Non-TechWeblogs and Twitter

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To: ~digs who wrote (1028)1/29/2012 8:16:32 AM
From: ~digs
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HOW TO: Start and Run a Successful Twitter Chat

[most interesting] Twitter Chat Schedule

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To: ~digs who wrote (1028)1/30/2012 6:33:50 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
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Maybe you can incorporate "Twitter" into the Subject Title. My sense is that SI's members are more inclined to use Facebook than Twitter.

Twitter more popular than Facebook in 2011

By Emil Protalinski
December 26, 2011, 3:11pm PST

Summary: Twitter received more media coverage this year than Facebook did. More specifically, Twitter had 50 percent of the mentions when talking about social networks, while Facebook had just 45 percent.

Although Facebook dominates Twitter in many areas, it lost to its smaller competitor in at least one metric for 2011. Twitter was discussed in about 50 percent of media coverage regarding social networks this year, while Facebook was only talked about 45 percent of the time, according to HighBeam Research. The report did not even bother mentioning Google+.

Twitter beat out Facebook in every single month of the year, except for February and April. It even did better than Facebook in September, which is when the social networking giant hosted its 2011 f8 developer conference and made a slew of announcements, including the Facebook Timeline and updated Open Graph.

This is impressive for one simple reason: Facebook dwarfs Twitter. In terms of active users, it’s eight times bigger, and in terms of content shared, it’s 16 times bigger.

Facebook has over 800 million monthly active users as of September 2011 while Twitter has just 100 million monthly active users, also as of three months ago. Facebook users share 4 billion “things” every day as of July 2011, while Twitter users shared 250 million tweets every day as of October 2011.

Twitter’s dominance in the media can be explained with one general rule: public first, private second. If you create a Twitter account, by default all information shared on it is publicly available. You have to secure your account if you want to keep your tweets private. On Facebook, it’s a bit more complicated, but by default only your friends can see your content. Menlo Park is, however, trying to encourage public sharing in various cases; I would argue this is the main reason for all those privacy gaffes the company has had over the years.

Three months ago, Facebook launched Subscriptions and this month, Facebook launched a Subscribe button for websites. Given how similar the first is to Twitter’s basic following feature and how the second is basically Twitter’s Follow button, I would argue Facebook wants to get its users (especially high-profile individuals) to share at least some content publicly. We’ll soon see how that plan works out: I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook has a higher media attention next year than Twitter does.

I’m not sure if Google+ was excluded from the report because its share really was insignificant or if it is simply too new to bother measuring. Either way, third, fourth, and five places were taken as follows: LinkedIn (3.33 percent), Myspace (1.3 percent), and Foursquare (0.71 percent).

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From: ~digs2/12/2012 4:24:22 PM
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7 Levels of Twitter Followers

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From: Glenn Petersen2/12/2012 8:32:42 PM
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No surprise here:

Twitter Breaks News of Whitney Houston Death 27 Minutes Before Press

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To: stockman_scott who wrote (898)2/12/2012 10:39:20 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 1267
Twitter Is All in Good Fun, Until It Isn't

New York Times
Published: February 12, 2012

I was going to tweet about Roland Martin’s suspension from CNN, but I decided to write a column about it instead. It’s safer this way.

Let me explain.

Big media companies love when their employees hit Twitter. After all, the short-form social media platform gives consumers direct access to media personalities, and along with it, an intimate connection that large media organizations, and the public, revel in.

Until something goes wrong. Roland Martin, who is paid to spout opinions on CNN, posted a controversial one on Twitter and now he is on suspension.

Like a lot of us, Mr. Martin watched the Super Bowl last Sunday and like many of us, he frolicked on Twitter as one more way of “watching” the big game, including commercials.

Mr. Martin, a syndicated newspaper columnist and a political analyst for CNN, got in trouble for writing, “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl.”

Many, including gay advocacy groups, felt that the post advocated violence against homosexuals. Mr. Martin, a longtime hater of soccer, saw the immediate blowback on Twitter and said he was just mocking that sport, and nothing more. CNN also saw the outcry and suspended Mr. Martin indefinitely, saying in a news release that his post was “regrettable and offensive.”

This is not the first time someone who makes a living on one platform has been clobbered for making remarks on another. Octavia Nasr, senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs at CNN, was fired in 2010 for praising on Twitter Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, a Shiite cleric and inspirational figure for Hezbollah, after he died. That same year, an Arizona Daily Star reporter was fired for writing posts critical of colleagues and of the city of Tucson. The National Labor Relations Board said his dismissal was legal, in part because he had been warned by his employers not to post about work-related issues. Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the Daily Kos, was temporarily barred from MSNBC after getting in a Twitter dispute with Joe Scarborough on his show “Morning Joe.”

