Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Facebook does major overhaul of privacy settings

Facebook said today it was overhauling its privacy settings to give members easier, more precise control over who sees posts, photos and other content over the vast social network.

Privacy has been a consistently sticky problem for the Palo Alto firm, which has felt the heat from privacy advocates and government regulators. And recently, Facebook faced stiffer competition from Google's new Google+ social network, which was hailed for including a "circles" feature with easy-to-use privacy settings.

But starting Thursday, Facebook is rolling out new privacy tools that are placed with each piece of content, replacing options that are now buried in overall account settings.
Moreover, instead of vague labels such as "everyone," which have been mistaken for a Facebook member's social network instead of anyone on the Internet, the new system will include more precise words such as "public."

"You have told us that 'who can see this?' could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward," Chris Cox, Facebook's vice president of product, said in blog post.

"The main change is moving most of your controls from a settings page to being inline, right next to the posts, photos and tags they affect. Plus there are several other updates here that will make it easier to understand who can see your stuff (or your friends') in any context," Cox said.

While privacy advocates reserved judgment until the new settings were actually released, they were optimistic today the changes will benefit consumers.

"These changes do make me feel very confident in the direction that Facebook is going and the way they are thinking about privacy," said Erica Newland, policy analyst for the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington, D.C.

The new settings include:

-- The ability for members to review a photo in which they have been tagged before it appears online. Currently, tagged photos would show up on a member's profile first, requiring them to go to the photo and untag themselves.

-- A dropdown menu to let members chose who can see each piece of profile information, such as hometown and photo albums. There is also a new way to view how a profile looks to others, a change from having to dive into general account settings.

-- A menu for each new update that lets members chose who can see a status update or wall post, and the ability to change that setting at any time even after it is posted.

-- The menu will start with selections of "public," "friends" or "custom," but "will be expanding over time to include smaller groups of people you may want to share with, like co-workers, friends lists you've created and groups you're a member of," Cox said.

-- Facebook is also tweaking its "check in" settings for members to show where they are. The check in feature is now only available through a Facebook smart-phone app, but members will be able to add a geographic location to any status update, photo or wall post.

The changes come after Google+ let its members control individual posts right from launch. When asked if the changes were in response to Google+, Facebook said in a statement that the company has "been working on building these updates over the last few months and, as we said a few weeks ago, this is launch season and we're ready to get it out of the door."
But Kurt Opsahl, senior staff attorney with San Francisco's Electronic Frontier Foundation, noted that his organization has advocated for more intuitive privacy controls since May 2010, when Facebook didn't have competition from Google+.
"What we're seeing here is that there are now two major social networks that have granular levels of control when a year ago there weren't (any)," he said.

Still, Opsahl has only seen screen shots of the changes, so "the proof is really going to be whether it works."

Read more: - The Best in Social Business

Sunday, 21 August 2011

100 London Pubs To Get Free Wifi with BT & Heineken

BT and Heineken have partnered up to provide 100 pubs across London Wi-fi.
In addition to access to BT Openzone wi-fi, patrons will also get exclusive content from 'i' and location-specific content.

This service will be rolled out to 200 pubs across Britain by the end of 2012.

The connection is free for BT Broadband users, or have a deal with your mobile provider for network access.

"The partnership with BT reinforces the brand's reputation as a leading player in the development of technology,"said Rick Lawrence, marketing manager at Heineken UK.

"Using Wi-Fi to deliver free and exclusive content, Heineken is engaging and exciting pub goers and will undoubtedly increase business. It's an exciting time to be involved in hospitality marketing," said Chris Bruce, CEO, BT Openzone.

Do you think this is a good move by BT, or are you satisfied with your data plan to be able to survive without wi-fi? - The Best in Social Business

Its Not All Bad #LondonRiots - Parents FInd Child Using Social Media!

