Police Scanners & Twitter: Makes Sense, Right?

After reading an article about a Venice-based (California) Twitter account that live-tweets crime, accidents, fires, etc., I will admit, my curiosity was piqued.  It turns out there are plenty of accounts playing similar roles. The account mentioned is @Venice311. Over 23,000 tweets, with over 8,000 followers. Here’s a good tweet from yesterday:

In the age of accountability, these live-tweeters are doing some good for the community (list at end of article). They are making the community more aware of the crime in their neighborhood. They are making sure the forces in charge do their job and don’t overdo it – police brutality, etc. And who knows? Maybe some crimes can be prevented or solved this way. Maybe a missing person is a little bit more likely to be found.

The city of Seattle even attempted an experiment in which their Police Department tweeted every one of their 911 calls in one day, in 140 characters, of course. They sent an average of 40 tweets per hour, totaling 478 by day’s end. An interesting social media experiment, especially considering the Department did not inform their followers of what they were doing. Some were worried. And some wanted them to shut up. The gem was a “suspicious person possibly armed with a sword.”

If you feel like getting in on the action, you can download several police scanner apps. I splurged and purchased the $0.99 5-0 Radio Police Scanner. The Lite version is available for free. Pretty fun to listen in – so far, I’ve heard a few accidents, a bomb threat, a loose dog, expired tags, a parking ticket, a burglary, and a fire in metro Atlanta.

  • @Venice311 (Venice/LA)
  • @NYRadio (NYC)
  • @LAPDscanner (LA)
  • @ScannerFeeds (collective)
  • @DFWScanner (Dallas/Ft. Worth)
  • @SeattlePD (Seattle)


@sheboyganscan – As in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, here are some gems from their feed. Follow them for humorous crimes.



As you’ve probably heard via a Match.com commercial, 1 in 5 relationships begin online. That’s a pretty high number in my opinion, and depending on your perspective, the trend is good or bad. As a 20-something year old, I’ve witnessed several of my friends join online dating sites with mixed results, which may have something to do with our age demographic. Regardless of your view on the matter, it seems like online dating will only continue to gain momentum, constantly turning up new or more interactive ways to meet new people. Introducing coffeemeetsbagel.com.

Coffee Meets Bagel basically provides you with one match per day (a “bagel”), which you can pass on or accept. By capturing the excitement of limited time sale sites (Fab.com) and mixing it with the convenience of not having to sort through dozens of potential matches at a time, Coffee Meets Bagel may just be on to something.

If both parties accept each other, they are invited to enjoy a cocktail or appetizer or participant in other “first date activities” through a discounted daily-deal type promotion (LivingSocial.com or Groupon.com). Two birds, one stone! The idea that the ability to connect with that particular individual is based on a unique method and is only available for 24 hours is different, and may work better for more people.

The website was founded by three sisters (Arum Kang, Dawoon Kang and Soo Kang), is only available in Boston and New York City, and is free to join. 24 hours: go!


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?


Psychology of Digital and Social Networks

Let’s spark some thought for the week after the (short) July 4th holiday and (hopefully) a lot of celebrations well into the weekend… How much do marketers relate back to the psychology elements to marketing? At BCM, we have been discussing this a lot as of late. It’s intriguing to think about how much psychology and social behavior plays into how digital as a medium overall (especially social media) has grown over (a short period of) time.  As an agency, we should ensure that we’re always at the forefront of that conversation given we should be the ones having those strategic conversations with our clients.

So, let’s deep-dive a little bit into what that really means and what some studies are looking at. There was an article done in June 2012 by Emma Barnett about how “Women ‘more attracted to social networking sites;”, which really isn’t anything new per se (as there were studies done even 10 years ago around this subject matter). But, the differentiation now is that there is new research proving that there is a widening gap between the way men and women are using the Internet, so we’re starting to see that gap close. Women aren’t being “more social” than men any longer.

The psychology around social networks isn’t new either, but what obviously has happened is that we’ve taken all that exists in the offline world, and brought it to the online world.  That’s the beauty of how simple it really is at the basis of digital and social coming together as it is today in major ways.

The way that humans interact and the way that we are in our personal lives has very strong relevance as to how we can predict and analyze how target audiences act online. The American Psychological Association put out an article last month called “Wired to connect: Evolutionary psychology and social networks” by Benjamin S. Crosier, Gregory D. Webster and Haley M. Dillon.

This article states, “With the advent of technology that promotes these connections, our innate propensity to connect at a large scale is changing the way we live. From mundane communication to meeting the love of one’s life to inciting political revolutions, network ties are the conduits by which information and resources are spread.”

By understanding this on a more basic level, we believe that social networks and social network analysis can help us predict what the future of social networks can be.  So, here is the question, what do you think is the next shift in the social meets digital world?


Who Said Press Releases Can’t Have POP?

Kellogg’s Press Release

There is certainly a pun used here, and definitely meant to be one! Sure, press releases have been around for how long (Wikipedia says the first one was written and sent out onto the “wire” in 1906- First Press Release – Wikipedia), but how have they evolved over time?

Above is a great example of what press releases can look like today. Who says they have to be dry and boring giving only facts. Instead, they can POP (again, pun- intended) like this example above from Kellogg’s and their infamous POP Tart (we all loved them as kids, admit it). They can integrate video, look creative, and can include other exciting ways to speak to your target audiences.

Building on the B Culture Media’s brand storytelling knowledge base, this is really where innovation happens. When you take something like a press release and turn it into a powerful brand storytelling medium using things you’d never traditionally think should be incorporated.

This kind of press release isn’t new by any means (not like this just came out yesterday), but it’s always good to get back to roots and examine how things can be done at a very basic level. Last thing that should happen is for brands to get in a rut doing the same things they’ve always done “just because”…

Another great POPPING press release: DIY Network Landscaping Press Release


Social Media vs SEO – Which Is More Important?

A company’s participation in search engine optimization (SEO) and social media has grown to be a huge priority in this digital era of marketing. However, is having the ability to be found by potential and current customers on the Internet more important than being social with potential and current customers through such platforms as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube? Unfortunately, they are both measured on the same scale while one is much heavier than the other. Even though it’s lighter, the value of the other’s reach can not be denied.

Millions of people frequent Facebook, Twitter and YouTube but search engines are the gurus of information and Google is the Dalai Lama. SEO is the lifeline of relevancy for everything a company does on the Internet, even social media. Unlike a consumer who just posts what they feel on their Facebook or Twitter account, a company must be very strategic in how they word the “low on sales, more on socializing tone” posts on their social media account. The business has to make sure they include keyword phrases that relate to the search engines and customers. This SEO rich content about the company and its products/services need to be filled with keyword phrases that include the business location (city or community it is available in) and product/service.

It appears that SEO is the egg and social media is the bird. Social media accounts are another attempt by a business at SEO achievement. SEO being this shell that all online content must incubate in with the hope that it will be birthed into a bird that will soar high in the search engine results (unfortunately, there are many social media campaigns with a short lifespan). The eagle-eyed social media campaigns will see their exposure and ROI increase from their not-so obvious inclusion of relevant keyword phrases within their new product/service, discounts and event posts.

SEO vs. social media … it is an unfair fight. You can’t have a strong social media campaign without considering the presence and strength of SEO techniques within it.