Google Person Finder

On April 15, 2013, there were two bombs explosion in the Boston Marathon. This disaster killed 3 people and injured 183 people. After the explosions, the police cut off all cell phones signal in case there would be a third bomb in the location. Because of that, people cannot reach their loved ones by using cell phones, in that situation, people go up to Google Person Finder and request for latest information about their love ones. After the explosion, the site immediately began tracking over 5000 lost individuals (Corrigan, 2013). And thankfully, Google Person Finder does works and helps people reconnect with missing and injury loved ones. One of the successful stories about the Google Person Finder was mentioned in one of my blog “How Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Google react and help on the Boston Marathon Bombing investigation”.

What is Google Person Finder and How does it work?

“Google Person Finder helps people reconnect with friends and loved ones in the aftermath of natural and humanitarian disasters” – the official explanation of Google Person Finder by Google.org. (Google Person Finder)

When there is a crisis strikes and people get separated, people have to let the world know they are looking for their loved ones. Then individuals and organizations will provide the basic information about the missing person; after that, Google team will base on this important information to search around the internet and electronic devices, which including email notification, online photo album, social media account, automatic translation and phonetic name matching system. On the other hand, Google Person Finder is also available in over 40 languages (Google Person Finder Helps In Boston Marathon Explosions, 2013).

Google Person Finder is a free tool that allows everyone to either enter the name of the person they are looking for or their own personal information for those who are searching (Google Person Finder Helps In Boston Marathon Explosions, 2013).

On the site below, Jason Corrigan did a great job on breaking down how to use Google Person Finder.

http://www.searchenginejournal.com/how-bostons-marathon-victims-found-missing-loved-ones-with-google-person-finder-how-you-can-use-it-too/62764/

At the end, in a case of disaster, people could try Google Person Finder instead of sitting, calling and waiting for call backs.

Thanks for reading

Work Cited

Google Person Finder Helps In Boston Marathon Explosions. (2013, 4 15). Retrieved 4 21, 2013, from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2013/04/15/google-person-finder-helps-in-boston-marathon-explosions/

Corrigan, J. (2013, 4 17). How Boston’s Marathon Victims Found Missing Loved Ones With Google Person Finder – How You Can Use It Too. Retrieved 4 17, 2013, from searchenginejournal: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/how-bostons-marathon-victims-found-missing-loved-ones-with-google-person-finder-how-you-can-use-it-too/62764/

Google Person Finder. (n.d.). Retrieved 4 21, 2013, from Google: http://google.org/personfinder/global/home.html

How Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Google react and help on the Boston Marathon Bombing investigation.

On April 15, 2013, two bomb explosions went off at the Boston Marathon. This disaster killed 3 people and injured 183 people. Since the bombing might be related to terrorism, FBI was quickly in charge and began investigating the attack. On April 18, FBI released the pictures and videos of 2 potential suspects to various media platforms, asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects. The information soon became significant and viral around the world through the internet. People used the media platforms to share any evidence that might benefit the investigation, and this was how Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Google had a great positive impact on the Boston Marathon Bombing investigation.

Twitter

The Boston Police Department used Twitter as a tool to publish information about the marathon bombing, such as the development of the ongoing investigation, images of the 2 suspects, license plates of the vehicles that the suspects had stolen, and many other related photographs and videos. The Boston Police Department was successful in informing the public with the latest news by updating its Twitter account every 30 to 45 minutes. Moreover, Boston Police was also able to collect a lot of attack-related information by highly recommending people to tag @Boston_Police on Twitter whenever they have important information to share.

The following tweet was what the Boston Police Department posted after they captured the second suspect. This tweet was short and simple, yet it brought much excitement and relief to all the people who had been very concerned about the attack.

BPD tweet

Some Twitter users have also set up related hash tags to show support and love for the victims who were involved in the Boston Bombing. Some of the hash tags were: #PrayforBoston, #Bostonstrong, and #BostonMarathon.

