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Google trends, similar to trends on Twitter, tell you what are the most popular search terms on the internet at any given time.

They can also have the potential to be mildly or massively amusing. Such as the following images; each a screen capture of an actual Google trend. Some are funny, some bizarre, and some make you want to question the future of the human species. Enjoy.

Personal favourites anyone?

-Jessie W.

crowdsourcing

Facebook, Twitter and Google join the outreach following the devastating earthquake in Chile

For critics who cast the use of new media and social communication networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as useless or merely a waste of time, the recent devastation in Chile is a great example of using web-based resources for the good.

Twitter been used as a platform for an outpouring of international support for affected Chileans; Google has launched Person Finder to aid Chileans and those abroad located loved ones and nearly every relief agency is connected to the public through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. These resources make information about the devastation readily accessible providing an essential resource both in the ravaged country and for a concerned international community.

Matthew Ingram at GigaOm has compiled a helpful list of resources for individuals to use in responding to the devastation; the full article can be found here.

  • Twitter List: As it did during the Haiti earthquake, The New York Times has collected some Twitter accounts with information about what is going on in Chile.
  • Ben Casnocha: The entrepreneur and author has been tweeting details about the earthquake and its aftermath
  • Twitpic: People have been uploading images of the devastation in and around Concepcion, some of which have been collected by The Huffington Post.
  • Ushahidi: A site designed to act as a central clearinghouse for information about disasters such as the Chilean earthquake.
  • Livestream: A live video feed from Chilean TV via the Livestream service.
  • Person Finder: A Chilean version of a tool that Google originally created to help during the Haiti earthquake.
  • Map Maker: Google has also opened up the use of its mapping database for use by aid organizations, and people can help via the Chile Update Page. Google has a page set up with other resources, including the ability to click and donate to Unicef and other charities from the page.

If you have other suggestions, please feel free to contribute on the original post or email Matthew Ingram (as per the original post, contact mathew@gigaom.com.)

– Jessie W.

From The Globe and Mail; full article found here.

Dalai Lama twitter

The Tibetan spiritual leader isn’t following anyone yet but has more than 70,000 followers.

Twitter’s founder says the Dalai Lama laughed at the thought of using the social networking service. But the Tibetan spiritual leader now has an official Twitter site — and more than 68,000 followers.

Twitter founder Evan Williams posted a message Sunday that he’d just met the Dalai Lama in Los Angeles and pitched using Twitter.

On Monday, a Twitter page set up by the Dalai Lama’s office in India carried its first message. It mentioned that the Dalai Lama had been in L.A. and gave a Web site link for details.

Six other Tweets since then provide links to interviews, photos and webcasts.

Although his Holiness has yet to post a personal message, his office has posted links to interviews and photos on his behalf. From age-old spiritual communicator to high-tech connections, the Dalia Lama is yet another example of utilizing new media to stay linked in with followers.

Be sure to follow Pondstone’s Twitter feed @pondstone.

- Jessie W.

Boy oh boy.

When will politicians learn?

Twitter has an amazing capacity to help an elected official or a campaign spread messages and allow for online dialogue. But it is a double-sided spear. Twitter can bite back just as strongly as it can help you.

This of course is easily avoided, with a very simple free tool: common-sense.

Canadians have been much better at it since a number of incidents where MPs/staff/elusive hackers sent out Tweets (Tweet: a message sent over Twitter consisting of no more than 140 characters), but it seems our British counter-parts are still learning.

The story can be found here on BBC.co.uk but here is the run-down:

Labour MP David Wright

UK Labour MP David Wright, who’s most recent Tweet states, “What a commotion today. Looks like my tweets have been tinkered with. I will keep you posted – about 18 hours ago”. It seems his ‘Twitter-feed’ sent a message saying something along the lines of Conservatives being “scum-sucking”.

The real juice of this pickle for the Hon. Wright, is Tory chairman Eric Pickles. He is demanding answers from the pickle-ridden Wright.

Tory Chairman Eric Pickles

We must not deny the possibility the Mr. Wright is right and not in quite the pickle Mr. Pickles claims he is, after all it is possible a past (or current, for that matter) staffer or ‘hacker’ gained access to the account and only ‘edited’ the extent harshness of Mr. Wright’s Tweet, but I doubt we will ever really find out.

Again, this really is a matter of common sense. Twitter amplifies everything ‘nasty’ you say. The media is new to what is acceptable and what isn’t and they love stories about Twitter misspeak, or Twoops.

For a great example of effective Twittering, check out @JimWatsonOttawa, Ottawa’s mayoral candidate Jim Watson. As clients of ours, Pondstone coaches campaigns on what to say, when to say it, and how to properly say things. As simple as Twitter may seem to be a little coaching goes a long way.

Remember: Tweets, not Twoops.

Until next time,

-Adam M.

Studios clamp down on Twitter

Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz forbidden to tweet about details of fourth Shrek film?

Published on Monday, Oct. 19, 2009 12:28PM EDTLast updated on Monday, Oct. 19, 2009 2:20PM EDT

Hollywood studios, fearing loss of revenue or premature leaking of confidential details, are inserting language in contracts that prohibits staff – even big-name stars – from using social-networking services such as Twitter to disclose details of projects.

Film stars Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz are lined up for a fourth Shrekmovie, set to appear next year. While it would be natural to expect that their contracts would forbid them from revealing plot details via Twitter or Facebook, some Internet sources, including imdb.com and mashable.com, have suggested that the stars have been forbidden to use Twitter at all.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/studios-clamp-down-on-twitter/article1329379/

One of the Web’s basic tenets is that small contributions from lots of people can amount to something powerful in the aggregate.

Now, a growing group of writers, musicians, visual artists and videographers is turning this Wikipedia-era philosophy into online collaborative art.

Twitter users are banding together to write an opera for London’s Royal Opera House. Bands like My Morning Jacket and Sour, out of Japan, are turning to fans to help film their music videos. Programmers are pulling quotes from online social networks to make automated poems.

Darren Solomon’s site, inbflat.net, features 20 YouTube videos of musicians, many of whom don’t know each other, playing various melodies in the key of B flat.

art.bflat

More than 50,000 animators are divvying up work on an upcoming animated film called “Live Music,” and amateur videographers are re-filming “Star Wars” in 15-second bites.

This crowd-sourced creativity online is putting a new twist on traditional ideas of artistic ownership, online communication and art production.

Full article

A website has been set up to harness the power of social media during natural disasters.  The creators say that Emicus.com it will be used to prevent “the horrors of hurricane Katrina from happening again”.

hurricane

The website sates that Emicus.com will work by “gathering information from a variety of sources – government agencies, news media, voluntary organizations, social networking sites and people in the impacted areas and present it in a real-time interactive geospatial interface. This interface serves a wide variety of purposes from the location of available goods and services to a communication tool that can be used by first response and communication personnel”.

The site will be put to the test this week with three tropical storms expected.  Hurricane Bill, headed for Florida could be especially dangerous.  Emicus.com hopes that its users will be able to spread valuable information to others during the storm using social media sites like twitter.

A tenant who used Twitter to complain about her ‘mouldy’ flat is facing a $50,000 lawsuit.

Amanda Bonnen is accused of defaming her landlords after updating her online status to say ‘Who said sleeping in a mouldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it’s okay.’

The company says Bonnen’s flat was one of several affected by an overnight leak in March when a contractor was making roof repairs.

Jeff Michael, general counsel for Horizon, said Bonnen moved out on June 30 of her own accord.

The company claims her tweet was published ‘throughout the world’ and severely damaged its good name.

Mr Michael told the Sun-Times: ‘The statements are obviously false and it’s our intention to prove that.’

Bonnen was not contacted before the lawsuit was launched or asked to remove the message.

Mr Michael added: ‘We’re a sue first, ask questions later kind of organisation.’
Read more

The Cybraphon is a handmade musical robot contained in an antique wardrobe made up of instruments, antique machinery, and found objects, all of which are operated by over 60 robotic components.

cybraphon

The Cybraphon differs from run-of-the mill musical robots in its relentless obsession with its own online popularity. It uses a MacBook Pro to search the web for references to itself, in addition to keeping track of Facebook and Myspace friends and its number of followers on Twitter. The Cybraphon’s “mood” is determined by how much online attention it gets. Since Internet popularity is a fleeting thing, the Cybraphon emotions are always fluctuating.

It also delivers music reflective of how it’s feeling. When showered with page hits and friends, it delivers a happy melody. When ignored, it takes things into more melancholy territory. Cybraphon was designed by Edinburgh-based band.

You can also have a look at the Cybraphon’s ever changing moods on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.

6a00d8341c609853ef01156fc33558970c

The Telegraph (UK) reports today that, a month before the upcoming election, Japan has ruled the use of social media sources such as Twitter to violate election rules. Twitter has been widely used by Japanese politicians, with the Democratic Party’s Seiji Ohsaka recently putting out over 50 tweets during a recent debate.

The regulation in question in this recent Twitter ban is a 59-year-old election law banning the use of visual images in election campaigns. The Japanese cabinet ruled that Twitter tweets constitute “litterature and images” which are banned by this rule.

Japan, long seen as a leader in the incorporation of technology into daily life, holds a more traditional view of politics than North America. Most of the campaigns thus are less played out on the internet than our political races.

Pondstone Communications

Pondstone on Twitter

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