Social Media

New Features for BBM Include Timed Messages and Message Retraction for More Privacy and Control

Posted on Updated on

Samsung phone screen with BBMBlackBerry released new features for BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) on Friday, October 31, 2014 which include Timed Messages and Message Retraction. This allows users to have more privacy and control over their messages.

With “Timed Messages”, similar to popular photo messaging app Snapchat, you can set a timer to control how long messages and pictures you share can be viewed within BBM. The message is hidden until the recipient touches and holds on the chat. Once the timer expires or if the recipient takes their finger off the screen, the message is no longer visible. The user also receives a notification if BBM detects that the recipient has taken a screenshot of the image or message. Only thing is, if the recipient  has another phone/camera handy, of course they could still take a picture of the picture/message without you knowing it.

With “Message Retraction”, users can now retract messages from their BBM chat before it will be read by the recipient, or even after it has been read so that it will no longer be visible within BBM.

The premium features will be available to BBM users for free for the next three months, after which will be offered as part of a broader bundle of features with a BBM subscription.

Other new features include a quicker sticker picker, HD Picture Transfer, and the ability to see what music your contacts are listening to in BBM Feeds.

Check out this video showing how the new features can be useful:

BBM – Yours to Control – “The Dive”


Bloomberg Game Changers

Posted on Updated on

Bloomberg Game ChangersOne weekend a couple of months ago or so, my S.O. and I were looking for something to watch on Netflix and he found this documentary series called Bloomberg Game Changers. The series produced by Bloomberg TV features different business leaders and successful entrepreneurs who “climbed to the top and changed our world” in one way or another. There were a few there that really piqued my interest, namely:

The list above is hyperlinked to the series videos found on the Bloomberg TV website which I highly recommend to watch. The last one on my list above was actually not available at that time on Netflix and I had just watched it while writing this blog post.

It’s pretty cool learning about these people’s lives as told by their peers and colleagues leading up to the success in whatever they had created. Without these people, the world would definitely be significantly different than what it is today. All of them have contributed to making the world and its people more connected in some way. I think that’s something to be thankful for. (Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!)

Nuit Blanche 2014 #snbTO

Posted on Updated on

snbtoOctober 4 from 6:53 pm to sunrise of October 5, 2014 was Nuit Blanche, an annual free all-night contemporary art event. This is the 9th year that this event, which is translated as “Sleepless Night”, has been celebrated in Toronto.

Here’s a little backgrounder from the Nuit Blanche Toronto website:

Nuit Blanche was originally conceived in Paris, France in 2002, in an attempt to bring contemporary art to the masses in public spaces… At its core, Nuit Blanche is a 12-hour event with a mandate to make contemporary art accessible to large audiences, while inspiring dialogue and engaging the public to examine its significance and impact on public space.

Nuit Blanche in 2008 and 2011 was much better, I think, compared to this year’s event. There were more exhibits, projects, street performers in those years that I remember. I still enjoyed the few exhibits that I saw this year though. The coolest project from this year’s event, in my opinion, was the Gap Ecology (Still Lives with Cherry Pickers and Palms) exhibit by David Brooks (New York, USA) at the Queen St. and John St. intersection, which showcased seven “cherry pickers” (crane-like aerial lift equipment) that were filled with palm trees/plants which made it like an “urban jungle” in the city.

One other interesting thing from the event was the Monument to North American Energy Security by the CanAmerican Energy Arts Team (Calgary, Canada) which featured two large oil barrels connected by a pipeline to represent Canadian-American energy independence. The sculpture they had looked like it was oil (or chocolate syrup) coming out of the fountain and floating above the water at the Nathan Phillips Square pool.

I didn’t get to view all the exhibits, so I may have missed some other good ones.

Let me share below just a few pictures I took from the event:

If you want to see more Nuit Blanche pictures from other people, search for the hashtag #snbTO or #NuitBlanche on Twitter or Instagram.

Also, there are ten extended projects that will still be around until October 13th for “Après Nuit”. Check out the list at

The “earth” without “art” is just “eh”.

Companies and Social Media

Posted on Updated on

There is a great need for social media in business today. The use of social media is part of the marketing strategy of companies that helps them to communicate with their customers in a more efficient way aside from the traditional media that include print and broadcast. A few companies have started integrating this in their strategy, while others are still starting, and still others not quite there yet.Social Media LandscapeIt’s pretty cool that companies can interact with the consumers using the web 2.0 tools used in social media, get feedback directly from them, and be able to respond back more promptly, especially when there are issues that need urgent attention. It can be painful to read what the people say sometimes, especially when people can be really harsh online, but it is really helpful.

When you deploy it right and when you use it right, using social media will really help you get ahead of the competition. Keep in mind that companies in the same industry you are in may not use the same tools that you use. You may be ahead of them, or you may be behind in this technology. Whatever the case, strive to continually improve and keep abreast of the latest technology.

From my observation, print ads, broadcast ads, and website ads are not enough, especially if you are a major corporation and are one of the major players in the industry. I am actually surprised that some companies haven’t fully utilized the web 2.0 tools that are so popular and are most useful right now. Think about it – if it is so popular, then the consumers that you so want to keep and/or acquire might be there. They might be talking about your brand, and they might have some major influence to other consumers as well. For instance, a discussion starts in a blog, people comment on the blog post, and these in turn might inspire others to start posts on other sites in relation to the topic/discussion. Are you there to see it and able to learn and do something about it?

Monitoring social media is largely important because it can help you identify key influencers and evangelists that can help you with your brand. Using social media monitoring and analysis tools/platform, such as Radian6 for example, will help you gather social media metrics and generate reports with that. Let me repeat: tracking the conversations about your brand/business is important. Do something about it.

Here’s an idea. Once you’ve identified the key influencers and evangelists (e.g. bloggers with a large audience), you need to contact them and establish good relations with them. You can then try to ask them to start a blog contest for example and your business can sponsor the prizes. The topic for example can be something like: Write a blog post about Company X’s product on how it has brought a major impact to the community. Or something better.

There might be a lot of talk out there about your brand and you better be efficient in monitoring them – not only the talk about your brand, but also about the industry and issues that are relevant to your business. Monitoring these conversations will help you know what makes your customers happy, and what makes them mad. What’s good about it is you can now track all these conversations in real time, so you can be there right away to intervene especially in preventing unpleasant things from getting worse (like a pissed-off customer who was tweeting about the poor service he has received today and you were able to stop him from further writing a blog post about it).

Disclaimer: I am not a Social Media Expert and these are just my thoughts and tips based on what I’ve learned from other people, my readings, and observations.

Image Credits: Tech Writer Boy , | Photo Credit: wetwebwork

“Tweeting Intern” Needed at Pizza Hut

Posted on Updated on

Twitter iconI just read this article on CNET today that Pizza Hut in Dallas, Texas (company headquarters) is looking for a summer intern who uses Twitter. On the Pizza Hut homepage, you will find: “Apply to be the First Pizza Hut Twintern.”

The job description says:

Pizza Hut-iconThe intern will act as a fully integrated member of the PR team and will focus on new and emerging social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and others. This is a full-time paid internship, and Pizza Hut will work with you and your school to support academic credit, if applicable.

How cool is that?!

They’re looking towards hiring those students specializing in marketing, journalism, communications, public relations, or any related course study. If the job description fits you (and you’re in Texas or planning to go there), better hurry in applying because deadline is May 3rd, 2009.

I’m not in any way in those fields, but it still would have been a cool opportunity to apply for if I was. Maybe other companies should try employing this kind of position, too. Hey, after all, social media is very much used everywhere now and this would surely help in their marketing.