Cyber Monday Spending Exceeds $1 Billion

Cyber Monday Spending Exceeds $1 Billion

Wow. 1.028 Billion Dollars. That’s a lot of money. You would think with the “economic crisis” and the ridiculously high unemployment rate (9%+ for past year), people would spend less. Are we sure our economy is down?

ComScore released fresh data that showed this past Cyber Monday was the biggest online spending day in history by breaking the $1 billion mark. The data shows a 16% rise in spending from last year near $1.028 billion in total online spending.

Online Shopping - Internet SpendingHow Can People Spend So Much!?

Now let’s keep in mind that the internet is still growing. Ecommerce is still relatively young and companies are getting better and better at presenting their products, making it easy to purchase and advertising their products. For example, have you ever visited some site, only to suddenly see ads for that site everywhere you go? In fact not only the ad for the site, but for the products you were searching for? Then you start getting emails highlighting those products just when you start to think about it again? “It’s like they know exactly what I want and am thinking!”

That’s called remarketing. It’s pretty awesome tool as a marketer, a little freaky to consumers, but ultimately it does a more granular job of targeting consumers.

So as the internet online shopping grows, so will these figures. Don’t be surprised to see more billion dollar days before the end of the year. Also keep in mind that there might be a lot of people who are simply choosing to shop online versus shopping in store. Lot of factors to consider when looking at statistics such as these.

More Online Spending Statistics

  • 4% more people are shopping online (9 million)
  • Shoppers are averaging 10% more per transaction ($60.05)
  • Bazillion lost in worker productivity (my estimate)

Cyber Monday Statistics Comscore Online Spending

Half of all dollars spend on online purchases were made from work computers especially as retailers used a lot of different strategies to keep getting users to come back to their site with numerous smaller sales for different parts of the day.

There was also clear trends to continue strong sales throughout the weekend, into Cyber Monday, then through the following week. Black Friday came in at $658 Million and the following Thanksgiving Weekend Sat & Sun came in around $400-$450 each which was a whopping 28% higher spend than last year.

Confession Time – How Much of the 1 Billion was You!

Don’t have to share everything, but if your willing let us know!

  • What did you buy for Cyber Monday?
  • How much did you spend?
  • Did you spend more than last year?
  • Where did you shop the most online? Amazon? Apple?
  • What is your first impression hearing people spend over $1 billion dollars!
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Is Halloween Candy Poisoning & Blades True? Or is it Media Hype?

Halloween Poison Candy Blade

A Blade was Found in my Child’s Halloween Candy!

Everyone knows the story. Some kid found a blade in his snickers bar. Some other kid found a needle in his 3 musketeers. Now every mother and father is called to check all the candy a child receives before allowing them to eat it. Check for open packages. Check for sketchy pieces of candy. Your child’s life might depend on it!

Is it true? Was Candy Poisoned in Halloween?

Fact: During the poison candy scare in the 70s and 80s, almost every incident of blades, needles or poison in candy was found to be a hoax. A deliberate hoax by the child in question. Several experts have done extensive studies and reviews of past reports in order to determine this fact. In fact up until the year 2000, there hasn’t been a single proven incident where a child was injured by Halloween candy from a stranger.

So then what are the candy horror stories that were true?!

In 1970, a 5 year old boy in Detroit, fell into a coma after consuming his uncle’s heroin. The family tried to cover it up by claiming the heroin was in the Halloween Candy. FAIL.

Halloween Candy Corn PoisonIn 1974, Timothy O’Bryan in Pasadena, Texas died after eating a cyanide-laced Pixy Stix. But further police investigation revealed that the boy’s Father, Ronald Clark O’Bryan had premeditated this murder in order to claim life insurance money. To hide his attempt, he had also given the Pixy Stix to his daughter and three other kids. Luckily the other kids did not eat the Pixy Stix. Ronald O’Bryan was convicted of murder and executed by lethal injection.

There is a pattern here. It was not by some psycho trying to poison kids for fun. These incidences that spurred the Halloween scare were more due to their family then some random candy bar. In fact Ronald O’Bryan used the urban legend to try to cover up his own crime. Yet it’s become an urban legend, but how?

Media Hype Creates an Urban Legend

Though these incidences were clearly either false, or family neglect, or a premeditated murder, the media ate these stories up. All throughout the 1980s, these stories were circulated and given considerable attention. News outlets pumped up these stories especially during the Halloween season because it grabs everyone’s attention especially the concerned parents. Often news would break before the claims are investigated and when found to be a hoax, it was rarely followed up.
Thus it is no surprise that there was a growing concern amongst the parents and this one sided coverage created a mass panic. By 1985, a poll by ABC News/Washington Post showed that 60% of parents feared their children would be injured or killed by Halloween Candy.

Halloween Poison Candy BarSamples of Hyped up False Alarms

There are many stories out there that added to the hype. Helen Pfeil of Greenlawn, NY was a housewife who was annoyed by trick or treaters, made up joke treats to give to teenagers. She gave out dog biscuits, steel wool pads, and ant poison buttons, meanwhile telling the kids that these were joke treats. She was charged for endangering children.

Another report found traces of strychnine in a box of sunkist fun fruit dinosaurs. It was reported by the New York Times, but later the suspicious powder was found to be corn starch. New York times would later print an update to the article, but not before the manufacturer of Fun Fruits destroyed 9400 cases of the product. Unfortunately most remember the destruction of the products, not the followup.

There were several other incidences where doctors or the police announced their suspicions about tampered candy creating a mass stir and hysteria as the media warned everyone about crazy poisoners on the loose, only later to be revealed that the cause of the illness or death was due to some other means.

