Social Media Frontiers

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nordic Lights For Likes

Got any cash on you right now? I know I don’t – as a recent graduate I fear opening my bank account. For in the absence of money evil creatures have made shelter there. They've grown large after years of not being disturbed and they've gained intelligence. However, a certain hotel is taking measures to help me stop giving my financial woes horrific visages as it’s offering guests the opportunity to stay there for free if you have a big social media presence.


You did read that right, I promise. The Nordic Light Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden, will be accepting your social media presence as currency to stay at the hotel. If you’re one of those popular folks who have 2,000 or more Facebook friends you’ll be able to stay at the hotel free of charge. All you have to do is make a post mentioning the hotel at check in and check out times. You’ll even be able to stay for up to seven days.

Alternatively, if you have over 100,000 likes on your Facebook page or 100,000 followers on Instagram you’ll get the same treatment as those ever popular Facebookers. I bet they don’t even know 95% of their friends. And that they've never met any of them more than once.  

Usually, rooms at the hotel go from £230 for a night. Also, if you’re not quite as popular to fit the brief for free stays, the hotel is offering other discounts. If you have 500 or fewer friends, you’ll get a 5% discount and if you have 1,000 or more, you’ll get 10% off instead.


Marcus Majewski, chief executive officer of the Nordic Light Hotel, said the business considers social media posts to be a form of "currency" as they provide marketing for the hotel.
"I am proud that we are the first hotel in the Nordic region to offer this currency," He’s not wrong. This is a fantastic marketing approach and utilizing social media in a fantastic way.

The hotel is rather luxurious as well; you won’t be staying in some damp room with no heating while sharing your bed with spiders. The hotel boasts a gorgeous Scandinavian interior with lighting effects used to mimic the northern lights. Plus, we all know that the Scandinavians know how to interior design. I’ve always said that I’m going to have my Danish grandma decorate my house for me – She puts my interior decorating to shame.  


With digital currencies such as Bitcoin becoming more prominent. Or even Dogecoin, the currency based off the ever old ‘Doge’ meme which sent the Jamaican bobsled team to the 2014 winter Olympics. It’s great to see more unique forms of digital currency taking place. In a digital world, it’s only natural that our currency becomes ever more digital as well.

So you better start chaining those friend requests and head over to Sweden. Scandinavia is lovely over this period – You’ll never see Christmas done as well as it’s done over there.

I think it’s time for me to head back to Denmark for a bit. 

Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info

Free Hotel Rooms For Social Media Posts

The Search For Justice On Social Media

It’s astonishing how time has moved on so quickly. Not too long ago, civil rights organisers used bullhorns to gather up groups of freedom fighters, but in the year 2014, hashtags rule all, and have more impact than most forms of physical activism. Social media has become the weapon of choice for disgruntled sections of society, and the Ferguson debacle is no exception.

social media ferguson

The events in Ferguson are not new to the eye. It is not new that a black person has been shot by the police in uncertain circumstances, but the way in which the news is spreading is an interesting development. The protests are rising organically, and virally all over a nation through social media platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter. It is a frightening and alarming prospect, that people can collectively organise protests on such a mass scale purely through the internet, but on this occasion, they have every right to be riled.

“Social media now is kind of our generation’s way of talking to each other,” declared civil rights activist Zakkiyya Anderson. “We don’t do as much grassroots stuff; we kind of blend it all together … the hashtag of something like #shutitdownatl. You can see it on your timeline; you can follow it; you can figure out what’s going on.”

The Ferguson campaigners have taken heart from the occupy movement, who as well as claiming physical space as their own, also claimed the virtual space. The occupy movement was also very active in Atlanta, and maybe some of those people are now turning their attention to the shooting of young Michael Brown. It is fitting that the leaders of the occupy movement are helping those close to Michael Brown, who feel that justice is still a million miles away, and this is reminiscent of the group Anonymous helping the Egyptian people getting back online after the government tried to block the tool.

