The vandals took the handle

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Archive for April 2009

Journalists on Twitter

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Here’s a valuable contact list: David Earley, a blogger and writer based in Brisbane Australia, has put together a comprehensive list of  local journalists using Twitter.

Well done Dave

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Written by ianandsue

April 28, 2009 at 2:57 am

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Reality bites with Council Gripes

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Short sighted is the only way I could describe the apparent reaction of many Australian local councils to the launch of the Twitter site called ‘Council Gripes’.

Dismissing comments placed on the site because they are unsigned, or were not received via traditional complaints systems, appears foolhardy indeed.  It may also signal a customer service system clinging to an outmoded belief that procedures established before the social media age are still suitable.

The reality is that social media is changing everything – and something like the ‘Council Gripes’ Twitter site has the power to reach and influence millions of people in a short period of time. And then, the information will find its way to traditional media – and the damage will balloon even more.

Not that long ago, blogs and the like carried information to a select group of readers only. Not any more. The explosion in the use of Twitter and other social media, means that these sites are widely followed and indexed in search results right alongside traditional websites and portals.

The genie is out of the bottle and there’s no way of putting it back. And we shouldn’t want to.

And, in this light, customer service as we have known it, is rapidly becoming inadequate.  The way in which companies and the public sector manages community feedback needs to be overhauled.

Ignore something like ‘Council Gripes’ at your peril.  Use such sites (see the UK version ‘Fix My Street’) to be transparent, to explain actions, reassure the community, set up a conversation and protect credibility/image.  Think outside the square; turn  criticism into a positive;  and realise that the way people communicate with government and companies is changing faster than we can draw up traditional policies and procedures.

But do not attempt to shrug off the importance of these sites. That’s akin to trying to hold back a tide that has already swept in and is quickly submerging us.

Ian

Written by ianandsue

April 26, 2009 at 1:59 pm

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Social media push in Iraq

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Countries that are lagging in the development of social media, need to take notice of developments in an unlikely place – Iraq.

It seems that blogger and US secretarty of State,  Hilliary Clinton, has thrown her weight behind the expansion of social media – including the micro blogger, Twitter – by the Iraqi government.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s booming growth has taken another huge jump.

A US survey revealed that Twitter.com traffic went from 367 million to over 420 million last week alone in terms of pageviews. In the same week, unique views went from just over 8 million, to over 10 million. The pageviews on Twitter’s signup page alone went up over by over a million for the week. 

Ian

Written by ianandsue

April 20, 2009 at 11:27 pm

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Issues management changing forever

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The  power of social media has been on display again with the Dominos pizza video saga.

Media has been buzzing about a YouTube video that appeared to show two pizza store workers doing distasteful things with food, which was then placed in items offered for sale.  Whether the video was a fake or not, the Dominos brand looked set to take a massive hiding as the company, at first, seemed slow to react. 

Then the gravity of the situation hit home and the firm used the very same social media to defuse it all via blogs.

The lesson: traditional issues management tactics like issuing a media statement; rolling out the CEO on TV to reassure the public etc are hopelessly outdated and can never  head off a controversy that is moving viral-like through social media at breakneck speed.

As one blogger put it: “30 years to develop a brand …… and 30 minutes to destroy it”

Social media is not a gimmick or fad that will go away if you wait long enough. Either install it as a central plank of your communications — or flounder in the wake.

Ian

Written by ianandsue

April 15, 2009 at 1:00 pm

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Business world is getting social media

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Social media is making big strides in infiltrating the business world, thanks to the explosion in usage of the micro-blogger, Twitter.

Reuters is reporting that, as well as booming among people aged 18 to 24, Twitter is also attracting strong usage by the 55 to 64 year old audience –a remarkable step for a social media tool. 

Twitter’s soaring popularity, with 1,000 percent year-over-year growth world-wide in February, is sweeping across all age groups. 

Reuters reports that the micro-blogger is being rapidly embraced by business and marketing, which, in turn,  is  making it an appealing tool for older users.

Written by ianandsue

April 9, 2009 at 12:47 am

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Jostling for a piece of Twitter action

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As micro-blogger, Twitter, continues to gain enormous publicity and extraordinary growth, some of the big boys are apparently keen to get a slice of the action. 

The hot tip was a huge bid from Google.  Although I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the thought, at least Google knows search well – and Twitter is rapidly becoming all about real time search.

Then (shudder) came the suggestion that Microsoft – looking pretty much like a dinosour as social media continues to transform communication – might also be in there bidding. This thought left me as cold as the earlier attempts by Facebook to muscle in.

But the latest, according to prominent blogger, Rob Scoble, is that a Google bid is not on.  Watching with interest.

Written by ianandsue

April 3, 2009 at 1:26 pm

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