YouTube

YouTube has set up a special channel on YouTube Spotlight and it is called the Boston Bombings: Latest Developments. This special channel gathers all the news and videos that are related to the Boston Marathon from different personal accounts and official news channels, such as The New York Times, CNN, and the Whitehouse. The latest uploaded news would be posted as the first video of the YouTube spotlight channel. This set up brought a lot of convenience for viewers because they don’t have to search around the YouTube website to look for the latest update of the story development.

YouTube Spotlight

Facebook

Facebook hadn’t set up any official page for this case, but when FBI released the images and videos of the two potential suspects, the information quickly became the most popular trend over Facebook. On the other hand, Boston Police Department also used Facebook as a tool to publish marathon bombing related information to the public. As you can see from the picture below, the post was shared 6863 times by different people. This was very helpful to the FBI investigation because the more the people read and shared the post, the more likely the potential witnesses would share their information to FBI, and thus the greater opportunity for the FBI to figure out the location of the two suspects.

FB post

Google

Google set up a Boston Marathon Person Finder page on their Google Person Finder system. There are two categories in the Finder, “I’m looking for someone” and “I have information about someone”. Users can either enter the name of a person they are looking for, or they can use this Finder to share any information about an individual. After the bombings occurred at the Boston Marathon, many people quickly relied on the Google Person Finder to search for the names of friends and families who were at the scene. These friends and families could be participants of the marathon or spectators, and might be lost or potentially injured. A very touching story was described in Jason Corrigan’s Blog “How Boston’s Marathon Victims Found Missing Loved Ones With Google Person Finder”. Kelly Manning’s daughter, Samantha, was a participant of the Boston Marathon. After the explosions, Kelly was very worried about her daughter’s safety but could not get in touch with her because the police had cut off all the cellphone signals nearby. The police was suspecting a third bomb in the location at that time, and the cellphone signals might be used as a trigger to the bomb. Since Kelly Manning lost direct contact with her daughter, she went to the Google Person Finder and requested for the latest information about Samantha. An hour later, Kelly received information from the Person Finder and learned that her daughter was safe and unharmed.

Google Person Finder would be explained in more details in my other post “What is Google Person Finder”.

In conclusion, media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Google had greatly contributed to Boston bombing manhunt’s success. People worked collectively and made the effort to share any resources and information that were related to the attack. This was one of the reasons why the horrible crime was solved so quickly.

Do Facebook Ads Work?

Many people curious about are Facebook Ads work or it is just another online advertising failure. Here are the explanations on how and why Facebook Ads work.

How Facebook Ads work?

1) Build Facebook Page

Companies have to create their Facebook page; it would be much easier for customers to go on their Facebook page rather than the company official web site.(Advertise on Facebook)

2) Connect with people

In order to target the right audiences, companies should create several ads and target based on location, demographics and interests. (Advertise on Facebook)

3) Engage Audience

Once customers liked the page, companies have to post quality updates to inform customers and maintain its customers’ brand loyalty.(Advertise on Facebook)

5 reasons that why Facebook Ads Work

1)      Huge Amount of Facebook Users – Facebook users reach 1.06 billion last month and 618 million of them are daily active users (Smith, 2013). It would be great for a company to advertise on a huge social media platform with 1.06 billion users. It is no doubt that the Facebook ads would effectively increase the company awareness.

2)      Better Target Audiences – Facebook Ads are targeted according to Facebook users profile information, which included users’ age, living location, education level, relationship status, sport interests, music interests (Facebook Ads Guide). Based on these important personal information, companies Ads would be efficient on reaching the right audience for their ads.

3)      New Timeline Advertising Design – instead of putting all advertisements on the right side, with the new Timeline design, some of the advertising post will actually appear on users News Feed. This new design force users to walk through the advertising post before they can check on their friends Facebook status updates.

4)      Better Visual Effect – unlike other online advertising, Facebook ads are more visual focus. With the use of picture and text design, it should more efficient on catching audiences’ attention (Fuller, 2013).

5)      Like Button– other function that makes Facebook Ads unique is the like button. Facebook Ads allow users to like the ads. It reflects the popular level of the company ads and its product.

