The Weekly Download - May 27, 2016
Wow, time flies when you have a long weekend. Let’s end this short week with a few stories about digital communications that caught my eye over the past week. As always, I’d love to hear your comments about these topics too.

Here’s what’s been filling up my news feed:

Chewbacca Mom and Facebook Live

Most of us love Star Wars but how many of us think by trying on our new Chewbacca mask, we’d have the most viewed Facebook Live video ever? Well, that’s just what happened to Candace Payne aka “Chewbacca Mom,” who tried on her new Chewbacca mask in her car and livestreamed it on Facebook. The story went viral and received 105 million views within the first two days! It’s still going strong and the rest is history. By now you’ve probably seen or at least heard about her experience too. What do you think about Kohl’s reaction?
Watch what happens when she drives James Corden to work. Hint: there’s a surprise guest. Pure awesome.

How much should we be relying on the social media ecosystem?

If you’re a regular listener of Ada’s Sisters or been a participant in one of my online classes with U of T School of Continuing Studies, you’ll know I’ve been using Blab for almost a year now. For those of you unfamiliar with Blab, it’s a free livestreaming service that allows up to four people to have a real-time conversation in public and invite a community of viewers to share the experience by chatting in the sidebar. All you need to participate is a Twitter or Facebook account, webcam and microphone. Viewers may also join the discussion by taking one of the four “seats” on the panel. The Blab “Online Relationship Building and Influencer Panel” event has been a big part of our digital strategy and social media class. But now Blab is expected to make big changes so I’ll need to find an alternative and quickly, just in case. (Hat tip to Andrew Jenkins.)
What’s the moral of the story? The social media ecosystem changes so quickly, especially with new platforms that we have to be careful not to rely on them to heavily and always have a backup plan. It’s times like these where we’re reminded we’re relying on free tools and platforms and change is part of the cost of doing business so to speak.
Have you tried Blab? What do you think of the rumoured changes?

Twitter extends the length of a tweet – part 2

Last week I shared how Twitter is making changes so that URLs and images won’t be included in the 140-character limit. On Wednesday, they announced more changes that should also help to make Twitter “easier to use”. From now on, @replies won’t count as part of the character count and you won’t have to put a “.” in front of tweets that start with a username (e.g. @[account name]) in order for all of your followers to see your tweet. Twitter is excluding all media from the character count, not just images. So, get busy with your photos, animated GIFs, videos, polls and quoted tweets! And, you’ll even be able to retweet and quote your OWN tweets! But don’t get too excited, it may be a several months before we see all these changes rolled out.

Ada’s Sisters – Episode 29

Since we’re discussing Blab this week, I thought I’d share one of my favourites from the archives. In this special episode about Gender, Public Speaking and Pay Equity, we chat with guest Gini Dietrich @ginidietrich and surprise guest Bob LeDrew @bobledrew (we had planned to have Elan Morgan @schmutzie join us too but the technology failed her).