on the Quakebook blog, and do your part to help in this worthy cause.


Media Monitors Group buys Brandtology

For a company that tracks and measures social media sentiments of companies and brands, Brandtology, itself has been very much in the news recently and would have found much to analyse as it tracks its own brand, especially with news of it being bought by the Australian-based Media Monitors Group.

The sale of Brandtology for an eight-figure sum signals the increasing importance of social media monitoring as a growth market. Media Monitors Group, CEO John Croll, shares in the company blog that “the acquisition further strengthens Media Monitors ability to provide the highest quality and most comprehensive suite of media intelligence services across [its] region and beyond”.

According to Brandtology’s founder and CEO, Mr Eddie Chau, as quoted in the Brandtology blog post on the acquisition, the move is “the logical and exciting next step for Brandtology, allowing [it] to continue [its] rapid growth across existing and new markets and maintain [its] focus on research and development with the financial strength and broad Asia Pacific sales network of the region’s leading media intelligence company behind [it].”

This is clearly new milestone in Brandtology’s development. Not bad for a three-year old Singapore start-up, which has become a global leader in online and social media intelligence. This would also be a boost and an encouragement to the local start-up scene.

Could have been a love story

Came across this little cute could have been love story on Youtube.

It shows a pair of friends communicating via the Facebook chat function, and while they are clearly into each other (to the viewer), they keep revising what they want to say, stripping off all sentimentality and emotion from their original expressions and paring them down to seemingly nonchalant and platonic responses, such as a simple cool.

While social media platoforms do make it easier for someone to access another person and communicate with each others, especially in real-time, the usual should-I say-this and what-will-he/she-think-of-me-if-I-say-this hang-ups still remain in (budding) relationships.

In a way, that’s quite reassuring and that’s what makes this such a cute little story. Could-have, should-have…well, it could have been a love story. Enjoy.

I’m sure you will smile when you watch it.

The Digital Story of the Nativity

Christmas may be over, but then there are 12 days of Christmas, and it’s never too late to look at this interesting video!

Actually, I see it more as a Christmas story for Digital Natives! While the format has been updated with new media, the traditional values and message still remain and are important.

Have a blessed Christmas and happy new year, everyone!

Is Social Media Making Students Dumb?

I just read this interesting article about how social media and cellphones could be making students dumb!

It cites some examples from a recent report about how growing up digital could be wiring young people up for distraction.

  • 14-year-old girl sends and receives 27,000 text messages a month. The girl texts every spare moment she can. Yet believe it or not, sometimes she “forgets” to do her homework.
  • David Reilly, a high school principal in California, moved the start of classes to 9 a.m. Reason: Too many students coming into school “bleary-eyed” from texting and surfing the Web all night.
  • 17-year-old student spends hours every day playing video games and surfing social media sites. His teachers think he’s gifted. Yet he’s carrying a 2.3 grade point average. Instead of finishing the short novel “Cat’s Cradle” this past summer, he read Facebook.

Is technology and social media breeding a generation of restless students with short attention spans and abilities that at best can be for superficial analysis?

What do you think? Do share your views.

Richard Branson’s ‘Project’ iPad

Sir Richard Branson has done it again – got himself in the limelight, that is.

He just unveiled his latest project, Project yesterday. Branson calls it “a paperless revolutionary multimedia publication designed specifically for the iPad.” It will feature entertainment, travel, culture and business articles. You can download it for $3.

Catch the digital front cover of Project.

Branson’s efforts beat Rupert Murdoch’s bid at iPad publications. Murdoch has planned to launch an iPad-only newspaper early next year.

Whoever beats whom to get iPad publications to the public, it’s iPad that wins, as many publishers start launching their iPad versions.

In Singapore, Style Magazine has launched the country’s first interactive digital magazine, Style, on iPad. And it looks that there are more on the way.

With Google Books making inroads into the e-book market, we could expect more people curling up with their e-book readers and iPads!

Farmville Death

Just a few months back, we were horrified about how a Korean couple ended up killing their real child when they spent too much time on their virtual child.

Now, there’s another game-related death of a child. We are once again horrified by how a mother’s obsession and addiction to the Facebook game, Farmville, has led to the death of a baby.

The 22-year old mother from Jacksonville was so incensed by her 3-month old baby’s cries while she was playing Farmville that she shook him hard a couple of times, which probably caused the baby’s head to hit against something and he died as a result. Who would think that an innocuous site like Farmville could have such a devastating and deadly impact!

According to Mashable/Social Media site,

FarmVille, named one of the “worst inventions” in recent decades by Time magazine, has more than 60 million members, most of whom access the game through Facebook. Some players have found it so addicting that they’ve lost their jobs and racked up debts north of S1000.

Someone once told me that her brother was so addicted to the game that he would set his alarm clock to wake him up to harvest his crops, and that could even be at 3am in the morning!

Well, I guess losing sleep over a game is one thing, but killing a life…that’s something else all together.

Stop letting such virtual games get in the way of REAL LIFE!