Trying to Debunk the Halloween Candy Myth

Below is an excerpt from 1989 Article in the Los Angeles Times. The article interviews Joel Best, a professor of sociology at California State Univeristy, Fresno who have been trying to debunk this urban legend.

“We checked major newspaper from throughout the country from 1958 through 1988…”

Well, they found a total of 78 cases and two deaths. Further checking proved that lamost all of the 78 cases were pranks. The deaths were tragically real, but they, too, were misrepresented in the beginning.

The prank, he said, were all of kids – after years of hearing similar stories – inserting needles or razor blades into fruit, not realizing (or maybe realizing) how much they frightened their whole town.

“My favorite,” Best says, “was the kid who brought a half-eaten candy bar to his parents and said, ‘I think there’s ant poison on this,’ They had it checked and, sure enough, there was ant poison on this,’ They had checked and, sure enough, there was ant poison on it – significantly, on the end he had not bitten,” Of course, the youngster had applied the poison himself.

Best has tried mightily over the years to destroy this particular myth, but obviously to no avail. “It’s the old problem of trying to prove a negative,” he says.

Urban Legend – Halloween Candy Lives On

Unfortunately despite the lack of evidence and a very low likelihood of this ever happening, the Urban Legend lives on. Having said that, because of the Urban Legend, one can’t help wonder if some psycho out might be more likely to do it…

Just becareful.

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Facebook Video, Photos Getting Bigger & Better

Comscore Statistics LogoFacebook Video Surpasses Yahoo! Video

Facebook has officially passed up Yahoo! to become the second largest video viewing site in the United States behind Google. Google owns YouTube & Google Videos.

ComScore reported that 58.6 million unique viewers on Facebook had 243 million viewing sessions. This still sits far behind Google which has 146.3 million viewers with 1.9 billion viewing sessions. Again Google owns YouTube, the clear number one in video views. Yahoo is not at third with 53.9 million viewers.

US Online Video Views (in millions)
Website Unique Viewers Viewing Sessions
Google Sites 146.3 1903.2 58.6 243.2
Yahoo! Sites 53.9 229.1
VEVO 45.4 205.8
Fox Interactive 43.1 153.9
Break Media 42.4 167.1
Microsoft 39.3 219.3
NBC 32.8 65.1

Most companies are still making minimal amounts of money off of their video properties. Hulu, which is relatively small (not in the top 10 in terms of viewers) leads the industry in video advertising. Google is in fifth. Facebook and Yahoo! don’t even register in the top 10.

Facebook Photos get a Huge Upgrade

Facebook announced several upgrades to their photo product. As Facebook already has more internet traffic then Google and with 500 million active users they have tons and tons of potential in the photo space. With these new changes, Facebook is slowly positioning themselves to be a bigger player. Photo-sharing is currently dominated by sites like Flickr (Yahoo! owned).

List of Facebook Photo Improvements

Support for High Resolution Photos
The resolution for photos on Facebook was increase from 720 pixels to 2048 pixels

Facebook Photos High Resolution

New Album Layout to support High Resolution Photos
The new viewer makes it easier to view and navigate through all your photos without leaving the page. A new “light box” feature darkens the background, making it easier to focus o your photos.

Facebook Photos Viewer

Easier Facebook Photo Tagging & Uploading
Facebook has made it easier to tag multiple photos in the same album all in the same time. It is also easier to tag a person in multiple photos more quickly. Photo uploading has been rebuilt to be much more stable and reliable.

Photographers, Hobbyist, and semi-professionals can now consider sharing their high resolution photos on their facebook profile as opposed to linking out to flickr or other photo sharing sites.

Questions about Facebook Photo Policies

There are still some pending questions that aren’t very clear. Here is the biggest:

Did you know Facebook Owns You!: Or more accurately your photos. According to Facebook policies Facebook claims copyright rights to all the images you upload.

Actually Facebook has the right to license ANYTHING you upload onto Facebook.

Share your Facebook Thoughts

  • What do you think about the massive growth in Facebook Video?
  • Do you think Facebook Video will ever surpass youtube?
  • What do you think about Facebook Photo’s new pictures?
  • Will you be using it more? In what way?
  • Did you know Facebook Owns You!?

“Like” this Page and then “Like” our Facebook Page below!

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Emailing in Bed, when Sick & on Vacation

Doing Business in Bed, when Sick & on Vacation

Checking Email Keyboard

  • How often do you check your work email?
  • Every day? Every couple hours? Every hour?

As internet access becomes more available everywhere from cafes to bookstores to the booming smartphone market, checking email has become almost second nature for most individuals.

A recent survey by Harris Interactive conducted in the US and in the UK, showed that for Americans, 72% of the people check work email during non-business hours, 19% check emails in bed, and a whopping 50% of the people check email during vacations or day off.

Email Statistics

Here are some of the US emailing stats laid bare:

  • 72% of people check work email during non-business hours
  • 19% check email in bed (21% of men, 16% of women, 31% of 18-34 year olds)
  • 50% check email during vacations and days off
  • 42% of Americans check work email when sick at home (26% in UK)

Of those checking on non-business hours:

  • 27% check because they are expected to provide quick responses (20% in UK)
  • 37% are afraid they may miss something important (45% in UK)

How often do you check work email?

[poll id=”21″]

About The Email Survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Xobni from August 5th to 9th, 2010 among 2,200 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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James Cameron Shooting “Avatar 2” 7 Miles Underwater?

Some interesting news.

James Cameron Shooting Avatar 2 Underwater?

James Cameron is planning to shoot some of Avatar’s Sequel 6.8 miles under water…

Avatar - Colonel Quaritch StephenLang
|| James Cameron is going to do what? ||

Why would James Cameron do such a thing when he could easily do it through CG and special effects? James Cameron has always had a passion for exploring the deep having shot deep sea documentaries such as Aliens of the Deep and Ghosts of the Abyss. This time he may be eying the $10 million X-Prize.

