Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Contribute, don’t regurgitate.

September 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Imagine you are in a coffee shop full of people who may or may not know you. There is a rack stocked with very well-known newspapers and magazines. Every few minutes, you grab one of these titles, pick a headline, and read it out aloud so that everyone in the coffee shop can hear you.

What do you think the people in the coffee shop will do after about 10 minutes? My guess is the ones not interested will leave while the others will start picking out their own stories from the magazine rack.

Odd behavior isn’t it? You would never do this in real life would you? I am sure not. So why do people do this on Twitter and Facebook all the time? Pick any general subject (e.g. Tech) and look at your twitter feed. Almost everyone will be retweeting from the same four or five well-known sources. Some people seem to spend their entire day retweeting from a few sources. They don’t add an opinion or a perspective or a personal experience. This is akin to the person randomly shouting in the coffee shop. These people are usually the same ones who announce how many followers they gained or lost, or the ones who let everyone know their Klout score. They seem more interested in building a following than actually benefitting their followers.

There is an implicit contract between you (as a person or a brand) and your followers on social media platforms. They are giving you their attention, but in return expect to obtain interesting and relevant information from you. There are scenarios where retweeting/linking is useful: to curate for a specific subject from relatively unknown sources, or to broadcast regional stories to followers in another part of the world, or to highlight original contributions from other members of your network. Otherwise, you are wasting your time and your follower’s time.

So next time you want to retweet or link to a story as-is from a very well-known source, think twice and evaluate whether you can add context or perspective that will make it valuable.


My lawyer told me to lie, and so I did

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

It is very common, when looking at twitter profiles, to find wording similar to “[job title] at [company]. Views are my own and do not represent those of [company]”

Really? In the age of the Internet you still think you can simply get away with such legal dross?

Your [company] hired you. It gives you the authority and resources to influence its future direction. Your statements on Twitter are a reflection of your world view, your ethics, and your personality. If the actions of your [company] are determined by your decisions, then who you are and what you say/do IS part of your company’s view. Just because your legal department is worried about the negative implications of employees tweeting their heart out to all who would listen doesn’t mean you can disassociate your beliefs and behavior from your company with a quick statement of deniability. This is particularly true for journalists and media professionals who have platforms that allow them to influence public discourse.

The transparency of social media is a double edged sword. If you can’t take the challenge of tweeting in a manner that reflects the ethics and responsibilities of your job, then it is best you don’t tweet at all.

The Future of Media Measurement: Instantaneous, Ubiquitous and Quantifiably Qualitative

March 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Audience measurement has been developing rapidly (outside MENA anyway!) over recent years with the advent of connected devices and increasing broadband penetration. However, much of it has remained quantitative and sample-based. Demographic data has allowed content owners/ distributors/ advertisers to measure the number of people who have consumed their content. However, if anyone wanted to know what people thought of their content and whether they liked or disliked some or all of it, they could only infer it from the quantitative data. If the number of viewers dropped, it could be assumed they didn’t like the show. The data could be examined on a per-second basis in some cases to establish if specific story lines or characters were well received. However, to obtain qualitative information, content owners need to rely on methods such as focus groups, face-to-face interviews, behavioural analyses and surveys. These tools remain relatively expensive techniques that require time to deploy and analyse.

Contrast that with the power that today’s social media provides to content creators: while a program is being viewed or heard, comments from its audience can be tracked in real-time. In a live tv show or a radio program, this could be used to alter some aspects of the content in response. A small-scale example of this is now found in conferences where moderators and panellists often find themselves responding to comments/ questions/ criticisms from twitter while they are still on the panel. This is no different for a producer in a studio gallery or a DJ in a radio show.

As the reach of broadband (mobile and fixed) and dual-screen viewing (TV/ Tablet or TV/ Laptop) grow, it is only a matter of time before mining qualitative data in real-time becomes the “norm” for measuring audience preferences.

Tiesto vs @tiesto

October 29, 2010 1 comment

Recently, Tiesto was due to play in Abu Dhabi. The globally renowned DJ is active on social media and exists on twitter as @tiesto. On the day of the concert, he tweeted his arrival in Abu Dhabi and his excitement about the evening’s gig. Later in the day, news of the show’s cancellation began to spread (on twitter first). Tens of fans sent tweets to @Tiesto asking if this was true. Silence. Later in the evening, he made one tweet expressing his disappointment that the concert couldn’t be held. This again generated lots of tweets asking about the reason, refunds, and alternative dates. Silence. Eventually his management tweeted that he would answer all questions sent by fans in two days time. Two days later, Tiesto worked hard to answer the hundreds of questions from all over the globe. His final tweet apologised for those he couldn’t answer as he hadn’t expected “so many questions.”

This is the double-edged sword of social media. On the one hand, companies and celebrities can now connect to thousands and millions of customers and fans directly. On the other hand, these customers and fans now expect immediate answers to their questions as if they were having a 1-to-1 conversation. If the company or celebrity is not ready to react rapidly to unexpected events,  their social media presence may turn into a negative experience for them, their customers and their fans.

Categories: Social Media Tags: , ,

Volcanic Connections

April 24, 2010 Leave a comment

After spending four days at MIPTV 2010, a volcano in Iceland with a tongue-twisting name has inevitably become the most dominant thought in the minds of the 11,000+ delegates. Most of them probably accompanied thoughts of volcanos with four letter expletives, yet the Icelandic eruptions have further reenforced how connected we, and our world, have become.

Borders are increasingly meaningless. A single volcano, helped by jet streams and wind directions, disabled not only aircraft but the flow of daily life for millions of people in tens of countries. Our economic connections are deeply rooted and transcend geographic borders or pre-conceived ideas of national boundaries.

Technological connections are increasingly personal. My trek back home took more than 24 hours across three countries, but I was never alone. My smartphone kept me connected like never before. While I did make some voice calls, the connections were mostly forged through access to various groups of friends, colleagues, and complete strangers. I was interacting with my friends on Facebook, being helped by colleagues back in the office over Messenger, taking advice from strangers over Twitter, and finding out about the plight of countless others through the comments on news sites. Sure I used my phone to check the status of airports, find flights, reserve taxis and book hotels, but the ability to stay connected to friends, family and colleagues was by far the most powerful of its capabilities.

MIPTV Theme 1: “The Connected Audience”

April 24, 2010 Leave a comment

You would have been forgiven if, in the first fifteen minutes of Kevin Slavin’s MIPTV session, you wondered whether you had strayed into a psychology and biology seminar. The CEO of gaming company Area/Code spent a considerable amount of time discussing the human brain’s functions and in particular, “limbic resonance“. It was an in-depth look at the science that explains why people are in effect social mammals who want to gather and share experiences. The “connected audience” was a theme that ran through much of MIP’s sessions. Examples of how TV and social media are melding included live tweets appearing below the broadcast of President Obama’s inauguration as well as special episodes of MTV’s “The Hills” which superimposed viewer comments onto the scenes and characters on the screen. Area/Code also explored multi-platform gaming, with one example being web players tracking real sharks with GPS transmitters attached to them. Along with the technological convergence of viewing devices, this trend promises to recreate the social satisfaction of sharing a viewing or gaming experience with others.

Categories: content Tags: , ,