“You can get fired up on social media, then kind of reenact that fire and that passion and put your feet on the pavement, so to speak, once you come off social media and do actual work in the streets,” Anderson said.

Zakkiyya Anderson is part of the group called It’s bigger than you Atlanta, and by partnering with other groups, they have been able to create a call for protest across many social media platforms. This has worked wonders so far on a medium scale, but there are worries facing the group. Senior members are concerned that it will be too much to maintain such a youthful, motivated energy when it comes to fighting bigger issues that the country faces.

social media ferguson

“What will we do about the militarisation of the police?” asked state Sen. Vincent Fort of Atlanta. “Will we adopt body cameras voluntarily or mandate them? Those are the kind of issues that a sustained movement can deal with.”

After the decision that no punishment will be dished out to the officer who shot down Michael Brown, the streets have been claimed by the people of Ferguson, and unfortunately violence has erupted. It is terrible that it has come to that, and people’s businesses are being burnt to the ground due to uncontrollable fits of rage by some protestors, but who is to blame for that?

Of course, it is difficult to condone such violence in the aftermath of a so-called unbiased decision made in a democratic court of law, but these people are ultimately being failed from the top down. President Obama is patronising them, by asking them to ‘accept the decision.’ The police are failing them by using deal violence on the streets, and after all, the police and citizens should be allies on the streets.

The unrest will continue over the next few days, and no winners will emerge. The United States of America’s justice system has been exposed, and the wound is too deep to keep a calm head when approaching the situation. These are dark times for the western world, as it would appear that it’s most powerful nation has just announced that it is OK for its police to kill.

Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently a content writer at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF.

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info

Social Media And The Ferguson Movement

Social Feedia                                                                      

The Peninsula School Feeding Association (PSFA) and the digital agency, HelloComputer have teamed up to bring the Social Feed Initiative to South Africa. With this venture the two organisations hope to bring meals to hungry children through sharing content on Facebook and Twitter.


It sounds a bit too good to be true, doesn't it? We share countless things every day. I've shared a fair few videos over the past hour. I've also shared a few articles with friends as well. (And a picture of a fat pug) If each of those shares helps being food to those children who need it I think we can resoundingly agree that they’re onto a winner with this initiative.

The PSFA have spent over 55 years trying to help hungry children and so, they were thrilled when HelloComputer approached them with this simple idea for taking advantage of social media.

The process is nice and easy. Brands buy media on Social Feed and then they publish content that they want shared. Then, each time that content is shared it pays for a meal for a hungry child. With celebrities already being paid upwards of $10,000 (£6,400) per tweet, I really think that the Social Feed Initiative is a more worthy cause. Let’s put food in hungry children’s hands. I'm sure Charlie Sheen and the Kardashian’s really don’t need all that cash. How many iPhones can you buy, anyway?


Creative Director, Camilla Clerke, explained: “We all spend so much time sharing content on our Social Media channels, like foodie pictures, ads, competitions, and grumpy cats. And brands spend a lot of money with big media houses hoping we’ll share their content. But what if we shared something that could actually make change happen? And what if brands bought media that could make a real difference – like feeding thousands of hungry school kids warm, nutritious meals every single day.”

While South Africa produces sufficient food for its nation, prices of food have been skyrocketing leaving hundreds of millions chronically malnourished. Food Bank SA spokesman Keri Uys said that: "South Africa is in dire straights. The entire country is affected. It is not just rural areas. Every day millions of people go to be bed hungry. There are children whose daily food is half a white-bread sandwich. How can you bring up a nation on this?"


According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, out of the 870 million malnourished people worldwide, 234 million are living in sub Saharan Africa. The Social Feed initiative hopes to help all the children caught up in that huge figure and so far, some of South Africa’s biggest brands are already apart of the initiative and are already putting food into hungry tummies.

This is a win/win situation. The brands are getting the exposure they want. They’re getting good PR for being a part of the initiative as well. Lastly and most importantly, hungry children are getting the food and nutrition they need.  

If Social Feed is properly embraced and is successful, it sets the trend for other countries to start their own initiatives as well.

