Archive | July 2011

The Benefits of Google+

Google is a favorite topic of ours at McKinney-Cerne Inc. We’ve already posted about Google Chrome’s uber cool “The web is what you make of it campaign,” we utilize the search engine countless times a day, and now we can’t stop buzzing about Google+.

For any social media hermits out there who may be reading today, the Google+ Project is Google’s latest creation, and it’s our first glimpse at the social media tricks Google has up its sleeve. Right now, the Google+ Project is running on an invitation only basis, so social media fanatics need to wait until an insider or friend sends a Google+ golden ticket their way.

A few of us here have been the lucky recipients of a Google+ invitation. (Ironically, most of us received our invites by replying to a Facebook friend’s status update.) None of us have explored Google+ too in-depth just yet (who has the time?!?), but here’s what we like about Google’s offering so far:

1. Circles. Personally, my biggest annoyance with Facebook is that I can’t filter my status updates or photos with friends. I want my best friend to see the pictures that prove how great bar-hopping was last weekend, but I sure don’t want my dad to see them. With Facebook, I couldn’t make that distinction. With Google+ Circles, I can. To utilize the feature, I simply divide my Google+ connections into headers I create and share only what I want them to know. What could be better?

2. Sparks. The internet has mounds upon mounds of junk on it, but Sparks sorts through the junk to deliver something you’re actually interested in. Are you interested in elephants? Search elephants, sort through the results, and add good results to your interests. Bam! Sparks is essentially like StumbleUpon, but you get more targeted, less cooky results.

3. Less spam, more security. From what we’ve seen so far, spam/ hacker posts haven’t filtered onto our profiles. Please note, however, Google+ is new, so we’re giving them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

4. Zero advertising infiltration. We know it’s weird to hear, but even us advertisers get sick of advertising yelling at us from our computer screen. Google+ is brand spankin’ new. That means zero pop-ups and zero banner ads. Of course, this fact will probably change should Google+ prove to be successful.

5. The ability to network. Young professionals rejoice! With Google+, you don’t need to be scared to network because adding a person to a circle doesn’t make them your “friend.” You can block any potential employer or co-worker from seeing incriminating photos because, unlike Facebook, they aren’t automatically shared with everyone you’re connected to.

Take the Google+ Project tour to learn more, or watch this quirky video from epiphiostudios.com on The Todd Morris Blog.

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The bus stop ad finally gets great

Social media emerged as a highly successful medium in recent years because people love interactivity. And now it seems the creative agencies behind humdrum bus station advertisements have finally stepped up their game in the never-ending battle to grab and hold consumer attention by including interactive elements to their ad designs.

Interactive agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky‘s latest creation for Vitaminwater’s “You’re Up” campaign beautifully reminds consumers that Vitaminwater gives a quick boost when they’re on the go by coming equipped with a three-port battery-powered USB hub to charge cell phones, iPods, and PSPs.

And Cooch Creative‘s new interactive bus advertisement for Sun Smart Cancer Council Western Australia dishes out free squirts of 30+ sunscreen to worry-free Australian sunbathers.

Both are low-tech, but they’re eye-catching, interactive, and down-right helpful. We’re happy to see professionals finding new ways to surpass the ordinary and deliver something great.

Social media users find Casey Anthony guilty

Around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, and after 11 hours of deliberation, a Florida jury of 12 found 25-year-old Casey Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder in the case of the death of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony.

The jury also declared her not guilty of second-degree or third-degree murder resulting from aggravated child abuse.

The jury did find Anthony guilty of four counts of providing law enforcement with false information throughout the investigation.

Anthony’s sentencing is scheduled for Thursday, July 7 at 9 a.m. From what we’ve read, she’ll receive a maximum sentence of four years for her crimes. (Keep in mind, she’s been in jail for the past three years.)

So that’s it. Three years after Caylee’s original disappearance and six weeks after the trial commenced, Casey Anthony will retire from the spotlight, right?

So wrong.

Why? Because Casey Anthony is the biggest murder trial to hit the media since O.J. Simpson, but, this time around, we have social media.

The first mention of Anthony family troubles on social media was by Cindy Anthony, Casey’s mother, on Myspace July 3, 2008. There, Cindy said Casey had stolen “lots of money” from her parents.

Tweets, Facebook statuses, blog posts, etc. about the Anthony family and the murder investigation steadily rose throughout the trial, and they absolutely exploded when the verdict was read.

And, boy, were social media users following the trial P.O.’d at the decision. Need proof? Just search #caseyanthonytrial on Twitter.

The vast majority of social media users found Casey Anthony guilty, guilty, guilty, and they’re not afraid to say it.

Their fiery posts will keep this story alive until, as sad as it is, something more scandalous comes along. We predict violent, “Casey Anthony is a murderer!” posts with extra exclamation marks! (!!!!!!!)

And we also predict that Casey Anthony will not be able to fully participate in social media with her own name and identity (probably) for the rest of her life. That should be a tiny bit comforting for those social media enthusiasts out there who are absolutely disgusted with the jury’s decision.

We kept up with this story by reading posts on What’s Trending?, Time U.S., Time NewsFeed and Yahoo! News.