Once known as the first female engineer and the 20th employee to be hired by Google, is today the CEO of Yahoo. On 15th July 2012, Marissa Mayer resigned from being the Vice President of Local, Maps and Location Services at Google and the following day joined Yahoo as the next promising CEO of the worldwide known corporation.

Mayer, now 37 years of age,  was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, to Margaret Mayer (an art teacher) and Michael Mayer (an engineer). She graduated with honours from Standford University with a B.S in symbolic system and M.S in computer science.

Here is the press release:

Yahoo! Appoints Marissa Mayer Chief Executive Officer

SUNNYVALE, Calif., July 16, 2012

Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) today announced that it has appointed Marissa Mayer as President, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors effective July 17, 2012.  The appointment of Ms. Mayer, a leading consumer internet executive, signals a renewed focus on product innovation to drive user experience and advertising revenue for one of the world’s largest consumer internet brands, whose leading properties include Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Mobile, Yahoo! Mail, and Yahoo! Search.

Mayer said, “I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo!, one of the internet’s premier destinations for more than 700 million users.  I look forward to working with the Company’s dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content, and personalized experiences to users and advertisers all around the world.”

Most recently, Mayer was responsible for Local, Maps, and Location Services for Google, the company’s suite of local and geographical products including Google Maps, Google EarthZagat, Street View, and local search, for desktop and mobile.  Mayer joined Google in 1999 as its 20th employee and led efforts for many of Google’s most recognizable products, including the development of its flagship search product and iconic homepage for over 10 years.  Mayer managed some of Google’s most successful innovations, launching more than 100 features and products including image, book and product search, toolbar, iGoogle, Google News, and Gmail – creating much of the “look and feel” of the Google user experience.

Yahoo! Co-Founder David Filo said, “Marissa is a well-known, visionary leader in user experience and product design and one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting strategists in technology development.  I look forward to working with her to enhance Yahoo’s product offerings for our over 700 million unique monthly visitors.”

“The Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Marissa’s unparalleled track record in technology, design, and product execution makes her the right leader for Yahoo! at this time of enormous opportunity,” said Fred Amoroso, Chairman of the Board of Directors.


Ms Mayer, you’ve done wonders as a Googirl. You’ve set high hopes for all Yahoo fans and given the organisation a new reason to compete (and maybe win) against Google. We look forward to what Yahoo has in store for us!


Take a look at this infographic from Social Media News, which clearly shows social media’s staggering (and predictable) growth in Australia during 2011.

As expected, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn saw strong growth in users and engagement, while interest in MySpace continues to decline.

Obligatory Facebook stat: Divide the earth’s population (6.84 billion) by the number of Facebook’s active users (800 million) and it looks like approximately 1 in 9 people globally are signed up to Facebook. A stat that mind-boggling makes  it really obvious (in case it wasn’t already!) that social media is staying, staying strong, and important to your business.

Whatever your personal opinion of Rebecca Black, you can’t deny the American teenager’s stardom. Few people in the online world won’t have heard of Black –   her surprise YouTube hit ‘Friday’ amassed tens of millions of views and reached #33 on the iTunes chart.

While online marketers salivate, the media and public alike remain slack-jawed at this extraordinary demonstration of viral success. Yet, there’s  at least one obvious reason for Black’s success: haters. Whether through genuine aversion or mere disbelief, negative reactions made this $2000 clip into a global phenomenon in a matter of days.

So is this a tick in the box for the adage, all press is good press?

Social Media Hecklers

Also known as ‘h8ers’, hecklers are those individuals making negative comments about brands/celebrities/groups/individuals on social media. Anyone who has been around the Twitter traps will notice people dedicate a lot of chatter to hating on others.

(But it’s not all bad. One of the great things about Twitter is that it enables us to vent our frustrations and then get on with our day. Moreover, we know that the majority of Tweets are seen by few people, responded to by fewer and remembered by even less, if any.)

As brand keepers, we must be able to distinguish between criticism for a genuine and specific reason (i.e. expressing offence to something your company has done, said or sold) and heckling (i.e. unnecessary negativity lacking a constructive aim).

Just like celebrities and people in the public eye, big brands will always have critics. Much of it is benign, perhaps borne from a single off-putting event, ignorance or even denial. However, we can’t simply write off heckling with the old ‘sticks and stones…’ rhyme. Hecklers can lose you subscriber numbers, which means the number of people receiving your direct communications/ promotions is reduced, potentially impacting sales.

