Social Media Sells Cars

Car companies are turning to a powerful and cheap source of advertising: young social-media influencers who have strong online followings.

As social media become a growing force at generating attention, marketers are increasingly turning to the less famous to help them pitch products. Auto makers and ad executives say tapping social-media stars can give a brand more credibility with younger shoppers than hiring high-priced celebrities. "People trust people like themselves, and when we can tap into these people, it will sound less like Ford tooting its own horn," says Scott Monty, Ford Motor Co.'s global digital-communications manager. Armed with images and video from their test drives, the stars of the Lexus campaign have been spreading the word by blogging, tweeting and posting images on Flickr.

Got a question for a real NASA astronomer? Ask it here!

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller is coming back to Big Think to answer YOUR questions! Here's all you need to know to submit your science-related inquiries.

Surprising Science

Big Think's amazing audience has responded so well to our videos from NASA astronomer and Assistant Director for Science Communication Michelle Thaller that we couldn't wait to bring her back for more!

And this time, she's ready to tackle any questions you're willing to throw at her, like, "How big is the Universe?", "Am I really made of stars?" or, "How long until Elon Musk starts a colony on Mars?"

All you have to do is submit your questions to the form below, and we'll use them for an upcoming Q+A session with Michelle. You know what to do, Big Thinkers!

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Is technology corrupting humanity? History says no.

Build up, tear down—new technology stirs up a cycle of progress and cynicism we've seen all throughout history.

Videos
  • "Every time that there's a new technology, particularly around media, there's a set of outcries around how that media is corrupting culture or how it's destroying certain aspects of our life," says entrepreneur and author Elad Gil.
  • In some cases there are real concerns, but taking a historical view can quell unnecessary panic. Progress and cynicism work in a cyclical fashion. New tech is unveiled, the media builds it up, then the media tears it down in a wave of backlash.
  • Today we worry about kids and smartphones; 80 years ago we worried about kids and the radio; same cynicism, different day.
  • Technology lifts the lid on human potential and quality of life, says Gil. We should be duly cautious, but optimism is more valuable (and arguably more rational) than pessimism.
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