We Are Social's Monday Mashup #12


Google release beta version of Social Search
Google have launched a beta version of their personalised search platform Social Search. When signed into a Google account a search using the new platform will pull in content from members in your social circle. An element on the interface also allows you to the see connections and reasons behind the search results presented. Watch this video to learn more:

Pope 2.0
Pope Benedict XVI, himself an avid tweeter, has decreed that priests should embrace blogging as a means of reaching members of the Catholic Church and sharing the Christian gospel with the wider world. The past 12 months have seen the creation of Papal iPhone and Facebook apps as well as the launch of a YouTube Channel which posts the Pope’s speeches as well as coverage of events at the Vatican. It remains to be seen if the world’s other major religions will pursue the digital realm as a means of disseminating information and connecting with followers as avidly as the Catholic Church.

How Not to Claim a Brand ID
Claiming your brand ID on as many social networks as possible is step one for executing a social media strategy.  But what happens if the brand ID has already been registered and not by brandjackers hoping to sell it for a premium rather by someone who can legitimately lay claim to the name. This dilemma was experienced by Harman Bajwa who fended off a hostile facebook page takeover bid by media agency Carat on behalf of audio systems manufacturer Harman International. When bribes of a speaker system  in exchange for the Harman name were refused, Carat enlisted the help of facebook who messaged Mr. Banjwa to tell him he was in violation of their policies. Publicity duly followed along with a robust facebook campaign to help Mr. Bajwa keep his name. Facebook, Carat and Harman relented with lesson learned that bribery and threats probably shouldn’t be included in an attempt to secure a brand ID – though as I happen to share a name with a French chocolatier I am personally open to selling my moniker in exchange for a lifetime supply of sweet treats…

Twitter Launches Local Trends
Twitter users in six countries (Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, the UK and the US) and 15 individual cities now have the option to view localised trending topics. This launch marks the start of an initiative by Twitter to increase geographic and language functionality. While some would speculate on the sharing which might happen organically in the specified cities there is real potential for local businesses to connect with potential customers. Twitter’s encouragement of locality could provide another means of realising geographic segmentation in social media strategy.

Five Francophone journalists test limits of social media as news platform
With social media as a means of accessing and disseminating news on the rise, five Francophone journalists have decided to tests its merits. For five days the journalists will be holed away in a farmhouse in the south of France with access only to Twitter and Facebook as a means of sourcing news on the outside world. The aim of the experiment is to assess the legitimacy of information posted on social media sites. Already citing social media as a source of hoaxes organizers have perhaps given away their inherent bias as proponents of traditional media (all the participants are radio journalists and the experiment is organized by France Inter). This experiment will no doubt continue the debate surrounding the role of traditional media which in the instances of the Iranian protests and the Haiti earthquake, was one step behind social media in releasing breaking-news content.