Is Technology and Data Spooky?!

Let’s be real. Technology is getting creepy. It’s the scary teacher from grade school that somehow always knows what you’re doing even when she isn’t even looking at you. It seems to be watching our every click spanning the vast universe of the Internet. Companies are focusing on developing technology that processes all of our data to make inferences that could help them turn us into customers, or more importantly, into advocates for their brand. Recently, a brand we’re all familiar with, Netflix, held a competition that rewarded a million dollars (no one we knew won to note) to the group that could create an algorithm that could create better movie suggestions for their members.

It is becoming more and more noticeable to all of us we know; the advertisements on Facebook are generated by endless data based on your profile and pictures posted. Did you notice if you’re wearing a certain brand or piece of clothing that you’ll somehow get an ad with that same information in it? It’s all about targeting, but that’s almost scary targeting! (They’re watching you)!

We have now a developed generation that focuses on individuality, and this evolution inspires us to publicize ourselves on social platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, among others. The science behind this data as stated above is rapidly growing due to the high demand of how to use it despite how complicated it is. Going back to the Netflix competition, out of the thousands that entered their competition, only two teams were actually able to create algorithms that improved movie suggestions by ten percent. Acquiring data is easy, but making successful inferences from all of that data is the hard part. But even the smallest improvement can make a large difference by using data properly, which is why companies aren’t afraid to invest.

We’ve been thinking about that a lot on our end here at B Culture Media. How can we help the industry understand what to extract, or more importantly, what to put in place to make that extraction of data all the more usable from the get-go? And, how can we help them understand to the ‘T’ what their target audiences’ want so that all those ad monies are spent wisely. We feel it’s a bit like being Beauty from “Beauty and the Beast” and you have all of this amazing food enticing you to “be their guest”, but instead of that cute dancing cake, now it happens to be advertisements for billions of things you can put into practice to give you lots and lots of data…but, at the end of the day, what does that all translate into? Sales? Growth? Advocacy? What are you Mr./Mrs. X Brand actually searching for?

That’s what makes us understand that we’re circling around back to the technology/data days that existed before the Internet craze started. We need to fully understand the depth of a business, what they need to accomplish, and put into place strategies and metrics to ensure that the “cool” marketing recommendations using innovative technology will actually help an entire organization meet their business goals. Big data is useful, spooky targeted ads are useful, but you have to understand first as to why it’s useful and what you want out of it. I mean, of course besides tracking traffic to a website and the numbers of fans on social channels… those are easy!

@natbdold

@claudiavon

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Don’t Get Kicked Off Twitter

By now, we’ve all heard of Independent journalist Guy Adams having his Twitter account suspended (by Twitter). UPDATE: Twitter has since reinstated Guy’s account (@guyadams). Here’s the tweet that was a no-no, supposedly:

Some complained that being able to criticize anyone or anything or any brand or any network was part of Twitter’s purpose. Everyone has an opinion and should be allowed to voice it, right? Right. It wasn’t the criticism. It was the email address included in the tweet. Remember, when you signed up for Twitter, you checked that little box indicating that you had read and agreed with the terms of service? Oops. If you want to continue using Twitter, keep these things in mind:

  • Don’t post a private email address, street address, or telephone number without permission from the individual associated with the information.
  • Posting social security and/or credit card numbers are also grounds for suspension.
  • No direct, specific threats of violence against others. See Olympic Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella, who was later kicked off his team. In a tweet following a 2-1 loss against South Korea, Morganella said that South Koreans “can go burn” and referred to them as a “bunch of mongoloids.” Voula Papachristou also was kicked off the Greek Olympic team for this tweet: “With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitos will be eating food from their own home.”
  • No illegal activities, pornography, or copyright infringement.
  • Other sets of rules become activated after a member follows 2,000 other accounts. One must gain additional followers before you can follow more people (to combat spammers).
  • Twitter’s terms of service do not cover hate speech (unlike Facebook and Tumblr).

A delicate balance of Twitter’s mantra that “tweets must flow” with some unacceptable abuse will make for a very interesting challenge in the upcoming years. Tweet on, brother. Tweet on.

@BCulture_Matt

 

‘Socialympics’ 2012?

With the 2012 London Olympics officially in full swing, the games are the headline of every news source as well as the topic of every conversation. With an estimated 40 million Americans tuning into Opening Ceremony alone, it is pretty evident that we are excited, and ready to cheer on our favorite team as the games get underway. So why are so many spectators agitated with Olympic coverage?

The problem lies with the time delay between social media and actual event airing.   Who really wants to watch preliminary trials when we already know which athlete earned the gold? Many feel that social media is defeating the purpose of actually watching the games and taking the fun out of the Olympic spirit and competition. Social media has become such a wide phenomena that a single piece of information can spread worldwide within minutes. This is great, but for the Olympics – not so much.

So what do we do? With social media dominating our lives how can we shield ourselves from being over informed? Some have decided to forgo social media altogether in efforts of preserving Olympic spirit and spectator experience, while others have just restricted their social media use.

We love social media and the Olympics – just not together.

@BCulture_CourtB

Elevating How You Can be Seen. Heard. Known.

SHK (Seen. Heard. Known.) is a subsidiary project of B Culture Media. The new site that just launched this week, SeenHeardKnown.com, is a content-rich online magazine, which will be a major differentiator for the agency (and vice versa).

