Social Songbird

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Vogue Cover Hosts Blogger: The Blonde Salad Blogs her way to the top.

One of the internet’s most optimistic attributes is its non-discriminating distribution of knowledge and opportunity. It has allowed many, many people to rise above the crowd, through the clouds and soar to -or fall from- success. A recent realisation of this trajectory appeared in The April edition of Vogue Spain, where the first of a tidal wave of internet sensations splashed her way onto the prestigiously emaciated magazine’s front cover.

wordpress.com

Now this may come as a shock, but she is not your bog-standard blogger. Here, we are not talking about a twenty-plus (…thirty), noughties whiz-kid drumming Dorito-stained fingers on a battered laptop from a well lived in bedroom. Here, we are discussing a girl who has cast herself, naked, into the flames of fashion and emerged eyes smoldering through smoky lids and lashes, draped in the hellish colours of a summer sunset, dazzlingly darkening.

Chiara Ferragni, aka ‘The Blonde Salad’, is the first blogger in the entire history of the world to appear on the front cover of Vogue magazine Spain. The combination of a great work ethic, driving persistence, original style and luck in the birth lottery is to thank for landing this committed fashionista on the front page of the world’s leading fashion magazine.

In 2009, whilst reading law at Milan’s Bocconi University, Ferragni began blogging as a mere hobby to run parallel to her favorite freedoms: Travel and fashion. The student with a passion for fashion exploded onto the scene, reaching true recognition in 2011 when she took the Teen Vogue title of Blogger of the moment. Her ascension to the butterfly spread of Vogue Spain accelerated with truly remarkable speed. It has only taken six years for Ferragni to make a massive name for herself, having already overtaken the likes of L’Oréal’s Karlie Kloss on Instagram, with a staggering 3.4 million followers compared to Kloss’ 2.1 million.

The Blonde Salad has silkily used her blog to spin, weave and swing herself to tremendous success, landing lightly and precisely on top of World Wide Web. The sun falls on all that lies in her kingdom, illuminating: a collaborative shoe line, a published E-book, countless style articles, and a progressive modelling portfolio.

The word Vogue is defined as:

The prevailing fashion or style at a particular time.”

Ferragni has feasted on the word, sucked out the nourishing innards and licked out every last bit of lip smacking marrow, absorbing and passing as she pleases. She now fully embodies the core of the concept and in many ways surpasses it. Rather than be dragged along by the fashion-ship's slipstream, she has scuttled aboard and taken a swift stiletto to the captain of fashion, looked down on him with six cameras (SLR, Android, Digital, Disposable, Polaroid, I-Phone) and two neatly framed eyes, spat glitter in his face and said “Hey Captain of Fashion, this is my ship now and I'm calling the shots! More shiny!”. Her creation of new styles and revolutionary combinations of high-street and designer clothes, have commandeered mainstream fashion and steered it vaguely starboard with a splash of port. And all by the age of 27!

Although this is not the most interesting story, the core idea reflects times to come. Vogue has gracefully embraced a new age of achievement, whether this is to welcome the online era or simply to sell what sells. It seems the stars of social media are not to be ignored and maybe soon other industries will follow. Or maybe, just maybe, Chiara Ferragni was destined to be the face of Vogue Spain, April 2015. She certainly shares the “Rag and Bone” look of the classic cover model; poised and beautiful, in the way of a withering flower in its dying moments, just before the petals fade and drop.

Leo Donnelly 

Ever wondered what would happen if you gave a half-crazed, semi-concussed, unstoppable maverick a platform to write about social media? Follow him @LeoAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Blogger To Be Featured On Vogue's Front Cover

Direct to Video

www.webvideomarketingportual.com

I hate autoplay, I’m just going to make that plain from the get go. I know that I’m supposed to be a millennial, but some movements just completely elude me and I don’t think I’ll ever recant. One of them is why anyone would want all their videos to just start playing automatically as they scroll past, the play button is your friend, don’t neglect it.