Thanks for reading

Work Cited

Advertise on Facebook. (n.d.). Retrieved 4 22, 2013, from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/advertising

Facebook Ads Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved 4 18, 2013, from Social Ads Tool: http://www.socialadstool.com/facebook-ads-guide/how-facebook-ads-work/

Fuller, A. (2013, 1 20). Do Facebook Ads Work? Retrieved 4 18, 2013, from Sheer Social: http://sheersocial.com/2013/01/20/do-facebook-ads-work/#.UXTwTrW-lqU

Smith, C. (2013, 4 13). 32 Amazing Facebook Stats. Retrieved 4 20, 2013, from Expanded Ramblings: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-17-amazing-facebook-stats/

Posting videos on YouTube? (2) – 5 suggestions on getting more viewers and subscribers in YouTube

On part 1, we had discussed about posting videos on YouTube is actually a great idea to make extra money. In part 2, we will talk about how to increase the number of video views and attract more potential subscribers. Here are 5 suggestions on getting more views and subscribers for your YouTube channel

Good Video Quality – Good video quality doesn’t mean that you have to purchase expensive filming equipment; it means you choose a great and meaningful topic to discuss on your YouTube video. Audiences would follow your channel when they feel it is meaningful or learn something by watching your videos.

Don’t make your videos too long – Audience will lose focus when the video clip is too long. In order to maintain the excitement for audience , the suggestion length of each YouTube video is around 3-7 minutes (Bushcraft, 2013).

Use Annotations – Annotations are the pop-up text that people added in their video. Displaying a call to action annotations at the end of video could help the audience click into your other related videos which directly influence the video views (Angeloff, 2012).

Calls To Action – With a strong call to action at the end of the video, like asking audience to subscribe your channel by using a big arrow, it would draw audience’s attention and click the “Subscribe” button at the end.(Angeloff, 2012).

Upload Regular Videos and Try to reply viewers’ comments –  Replying viewers’ comments could increase the interaction between you and viewers. On the other hand, uploading video regularly could maintain the audience interest on your YouTube channel.

Thanks for reading

Work Cited

Angeloff, K. (2012, 10 29). 7 proven tactics to get more YouTube subscribers and views. Retrieved 4 18, 2013, from MintFull: http://www.mintfull.com/get-more-subscribers-youtube/

Bushcraft, J. (2013, 1 11). How to get more YouTube Subscribers. Retrieved 4 20, 2013, from Blogspot: http://howtogetmoreyoutubesubscribers.blogspot.ca/2013/01/how-to-increase-views-on-youtube-and.html

Wanna make money? What about posting videos on YouTube?

As the topic said, would people consider posting videos on YouTube is a good way to make money? Actually, this is not a bad idea.

According to YouTube, YouTube partners will make $2.5 to $5 per video views. Of cause, the most popular stars will earn $5 per 1000 views. In this case, if this can really add up, partners will earn up to $5000 US per million view of the video (Wei, 2010). A real life example would be “Shane Dawson” and “The Annoying Orange”.

“The Annoying Orange”

YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/realannoyingorange/about

Number of Subscribers: 2,930,325 (updated 21/4/2013)

Total Video Views: 1,628,704,263 (updated 21/4/2013)

“The Annoying Orange” is an American comedy web series created by Dane Boedigheimer. The comedy takes place in a kitchen and is all about using an anthropomorphic orange that annoys other fruits, vegetables and various other objects by using insulting, rude and crude –humored jokes. This show is so famous that some of the episodes had been translated into several languages.

From 2009-2010, the channel recorded a total views of 349,753,047, and it leaded to a $288,000 earnings for 2009 (Wei, 2010).

“Shane Dawson TV”

YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ShaneDawsonTV?feature=watch

Number of Subscribers: 3,716,556  (updated 21/4/2013)

Total Video Views: 845,800,494  (updated 21/4/2013)

Shane Dawson is an American comedian. His YouTube channel is mainly about his comedy skits and music video parodies. Same as “The Annoying Orange”, “Shane Dawson TV” is so successful that some of his episodes were being translated into several languages.