The list goes on, but you get the idea. The great thing about Twitter is it offers a friction-free route to an audience — if it can be thought, it can be posted. That’s also the bad thing about Twitter. For employees of almost any company, but especially media companies, it creates an ongoing tension: Yes, build your personal brand and, by proxy, bring social media luster to your employer, but do it in ways that are consumer-friendly and taste-appropriate. That kind of contemplativeness is not generally a Twitter impulse, as Mr. Martin found out.

Maybe he had too many nachos as he watched the game, or a few too many adult beverages, but when you are using Twitter as companion media to big events, be it the Oscars or the Super Bowl, it’s hard to resist the urge to say something sassy, transgressive or inappropriate.

It’s been a busy week for the intersection of Twitter and mainstream media. The BBC instructed its reporters to make sure they were breaking news on the BBC and not only on Twitter. Chris Hamilton, the BBC’s social media editor, said in a blog post, “We’ve been clear that our first priority remains ensuring that important information reaches BBC colleagues, and thus all our audiences, as quickly as possible — and certainly not after it reaches Twitter.”

Sky News took an even more aggressive Twitter stance in an e-mail to its staff last Tuesday: it banned the posting of stories from other media outlets, saying, “don’t tweet when it is not a story to which you have been assigned or a beat which you work.”

That is a sure-fire way for the Twitter accounts of Sky News employees to get little traction going forward.

In the current paradigm of media organizations and Twitter personalities, good reporters are expected to serve as a kind of wire service for information, and that includes providing links to important stories that they themselves may not have written. There is an expectation that good journalistic posters will be agnostic and even gracious about where information comes from. (Rupert Murdoch, a prolific Twitter user himself and someone who links to media whether he owns it or not, took to Twitter to say: “I have nothing to do with Sky News.” Well, other than owning a chunk of it, but why split digital hairs?)

Twitter’s speed and ease make it the world headquarters of snap judgments. From reading Mr. Martin’s post about Mr. Beckham and another one about a Patriots fan dressed all in pink, I saw little evidence per se that what he said was homophobic. So I could have joined the digital debate with something like: “Hey haters, cool it, let Martin be Martin. Let’s move on, people.”

But I didn’t, even though I am something of a free speech absolutist, partly because my Twitter bio identifies me as someone who writes about media for The New York Times. When I do post on Twitter, I often look at it through the eyes of my boss and his bosses and ask, is this congruent with the journalistic values of the institution — or, more succinctly, will it create a headache for my employer?

In the 15,000 or so tweets and retweets I have written, there are a few I’d like back and a few that probably made my betters uncomfortable, but mostly I’ve stayed out of the ditch. The rule at The Times is that there is no rule, but there is an expectation, as Philip B. Corbett, the standards editor for the paper, told me in an e-mail: “We expect Times journalists to behave like Times journalists, and they generally do.”

A Twitter post is not a small news story or a column. It is a thought burped up, generally without consideration. Most big media organizations mediate the discourse of their employees because that’s the business they are in. More and more, media outlets may be seen as a federation of voices, but there has to be a there there, a single unifying principle or value.

And even though I write a column, it has to be based on reporting. A funny thing happens when you report — things get more complicated, and less tweetable.

When I thought of writing about Mr. Martin’s suspension, I was inclined to believe it was a bone-headed move by a company drunk on correctness. I found some agreement from James Poniewozik at Time, who said, “Denounce the remarks, but as I’ve said before, I’d rather journalistic outlets, which are in the business of expression and ideas, err on the side of letting people screw up.” (He also said that Mr. Martin, who is fond of wearing ascots, should probably not point a crooked finger at the fashion choices of anyone else.)

But I also asked around among my friends — something I would never do as a precursor to tweeting — and got this response from Simon Dumenco, a longtime media observer and a Twitter savant.

He wrote in an e-mail: “The idea of joking that a ‘dude’ expressing a positive opinion about a David Beckham ad — which was really not about David Beckham the soccer star, but David Beckham the half-naked sex god — merits a smack-down? That’s actually not hilarious to me. It’s actually scary to me because it reminds me of social situations in my life where I’ve felt like it would be literally unsafe for people to learn I’m gay.”