Anyway, if you aren’t me and have less of an issue with it, you’ll be happy to read that Twitter are testing the function on timelines now to see what kind of response they get. At present, it only applies to promoted video ads and content that went up via Amplify, the instant sharing service they’ve been touting recently.

It’s being rolled out on mobile platforms first, which makes sense, because if it can be properly optimized on tablets and phones, doing it for desktop should be an absolute breeze. The main thing they’re trying to determine at this early stage is whether users respond better to a full, muted loop of the video (as is the way with Facebook and most other platforms) or a six-second ‘preview loop’.

This all plays into market research, as is the way with most things, and what it’s always important to remember about Twitter is that they’re never not minded towards marketing appeal. Hell, they opened an office in a country where their site is actually banned just to be able to catch the eye of international businesses.


Twitter’s interest in video streaming has been a well-documented part of their DNA for some time, they own Vine, by far and away the most popular platform for sharing six second long videos of people doing Batman impressions and they recently acquired a start-up called Periscope geared towards sharing live video (although things got a little messy with that). Facebook have similar areas of interest and Google of course own YouTube. If there’s anything that really exemplifies the battle lines between these social media giants, it’s video sharing.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Twitter Road-Testing Video Autoplay

Imagine Bluetooth, pumped up on steroids and popped into a nice IOS themed suit, that’s Viggo.

mashable.com

Viggo is a new app, whose premise is a sharing app that has made things simpler than ever before. The app describes its sharing method as ‘throwing content into the air’ for others to simply pluck out and use.

For people to receive your content they just need to be nearby and have downloaded Viggo too. If this app took off and everybody had it, sharing could be so much simpler, but equally things could get quite invasive.
You can share anything you like: text, links, pictures, contacts and documents. You don’t need to be friends or a contact already, just in range, which makes things quick and simple.
Once you turn off Viggo, your content disappears from the public eye and no-one can take it anymore.

The app developers claim that Viggo is a ‘completely new way to share content.’ I beg to differ. I think they've forgotten about our old pal Bluetooth!

Well actually, they haven’t because they go onto mention Bluetooth about 100 times. It can only access everyone in range of your Bluetooth; it uses Bluetooth to discover users nearby, etc. So this is a jazzed up Bluetooth.

Whilst it’s great not needing a contact/password to share with another person, it also means anybody else (if they happen to have the app) can sneak in on your conversation and snap up the photos.

As long as nothing personal is left hanging in the air then I suppose this wouldn't be a problem.

My main concern with the app is whether there really was a gap in the market for more sharing tools. The main pro is that you could potentially share this with hundreds of people. Imagine you’re in a conference, they share a document via Viggo and you can all log in and pick it up. Here I can see it appealing to those looking for simpler, accessible, user-friendly apps.

Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Throw Your Content in the Air Like You Just Don't Care - with Viggo

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

huffingtonpost.com

“For many years, the Internet was Russia’s last beacon of honesty. That’s no longer the case. Over the past three years, a social-media army fielded by the Kremlin has stormed what was once a stronghold for people who seek a “Russia without Putin.”
 Ilya Klishin 

It looks like the Russian Government has shoved a sweaty, boot-worn sock into the free speaking mouth of social media, in an attempt to stifle the voice of the libertarian Russian community.


Kremlin Creates "Troll Army": Putin' a Sock In The Mouth Of The Media.

T-App-Estry

www.imore.com

Instagram have been riding a hell of a wave of late, and branching out in all sorts of interesting ways, innovating their signature app and looking into new ones. Their latest is Layout, an app purpose-built for creating photo collages. Using it, users can select anything up to 9 images and the app will help arrange them into a collage template, based on the nature of the images (date, location or shots of faces). You can also use the ‘Photo Booth’ to take a series of selfies using the front-facing camera on your phone/tablet.

www.digitaltrends.com

From there, a myriad of different editing options open up, enabling you to tailor your collage exactly to your needs. As well as shuffling the images around, you can mirror them, rotate them and resize them. When you apply these options to sets of up to 9 pictures, the possibilities became vast and fascinating.