What is the X-Prize Award?

The X-Prize is a $10 million award given to pioneers in scientific exploration. The previous prize was given to develop a manned spacecraft. This new prize is to be given to the first private crew to be able to make manned dives to “Challenger Deep”, the deepest known point on Earth. The last time explorers visited the Challenger Deep was some 50 years ago by Jacques PIccard and Don Walsh.

|| It's all about the Money Folks. Bling Bling ||

Why Shoot Avatar 2 Underwater?

|| NO! Get out of Pandora! Stop making these War Movies! ||

Does James Cameron really need $10 million dollars? Probably not. But as someone who has a passion for deep water exploration, it would not be a surprise if he tries to hit two birds (Fish?) with one stone. Avatar 2 is reported to be set in the oceans of Pandora and thus figures to include a lot of underwater footage.

Most may laugh at such an endeavor, but James Cameron has experience with deep water exploration and was the creator and or director of the two most successful films ever in Avatar and Titanic. The former making almost 2 billion dollars at the box office. You would figure if James made it down there, he would take some great footage to be used perhaps both in his film as well as future deep water exploration documentaries.

  • What are your thoughts?
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News: Delete Facebook Page Original Admin

Delete the Original Admin on your Facebook Page

Quick News for those in work in the social media world.

For over a year, Facebook Pages have been used by businesses and organizations to connect and communicate with their users. However one grave oversight was that whoever created the Facebook Page would be locked in as an admin for life.

This means if someone got fired, or left the company, the company Facebook Page would still be linked to their profile. You could add more admins, but the original administrator had the most “power” as the longest standing admin.

For over a year Facebook users were asking that this be updated through the Facebook forums but has been ignored thus far. However Facebook has finally added the ability to remove the original Facebook Page admin. Small change, but big news.

Remove Facebook Page AdminHow do I Delete the Original Admin?

  1. First make sure there is a 2nd administrator!
  2. Go to your Facebook Page
  3. Hit “EDIT PAGE” found on the top left sidebar beneath your logo.
  4. Scroll Down and look at the bottom right. You’ll see a list of administrators. Just hit “Remove Admin” as seen in the image on the right.

That’s it! Hope that was helpful!
Let us know your thoughts about this recent change in the comment section below.

Be sure to visit our own Facebook Page Links.

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Third of US Teenagers sends 3,000+ Texts a Month

1 in 3 Teenagers Send 3,000+ Texts a Month

Texting TeenagersPrepare for an overload of Teenager Texting Statistics:

  • Half of teens send 50 or more text messages a day, or 1,500 texts a month. One in three send more than 100 texts a day (or more than 3,000 texts a month.)
  • 15% of teen texters send more than 200 texts a day, or more than 6,000 texts a month.
  • Boys send and receive 30 texts a day while girls send and receive ~80 messages per day.
  • Teen texters ages 12-13 send and receive about 20 texts a day.
  • 14-17 year-olds who text, send and receive 60 text messages a day.
  • Older girls who text are the most active, with 14-17 year-old girls sending 100+ messages a day or more than 3,000 texts a month!
  • 22% of of teen texters send and receive just one to 10 texts a day, or 30 to 300 texts a month.
  • Just the Girls

    • Girls typically send and receive 80 texts a day; boys send and receive 30.
    • 86% of girls text message friends several times a day; 64% of boys do the same.
    • 59% of girls call friends on their cell phone every day; 42% of boys call friends daily on their cell phone daily.
    • 59% of girls text several times a day to “just say hello and chat”; 42% of boys do so.
    • 84% of girls have long text exchanges on personal matters; 67% of boys have similar exchanges.
    • 76% of girls text about school work, while 64% of boys text about school.

    Teens & Texting Report - Text Messaging

    More interesting tidbits about Teens & Texting –

    • A third of U.S. teenagers with cellphones send 100+ texts a day as texting has exploded to become the most popular means of communication for young people, according to new research.
    • The Pew Research Center said that three-fourths of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 now own cellphones and of those that do, girls typically send or receive 80 text messages per day and boys, 30 per day.
    • Study author Scott Campbell said focus groups conducted by Pew also offer insight into the subtleties of teen communication and culture, revealing for example that, while boys don’t typically use punctuation, for girls such nuances are critical.

    “If a girl puts a period at the end of a text message (to another girl) then it comes across as she’s mad,” Campbell said, which explains the prevalence of smiley emoticons.

    “They have these practices because they’ve learned that texts can lead to misunderstandings,” Lenhart said. “It’s a deliberate thing and it’s also part of a culture that’s interested in differentiating itself from adult culture.”
    Cell Phone Text Image

    • The mobile phone has become the favored communication hub for the majority of American teens.
    • Cell-phone texting has become the preferred channel of basic communication between teens and their friends, with cell calling a close second. Some 75% of 12-17 year-olds now own cell phones, up from 45% in 2004. Those phones have become indispensable tools in teen communication patterns. Fully 72% of all teens2 — or 88% of teen cell phone users — are text-messagers. That is a sharp rise from the 51% of teens who were texters in 2006. More than half of teens (54%) are daily texters.
    • Among all teens, their frequency of use of texting has now overtaken the frequency of every other common form of interaction with their friends (see chart below).

    How are Parent’s Responding to it All?

    For parents, teens’ attachment to their phones is an area of conflict and regulation.

    Parents exert some measure of control over their child’s mobile phone — limiting its uses, checking its contents and using it to monitor the whereabouts of their offspring. In fact, the latter is one of the primary reasons many parents acquire a cell phone for their child. However, with a few notable exceptions, these activities by parents do not seem to impact patterns of cell phone use by teens.