Obviously, what seemed like harmless knuckleheaded banter to me landed very differently with people who generally share my values about free and unfettered discourse. I heard the same thing from other smart people who spend a lot of time on both reporting and Twitter.

So while I’m all for letting the tweets fall where they may, I’ve come to understand that just because a thought is tapped out on Twitter doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take it seriously. Complicated, I know, and just the kind of nuanced conclusion that would never fit into 140 characters.


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From: ~digs2/14/2012 7:33:42 AM
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How to deal with Twitter overload

this was written from the perspective of a mac/iphone user, of which I am not, but there are some good tips here

a couple weeks ago I started creating lists for my @funhawg account, where I tend to follow too liberally

I'm about a quarter of the way thru categorizing everybody, and once that's done.. I'll start an unfollowing binge

I use Tweetdeck to follow my lists


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From: ~digs2/14/2012 8:27:45 AM
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Twitter: Should You Have Multiple Accounts or Use Lists?

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From: Glenn Petersen2/22/2012 7:00:36 PM
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I do not spend a lot of time on Quora, even though there is a lot of valuable content on the site. It may just be me, but I find the site poorly designed. Having said that, it would make a perfect acquisition for LinkedIn.

Now You Need Quora Credits To Ask Questions, But Can Also Use Them To Promote Content

February 21, 2012

Quora has fiddled around with its Credits system and unveiled some new features today, making two very notable changes. The first one is the elimination of the original “Pay to show to Topics” feature of Credits, where users would have to pay credits to have their questions show up to people following specific topics. Instead, users will have to pay 50 credits to ask a question, any question and all topic additions are “free.”
Users can earn credits by having their questions and answers upvoted, answering “Ask to Answer” questions or having users gift them credits.

In addition to the universal question fee, Quora has added Quora ‘Promote,’ a way to use credits to give desired content more visibility throughout Quora. With Quora Promote, a user pays one credit for every two people he or she would like to have the chosen content promoted to (i.e. 100 credits for 200 people). The people are people who would have seen it anyways, a.k.a. followers of the topic and/or of the person who posted it.

When asked if ‘Promote’ was just a Trojan Horse to test out whether Twitter-esque branded promoted content will work, Quora co-founder D’Angelo responded, “We don’t have anything planned like that. This is not a monetization product for us. The goal of this is to make Quora better … We try to connect you with everything you want to know about.”

D’Angelo thinks that giving people the opportunity to get more eyeballs on a question, post or answer is in line with Quora’s overall vision, which has expanded beyond Q&A since its January 2010 launch.

“Quora is this place that gives you access to people who are interested in particular topics and an audience for things you want to share,” D’Angelo tells me, “It’s about connecting you to these other people, experts who want to answer your question or people who follow topics you’re interested in.” Quora doesn’t share traffic stats publicly but D’Angelo assures me that the demographic has diversified beyond the tech industry to other sectors like fashion and entertainment.

It remains to be seen whether or not all these complicated and somewhat arcane gamification elements will catch on with mainstream or even power users. In the meantime, at least the barrier to entry will cut down on the Newsfeed noise.

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From: ~digs2/25/2012 1:40:48 AM
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#hashtag history and linguistic implications

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From: ~digs2/26/2012 2:27:03 AM
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Five Stages of Social Media Maturity

First, there are the Laggards (aka the dormant stage). Forrester estimates that 20% of companies are currently not using any social media. This is a very small number when you think the reverse that 80% are users.

Next comes the testing stage. They write that while most companies are using social media, it tends to start organically in pockets. They describe this stage as “distributed chaos.” To move beyond it, they “recommend that a senior interactive marketer step up to play the role of “shepherd” to help coordinate efforts across the organization.” I would add that another smart move is to begin to monitor the effects of your efforts, as well as what others are saying about you in social media.

Then there is the coordinating stage where management recognizes the risks and rewards of social media. They “begin to put the resources and governance in place to create consistency across the organization, from 'distributed chaos' to a more centralized approach.” Let’s hope they do not over manage it to block the individual initiative that social media supports.

The scaling and optimizing stage occurs when firms “have already coordinated their social organization and are now focusing on optimizing their social media activities – from improved processes to more advanced metrics to integration with other marketing activity.” Monitoring impact is essential here.

Finally the Innovators are truly empowering their employees. At this stage, “all relevant employees have been trained and empowered to use social media – essentially “organized distribution” – though centers of excellence are still needed.” Forrester writes that only a few companies, such as Zappos, have even just entered this stage but they expect many more to follow over the course of the next year.

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