Tag Archive: social media


On August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m., MTV: Music Television launched this new form of media with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” spoken by John Lack. This was appropriately followed by the first music video, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. That can easily be seen as the definitive change in how a large portion of society interacted with music…because viewing a music video is agreeably an interactive experience. The sights, the musical metaphors played out on screen causing the connection to the artist that much more visceral.

So it shall be with print media…

Those remotely familiar with the humble beginnings of Twitter would agree it was an “in like a lamb” scenario. What began as a “daylong brainstorming session” in 2006 that was held by board members of Odeo, a podcasting company, to break their collective creative slump, Twitter was born. The father of the fledgling “Twitter” is 33 year old Jack Dorsey, an American  software architect and businessperson, had introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group.

Speaking on the inception of “Twitter”, Dorsey says:

The working name was just “Status” for a while. It actually didn’t have a name. We were trying to name it, and mobile was a big aspect of the product early on … We liked the SMS aspect, and how you could update from anywhere and receive from anywhere.

We wanted to capture that in the name—we wanted to capture that feeling: the physical sensation that you’re buzzing your friend’s pocket. It’s like buzzing all over the world. So we did a bunch of name-storming, and we came up with the word “twitch,” because the phone kind of vibrates when it moves. But “twitch” is not a good product name because it doesn’t bring up the right imagery. So we looked in the dictionary for words around it, and we came across the word “twitter,” and it was just perfect. The definition was “a short burst of inconsequential information,” and “chirps from birds.” And that’s exactly what the product was.

According to the most recent figures released, Twitter has 105 million registered users — and counting! So while “Twitter” entered the media scene like a lamb, it has become a lion with no signs of exiting. Twitter is used by everyone from the arbitrary youth as a conversational tool to major brands for advertising and news agencies as a means of immediately distributing breaking stories.

I personally am not a huge fan of raw statistics but Mashable.com recently rolled out some that are too compelling to overlook. Based on a sample of 2,259 adults, of those who find news online 75% get it either forwarded through e-mail or posts on social networking sites, and half of them (52%) forward the news through those means.

According to the report, 59% of those surveyed get news from a combination of online and offline sources. 7% are getting information from a single media platform and 46% of Americans claim they get news from four to six media platforms on a typical day. When you drill it down even more:

  • 78% of Americans say they get news from a local TV station
  • 61% of users get news online
  • 17% (yes, that few) claim they read news in a national newspaper such as The New York Times or USA Today

These numbers are in constant flux because the more advances made in means of online delivery fewer and fewer people actually defer to physical print media.

So how does Twitter fit into all of this? With many news agencies dictating that it’s journalists must utilize social media platforms such as Twitter. For example, Peter Horrocks, the new director of BBC Global, has informed all of the BBC news journalists to use social media as a primary source of information. Horrocks said it was important for editorial staff to make better use of social media and become more collaborative in producing stories.

In Ariel, the weekly in-house staff newspaper for the BBC, Horrocks said:

This isn’t just a kind of fad from someone who’s an enthusiast of technology. I’m afraid you’re not doing your job if you can’t do those things. It’s not discretionary.

In Reuters’ “Handbook of Journalism”, there is a section on “Reporting from the Internet and using social media” that includes the do’s and don’ts of Twitter use. For example:

There are several ways in which Reuters News journalists are using Twitter to micro-blog as part of their professional duties:

  • Specialist journalists use Twitter to share articles and build up a following (see twitter.com/reutersBenHir and twitter.com/bobbymacReports)
  • Online Editorial staff and bloggers use Twitter to distribute news and solicit reader comment (see twitter.com/mediafile, twitter.com/Reuters_FluNews and twitter.com/reuters_co_uk)
  • Reuters journalists are using Twitter during live events such as Davos and to solicit questions for newsmaker interviews

With every major news agency utilizing new media to disseminate breaking news, continuing stories, and every inconsequential piece of information imaginable what will happen to those agencies who opt out of using platforms like Twitter or Facebook…Well, I’ll let Trevor Horn explain it in song.

There are many fans of various Twitter clients but HootSuite seems to be a very clear choice for many Social Media/Marketing professionals. A good portion of “Tweeting” is done on the fly and those of us that are iPhone users may (or may not) have been utilizing the new HootSuite iPhone application.

The current functionality does allow the user to copy a URL from Safari then paste it into a tweet and use the ow.ly shrinking button to shrink the URL so it can be tracked using Hootsuite; what it does not provide is a Safari bookmarklet for easier URL shortening straight from the iPhone’s browser. I have figured out a way to do just that and would love to share the process for those interested. There are a few steps and it’s really not overly complicated.

1) Make sure you have added Hootsuite’s “Hootlet” to your browser of choice on your PC, laptop, etc. & make sure you are logged into HootSuite.

2) Once added, right click the “Hootlet” and from the menu choose Properties.

3) You will see in the Location field the address used for the Hootlet. Copy the entire string and email it to yourself so you can access it from your iPhone.

4) Open the email with the java string from your iPhone and copy the entire address then open Safari. From Safari, open HootSuite’s homepage.

5) Bookmark the page (this will only be a placekeeper)

6) After you have added the HootSuite bookmark choose “Edit” from the Safari bookmark menu. Change the Bookmarklet name to “Hootlet” (to avoid confusion), delete the current URL and paste the java string you copied previously into the address line. Tap Done to save.

At this point the bookmarklet is complete so let’s test it:

1) Open a new page in Safari on your iPhone and navigate to any site you’d like.

2) From the site you navigated to, tap the bookmark icon in Safari and choose your newly created “Hootlet”

3) This will open a new page (you may need to log in the first time using your HootSuite credentials) that looks just like the typical “Hootlet” “Create New Message” window.

4) Make any adjustments you want, choose the social network to update and send.

This will allow the iPhone users of Hootsuite to streamline the entire process of posting from Safari.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

News from mediapost.com:

In late October, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the head of Facebook Platform, Ethan Beard, provided insight into the future of the platform in the company’s inaugural road map address.

Overlooked by almost every marketer, media company and agency were major changes Facebook announced to current pages, used by businesses and organizations worldwide as their primary Facebook presence. The changes significantly affect how brands can leverage Facebook and will break many brands’ Facebook Pages if they do not make significant changes.

While Facebook has not committed to a definitive launch date for these changes, the Facebook developer site provides a rough date of “late 2009 / early 2010” for the changes to go live. I’ve heard that a mid to late January 2010 launch is most likely.

The Boxes Tab and Applications
The most important change to Facebook Pages will be the treatment of how custom content is integrated into brand Pages. Posting content on the Wall of Facebook Pages is a great way to spread a brand message by allowing Fans and others to comment, like and share the content. But many companies need to go further to set up a brand presence and add custom content to the Page to highlight promotions, applications, links and more.

There are currently two ways to integrate this custom content and functionality. The first, and easiest, is through the use of Boxes, which appear on the left-side of the Facebook Page Wall tab and in the Boxes tabs. Under the new design, Boxes and the Boxes tab will be removed and any current content offered in them will disappear immediately upon the new Pages launch.

For example, Michael Jackson and Red Bull’s Facebook Pages below have Boxes tabs with a series of promotions and custom content boxes that will go away in the new design.

Full Story