Freedom has a price, even on the Internet

With the power of the electronic age we live in, news travels faster than ever before.  With this wave of information, we have to keep vigilant and take caution in what we read, trust, click on, and share as we surf the web.  The morning of Monday, May 2 and throughout that day, information rapidly broke about the death of Osama Bin Laden.  As expected, malicious software began to spread based on this incident primarily thorough search engine results, mass emails, and social media.  Even advertisements on websites such as Facebook and Google may have been malicious in trying to trick you with fake offers that may entice you to click them and then linked you to viruses and spyware that infects your computer and could steal your personal information.

By late evening, hackers unleashed a wave of new spam emails, poisoned search results, and specially crafted websites — all designed to mislead people seeking news.  The more common ones promised unofficial photos of Bin Laden’s dead body, videos of the assault and other conspiracy theories surrounding the events.  These links are false, misleading and dangerous.  Do NOT click on them.

Facebook Spam Post Example

The attackers are taking advantage of the curiosity of users and the excitement of the public, and then spreading malware along with it.  If you must look for news and the latest information, stick to well-known sites that may have bookmarked and rely on those.  As no images or video of the operation have been released, any sites promoting them should automatically be considered suspicious.

Always use caution when clicking Internet links you may not be familiar with or knowingly trust.  Also, please use good judgment when searching around the Internet for information.

Top 10 Social Media Moments of the Lehigh Valley 2010

What else is there to do this week than to crank out a Top 10 list about something.  Social media has turned our world upside down and kept us one click or touch away from what is happening right now.  Similar to last year (LINK), here are the top 10 stories of our own Lehigh Valley from 2010 which had a social media element to them.  Thanks to all our followers and readers out there who suggested and nominated some of these items, you see below.  Enjoy!
10 – Readers Choice awards for BFD and Hosfeld Insurance
In August, the Morning Call had a Readers Choice contest where nominations were accepted and top nominees were awarded Readers Choice awards.  With the power of social media and momentum, two long time active participants in social media, Black Forest Deli and Hosfeld Insurance took home awards in their respective categories Best Deli in the Valley and Best Local Insurance Agency.  Maybe you attended one of their parties to celebrate?  Congrats ladies!
9 – More Local Businesses embrace Facebook and Twitter
The number of local businesses that now use Twitter and Facebook is abundant.  While you can’t follow them all (effectively, that is), you can certainly find your favorites.  Businesses are a lot more engaging since the start of 2010 than previously.  Some that come to mind, (the non-award winning ones that is) are Shuze, Moravian Book Store, Brew Works, ArtsQuest, Sands Casino, Morning Call, and the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs.  If any others come to mind, feel free to leave them in the comments section.  My apologies in advance.
8 – CelticFest App
Mobile apps was where it was at in 2010.  CelticFest was one of the first to get it out there and made the event jump up a notch.  It kept you up-to-date on everything taking place at the festival and downloads and stored the information on your mobile phone, iPod Touch, or iPad so it works with or without an internet connection. More info on that app at http://www.celticfest.org/info.  Well done.
7 – Lehigh Valley Hospital begins a No Texting While Driving Campaign raising awareness.
In one of the largest public awareness campaigns in the Lehigh Valley and nationwide, Lehigh Valley Health Network lauched http://www.celllimit0.com where they talk about the urgent call to action to stop texting and using mobile devices while driving.  The website states: “Each year, 6,000 Americans die in car crashes caused by distracted driving—and cell phone use is by far the greatest distraction. Studies indicate that talking on a mobile device quadruples your risk for a crash (raising it to the same risk level as driving drunk). “If you’re text messaging, you are eight times more likely to crash,” says health network trauma surgeon Robert Barraco, M.D.”.  As of last week, they have distributed 10,500 magnets and close to 500 lawn signs.
6 – laini’s little books go electronic
These books have been around for a few years now (since 2007, the launch of the 1st Easton guide).  but 2010 saw the launch of a website, blog entries and weekly lists of “9” things to do each weekend.  Not sure why 9, but it’s unique.  Relevant and timely content get pushed to her Facebook fan pages and Twitter feeds for all to see (and share / retweet / etc.).   It all mashes up nicely at http://www.littlepocketguide.com, which features a great way to end the year – laini’s list of 9 – New Year’s Weekend!
5 – Foursquare SWARM badge unlocked at Musikfest
One social media intregrated app that exploded on the scene in 2010 is Foursquare.  It’s (in my opinion) the market leader in geo-location based apps out there.  When 50+ people are checked in to a location on Foursquare – it’s a foursquare flashmob!  Not too many Lehigh Valley locations can get 50+ checkins at one location.  We got about 30-some at the LVTweetups from time-to-time.  Musikfest is just the event to make that happen though, and on Friday the 13th.  That night of Musikfest saw the badge get unlocked.  If you were one of the 50+ who did it, congrats!  Here’s @thuk18045’s badge.  http://foursquare.com/thuk18045/badges/4c65efefe1da1b8d3ed899c3
4 – Bethlehem Horses Tweet, Morning Call and NBC10 Philly covers the controversy
How TMZ missed this one, I am not sure.  One staple at Musikfest are the mounted police patrol horses. Suddently, they started tweeting.  As the profile states: “We are the horses who protect you during MUSIKFEST in Bethlehem! Horses can’t tweet, this is a parody. Idiot.” and links to http://www.lehighvalleywithlove.com.  This was covered by the Morning Call (http://articles.mcall.com/2010-08-09/news/mc-bethlehem-musikfest-horse-twitter-20100809_1_police-horses-patrol-horses-john-sarnicky), and then NBC10 even came up for the story and interviewed official PR LVwithLove correspondent George Wacker (Facebook profile) about it.  See the NBC10 clip about it. http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/tech/Tweeting_Horses_Gets_Bloggers_in_Trouble_Philadelphia.html
3 – LVTweetup turns 1, holds 20 Tweetups!
Back in April, we had our 1 year anniversary for LVTweetup.  We even had a cake from Backdoor Bakeshop to go with our pint-glass giveaway.  This year we went to Musikfest, CelticFest, and an IronPigs game as well as the local nightlife scene places.  Look for more great places and event in the coming year.  And thanks to our sponsors for all the great giveaways and promo items.  All your support is appreciated by all!!  Follow the Tweetup on Twitter at @lvtweetup along with the current 1,130 followers.
2 – Callahan and Dent (and Towne) for Congress
The battle for this seat in Congress made #7 in the Stories of 2010 by WFMZ.  http://www.wfmz.com/lehighvalleynews/26304393/detail.html While the candidates did nothing out of the ordinary when it came to social media, it was the power of the people’s voice that kept the social media airwaves going through the fall leading up to Election Day.  Social media is one way that the demographics of Americans that weren’t as active at the polls stay informed and stay motivated to get out and vote each election.  This is where 1992 MTV called to say they are proud of you – back then it was called “Rock the Vote”.
1 – 2 Days in a Cube, 70,000 Text Messages
They said it couldn’t be done (well, maybe they didn’t, but still..) The Tweetup community picked one lucky fellow George Wacker (Facebook profile) to rally behind and vote their way to Mayfair’s Morning Call sponsored 2 Days in a Cube contest to win a 2010 Nissan Cube.  Among the five contestants, George came out on top thanks to a large following of votes, tweets and facebook posts to remind us, and many ancillary viral marketing moments throughout the month of May.
Feel free to leave a comment below with thoughts, opinions, commentary, etc.  After all, isn’t that what social media is for??  Happy 2011 all..  See you online!