For instance, if you use the same 2 or 3 images, repeated until you have 9, you could create a kind of optical illusion, or if you take 9 extreme close ups of a face and build the full one from the composite. Hours of fun could be had figuring out new ideas. Once you’re done with a collage you can share it directly to your Instagram, Facebook or pretty much wherever else (except Twitter, for some reason).

This isn’t exactly completely new territory, there are numerous third party apps that do the exact same job, but Instagram likely hope to appeal to a broader market with theirs, and creating synergy across multiple different ones is kind of the thing to do at the moment. Just look at Facebook.

www.mashable.com

This is an interesting counterpart to Instagram’s last external venture, Hyperlapse, which enables you to make really smooth, high quality time lapses with relative ease. They seem intent on creating easy shortcuts for otherwise tricky photography disciplines. I’m not sure where they can go from here, perhaps they’ll bring out an app for quick and easy light painting, or depth of field effects, it’ll be exciting to find out, in any case. 

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Instagram Introduces Collage App

Twitter’s launch of #MuseumWeek is giving everyone a great opportunity to show off just how cultured they are.

When I found out that this Monday was the first day of #MuseumWeek, I was confused. I thought to myself, “What can Twitter possibly do, that is museum related, that lasts a whole week and will get the entire Twitter-sphere involved?

mardixon.com

I understand the aim. Of course, it would be lovely to bring the entire global museum-loving community together and to encourage others to go exploring... but how?

To give things a bit more direction, Twitter introduced the concept of ‘7 days, 7 themes, 7 hashtags.’

The hashtags all speak for themselves really. Monday is #secretsMW, Tuesday is #souveniersMW, Wednesday is #architectureMW, Thursday is #inspirationMW (share the inspiration/beauty you find around you), Friday is #familyMW, Saturday is #favMW (favourite) and finally on Sunday, Twitter want you to take a selfie with #poseMW.

The main tag of #MuseumWeek will still be used over the week too.

I was sceptical about how successful this could be. But in the lead up alone, the official hashtags were shared nearly 100,000 times.

Over 50 different countries have joined in already and there have been roughly 800 museums/galleries featured so far.

It sounds quite fun and it’s easy to get involved. Just remember to register here.

I struggled to see how this would take off but #SecretsMW was already trending by Tuesday afternoon!

I’ll be glad to see these museums getting coverage on social media, finally. After years of photography being banned in galleries and museums, it’s high time they use social media to their advantage and get more people talking about their exhibitions.

These museums have been contributing towards our science, research, education and culture for hundreds of years and finally they are getting worldwide recognition.

Give a little bit back to our museums by mentioning them on your Twitter this week.

Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

It's Twitter's Museum Week

So, Internet Explorer is dead. I doubt anyone is out buying a wreath or digging out a black armband. Microsoft are already tinkering away with an alternative, code-named Project Spartan. Will it be any good? It probably won’t be half bad, Internet Explorer was plagued by an almost stubborn adherence to a laughably outdated structure, but the fact that Microsoft have ditched it in the altogether suggests that they are putting their ear to the ground.

The trouble is, it’s very, very difficult to goad people away from their comfort zones and most even slightly savvy internet users are already using either Chrome or Firefox (or perhaps Safari if they’re on a Mac). For the most part these browsers are balanced, easy to use and highly customisable, which is what you want. They still have their problems though and many people use them more because they see no viable alternative than for any other reason. The land of lesser-known browsers can seem like a desolate wasteland, with Opera sat lazily on a throne built out of dust and bad flash optimization.

If this is you, fear not, there are many other more interesting, purpose designed browsers out there to sample for both desktop and mobile platforms, so allow me to walk you through six of the most enticing (three for each).


Desktop: Maxthon Cloud Browser – The Swiss Army Knife
www.softpedia.com

Personally, a lot of my online time is devoted to research. I write for several different websites and work for a social media company, I need to know what the hell I’m on about. After a certain point it can begin to feel like I’m being crushed under a landslide of tabs and bookmarks. I’m untidy enough in real life, I’d rather not be untidy online as well.