SHK will be another way for the clients on the agency side to be elevated with our main intent to further help the brands we work with become a culture, and also for BCM to become a culture in and of itself as well…

What does that really mean? The term “culture” according to Wikipedia, “in American anthropology had two meanings: (1) the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols, and to act imaginatively and creatively; and (2) the distinct ways that people living in different parts of the world classified and represented their experiences, and acted creatively.”

What we’re trying to accomplish is to make the brands we work with and the “symbols” they’re tied to, be representative of digitally engaging experiences for the world, and also to ensure so that no matter what part of the world a brand’s target audience lives, the way that they’re interacted with becomes a part of their stakeholders lives every day both online and offline.

That is why SHK was born under the direction of Ralph Jovine, CEO of B Culture Media, and SHK’s Editor-in-Chief, Rachel E. Sutton. Sutton says, “I will always love the feeling of holding a magazine in my hands and turning the pages. Regardless, I truly believe that the future of publishing will be delivered at its best via a digital platform. This is why I am so passionate and excited about the launch of SHK, and working under the B Culture Media umbrella to make it a success. Our environment continuously merges creativity with the technology and strategy of today’s marketplace, giving us an advantageous platform to make SEENHEARDKNOWN.com standout in the world of online editorial.”

SHK will provide a free platform for our agency clients, if the synergy is right, to allow for further promotion whether the goal is to extend brand awareness, directed advertising at our readership, or to support specific campaign initiatives. The B Culture Media team sees this as a great way to bring together those persons that we call “Culture Spotters” (those always vying for what’s hot and what’s now), and truly integrate an entirely different experience by having the agency and online magazine come together in a collaborative effort.  

SHK will cover a multitude of topics including: Fashion, Music, Beauty, Entertainment (film, television, festivals, etc.), Lifestyle (luxury, travel, food, nightlife, etc.), Editorial (direct category to see all self-generated fashion/feature editorials), SHK TV (all vidoes), and Street Style (including nightlife style). All of this is original content designed by the SHK team, with the sharing of ideas and talent with the agency. 

Sutton says, “SHK is inspired by the celebration of today’s ability to merge traditional editorial aesthetics with the quickness of new media. With an online — yet visually driven — platform, SeenHeardKnown.com plans to penetrate the world of style through fashion, music, beauty, design, entertainment and lifestyle.”

SHK has officially launched on all social channels as well, so please go check us out there, too!

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Tumblr

Instagram

@natbdold

Trending Topics: Do Your Research

CelebBoutique learned the hard way to always check why a topic is trending on Twitter, or learn to manage their social media in-house, or hire a reputable digital media agency to do such a task (see: B Culture Media). When the hashtag #Aurora begin trending in response to the tragedy at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo, deepest sympathies and condolences were exchanged, alongside thoughts and prayers. CelebBoutique tweeted, “#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress 😉 Shop: celebboutique.com/aurora-white-p…”

CelebBoutique is a UK-based online store that attempts to fashion customers after celebrities. CelebBoutique apologized through 4 tweets that all together read, “We are incredibly sorry for our tweet about Aurora – Our PR is NOT US based and had not checked the reason for the trend, at that time our social media was totally UNAWARE of the situation and simply thought it was another trending topic – we have removed the very insensitive tweet and will of course take more care in future to look into what we say in our tweets. Again we do apologize for any offense caused this was not intentional & will not occur again. Our most sincere apologies for both the tweet and situation. – CB”

A few problems: 1) If your PR is not US-based, that’s fine. Plenty of companies outsource, but if you’re botting to find words that match up with trending topics to link to your online store, be prepared to deal with the consequences. 2) If you had not checked the reason for the trend, why did you tweet it? Either because you are not a human double-checking these things, you have no idea about social media, or you are just stupid. Any way you slice it, you messed up.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to the victims and families of the Aurora tragedy.

@BCulture_Matt

In Love with WeHeartIt.com.

Most women can barely go a day without saying those three little words: “I love it!” Ironically, my Internet adventures brought me to a refreshing site appropriately called Weheartit.com, where I have been in love since the first click.  Weheartit.com shares a similar concept with Pinterest, while taking love and visual imagery to the next level. Set up a profile and begin the process by connecting with friends on other social platforms (Facebook and Twitter). After creating a profile, install the “Heart It” button your toolbar and begin sharing photos, videos, and all the things you love.

The images are put in sets, or collections.  Choosing pictures is effortless as you explore pages of tastefully inspirational images. Omitting caption altogether, Weheartit.com brings images to the forefront making browsing and uploading a manageable task. If the image is on Weheartit, simply click the “heart” button and the image is uploaded to the selected set. If you find great content on other pages, the “Heart It” bookmark “Saves it to your heart”. Either way – it’s totally up to you.

Add tags to your photos so other users can find your image easier within the site. Weheartit.com also allows users to add tags to specific categories so your favorite topics categories are within reach.

Weheartit.com is a great way to show off personal taste while exploring different perspectives and fancies. The site’s navigational ease is the most attractive feature, seeing that I have been signed on for about three hours. Move over Pinterest – there’s a new competitor in town.

Why are you waiting to spread the love?

@BCulture_Courtb