Google Accused of Wiretapping in Gmail Scans

The accusations, made over several years in lawsuits that have been merged into two cases, ask whether Google went too far in collecting user data in Gmail and Street View.


Harvard Hacked Staff Staff E-Mails

The searches were to root out leaks to the news media in a cheating scandal, and the staff members were not told until months later.

Harvard Hacked Staff E-Mails

The administration searched staff e-mails to try to root out the source of leaks to the news media in a cheating scandal, and the staff members were not told until months later.

Social Media Changing the Face of the English Language

twitterWe all know social media is changing the way we connect with people, but it’s also affecting the way we communicate with each other; that is when we actually speak instead of text, tweet or write on someone’s wall. I have one friend in particular, who tends to use the phrase “O.M.G.” for everything (for those few out there who do not know what that stands for, it’s “Oh my God”) in normal conversations.

At first this didn’t bother me much; however, it’s now affecting more than just my personal online life. Even getting asked out on a date no longer warrants phone calls, or even texts, at the very least. Instead, I receive Facebook messages, instant messages, or e-mails. I’m waiting for the moment I get tweeted for a date.

At one point in time, we actually called someone to speak with them and actually heard their voice. Now, we text. Add abbreviations of texting to our limit of 140 characters on Twitter, and abbreviations are now correct spellings of words. No wonder grammar and spelling are going down the drain.

Consider an abbreviation like “TTYL” (talk to you later) or “LOL” (laugh out loud). Next, look it up on Wikipedia or They are actually listed! And there is a correct way of writing these Internet lingo (granted it’s not AP Style, but that’s only a matter of time until the Associated Press has to put it in the manual). Of course, not all abbreviations are listed in a dictionary, as many are made up, but soon our abbreviations will get longer and more complicated because we can’t post, type or text fast enough.

Realistically, this is how most languages evolve. Have you ever read a King James version of a book? I can’t figure out what it’s saying either without reading it five times and having a dictionary handy. In the future, we could progress to “talking” in abbreviations completely, or even symbols. Tht wuld b crzy @ tmes!

It all boils down to the fact that we want information faster.  Having to wait to type out a word such as “antidisestablishmentarianism” won’t cut it, and ignoring abbreviation use may just keep businesses and personal lives in the dark. So, with that in mind, I leave you with a few of the most popular abbreviations (I’ll start out slow):

APT: apartment

BYOB: bring your own booze

NM: nevermind

FTW: for the win

BLOG: Web log

DVD: digital video disk

WYSIWYG: what you see is what you get

Want more? Standard Word Abbreviations:;

Megan Green is an advertising and marketing professional published on PR News Wire, as well as many other outlets. She specializes in social media and is currently looking for a full-time advertising position. Contact her on LinkedIn, Facebook, or at

TwoogliTube? When Google Speaks…


Google and Twitter, rumored to be meeting late last week, were huddling to discuss: a) new applications, b) mergers, c) acquisition, d) monetizing strategies, or, e) “We didn’t huddle, we didn’t even talk!”
The answer, much to our curiosity’s disappointment, was “none of the above,” and we were left, yearning, with no juicy story. Until that is, we looked a little deeper: There it was, a story, neatly nestled inside the rumor…our dusky jewel, ripe for choosing.

Whether Google buys Twitter, doesn’t buy Twitter, or marries them is not news…it’s a forgone conclusion. Some company, (probably Google), is going to purchase Twitter. But, it could also turn out to be MSN, Yahoo!, AOL, NewsCorp, or even Verizon.  The real content, the actual tale to be told is this: Whenever Google acts, we, the denizens of the Internet, pay attention. We sit up, sign in, and search for news. Once found, like kids with secrets, we repeat it. Discuss it. Argue about it.  Text it. Blog it. E-mail it. Tweet it. Opine it. Feed it. Post it. Which leads us to face it: Google is more respected than Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Bono, and Perez Hilton, combined. Google is the Internet’s darling, the sweet Lindsay Lohan before she was arrested. Twice. Google is young and beautiful, the little girl from Disney that won our hearts. Google is the online business’ shining star. In December 2007, FastCompany had this to say about Google:  

“… Its performance is the envy of executives and engineers around the world … For techno-evangelists, Google is a marvel of Web brilliance … For Wall Street, it may be the IPO that changes everything (again) … But Google is also a case study in savvy management — a company filled with cutting-edge ideas, rigorous accountability, and relentless attention to detail … Here’s a search for the growth secrets of one of the world’s most exciting young companies — a company from which every company can learn.”

Which is not to say that Google is perfect, or has not made mistakes; they just don’t make many. As a highly respected company, with the starlet flair, Google is in the spotlight, the subject of speculation, rumor, innuendo, and gossip. So, as in the case  of the Twitter reporting last week, online and traditional media sources, thirsty for being credited with announcing Google’s next venture, often print rumors before the facts are known. Although it’s shoddy journalism, many of the online sources probably don’t care about being wrong, as long as they’re first. Headlines and copy can be changed in seconds. The take-away is simple: Not only does Google play an important part in our lives, but we spend a lot of time and energy making Google important to society.

Google’s other major foray into Social Media, YouTube, is expected to lose $470 million dollars in 2009. But, it’s not all bad news: Revenues are expected to increase by 20% YOY (Google will only lose 80% of what they could have). Not asking for government handouts as of yet, YouTube’s major challenge is no different from that of  Twitter and other Social Media sites: Monetization. In the short-term, Google has signed a deal with Disney-ABC Television Group and ESPN to provide “professional” content, driving advertiser demand “through standardization of ad formats and improved ad effectiveness.”  Or, to restate it clearly, YouTube will provide better videos to reel in bigger advertisers. It remains to be seen if having Disney on YouTube will provide the revenue needed for YouTube, but the main question is how the users will react to the site “incorporation.”

Gmail in Russia, paint and paper style

This spot (by Saatchi, Moscow) introducing Russia to Gmail is certainly an orchestration of simplicity and visual presentation, impressive in it’s own right. I’m more interested, however, in the fact that the stop-motion bare bones style was used. Especially for something as digital as Gmail. Does it make it more human to have people entering the search terms and starring your messages? Does it become more personal and more accessible? I’d like to think there is a specific and logical reason behind it, and not just someone wanting to do some cool stop motion construction. Either way, it’s an impressive execution that’s fun to watch.