What else is there to do this week than to crank out a Top 10 list about something.  Social media has turned our world upside down and kept us one click or touch away from what is happening right now.  Similar to last year’s list, here are the top 10 stories of our own Lehigh Valley from 2010 which had a social media element to them.  Thanks to all our followers and readers out there who suggested and nominated some of these items, you see below.  Enjoy!

10 – Readers Choice awards for Black Forest Deli and Hosfeld Insurance

Readers Choice logo

In August, the Morning Call had a Readers Choice contest where nominations were accepted and top nominees were awarded Readers Choice awards.  With the power of social media and momentum, two long time active participants in social media, Black Forest Deli and Hosfeld Insurance took home awards in their respective categories Best Deli in the Valley and Best Local Insurance Agency.  Maybe you attended one of their parties to celebrate?  Congrats ladies!

9 – More Local Businesses embrace Facebook and Twitter

The number of local businesses that now use Twitter and Facebook is abundant.  While you can’t follow them all (effectively, that is), you can certainly find your favorites.  Businesses are a lot more engaging since the start of 2010 than previously.  Some that come to mind, (the non-award winning ones that is) are Shuze, Moravian Book Store, Brew Works, ArtsQuest, Sands Casino, Morning Call, Starfish Brasserie, and the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs.  If any others come to mind, feel free to leave them in the comments section.  My apologies in advance.

8 – CelticFest App

Mobile apps was where it was at in 2010.  CelticFest was one of the first to get it out there and made the event jump up a notch.  It kept you up-to-date on everything taking place at the festival and downloads and stored the information on your mobile phone, iPod Touch, or iPad so it works with or without an internet connection. More info on that app at http://www.celticfest.org/info.  Well done.