On the other hand, the attention could bring extra people to your social media pages or see fans come to your defence, strengthening those relationships and brand loyalty.

And we’re back to thinking about Black and the all press/good press question!

How to Deal with Hecklers

1) Clarify

Don’t make the mistake of assuming a poorly expressed question or challenge (or even compliment) is an attack. Seek to clarify the intent behind a comment and you may just find areas of agreement with the commenter.

2) Stay Professional and Seek a Resolution

Always maintain a professional tone and attitude when dealing with hecklers. It’s often best to publicly respond to the complainer and treat them as a valued customer. Give them something to do, such as directing them to your contact page. Certain hecklers won’t bother to take the next step because they are only temporarily displeased or blowing off steam. Stay calm, polite and true to your brand’s personality. Don’t give anyone a reason to continue fighting. This will hopefully neutralise the adversarial nature of the exchange. If all else fails, you may have to employ mum’s counsel and simply walk away.

3) Listen and Learn

A-ha! Bet you thought we were finished with the advice. Not so. We must keep in mind that hating on haters is not a constructive use of anyone’s time. Instead, ask yourself if a heckler’s comments have merit. Do they highlight something on which you could improve? Not to get too schoolyard here, but it’s usually our friends who are least likely to openly criticise us, even when we deserve it. Furthermore, the need to prove our adversaries wrong has always been a strong motivator.

Let’s not let those h8ers win!

(Social) Media is today saturated with heated responses to British PM David Cameron’s announcement that his government is looking into its right to stop social media use for the means of ‘plotting violence, disorder and criminality’.

Last week’s four nights of rioting left 5 people killed, 1500 arrested, and £100 million in stolen goods and property damage, not to mention international embarrassment for the British Government. So we can somewhat forgive Cameron for temporarily forgetting earlier comments he made, lauding social media for its role in the Arab Spring:

“Our interests lie in upholding our valuesin insisting on the right to peaceful protest, in freedom of speech and the internet, in freedom of assembly and the rule of law. But these are not just our values, but the entitlement of people everywhere.”

The first problem with Cameron’s logic in cracking down on social media is clear: hypocrisy. Free-speech groups were quick to claim that restricting social media could violate basic freedoms.

The second major problem is the ‘how’. Namely, how exactly do the British Government and industry plan to stop people communicating via web sites and social media services?

A large-scale shutdown of Britain’s Internet, a la Egypt, is obviously out of the question. Individual bans are also problematic for anyone outside of a lockup facility. What’s to stop an offender jumping on a friend’s iPhone or public computer?

While Facebook has removed pages seen as explicitly inciting violence, Twitter has refused to delete a single Tweet or account, although both have agreed to meet with the Government (along with BlackBerry’s smartphone maker, Research in Motion) to discuss possible violence-curbing measures.

Another flaw in Cameron’s logic is the idea that restricting social media would actually curb dissidence and violence. Certainly, social media can play a central roll in these events, but they still occurred well before its advent.

As Crikey points out: ‘Focusing on the technologies that enable interconnectedness misses the point, which is what people are choosing to do when they connect with each other, and why they choose to do it. Social media are merely targeted because they’re perceived as new and unfamiliar to institutional élites, which are always late-adopters.’

It seems that Cameron’s is a fairly standard reaction for someone in power who has seen his or her foundations rocked. Even if we managed to restrict individual use of social media, those determined enough would find away around it.

As ReadWriteWeb writer Curt Hopkins argues, banning access to social media ‘will have zero effect on crime, aside from criminalising social media itself.’

And not even David Cameron wants that.

Since its June 28 launch, we’ve found it difficult to open a browser without seeing articles, posts, status updates and Tweets discussing the countless merits and drawbacks of Google+.

Once commentators recovered from questioning the world’s need for yet another major social network, the discussion inevitably came to focus on the Facebook/Google+ battle, or, Will Google+ Kill Facebook?

Not likely, say some critics.  Facebook already has 750 million users, many of whom were social media newbies and not necessarily open to another network, what with the inevitable concerns over privacy, time commitment and social status brought on by each new sign up.