SAN JOSE, Calif. — It took only a few hours for emails sent from worried parents in North Carolina Friday to set off an international search for their son — a 22-year-old Stanford University student who had dropped off the cyber radar for six days while traveling alone in Southeast Asia.
And the mystery that took the couple from festering anxiousness a few days ago to near-panic as the week of silence reached a close, took just one day to solve.
On Saturday at 8:30 a.m. in North Carolina, the presumed-missing Jacob Boehm called his mom, Nancy Luberoff, from a two-way radio. He was deep in one of the world's oldest tropical rainforests in Malaysia's Taman Negara. The call lasted 30 seconds: "Hi Mom, it's me Jacob. I just wanted to let you know I'm safe. It's a long story but I'll call you in a few days."
Here's how a story of parental panic-turned-happy ending, so far, played out across the globe:
On Friday morning Luberoff, a Hillel campus director at Elon University, and her husband, Bruce Boehm, sent an email to a dozen of their son's friends saying they were worried. After communicating at least every few days with Boehm during his three-month journey through Japan, Thailand and Malaysia, he had suddenly disappeared. No calls, no Skype, no emails, no ATM or credit card use.
Was he in jail? The hospital?
"My husband and I both came home from work one day and realized we were both imagining him dead," Luberoff said. So they made frantic calls and exchanged emails with consular officials in Kuala Lumpur and the U.S. State Department. "The issue is not that six days is a long time, it's that six days is completely out of character for this person."
The couple signed their -mail to Boehm's friends: "With a painful heart."
In June, Boehm set off for Japan with Stanford's Chamber Chorale. From there, the adventurous music major used money he saved coaching the Palo Alto High School debate team to go off on his own. He taught English in tsunami-ravaged towns and even darted into Myanmar to renew his visa.
But this past week, there were no updates.
Embassy officials encourage all Americans traveling abroad to register with the nearest office, making contact easier in an emergency. There are specific instructions when someone has died, been jailed, caught up in a natural disaster or scam.
But a 22-year-old who hasn't Skyped for six days? The advice is limited.
Within hours of the emails to Boehm's friends, Facebook groups had been created, ultimately attracting 4,795 people; emails poured in from Southeast Asia from friends and friends of friends. Bloggers updated the Huffington Post and Lonely Planet websites. They worked efficiently, sending around lists of hospitals and hostels. The missing-person poster was translated quickly into Malay: "JACOB NEIL BOEHM, age 22, last seen in Jerantut, Pahang District, Malaysia. Traveling on U.S. and German passports, 5'11", thin, brown curly hair and eyeglasses."
Where social media soothed her that a search plan was in action, Luberoff said it also fueled her dread. A recent post noted if he went into the jungle "he could be a goner and no one would know."
One Facebooker stoked another fear: "Your child will absolutely hate you for doing this to him when he gets back."
But Timothy Tam understood the family's concern. He's a 21-year-old Stanford senior who hasn't met Boehm. But the aeronautics student caught the cyber flurry and called his dad, a director general in the Malaysian Prime Minister's office in Kuala Lumpur. It was 3 a.m. but his father understood.
Tam's father, Tam Weng Wah, called the Pahang division, where Boehm was believed to have stayed in a park lodge. A search team of park rangers was dispatched, leaving at 6 a.m. Saturday. It took 11 hours to find Boehm, who was hiking with a guided group. The rangers' jungle trek was made more difficult because it is the month of Ramadan, and they are fasting.
Although Tam's father stayed up all night to help execute the plan, he has no regrets: "My dad understood how they felt as parents. If this happened to me he said he hoped someone would do the same thing."
Luberoff agrees and says her family is overwhelmed by the response of people — from Silicon Valley to Southeast Asia — who stepped in to help..
"We all wonder, at what point do you start worrying? Do we wait five days, six days, seven days, eight days? No parent knows the answer," Luberoff said Saturday. "We do not regret emailing 12 of Jacob's friends just 24 hours ago to ask for help. We just never imagined that over 4,000 people would care enough to help."
San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.).
Visit, the World Wide Web site of the Mercury News, at
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. - The Best in Social Business

