Tick Yes Blog

Tag - the message

Seinfeld goes social

A favourite of Gen Xers around the world, ‘the show about nothing’ has been reinvented for modern content consumers
 
You’re probably showing your age if you admit to having been a ‘big Seinfeld fan’. The sitcom, starring comedian Jerry Seinfeld as, um, comedian Jerry Seinfeld came to an end in 1998, and although it is still shown in reruns around the world, it’s fair to say it’s probably something for the Gen Xers out there.
Except…
 
A fun new initiative by a couple of Seinfeld fans has brought the show into the social media age. As first revealed in The Hollywood Reporter, Twitter feed Modern Seinfeld imagines what Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer would be doing right now, on the cusp of 2013.
The feed was only set up four days ago and has already amassed over 160,000 eager followers – an undisputedly impressive achievement. Here’s a selection of our favourite tweets…

 

 

 

 

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Social Media Dictatorship

Facebook has moved the goalposts, shattering the illusion of the democracy of the Internet
 

Ah, the democracy of social media. The way it gives a voice to the individual has been talked about, written about, posted about and tweeted about. And it’s true – up to a point.
But as with society in general, there is still a limit. The role social media played in the Arab Spring revolutions of 2010 and 2011 has been well-documented. But questions are already being asked about (and, in the case of Egypt, demonstrations are being held in relation to) about how much – or how little – has actually changed.
It is the same in the business world. Sure, angry customers can use social media to vent about something a company does, but that company has the ability to silence those online voices (at least on its own social media and online sites) if it chooses to do so.
Who controls social media?
There are countless examples of Facebook posts being removed because they criticise a company’s opinions or actions. Of course, doing that is top of the list of things NOT to do in content marketing, because rather than engaging with people and attempting to learn why they are angry and what you can do to fix it (thereby keeping them as customers and increasing the chance of getting people they recommend) it simply sends the message that you don’t care. Which means they are going to jump on a different social media forum and tell the world exactly that.

In fact, it is situations just like the one described above that perpetuates the notion that the Internet in general – and social media in particular – is a democratising force. But how democratic is it if the way the Net and social media are controlled actually only favours a few?
At an extreme level, we have countries like North Korea, Iran and China where the Internet is closely controlled by the authorities. But even in the ‘free world’, the Net we all access, from Australia to Argentina, is effectively owned by the US. Dig down a level and we see that companies are vying to control new top-level domain names, which in turn allows them to control the content within them.
How democratic does that sound?

Facebook fuels the fire
And now Facebook has embarked on the path to dictatorship by stripping its users of the power to endorse or reject policy changes through popular vote.

To maintain the veneer of public accountability, Facebook held a referendum on the issue. 668,125 members voted in it, with 87 per cent opposing the change. You would think that represented a pretty overwhelming rejection of the Facebook proposal. But here’s the catch…
Facebook said that if less than 30% of its members failed to vote, it would be free to go forward with a plan to eliminate the existing voting structure, denying people the right to have a say in its future direction, and to also integrate Instagram data for advertising purposes.
Given that Facebook has a billion members, that means 300 million people worldwide needed to vote (with the majority of them opposing the proposal) in order to block the change. Talk about loading the dice!
Which again raises the question: Is the notion of the democracy of social media an illusion? Is it really nothing more than a dictatorship?
 
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Protect your content

The recent cyber attack on the Australian Defence Force shows that hactivists are targeting online content to make their mark

 
Anonymous are at it again. Back in February, The Message questioned whether the loosely connected network of hactivists was facing extinction as a result of concerted, coordinated action by international police forces.
This article led to the comment ‘We are still here’ being posted on our messageboard.
They most certainly are. It seems that barely any news event passes without Anonymous (or someone who would dearly like to be part of Anonymous) posting warnings. The recent, tragic radio station prank call furore is a case in point. As a result of nurse Jacintha Saldanha committing suicide after being duped by two Australian DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian from Sydney’s 2Day FM, Anonymous posted a threatening message on the Internet.
The message itself has been taken down from YouTube ‘as a violation of YouTube’s policy on depiction of violent activities’. However, this ABC News report on the sad affair carries extracts from it (from 1:12).

Some commentators have been quick to point out the irony of an organisation that dedicates itself to ‘trying to fight criminal activities by governments and corporations’ aligning itself with the Establishment response to the event. There is certainly some truth in that, but it also serves as proof that policing the world of online content is almost impossible.
ADF hacked

Indeed, online content itself is a prime target – as the Australian Defence Force can testify.
The Canberra Times reports that last month, a lone hacker committed ‘one of the worst known cyber attacks on a government organisation in this country’ by breaching a university database at the Australian Defence Force Academy and stealing the personal details of thousands of Australian military staff. The details were then posted on websites linked to Anonymous.
The hacker, known only as Darwinare, is quoted as saying that he was acting ‘for fun’ and was shocked at how easy it was to gain access to the information, adding that the whole attack ‘took like three minutes’.
It serves as a salient reminder to businesses and individuals alike that while utilising online and social media content is a wonderful marketing tool, you have to take steps to protect it and the malicious access that can be gained through it.
 
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Blessed are the tweeters

Even the Vatican is embracing social media and content marketing
Forget life imitating art, here we have a classic case of life imitating The Message. In January 2012, in a post called iBelieve, we wrote: ‘If organised religion wants to live past this generation, it has to make like every other big business and stay visible.’
Then a couple of months later, in a post imaginatively titled iBelieve (part 2), we reported that ‘the spread of social media-savvy religion-related content has reached, well, biblical proportions’.
And now, with a well-known religious festival almost upon us, it seems entirely appropriate that the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, has taken to Twitter (as @pontifex). According to the Vatican, the Pope will be using the social media microblog to tweet ‘pearls of wisdom’ in eight languages, answering questions sent to him regarding matters of faith.
‘The Pope’s presence on Twitter is a concrete expression of his conviction that the Church must be present in the digital arena,’ the Vatican says. Which shows that even the 2000-year-old Catholic movement understands how social media and content marketing can be a massive benefit in the digital age.
At time of writing, the papal twitter account has 501,936 followers. Although that figure is a mere fraction of the planet’s 1.2 billion Catholics, it is a remarkable number considering Pope Benedict has yet to send a single tweet. Now, cynics may call that blind faith, but in fairness the Vatican has said the account won’t be used until just before Christmas.
Still, it will be interesting to see whether the Church fully embraces social media to the extent some have done. Speaking personally, we can’t wait to see the Instagram images of the pontiff’s Christmas dinner…
 
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The infamy game

Using social media content to connect with friends. Priceless. Using social media content to boast about a crime. Soooo stupid…
The desire to be ‘YouTube Famous’ is a strong driver in young people these days. So strong, in fact, that apparently it overrides commonsense and the desire to remain un-incarcerated.
Meet Hannah Sabata, a 19-year-old US woman who will hopefully remain in jail for the majority of her child-bearing years, lest she contribute her questionable intelligence to the gene pool. Hannah’s day started off successfully enough (depending on how you view success) when she managed to steal a car and rob a bank.
After returning home, however, her perfect crime seemed just a little too perfect not to share, so share she did. On YouTube. With 26,000 of her closest acquaintances.
Now that criminals are officially stupid enough to record video confessions of their crimes mere hours after committing them, maybe we should take some patrols off the streets and put the money into education to stop the pattern repeating itself…
 
