Social Networking Blog

Guy Clapperton on the evolving new media

Twitter annoyances

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Great blog post pointed out by Jack Schofield of the Guardian to his followers, on ways of annoying Twitter users. I could add a few; we’re getting to the stage at which posting to Twitter about Twitter is going to seem very old hat (we could just accept Twitter’s there and get on with it, nobody phones you to talk about the phone network); engaging in endless one to one communications which should long ago have been taken to private mail and posting exclusively about your product are among them. But the list in this link is pretty much excellent and I’m relieved to say I don’t indulge in many of them. Not often anyway…

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April 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Working for free

Since I mentioned on this blog and elsewhere a while ago that I’d been commissioned to write a book on social networking a number of people have asked me to speak at events. This is of course most kind – until you gather than a handful expect you to appear at their shindig, for which they’re expecting an income, for nothing.

It’s a minority of course, but if you’re one of them do have a look at this video…

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Social media howlers | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Twitter overtakes newspapers on G20 reporting

No overtaking
Image via Wikipedia

Well, that’s what it says here. One of the Frontline Club‘s bloggers claims that Twitter is overtaking traditional methods as the place the G20 stuff is being reported.

I’m sure that’s kind of true. Social media is increasingly important and this is a case where it’s being noticed. On the other hand until someone produces an issue of the Times with 140 characters only I’m not sure there’s a direct comparison to be made.Sure, bulletin for bulletin there are more Tweets than reports – but until someone does a word/character count on all the traditional media so we can see how many Tweets it would account for, the position isn’t clear.

You could almost think it’s not really a like for like comparison, don’t you think?

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April 2, 2009 Posted by | social media trends | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Digital v. real world – a pointless distinction

A server used for the My Home
Image via Wikipedia

Great blog piece here on the difference between the real world and the digital world. I’m delighted to draw people’s attention to this sort of good sense.

It’s now a few years since I was at a wedding and mentioned to a friend that I’d got some really good advice from the Internet on dog care – basically (if you’re remotely interested and let’s be honest, there’s no reason you should be) my dog’s nose wasn’t cold and wet and I found through the wonders of technology that it didn’t need to be. The friend – older than me – was appalled I’d take the word of a machine.

On a different note, a friend of a friend – no, really – has had marital problems because their partner became involved with someone on Second Life. This, everyone thought, was crazy because it wasn’t ‘real’.

The thing is, digital media is no less real because it’s digital – it’s just another way of expressing yourself. My experience with the dog wasn’t me believing a machine, it was an example of someone finding another expert through a machine – much as you might do with the phone. The marital thing was a bit different; neither of the participants could see their ‘real’ selves, of course; what they could certainly see was that things weren’t good at home so they found another outlet. Nobody is going to tell me that marriage was working before someone started playing this game.

There will be more of this and we’ll find out more about how we interact in this altered world. Our experience is an evolving reality and always has been. When Concorde was invented our reality took on a supersonic dimension if we could afford it; when the telephone was invented and later television our reality gained a mass communications dimension, and now, big wow (or not), it’s taken on a digital dimension in addition to the rest as well.

But digital being outside of reality? You’re kidding.

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April 2, 2009 Posted by | social media trends | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Discovery Engine Coming to Twitter Homepage. Wait, What Twitter Homepage?

SAN FRANCISCO - MARCH 10:  Twitter co-founder ...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Discovery Engine Coming to Twitter Homepage. Wait, What Twitter Homepage?

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This post makes an interesting point – that nobody really looks at the Twitter home page any more. When I first signed up for the service I also signed for TwitAds, the idea being that people who look at your page get to see an advert in the background and you get paid a tiny, tiny amount. Yesterday I had offers from a couple of companies wanting to take me up on this – but I couldn’t help wondering, is anyone actually going to see the ad if I go ahead with this? My guess is not, because people see my Tweets on Twitdeck, Twitphon, Twihrl and all those other applications people use when they are definitely not using a Web interface. The Techcrunch people in the link above are right – Twitter has been outdone by the people writing applications around it.

Which is fine for Twitter as it provides the underpinnings and reaps the benefits. But the people providing the stuff like TwitAds, which depends on someone using the web view, will have a harder task in making anything out of this.

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April 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Twitter going to face a backlash?

An image of a compact disc - Pencil included f...
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No, not just a backlash because it’s successful and people resent it. Everyone gets those. No, this is a backlash from its advocates who don’t like it when they get the fail whale picture. CNN thinks it’s happening and it’s happening right now.

Which of course it is. And it will continue. Not because it’s Twitter but because this is how human beings interact with technology.