 From 2009-2010, the channel recorded a total views of 431,787,450, and it leaded to a $315,000 incomes for his channel (Wei, 2010).

However, before people joining the YouTube Community, they have to make sure their videos are appropriate and suitable for all ages of viewers. If the video was flagged as inappropriate, YouTube management has the right to remove it from the channel. In conclusion, posting videos on YouTube would be a great idea, but these activities do not considered as a full time job. There is no guarantee that people could receive more than 1000 views on each video, therefore people should post videos to YouTube as hobbies, not a full time job.

Thanks for reading

Work Cited

Wei, W. (2010, 8 19). Meet The YouTube Stars Making $100,000 Plus per year. Retrieved 4 12, 2013, from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/meet-the-richest-independent-youtube-stars-2010-8?op=1

 

 

Which social media platforms should we use in China?

As we all know, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have dominated the social media market for a long time in North America. Nowadays, people use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and Blogger as major communication tools to connect with each other. In addition, some companies use these social media as an internal communication tool as well. They require their employees to use Facebook inbox messaging instead of traditional emails. However, due to the political concerns and issues in China, these platforms are not allowed to operate. And here comes the question – if marketers want to expand its company to China, instead of sending emails and making phone calls, which social media platform should they use to communicate with the partners in China?

Here are 3 social media platforms that are commonly use in China.

1) QQ (700 million monthly users)

Description: QQ is an online communication media that is very similar to ICQ and MSN. It operates on both computers and smartphones. QQ was founded in November 1998 by Tencent.inc. (About QQ). For now, QQ now has approximately 700 million monthly active users in China, and it has been the largest and most used internet service portal in China for the past decade (Fong, 2012).

Functions: person and group chat, and files sharing.

Official Web site: www.qq.com

Pictures:

1.1.4

 

2) Qzone (500 million users)

Description: Qzone is a social networking website that is similar to MySpace. It currently has 500 million monthly active users. Qzone was founded and created by Tencent in 2005. Qzone allows its users to write blogs, share photos, and post videos.

Functions: Blogs writing, sharing of photos, music, and videos.

Official Web site: www.qzone.qq.com/

Pictures:

3) SINA Weibo (500 million users)

Description: “Weibo” stands for “Microblog” in Chinese. SINA Weibo is a social media platform in China that is very similar to Twitter (Fong, 2012). It launched on 14 August 2009. SINA Weibo allows its users to post and share information, but there is a word limit associated to each post. The reason it is so popular in China is because many of its users are famous actors, singers, and athletes. These celebrities directly attract more followers to register for Weibo.

Functions: Microblog, photo share

Official Web site: www.weibo.com/

Pictures:

4) Renren (100 million users)

Description: Renren is a social networking platform that is almost identical to Facebook. The layout, design, and functions are so similar to Facebook that some people actually think it is a Chinese version of Facebook.

Functions: Blogs writing, photos, video and music sharing

Official Web site: www.renren.com/

Pictures:

Conclusion

In order to build a great relationship with international customers, marketers have to understand the cultural differences on the use of different social media platforms. Sometimes, language difference is not the major barrier in international communication. It is the use of different social media. As mentioned above, QQ, Qzone,SINA Weibo, and Renren are the most commonly use social media platforms in China for now. Marketers should become familiar with these social media platforms if they want to expand the business to China. If the consumers and marketers use the same social media communication platforms, it may help minimize communication breakdowns.

Thanks for reading

Work Cited

About QQ. (n.d.). Retrieved from QQ: http://www.qq.com

Fong, H. (2012, 10 25). 5 Things You Need To Know About Chinese Social Media. Retrieved 4 15, 2013, from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2012/10/25/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-chinese-social-media/

Google Glass is symbolic of our addiction and dependence on technology

Google has finally announced the 8,000 winners of “Google Glass.” These winners have been selected to be the first users of this new product, which is a pair of glasses that functions like smartphones. These winners still have to pay $1,500 US a piece for the test version of Google Glass. Moreover, they also have to travel to New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco to pick up the “glass” in person; otherwise, the valuable opportunities to use Google glass would be given to other person (LIEDTKE, 2013). According to some news interview, a winner said that winning this “Google Glass” contest is 10 times better than winning the lottery.