Obviously this school of thought extends beyond just me, and Maxthon Cloud Browser are clearly very much aware of that. It enables you to quickly and easily categorise and log everything, whilst also keeping all your information in sync across every platform you use it on. You can also download files to the cloud so you don’t have to worry about space usage. Beyond that, the browser is brimming with other interesting features to use for passwords, saving text across platforms, screencapping and lots of other things.


Mobile: Photon Flash Web Browser – The Eye-Candy
www.1mobile.com

Safari mobile doesn’t support flash, most mobile browsers don’t and it can be rather vexing to either have to come out of the app to watch/listen to something or even just give up. Mobile browsing is still running to catch up with its big brother and some things are taking longer to figure out than others.


For viewing purposes though, Photon is your best bet. It costs $3.99, but for that you get a split-screen viewing mode, picture in picture and an easy to use full screen mode. It’s definitely better suited to bigger screens, but the in-browser brightness controls and rotation lock make it a must for anyone who likes to use their phone or tablet as a media browser.


Desktop: Comodo IceDragon – Fort Knox
www.softonic.com

The moment you take your computer online, you are opening it up to security risks. There are plenty of ways to allay those concerns, a comprehensive anti-virus package, high-level password security, making sure you only visit secure sites, but if you really want to be certain of your safety, get Comodo IceDragon.

It’s a Firefox-based browser which allows you to route your browsing through its own DNS servers, which are allegedly more secure than the regular ones (and faster). It gives you by-the-minute reports on the security strength of each site you visit, it has an inspector function that is constantly checking for dodgy doings and you can run it as a ‘virtual browser’. What that means is that the browser will be completely independent from the rest of your operating system, such that if any malware does manage to seep in, it will be trapped entirely within the confines of the browser. Visually it looks and runs just like Firefox, but there’s a Chrome version too (just called Comodo Dragon).


Mobile: Puffin – The Speed Freak
www.appsfinder.fr

Just how fast your browser loads is much more software-dependent on mobile platforms than it is on a desktop. Safari mobile in particular, while reasonably intuitive, can be intolerably slow. Puffin isn’t, in fact it’s probably the fastest mobile browser currently available.


The interface is silky smooth, it can load even the heaviest pages at breakneck speed and there are dozens of add-ons on offer. You can download files directly through it as well, not to mention a readily available interface with AirPlay, virtual game pads and even theatre controls (especially useful on a tablet). Once again, it costs, $3.99 in this case, but if you’re willing to take that hit, it’s a must.


Desktop: Coowon Browser – The Toy Box
www.bestwinsoft.com

With processing power steadily improving, we’re becoming cable of doing more and more sophisticated things purely through browsers. We’ve been able to play video games in-browser for almost 20 years, but the level of detail and quality that flash and web browsers in general can handle is always increasing. Hence Coowon.


Among its many, many added features, this Chrome-based browser it offers the ability to login to multiple accounts across tabs (also useful for Facebook and such like), the ability to control the speed of games to better suit your needs, a tab recovery button, in-browser recording and even a ‘Bosskey’ hotkey which allows you to instantly make the browser vanish until whoever was peeking over your shoulder has gone away. It’s a solid browser even without the gaming aspect, but with it, it’s top of line.


Mobile: Dolphin – Old Reliable
www.softonic.com

Dolphin has been knocking about for years now. It’s far and away the most popular third-party browser amongst Android users and isn’t far behind on other platforms, with more than 80 million downloads to its name. It also recently got a fairly comprehensive makeover.

Its most prominent feature is the gestures function, which enables you to use press-and-drag gestures as a kind of bookmarking tool. For example, you could draw a ‘T’ and immediately get linked to your Twitter account. It makes getting to all your most regularly used sites much, much smoother. Beyond that, it’s just an attractive, functional browser laden with enough bells and whistles to keep up with all the other heavy-hitters.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.

Six Desktop and Mobile Browsers for an Alternative Web Experience