According to Mashable, Apple has released a guide for bands that explains how to use the new social networking tool, Ping. The guides creation came quickly after Apple realized that many bands and artists did not know how to use the iTunes-linked site. Reports Mashable, “Ping lacked a deep and wide network of artists, we found out that many artists were struggling to figure out how to create Ping profiles. Distribution services such as TuneCore and CDBaby have stepped in as third parties in this process, communicating with Apple and helping bands set up artist pages.”
If Ping has proven to be difficult for those that it was intended for, do you think that Ping’s functionality will halt further success?
Pharmaceutical companies are utilizing social networks at an increasing rate. In Sarah Kliff’s article on Newsweek.com, she covers just one of them–Inspire.com. According to Ms. Kliff, Inspire’s nearly 100,000 users aren’t just sharing with each other (and the 62 nonprofits who partner with the site), they’re also receiving targeted information from pharmaceutical companies who use the site as a recruiting tool for drug studies. Opening this door between patients and drugmakers has some obvious benefits but also raises a host of ethical and medical dilemmas. Kliff goes on to describe this phenomenon as a Pharma Facebook, of sorts. According to Kliff’s research, three of the four pharmaceuticals working with Inspire declined to discuss their interest in social networks, or even reveal their names. The fourth, Merck, declined multiple requests for an interview but did issue a brief statement on their commitment to “rapid and effective enrollment of appropriate patients into trials” as to allow for “timely development of innovative medicines.” As a social media expert, what do you think are the benefits of this outlet for pharmaceutical companies to connect with patients? Do you see any blaring negatives? Let us know your thoughts here or on Twitter.