Anti-smoking campaigns have long relied on broader media campaigns to help convey the dangers of tobacco use. But is that the best way to do it? Might it be more effective to work directly within the channels that smokers already pay attention to?
Such was the premise behind a study recently conducted by Rebecca J. Haines-Saah, a health sociologist at the University of British Columbia, and published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Haines-Saah has spent her career looking at how the health habits of young adults are portrayed in the media, something she said she first started thinking about while working as an actress in the late '80s and early '90s on the hit Canadian television show “Degrassi Junior High.” Read MoreFacebook's (Boston) TimelineChecking in: Facebook has been (back) in Boston for four years
It's been four years this month since Facebook made its way back to Boston, a move which started in part when Ryan Mack, the current site lead here in the city, left the comforts of Menlo Park to set up shop on the East Coast.
Mack, who is known for this work on the Facebook Timeline, soon identified a small outcrop of Facebook expats who were all working for the company remotely, and they eventually clustered together in the Workbar location in downtown Boston. Critical mass began to take hold, and Facebook opened an official office here in Cambridge in 2013, and recently expanded that space this past fall.
Social media is big business — and it should get even bigger as traditional ad spending continues moving to digital channels.
One of the beneficiaries of that shift is Nanigans. The five-year-old company, based in Boston, helps advertisers get the most out of their marketing budget by allowing them to target their digital ads and see how well they perform across hundreds of millions of social-media users.
Read MoreThe DownloadThe Download: Meg Fowler Tripp is a Twitter-loving ukulele-tuner
Meg Fowler Tripp is the 40-year-old director of editorial strategy for Sametz Blackstone Associates in Boston, where she works to develop messaging and social media strategy for nonprofits like Project Bread and their Walk for Hunger.
Read MoreAt MakeMIT, undergrads hack high-tech tools
The student center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology tolerates a buzz of activity pretty much at any hour. But Saturday afternoon, the spacious two-level center was pulsing with life.
More than 200 of the keenest engineering students from around Boston jostled for space, balancing laptops decorated with loud stickers on tables littered with cutting tools, circuit boards, and half-empty candy boxes in a race against the clock to build their vision of a smart future. Read MoreLife after deathFacebook creates a 'living will' for users' accounts after death
Until recently, the fate of a Facebook page after the user's death has been a decidedly gray area. Family members of the deceased were able to reach out to the social network and ask to have a page taken down or turned into a memorial, but the user had little say in the decision and even then, no one had oversight to manage the memorial page.
But this morning, Facebook announced that it has created new protocols for the site which allow users to make decisions about the fate of their online lives after their death. Think of it as a living will for your social media profile.
Some people on public transit may glance over the shoulders of fellow commuters fiddling with their Facebook pages only for the voyeuristic pleasure of having a peek into someone else’s life. But behavioral science researcher Jasmine Fardouly, a doctoral candidate at the University of New South Wales in Australia, saw an opportunity.
Read MoreFacebook, LinkedIn join to help women in tech