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Meet the misogynists

There’s much to like in the world of online content. But sadly, there’s also much to despise
While the Internet is a breeding ground for baby millionaires and world-changing innovation, it is also a breeding ground for bottom-feeding scumbags who – like cockroaches – unfortunately seem to multiply at an alarming rate.
That there are dodgy types online is certainly nothing new. As The Message explained when reporting on the desperately sad case of Amanda Todd, predators are never far away when online, just waiting to push their next victim to the edge of despair – or even over it.
A certain level of anonymity, the waft of fast cash and a coward’s taste for humiliating others combine to create a heady aroma that is to cyber-creeps as cow dung is to flies. While there is no shortage of awful females online, there seems to have been an upsurge of nasty misogynistic sites in the past few years. As a little public service announcement, we’ve rounded up three of the worst offenders…
Hunter Moore
Meet Hunter Moore, who is just the kind of man (and we use the term loosely) that you want to bring home to mum. Assuming your mum is the corpse from Psycho, that is.
Moore established a site called IsAnyoneUp that was shut down in April after he was bought out by an anti-bullying organisation. The site was a forum for ‘revenge porn’, where jilted lovers (mainly men) could submit images of their naked exes (who, surprise, surprise, were overwhelmingly women). The pictures were usually photos that had either been taken or sent during happier times, and were published with links to the victim’s Facebook page and other personal details.
A few days ago, Moore announced that he was going to reopen his site with all the old content under a different name. Even the fact that online vigilante/hacker organisation Anonymous has published Moore’s address and personal details online and released a video calling on its followers to hold Moore accountable for the content he publishes has failed to deter him.
‘I don’t really give a f—, to be completely honest with you,’ he told smh.com.au. ‘I make my money and pay my bills.’ What a charmer.
Creepshots.com
Creepshots is a website set up by a few self-proclaimed ‘family men’ who like to indulge in a bit of candid photography. Of women’s arses. The site encourages the submission of photos taken of unsuspecting women who look sexy (or not – there is an unhealthy number of photos that exist purely to ridicule).
It doesn’t take a criminologist to point out the link between men who get off on the fact that they have taken something from an unconsenting woman and men who get off on rape. It might sound extreme but the fetish at play is similar.
The men behind Creepshots facilitate the sharing of unwanted, uninvited images of women, and hide behind the excuse that if a woman wore something ‘sexy, tight or revealing’ she shouldn’t be surprised to end up on a website. Which sounds worryingly like the type of ridiculous rhetoric used by people intent on blaming rape victims for inviting it.
Roosh V
It’s no coincidence that this guy’s name rhymes with ‘douche’. In a depressing insight into the state of society, his books on how to ‘bang’ women in various countries have become widely popular. While these tomes appear at a glance to be part travel-guide, part self-congratulatory literary masturbation (full disclosure – no-one in our office could bring themselves to read one), his blog posts are something else.
They range from bizarre rants about Western women to a guide on how to cheat on your girlfriend without getting caught. Yep, he’s a charmer all right. His main thesis seems to be that feminism has corrupted women in the West to such an extent that he is forced to seek out women in South America, Eastern Europe and South East Asia who won’t be hung up on silly issues like wanting to have a job or wear flats.
Not only is this incredibly insulting to pretty much every nation of women he mentions, it also proves that the only women this man can have any romantic success with are not native English speakers. We’d hazard a guess that he’s slightly more tolerable when you can’t understand the pure Moron coming out of his mouth.
We’ll leave you with this particularly delightful quote from the man himself: ‘I’ve come to the conclusion that you shouldn’t listen to a woman about anything. I’ve observed almost no cases where a man’s status or position has been increased from following a woman’s advice or opinions, and it’s much more likely for him to be harmed from it.’
 
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Clever ways to warn

Content marketing gets the health and safety message across – and goes viral in the process
Chances are you’ve heard about Dumb Ways to Die, the latest viral video to go tearing through inboxes and Facebook walls all over the world. The video is cleverly animated with a sweet acoustic singer providing the music that, were it playing in the background, you might mistake for some adorable lullaby.
The reality, however, is a humorously gruesome (and gruesomely humorous) depiction of all the stupid ways you can shuffle off this mortal coil. In the style of the Darwin Awards (an annual award series that recognises the contribution to the gene pool of those whose stupidity has caused them to be removed from it), the video describes in fascinating visual detail a range of ways to die.
While the clip is entertaining in its own right, the really surprising feature comes at the end – when we realise that it is actually a public service announcement from Melbourne’s Metro Trains intended to dissuade people from standing too close to the tracks.
‘This campaign is designed to draw people to the safety message, rather than frighten them away. Especially in our younger segments,’ said Chloe Aslop, Marketing Manager of Metro Trains. ‘We want to create a lasting understanding that you shouldn’t take risks around trains, that the prospect of death or serious injury is ever-present and that we as a community need to be aware of what constitutes both safe and dumb behaviour.’
In any case, it seems that a little video about dying has breathed new life into the safety message Metro Trains is pushing – and has been an unqualified success for McCann, the advertising agency that created it.
In the unlikely event that you haven’t seen it, check it out – and hopefully it will stay in your mind next time you’re waiting near the tracks.

 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

H- bday 2 u

SMS is 20. To mark the occasion, The Message looks back at some historically significant texts and assesses the future of messaging
It certainly doesn’t feel like 20 years since the first text message was sent. Granted, that’s probably because, in Australia, it was only in April 2000 that it became possible to send and receive texts to our collective hearts’ – and carriers’ – content (originally, it was a strictly intra-network proposition).
But still, 20 years of instant peer-to-peer content dissemination is good going, and it’s not drawing too long a bow to suggest that the success of SMS not only helped pave the way for social media, but also helped change how people chose to receive their information. SMS made short and sweet sexy, and that remains the case today.
According to Telstra, 12.05 billion text messages were sent on its network this year. That’s a phenomenal amount and yet the signs are that SMS is unlikely to see another 20 years, as Smartphone users are increasingly turning to free messaging apps like WhatsApp (not to mention Viber, BlackBerry Messenger, Apple iMessage and Facebook Messenger) as a personal content-sharing platform.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 10 billion messages were sent by WhatsApp users around the world in one day earlier this year. So although Australia seems to be bucking the global trend by seeing an increase in the numbers of SMS and MMS sends, chances are we are currently at the apex of the texting universe and the end, when it happens, will be quick.
Already, advances in predictive text technology have seen abbreviations – once so beloved of texters – gradually disappear, so before SMS goes the way of the VHS, let’s take a moment to recall some of its highlights (and lowlights)…

‘Merry Christmas’ – The text of the very first SMS. It was sent on 3 December, 1992, by Vodafone UK employee Neil Papworth, who had been developing the software, to a company director. Because mobile phones did not then have keyboards, Papworth typed out the message on computer, believing it would simply be a means of improving paging rather than revolutionising communication.

‘It’s a DELIBERATE attack  – a second plane just flew into the second tower’ – 9/11 as soon through the SMS of an unknown texter. Wikileaks recently released a full record of all texts sent at the time, providing a second-by-second account of the attacks.

‘You almost just ruined my whole life’ – What would SMS be without a good old-fashioned scandal. We could have plumped (no pun intended) for Shane Warne’s well-reported predilection for sexting, but on a global scale, the whole Tiger Woods scandal takes some beating. This was the last message the disgraced golfing superstar sent to porn star Joslyn James. The others were rather more… suggestive!

‘Hello from Earth’ – The message send on 28 August, 2009, from the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex. The target is Gliese 581d – a red dwarf star with its own planetary system scientists believe may be capable of supporting life. It will be interesting to see the reply…

‘The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality, they seldom attack a human’ – the text used by Guinness World Records in its official speed-text challenge. The current record (predictive text-excluding) is 37.28 seconds.

 
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Wonderful world

With Christmas fast approaching, online content can remind us of all the good out there…
The fact is, Big Brother IS watching us. We’re reminded daily that our actions are being monitored, but all too often that reminder is one that makes us feel worse about the society we’re a part of, not better. Whether it’s chilling video footage of a woman’s last movements before she disappeared, chaotic scenes of violence in the Middle East or the senseless rampaging of a rioting city, CCTV footage is, as a general rule, pretty darn grim.
Just yesterday, the security footage that captured Norwegian Anders Breivik’s bomb attack in Oslo was released, showing in chilling detail the moments before and after the van exploded, killing eight people and injuring dozens.
Yet it stands to reason that if the cameras can catch all the awful things that happen in the world, they must catch at least some of the wonderful things as well. It’s this logic that drove social good foundation Love Everybody to create the following video… moments of positivity, bravery and human connection caught on camera. It proves a nice antidote to the usual security footage we see…

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A curious cover star

Old and new media meet with the unveiling of TIME’s Person of the Year nominees
In what is surely the ultimate meeting of old and new media, the Mars Curiosity Rover (which has left an indelible mark on content marketing as well as the Red Planet) has recently been nominated as TIME magazine’s Person of the Year.
Curiosity is up against some real people for this year’s honour, including Felix Baumgartner, Barack Obama and Psy. If successful, Curiosity will join such luminaries (and questionable figures) as Charles Lindbergh, Mahatma Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, John Kennedy, Mikhail Gorbachev, Julian Assange (left) and Mark Zuckerberg who have been awarded the year-ending title at various times in its 85-year history.
If you think it’s odd that a decidedly non-person should receive the accolade, there is a precedent for it. In 1982, ‘the computer’ was named Person of the Year – an appropriate connection given the role computers have played in both the success of the Curiosity Rover project and the steady decline of traditional, printed media.
Of course, TIME has always prided itself on bucking trends – and come the announcement on 14 December, it may have done it again.
 
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