Tech-savvy dreamer runs Microsoft's social-media lab

The researcher charged with being the most social person at Microsoft considers herself an outsider.
Lili Cheng, the head of Microsoft's social-media research group, is an architect at a company of computer scientists. At her first job, she was the only woman and the only person who didn't speak Japanese at a construction firm of 300 in Tokyo.
"It's really easy for me to imagine the person who is left out," said Cheng, who has 1,240 friends on Facebook. "I feel like I don't always fit in, and I like that."
Cheng is general manager of FUSE Lab, which stands for Future Social Experiences.
She has said that the biggest failure for an architect is if you design a space and no one shows up to use it. The same is true with social media.
"Social is risky," she said. "You don't know what's going to work out."
What makes Cheng an elusive creature at Microsoft is she can think simultaneously in the right-brain mode of blue-sky research and in the left-brain mode of software ship date.
Stefan Weitz, a director at Microsoft Bing, sums her up this way: "Lili is a dreamer with a rigorous tech background."
Microsoft considers social media important, important enough that Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg the day he announced Microsoft's acquisition of Skype — to make sure Zuck was cool with it.
But unlike Google, which is chasing Facebook and its 750 million users with the new Google+, Microsoft has no plans to build a competing social network.
Its approach to social media has been more incremental, with new features rolling out across Bing, Office and MSN, many of which can be traced back to Cheng's research group.
The people at Cheng's FUSE Lab are version 1.0 types who have experience developing and shipping new products.
A researcher at FUSE started experimenting last year with cloud computing and Twitter in a project called Twigg. Six weeks later, Bing rolled the feature out to tens of millions of users.
Search on Bing, and the results now show your friends' Facebook "likes" and tweets.
Besides Twigg, the team developed social-media projects with the names Montage, and Spindex.
FUSE is a part of Microsoft Research, a group of 850 people hired to research and publish papers in academic journals.
Microsoft spends $9 billion a year on research and development. That number includes money invested in developing products like the next version of Windows, but the amount remains staggering.
The National Science Foundation, by comparison, received $6.9 billion in federal funding in 2010.
Kid at heart
Cheng is 45, but on social media, she's like a 15-year-old. Here's a recent tweet from her: "sunshine. fun people. #foocamp." (Foo Camp is a tech gathering.)
She always has 1,000 unread emails in her inbox. "I'm like, when it scrolls off, it's gone," she said. The best way to reach her is to "d" her. As in, send her a direct message on Twitter.
Cheng imagines redesigning email to suit different personalities — from people who like to have zero emails in the inbox, to people like her.
Her father is from China, her mother is Japanese and an interior designer who specializes in textiles. Her dad, a landscape architect, came to the U.S. from Shanghai for graduate work at the University of Michigan.
After completing his degree, he started driving across the country to look for a job.
He got in a car accident in Nebraska and, while waiting for repairs, decided to stay.
Cheng said she was one of three Asian Americans at a Nebraskan high school with 1,500 students.
"Can you imagine being Asian in the Midwest? That's hard core," said John Maeda, a friend and president of the Rhode Island School of Design who grew up in Seattle.
After getting her architecture degree from Cornell, Cheng took her first job in Tokyo at Nihon Sekkei. Her next stop was Los Angeles, where she decided to leave architecture.
"Architecture is a pretty old, established profession," she said. "The computer was really open-ended."
Then at 23, she went to New York University to get a master's degree in interactive telecommunication.
Her first internship was at Apple working on QuickTime software.
Cheng said it's funny that people now consider Apple the ultimate barometer of cool, because when she was there "I thought it was so uncool."
Coming from New York and L.A. — where even poorly paid architects wore Armani suits — Cheng could not believe Apple employees walked around barefoot wearing Apple T-shirts at the company's offices in Cupertino, Calif.
She made an emergency trip to a Gap store to buy a plain yellow sweater and black pants so she would blend in.
In 1995, she and her husband, Yarom Boss, took jobs at Microsoft. She joined Microsoft Research's Virtual Worlds group and ended up running it.
In 2001, she started the Social Computing Group and built an early social network called Wallop that Microsoft spun off as a company.
Early disciple
Cheng talks about social media like it's an indie band that she watched play dive bars for years before it made it big.
"A lot of people said it was just weird people talking about cats," she said. "Social was girlie. ... For the first years of Twitter, I spent time telling people, 'This is really cool,' and people said, 'I don't get it.' "
She launched an annual Social Computing Symposium in 2004 to bring together researchers and developers working on social media. At one event, people wrote and acted out short plays using puppets, handmade props and other randomly found objects.
danah boyd, a senior Microsoft researcher who has gone to several symposiums, said that one year in Redmond, everyone sang karaoke, then broke into a closed hotel pool and went swimming.
"In some ways I just think of her as a Tigger," boyd said. "She does an amazing job of bringing out the child in everyone."
That includes former Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, who created FUSE Lab and made Cheng its leader. "Lili would just bounce up to him and say, 'Wheeee! We are going to do these fun things,' " boyd said.
Switch to Vista
While working on a design project in research, Cheng started thinking about how it could apply to Windows. Rick Rashid, Microsoft's senior vice president for research, and Bill Gates got involved and they made her director of user experience for Windows Vista.
She went from the research world of imagining "what if" to managing a 200-person team and shipping software for 100 million computers.
After Vista, she returned to research instead of climbing the corporate ladder in the Windows group.
"People here were like, 'Did you do something wrong?' " Cheng said. "I wanted to create things."
She was ready to downsize. FUSE Lab, started in 2009, has 30 people.
"Sometimes, it's just easier for a really small team to try something and see if it works," she said.
Her team built Montage, a website that creates an instant news site about a topic based on social-media feeds. This month, FUSE launched the experimental, a version about businesses.
The team Cheng leads has also built software called Kodu for kids to create video games. It's been used at Tyee Middle School in Bellevue and Benjamin Franklin Elementary in Kirkland.
Maeda of Rhode Island School of Design loves that Cheng has brought warmth to the cold arts of technology.
"She's a warm visionary as opposed to a cold visionary," he said.
His old boss used to say to him, "Don't be a laser beam; become like a light bulb," Maeda recalled. "I think of Lili as someone who illuminates spaces, and that's why she's perfect for social media."
Sharon Pian Chan: 206-464-2958 or - The Best in Social Business
The Seattle Times

