The Weekly Download - August 19, 2016, Eden Spodek outside working on her iPhone.I hope you’ve been enjoying my weekly look at what’s been happening on my social media feeds. This week, we’re saying goodbye to some old friends, welcoming some others, exploring online apologies and other strange things. I’d love to see your feedback in the comments. Happy Friday!

The Tragically Hip Day

When The Tragically Hip chose the name of their band (taken from the movie Elephant Parts – thanks David Spodek), they had no idea their swan song would be so tragic. As you probably know, lead singer Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer and the band decided to go out on a high note by launching the Man Machine Poem tour across Canada. The final show is Saturday night in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario – and the town decided to name the day in their honour. If you’re Canadian and you’ve been anywhere on social media over the past several months, you’ve been seeing a tonne of the band’s fans sharing their thoughts, grief, favourite songs and concert photos or videos. You can catch their final show live on CBC.

Goodbye Blab and Google Hangouts on Air

Did you use Blab? I loved this real-time video chat app and was a regular user. Angela and I used it for Ada’s Sisters. We’d have monthly guest panel discussions about hot topics relevant to women and digital culture. It was a great way to get our community involved because they could ask questions of all panelists in real time. At the end of the sessions, we’d be left with a video archive that was housed on Blab and could be downloaded or embedded on various other sites. We downloaded the audio recording and turned it into that week’s episode. Once we learned Blab was on the way out, we backed off. Since I began teaching continuing studies online, I started using Blab for our community management and online influencer module. We had several guest speakers and a lively discussion that enabled students to participate easily and learn a new platform at the same time. Then I could easily grab the embed code after the session and post the archive on our learning management system for our students to review. This week Blab’s demise was confirmed by Monkey Inferno and its creators promised another app was coming soon. But other than being “always on” how will that app work and how soon? There’s been some speculation and inquiring minds want to know.
A big change was announced for another live video streaming service this week. Google Hangouts on Air is being replaced by YouTube Live. Although some of the features of Google Hangouts on Air won’t be making the transition to YouTube Live, especially the real-time Q&A feature that was great for making live events interactive and engaging (similar to what I loved about Blab), the move makes sense. Google has suggested event hosts use social networks for Q&As. This also looks like another effort by Google to move away from Google+.

Instagram Business Tools Now Available

Are you using Instagram for your business? If so, you may wish to convert it to a business account and set up your business profile. Instagram has been preparing us for the launch of business profiles for the past two months and they’ve started rolling out Instagram Business Tools. Clients and customers will be able to contact businesses directly through the Instagram app and businesses will have easy access to a host of insights natively, in other words, without having to leave the Instagram app. Here’s a handy tip sheet that explains how to convert your Instagram account to a business profile.

Twitter Adds New Features to Help Combat Harassment

To make Twitter a friendlier place, in light of the harassment issues that aren’t new but have been a hot topic lately, two new features: Notification Settings and Quality Filter. The Notification Settings will give you the ability to limit the notifications you see only from the people you follow and the settings will be easier to access. A Quality Filter is also being added to the Notifications Settings. This filter will allow you to adjust your settings to improve the quality of tweets you see. Until now, these features have only been available for verified accounts.

Ellen Degeneres is in the Hot Seat

Speaking of Twitter, Ellen Degeneres was in the hot seat this week when she created the meme below with her riding on Usain Bolt’s back created from a photo shot during his 100M gold-medal race and shared it through her social media accounts on Monday.

While it’s not unusual for Ellen to share memes inserting herself in photos with celebrities and other public figures, many people felt this one was insensitive and racist, especially in the current climate. On Tuesday, Ellen tweeted that she wasn’t racist and distanced herself from the racist sentiments in America today. But what about an apology?

Given her intent wasn’t racist, it’s still hard to argue the photo and caption weren’t insensitive and at the very least, common sense should have prevailed. Someone on her team should have screened the photo and not let it public. What do you think?

Adele Cancel’s Show; Uses Instagram to Post Video Apology

I can’t get enough of Adele. Poor thing, she’s been on the North American leg of her tour – are you excited to see her too? – and she came down with such a bad cold that she lost her singing voice and had to cancel her concert on Wednesday night and will be rescheduling at a later date. Not one to disappoint her fans, she used Instagram to post a heartfelt apology. You can see she’s truly under the weather.

Friday Fun

Stranger Things
If you haven’t binge watched this summer hit on Netflix, you’re missing out. Its put all of its tween stars on the map, especially Millie Bobby Brown aka “11”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWxyRG_tckY

Another one of my favourite stars is Aaron Paul, who we all know as the breakout star in Breaking Bad. Check out his interview with Millie Bobby Brown in Elle’s (not to be confused with her character’s other name in Stranger Things) Celebrity Stanclub.
And if you haven’t had enough, she’s also an aspiring singer as you’ll see in this pre-Stranger Things video:

Still looking for some weekend fun? You can geek out with the Stranger Things title generator.

Ada’s Sisters – Episode 26: Work-Life Balance for Women in Tech

In light of Blab shutting down, it seems like a good time to share our podcast recording of one of our special episodes with guests Whitney Hoffman and Alexandra SamuelListen up! And, if you like what you hear, please review Ada’s Sisters on iTunes.