The nuns of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Quebec are embracing blogging, Facebook and YouTube in a bid to recruit the next generation of nuns. The group's youngest nun is 64, but it's hoped that social outreach could popularize monastic life for younger devotees. "You have to go where the young people are. And that's where they are," says Sister Elaine Lachance.
Badoo, a Spanish social network that lets strangers forge real-world connections, is booming in Latin America and southern Europe, but will it take off in the English-speaking world? Marketing chief Jessica Powell says the freemium social network is determined to break into the U.K. and the U.S., and is launching new services -- such as a tool that let users find people based on shared interests -- with those markets in mind.
Mexico's presidential race is getting unexpectedly heated, with candidates trading barbs via social channels. Campaigns vie to create trending Twitter topics and celebrate their widely shared tweets as major campaign victories, even as some lament the way social chatter has lowered the tone of the debate. "Twitter is like a jungle. ... With the anonymity, it is like a free-for-all," says Aurelio Nuño Mayer, media director for Enrique Peña Nieto's campaign.
Brands that hope to generate real value from a social media campaign need to embark on a four-step journey, write Roxane Divol, David Edelman and Hugo Sarrazin. Brands must first monitor social chatter, then respond to it, amplify their messages by encouraging sharing and lead their customers toward long-term changes in their consumption habits.
Clive Palmer, an Australian billionaire, says he will build a life-size replica of the Titanic. The Chinese-built Titanic II is expected to make its maiden voyage, retracing the original vessel's planned trip from the U.K. to the U.S., in 2016. "It is going to be designed so it won't sink," Palmer says.