Monday, 15 August 2011

How #RiotCleanUp and Twitter Cleaned Up The Riots In London

If anyone doubted how powerful the internet – and in particular social media site like Twitter – could be, let those doubts be laid to rest now.  After the horrific series of riots that swept through London and other cities in England in recent days, a few people started a wave of support for a city clean up by using Twitter.
Various hashtags were seen on the site including #RiotCleanUp and perhaps most memorably #RiotWombles.  A veritable army of people turned up in several locations across London, stirred by the call out for assistance on Twitter.  What better way could there have been for the people of the neighbourhoods that had been affected to get together and show solidarity against the rioters?
If nothing else it certainly makes you look at social media sites in a completely different way.  Yes, there have been incidents where they have been used for bad means.  But this shows that when you need help, asking for it on a social media site such as Twitter could be the best way to get it.
Of course the efforts were largely sparked by the news coverage of the riots themselves.  These news stories provoked people to start talking about the riots on Twitter, and from there they got motivated to do something about it.  But it could have been all talk and no action and it was not.  Instead the Riot Wombles took to the streets and got things back to some semblance of normality again.  How refreshing. - The Best in Social Business

5 Ways To Produce Social Media Winning Content!

Driving a social media program takes a lot of creativity. Not only in how/when/where/why you and your organization post, but perhaps most importantly what you’re posting. There’s simply no substitute for great content. However, the trouble with great content is that the more audience members you bring home, there are ever more mouths to feed. Perhaps a better way to phrase it is; the beast is never full. So with so many channels to fill, what’s an enterprising young social media maverick to do?
Here are 5 sure-fire tips to keep that content wheel not only producing great product, but staying on point and true to your organizations’ message.

