Results tagged “social media”

Half-drunk black Americano at Tom Foolery

Five recent reads you might have missed, and are well-worth your time:

It's a 24/7 social media world out there

Friends of the blog Brilliant Noise have done some research into the difference between "always on" Twitter presence and more sporadic approaches:

Always-on is a more strategic and customer-focused approach: it acknowledges that the relationship with customers is always in development and that there should always be avenues open for conversation. In comparison, a campaign-based approach is more tactical, and more geared to short-term business priorities (e.g. boost sales now!) than customer needs.

Twitter has featured the research, too.

In good Company

Company magazine takes the well trod path to online-only:

Hearst announced on Wednesday that after Company’s final issue, October 2014, goes on sale on 5 September, it will focus its efforts on targeting 16-24 year old women via the title’s website,

The major concern? That the next well-trod path is to complete closure…

A bitter tablet to swallow

Talking of digital magazines, one of the pioneers of tablet magazine design has walked away from the market:

“From my experience in working with Fast Company and other magazines, if you put a digital magazine on an iPad and you hand the iPad to somebody, you have the opportunity to make them say wow. If you expect the same person to find that magazine, pay for that magazine, and download that mag, that’s asking for a lot!” he says. “But that’s what businesses can do, put an iPad in your hands at the points of sale or a meeting room, and get your [attention]. That’s the game changer here.”

Ironically, of course, most B2B magazine companies are still locked into dingy page-turning replicas on tablets.

The next wave of LinkedIn spam

The tidal wave of LinkedIn content is coming. And they've release more details about their platform:

LinkedIn today outlined on its engineering blog a series of recent technical updates to improve distribution for new posts on its publishing platform. The three improvements include integration with the Feed-Mixer algorithm for ranking posts in LinkedIn’s member feeds, mobile notifications for first-degree connections and inclusion in daily or weekly Pulse news emails.

I still don't have access to the publishing platform - but as my contacts start pushing our more and more spammy self-promotional content through it, I'm losing interest fast.

The pulse of Wikipedia

Fascinating account of Wikipedia vandalism, correction and participation:

Now, notice: It had been eight minutes since the original wrong info had been posted, and three people had edited that sentence. But nobody had checked the facts and fixed the problem. This was the Reign of Error—the period during which I, and presumably dozens or hundreds or even thousands of other people, stumbled by and read the page. (It would be cool to have a long German word for this informational interregnum.)

He eventually finds the person who did do the correction…

Any suggestions out there of good articles we should read? Feel free to share 'em, old or new…

Fascinating account from Storyful about their social media verification work around the downing of flight MH17:

In the aftermath of the attack, the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal affairs released the video below, described as showing a ‘Buk’ anti-aircraft missile system being transported in eastern Ukraine, en route to the Russian border. The footage is not the original, however we believe that the first instance of this footage was removed by the uploader and the version below is the earliest we can find. Ukrainian Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, made early claims that the video was filmed in the Ukrainian town of Krasnodon near the Russian border, however collaborative geo-location was able to place the footage in southwestern Luhansk.

This really is one of the new frontiers of serious journalism, and one that's only growing in importance.

(Which is, of course, why we teach it as part of the Interactive Journalism MA at City…)

Twitter's UK in-house journalism expert and friend of the blog Joanna Geary has crowd-sourced a great list of 30 Twitter tools that are useful for journalists:

Some are familiar and essential, but some are brand new to me. Well worth a little time.

Reddit for Journalists

Three speakers at news:rewired talking about use of Reddit in journalism, moderated by Mark Frankel, assistant editor, social news, BBC

James Cook, Daily Dot

James cookThere's two main tasks:

  • Finding new stories
  • Sharing stories

How do you get started? Sign up. That allows you to start following what you're really interested in. Reddit is made of communities of interests: subreddits.