So come on, South Africa. Get sharing. Show us how it’s done. 

Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info

Feed Hungry Children Through Social Media

Monday, November 24, 2014

Black Twelve Year Old Child Shot Down By Police

“Police of the United States you will learn in due time once Anonymous has shut down your sites that we will not stand for your ignorant, untrained rookie cops.”
That’s the message Anonymous have relayed to the Cleveland, Ohio government after a rookie police officer fatally shot a twelve year old child in the stomach. The boy, whose name has not been released, had hold of an airsoft pistol, which police have described as looking like a ‘real gun’.

This story emerges from the roaring flames of the Ferguson trial, which has currently split the United States into two camps - those who support the police officer and those who condemn him - who are each fuelled by political desire and racial tension. On Wednesday, we reported to you the news that the KKK – who had been attempting to use Twitter to spread their hate fuelled opinions about the trial – had been hacked by Anonymous, the 4chan spin-off hacktivist group famous for using brute force attacks to condemn those they deem as sinners online

As of today, Cleveland, Ohio has become Anonymous' latest target. 


The twelve year old boy was shot in the chest and killed on Saturday. The man pulling the trigger has been described as a 'rookie police officer'. The boy, who was black, was parading a black airsoft gun in public before police arrived and, “fear[ing] for their lives,” gunned him down. He was dead within hours.

As opposed to the Ferguson trial, in which the police officer himself was vilified for his role in a young man’s death, relatively little of the blame is this time being placed on the officer in question. Instead, the finger is being pointed firmly into the faces of a police department who threw an untrained, ill-disciplined officer into such a delicate situation. When dealing with a child, it only makes sense to send the most trusted, experienced and able officers. Not a youngster with an itchy trigger finger and a lack of composure. 

Of course, that's not to say the police officer who pulled the trigger is blameless. Far from it, he is absolutely guilty of the sin of pulling out his weapon, aiming it at a child’s stomach, pulling the trigger and watching him die on the street in front of him. No doubt about it. However, the question has to be asked (and Anonymous are very publicly asking it): why would his department choose to send somebody whose first reaction is to pull out a firearm - instead of, say, a taser - in the midst of a situation that involved a twelve year old child? 

As was the case last week, Anonymous have used the internet to express their criticism to the decision. Specifically, they've attacked the city's official website, and produced a video that explains their reasons, which can be seen below. As of writing, the city’s official website is unreachable. This is most likely due to a DDoS by the tens of thousands of people who actively contribute to Anonymous' campaigns.

With the Ferguson enquiry still raging on, there is an incredibly dangerous political potion currently being brewed across the United States. While Anonymous are acting as the ‘good guys’, this is a war that rages a long way above their heads – and far beyond the realm of the internet as a whole. Right now, all we can do is hope that some level of peace can be found within all this tension.

Emile is a postgrad from the University of Saint Mark and Saint John. He’s hoping to break into journalism or publishing, and won’t stop blogging until he’s managed it! Follow him @EmileAtSMF.

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info

Anonymous Hack Cleveland Official Website

Threats Or Frets?

Social media, by its very nature, provides the everyman with a soapbox from which to share his views - no matter how misinformed, opinionated or ill-judged. This is not necessarily a bad thing; it's important for human beings to feel like we have a place from which to vent, and not everyone would have the ability to do so without platforms such as Facebook or Twitter

On December 1st, an argument will be presented to the US Supreme Court that will claim that Americans’ rights to free speech need to be more recognised online. This could result in all online comments - no matter how dark or threatening they may appear - becoming legal, thwarting the potential for our statuses to land us in prison

supreme court social media

Much like the words which come tumbling so thoughtlessly out of our mouths, the topic of online free speech is an incredibly murky one, without a clear line in the sand. The rules are notoriously complicated, which is partly because the internet (and social media specifically) are, in legal terms, so damn new. In print journalism, what writers can and can’t get away with is relatively clear. Although people’s right to free speech stretch far, there are laws against libel and slander (brilliantly, you can’t libel the dead, which is why it's perfectly fine for me to say that Adolf Hitler was into some really nasty stuff in the bedroom). 