    • 64% of parents look at the contents of their child’s cell phone and 62% of parents have taken away their child’s phone as punishment.
    • 46% of parents limit the number of minutes their children may talk and 52% limit the times of day they may use the phone.
    • 48% of parents use the phone to monitor their child’s location.
    • Parents of 12-13 year-old girls are more likely to report most monitoring behavior.
    • Limiting a child’s text messaging does relate to lower levels of various texting behaviors among teens. These teens are less likely to report regretting a text they sent, or to report sending sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images by text (also known as “sexting”).
    • Teens whose parents limit their texting are also less likely to report being passengers in cars where the driver texted behind the wheel or used the phone in a dangerous manner while driving.

    Cell Phone Uses Functionality

    • 83% use their phones to take pictures.
    • 64% share pictures with others.
    • 60% play music on their phones.
    • 46% play games on their phones.
    • 32% exchange videos on their phones.
    • 31% exchange instant messages on their phones.
    • 27% go online for general purposes on their phones.
    • 23% access social network sites on their phones.
    • 21% use email on their phones.
    • 11% purchase things via their phones.

    Texting & Driving

    • Half (52%) of cell-owning teens ages 16-17 say they have talked on a cell phone while driving. That translates into 43% of all American teens ages 16-17.
    • 48% of all teens ages 12-17 say they have been in a car when the driver was texting.
    • 40% say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger.

    What are your Thoughts?

    That my friends, is a ton of statistical information. What is clear is that texting has become the favored form of communication for teenagers. 100-200 texts a day? Many will grow to have finger arthritis at that rate. But seriously, what are your thoughts in all this?

    Though I see it can be beneficial in being able to stay constantly connected to friends, what I fear the most is that when teenagers grow up relying on less personal mediums that do not requires face-to-face interaction – it could have some negative effects in the way a teenager is able to relate to people in real life situations. It is so easy to text something, especially something seemingly uncomfortable, then to pick up a phone and call or *gasp*.. meeting up with someone. It creates a easy way to not experience the real work of building personal relationship. Just a thought. What do you think?

    • Do you feel there is little harm in youths sending 100 texts a day?
    • Do the benefits of constant connection outweigh the detriments of losing real social interaction?
    • How many TEXTs do YOU send a day?
    • If you don’t mind – kindly state your age (or age range) since I am going to go out on the limb to assume different age groups will think very differently about this issue.
    • Take the Poll: Come Back to See Results:

      [poll id=”15″]

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    Most Famous April’s Fools Day Jokes in History by the Media

    Sorry folks, no april fool jokes this time. But you can relieve the last year’s April Fools Joke! Below are a couple list of April Fool Jokes + the latest in 2010.

    Most Famous List of April Fool Jokes in History

    Meanwhile, just for your entertainment on this fine day. Gathered mainly through Wikipedia

    • Alabama Changes the Value of Pi: The April 1998 newsletter of New Mexicans for Science and Reason contained an article written by physicist Mark Boslough claiming that the Alabama Legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi. This claim originally appeared as a news story in the 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.
    • Spaghetti trees: The BBC television programme Panorama ran a famous hoax in 1957, showing Italians harvesting spaghetti from trees. They had claimed that the despised pest, the spaghetti weevil, had been eradicated. A large number of people contacted the BBC wanting to know how to cultivate their own spaghetti trees. It was, in fact, filmed in St Albans.
    • Left Handed Whoppers: In 1998, Burger King ran an ad in USA Today, saying that people could get a Whopper for left-handed people whose condiments were designed to drip out of the right side. Not only did customers order the new burgers, but some specifically requested the “old”, right-handed burger.
    • Taco Liberty Bell: In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to “reduce the country’s debt” and renamed it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
    • DT Day: In 2008 fliers were handed on Brigham Young University campus, saying that the last in a series of dorm buildings being torn down was scheduled to be imploded on April 1. Hundreds of people eagerly turned up to see the implosion, but to their consternation it never happened. The culprits of this prank remain unknown.
    • Smell-o-vision: In 1965, the BBC purported to conduct a trial of a new technology allowing the transmission of odor over the airwaves to all viewers. Many viewers reportedly contacted the BBC to report the trial’s success. In 2007, the BBC website repeated an online version of the hoax.
    • Tower of Pisa: The Dutch television news reported in the 1950s that the Tower of Pisa had fallen over. Many shocked people contacted the station.

    Top April Fool Jokes By Television Stations

    • Free Color TV – In 1962 the Swedish national television did a 5-minute special on how one could get color TV by placing a nylon stocking in front of the TV. A rather in-depth description on the physics behind the phenomenon was included.
    • Digital Big Ben – In 1980, the BBC reported a proposed change to the famous clock tower known as Big Ben. The reporters stated that the clock would go digital. England was in a state of shock.
    • Flying Penguins – In 2008, the BBC reported on a newly discovered colony of flying penguins. An elaborate video segment was even produced, featuring Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) walking with the penguins in Antarctica, and following their flight to the Amazon rainforest.
    • The Trouble with Tracy – In 2003, The Comedy Network in Canada announced that it would produce and air a remake of the 1970s Canadian sitcom The Trouble with Tracy. The original series is widely considered to be one of the worst sitcoms ever produced. Several media outlets fell for the hoax.
    • Diet Water – In 2004, British breakfast show GMTV produced a story claiming that Yorkshire Water were trialing a new ‘diet tap water’ that had already helped one customer lose a stone and a half in four months. After heralding the trial as successful, it was claimed that a third tap would be added to kitchen sinks, allowing customers easy access to the water. Following the story, Yorkshire Water received 10,000 enquiries from viewers.