When it comes to social media, we at Mustard are willing devotees, making use of its personal, educational and professional benefits. Frankly, social media is as entertaining as it is useful and its capacity for connecting people is huge (whatever Malcolm Gladwell says). However, even we are able to weigh in on the Google+ anxiety debate.

Without getting too Orwellian, there’s comfort to be found in storing personal data across at least two megacorporations. With Gmail inboxes already holding so much information and Google’s previous privacy problems, Facebook’s independence counts for something.

Perhaps more worrying to some users is the status anxiety brought on by social networking, in which others’ profiles (therefore, lives) look WAY! MORE! EXCITING! than your own.

Then there’s the unease over time commitment, which is inevitably and contradictorily felt when one spends either too much time on social networks or too little. Leaving lengthy periods between logins can lead to such dire consequences as missing an event to which you’ve been invited or, horror of horrors, the ability to un-tag yourself in a compromising (read: unattractive) photo.

Similar concerns apply to professional use of social media. Companies who wish to use social media – and let’s face it, that should be everyone these days – should be prepared to update regularly (though the definition of this is flexible). As we all know from personal experience, accessing a company’s page only to find old or outdated information often leads to frustration and a quick getaway.

So, back to Google+. With an estimated 10 million signed up in its first two weeks (and an expectation for that figure to double by the end of this week), Google+ will obviously be in the news for some time yet. Will it eclipse Facebook? Only time will tell. Though in the meantime, let’s not worry about it.

Sensis, in conjunction with the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association,  has released a Social Media Report, calling for Australian businesses to ‘get on board the revolution’ by maintaining a social media presence.

Sensis surveyed 803 consumers and 1944 businesses and found that:

  • 62% of Australian internet users use social media
  • Yet only 14% of small businesses, 25% of medium businesses and 50% of large businesses have a social media presence
Based on a sample of 490 Australian social media users, the most popular networks are, according to the report:

  • Facebook (97%), with an average use of 16.2 times per week and 18% of users accessing the site 20+ times per week.
  • LinkedIn (9%), with an average use of 7.7 times per week and 14% of users accessing the site 20+ times per week.
  • Twitter (8%),  with an average use of 23 times per week and 28% of users accessing the site 20+ times per week.
  • MySpace (4%),  with an average use of 2.6 times per week and 1% of users accessing the site 20+ times per week.
  • Other (3%)
Hopefully findings such as these encourage Australian businesses to more effectively engage with consumers through these channels. As this report says: It’s only going to get bigger.

Online advertising is once again in the spotlight as Facebook tests a new system in which ads instantly target users based on the content of their wall posts and status updates.

As the Internet’s largest storehouse of consumer data, it’s no surprise that Facebook advertising receives the amount of global attention that it does – nor that the company reportedly made $1.86 billion in worldwide advertising revenue last year.

While not everyone agrees that Facebook is a great place to advertise, few deny its potential for brand building. It’s not hard to find anecdotal evidence to back up Facebook’s claim that peer endorsement increases awareness by 68% and quadruples purchase intent. Indeed, whose attention hasn’t been caught by an ad that has been ‘liked’ by a friend, colleague or ex?

Not that instantly targeted ads is a giant leap. Facebook advertisers have long (in Facebook lifespan terms) been able to target users based on their age, gender, location, interests and marital status, among other things.

The Mustard team has experienced this first-hand, with resident Designer Extraordinaire Rebecca Penny (a.k.a. ‘Nighthawk’) recently sourcing her wedding photographer from a Facebook marketplace ad*.

No sooner had the bride-to-be updated her Facebook status to ‘engaged’, did the small panel of ads on the right side of her screen discreetly change from shoes and purses to flowers and photographers.

Rather than finding the targeted ads creepy, Nighthawk says she found them a useful starting point for her wedding research. Less welcome, she says, are the ads for baby products that have persisted since her post-wedding update to ‘married’.

But what of the new, super-targeted ads? Post an invite for ice cream on a friend’s wall or use your status to declare your desire for decent winter boots and see Ben & Jerry’s or Rubi ads immediately enter your field of vision. Unsettling? Potentially. Handy? Possibly. Clever? Absolutely.

*For those of you who’ve misplaced your Mustard newsletter, Mr. and Mrs. Penny wed in a resplendent beachside ceremony earlier this year, much to the general delight of the Mustard team/humankind.