We start by being overawed. Take the CD; I remember when CDs launched, they were incredible, we were told, and quite possibly indestructible. We soon got over that – then we noticed that the music industry had managed to double the price of an album without anyone noticing. Then the backlash started – they didn’t sound as good as vinyl, de dum, de dum, de dum. Later on email began which was great – at first. Instant communication with someone the other side of the world – until you get your first outage, at which point email sucks. Big time.

Things move faster now. Twitter’s rise from a tiny minority pursuit has been nothing short of meteoric and lookee here, it can’t always cope. So yes, we get a backlash and it’s a big one – but it’ll move on just as quickly.

Someone on Twitter was just saying their local radio station was speculating that Twitter won’t last another year. My guess is that it will, for people who have a reason to use it, but the simply curious will move away quite quickly and find the ‘next big thing’. The apparent disillusionment when it can’t cope with a squillion users all wanting to get a glimpse of their favourite musician, sportsperson or other hero is all part of this process.

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March 31, 2009 Posted by | social media trends | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Newspapers aren’t making themselves interactive enough

taken by :he:משתמש:Hmbr
Image via Wikipedia

Social media shouldn’t be the death of newspapers but many people are portraying them in that way. This is why it’s good to read Marketingvox’ report of the Gartner view that they need to embrace the social networking area rather than compete with it, with thanks to Steverubel on Twitter for pointing the link out in the first place.

I find my experience mixed. The problem with the current model is that yes, you can comment on some stories online (I find the ones without the chance to comment now look out of date) but if it’s a popular newspaper you get lost in the mass of individuals.

I suspect there needs to be a new model to make real interaction work, and it’s not going to be leaving a couple of sentences on the end of an experienced writer’s polished prose. Where we go from here I don’t know, but for me the current model doesn’t work.

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March 31, 2009 Posted by | social media trends | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

How new is this stuff?

Partial map of the Internet based on the Janua...
Image via Wikipedia

Just drafting a chapter of the social networking book (due out in October from all good booksellers) and writing a bit about how this stuff is all new. Or not.

In 1989 I started life as a journalist and a load of tech hacks at the time were part of a ‘conferencing system’ called Cix. You could sign up and join various interest groups online, ask questions and usually get a pretty good answer. This in the days before broadband. Explaining it to people was tricky as the concept was, at the time, pretty new.

By the time I became freelance in 1993 CompuServe was starting to emerge as a serious force – again, offering connections to people with similar interests or in similar industries. AOL came along and later bought CompuServe, both of them doing the same job of linking people. Only a little later did the Internet take off in a big way and allow people on different networks to connect – hence the explosion in ‘social networks’.

It’s a load easier to get involved than it was and the numbers of people taking part would have been inconceivable in 1989. But ‘new’? I think not.

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March 24, 2009 Posted by | social media trends | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The New Rules for social networking at work

My social Network on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter...
Image by luc legay via Flickr

So I’m presenting at a Twitter-themed event the other week, and someone asks me what the rules are in social networking and how they can control someone who’s posting crazy things about their own employer online. So I have a think about the new rules in this odd new environment…

1. If you’re sitting at your computer but on Twitter, it doesn’t count as if you’re at work. Otherwise you’d have to be a complete idiot to come out with half the stuff I read on people’s Tweets.

2. It’s OK, the fact that your contract of employment says you mustn’t bring the company into disrepute doesn’t count in Cyberspace. It must be true or else people wouldn’t come up with half the stuff (etc. as above).

3. Starting a Facebook site called [Nameofmyemployer]sucks is a fine idea and won’t get you into trouble.

4. If your employer doesn’t have his or her own blog or Twitter feed, use the company logo as your avatar. It’ll be fine.

5. If your premises are open to the public, start a Facebook group about when you get a celebrity come in through the door, particularly if it’s a regular thing. Whatever they say, they love it when unexpected photographers turn up really.

6. Some people will tell you the laws of libel apply in Cyberspace just like anywhere else. Some people are just killjoys.

7. If you’re working on an exciting development for your boss, go ahead and Tweet it, Facebook it and everything, months before the official unveling is due. They love the enthusiasm and never mind their PR schedule going to hell in a handbasket.

8. If you go for a job interview and get the job, always go on Twitter and say the entire panel had halitosis and you don’t want to work for their stinking company in the first place. They never go online and you won’t be sacked before you get there. Much.

9. If you’re going in front of the press, do some practice interviews. Video them for future reference, warts and all. Then sling them onto YouTube. [I know someone who does that with his media training sessions. And no, it’s not me!]

10. Cursebird.com, dedicated to seeing who’s swearing the most on Twitter, is a challenge to which everyone should devote their lunch break. Always mention the company name.

There, just ignore that lot and it’ll be a start.

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March 23, 2009 Posted by | Social media howlers | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment