Facebook has done it again

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past few years, we’re sure you’ve heard the stories of childhood friends being reunited or even long-lost pets/personal items being returned to rightful owners with help from sympathetic social network users.

But this one really takes the cake.

In a time period where screenshots of actresses in YouTube clips are often accompanied by NSFW tags, it’s refreshing to see one with such a happy ending.

Did Facebook Kill the Birthday?

B.F. [Before Facebook]

In a pre-facebook world, you may have had a calendar or a Dayrunner – each filled with important events & upcoming birthdays. And when a birthday did pop up you might have picked up the phone or even sent a card.

Simpler is better, right?

Now, in our social media utopia, we get alerts for every friends birthday right on our facebook page. Facebook has made it so easy, in fact, that you don’t even have to click more than one button. Instead of taking 30 seconds to visit each friends page individually, we can simply type in our birthday wish, one after the other, right from our own news feed. Is this really a good thing?

I can hear you protesting already. “But, but, but.. “ you might say, “I wouldn’t have known when my friends birthday was! Or what if I don’t have their phone number? Thanks to Facebook, I am able to send them birthday wishes.”

While this may be true, it also begs the question – if you don’t have their phone number or care enough to put their birthday in a calendar, physical or digital, then are they really that close of a friend? The answer is probably not.

Watered down wishes

Now that we’ve gotten acquaintances out of the way, let’s talk about the people that really matter. The friends and family members that deserve a phone call or a card. With Facebook around, you might just post a quick “Happy birthday!” to their wall & call it good. Or even worse, if you don’t check Facebook that day & miss their birthday completely.

The people that you know & love deserve more than that. They deserve more than the same message that the guy you haven’t spoken two in 8 years received. It is THEIR day & you can devote 10 minutes to sending a card [so it gets there on time] & picking up the phone. Those two simple things that would have been expected 20 years ago are becoming lost on the new generations.

Don’t let Facebook – or our own laziness – kill the birthday.

How MaxMyTV is set to change the way you watch TV

maxmytvheadTV is becoming an increasingly social two-screen experience. Who hasn’t watched a game while following the debate on Twitter or joined in a live-tweeting Sharknado event?

MaxMyTV is a new Kickstarter for a hub that brings social media integration directly to your TV. The hub is not just limited to social media but also brings sophisticated home automation and Android apps to your couch!

What makes MaxMyTV different from other multimedia/social media hubs like the Apple TV, Xbox One and Chromecast is the home automation features it has. When working together with MaxMyTV sensors the hub can:

  • create an automated home security system that will detect movement and send the pictures to you wherever you are
  • alert you to someone at the front-door with a live camera feed
  • monitor your power usage in the house
  • let you know where your pet is and when it’s making a run for the garden
  • secure your house when you’re out and detect when windows and doors are open


Like most stuff on Kickstarter this comes with an app so that you can monitor and control your smart home using your smartphone as well as your TV.

As it’s running on Android you have access to a huge library of apps and MaxMyTV promises to overlay detailed stats over the game so that you can keep up with action as it happens as well as getting your moneyball stat nerdery on.


There is no doubt that MaxMyTV has a lot to live up to, but they seem to be well on their way. Check out the demo videos on the Kickstarter page to see the hub in action.

If you’ve ever dreamt of owning a robot butler that will do your bidding with a suitable degree of robo-british snark then this may just be the next best thing. I’m assuming the Michael Caine voice module will be made available with version 2.0.

Oculus Rift’s New Virtual Reality Headset Crescent Bay Will Blow Your Mind

Oculus Rift just demoed their new ‘Crescent Bay’ headset and it is looking very impressive. This third iteration of the VR goggles from the Facebook owned company brings 360-degree motion tracking, a better display and comes with 3d headphones. Check out the video below for a run through of the new tech demos.

This Prank Will Blow You Away

prankBrian Swichkow pranked his roommate in one of the most elaborate and tech savvy ways I’ve ever heard of. The full post explaining everything in his own words can be found here: http://mysocialsherpa.com/the-ultimate-retaliation-pranking-my-roommate-with-targeted-facebook-ads/

The Back Story

The story begins when Brian finds a new roommate from Craigslist. They hit it off and become such good friends that the roommate plays a practical joke on Brian. All Brian alludes to is how the roommate tricked him into believing something that wasn’t true…and all of Brian’s friends knew about it, for more than two weeks.

What’s a guy to do? Publicly vow revenge, of course.

What happens next is nothing short of amazing.

An Audience of One

Brian had been playing around with Facebook’s custom Audience targeting tools and had wondered how small of an audience he could target. He decided that an audience of one would be perfect for his prank. His roommate never knew what was coming.

So Brian simply uploaded the email address his roommate used for his Facebook profile to the Audience tool and instantly created a Custom Audience of one. Read Brian’s post to find out about different ways to get a hold of people’s Facebook User ID to use in extremely targeted campaigns.

Seeding Paranoia

Brian decided to target his roommate with ads that were so specific about his personal life that he would get a serious case of paranoia. He hid his identity by using sidebar ads, and simply placed random links in the ads.

Sword Swallowing Pill Gagger

Brian’s roommate is a professional sword swallower that ironically has trouble swallowing pills.

So he made an ad targeted to sword swallowers that have trouble swallowing pills. The roommate understandably freaked out when he saw it and mentioned it to Brian.

Brian’s response was to up the ante with a series of equally bizarre campaigns.

The Big Reveal

Eventually Brian went too far, using an ad that was too specific; his roommate guessed and accused him of being behind it all.

Brian denied the allegations and stopped the ads. For a while, he forgot them.

Then Edward Snowden made his big announcement. At this point his roommate started showing serious signs of paranoia and refused to discuss anything over the phone.

For the big reveal you really should read Brian’s own post.

Brian ends up making an ad where he fesses up. His roommate is shocked and impressed but seems to take the whole thing very well.

Iced Water, Rice and the Power of Digital

If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or possibly even just read a newspaper on your daily commute, you won’t have missed the recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

For the sake of generations to come who might stumble across this blog post and won’t have a clue what I’m writing about, however, let’s just quote Wikipedia from today to explain what it was:

The Ice Bucket Challenge, sometimes called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research. It went viral on social media during July–August 2014. In the US, many people participate for the ALS Association, and in the UK, many people participate for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, although some individuals have opted to donate their money from the Ice Bucket Challenge to other organizations.

[Read more…]

A Doritos Fan Challenge Turns Us Into Detectives

doritos jacked

What awaits you inside this bag?

Three mystery flavors, labeled only by their numbers, were suddenly available in my supermarket.

Test flavors 404 and 2653 come in yellow and blue bags, respectively.

I had always wanted to be Nancy Drew as a child, and here were mystery chips that needed solving. (When I was a kid, it was Mystery Dum Dum lollipops). Clues could be found on the nutritional facts label as required by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), but really the only way to find out the flavor was to try them.

Would customers really buy chips when they didn’t know what they were getting into?

Here’s how Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, sweetened the deal and created lots of buzz.

[Read more…]

What a Japanese Library Can Teach Us about Social Marketing

リブライズ 〜すべての本棚を図書館に〜 from Tsuomu Kawamura.

You’ve probably never heard of Librize unless you live in Japan. Started in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo’s coolest neighborhood, is the brainchild of computer engineer and café owner Sho Kawamura. The project has a simple premise: to turn a bohemian area of small cafés, independent theatres and boutiques into an interactive library and community run entirely online through social networks.

Why did Sho do this?

Well, in a way he didn’t.
[Read more…]