Google said these winners are invaluable to the production of this product, because these users can provide insightful feedbacks that could help its engineers get a better understanding of how the technology might be used and make any necessary adjustments before the device is officially released to the world (LIEDTKE, 2013).

I understand that it is exciting whenever there is a new electronic product is first publicly announced and distributed, but there are a few problems with Google Glass. Is the device worth this much? Is it necessary? And the major thing that I am worried about is how will Google Glass change the world of human communication?

What is Google Glass and what made it special?

Google Glass is a wearable computer with a head-mounted display which is being developed by Google (Albanesius, 2012). Google Glass provides a new way to connect people with their email, online social media by displaying information in a smartphone-like hands-free format (LIEDTKE, 2013). Also, the most exciting part about Google Glass is the built-in camera; users are allowed to take pictures and film videos without holding the phone or any big camera.

Google Glass image

What do I feel about it?

It is nice to see the development of today’s technology; however there are several things I am worried about.

1. Google Glass utilizes augmented reality

The creation of Google Glass has shortened the distance between humans and technology. 10 years ago, when people want to use the internet, they had to access it from school, workplace or home; but now, people can go online by taking out their multi-functional phone. For these years, there is a gap between humans and technology, but now, the gap is disappearing because of the rapid development of technology.

Google Glass takes humans and their interaction with devices to a whole new level because it reduces this distance completely. Google Glass plans to integrate digital interfaces into our lives. Accessing the internet, posting on social networking sites and taking pictures will be like any other bodily activity. The Google Glass is not a separate device on our body; it is a part of our bodies. The gap between people and their electronic devices will be finally broken down with Google Glass. The consequences are still unknown.

2. Possible Consequences

One possible result of this is that young people might find it difficult to distinguish the difference between reality and virtual reality. One related example is that there is a growing population of babies and toddlers who think that all printed material has multi-touch functionality. That is, they think a physical magazine or a newspaper can be swiped like a picture on an iPad. Of course I am not saying that everyone would be unable to see the differences between the real world and the digital world, I am suggesting that there will be a growing inability to discern the difference. When we become more integrated with these powerful tools, we become addicted to them. Humans might grow lost and disillusioned with reality if products like Google Glass spreads as an everyday device.

3. Google Glass is symbolic of our addiction and dependence

Electronic devices are like a drug. People are addicted to it. Nowadays, people are already obsessed with them, and this technological addiction would become much more serious in the future. The fact that there are countless of thousands of people waiting in line for Google Glass is symbolic of our addiction. Addiction is two-sided. First, when one decides to limit their dosage, the person experiences withdrawal. We see this already with many children, who are unable to live happily if they have the internet taken away from them. Second, constant usage creates tolerance. People need more and more on their phones. We multitask frequently. We need more gigabytes, bandwidths, and data in order to sustain both our personal and professional lives.

The greatest problem with our addiction to technology is that is not a taboo yet. Again, the fact that the world is excited for these devices means too many of us are addicted together. Imagine if the whole world is dependent on illicit drug. Would anyone know the dangers or risks? Who would quit if everyone around you were hooked? This is the current state of technology now. We should not eat everything companies like Google feed us. We need to step back, intervene and reflect on this invisible social problem.

Thanks for reading

Work Cited

Albanesius, C. (2012, 4 12). Google ‘Project Glass’ Replaces the Smartphone With Glasses. Retrieved from PC MAG: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2402613,00.asp

LIEDTKE, M. (2013, 3 26). Google picks 8,000 winners of ‘Glass’ contest. Retrieved from Yahoo: http://news.yahoo.com/google-picks-8-000-winners-glass-contest-220221488.html