In other words, the rules are at least fairly transparent.

So how does that translate to the internet? When people are in front of their keyboards, are they aware what does and does not cross whatever invisible line it is that can never be crossed? So-called trolls (a rather light-hearted term for such a serious topic in my opinion; trolls prod fun at people’s beliefs instead of threatening to rape people) seem to have been unanimously criticised for their comments, and I'm not against this per se. 

But it seems that those who have felt the full strength of the law after making comments online have received almost no sympathy at all - from anyone. And I'm talking about the actual, real law here. The one that usually deals with murderers and rapists, not idiots behind keyboards.

supreme court social media

I’m not here to be the one who provides them with that sympathy, but I am prepared to argue that the unanimous condemning of people who’ve had their whole lives unexpectedly ruined in 140 characters or less is at least slightly unfair. After all, I would be confident in saying that most people reading this have said at least one thing on the internet that, if taken out of context, could be seen as extraordinarily offensive to someone, somewhere. While your comment will probably not land you with any jail time, whose responsibility is it to decide where on the scale it falls?  

Obviously, threats of rape or physical violence are incredibly extreme, but the point at which the line of acceptability begins and ends is currently completely invisible. This is why the appeal that’s about to be taken to the US Supreme Court will argue that it’s better to give people too much free speech than it is to risk stifling them completely. In the words of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, “[America] has a long history of protecting provocative speech.”

A recent Wall Street Journal article lists examples. The following threats were made by an attendee of an anti-war rally in 1966: “If they ever make me carry a rifle, the first man I want to get in my sights is LBJ.” This speech was deemed as nothing more than “political hyperbole,” and promptly flung out of court. Nowadays, we’re surrounded by artists like Eminem, whose song “Kim” (a touching ode to an ex wife) contains the following lyrics:

You were supposed to love me
{*Kim choking*}
Heartfelt stuff.

supreme court social media

Beyond Eminem's fame, what makes his lyrics a piece of art, the protestor’s statement 'hyperbole', and the following comment, made by a guy named Anthony Elonis, a genuine threat worth three years' jail time (more information here)? 

“If only I knew then what I know now, I would have smothered [you] with a pillow, dumped your body in the back seat, dropped you off in Toad Creek, and made it look like a rape and murder.” 
It's a chilling statement, no doubt, but one has to wonder why this was taken literally and the other examples weren't. Furthermore, was three years' imprisonment justified? To put that into perspective, it's about the same amount of time served by Ched Evans, a footballer convicted for rape. 

I'm not here to argue definitively either way. I'm no lawyer, and I'm far from an expert in law. However, I strongly believe the following question should be considered by everyone who has ever used social media: should we be legally liable for the comments we post online? If we are, at what point does a prison sentence become justified, and to what extent can online threats be taken seriously? 

Answers in the comments. I'd love to hear what you think. 

Emile is a postgrad from the University of Saint Mark and Saint John. He’s hoping to break into journalism or publishing, and won’t stop blogging until he’s managed it! Follow him @EmileAtSMF.

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info

Supreme Court To Make Ruling On Social Media Free Speech

Who Needs Facebook Video? 

We all know YouTube as the video-sharing website you go to when you really want to watch a video of a cat looking guilty, or a pug trying to walk down the stairs. Well, it's a lot more than that. YouTube is also the host of a community of people who create videos, and these people have an enormous following. Just five years ago, these people were creating their videos from their bedrooms, with little cameras and with their lamps as lights. Today, they have millions of followers across all their social media websites. They are launching beauty products, have their own radio show on Radio One and are getting book deals.

youtube studios

For example, Zoella, or Zoe Sugg, has 6,566,731 subscribers on her beauty channel, and just as much on her Twitter and Instagram accounts. You may recognise her from her television advert a few weeks ago. She has just launched her own beauty line in partnership with Superdrug and her book, Girl Online, is already said to be a best-seller. It isn't even out yet. All this started from her room, making videos on her bed, and uploading them to YouTube.

Well, YouTube isn't about to ignore the enormous potential these YouTube 'stars' carry. They are investing in their content creators. YouTube have opened up studios, called YouTube Spaces, for YouTubers to use for free as long as they have over 5,000 subscribers.

youtube studios

These spaces are full-on recording studios, just like the ones you would find in a proper television studio. The space is equipped with editing bays, well lit up make up rooms, voice-over recording rooms ect... As well as all the cameras and the sound equipment. The space is designed so that every inch is shootable - even the toilets. Everything you would need to create a high quality video or short film. 

YouTube, owned by Google, has the right idea: investing into its content creators, giving them a space where they can considerably improve the quality of their videos, rivaling even television shows that come out of fully functioning studios. These higher quality videos may even lead to even more views. Every click from a YouTuber brings in precious ad revenue for YouTube, so these spaces will probably end up paying for themselves.

youtube studios

Currently, they have opened spaces in New York, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo.

The limit of 5,000 subscribers means that a wide range of YouTubers could have access to professional equipment, helping them expand their channel at a low cost. Furthermore, YouTube is establishing itself as THE video sharing website over Dailymotion, Vimeo and even Facebook. If you want to create high-quality, engaging and fun videos, YouTube is the place to be! 

Laura is a recent graduate from University of East Anglia in Film and Television Studies, currently interning as a content writer but hoping to one day live off her writing. Follow her @LauraAtSMF.

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info

YouTube Is Investing In Its Content Creators

Lessons in Regret

School is in session! In this article, these lucky students are going to show you exactly what not to do on your social media profiles if you’re followed by anyone from your family, work or convent.  


30,000 Australian teens have flocked to Queensland’s Gold Coast for a notorious weeklong celebration similar to the US’s spring break or to the UK’s Tuesday afternoon. However, in a new take on debauchery, these students are avidly posting as many compromising pictures as possible and have titled the event ‘The Schoolies 2014’.

After scouring through some of the pictures in the office, which probably isn’t the wisest idea, NSFW to say the least. I’ve come across more nude selfies than I’d like to admit, a chap who’s been hung up in his own cupboard and a long line of ladies urinating in the streets. Ah, to be a student again.

Though this does look like the best fun on the planet, these dewy eyed students will in no doubt come to regret the implications of having pictures of themselves in such compromising positions. The support group Red Frog spend weeks leading up to this holiday advising school leavers about the repercussions of allowing these sorts of pictures and updates onto their social media profiles. Red Frog definitely isn’t wrong. In a recent survey headed by Harris Interactive, it was revealed that 43% of employers had rejected acandidate after finding information concerning them through social media. 


In spite of these warnings, social media groups have been set up for the specific reason of sharing all these wonderful pictures. Schoolies 2014 and Exposed and Embarassing Schoolies are up and running and requesting submissions from the students.

However, social savvy students shouldn’t have too many issues in keeping themselves hidden away. Keep those profiles private and keep those faces blurred. When you stroll into that first job after this binge they won’t even recognise you as that guy who got caught doing nude lunges in the streets of Portugal. (I deleted the videos, you can’t prove it was me)

Despite the event getting a bit out of control with a few scuffles breaking out, Queensland police commented that they "… were pleased with the behaviour of the vast majority of schoolies throughout the festivities on Sunday evening.”

As a Schoolie I’d be more concerned about finding myself in a newspaper over drug charges or for violent conduct than a picture being uploaded of me and friends having a good laugh. I’m willing to bet that black spot on your record would be a bit more damaging than those selfies.

So stay safe and smart Schoolies! Let Odin guide your next shot to your lips.

We were all young once though, right? These students have just blasted through a rough patch of studying, essays and exams and really deserve to blow off as much steam as humanely possible. I feel your plight guys and gals, drink away everything you’ve learnt. I know I did when I finished my course in… What was it again? 

Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info

The Schoolies, Posting Embarrassing Pictures Since 2014