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I find it disappointing that so many people pin and repin fake images on Pinterest with statements that they hope to visit there someday. The truth is that they will never be able to visit it because it does not really exist. Someone created this image for a contest on www.worth1000.com. So perhaps if they see the two images that were combined to create the one that is misrepresented as a castle in Ireland, then they might at least realize that they cannot visit this location and see a castle atop a rock pillar in Ireland.
Lichtenstein castle in Baden-Württemberg, Germany was originally built in 1200 but has been destroyed twice. Today it stands atop a rocky crag overlooking the Echaz Valley. The current castle was built in 1840-1842. The castle and the grounds are available to the public.
Ko Tapu island in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
This beautiful photo is of the real location called Khao Phing Kan (Thai: เขาพิงกัน) or Ko Khao Phing Kan (เกาะเขาพิงกัน) which is a pair of islands off the west coast of Thailand in Phang Nga Bay (Andaman Sea).
Before 1974, the island was a little known paradise. The 1974 James Bond movie "The Man with the Golden Gun" featured the island as the hideout for the villain. Unfortunately, the sudden popularity of this indigenous area resulted in pollution and litter spoiling the scenic area. The government established the Ao Phang Nga Marine National Park in 1981. The park has many limestone and karst features alone the Andaman Sea. It is feared that Ko Tapu may collapse due to the weight of the island is supported by a 13 foot diameter (4 meters) at the water's edge. In an effort to protect Ko Tapu from erosion or damage due to tourist boats, the Thai government has outlawed access to the island.
The Chinese home grown social media channels that have sprouted up in the vacuum created by the Chinese Great Fire Wall challenges marketers to understand which channels might reach their target audience.
Douban is an open forum popular among college educated market for movie, music and book reviews. The majority of the content is accessible by unregistered users; therefore the 60 million+ registered users may be representative of a portion of its use.
Jiepang is a newcomer that is similar to FourSquare as a location based social media.
Momo is a recent entry in the Chinese social media landscape. Momo is a dating app.
QQ Instant Messaging service (800 million approximately) is popular with the under 18 target audience.
Qzone is a social networking site where users can write blogs, share photos, and listen to music. It is popular with the under 18 age group.
Sina Weibo: A cross between Twitter and Facebook, this microblogging platform allows users to include images and video, as well as longer comments. Weibo has more users than Twitter has world-wide. Approximately a quarter of Chinese citizens are members of Weibo.
Renren is considered China's Facebook is very popular with college students and the college educated market. Although there are 147 million registered users, only 31 million are active each month.
Wechat formerly known as Weixin is the up- and-coming social media channel to watch currently. As I walk around China it seems everyone has at least one cell phone. I won’t get into the differernces between the mobile market of USA versus China, but this — is a mobile voice and text app with social features like “friend discovery."
Youku and Tuduo are video sharing (aka YouTube) that merged last year. Interestingly, Youku is not constrained by copyright laws in China so they commonly have copyrighted feature films available to view in Mainland China.
Molokini is a crescent-shaped, partially submerged volcanic crater which is very popular with scuba divers and snorkelers. You can see several tour boats located inside the crater. Unfortunately, the star island does not exist. So yes, you can travel to Molokini island from Maui. Please do because the sea life is amazing.
According to a pin on Pinterest, you can use food coloring to create these colorful oranges. Really? Even if you injected the food coloring into the fruit, it would never result in such smooth and even coloring particularly on the skin of the fruit. Yet, this is repinned time and again . . . I sincerely hope no one destroys delicious oranges in an attempt to use food coloring to create this effect. I assure you that this was indeed digitally manipulated using Adobe PhotoShop.
In my previous post I asked why this was necessary with some of the images. Allow me to continue this discussion with the question "Where do we draw the ethical limits to photo manipulation?" How much is too much, how far is too far? Obviously, it depends on the purpose of your editing efforts. Many times, I rush to capture a photo of a bird before it flies off to parts unknown or attempt to capture a waterfall at sunset. The result may be a slight blur, underexposure or overexposure, or a crooked horizon. I am sure that we have all taken a photo of a child's first birthday and they close their eyes each time the flash occurs. I love taking photos of my pets and the result is the "red-eye effect." Things happen and Adobe Photoshop allows me to correct the errors without mis-representing an bird, animal, person, or destination. Anyone seeing the images will have a true representation of what is real.
What is the purpose when distributing an image that is not real? For example, the above image has been altered to add a shrine in the middle of a limestone pillar located in Zhangjiajie National Park in Hunan Province, China. Visiting Zhangjiajie was a wonderful experience. In fact, I have visited here 3 times and enjoyed it completely. When I first saw the image on Pinterest, I questioned if I had missed seeing it. So I sent it off to my friends at Zhangjiajie to see if they knew where this was located. They revealed that the shrine does not exist. Numerous pinners have pinned this image to their dream vacation boards, so I really hate to tell them that it does not really exist. Again, I am left with the question why? Why would someone intentionally distribute an image that does not accurately represent the destination?
