Genius Parking Maneuver Or Scumbag Move? The Internet Can’t Decide

Parking in New York is a never-ending challenge. We recoil and scoff at the phrase “just park in a garage” as if a friend visiting for the weekend suggests meeting up at Penn Station. Well, New Yorkers will do just about whatever it takes for a prime parking spot, and we may have found the King and Queen.

A vigilant driver in Queens turned on his dashboard camera to record the parking heist of the century. What happened? The driver explains all:

“I get to work early and wait about 30 minutes for a spot. A red Nissan pulls in front of me and in the most obnoxious way blocks me from moving forward. What happens next shocked me. The guy guides the red Nissan all the way to my car. I am out of options at this point so I just watch what his plan will be. The other car drives onto the sidewalk and goes perpendicular to the road. The rest is history.”

As you can see, it’s quite the move. But, the Internet, especially this Reddit thread, has mixed feelings. Does the heist deserve praise in this dog-eat-dog world? Are these wrongdoing scallawags the jerks of 2015? It is New York after all. Well, either way, at least this parking scandal had a clear winner, unlike other instances where two cars just refuse give up…

Never Stop Learning: 10 Masterclasses You Can’t Miss

Gandhi said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

And we think it’s a good rule for life and business. Which is why we started bringing hands-on, practical classes to Social Media Week. This year, we’re giving you even more opportunities to leave SMW14 with practical skills that will advance your career or bolster your personal goals. These are ten you can’t miss next week:

  1. Navigating Internet Subcultures: Reddit, Tumblr, Snapchat, and Twitter
    If you want to get in, you got to be friends with the band. And the band so to speak of the Internet are the subcultures of Reddit, Tumblr, Snapchat, and Twitter. These subcultures can be some of the best sources of inspiration for real-time social media posts — but you need to understand them first. In this Masterclass, you’ll get the unwritten and incredibly nuanced rules of these communities and gain a playbook on how to use these sites as sources for real-time marketing.
  2. Build an Effective Email Newsletter (From Scratch!) with Basic HTML & CSS: Turn Likes into Sales
    Ok, we all know that email is one of the most effective ways to reach your audience (and we’ve been using and abusing that these past few weeks…), so that means knowing how to create campaigns and newsletters that people will open is critical to your marketing. So, we have two options on Tuesday and Friday for you in this Masterclass designed for beginners to learn how to create an e-mail newsletter from scratch.
  3. The Power of Hashtags: Case Studies and Mechanics for Both Users and Brands
    Oh, the hashtag… We love it in all its glory. But do you know how to really use it? In this Masterclass, Tagboard CEO Josh Decker will provide the do’s and don’ts from both the user and brand perspective, including case studies from some of the world’s biggest brands and professional sports teams.
  4. Building Wearables: A Hands-On Intro to Open-Source Interaction Platforms
    Put your phone down, it’s the year the wearable computing. And we’re teaching you how to be ahead of the curve. You’ll have two opportunities on Wednesday and Friday to create a basic wireless soft fashion cuff using an Adafruit Gemma.
  5. Data-Driven Channel, Content, and Campaign Intel, Presented by Unmetric
    Data, data, data. Decisions should be based on data to determine what content works best, and you’ll have two opportunities to learn how to use it. Unmetric is showing you the three C’s of social media intelligence and how social media marketers can use them to gain a competitive advantage on both Wednesday and Thursday.
  6. Your Spine Online, Rejuvenate and Reconnect with Breathe Repeat
    It’s not all work at SMW. Happy workers are more productive workers, and your health plays into that. So, that’s we’re bringing in Breathe Repeat to educate us all about our backbones and how being virtually connected can affect the natural flow of their own circuitry.
  7. Lean Marketing: “Think Like a Brand. Act Like a Startup.”
    Lean marketing is enabling brands, corporations and startups to accelerate speed to market, increase conversion rates, and improve customer engagement. It’s all about your ROI. In this Masterclass, General Assembly will share insights from this approach and how your brand can implement it.
  8. Making Longform Videos That People Will Watch
    Video is still king. But it’s not just shortform. Brands like VICE are seeing great success with more in-depth stories and longform content. In this Masterclass, Motherboard’s team will look at all aspects of video production, including finding story ideas, shooting, and editing.
  9. Winning The Participation Economy: Understanding Global Conversations and Developing a Social Strategy
    2014 brings us two global events that marketers can really capitalize on to create global conversations. How can brands stand out? Marketers of all sizes are welcome as Big Fuel shares the evolution of social media marketing and how it is changing once again in the context of global conversations. At the end of this Masterclass, you’ll have developed a sample social strategy.
  10. Programming For Non-Programmers
    Web development can no longer be relegated to an elite few. If you’re running a tech start-up, it’s essential that you know the fundamentals. Ultimately, knowing how to “talk to the talk” will help you communicate better with developers, and in this Masterclass, we’ll tackle development principles to get you on the right path and the differences between front and back-end development.

