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October 4, 2011 By blogging

The Good, The Awesome, and The Ugly

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Good, Awesome and Ugly – Maintaining Tech Relationships

Good –October 4th “Let’s talk iPhone”

This Tuesday, Apple sent out press invitations with a simple “Let’s talk iPhone” tagline for the highly anticipated iPhone5 product release. The event is to be held at 10 a.m. Pacific at their Cupertino headquarters. Longtime Apple users who have been with the company since the iPhone’s inception have learned to be wary of upgrades with minimal changes. Some that skipped the last upgrade and held on to their iPhone 3GS have been anxiously awaiting the upgrade and are hoping for a simultaneous release of the new iOS5 operating system.

The release, which has in past years grown in reputation for being a highly publicized media event, will be officiated by new CEO Tim Cook. In the past, the product has hit shelves one- two weeks after the press conference, meaning a potential date in mid October. Fueling this rumor is another report claiming that Apple has blacked out retail employee vacations from October 9-12 as well as 14 and 15. Apple brings its consumers back by consistently upgrading and updating their software, and ensuring that consumers have no reason to stray from their family of products.

Awesome – Bringing an apple to your teacher

While the public’s reaction to the news is happy or jealous, it is certainly unexpected as well as welcome to hear that Apple has donated a slew of first generation iPads to the Teach for America Corps, which places recent college graduates in teaching positions in the nation’s low-income public schools. Laurene Powell, wife of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, sits on the TFA board of directors and began the program in the spring of 2010 with the release of the iPad2. Users who upgraded to newer versions of the device had the option of donating their old iPad at an Apple retail location. Exact numbers were not given but each of the 9.000 TFA teachers was offered an iPad in August. Those who signed up for the offer received their new devices in the past two weeks. The gesture makes a turn in Apple’s public perception as they are generally viewed as a non-feeling entity that storms about as large captains of industry tend to. As their spin towards the positive grows with the company there will be no reason for consumers to detract from the brand.

Ugly – Did Twitter pull Trending Topics?

Social Media usage came into play during the stay of last Wednesday’s case of Troy Davis. During the final hours of his looming execution, many of his supporters took to Twitter to voice their concerns with his death using the hashtags #TroyDavis and #toomuchdoubt. The controversy of his guilt notwithstanding, the interest from a social media standpoint came when it seemed that Twitter had pulled the topic from appearing in a list of trends.

Trending topics on twitter occur when hundreds of thousands or even millions of people mention the same topic in their tweets at roughly the same time. The topics are promoted on Twitter’s home page and clicking on the topic gives you a real time view of other tweets mentioning it, exposing a huge audience.1

During the stay and subsequent deliberation, heavy weight Twitter users such as Outkast rapper Big Boi – who has 331,635 followers and a Klout amplification score of 76 (meaning that his tweets are 76% likely to be acted on) – Russell Simmons and Kim Kardashian all posted messages on their accounts and several hundred users were upset that the hashtags did not appear as trending topics.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tweeted about the issue of trending topics in early August, stating that “trends are algorithmic, not chosen by us but we edit out any w/obscenities & I’d like to see clearly offensive out too.”

However, on the same day that the Troy Davis hashtags were unseen as trending topics in Atlanta, where the case was being heard, #sidechickbirthdaygifts was a trending topic. BigBoi tweeted that #TroyDavis was the number two topic in Atlanta but was subsequently removed, and Russell Simmons even appealed buying the topic from Twitter.

Did Twitter edit the race-sensitive content of Social Media on that September day? No one will be able to tell for certain. What it is important to glean from this situation is that Twitter has the ability to reach the masses; people would not be outraged about the censorship had it not been for its widespread coverage. Taking the next steps and acting upon the tweets that celebrities sent out that encouraged the public to call the district attorney may lead to positive change the next go around. It is always important to keep in mind that digital relationships only serve to foster a relationship that is physical. The ability to take a conversation offline, use it for a constructive purpose and maintain it via social sites is what we strive for each day with all of our client relationships.