    Top April Fool Jokes by Radio Stations

    • Death of a mayor: In 1998, local WAAF shock jocks Opie and Anthony reported that Boston mayor Thomas Menino had been killed in a car accident. Menino happened to be on a flight at the time, lending credence to the prank as he could not be reached. The rumor spread quickly across the city, eventually causing news stations to issue alerts denying the hoax. The pair were fired shortly thereafter.
    • Phone call to Nelson Mandela: In 1998, UK presenter Nic Tuff of West Midlands radio station Kix 96 pretended to be the British Prime Minister Tony Blair when he called the then South African President Nelson Mandela for a chat. It was only at the end of the call when Nic asked Nelson what he was doing for April Fools’ Day that the line went dead.
    • Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational effect: In 1976, British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore told listeners of BBC Radio 2 that unique alignment of two planets would result in an upward gravitational pull making people lighter at precisely 9:47 a.m. that day. He invited his audience to jump in the air and experience “a strange floating sensation.” Dozens of listeners phoned in to say the experiment had worked.
    • Cellphone Ban : In New Zealand the radio station the Edge’s Morning Madhouse enlisted the help of the Prime Minister on April 1st to inform the entire country that cellphones are to be banned in New Zealand. Hundreds of callers rang in disgruntled at the new law.
    • National Public Radio Every year National Public Radio in the United States does an extensive news story on April 1. These usually start off more or less reasonably, and get more and more unusual. A recent example is the story on the “iBod” a portable body control device. In 2008 it reported that the IRS, to assure rebate checks were actually spent, was shipping consumer products instead of checks. It also runs false sponsor mentions, such as “Support for NPR comes from the Soylent Corporation, manufacturing protein-rich food products in a variety of colors. Soylent Green is People.”
    • Three-dollar coin: In 2008, CBC Radio program As It Happens interviewed a Royal Canadian Mint spokesman who broke “news” of plans to replace the Canadian five-dollar bill with a three-dollar coin. The coin was dubbed a “threenie”, in line with the nicknames of the country’s one-dollar coin (commonly called a “loonie” due to its depiction of a common loon on the reverse) and two-dollar coin (“toonie”).
    • U2 Live on Rooftop in Cork: In 2009 hundreds of U2 fans were duped in an elaborate prank when they rushed to a shopping centre in Blackpool in Cork believing that the band were playing a surprise rooftop concert. The prank was organised by Cork radio station RedFM. The band were in fact just a tribute band called U2opia.

    Best April Fools Jokes & Pranks By Websites

    • Dead fairy hoax: In 2007, an illusion designer for magicians posted on his website some images illustrating the corpse of an unknown eight-inch creation, which was claimed to be the mummified remains of a fairy. He later sold the fairy on eBay for £280.
    • Water on Mars: In 2005 a news story was posted on the official NASA website purporting to have pictures of water on Mars. The picture actually was just a picture of a glass of water on a Mars Candy Bar.
    • Microsoft Research Reclaims Value of Pi: In 2008, an executive with the Microsoft Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments posted on his personal blog an updated spoof of the 1998 April Fools hoax claiming Alabama’s state legislature had rounded the value of pi to the “Biblical value of 3.” The 2008 hoax claimed that Microsoft Research had determined the true-up value of pi to be a definitive 3.141999, or as expressed in company literature, “Three easy payments of 1.047333.”
    • Assassination of Bill Gates: In 2003, many Chinese and South Korean websites claimed that CNN reported Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, was assassinated, resulting in a 1.5% drop in the South Korean stock market.
    • SARS Infects Hong Kong: In 2003 during the time when Hong Kong was seriously hit by SARS, it was rumored that many people in Hong Kong had become infected with SARS and become uncontrolled, that all immigration ports would be closed to quarantine the region, and that Tung Chee Hwa, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong at that time, had resigned. Hong Kong supermarkets were immediately overwhelmed by panicked shoppers. The Hong Kong government held a press conference to deny the rumor. The rumor, which was intended as an April Fools’ prank, was started by a student by imitating the design of Ming Pao newspaper website. He was charged for this incident.
    • How Animated Tattoos Work: does an annual bogus article. In 2006, it was “How Animated Tattoos Work”; in 2007 “How Phone Cell Implants Work”; in 2008 “How the Air Force One Hybrid Works”; in 2009, “How Rechargeable Gum Works”; in 2010, “How the Twapler Works”.
    • Neopets – It Ain’t a Joke… : The popular site Neopets runs regular hoaxes, year after year. These can be anything from changes in site design to announcements of free prizes. In fact, when new designs for the Neopets pets were released, several users complained and demanded to know if it was a “late April Fool’s joke.” It wasn’t.
    • Fake Products go Live: ThinkGeek sends an e-newsletter containing mostly false products each year. Several of these products, such as the 8-Bit tie, were eventually realized due to customer demand.
    • Excited for a Movie: IGN, a video game website, released a realistic-looking Legend of Zelda movie trailer on April Fool’s Day 2007. Many people were excited and tricked into believing that a real Legend of Zelda movie was coming out, but IGN revealed that it was a fake. Later rumors were spread that a real Legend of Zelda film is going to be made.
    • Rick Rolled Everywhere: YouTube – In 2008, All featured videos on YouTube’s front page hyperlinked to the Rickroll. The prank began with international YouTube portals before appearing on the main site. In 2009 the videos, links and most text (using Unicode substitution) were turned upside down and there was also a link to help users view the new site layout with hints such as hanging the monitor upside-down or moving to Australia. In 2010, a new option was created in the video quality settings called “TEXTp”. Clicking on this option showed a message under the video which read “By using text-only mode, you are saving YouTube $1 a second in bandwidth costs. Click here to go back to regular YouTube and happy April Fools Day!”
    • Fly to Mars: Expedia ran a prank on 1 April 2009, offering flights to Mars. This was internally known as Project Dawnstar.
    • Another Fake Product Considered: On April 1, 2009 “introduced” the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag (based on a well-known scene from The Empire Strikes Back). Due to the overwhelming popularity of this faux item, ThinkGeek is now attempting to bring the item to market.

