World Cup and Social Media, part II

Ok, so we all know the World Cup has crashed Twitter, with the fail whale appearing with even greater frequency than bad calls by World Cup refs.

But how's Facebook managing it all?

The New York Times has a nifty graphic today detailing which players are getting the most mentions on Facebook every day:


Is this journalism that will change the world? No, but that doesn't stop me from loving it any less. I think it's perfect for the Friday before a holiday weekend.

Happy Fourth!

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Rick Sanchez gets Kanye'd at the Shorty Awards

Bridget and I have that familiarity with Rick Sanchez that all native South Floridians have - we think it's even more so when, like us, you grew up watching him on Channel 7, aspiring journalists such that we were back in the day.

Rick's been quite the YouTube sensation this week already when Jon Stewart (oh, Hulu, what will you you do without Stewart!) took him to task for his tsunami coverage. So it's with great affection that we present, for your Friday viewing, Rick Sanchez's "Kayne" moment at the Shorty Awards, where he hosted the awards which go to the best producers of "short, real-time content" on the Web. On a side note, I was thrilled to see my long-standing crush Nathan Fillion winning in the celeb category.

Watch below for the moment just after Sanchez presenteds a Shorty to a llama. Yes, a llama. (I guess, in the interests of accuracy, that poor woman who tweets this llama account was really the Taylor Swift in this story, but we just like that Rick was involved). Hey, it was the "weird" award, made more bizarre, as you'll see, when he was interrupted by this guy known as Eastside Dave:

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CrisisCamp comes to Miami

"I just want to help".

That's pretty much what every one of the more than one hundred people said this afternoon as they went around one of the largest conference rooms we have here at The Miami Herald, which helped host  CrisisCamp Miami, one of now 12 such gatherings that is focusing on technology relief efforts for Haiti. The room was full - of web developers, programmers, software engineers, people who focus on bringing Internet and VOIP services to developing countries - and others who just wanted to help.

CrisisCamproomWeb CrisisCamp started in DC last week, days after the earthquake hit Haiti. It's basically a grassroots effort that brings together the tech community in a series of collaborations, all designed to help Haitians and Haiti recover.

"I saw the DC one, and when I heard there was one coming to Miami, I said "Yes!"," Haitian-American web developer Harry Casimir told me. Casimir, a native of Port-de-Paix, now lives in West Palm Beach, and came down with his cousin, Jean Petit-Bois, and another friend, David Anderson, for the day, hoping to lend a hand with both their technological and language skills.

Casimir and Petit-Bois have family all over Haiti, and told me how frustrated they've been with how bad communication has been.

That's the idea behind CrisisCommons projects like Open Solace Haiti, which is trying to set up ways for Haitians in and outside of Haiti to communicate.

The goal for the day is for everyone to meet, brainstorm and begin collaborating. Organizer Alex de Carvalho told me he was excited about the turnout, and thankful that people had responded with such goodwill.

"I'm hoping some of these people will plug into these projects," he said, adding that he's hoping to further develop an infrastructure here not just to help Haiti, but that could even be used the next time South Florida gets hit with a hurricane or other natural disaster.

For more information on CrisisCamp, you can visit its wiki page, or, to keep up with them on Facebook, you can fan their page.

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Facebook users in Haiti say some access has been blocked

Everyone's been reporting about how social networking sites like Facebook have become the primary form of communication during the devastating earthquake in Haiti this week. Unfortunately, this morning I started hearing reports from several people in Haiti who are now being blocked because they've sent so many messages in the past two days.

Picture 1  Facebook has a fail safe to prevent spam from happening, so often times accounts that are really active will be limited from sending messages. I suspect that's what is going on here - unfortunately, in this case, it has caught people like Els Vervoloet, who is the alumni director for Quisqueya Christian School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I lived in Haiti ten years ago and taught at this school - and all of Els's messages through Facebook have been the primary way I've known how people in the community are doing.

UPDATE: Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said in an email to me in "very rare cases" some Facebook users in Haiti are encountering the system's automatic response to prevent spam.

Picture 2 He said that users who were getting close to a limit on messages should have been warned by the system that they were getting close to sending too many.

If you're in Haiti and your entire profile has been blocked, contact Facebook here. That explains the warnings, and if you go directly to the "my account has been disabled section, that shows you how to email Facebook to get access back. (Note: this isn't something that can be done on a mobile phone, you have to do this on an actual computer.) Noyes also said the Facebook team will be looking through the system for the term "Haiti" and will expedite those requests.

Finally, Noyes said that Facebook was always looking at "adjusting and fine-tuning" their systems based on how people are using the site. "We're looking into the behavior we're seeing out of Haiti to analyze how our systems might be improved," he said.

Facebook said they're looking into it - I'll update when I hear back from them. If you're in Haiti and having a hard time, leave your name in the comments section below so we can see how widespread this problem is.

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Broward County considering social media policy

My WLRN-Miami Herald colleague Joshua Johnson did this story on Broward County considering new rules for employees & social media - take a listen.

These days it seems the most popular means of communication, are also free: social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube. Broward County would like to get in on the act too, but it's bound by open government laws. As WLRN-Miami Herald reporter Joshua Johnson tells us, the County is considering new rules to help it navigate the world of social media.


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