Ask the Question

Whether it’s a blog post, a tweet, or a Facebook update, asking questions from your readers is a fun and easy way to engage your audience and dig a bit deeper into some of their habits based on their answers. With that said, do not go forth and pose such mundane questions as, “How are you today?” or “What’s on tap for the weekend?” Such questions are merely water cooler talk, and yes, you’ll get a few responses, but not much. To really get the conversation going, ask big, bold questions, particularly ones that are not easy to answer, or ones that ride the fine line of polarization. Not only will these types of queries fire up a certain segment of your base, but if posed correctly, they’ll light up the response tree, and pull previous respondents back to see what others have said.
Warning: While big questions 9 times out of 10 get big answers, tread lightly in this area. Know who your consumers are before jumping into the deep end of the pool. Remember what mama always taught you: The three topics at any dinner conversation to avoid are Sex, Politics, and Religion. Anything thereafter…well, use your best judgment. And if you’re wrong…lesson learned, mea culpa, do not repeat.

Open the Back Door

People love to be on the “inside track”. If you or your organization have an upcoming release of a new product, version, etc. let your fans know about it. That’s not to say that you have to show them the entire project roadmap, or even a finalized version, butproviding glimpses of something they might not see anywhere other than your socialmedia channels accomplishes two goals: One, you’ve created that, “We have something special, and because we think you’re special, we’re going to share it with you,” factor that we as human beings absolutely love, and two, you’ve just given these fans even more reason to continue coming back to your social media outlets, always hoping for that next “inside scoop.”
The same can be true for your organization itself. Remember the first time you sawimages of Google’s HQ in Mountain View? I’ll bet you shared that webpage with a colleague, friend, or loved one. This is another variant of Opening the Back Door. By providing your community with a “day in the life” or a video/image tour of your office, fans will feel an affinity worth more than gold. And remember…consumers are far more likely to purchase from someone that they know, over someone that they don’t.

Tool Time

If you’re in business, you’re there to fix a problem. Whether you paint houses for a living, build software, or manage production lines, your business is solving others’ problems. Yes, social media would technically fall under the department of marketing, but that’s not to say that your channels should be anything less than your organization as a whole – i.e. problem solvers. Have a look at the backlog of your SM channel comments. Chances are, you’ve probably played a hand in some front line customer support. Are these recurring support related questions? If so, why not make a blog post/video/webinar, etc. addressing this issue? If you’ve done it right, you’ll never have to mention it again, as your community will self-serve, and other users will point future question posers to this piece.
Based on this theory and testing, be proactive! It should go without saying that you should be keeping a close eye on your analytics at all times, and if you notice a certain hangup or particular page or area of your website that visitors are spending a lot of time on, have a think about what you can do to cut this hangup off at the pass. If consumers see you addressing their concerns before they’ve even come to you with questions, you’ll soon get filed under “Thought Leader” and your sales team owes you a dinner.

The Greatest Story Ever Told

In today’s “always on” society, we’re constantly bombarded with this bit of information, and that bit of information. Hey…you…yes, stop checking your BlackBerry, and keep reading this article. And here’s why: We all love a good story. Let your community hear a good one. It doesn’t even have to be particularly related to your company, but it must relate to the audience you’re trying to reach. For example, your average beer drinker probably isn’t going to care too much about the Loire Valley, and while the wine produced in this region is exquisite, if you tell them a tale about your braumeisters heading off to Bavaria to hand sample the hops that are used to brew their beer…well, you see where I’m going with this.
Remember, if your consumers can relate to the story that you’re telling, they might not remember the fine details of said story, but they’ll remember that it came from you, ultimately making you relevant in their lives, and eventually, far more likely to follow through on a purchase.