    Best April Fools Jokes & Pranks By Google

    Google gives the green light for every department to pull pranks during April 1st, so every year we are treated with a long list of April Fool’s Jokes. Here are a few of th better ones.

    2000 – Read Your Mind – Google announced a new “MentalPlex” search technology that supposedly read the user’s mind to determine what the user wanted to search for, thus eliminating the step of actually typing in the search query. This always led to a page full of April Fool’s results.

    2004 – Jobs on the Moon – Fictitious job opportunities for a research center on the moon. Luna/X (a pun to Linux as well as a reference to both the Windows XP visual style and Mac OS X) is the name of a new operating system they claimed to have created for working at the research center.

    2006 – Google Romance – On April Fool’s Day 2006, Google Romance was announced on the main Google search page with the introduction, “Dating is a search problem. Solve it with Google Romance.” It pretends to offer a “Soulmate Search” to send users on a “Contextual Date”. A parody of online dating, it amusingly had a link for “those who generally favor the ‘throw enough stuff at the wall’ approach to online dating” to Post multiple profiles with a bulk upload file, you sleaze in addition to Post your Google Romance profile. Clicking on either of these gave an error page, which explained that it was an April Fool’s joke and included links to previous April Fool’s Jokes for nostalgia.

    2007 – Gmail Paper – At about 10:00 PM Pacific time (where Google has its headquarters) on 30 March 2007, Google changed the login page for Gmail to announce a new service called Gmail Paper. The service offered to allow users of Google’s free webmail service to add e-mails to a “Paper Archive”, which Google would print (on “96% post-consumer organic soybean sputum”) and mail via traditional post. The service would be free, supported by bold, red advertisements printed on the back of the printed messages. Image attachments would also be printed on high-quality glossy paper, though MP3 and WAV files would not be printed. The page detailing more information about the service features photographs of Ian Spiro and Carrie Kemper, current employees of Google. Also featured are Product Marketing Managers of Gmail Anna-Christina Douglas, and Kevin Systrom.

    2008 –
    Google TiSP, Toilet Internet – Google TiSP (short for Toilet Internet Service Provider) was a fictitious free broadband service supposedly released by Google. This service would make use of a standard toilet and sewage lines to provide free Internet connectivity at a speed of 8 Mbit/s (2 Mbps upload) (or up to 32 Mbps with a paid plan). The user would drop a weighted end of a long, Google-supplied fiber-optic cable in their toilet and flush it. Around 60 minutes later, the end would be recovered and connected to the Internet by a “Plumbing Hardware Dispatcher (PHD)”. The user would then connect their end to a Google-supplied wireless router and run the Google-supplied installation media on a Windows XP or Vista computer (“Mac and Linux support coming soon”). Alternatively, a user could request a professional installation, in which Google would deploy nanobots through the plumbing to complete the process. The free service would be supported by “discreet DNA sequencing” of “personal bodily output” to display online ads that relate to culinary preferences and personal health. Google also referenced the cola-and-Mentos reaction in their FAQ: “If you’re still experiencing problems, drop eight mints into the bowl and add a two-liter bottle of diet soda.”

    Google Book Search Scratch and Sniff
    Google Book Search has a new section allowing users to “scratch and sniff” certain books. Users are asked to “…please place your nose near the monitor and click ‘Go'”, which then “loads odors”. When clicking on “Help”, users are redirected to a page in a book that describes the origins of April Fools’ Day.[5]
    Inside Google Book Search Blog: “Google Book Search now smells better”

    Google Calendar is Feeling Lucky
    Google added the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button to its calendar feature. When a user tries to create a new event, the user was given the regular option of entering the correct details and hitting “Create Event,” and also the new option of “I’m Feeling Lucky” which would set the user up with an evening date with, among others, Matt Damon, Eric Cartman, Tom Cruise, Jessica Alba, Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Anna Kournikova, Johnny Depp, George W. Bush, or Lois Griffin.

    Virgle – Mars Settlement
    Google announces a joint project with the Virgin Group to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars . This operation has been named Project Virgle. The announcement includes videos of Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Group) as well as Larry Page and Sergey Brin (the founders of Google) on YouTube, talking about Virgle.[8] An “application” to join the settlement includes questions such as:

    I am a world-class expert in:
    A. Physics
    B. First Aid
    C. Engineering
    D. Guitar Hero II

    After the user submitted the application, the site notifies the user that the user are not fit for space, or that the user’s application is fine and “all you have to do is submit your video” [as a response to their video on YouTube]. As a result, an open source Virgle group has been established, OpenVirgle. On the FAQ page, the final question is “Okay, come on — seriously. Is this Virgle thing for real?” The reply links to a page that tells the user it’s an April Fool’s joke, and then mentions that the user “Dragged us out of our lovely little fantasy world, to crush all our hopes and dreams.” [9]

    2009 –

  • Google Autopilot – Having a hard time reading and responding to every email message? How about Gmail Chats? Google will analyze your speaking style and help auto respond to your emails!
  • Google Autopilot for Gmail Chat

    2010 –
    See bottom of this postings for 2010 April Fool’s Jokes.

    Google non-April Fool Jokes

    Google has regularly pumped out numerous April fools jokes at once. Ironically due to their playful nature, many ACTUAL news was seen as a hoax when it was not as a form of viral marketing. The best one is below.

    2004 – Launch of Gmail was announced. Many believed it to be a hoax. 1 Gig of free Web Storage was unheard of at the time. Other competitors such as Yahoo & Hotmail only provided anywhere from 2-4 megs.

