Archive for May 2009
I touched on this a few weeks ago, but the increasing number of business cards that carry only a Twitter username show that it is time to reconsider the role of the corporate website.
Where the website was once the logical hub of communications and branding, its importance has been rapidly eroded by the emergence of social media. Corporate sites – mostly boring template styles, heavy with text and light on finesse – are fast losing their relevance.
Internet users weaned on social networking, enticed by Facebook or MySpace and now nurtured on Twitter, are leading the way to a new digital future. Business and government are following them … and the loser out of this evolution is the corporate website.
In many ways, the shift was predictable. As digital communication became more and more important, corporate sites tried to meet ever-growing expectations and even second guess public thinking. Handling all this brought us content management systems and, in turn, websites became high tech brochures – informative but unlikely to catch the imagination of users who were already being wooed by social media.
And now, as advertising campaigns increasingly are being carried out solely on social media; as Twitter is showing that it can a powerful business and brand building tool as well as strengthening and promoting democracy; Facebook is experimenting with its own currency; Google Wave is set to revolutionise intranets; and Twitter is leading the way to real time searching, the corporate website is sadly showing its age.
So, if your digital communications is still centred on a corporate site, it is probably wise to take a long hard think about the future. The glory days of the dot com era may soon be a fading memory.
At a recent meeting of PR colleagues, it was suggested that we had a role to play in promoting democracy.
While I’m not convinced that working to keep a status quo in place necessarily has a lot to do with a healthy democracy, I do believe in the necessity of inquiring, investigative journalism. Regardless of whether it is delivered in print, online, on television, radio, or a mobile phone, we need the highest quality of journalism to help keep the bastards honest.
So, with that in mind, I was interested to watch yet another grim prediction for the future of newspapers on Australia’s national television broadcaster last night.
Overall, the item was gloomy and somewhat predictable, but one comment really caught my attention. Successful Australian online publisher, Eric Beecher, suggested that it was, in fact, up to government meet the cost of ensuring quality journalism continues.
It’s not a new suggestion and undoubtedly raises the hairs on the neck of many journalists. But, perhaps it is worth examining, provided there was some way of avoiding government interference. I’m keen to hear thoughts on the matter.
Courtesy of Mashable, here’s some statistics for the communication traditionalists to digest:
‘Remember when Twitter was just a little pipsqueek, with less than 10 million monthly visitors to its site worldwide?
‘That was back in February, 2009.
“Now, fast-forward to April and comScore estimates Twitter’s global visitors during that month at a whopping 32 million.”
Based on these figures, Twitter has quickly swept past established social media names like Digg (23 million) and LinkedIn (16 million)
And, significantly, comScore only measures the number of people who visit Twitter’s Website, not the millions more around the globe who send and read tweets using their their phones or desktop applications.
Who will Twitter pass next? If it continues adding 10 million global visitors a month, the micro blogger will easily pass 100 million by the end of the year.
At a social media conference in Sydney earlier this year, I asked a Google representative if the company was concerned at the strong trend among web users to look for real time searching. He replied with an abrupt ‘NO’.
Like hell! It seems that Google was, in fact, so concerned that it has now unveiled a ‘Search Option’ that aims to tackle Twitter and other real time search systems.
Okay so it’s gimmicky, but Twittering from space says a lot about the soaring popularity of social media
That heading in The Huffington Post caught my eye, because I had, for some time, been struggling to get my head around the undeniable fact that social media is killing the traditional web site — and quickly.
Everyone seems to have accepted that newspapers are in trouble. But, the very same reasons that long established print publications are struggling, is also catching up with the web site as we have known it for decades.
I have been looking closely at this situation recently, as my place of employment is planning on replacing its traditional web site with a newer one — at the very time as the face of digital communication is evolving dramatically.
So, I was particularly interested to read the Huff Post article by Alexia Tsotsis, in which she points out that Twitter is reducing the use of traditional web sites.
In the commercial world, this is subsequently cutting the flow of advertising dollars to the Internet.
And this, she predicts, will make for a tough future for both web sites as we know them and print media. When no one is buying the milk, why also would we need milk cartons. Get it direct from the teat on Twitter.
I’m fascinated by real time searching among social media users.
And the subject is about to get a lot more interesting.
The boom in Twitter use has made Twitter Search a tremendous indicator of thought and comment about events and topical subjects, as they happen – rather than the traditional Google search of the traditional web
And, now we have the big news that Twitter will soon search not only the words in Tweets, but also the links. Read how this is shaping as a huge step in communication, fueled by the dazzling growth of Twitter, which is continuing to gather a massive pool of people worldwide.
Book publishing isn’t escaping the problems that beset newspapers.
Ian Jack in The Guardian says royalties are crashing, jobs are being lost and work drying up.
And the reason: Jack says generations are now growing up with the idea that “words should be read electronically for free”. Fair enough, but I wonder who foots the bills.
It seems that Facebook users are not the only ones worried by the rise and rise of Twitter.
FB itself is looking rather paranoid by sending out messages stressing how big it is. Exactly what Facebook expects to achieve by this bout of insecurity, it far from clear.
As a Twitter user, I couldn’t care less about Facebook’s claims of membership size.
Twitter serves vastly different purposes. For a start, it has absolutely nailed real time search (as one simple example, I was able to find out all about swine flu from Twitter’s live search way before it emerged on Google)
And, secondly, I have no interest in swapping photos and chit chat about my latest social outing. I use Twitter for business, real time search, sport, research and news purposes. It has an excellent business model for this, whereas I find Facebook clunky and decidedly old looking.
Rather than getting involved in some type of penis envy over its size, I suggest Facebook modernise itself somewhat, while retaining the chat simplicity that attracted its Gen X audience in the first place.
Twitter is doing what it does very nicely.