The Designated Hitter

Baseball pitchers are allowed to have someone go to the plate for them, why shouldn’t you? One of the most interesting content pieces to create is an interview with an industry expert. If you’re asking the right questions, one that you feel your readers would ask, the piece basically writes itself, and strikes a chord in the hearts and minds of your community. In doing an interview, you’ll also have the advantage of double exposure, meaning, not only will you release it to your community, but chances are, the interviewee will also spotlight your work in their channels, potentially introducing an entirely new client base to your offerings.
The same can be said for guest posts. Outside voices inside your world can breathe a breath of fresh air into the room, offering a unique point of view. Guest posters can be just about anyone under the sun, provided that they can add value to, or create new discussions that resonate with your community. Got a prolific user of your product? Get in touch with them and see if they’d be open to sharing their usage with the community. If they’re using your product day and night, chances are, they’ve discovered a few features that you’ve been pushing since day one, but have never really resounded with your consumers. Said guest poster could have a unique way of doing something with your product that fans and/or you have never thought of.

Bonus Tip: The B Roll

Got some footage up on YouTube, Vimeo, et. al? Bar none, people love to see B roll footage. Whether it’s your presenter completely flubbing a few lines, a backdrop that simply refuses to cooperate, or an airplane flying over during that crucial scene, B roll footage leaves the Back Door Open, as well as provides background behind The Greatest Story Ever Told.
When used in combination with your ongoing social media, marketing, and sales campaigns, you’re sure to never run out of interesting and engaging content. Not only can you keep a steady stream of content ongoing, but by carefully analyzing users’ reactions to some of the above, you’ll be better equipped to anticipate their needs and wants, and deliver before they even knew they wanted it.
Article From The Next Web - The Best in Social Business

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Facebook claims 'smoking gun' in NY man's lawsuit

BUFFALO, New York (AP) — Attorneys for Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, say they have found "smoking gun" evidence on a New York man's computer proving he made up his claim that a contract he signed with Zuckerberg in 2003 makes him part owner of the social network.
  • Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, gives a speech to show the latest technology powering Facebook at their headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., earlier this year.
    By Kimihiro Hoshino, AFP/Getty Images
    Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, gives a speech to show the latest technology powering Facebook at their headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., earlier this year.
By Kimihiro Hoshino, AFP/Getty Images

Facebook's statements, the strongest yet in what has been a testy case, are contained in court filings in advance of legal arguments scheduled for Wednesday. Each side has accused the other of withholding materials.
Facebook attorney Orin Snyder said Paul Ceglia has not complied with a judge's order to hand over certain electronic documents and that he has improperly classified others as confidential.
"He does not want the public to know what was discovered on his computers because it includes smoking-gun documents that conclusively establish that he fabricated the purported contract and that this entire lawsuit is a fraud and a lie," Snyder wrote.
Details of the documents are redacted in court filings. Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes declined to comment.
Ceglia's attorneys, meanwhile, complain the Facebook lawyers have not given them 175 relevant emails from Zuckerberg's old Harvard University account or a court-ordered sampling of his handwriting from 2003.
Zuckerberg's "willing refusal to comply with the obligations imposed on him by the court's order can only be characterized as an obstructive delay tactic," attorneys Jeffrey Lake and Paul Argentieri wrote.
Ceglia, of Wellsville, New York, says he and Zuckerberg met and signed a two-page agreement in the lobby of a Boston hotel on April 28, 2003. Zuckerberg, then a Harvard student, had responded to a help-wanted ad on the Craigslist website for work on a street-mapping database called StreetFax that Ceglia was creating.
According to the lawsuit, the contract shows that Ceglia paid Zuckerberg $1,000 to work on the project and gave him another $1,000 after Zuckerberg told him about his idea to create a kind of online yearbook. Ceglia was to get half of the business if it got off the ground. Ceglia attached a series of email exchanges in which he said he and Zuckerberg discussed the arrangement.
Lawyers for Palo Alto, California-based Facebook have accused Ceglia of altering the original street-mapping agreement to insert references to Facebook and fabricating the emails altogether. They have countered with emails pulled from Harvard's server that they say show Zuckerberg and Ceglia discussing StreetFax but never Facebook.
Ceglia first filed his lawsuit in 2010, six years after Facebook's launch. The social network now claims 750 million users and has an estimated net worth of $50 billion.
Facebook's latest filings say Ceglia has given them access to a collection of computers, floppy disks and thousands of CDs, but not other electronic documents he was ordered to produce. Nevertheless, "a painstaking forensic analysis" of Ceglia's computers revealed embedded electronic data that proves the contract is a fake, according to the filing.
Ceglia has also hindered forensics experts' efforts to fully test and date the ink on the contract by limiting the amount of ink they can collect, the motion said.
The lawyers are scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio in Buffalo on Wednesday on their competing requests to compel production of withheld materials. If necessary, a second hearing will take place Thursday.
Even before gaining court-ordered access to the original contract, Facebook experts who examined a photocopied version had determined it was doctored, according to court filings. Document authentication authorities cited differences between the widths of margins and type size from one page to the next.
Ceglia has stood by his claims, saying in a written declaration to the court in June that "Zuckerberg's statements about our agreement are false" and that the contract is genuine.
He says he drafted the "work-for-hire" contract by cutting and pasting from different forms and then printed it out for his 2003 meeting with Zuckerberg.
His attorneys did not return calls seeking comment on the latest filing.
A Facebook expert also picked apart the emails Ceglia submitted, comparing them to known Zuckerberg writings to see whether the writing style and use of punctuation matched. They didn't, a linguistics expert concluded.
A Facebook private investigator, meanwhile, looked into Ceglia himself. His report listed, among other things, a 1997 conviction in Texas for possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms, a 2005 no contest plea to trespassing in Florida and a 2009 petition by the New York attorney general's office accusing Ceglia and his wife of defrauding customers of their wood pellet business by accepting upfront payment for pellets they never delivered. The case is pending.
For his part, Ceglia hired an expert who said he'd passed a lie-detector test when asked about the contract.
"While I have made some mistakes in my life, I accept responsibility for those actions," he wrote in his June declaration.
Court documents indicate he's living in Ireland.

