Trendwatching.com recently released its May 2011 Trend Briefing in which it described “The F-Factor.” The F-Factor encompasses how we, as fans, followers and friends, continuously influence each other’s decision to buy something. The independent trend firm listed five ways in which the F-Factor influences consumption behavior, one of those being F-Discovery.

According to Trendwatching.com, F-Discover is “how consumers discover new products and services by relying on their social networks. People are curious and interested in what their friends and contacts think, do, eat, read, listen to…because often this will be similar to how they want to think, act and buy.”

The explanation of F-Discover probably does not come as a surprise to most, but it does fit nicely with today’s “A List.” Today’s list is just a blip in time of five social media “news notes” (and I use “news” a bit lightly for some of these) that hit me this week. My reliance on social networks opened my eyes to:

1. Star Wars: May the 4th be with you

I’m not really in to Star Wars (gasp!) but besides May 4th being my wonderful daughter’s birthday, it is also considered a holiday by Star Wars fans (you know, “May the force be with you” and all that). This was innovative: the more the May the 4th link was shared, the higher the percent of completion viewers saw of the video. Encouraged link sharing, encouraged “repeat business” to the site. I also liked how you could note the worldwide shares and shares via the different social media sites by country.

2. Google Chrome: The Web is what you make of it

Looking to release some emotion and have a good cry? Take a gander at Google Chrome’s The Web is What You Make of It campaign. The “Dear Sophie” and “It Gets Better” commercials aired this week during Glee with positive messaging for GLBT teens and families.

3. Jimmy Fallon: The hashtag game

I know this isn’t “new” per say, but with Mother’s Day approaching, Jimmy and his team used #MyMomisNuts for this week’s Twitter Hashtag Game. Also in the running this week for Mother’s Day social media themed moves? Changing your Facebook profile picture to one of you and your mom.

4. Death of Osama Bin Laden

Where were you when you heard of Bin Laden’s death? I was sitting at my computer, logging some work time when my Facebook feed started going crazy. All kinds of social media news here, including the Facebook video virus and whether the President will release the death photos (they won’t be released, according to The Daily Best). The night the story broke, ZAGG Blog reported an estimated 12.4 million tweets per hour around the #OsamaBinLaden hashtag. Amazing.

5. Facebook gaming

Apparently, this still exists. According to Inside Social Games, CityVille beat out FarmVille for the top Facebook game spot as of May 5. More than 89,134,400 active Facebook users? Whoa.

And the beauty of social media is that as soon as this posts, there will be five other “top stories” to follow and share. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

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