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M eatball the Glendale Bear kicks off the best of this week’s news

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Gary Smith Nov 18, 2013

Healthcare, Colbert, and bears, oh my! This and more buzzworthy news in websites, graphic design and marketing.

The Glendale Bear’s unwitting role at the center of a social media spat

meatballGlendale’s unofficial mascot, Meatball The Glendale Bear, made a splash this year when he went viral thanks to the Twitter account made in his name, @TheGlendaleBear. At its core, Meatball’s story has all the heartwarming hallmarks you’d expect of a family film: When young Meatball ventures into the urban sprawl in search of the legendary meatball dumpster, he’s caught and scheduled to be sent “to the farm,” and only an avalanche of viral community support spearheaded by one woman can save him.

Here’s the twist, though – that fairytale ending? It gets messy after that, thanks to a legal spat over Meatball’s name. Sarah Aujero, the voice behind Meatball’s viral Twitter, was told to relinquish her Twitter account and all trademark rights to Meatball’s name by the very sanctuary that – as a result of Sarah’s work – stepped in to save Meatball. It’s a predicament that leaves neither party in a particularly attractive light, and it also raises a heap of questions about the ownership of social media accounts. Say an employee uses their own Twitter account to bring significant attention to the company they work for, then leaves that company – does the company have the right to ask that ex-employee to hand over their Twitter account and followers? It’s the sort of tricky situation we’ll likely be seeing a lot more of in the future.

Three Guys Built a Better | The Atlantic Wire

It sounds like the start of a bad joke: “How many web developers does it take to build a functional healthcare website?” Well, move over government techs, a couple of 20 year olds have you trumped. After all the political hoopla over the Affordable Care website last week, three young programmers have created a website that guides users through the Affordable Care website. And it only took them three days.

Colbert Trolls Fox News By Offering @RealHumanPraise On Twitter, And It’s Brilliant | Huffington Post

Leave it to the Colbert Show to come up with something this amazing. When it was revealed that Fox News staffers had been creating fake online personas to counterbalance negative comments against the show, one of Colbert’s writers poked fun in the best way possible: he created a Twitter bot (@RealHumanPraise) which tweets Rotten Tomatoes film reviews, replacing the film name with Fox News personas. The bot is already up to more than 12k tweets, and the results are hilarious. Here’s a good one from today:

5 Businesses That Rock Content Marketing | Mashable

Content Marketing is the new wave in advertising, and it’s not something that’s simple to nail. Essentially, it means engaging your customers with content they’re interested in, not slamming them in the face with a sales pitch. Want to see it done well? Mashable’s got a good round-up of five companies doing just that.

And that’s a wrap. Happy Monday everyone!

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