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This WSJ infographic accompanies an article about how social widgets can track users’ browsing habits, regardless of whether or not we click “like” or “tweet” buttons on a certain page.
Here is their explanation of how social widgets for sites like Facebook and Twitter will be able to tell that we’ve been spending an unhealthy amount of time online reading gossip blogs and watching pirated movies:

For this to work, a person only needs to have logged into Facebook or  Twitter once in the past month. The sites will continue to collect  browsing data, even if the person closes their browser or turns off  their computers, until that person explicitly logs out of their Facebook  or Twitter accounts, the study found. 

Collecting data from Internet users via cookies is not uncommon or new, something to keep in mind since WSJ does cast a shady light on these practices. The article cites “growing concern about the privacy of Internet and smartphone users” but this also seems to be a given fact — it’s the price we all end up paying for personalized web experiences.
Is there an alternative solution for social sharers to have our cake and eat it too?
Read more details from the article here.

This WSJ infographic accompanies an article about how social widgets can track users’ browsing habits, regardless of whether or not we click “like” or “tweet” buttons on a certain page.

Here is their explanation of how social widgets for sites like Facebook and Twitter will be able to tell that we’ve been spending an unhealthy amount of time online reading gossip blogs and watching pirated movies:

For this to work, a person only needs to have logged into Facebook or Twitter once in the past month. The sites will continue to collect browsing data, even if the person closes their browser or turns off their computers, until that person explicitly logs out of their Facebook or Twitter accounts, the study found. 

Collecting data from Internet users via cookies is not uncommon or new, something to keep in mind since WSJ does cast a shady light on these practices. The article cites “growing concern about the privacy of Internet and smartphone users” but this also seems to be a given fact — it’s the price we all end up paying for personalized web experiences.

Is there an alternative solution for social sharers to have our cake and eat it too?

Read more details from the article here.

Filed under social widgets facebook twitter infographic wsj privacy social media Social media

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Social media for social good

Yesterday officially kicked off Movember, an entire month when men (and women) raise funds to fight prostate cancer by donating their upper lips, among other efforts. It’s quite a phenomenon that has exploded worldwide only seven years ago in Australia, and a movement that I was ignorant of until I discovered a male hipster sporting a barber ‘stache of his own on the subway.

I can only compare my quizzical reaction then (is this a fad now?) to what others must have been thinking when their female Facebook friends started suggestively posting “I like it on the counter/bed/etc” statuses. It turned out that the same wave that encouraged women to share their bra colour to raise awareness for breast cancer was at it again, this time asking ladies to share their favourite place for their purse. (It’s also noteworthy that Movember has its own official Twitter account now, along with spinoff feeds like @Movember_CA and @MoCupcakes, which are both based here in Canada.)

When it comes to disseminating messages and viral marketing, it’s clear that charities can be just as aggressive and creative as for-profit businesses themselves. However, there is one major distinction that makes their social media efforts far more successful in comparison.

Case in point: Consider the Princess Margaret Hospital and their upcoming 2011 Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Although it’s now called The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer as it approaches its fourth year this June, I am amazed at the savvy social media support that is offered to the riders each year.

As a participant of its most recent event, I can testify that it takes the fundraising experience to another level, essentially allowing riders to simultaneously collect pledges and new recruits with speed and mass.

For starters, you’re equipped with a profile page featuring your personal blog:

And you also have the option to embed a special badge in your email signature (or blogs) to show your fundraising progress:

But that’s not all. RTCC’s website offers a Participant Centre that gives important event information such as training rides or bike seminars in your area, and a Social Media Centre that hosts orientation videos among other tools.

For 2011, they revamped their design and amplified their social media efforts by adding new features (or increasing their promotion of current resources):

The Banners and Map My Ride call-to-actions are particularly interesting, as one uses social media to significantly increase brand exposure…

…while the other connects participants and facilitates self-organization in order to accomplish their goals.

It’s no wonder that RTCC has raised almost $30 million since its inception in 2008. Its message is uplifting, challenging riders to believe they can make a difference and giving them the tools to see their change in action.

In the other cases noted above, you can see the same trend — their campaigns took off because their core messages speak to shared experiences.

And here is the key takeaway that more businesses need to learn — when you combine a powerful goal with easily accessible means to put it in action and spread the message, there are no limits to what can be accomplished.

It becomes social media for social good, with visible results.

What do you think? Are there any social media strategies by not-for-profit orgs that struck you as innovative or unique?

Filed under social media ride to conquer cancer movember breast cancer fundraising Facebook RTCC brands