Archive for April, 2009

Some New Tools of the Social Media Trade

April 27, 2009

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been messing with three new (or semi-new) products that dip into the social media world. There is nothing “today” about any of these–just was thinking about some of the useful tools and tips along the way, and I realized I had made some changes.

The first new product I am using now is Hello Text which also has a pretty nice mobile interface. Now, the reason I like Hello Text is the overly large number of social networks I can update concurrently. It has more than 50 social networks in its network–and they are adding more to it. Until I discovered Hello Text, I was a pretty loyal Ping.FM user–the problem I have with Ping is that they seemed to have stopped developing against it.

Hello Text is in public beta now–and they seem to be adding to its capabilities. The next ask I would have is the ability to update via an IM source other than Google Talk (although I am on G-Talk, I am just not a huge fan).

Since I am on the go a lot–between the LIRR, going building to building in NYC and travel–I keep an eye out for better than good Twitter apps for my BB. On my iPhone I am pretty loyal to Twitterific. On RIM I had been using Twitterberry for more than a year. Recently someone sent me a link for Uber Twitter anpd it has been a great addition–even took Twitterberry off my BB. Click here from your BB for the client. Again this is an open-beta produt. The nice things about Uber Twitter are that it auto-updates–rather than a manual process. Also, it has some LBS capability, its own picture platform and allows you to manage yoru follow list from the client. Really the only complaint I have is that I can not (or have not figured out how to) get into my DM’s.

The final new addition to my social media arsenal is actually a way to tone-down the number of updates that I send to Facebook via Twitter. I have been using the FB app Selective Twitter for a few months–and not only do I like the results, but my FB/non-Twitter friends do too. I just put a #FB after the Tweets I want to send to FB and those get posted. No has-tag, no FB update. The two complaints that I have–and they are minor is 1-the Tweets are included in the #fb search and 2-I sometimes for get to include the tag with the Tweet.

So there you have it–two beta products ot mess with–and one to help you keep friends. Let me know what you are using in social media world–always happy to take a look.

New Pet Peeve: The Junk Tweet

April 24, 2009

So you know that feeling you get when after a long day at work or chasing it, you get home check the mail box and its packed?  Yeah, you know there will be some bills, maybe a magazine and hopefully something nice–a check, heaven forbid a handwritten letter (do those still happen?)…

Then you go through it all–and its junk mail. You know what I mean. An assortment of credit card offers, cable triple play, home refi–crap.

Well, in a lot of ways, in the name of “social media marketing” brands have taken extending the clutter from my mailbox to my Twitter stream.

I assume most people are like me–and every now and then will go into their Twitter followers and generally go through and follow anyone who is following me–usually with little thought.  Its socially the accepted practice on Twitter and it creates a sense of true community.

Then suddenly there in the stream is a seemingly never ending list of stuff–electronics, books etc-all with 100 characters and a URL click through.

And the reality is–its not just product companies that do this.  Many news organizations (incuding the one I work for) do this as well. To “drive” traffic to our sites we push out a headline and click through.

But is this really a community sharing experience? I tend to think its not.

I rarely unfollow anyone.

I do unfollow junk-Tweeters though.  Call it my own personal do not tweet list–I am happy to engage–and I am happy to debate, but not automate.

In the case of CBS News–I follow all of the “manual” Tweeters–from 48 Hours EP Susan Zirinsky to Associate Producer Rick Bouretta–not a problem at all.  Everyone has something to say–and Twitter gives us all an equal platform to have our say.

Now that we are listening–do you have anything you want to say?

Twitterizing Breaking News

April 23, 2009

In a 30 minute window today (if you were watching Twitter, the AP, and most of the major news organizations in the US you saw a great case study in how communication–and the dissemination of information can be aided by Twitter–if the simple rules are followed, know your source.

At about 816 BNO Breaking News broke on Twitter that the leader of Al Qaida in Iraq was captured.  If you don’t follow BNO on Twitter–and are in the news business, or are a “news junkie” then you should.  They do a great job covering the world–and are right.  Its my opinion as a long time news person that they are getting acceptance around the world as a news organization–and are really starting to cover the news, and not just headline what others are covering (perhaps a different blog there).

Being in a good news organization-emails started to fly internal to CBS News looking for confirmation-after all the story of the capture of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the chief of Al Qaeda in Iraq is not an unfamilar report.

With confirmation from a consultant working for CBS News in Iraq-CBS News went with the story–attributed to Iraqi officials (with a pending US confirmation). This occurred at about 845–30 minutes from the first mention via Twitter that this occurred. Its now on air, on line, on mobile and on Twitter again via CBS (and others).

The take away here is that these traditional news agencies were able to reach into social media to share the news.  BNO has more than 250,000 followers. CBS News has about 150,000 followers.  CNN (via purchase) is closing in on one-million.  There is an audience on the platform who devours information.

Yeah, I know the monetization is a little awkward at best–but the reality is an audience is being served–and its being served well.  With good journalism, best practices and the dedication to craft–the consumer who leverages the Twitter platform can pick and choose their news sources–ask questions and be served.

For the brand-its mostly brand extension right now.  At some point though this becomes a true business function–after all there are not many faster ways to get information out and there are not many ways to reach our consumers with the kind of concurrency that Twitter allows.


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