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Archive for March 2009

Twitter offers a view into Internet without traditional websites

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As public interest in Twitter literally exploded in recent weeks, a friend suggested that the booming micro-blogger was really no more than an RSS feed.

The answer is “Yes” ……… and “No”.

Certainly, Twitter can be used like an RSS feed. You only need to nominate a subject and wait for information to arrive – just like Google Reader. Then, you can join the conversation when and if you wish.  This is a ‘social networking’ use of Twitter, similar to the chatty aspects of Facebook or LinkedIn

However, that misses the bigger picture with Twitter. Sure, it can be used to chat; join groups; find old friends and discuss work opportunities etc. And, it can be done from your mobile phone, at any place and any time.

However, Twitter is a far more powerful communication tool, because it is also a news source and search facility; a potent vehicle for delivering emergency and service information; a 24-hour link with the media;  a streamlined internal communication system; and a promotional and brand-building utility (as imaginatives businesses, PR firms, politicians and government organisations are rapidly realising)

Twitter’s broad range of uses and mobile delivery are exactly the reasons why this type of technology is at the forefront of a dramatic change in how people use the Internet and possibly the demise of traditional websites.

In the UK this week came the revelation that the government plans to teach young children about Twitter and new media in general.

Mike Butcher, editor of the new media blog, Tech Crunch Europe, put it neatly recently when he said that a world in which many more people are tweeting, and those tweets are fully searchable, would potentially allow a real-time search facility of “the consciousness of the planet”.

Anyone thinking of building or revamping their web presence, would do well to take note.



Written by ianandsue

March 29, 2009 at 2:16 pm

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UK councils more creative than Aussie counterparts

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I dips me lid to local councils in the UK. 

Their innovative use of social media to help provide better and quicker services, has left their Australian counterparts looking lame indeed.

UK researcher, Liz Azyan, has Twittered this list of  British councils which are now using social media. Many thanks Liz.

It’s particularly interesting to see how some of the UK authorities are using Twitter for specific uses, such as listing development applications, or providing up-to-the-minute reports of roadwork.

I’m envious of their vision and user-friendly approach to providing services.


Written by ianandsue

March 24, 2009 at 11:45 pm

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Tradional news Twittering minute by minute

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I’m not the only person intrigued by the potential of real time web.

The popularity of Twitter Search, for example, has not been lost on traditional news vendors such as AAP, ABC News, Brisbane’s Courier Mail and Sky News, which are all using the Twitter to  update stories minute by minute.

As PM, Kevin Rudd, arrived in the US today, almost each footstep was Twittered by these news services. This constant updating of the story, allows genuine real time searching, using Twitter Search.

These reports from the news services are mixing with bloggers and other Twitterers, giving a wide view of the matter — and, more importantly, a real time view.  

A very impressive use which is taking Twitter to the absolute forefront of genuine social media.

And, just a tip:  when you are using Twitter and linking back to a website URL, save space by compressing the linking address using TinyURL.  It works a treat.


Written by ianandsue

March 24, 2009 at 12:25 am

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‘Live web’ is the big issue

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The recent ‘New Media Summit’ in Sydney, Australia, largely missed what I consider to be the biggest issue facing communicators today – the ‘live web’.

There were outstanding sessions on how our role is changing dramatically to include social media skills – and some eye-catching demonstrations on the many new tools at our fingertips. 

However, no speakers touched on the change of the web from a static electronic library, to a live and real time life resource.

Twitter’s real time search facility received a quick mention, along with Google’s blog search, but I wanted to hear a lot more about the live web.  I’m excited about the prospect of the web moving from a static research tool, to something that tells me exactly what is happening now ….. at any given moment, about any given subject. 

Rather than going to a select site like Facebook to see photos and information AFTER the event, I want the web to take me  – via the iPhone or whatever – to the event as it happens. I don’t care if it is journalists Twittering from the  activity; politicians micro-blogging; or ordinary citizens ….. as long as it is real time.

And, to be honest, I never did care about ‘friends’, ‘status updates’ or fans, although I don’t have anything against those ‘old web’ activities. But, take  a look at Peoplebrowsr or  spend time to examine Twitter search – and you may understand what I’m saying. One thing is for sure, by the time the next ‘New Media Summit’ rolls around, I’m pretty certain that ‘live web’ will be one of the big issues for professional communicators — if not THE big issue.


Written by ianandsue

March 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm

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There’s nothing to gloat about in media closures

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Okay, just for the record, this is one blogger who doesn’t gain joy from the problems facing traditional television, radio and newspapers around the globe.

I’ve just returned from a ‘New Media Summit’ in Sydney, where I squirmed to hear other bloggers almost gleeful picking at the bones of traditional media.  Perhaps they are right and the growth of the web, combined with the global economic crisis is proving the final straw for much of our media.  However, I can’t see the point in gloating.

As a professional communicator, I believe that our industry needs to work with a mix of new and old media.  It serves no one if one entire chunk of the mix disappears. And, I want to see professional journalists, working to a code of ethics, still very much involved in the media.  There is too little media diversity already and, in a world of dour, boring managers, creativity is priceless. So what if some journalists have criticised Bloggers in recent years.  Get over it.

There is another reason why I refuse to gloat at the problems facing traditional media.  I remember only too well the many compositors and printers who worked alongside me when I first started in journalism in the days of hot metal production.  Their looks of anguish as technology swept them aside will linger in my mind always:  noble men and women who faced industrial oblivion bravely. 

Coverage of the closure of America’s Rocky Mountains Times last week brought back those memories.  There is nothing pleasant about watching men and women lose long held careers in that way.  I certainly won’t be dancing on anyone’s grave.  

More on the New Media Summit later


Written by ianandsue

March 4, 2009 at 12:06 pm

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