BuzzRocket's Blog

Spotted: Google Street View Car!

Google Street View Car ©Richard Thomas

What a way to kick off my day! I was driving in Los Angeles this morning, when what to my wondering eyes should appear? That’s right: the Google maps Street View car! The Google map-wrapped Subaru with a red globe of cameras on the roof, was heading south on Fairfax, just south of Little Ethiopia.

Google Street View started back in 2007 as an experimental project in five U.S. cities. Today Street View has images across the globe on all seven continents.

According to Google’s map site, “the latest car has 15 lenses taking 360 degrees of photos. It also has motion sensors to track its position, a hard drive to store data, a small computer running the system, and lasers to capture 3D data to determine distances within the Street View imagery.”

Street View isn’t limited to the current Subaru: also included in the family are Street View Trolley, Street View Trike and Street View Snowmobile.

Happy Birthday Robert Bunsen!

Break out your chem lab goggles. We love a good Google Doodle and today’s is on fire! To celebrate  Robert Bunsen‘s birthday Google Doodle has posted an interactive logo complete with his namesake Bunsen burner heating up several viles, test tubes and one of those amazing coffee pots standard in any Italian kitchen.

Bunsen also discovered the elements caesium and rubidium and developed the Bunsen cell battery.

Happy Birthday Harry Houdini!

In celebration of  Harry Houdini’s 137th, Google has once again switched up its logo to honor the occasion. We have to admit, we’re a little disappointed. We were expecting a little more for Houdini, master illusionist. After all, Google Doodle did pull out all the stops – think interactive submarine – for Jules Verne just last month. Oh well. Happy birthday to a man who famously escaped from an underwater box in the East River in 1912.

Click here to see a complete gallery of recent Google Doodle logos.

Google Celebrates Women!

Today is marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. In recognition of this historic day, Google is boasting a beautiful logo with a vintage look featuring accomplished women (one graduate, one physician, for example). Google doesn’t stop there. It has teamed up with Women for Women International to invite you to Join Women on the Bridge, an international campaign where tens of thousands of people will united on bridges across the globe to show their solidarity and support for women’s equality.

Don’t worry if you can’t be in physical attendance: Google invites you to participate virtually through Google Street Maps.

#FAIL! Top 5 Social Media Blunders of 2010

It’s December, which for many of us means the holidays, excessive drinking and eating, Ugly Christmas Sweater parties and reflection. If you’re writing for a blog or publication, it means pumping out a barrage of lists summing up the year. So, thank you Tumblr. Your utter failure for more than a day inspired this list we’ve compiled of the Top 5 Social Media Blunders of 2010.

Google Buzz
Part email, part Facebook, part Twitter, part Friendfeed, part Foursquare, fully lame. Google launched this social network on Feb. 9 and by Feb. 16 it was slapped with a major lawsuit. Google Buzz was integrated into Gmail, irritating many users, who were automatically signed up, revealing private information without permission. After many privacy violations, a class action lawsuit, Google Buzz has recently settled for $8.5 million. Buzz is still around, but has yet to make any sort of splash.

Twitter Hack
September 2010, hackers exploited a security flaw on the popular micro-blogging site, retweeting malicious code, activating pop-ups, and even exposing users to hard-core pornography.

Earlier this month, blogging host site Tumblr crashed for more than 24 hours, leaving millions of users shut out from their accounts, unable to access the nearly 11 million blogs run through Tumblr.
“During planned maintenance that was not intended to interrupt service, an issue arose that took down a critical database cluster. This brought down our entire network while our engineers worked feverishly to restore these databases and bring your blogs back online.”

Facebook Crash
A technical glitch blocked or slowed access to Facebook for several hours in late September, blocking many of the site’s (at the time) 500 million users from the news feed of updates from their friends.
Facebook called it the worst outage they’d had in over four years and blamed a software flaw that caused a cluster of its databases to be overwhelmed. Facebook said it had to shut down the entire site to stop traffic to the databases.

Apple’s stab at social media. Debuted in September with their iTunes 10, Ping allows you to follow friends, musicians and others and read about what music they “Ping” and “Like.” Failures here are that you can’t follow your Facebook friends and you can only comment on music purchased through the iTunes store, which for me is not an accurate portrait of my music collection. Though it’s taken a while to catch on, it does feel like the early days of Twitter to me, where people are following others, trying to sort out the purpose of this new social network. It’s definitely a great marketing platform for those in the music industry.

It’s not all negativity at BuzzRocket. All of these failures are a result of the tremendous growth and innovation of social media.

“Failure is the tuition you pay for success,” Walter Brunell

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