7 – Lehigh Valley Hospital begins a No Texting While Driving Campaign raising awareness

little-girl

In one of the largest public awareness campaigns in the Lehigh Valley and nationwide, Lehigh Valley Health Network lauched http://www.celllimit0.com where they talk about the urgent call to action to stop texting and using mobile devices while driving.  The website states: “Each year, 6,000 Americans die in car crashes caused by distracted driving—and cell phone use is by far the greatest distraction. Studies indicate that talking on a mobile device quadruples your risk for a crash (raising it to the same risk level as driving drunk). “If you’re text messaging, you are eight times more likely to crash,” says health network trauma surgeon Robert Barraco, M.D.”.  As of last week, they have distributed 10,500 magnets and close to 500 lawn signs.

6 – laini’s little books go electronic

These books have been around for a few years now (since 2007, the launch of the 1st Easton guide).  but 2010 saw the launch of a website, blog entries and weekly lists of “9” things to do each weekend.  Not sure why 9, but it’s unique.  Relevant and timely content get pushed to her Facebook fan pages and Twitter feeds for all to see (and share / retweet / etc.).   It all mashes up nicely at http://www.littlepocketguide.com, which features a great way to end the year – laini’s list of 9 – New Year’s Weekend!

5 – Foursquare SWARM badge unlocked at Musikfest

4bbd1ae3675403bb25a55c94

One social media intregrated app that exploded on the scene in 2010 is Foursquare.  It’s (in my opinion) the market leader in geo-location based apps out there.  When 50+ people are checked in to a location on Foursquare – it’s a foursquare flashmob!  Not too many Lehigh Valley locations can get 50+ checkins at one location.  We got about 30-some at the LVTweetups from time-to-time.  Musikfest is just the event to make that happen though, and on Friday the 13th.  That night of Musikfest saw the badge get unlocked.  If you were one of the 50+ who did it, congrats!  Here’s @thuk18045’s Swarm badge.

4 – Bethlehem Horses Tweet, Morning Call and NBC10 Philly covers the controversy

How TMZ missed this one, I am not sure.  One staple at Musikfest are the mounted police patrol horses. Suddently, they started tweeting.  As the profile states: “We are the horses who protect you during MUSIKFEST in Bethlehem! Horses can’t tweet, this is a parody. Idiot.” and links to Lehigh Valley with Love.  This was covered by the Morning Call, and then NBC10 even came up for the story and interviewed official PR LVwithLove correspondent George Wacker (Facebook profile) about it.  See the NBC10 clip about it.

3 – LVTweetup turns 1, storms the Valley monthly.

Our @LVTweetup birthday cake

Our @LVTweetup birthday cake

Back in April, we had our 1 year anniversary for LVTweetup.  We even had a cake from Backdoor Bakeshop to go with our pint-glass giveaway.  This year we went to Musikfest, CelticFest, and an IronPigs game as well as the local nightlife scene places.  Look for more great places and event in the coming year.  And thanks to our sponsors for all the great giveaways and promo items.  All your support is appreciated by all!!  Follow the Tweetup on Twitter at @lvtweetup along with the current 1,130 followers.

2 – Callahan and Dent (and Towne) for Congress

The battle for this seat in Congress made #7 in the Stories of 2010 by WFMZ.  While the candidates did nothing out of the ordinary when it came to social media, it was the power of the people’s voice that kept the social media airwaves going through the fall leading up to Election Day.  Social media is one way that the demographics of Americans that weren’t as active at the polls stay informed and stay motivated to get out and vote each election.  This is where 1992 MTV called to say they are proud of you – back then it was called “Rock the Vote”.

1 – Two Days in a Cube, 70,000 Text Messages, One Winner, One Wacker.

They said it couldn’t be done (well, maybe they didn’t, but still..) The Tweetup community picked one lucky fellow George Wacker (Facebook profile) to rally behind and vote their way to Mayfair’s Morning Call sponsored 2 Days in a Cube contest to win a 2010 Nissan Cube.  Among the five contestants, George came out on top thanks to a large following of votes, tweets, a Facebook fan page, and facebook posts to remind us, and many ancillary viral marketing moments throughout the month of May.

Feel free to leave a comment below with thoughts, opinions, commentary, etc.  After all, isn’t that what social media is for??  Happy 2011 all..  See you online!

December 2010 Holiday Lehigh Valley Tweetup – LVTweetup Gives Back!

It’s about that time again.  Let’s blow off the doors and pack the SteelGaarden again for our Holiday Tweetup.  Last year’s LVTweetup had over 100 attendees from across the Valley.

Join us Monday night December 6th 7-9pm at Bethlehem Brew Works SteelGaarden for the Lehigh Valley Tweetup holiday fundraiser.  What’s a Tweetup? Well, the tweetup is where local twitter users get together to mingle, network, and socialize off-line.

