Faisal Shahzad’s Headline Photo is Sourced from Orkut

A screenshot of Faisal Shahzad's image on NYTimes.com, as sourced from Orkut.com

The recent creation of Facebook Open Graph opened a whole new can of worms regarding privacy on social networks. Now more than ever, the world is all a-buzz about privacy.Β But what about privacy for criminal suspects?

Faisal Shahzad, the suspect who admitted to attempting to explode a bomb in Times Square on May 1st, has been pictured across multiple news sites. Most of the pictures being used to depict the suspect are from Orkut and Facebook, social networking sites that Mr. Shahzad maintained profiles on. From a quick search on both sites, I couldn’t seem to find his profiles. But somehow, news agencies have managed to locate his photos and post them alongside the latest headlines.

How could an individual with a plan to unleash bombs in Times Square leave his online social presence completely unprotected from the media? Was he oblivious to the fact that his photos might some day be shared on national television and across the web without his authorization after his attempts at mass destruction? Or did he actually unknowingly give authorization to both sites to share his content with the world? Were the privacy settings too difficult to understand?

Maybe it was just that the default settings said, “Yes! Please obliterate my right to privacy,” and Mr. Shahzad didn’t realize it. Whatever the reason, I am amused to see “Orkut.com” as the source of these photos.

What are your thoughts on news sites sourcing Orkut and Facebook for photos? Do you think there are any privacy implications?

Spin the Pen Revisited: Spin It to Win It

Last summer, my friend, Daniel McCoy, and I entered the Pentel Recycology Student Campaign of the Year contest, hosted by Alloy Media + Marketing. Our entry to the contest was called “Spin the Pen. Save the Planet.” Among our many campaign strategies, we utilized a Facebook group, YouTube page, Twitter page and website. We featured pen spinners JC and Xero spinning the Recycology products.

As winners of the contest, Daniel and I attended the John Caples Awards, were offered internships at Alloy Media + Marketing to further the Spin the Pen campaign, and received a lump-sum of $5,000 to split among ourselves and those who helped out, JC, Xero, and our cameraman, Josh. Great prizes, right?!

Unfortunately, I was unable to take the internship, but Daniel did a great job there. He continued the Spin the Pen campaign, but focused on the Pentel RSVP, a pen that many pen spinners consider to be the best pen to get started spinning with. I think that was a great move, as many spinners kept telling us that the Recycology products were too light and had too many protruding functions to spin.

His new campaign is called “Spin It to Win It“. The main video is shown above. Check out the website for a tutorial, an introduction to Xero (the featured spinner), and more. You can even upload your video for a chance to win $500! Here’s Xero’s entry:

My congratulations go out to Daniel and Xero! Great site, videos and campaign!!!

Friend.ly Facebook Friend Stats

Cool! I just discovered Friend.ly, a Facebook application that analyzes yours friends’ demographic information and outputs basic statistics.

Thought I’d post my friend stats here so that you could all psychoanalyze me!

Most common name: Kevin (11 friends)
Most common zodiac sign: Libra (83 friends)
Longest name: Maximillian-Conroy Hencke
Shortest name: Yi Li
Female/Male: 50% / 50%
Single/Taken: 39% / 61%
Youngest friend: 17 years old
Oldest friend: 105 years old
Average age: 23 years old

If you’re interested, go try it yourself at http://friend.ly!

Note: You can click “Don’t Allow” for both prompt boxes and it will still calculate the statistics. Plus, you don’t even have to publish the output to your Facebook news feed!

Twitter’s Internal Strategy is Compromised


I stepped out of the office for a little bit today and when I returned I found a 40-paged article on my desk, freshly printed and bound with a binder clip. The article, from TechCrunch, was entitled Twitter’s Internal Strategy Laid Bare: To Be “The Pulse of the Planet”.

Apparently, on Tuesday evening, more than 300 confidential Twitter documents and screenshots were sent to TechCrunch. Skimming through the article, I can’t help but think the following:

1.) How can Twitter be so rude to P. Diddy? (@iamdiddy)

2.) Is this really a strategy? And was it written by 10-year-olds? But, then, on the other hand, I’m thinking that Twitter must have a really youthful culture to use such juvenile language in official strategy meetings. Some examples include:

— Google would kick our ass at finding the good tweet.

— Twitter should tell me stuff without me searching for that.

— Getting into bed with Microsoft / Why did we start talking to Microsoft in the first place?

— We can give people stuff for free but not forever.

3.) Wow. I wonder how the folks at Twitter conned TechCrunch to not publish all 300 confidential documents that were sent to them.

If you haven’t skimmed through (or completely devoured) the article yet, please do so now! It’s hilarious and a bit enlightening at the same time.

Glamour Subscription Only $1.50

In celebration of their 70th Birthday, Glamour Magazine is dishing out subscriptions for $1.50 for one year! How did they choose $1.50? That was their price in their founding year of 1939.

Take advantage of this one! Sign up for a subscription here!

You might be wondering how I heard about this… Facebook! I’m really impressed with the increased use of Facebook advertising by large corporation. Cheers to that!

The Future of Social Media Marketing

Abrams Research just came out with their social media survey today. Check it out here. Here’s an abridged version:

  • Most people would recommend businesses use Twitter over any other social media site: 40% to just 15% for Facebook
  • But – they’d pay for Facebook over any other site for their own use
  • MySpace: DEAD LAST FOR BOTH. Ouch.
  • When asked which company was using social media best (their pick), top choices were Zappos, Obama and CNN (also NYT, NPR, Dell, Jetblue, plus a WineLibrary shout-out)

Check out the unabridged version for all the juicy details!

All of this data kind of makes you wonder… what is the future of social media marketing? Any thoughts?