When last week’s horrific events occurred in Boston, people who were at the marathon (or in the Boston area) were flooded with calls, texts and messages, asking if they were safe. During this time I was driving home from the Marathon with my wife, who had finished the race, and she spent the entire car ride answering texts and phone calls to both of our phones, letting people know we were our of harm’s way.
Once we arrived home I want on Facebook and put up a message, letting our friends and family know we were home safe. While the calls and texts still came in, the post was able to inform many people at once, and the message was also passed through cousins to older family members that weren’t on Facebook:
As I scanned through my Facebook news feed, I saw countless other friends and acquiescence who posted something similar. Some were at the marathon, others work or live in/around Boston. In either case, Facebook became the place to ensure everyone that you were safe.
When the September 11th attacks occurred in 2001, there wasn’t Facebook or another social network that people were using. The only way to find out if someone was safe was through a phone call, text message, email or word of mouth. As a result, it took folks much longer to discover if their friends and family were safe, especially considering the cell towers were overwhelmed by the amount of calls being made. In Boston last week the cell towers were again overwhelmed at times, but social (and smartphones) provided a way around that.
The impact that Facebook has on today’s world is unprecedented. Never before have so many people been connected in one way, with the ability to share information to one’s near-entire social circle so quickly and efficiently. While many people complain about Facebook’s privacy changes, news feed updates and other annoyances, there’s no doubting the importance that the social network brings in moments like these.
Over the past few years mainstream news publications and newspapers have either had to adjust to a new world of media or find themselves in deep financial trouble. Most of the outlets (with some exceptions) have been smaller vertical or regional outlets, but a new media landscape affects everyone, not just the small guys. Two media outlets – or more specifically, magazines – have been the face of U.S. and world news, but are now being forced to adjust.
After being published from 1933 to 2012, Newsweek became digital-only, and now only published online and to their mobile application. The editors news chose a last print cover symbolic of its old and new world, combining the black and white look of its Manhattan offices with a hash tag – showing what was instrumental in forcing the company to forgo paper and focus on driving online traffic instead.
Competing with Newsweek every step of the away (and by many considered a small step above its competitor), Time Magazine just recently found itself in a new position. According to The Wall Street Journal,
Under the proposal being discussed, Time Warner would retain its flagship newsweekly Time, along with Sports Illustrated and Fortune. But the rest of its magazines, including People, InStyle and Real Simple, would end up combined with Meredith’s titles, which include Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle, whose readers are mainly women.
The deals that may soon happen could signal more changes to the media landscape as publishers look to maintain and expand profits. While print advertising has long been the main source of revenue for these media businesses, the time is finally coming where online revenue can be effective. Newsweek has already figured it out, and the ‘time’ is coming for Time Warner and others to do the same.
Individuals enter the healthcare system not when they arrive at the ER or doctor’s office, but rather the moment they enter a malady into their Google search box. With the expectation for immediate information, the patient’s perceived knowledge begins to expand – however is this good, helpful or really just the tone for an emotional rollercoaster before they engage with a clinician?
Regardless if the individual is concerned about their own health or the welfare of a loved one, the process to illness discovery, treatment, therapy and recovery has begun. In our digital world, we can find what we think is the 360 degree point of view within minutes. Who has the responsibility to shepherd and help steer this process in a constructive and informational way?
Martha Hayward, leads patient and public engagement at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Rachel Bloom-Baglin, senior healthcare communications leader at Philips Healthcare
Dr. Danny Sands, healthcare speaker, executive, thought leader and physician at Beth Israel
Dianne Bourque, partner in the Health Law practice at Mintz Levin
January 17th, 2013
8:00am – 9:30am ET
*Registration opens in the lobby of 53 State Street at 7:30am ET*
Breakfast will be provided for attendees
53 State Street, 4th Floor
Boston, Ma 02109
The fighting between Israel and Hamas isn’t just taking place on the ground anymore. It’s taking place on social media. In a way to inform and control messages, Twitter handles for the IDF and Hamas are providing real-time updates about attacks, damage and what they’ve been able to stop. An array of other social channels are also being used, including Instagram, which Israeli soldiers have been using to show a very personal side of war.
Social media has already changed our world in so many ways – but is it really making war more personal? Receiving direct information from the groups that are fighting is so strange – and gives us a combination of unfiltered information and a one-sided opinion on what’s taking place. It certainly difficult to look at a picture of soldiers (like the one below) and not humanize what’s going on.
Old Spice is at it again, with another brilliant video campaign. This time, instead of personalizing YouTube videos, they’ve made “muscle music video” in which former NFL player and actor, Terry Crews, makes instruments play by flexing his muscles. The cool part of this campaign comes after the video is over, when viewers take control. By simply pressing keys on a keyboard, users can control which muscles he flexes, and therefore which sounds are made. Additionally, users can create and share their own muscle music videos with just one click.
Check out the video above and then try creating your own music music video.
Let me preface this post by saying that in no way am I medical expert or psychiatrist. But it doesn’t take a doctor to realize when something is strange. Viral videos – which many people aspire to create – seem to be having an unnervingly negative affect on some people’s health.
In July Newsweek published a cover story, asking if the Internet is ‘Driving us Mad.” The article looked at how KONY creator, Jason Russell, lost his mind after producing the most viral video in history, and was caught on camera at an intersection near his San Diego home, slapping the concrete and yelling about the devil.
In the end, Russell was diagnosed with a form of temporary insanity called reactive psychosis – and his wife stated that it had nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. This was about the pressure of dealing with the attention that comes with a viral video.
Now today, we have found that another person in a viral video has suddenly died. Michael Leisner, a 65-year-old real estate agent, was featured in a YouTube video protesting against General Mills for being pro-gay marriage. In the video he tries to light some cereal on fire, but ends up burning more then he can handle, and flees the scene. The video has been featured on countless news outlets and television programs, and lead to Leisner being fired from his job. It’s reported that Leisner’ died in his car while waiting for his sons to finish playing tennis.
While the reason for Leisner’s death has not been determined, based on the timing it is fair game to speculate that the viral video could have had something to do with it. The amount of attention that any viral video brings to an individual – especially negative attention – can be way too much to handle, especially considering the number of media requests and amount of social media attention that one can receive.
The Olympics always seem to come with its share of controversy – and I’m not talking about the competition.
Over the weekend Twitter suspended the account of Guy Adams, a Los Angeles corespondent for The Independent (a UK publication), after he publicly tweeted the email address of Gary Zenkel, president of the NBC Sports Network:
The tweet was in reference as to the very late broadcast of the opening ceremonies, which was delayed as much as 6 hours on the west coast. As you can expect, this lead to a flurry of nasty emails, so NBC complained to Twitter and the result was Adam’s Twitter handle being suspended.
Twitter’s API has specific language around sharing private information:
If information was previously posted or displayed elsewhere on the Internet prior to being put on Twitter, it is not a violation of this policy.
This means that if Zenkel’s email address is somewhere online, not hidden by a paywall, Adams can post it all he wants. And as it turns out, another angry viewer in June 2011 posted his email address with a similar goal on mind.
In this classic case of who’s right, who’s wrong, public opinion is on Adam’s side, mostly because of how much NBC has botched their Olympics coverage so far. But if you take a step back and look at this, it can be a defining moment for Twitter and freedom of speech. One of the reasons Twitter is so powerful is that it can motivate large groups of people to take action. President Obama even tried to do this last year when he posted the Twitter handles of of congressman, encouraging people to contact them and demand compromise around raising the debt ceiling.
Yes, sharing private information like some email addresses, cell phone numbers and home addresses can be very, very dangerous. But it can also be dangerous not to share that information in certain situations, particularly around the abuse of power.
Is Twitter going to backtrack and reinstate Adams’ account? Almost certainly, as he technically didn’t violate their API. But it opens up a much larger debate. What do you think?