How do you do Reddit wrong? Don't identify yourself. Reddit is great at identifying who you are - and if you're pretending to be someone else, you'll be busted. Be honest about who you are. Be honest and you'll get good results

How about promoting your story? Look for who has been sharing your stories. Chances are someone has already done it. If it's there, leave a comment saying you're the author and asking for feedback and questions.

If they haven't - well, the temptation is to post your own. And that is fine. But gaming Reddit isn't. OnGamers was banned for Reddit for doing this, and lost 50% of their traffic overnight. Here's a rule of thumb: no more than 10% of your links should be to your own stories.

Taylor Swift by Eva Rinaldi (used under a Creative Commons licence)

Big surprise of last week: Taylor Swift had some really interesting thoughts about the intersection of tech and commercial art in a piece for the WSJ:

There are a few things I have witnessed becoming obsolete in the past few years, the first being autographs. I haven't been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera. The only memento "kids these days" want is a selfie. It's part of the new currency, which seems to be "how many followers you have on Instagram."

Fascinating point, and a very rapid cultural shift.

Here's another:

A friend of mine, who is an actress, told me that when the casting for her recent movie came down to two actresses, the casting director chose the actress with more Twitter followers. I see this becoming a trend in the music industry. For me, this dates back to 2005 when I walked into my first record-label meetings, explaining to them that I had been communicating directly with my fans on this new site called Myspace. In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans—not the other way around.

Will we (or have we) seen this happen with journalists? I've noted that a friend of mine joining a national newspaper seems to be good for several thousand Twitter followers right off the bat, which is the inverse of what Taylor is talking about here. But if we postulate that online publications might evolve into aggregations of their journalists' combined followings, that might set the value of a journalist - and their social skills - at a premium.

Photo by Eva Rinaldi and used under a Creative Commons licence

Second video of the day:

It's rather ironic that it hit the web a few days before the news that Facebook is running experiments on our emotions.

There's a whole bunch of interesting research to be done on constructed identity using social networks, and I bet every single person on here is guilty of it to some degree. I very rarely see the sadness and difficulty of people's lives reflected in social networks - so much for radical transparency, huh?

However, Facebook's approach here is just uncomfortable. As Mary puts it:

Where things get rather concerning is the part where Facebook didn’t bother telling any of its test subjects that they were being tested. The US has a few regulations governing clinical research that make clear informed consent must be given by human test subjects. Informed consent requires subjects to know that research is occurring, be given a description of the risks involved, and have the option to refuse to participate without being penalised. None of these things were available to the anonymous people involved in the study.

Consent matters, people.

Verification is so very hard

Google Concept (not)

Take a look at this video:

Pretty clearly a concept video done by some students, right? That information's all there, including the account name on Vimeo. Even the most cursory of verification checks would show that up.

So, it's not like anyone would publish it as a real Google concept without doing the 60 seconds of checking needed, right?


Google+ Insights

Remember all those tech press stories declaring Google+ dead after the departure of Vic Gundotra?

This happened a week ago:

Many of you have asked for more data about how your social content is performing and who your audience is on Google+. So starting today, we’re offering all Google+ pages access to Insights reports. Insights provides key info that helps you tailor and optimize your Google+ content, including:

  • Visibility: All time total, photo, and post views, and how page impressions have trended over time.
  • Engagement: Which types of posts are getting the highest level of engagement on Google+.
  • Audience: Get an overview of your follower demographics.

And then yesterday, Google+ premium happened:

Apps customers have long been able to host Hangouts with up to 15 people, but now the sessions will be available in HD-quality — together Google believes that will “save time and money”. Premium also enables more granular privacy controls, letting Google+ users set their posts as restricted to their domain (thus visible to colleagues and employers only) if they wish, or hide their profiles from public searches.

There's a full break-down of what's being offered on the Google Enterprise Blog.

These are not the moves of a company winding down a product.

Beware online journalists who report or repeat rumour and speculation as if it was fact…

Declan Curry

The above photo was circulating Twitter yesterday, and at least two media outlets - Romenesko and FishbowlNY - ran it as an example of a BBC captioner having a bad day.

They found the image and they ran with it. They didn't contact Declan or the BBC. And today, they're both apologising.

As it happens, I was at university with Declan - we worked on Imperial College's student newspaper Felix together. I'd seen the photo before - when he posted it to Facebook, sharing a joke he'd written himself. Yup, the caption was by him - and was the best part of a year old:

click on the comments link to see the discussion

And there we have it. Two media outlets turned their journalistic instincts off when presented with something fun on social media, and made fools of themselves.

You don't get to stop applying the basic techniques of journalism just because you found something on social media. Verify, check, double-source. Or you'll be apologising to your readers - or your editor - pretty quickly.

Why social media feels so much less exciting when it's established:

Open systems start with no hierarchy, so they look like meritocracies at first, but network effects mean newcomers create a hierarchy, often without even meaning to. We will never return to a Twitter where there's little difference between newcomers and the old guard.

The form of the piece is an good old fashioned "it's not fair" - but it captures why the excitement and potential many find in the early days of a new tool often fails to come to fruition, as new hierarchies start to establish themselves.

This, I think, highlights one of the big challenge to journalists of the 21st Century. People are starting to associate the writing style we've been taught - CSWE, for Clinical Standard Written English, as the author defines it - with lack of openness. The legacy of social media is a different standard for the kind of language that makes writing appear trustworthy:

And nowadays -- this is where things get interesting -- people who write in CSWE actually mark themselves as untrustworthy by doing so. Because the new usage, call it Modern Written English, is everything CSWE is not: first-person, colloqiual, breezy, open, and personal. That's what readers understand and trust. But if you write like a high-school essay, or the Wall Street Journal? That is now a big red flag. Your readers don't know you ... but they do know that you have deliberately hidden who you are, by donning that mask called CSWE. And on some level they do not like it.

This doesn't mean that journalists need to adopt the tone of a Reddit poster - but it does mean we need to start challenging some of our assumptions about what constitutes a professional writing style.

Interesting column from John Gapper in the FT today. Here he's talking about Jonah Peretti, founder of Buzzfeed:

His insight was that sharing works differently from search. Search is a way to discover information, whereas sharing is prompted by emotion. People read all kinds of material but they mostly share stories or videos that create positive reactions, such as laughter; or actively negative ones, such as anger.

Well worth a read - even registering to read - if only to get to the final line, with which I heartily concur.

(Full disclosure: I worked on a project for the FT over the summer, alongside Neil Perkin and eConsultancy)


Fascinating exploration of the motivation and results of sharing things like photos of food on Twitter:

There is a wealth of information out there for the interested. Knowledge opens doors. Never underestimate the power of small talk. Rapport is how humans sync with one another. The foundation of effective communication.

And small talk leads to big talk.

Why do we tweet what we eat?

See Also: Today's XKCD.

I read this:

This kerfuffle at the Smáralind shopping centre near Reykjavík, Iceland, last weekend isn't because One Direction are in town. It's because of two stars from Vine, the six-second video-blogging site.

Then I did this:

Vine has been through its maturing period and is rapidly making its way into the "interesting" category...

My top 10 tweets of 2013

What can we learn from this?

  1. Mocking social media gurus is really popular
  2. Humour generally goes a long way
  3. People like shared pain - like the treatment of freelancers
  4. Liveblogging and exclusive interviews still carry value.

That's all good news, I think.

Cliff Watson:

You see, we’ve come to define “social” in unintentional Orwellian double-speak. “Social” has come to mean the exact opposite of what it’s meant for centuries. Instead of actual interaction and communication, we define “social” as once- or twice-removed ego validation through button-clicking.

When we've come to understand "social" as meaning "corporate-mediated communications, within defined parameters, interruptible by branded messages", one is rather tempted to despair about humanity…

However, it makes it rather plain that the clock is ticking on "social" as we know it right now, and that's a good thing. I've just seen a community I'm a member of almost wiped out by a single troll and some automatic button-pushing at Facebook. That's no way to build a sustainable set of relationships.

Storyful Logo

I missed this last week:

Accelerating News Corp's digital transformation and video strategy, the company has acquired Storyful, the world's first social news agency.

Storyful, of course, are a brilliant lot, who have made the skill of verifying stories and media found on social networks into a commercial art form. The vast sea of material now available to us as journalists on social media is a huge, and still largely untapped for finding, exploring and illustrating stories. And precious few news organisations have take the skills needed to do that seriously.

Looks like News Corp just started taking it very seriously indeed...

Storyful's post on the story is on their blog. A real range of comments on the post.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Allegedly Gary Vaynerchuk hadn't slept for two days before his talk at LeWeb. I well believe it given how rambling it was. This isn't a conventional chronological liveblog, as I've tried to gather together his thoughts into subject groups...

Go deep not wide

Everyone cares about dumb fucking data. It doesn't matter how many followers you have - it's how many that care.

If the founders of are watching: fuck you. He bought an ad from them on an e-mail newsletter that went to 2m people. He got one order. Breadth doesn't matter - depth does. Worry about open rates, about clicks.

The Secret of Snapchat

What snapchat is not about is impressions, it's about attention. Whatever you do, the number one thing you have to do is tell your story to someone on the path of making a decision. To do that, you need to get their attention.

Gary can't make something trend on Twitter any more. But he can on Snapchat - by sending thousands of message on Snapchat, by hand. He does wonder if they have any good product people left, based on how shit the last update was. Still, many of the recipients then posted the photo he sent to Twitter with the hashtag he asked them to use.

He thinks Snapchat will go one to many eventually - especially if they want to monetise. They tried with Stories - but it's shit with a shit UI. No-one has figures out how to monetise one to one yet. There might be a $20 a year app that's one to one that might work because it's such a great experience.

Snapchat is a utility to get someone's attention in a very noisy world.

The Agency Dictator

He's built an agency from 20 people to 300 in the past two years. He has no HR manager - he instills the culture through dictatorship, and choosing the hiring. They've fired some talented people because they weren't wiling to be the culture fit he needs.

The entrepreneurship bubble

Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur now. The number of Ivy League students I see thinking they're entrepreneurs, then see them crumple the first taste of adversity they get. For every Instagram, there's 5 million Instashits. We're not in a financial bubble. This is not a cycle - this is the beginning of technology eating everything in our lives. But there is a bubble of entrepreneurship.

Living in a social era

He lives his life as if he's on the record all the time. That's a decision he made the moment he had a measure of internet fame. It changes how you behave - and more people are going to think that way. We all under-estimate how much the world is actually going to change. We'll all be flabbergasted by what it becomes in the next 15 years.

The Big Social Mistakes

People use social wrong - they blast out links to elsewhere. Do your storytelling on social media. Look at the 10 hashtags that are trending and being creative around that- it's 7000% better than truing to create your own. A woman on Pinterest has an intent or an openness to buy. On Facebook she's looking to be informed. Don't give her the same photo in bot places. Stop linking your Twitter and Facebook. It doesn't fucking work.

The stream on Twitter has become so busy that people miss things. You shouldn't worry about tweeting things more than once. If you put out quality content, people will be less worried by it than seeing 10 pieces of crap content from someone else. People need escapism and entertainment. The things on the front page of your phone are the single biggest gateway to the psychology of out society.

Other stuff

  • He's a big believer in free: give, give, give and then you earn the right to ask for something.

  • 90% of people who speak give the same presentation for three years. He'd rather do all Q&As

  • If we went in a time machine and showed people bottled water - and that people paid for it, they wouldn't believe it. It took packaging and storytelling. If you can do that with water, you can do it for anything.