BuzzRocket's Blog

I’m a nerd.

Tonight marks the second nerdiest movie experience of my life. Just picked up midnight tickets to see The Social Network.

Nerdiest movie experience? 3 am tickets to Star Wars Episode 1. Sat between two seats in an overcrowded theatre. Walked out to see the sunrise. Let’s pray it never gets worse than that.

The Social Network

One great thing about living in LA is easy access to things such as Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay for The Social Network, which I stayed up until 4 a.m. reading. Yep, it’s pretty brilliant and I simply couldn’t put the thing down.

It’s part modern day Citizen Kane, with hints of The Great Gatsby and a little touch of The Secret History (without the murder, of course). I promise no spoilers, but the story weaves around from the early Harvard days of Facebook co-founders Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin through the development of the social networking behemoth, to the fallout and eventual lawsuits against Zuckerberg.  But this isn’t a movie review.

While the story is truly an incredible tale of greed, genius, power, friendship, insecurity and deception, it also is a reminder that Facebook really has changed the face of how we communicate. I woke up this morning and went through my normal routine of first checking my Facebook account and all the pages I run on the network. But this time I approached it from a whole new mindset, perhaps not new, but one that had been lying dormant and was now reawakened. I truly was overwhelmed by the influence of social media in our lives, especially Facebook.

Maybe Zuckerberg is a thief, an asshole. Maybe not. What is inarguable is his genius. His creation is quickly becoming the foundation of modern communication. The last page of the screenplay, which was written in May 2009, includes a stat in the Title:  Facebook has 180 million users in 60 countries. That was just 16 months ago! Now Facebook boasts more than 500 million users, which is a figure from August 2010.

Everyday people are spending more time on Facebook, using it for much more than spying on an ex, or looking at friends’ vacation pictures. People are using it to effectively market themselves and businesses. It’s a new way to connect to not only your friends, but also customers. It’s become a way to engage your customers, learn more about what makes them tick. This is invaluable to marketers.

New Twitter, I think I love you.

Just got New Twitter! Well, my client did. I’m taking it for a test drive. It’s amazing. Better than I could have imagined.

“A Better Twitter”

Sadly, I’m not one of the lucky people with access to the dramatically revamped Twitter, but boy do I feel like a kid before Christmas. I truly cannot wait.

Twitter has announced “A Better Twitter,” the biggest change to its interface in a long time … years.  Leaving its comfort zone of 140 characters, the newly re-engineered Twitter will be providing “an easier, faster and richer experience.”

Lucky us! This means several tantalizing features, including new design with a cleaner timeline and a right-hand side bar, where tweets you click on open and can be seen with images, video and more. New Twitter will support embedded images and videos thanks to partnerships with Dailybooth, DeviantArt, Etsy, Flickr,, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, Twitvid, USTREAM, Vimeo, Yfrog and YouTube.

Also cool? Discover-related content. Soon (if not now), when you click on a tweet, additional info related to the author or subject appears.

These new changes, slated to roll out over the next several weeks, are going to mean incredible things for brands on Twitter. For years, Facebook has reigned supreme in social media marketing. Aside from boasting more than 500 million users (Twitter has just under 150 million users), Facebook has allowed users to post pictures, video, notes and events, whereas Twitter has just offered links to such things.

Now, brands on Twitter will be able to offer more engaging messages, with embedded images and video. In short, brands will be able to tell their stories with more encompassing content.

It will be interesting to see if Twitter’s new offerings attract even more users. It also will be exciting to see how marketers use the new features to interact with consumers, and which of them are successful. Already our heads are spinning. Yours?

Our theme song

If you’re wondering what goes through our heads most days; let’s start with this number. The Blog, Datarock. More than a year later … still amazing.

I’m a creep.

Facebook Places. How do I put this delicately? You’re kind of creepy, and what’s worse: You make me kind of creepy. And after attending a Social Media Club of Los Angeles meeting where four times the amount of attendees had checked in on Foursquare than Places, I think I’m not alone.

I took Facebook Places and Foursqure for a test drive over the past couple weeks. And while I get all the positive aspects Facebook touted in their press conference/Facebook Places launch, I have to say, so far, I’ve only been mildly impressed. Frankly, I find the application to be somewhat invasive.

I first used Places to check-in to a bustling Starbucks on Melrose. I saw that one other person had checked in, as well. He appeared to be attractive in his picture, which piqued my interest, so I clicked on his profile. I learned a lot about “Mike:” he’s a photographer, likes dogs, Mad Men. Then I looked around the room and actually saw him, became completely embarrassed, left feeling like an inadvertent stalker – dirty. I don’t use Facebook as a way to meet new people. On a purely personal level, I use Facebook to stay in touch with my friends and family, to look at people’s pictures when I’m bored or procrastinating, and to get a more intimate look into the lives of people I’ve just met – NEVER the other way around.

Later that week, I got together with a couple fellow bloggers, Kelly Ryan O’Brien and Champagne and Heels. Since I was in the midst of my Foursquare/Facebook Places “Pepsi Challenge,” I pulled out my phone to check into the café. I checked in to Foursquare, earning myself 7 points (one for a first time check in, the second for this being my second stop of the day). Then I went to check in on Facebook. Since I was meeting with two of my Facebook friends, I asked if I could tag them on my check in. Both declined, saying that they didn’t want people knowing where they were but for separate reasons. “What if I canceled a meeting with someone on I’m friend on Facebook with to be here? Now they know.” Good point. We’re in L.A.; that happens all the time. My other friend said she was just extremely private, but interestingly does have a Foursquare account. However, she is only friends with three people – old friends from NYC – on Foursquare and, as a recent transplant, uses it as a fun way to keep up with her gal pals back east.

There is an anonymity that goes along with Foursquare. My Foursquare friends know nothing about me beyond where I am, or have been, and the city in which I reside. I can choose which check-ins I want to share on Facebook and Twitter. Plus, it’s somewhat of a game. There are incentives, which make me want to come back for more.

I don’t see too many people checking into places on Facebook thus far, via Places, or Foursquare for that matter. I’m interested to see how this all pans out. On the business side of things, I favor Foursquare. When people check-in, they check into locations I manage, where I can give users deals, tips, etc. Places does not allow people to check into our fan pages, which is irritating, but that is another blog for another time. Stay tuned.

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