    Top April Fools Jokes By Magazines, Newspapers, and Books

    • 168 Mile Fast Ball – George Plimpton wrote a 1985 article in Sports Illustrated about a New York Mets prospect named Sidd Finch, who could throw a 168 mph (270 km/h) fastball with pinpoint accuracy. This kid, known as “Barefoot” Sidd Finch, reportedly learned to pitch in a Buddhist monastery. The first letter of each word in the article subhead spelled out the fact of its being an April Fool joke.
    • Lies to Get You Out of the House – In 1985, the L.A. Weekly printed an entire page of fake things to do on April Fools’ Day, by which hundreds of people were fooled.
    • Comic strip switcheroo – Cartoonists of popularly syndicated comic strips draw each others’ strips. In some cases, the artist draws characters in the other strip’s milieu, while in others, the artist draws in characters from other visiting characters from his own. Cartoonists have done this sort of “switcheroo” for several years. The 1997 switch was particularly widespread.
    • Coldplay to back the Tories – On April 1, 2006 the UK Guardian journalist “Olaf Priol” claimed that Chris Martin of rock band Coldplay had decided to publicly support the UK Conservative Party leader David Cameron due to his disillusionment with previous Labour Party prime minister Tony Blair, even going so far as to produce a fake song, “Talk to David”, that could be downloaded via the Guardian website. Despite being an obvious hoax, the Labour Party’s Media Monitoring Unit were concerned enough to circulate the story throughout “most of the government”.
    • President Barack Obama pulls fundings for NASCAR – On April 1, 2009, on the heels of the auto industry bailout, Car and Driver claimed on their website that President Barack Obama had ordered Chevrolet and Dodge to pull NASCAR funding. The article was removed from the website and replaced with an apology to readers, after upset NASCAR fans protested on the Car and Driver website.
    • The Guardian to publish to Twitter – On April 1, 2009 The Guardian announced that it would be the first newspaper to publish exclusively on Twitter.

    April Fools Jokes, Products & Hoaxes in 2010 Online

    • Google Changes their name to Topeka – In response to the mayor of Topeka changing their city name to Google, Google has decided to honor their gesture by changing their own company name to Topeka.
    • Google Logo Topeka

    • iPhone to iPad Converter – Can’t afford iPad? Just get this iPad dock that will magnify your iphone so it’s just like an iPad! Ouch says Apple.
    • Life size Picasa – Google offered an option which allows the user to print lifesize cardboard cutouts of all of their photos.
    • Reddit Website – Everyone has been made an admin resulting in total chaos and fun. Move stuff around. Ban other users. I am sure they will reset this tomorrow… right?
    • Google Translate for Animals – Bridging the gap between animals and humans check it out!
    • Google Gmail Login Page missing all their vowels.
    • ThinkGeek Announces the iCade – Pretty clever. Just look at the picture.

    thinkgeek iCade iPad - April Fools

    Share Your Favorite April’s Fools Day Joke or Hoax

    • Which one was your favorite?
    • Know of Any other Good Pranks not listed here?
    • Share below!

    Want to see More? Check out some of the Best April Fool Jokes Online in 2010. Props to Starbucks and Google: Best April Fool Jokes in 2010

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    Tim Tebow’s CBS Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad Battle on Facebook

    Tim Tebow’s Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad

    Tim Tebow SuperBowl Ad - CBS Focus on the Family Ad MotherHave you ever heard of a viral video that no one has seen? A group called Focus on the Family has shot a pro-life spot featuring the college superstar and former Heisman Winner Tim Tebow. The spot will star Tim Tebow and his mother who will discuss how she went against the doctor’s advice to abort her son due to a life threatening infection. After contracting a dangerous infection during a mission trip to the Philippines, doctors recommended she terminate her pregnancy, fearing she might die during childbirth. They named their son “Timmy” who later was known to the world as Tim Tebow, the University of Florida’s Quarterback who led his team to national championships in 2006 and 2008. He also won the Heisman Trophy in 2007.

    Tim Tebow is the biggest star in college football, if not considered one of the greatest college football player to ever play at that level. He is also known for being born in the Philippines while his parents were in the mission field and still frequently joins his father on mission trips there. He also ministers to prisoners during the off-season.

    As soon as this news broke out, women’s group started to ask CBS to drop the ad. So far CBS has declined their request.

    “I know some people won’t agree with it, but I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe… that’s the reason I’m here, because my mom was a very courageous woman. So any way that I could help, I would do it.” – Tim Tebow

    CBS’s Stance on Controversial Super Bowl Ads

    CBS has run into similar controversies before. Back in 2004, CBS had rejected a Super Bowl ad from a “liberal-leaning United Church of Christ” that highlighted their welcoming stance towards gays and others who felt shunned by conservative chruches. This ad would be one of the first advocacy ads accepted by CBS during the big game.

    When CBS was asked to comment on their current stance of allowing this ad to air, they replied that their past stance of rejecting any controversial ad as they saw fit “did not reflect public sentiment or industry norms”.

    “We have for some time moderated our approach to advocacy submissions after it became apparent that our stance did not reflect public sentiment or industry norms.” – Dana McClintock CBS Spokesperson

    Growing Discussions on Facebook and Twitter

    One of the interesting developments, is with the rise of social media, this topic has resulted in tons of discussions and activities in sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Both sides have started to form groups, throwing their support for or against this ad. Below are the largest growing groups on Facebook:

    Americans United for Life Action – Facebook Group Supporting Ad (43,500+ Members)
    Facebook Group Supporting Ad 2 (31,2001+ Members)
    Facebook Group Against Ad (7200+ Members)

    Tim Tebow SuperBowl Ad - CBS Focus on the Family Ad
    Twitter Activity on "Tebow" Search since News Broke

    Online buzz is continuing to ramp up and will inevitably become larger as Super Bowl Sunday nears. The question is what will CBS do? Freedom of Speech? Avoid the Controversy? One thing that is certain – once it airs, it will spread quickly across the web and there will be numerous discussions over this video spot. The discussions are already heating up.