When I teach my electronic marketing students how to use Photoshop, the first lessons are focused on creating aesthetics, such as following the rule of thirds, straightening the horizon, or sharpening the focus. When we move into the more artistic tools of Photoshop, the purpose is to create effective typography, combine images for advertisements, or create an original image. In order to ensure that we are truthful, I stress it is important to reveal to the viewer how the image was manipulated. This is essential when preparing marketing images and messages, for example when working with travel images. In my next blog post I will illustrate several manipulated travel related images. Will you be able to identify the real destination from the fake destination?
If you are like me, I am a bit suspicious when I see a celebrity or model with a perfect smile, smooth skin, and skinny hips in magazine coves and advertisements. There is much discussion about the ethics of changing the image of models and the unrealistic expectations our youth develop after seeing these "perfect" images. I understand that a model may have an imperfection on the day of a photo shoot, but where do we draw line on what is acceptable for the sake of aesthetics and what is a violation of basic ethics.
What has surprised me is the number of Pinners that pin fake images on Pinterest. What is the purpose? I imagine that it is designed to help get followers and repins of these unusual images. Unfortunately, it will also give unwise Pinners the wrong idea regarding an endangered species or potential travel destinations. For example, is the above image real or fake? If you said fake, then you are correct. What are some indicators that it is a fake? First, this is a photo of a Clark's Nutcracker that is a gray and black bird. Second, the watermark indicates that this came from the Worth1000.com website. This website operates photo manipulation contests . . . you can find a great number of really well done images. So I understand the temptation, but at least confess that this image has been manipulated with a software, such as Adobe Photoshop. Finally, this bird is found in the mountain west region of the United States. I have seen it many times in our national parks, near campgrounds, pine trees, and in picnic areas.
But alas, even I have fallen for a few of these fakes. Now I take the time to verify the associated link. Does the pin link to a real website? Is the image still on the website? Is the author or photographer indicated on the website? Any photographer worth "their salt" will claim credit for their work! Most will share when and where the photo was taken, and with what camera they used to capture the image. Exercise a little caution before repinning that stunning image.
I realize that many of these images are pretty and it is difficult to resist. But be truthful in your representation! Your reputation will depend on your ethics. Consider this . . . if you use a fake image to attract customers to a business website (yes, I have discovered at least one company on Pinterest that has done this), I as a customer would not trust that the images of your products were truthful. By the way, here is the original untouched photo of the Clark's Nutcracker. Next time you see a beautiful and unusual bird, check out Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Do you have a Pinterest Account? You might want to check out the Pinterest Accounts for my students in Electronic Marketing.
I have an extensive number of Pinterest boards related to electronic marketing and social media. Why not check them out and follow the boards that will be most helpful to you in maximizing your marketing efforts.
Please check out these Twitter Accounts for recent articles and information on social media:
Instructor Linda Ralston: @DrLindaRalston
Tanner Andresen: @TanAndresen
Cameron Bailey: @Cssbailey
Tyler Barnhart: @barnsandstuff
Carly Brown: @carlyranae
Cameo Burton: @CameoBurton
Vivian Chang: @_VivianChang
Ram Chapagain: @RChapagain2
David Cravens: @davidfcravens14
Cam Doane: @CameronDoane
Creighton Elinski: @CreightonUofU
Jenny Glauser: @JennLee941
Michael Greer: @MichaelWGreer
Megan Hepworth: @MeganHepworth
Kylie James: @kylieajames
Cole Johnston: @rcj412
Tyler McLachlan: @McLachlanTy
Cris Nelson: @CrisNelson1
Montana Peterson: @MontanaP_
Krystal Schultz: @krystals34
Samu Sitake: @ssitake
David Sylvain: @DavidSylvain2
Jenessa Tondevold: @JenessaShae
Jetta Valentine: @jettavalentine
Jennie Williams: @jenniekinz80
Si Chen: @elsachensi0622
Jared Hopkinson: @RaftIdaho
Xu Liu: @XULIU2
Ling Sha: @LingSha1
Lin Zhang: @Lin_Emarketing
Qingqing Zhang: @Zhangqq_Tiffany
This week I would like to share some of the blogs created by my students in PRT 5460/6460 Electronic Marketing. Their first assignment was to evaluate a website using AIDA (attention-interest-desire-action). The majority of the students in this class will be graduating in May 2013. If you are looking for a capable employee with knowledge of electronic marketing, then check out these blogs: