Monthly Archives: April 2010

Facebook and Your Privacy

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A lot of talk has been generated recently in connection to privacy issues and Facebook. Many reports indicate that the latest updates don’t allow for as much privacy and that Facebook’s infiltration of “like” buttons across the web is going to somehow alter the browsing experience.  There are general concerns that Facebook is stripping power away from its users and forcing them share information they may not want to.  But if you take a look at your privacy settings, it is clear that Facebook users do still, in fact, have control over the vast majority of their privacy settings.

Public reaction began to steer toward the negative in January of this year when Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, expressed his opinion that public sharing of information is the new social norm.  This was in support of the decision to make users’ profile picture, gender, current city, networks, friends list and page subscriptions public information by default.  The changes meant that users who did not want this information to be public had to manually navigate through the maze of privacy options and individually change preferences.  The backlash was fairly strong, but more recent changes have added fuel to the fire.

At Facebook’s F8 conference last week, Zuckerberg made another wave of announcements regarding the dissemination of “like” buttons, public sharing of information and external site partnerships.  He discussed the change from being a “fan” of something to “liking” something as a tactic designed to make opting-in more attractive and universal.  Further, “like” buttons will now be appearing on sites across the web, giving users the ability to publish content to their Facebook news feed without ever leaving the page they are browsing.  By default, this “liked” content will be visible to everyone, unless privacy preferences are changed.

More ominous changes loom in the form of Facebook’s new policies for listing education, employment and interests.  If you have logged into Facebook recently, you have probably seen a popup like the one below that asks if you would like a suggested list of pages linked to your profile.  Essentially, Facebook has removed users’ ability to manually type interests or enter employment or school information without also “liking” the corresponding page.  This can be avoided by checking the subtly placed “choose pages individually” button in the bottom left, but again, the lack of clarity has caused many users to join pages and groups without being aware.  If you do not want to publicize your liked pages, go the “Account” tab, choose “Privacy settings,” then “Friends, Tags and Connections” and check the corresponding preferences.

The major issue with all of Facebook’s changes is not so much the things that are changing as it is the methods by which Facebook is justifying and implementing them.  Twitter has been consistent about their privacy standards from day one while Facebook’s have changed multiple times; it’s this inconsistency that seems duplicitous, as changes are often made unexpectedly or without warning or very little notice.

For the average Facebook user, the changes make it even more difficult to manage privacy.  For advanced and power users, the changes can actually be a boon to traffic and exposure, but only because they are understood and adjusted appropriately.  Users’ data drives clicks, comments and the targeted advertising network that is the backbone of the company’s current revenue stream, so it is no surprise that Zuckerberg doesn’t believe in privacy.  Privacy is something that Facebook must worry about because it has to, not because it wants to, so it follows why they are not privacy advocates.  The underlying reality is that users maintain the same controls they always have over their privacy.

The best thing to do is to be hip to changes and stay educated about the way they might affect your personal information.  If you have made your best efforts and doubts still remain, then act in line with the mantra “do not click, comment, post, share, etc. unless you are comfortable with the whole world seeing it.”  While public may be the new social norm, it need not determine or otherwise affect individual social preference.  Facebook only provides a platform.  It is up to each user to understand and decide how they want to use it for themselves.

iPad apps that are worth checking out

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Now that we’ve all had a little time to play around with the iPad and the wide variety of  apps that are now available (crazy fun, right?!?), Fanscape’s Manager of Digital Communications, Ryan Garcia, is sharing some of his favorite apps (so far) with us.

New York Times Editors Choice –Free

A great way to check out the best of the best from the New York Times.

Tweetdeck –Free

This popular Twitter management system is ready and available for the iPad


ABC Player – Free

Watch some of your favorite ABC shows for free using this app Streams Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, and my personal favorite Modern Family.

Netflix – Free (with unlimited membership)

If you’re a Netflix subscriber this is just one more way to stream television and movies.


Scrabble – $9.99

What makes this unique is its ability to pair with up to four iPhones which have downloaded the free tile rack app and “Flick tiles from your device onto the board”

N.O.V.A. – $6.99

A first person shooter you Halo fans will love.

Special iPad optimized controls:

  • Curve your grenade’s trajectory with the new 2-finger-based throwing move
  • Perform multiple surgical kills at once with multi-target acquisition
  • More intuitive than ever, thanks to numerous multi-touch controls on-screen

More apps are on the way. I’ll keep you posted on the ones I’m all about.

About Ryan Garcia

Ryan Garcia brings his flair for marketing and promotional creation and execution to Fanscape in his position as Manager, Digital Communications. His unique marketing perspective helps him deliver strategic campaign execution that includes digital media relations, social media marketing, blogger and influencer relations as well as digital promotions.

Prior to joining Fanscape Garcia hels posts at Columbia Records, and

Pitching to Bloggers

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Is there a specific way to pitch a blogger? How do you get a blogger to respond? Are there ethics or guidelines bloggers need to follow? Fanscape, along with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), have published the following white paper highlighting the best practices when it comes to connecting with and engaging a blogger.


Social Media and Thinking Green

Written by: Digitally Approved
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With the 40th anniversary of Earth Day upon us, Irene Shin, a member of Fanscape’s Digital Communications team, highlights a few great ways for us to do our part using Social Media.

  • Join the Earth Day Network on Facebook and record your Acts of Green. This green advocacy and action organization is generating year-long engagement and participation through its use of Social Media, starting with Earth Day.

  • Save Your Water Calculator. Underwriters Laboratories created this online interactive calculator to help us better understand our water usage and how a few easy tweaks to our daily habits can save water. Living in California we all know that every drop counts, especially during fire season.

  • Join Coca-Cola and Ocean Conservancy for Earth Month. Coca-Cola will donate $1 for every person who uses the Facebook app, up to a total of $200,000. It will also contribute up to $50,000 through the MyCokeRewards points program.

  • Join Causeworld and donate your karma points to environmental charities. Have an iPhone or iTouch? Download this app and start checking into places you normally visit (ala Foursquare), build your karma points, then donate to the charity or your choice.  Environmental charities include and to name a few.

  • Check out Visit this 13+ Million member community and find your own way to make a difference.

About Irene Shin

As Fanscape’s Coordinator, Digital Communications, Shin fully supports the company’s marketing efforts by assisting on the campaigns, developing materials and keeping the department organized.

Shin earned her degree in Psychology & Social Behavior from University of California, Irvine.

6 experimental social media campaigns

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Fanscape CEO, Larry Weintraub, wrote a piece for iMedia Connection about some interesting and successful Social Media campaigns.

As brands flock to the social space, many are feeling their way and testing the waters, while others who strive for innovation must push harder than ever to stay ahead of the curve. It is exciting to watch companies creating premium content exclusive to their social properties and making use of existing tools in new ways. The low barrier to entry and relative affordability of social media allows brands to make bold strategic decisions and often create environments that stimulate creativity, reward risk takers, and consistently provide the best return on investment — customer engagement. What follows are six examples of companies experimenting with social media in both modest and significant ways.

Click HERE to read the whole piece.

Tax Day Discounts and Freebies

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Not that I look forward to taxes mind you, but I always look forward to companies that offer us some good old-fashioned discounts and freebies on this official final day to pay-the-man. What follows is a quick list of companies providing special offers. If you have any that aren’t on this list, please share.

  • Cinnabon Cupcake Bites — Get 2 FREE Cinnabon Cupcake Bites at participating Cinnabon locations between 6-8pm!
  • Taco Del Mar Taco — Get a FREE taco from Taco Del Mar when you show them your “taco 1099”!
  • HydroMassage Massage — Relax with a FREE massage at participating HydroMassage locations 4/15-18!
  • Office Depot Copies — Make copies of your tax returns for FREE at Office Max, up to 25 single-sided pages!
  • Mr. Jim’s Pizza — Become a fan of Mr. Jim’s Pizza and snag a coupon for a FREE small, one-topping pizza!
  • Whole Foods (in the South only) — Tax-free groceries. 18 locations across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee — are rewarding customers with a tax-free shopping day.

When disaster strikes, Internet and Social Media help connect

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Living in Los Angeles we’ve become pretty used to earthquakes – or as used to as one can be for these unpredictable disruptors. But yesterday’s 7.2 earthquake in Baja California that came a little too close to home got me thinking. With earthquakes seeming to strike with much more frequency of late, the Internet and Social Media have stepped up to play an increased role in how we are not only getting information, but how we connect to make sure our loved ones are alright and to send our thoughts and prayers to those affected by nature’s devastation.

Although it’s been around for a few years, the USGS earthquake map is one of the coolest things to track earthquake activity.

Before I listened to the news, I went directly to this site to see where the activity was and how much more activity had recently happened.

And because I’m kind of a geek like this, I have been following @earthquakesLA – a bot-like service that reports on all earthquake activity in the Los Angeles County area.

Not that it gives me any sort of advance notice or anything, but I check it every now and then to see where the little tremblers are taking place.

Twitter is still a buzz with #earthquake news and comments from those who felt is as far away as Phoenix. When my sister, who lives on the California /Arizona border, was unable to reach me at home or on my cell she,  along with many others like her, sent a note through Facebook.

And online media such as Mashable and Huffington Post compiled collections of pictures and YouTube videos.

With so many funny things to view and interesting status updates to keep track of, it’s good to know that Social Media can be a beneficial resource for us to stay connected during trying times as well.

Happy April Fool’s Day

Written by: Digitally Approved
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What follows is an excerpt from Larry Weintraub’s April Fool’s Day post to his Smart Marketing Blog that highlights some of the best pranks we’ve seen thus far.  What other ones have you found?

April Fool’s Day is like Christmas on the Internet. You wake up early and excited; ready to unwrap presents in the form of numerous pranks on websites.

The best present is always Google. You can always count on them to apply great minds to give you an in depth April Fools stunt that makes you ask, “is this real?” Today was no letdown. Google was officially renamed Topeka in response to Topeka’s recently renaming of their town, Google.

Click on the word Topeka and it takes you to a story about why Google changed it’s name.  Complete with pictures, deep links into a continuation of the story and even some great graphics on how to use Topeka in a sentence.

Next up is Funny or Die who today renamed themselves Bieber or Die after the kid sensation that has the number one album in the country this week, Justin Bieber.  Very well done.  I recommend you watch some of the videos, they are very funny.  Of course, make sure you ask your kids who Justin Bieber is first or else it will be completely lost on you.

Click HERE to read the rest of Larry’s post.