    What do you think? Should CBS Air the Super Bowl Ad?

    • Should CBS air this ad?
    • Should CBS have aired the ad from 2004?
    • Should controversial ads be allowed to air? Why or Why not?

    Another interesting point noted by a commenter on the web:

    • Since the mother made her “choice” would this still fall under a celebration of “pro-choice” or is that at this point just semantics and “pro-choice” is just support for abortion? (this is assuming the ad doesn’t attack the idea of choice)

    Share your thoughts! We’d like to know.

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    Euthanasia: Naturalism vs the Sanctity of Life

    Is Truth Relative? Do we have a “right” to do as we please?

    This discussion is not about abortion, but let me lay it out as an example to make a point. Everyone has heard the abortion arguments before: the argument for life and the argument for choice. Is abortion wrong because the child is a human being and no one has the right to kill a child? Or should abortion be considered a valid option because it is in the right of the mother to determine whether they can or want the child? How about the right of a person to kill oneself? Do old sickly people have the right to end their own lives? Can other people assist them? Stop them? The debates continue but underlying these discussions is a much deeper battle: the battle in the validity of the sanctity of life.

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    How Politicians, Media & Advertising Influence our Minds

    Media Influence on Public PerceptionMedia doesn’t affect me that much

    If you think media does not influence you all that much, you got another thing coming. There is a reason corporations spend billions of dollars on advertising. It works. It influences our behaviors, our values, and plays to our emotions. How many things have we bought that we thought would make us happy only to have the happiness wear off after a couple weeks? What made us think it would make us happy in the first place?

    Psychology Studies of Human Behavior with Authority

    Anyone familiar with the history of psychology will remember the Stanford Prison Experiment by Phil Zimbarbo. This study placed subjects as either a prison guard or a prisoner. The study was stopped only 6 days into the experiment because the guards were getting extremely abusive while the prisoners were experiencing real distress and trauma. Those in the role of the prison guards became lost in their given authority while the prisoners became increasingly submissive and started to follow orders without questions. What this study shows us is that the power of “authority” has a deep impact on our behavior and our ability to make wise choices.

    Another principle in psychology is “social proof”. This is where individuals look for guidance in their decisions by looking at others, especially those who we see as an authority on the subject. There has been many studies were the most dominate personality would have the most impact simply because they seemed to have knowledge and authority whether they actually did or not.

    Relying on Authority Figures for Blind Guidance

    For these very reasons, both in politics and in general advertising, groups seek out leaders or celebrities who can speak with authority on their behalf. Sometimes very little fact or evidence is given, but the mere fact that someone with authority speaks has enough of an impact on the general public. I didn’t care about Global Warming until Al Gore said to care. I just assume Jordan shoes are better because they are Jordans. Masses feel reassured the economic bailout would help when our leaders endorse it wholeheartedly.

    Speaking of our current economic crisis – let’s face it, most of us know very little about the inner workings of the economy and what has actually caused many of our current problems. We might have very strong opinions about it, but most of our opinions were influenced by what we have read from the media or something we heard from some financial analyst. We soak up and are persuaded by the blame thrown around in media. We know very little about how the economic bailouts would actually help, but our decision to support or go against it, is simply dependent on a few quotes from authority figures and politicians. The politicians tell the media to blame the CEOs and we say go after them! Even if the problem may have stemmed from the politicians themselves and their ineffective policies.

    Be Aware of Media’s Influence on Public Perception

    Our lack of knowledge and facts forces us to defer to authority figures and whatever we are fed by the media. Politicians and advertisers are experts in this game. Just look at the presidential elections, there is so much lying, truth twisting, feel good advertising, and baseless personal attacks just to influence public perception that groups are formed just dedicated to checking out the facts, yet even then the damage is done. Doesn’t matter if the attack was a lie, they’ve already painted the perception.

    It is important that the public become more aware of how easily we are persuaded by what we hear in the media. Whether it be some politician waxing eloquence over some policy or bill we know very little about, or some value or lifestyle depicted as fun or normal through a TV show- it is imperative we are able to look at the facts objectively so we can make sound, wise choices. Remember that the media is manipulated all the time to gain favor of the public!

    • Do you agree or disagree that the public is heavily influenced by the media in their perception of just about everything?
    • Can you think of more examples where we give too much authority to what we simply hear from media or from perceived authority figures?

    Related Post:
    Perception of Financial Crisis – Who is to Blame?

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    Facebook vs MySpace vs Twitter Statistics: Raising $200 Million

    Facebook vs Myspace vs Twitter Growth Statistics

    Facebook vs Myspace vs Twitter Visitor Statistics
    Facebook vs Myspace vs Twitter Visitor Statistics (via ComScore)

    Facebook started off as a small social network popular among some college students. Then in the past few years Facebook’s users have skyrocketed as Facebook went mainstream. First among college students, then once it was open to the public, it blew the gates open as millions of new users young and old joined to check out this new social network. In April 2009, the social network passed 300 million unique visitors a month according to ComScore. 160% increase from April of 2008. Facebook also has 225 monthly active users.   Twitter continues strong as it jumped 70% in March with 32 million worldwide uniques, while MySpace has flat lined at 123 million uniques a month. MySpace has recently shaken up their leadership in order to rejuvenate their stagnating figures.

    Click Here to Follow Clean Cut Media on Twitter!

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