Article - USAToday - The Best in Social Business

How To Protect Your Company Identity On Twitter

Small and medium business owners are increasingly turning to Twitteras a tool to engage with customers, offer support and market their products and services.
Twitter has a dedicated landing page for businesses, including tips and tricks on getting started with the service, various advertising opportunities and case studies.
Protecting identity and reputation are essential for a small business, especially online. Although Twitter isn’t currently offering small business users a way to verify their accounts, there are still things business owners can do to give their accounts better visibility and make it clear that they are “official.”

Link Your Accounts and Profiles

Twitter’s username policy does not allow users to “reserve” a username; it’s first come, first served. As a result, business owners who have a more generic company name might find that the desired Twitter handle is already taken.
That’s not the end of the world, in fact, it can be an opportunity to better distinguish your brand or business, especially if the business name is more common.
Additionally, users can add a URL to their Twitter profile pointing to their business website and add links on their business site to their official Twitter account. Noting “official Twitter account for Business Name” in your Twitter biography can also make the account’s identity more clear.
Likewise, if you have a verified page on FacebookFoursquare or Google Places, you can add links to your Twitter account on those services, too.

Protect Your Trademark and Logos

For small business owners who hold the trademarks over a business name, Twitter has a more nuanced policy.
If I own the trademark for “Cafe Christina” and a Twitter account for @cafe_christina or @cafechristina is causing intentional or unintentional confusion with my business, Twitter might be able to help.
If another Twitter account in question is using your trademark or logo in a way that is trying to confuse others, users can submit a help ticket requesting help. Twitter will look at the situation, and if it finds that the other party is trying to mislead, it may suspend that user (and grant you ownership of the account).
If the account is confusing to users, but isn’t intended to mislead, Twitter will give the account holder the opportunity to work things out and may ultimately release the username to the trademark holder.
Remember, if someone is using a name you have trademarked in a way that has nothing to do with your product or service, Twitter is not obligated to intervene.

Customize Your Profile

Small businesses can make their business affiliation even more clear by customizing their Twitter profile to match their branding, logo and color scheme.
Originally posted on - The Best in Social Business