The first 70 people to come will get a Lehigh Valley Tweetup Travel Mug FREE!  Like last year, we will also be collecting canned goods for the Trinity Soup Kitchen as well as new and unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots.  You have to give to get, so bring something to help others in the community.

For more information, follow us on Twitter at @LVTweetup.

Highlights from Tweeps Talk Tech Radio Show – November 10, 2010

As always – you can subscribe to our show right in iTunes here.

——

Have you tried Kik instant messenger yet?

Google Bonus Story tops our news tonight! http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/09/google-pay-hike/

RIM’s PlayBook Will Cost Less than $500 http://mashable.com/2010/11/10/rim-playbook-500/

Ask.com saying goodbye http://mashable.com/2010/11/09/ask-com-shut-down/

RockMelt – the first social browser http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/09/google-rockmelt-search-preview/

CHART OF THE DAY: Facebook Reveals The Most Popular Time For Breakups http://read.bi/a2NxXD

chart-of-the-day-facebook-status-updates-2010

Do Firefox Users Pay More For Car Loans? http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/11/04/132257/Do-Firefox-Users-Pay-More-For-Car-Loans

Over 500,000 People Quit Cable Last Quarter http://read.bi/95oEDY

November 2010 Lehigh Valley Tweetup Details!!

It’s back to business..

Attention Lehigh Valley socialites and social media junkies – Discover Lehigh Valley, the area’s designated tourism bureau, would like to tweetup with YOU at Starters Riverport on Thursday, November 11 from 6-8pm to share and discuss the wonders of their new interactive website.

Located at www.DiscoverLehighValley.com, the site allows users to explore almost 500 Lehigh Valley destinations in incredible detail, share locations with friends and family via social media and build their own custom itinerary.

Representatives from Discover Lehigh Valley want to meet with you, get your take on the site and listen to any feedback you might have on future enhancements and other tools that would make the site more useful to locals and visitors alike. An added bonus – this will be a great opportunity to reconnect with all your twitter friends. Oh, and free hors d’oeuvres.

Here are the details:

Discover Lehigh Valley Tweetup – New Site, Old Friends
Starters Riverport (Upstairs)
Thursday, November 11
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Free finger food, but drinks are on you. Bring a laptop if you’d like, Starters has WiFi.

Notes from our last Tweeps Talk Tech show

People asked us for the links we discussed on our last Tweeps Talk Tech internet radio show.  Here they are:

Patrick introduced:

Mike introduced:

Saturday Night Live Facebook skits:

The Tech Deck where we highlight interesting news items:

Tweeps Talk Tech can be found on the web at tweepstalktech.com, on twitter @tweepstalktech and in iTunes by searching for Tweeps Talk Tech.

Like these topics?  Wanna hear more?  Subscribe to us on iTunes

How Social Media Won George Wacker a Car

The Champion

The Champion

Earlier this year, a few of us who know each other from the Lehigh Valley Tweetups started seeing advertisements for auditions for this “2 Days in the Cube” contest to take place Memorial Day weekend at the Mayfair Festival in Allentown, PA in which 5 contestants would live inside a 2010 Nissan Cube for 2 days, compete in some silly competitions, and be allowed periodic bathroom breaks in hopes of winning a 2 year lease on the car in the end.   We came to the conclusion that we had to put our heads together and pick one person we could all get behind, support, and make sure they won that car.  That person was George Wacker.

After several days of online harassing, peer pressure, and other coercive measures, he agreed to do it.  He went to the auditions with his now-infamous taped up guitar and wooed the judges.  The strategy was sheer volume.  Heavy hitters if you will.  Get a little more than a handful of people to just pound away at the texting on their phones for 2 weeks.  But it was more than that.  We harnessed the power of social media.  We started a Vote for Wacker in 2 Days in The Cube! Facebook fan page with many administrators to add content, we created crazy momentum on Twitter, and got a catch phrase to keep it in the front of the masses – “Wack the Vote”.  Every time people saw it, it made them vote.  We would text each other and just say “Vote”, and it happened.  We even launched a Facebook Ad campaign for 20 miles around.  It got nearly 340,000 impressions for the cost of one tank of gas.  We didn’t care about click-thrus (linked to the Facebook fan page if they did), we just wanted visibility.  We kept the campaign light, funny, but visible and in front of the audience.

We posted pictures from Mayfair, we made sure people knew the number to text and send WACKER to, we pointed them to the live feed on UStream.  We made silly but clever motivational posters to vote.  We leveraged social media to stay in front of the people throughout the 2 weeks to keep momentum, raise awareness, have some fun, and oh yea – win a car!

Congrats again to George.  So – who’s next?