Masterclasses are a special offering for our attendees with a Campus or Insider Pass only and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. So, get your pass here now before sales end on Friday and join us, Nokia, and MKG for what will be our best SMW14 yet.

Public Enemy #1: GoDaddy’s PR Disaster as Customers Take to the Social Web

December 29th has been officially dubbed “Leave GoDaddy Day.”  Organized by Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh and backed by an army of Redditors, the internet is planning a global walkout from the domain registration and hosting company. To encourage customers to act, tutorials have been circulating on “How to transfer domains from hosts”, along with a slew of articles about the company and SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act).

Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh has organized a website walkout.

GoDaddy is trying to maintain a stance of diplomatic neutrality on SOPA after pulling its support. Last week alone, GoDaddy lost over 70,000 domain names, including over 20,000 in one day. At an average cost of $6.99 each, that amounts to nearly half a million dollars, not to mention potential revenue loss from subscription renewals. GoDaddy has also seen domains transferred in, though overall the company is seeing a big drop in net domains gained.

In a desperate attempt to retain customers, GoDaddy began calling those who recently transferred domains to survey if a different SOPA stance would impact their decision.  GoDaddy has even been accused of blocking transfers. On Twitter, its “social strategy” was to @reply users with the placeholder message: Go Daddy no longer supports SOPA legislation. Click here to find out more [link].

It’s a PR nightmare for GoDaddy and an empowering reality for the forces of the internet. In just 24 hours after the anonymous social networking site Reddit launched their boycott threat campaign, the company reversed its commitment to SOPA.

Even with the reversal, Redditors are still prepared to go forth with “Leave GoDaddy Day.” If successful, it could be the tipping point for SOPA debates. A real financial loss may persuade other companies with commercial interests to re-evaluate their stance.

So why is GoDaddy the poster child for the internet hate machine in the SOPA campaign?

First of all, the company is a service provider for low cost domains. Its’ customers are directly impacted by this bill.

Secondly, it’s a high profile corporation that has had direct involvement in shaping legislation. Publically attacking GoDaddy puts pressure on a company that can influence congressional decisions.

Lastly, and likely most overlooked, GoDaddy is disliked by many internet denizens. It’s notorious for its terrible service, has not had a favorable image recently (read: a viral video of the CEO shooting an elephant) and customers are annoyed with its over the top marketing antics, from celebrity spokespeople and SuperBowl ads to a lot of website bling. The company was primed to be the perfect target for a stop SOPA takedown.

It’s hard to say exactly what GoDaddy could have done differently to avoid this disaster. Perhaps they could’ve posted a statement on their site and enabled commenting from the community. They definitely could have been better about listening to their customers and responding in real-time.

And when a fiasco like the GoDaddy affair dominates the news cycle, we’re all reminded of the importance of crisis management on the social web. Arming your social team with the right tools is crucial for monitoring customer satisfaction and engaging with those who threaten to leave your business and ruin your reputation.

GoDaddy’s lack of preparedness is a wake up call for all of us in the industry. If you think social media doesn’t impact your bottom line, then follow the story of GoDaddy, which is sure to make an excellent case study for years to come. It’s the business of politics in action, with social networking as the catalyst for influencing change in the 21st century.

For more information on SOPA and how it’s affecting us all, check out the SOPA for Dummies Google Doc, created by an anonymous concerned citizen fighting for internet freedom.


@Jen_Charlton is a contributor to the Social Media Week Global Editorial Team based in New York City. Formally the Marketing Communications Manager of social media analytics startup @PeopleBrowsr, she is now working in social @Night Agency. Jennifer is also teaching herself Python and believes in a free and open web.