In a nutshell.

November 22, 2009

Before I start on my final blog post for the week, here’s something interesting.

googlemichaeljackson
Source: Mashable.com

I giggled when I saw that because Google’s algorithms failed! Michael Jackson DID die in 2007, but we are talking about an author here not the singer.

Quoted from the Mashable article:

“The attention to the issue likely means it has now been fixed, but it does go to show that Google’s algorithms, while always delivering relevant results for the keywords we enter, don’t always have the intuition to understand exactly what we’re searching for.”

So true!

—–

This week concludes the final week of my NCT lesson. It has definitely been one eye-opening semester with me and the rest of my cohort learning so many new things and discovering new and do-you-know facts about the social sphere. These few weeks have seen us through Twitter converts, augmented reality,  the power of Google, just to name a few!

I’ve conducted 2 presentations within the course of the duration and through the mountain of research, I’m proud to say that I am acutely aware of the emerging roles in online games like Habbo Hotel and…the future of PR!

And as if the vampires in Twilight haven’t been taking up enough air time, publicity time, advertising time. Before the launch of New Moon, Summit Entertainment teamed up with Habbo to roll out New Moon themed virtual spaces spanning across 31 virtual worlds around the globes. Injecting some business opportunities into this, various Twilight merchandises were being released too.

A very smart move I must say. Since the target audience of Habbo are from 13-18 years old and majority of the Twilight fans fall into that age category too. In this new age, what I can learn from these joint-promotions and marketing/advertising stints is to utilise the various different mediums available.

Which brings us to the topic of the Future of PR. I presented on the topic of Stowe Boyd’s brilliant idea – the Twitpitch.

It’s the elevator pitch (the brief overview of a product, service, or project that can be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator, usually around 30 seconds or so) summarised into 140 words.

WOW.

Imagine a PR personnel/team with the ability to do that and effectively at that! It’s so ingenious. In this day and age, where companies want to reach out to as many clients are possible, the Twitpitch is the way for them to go. That is, if the social media spreads and pollinate its influence on other big companies.

Face it. Do we really have the time for long, dry press releases anymore?

There was a question that came up in the presentation in relation to companies hiring bloggers to promote their products and services -
a)  If the entries that these bloggers write have to be submitted through the gatekeepers before being published, would that affect the credibility of the information?

Definitely I must say. The reason that people trust the selected bloggers for the respective product and services is because they are opinion leaders.

I reckon every suggestion made is made in assumption that the company has enough information on the respective tool and knows how to utilise it well enough.

There are so many PR, advertising and marketing tools emerging and I say, for those companies who are still focusing on the tactical way instead of the strategical way…

It’s time to DIVERSIFY.

The consequential reach.

November 20, 2009

Hello world.

It’s definitely been a grueling 5 weeks of school. It did start out at a slow pace but as various projects accumulated over the weeks to the final one, things DID become and ARE very hectic.

This final semester in DMC has taught me alot of things. I’ll leave my emotional growth for those who are really interested (ask!) because the purpose of this blog isn’t to act as a rant-dom. But, a dedication to a very important and practical module, New Communication Technologies (NCT). Let’s welcome this topic with open arms once again. Every week we’d familiarise ourselves with at least 2 new topics (I’d cover that in a later post) but one thing that I have gathered from the majority of the presentations is that:

Social media connects, displays, stays and affects.


The other day, due to sheer boredom and procrastination of schoolwork, (haha) I decided to revisit my ancient blog that I devotedly updated every day when i was about 15/16. I was greeted with horrifying instances of libel on ‘bitches’ I couldn’t stand in school. Constant flaming of the academia realm and very very unflattering pictures of my classmates and I. Oh the embarrassment. The worse part? After making the site private, Google still indexed the blog url in its search results. I curse archiving! Base on my understanding of how the search engine ranks the result list, I’d have to bug my ex-classmates to revive their also ancient blogs to remove their link to mine.

Moving on, but still in relation.

I’m not a basketball fan and that means I don’t scour the NBA’s site for latest news on their players. But not long ago this year, a basketball player named Michael Beasley made the headlines. Not because of a fantastic winning 3 pointer but because of this seemingly innocent picture he posted on Twitter via Twitpic:

Super Cool Beas Michael Beasley tattoo 2Picture taken from sportybrooks.com

Yes, we can tell that his threshold for pain is really high and he has a self-esteem to compliment it. And that the inscription almost reads like ‘Super Cool Beans’. Should have converted more people into Beasley evangelists right?

But no it didn’t.

Let me direct you to the bottom right hand corner of the picture. See the small blurry packet of ‘herbs’ that suspiciously looks like marijuana? Fans picked up on that and it wasn’t long before huge controversies and an uproar inevitably ensued.

Beasley was fined $50,000.

Companies should really tighten their rules on social media sites.

There was a particular incident with a K-pop singer who made a defamatory comment about the country he was living in on Myspace 4 years ago. Netizens managed to resurface that comment and that also ensued a huge uproar which led him to stay in the shadows away from the music industry for the time being. Or not.

The consequential reach of a tactless post is so huge. It scares me. I’ve since learnt to think twice before tweeting or posting anything that may be interpreted as controversial.

There is close to no anonymity on the world wide web. And if you happen to chance upon a social media/google guru and offend him/her…

All the best in your coming years.

p.s (To those who are too free and decide to search for my blog, I’ve already cleaned it up enough to hide things from us minions haha.)

I’ve been wanting to raise this issue for a really long time after I noticed a trend that news publications were reporting on news that were previously listed on the Twitter trending topics. The thing is, Twitter got the news first. Shock horror shock? Not really because times are really changing and the world is really living up to its 21st century title.

What started out, possibly, on a personal level has evolved into a news source. The news of the Mumbai bombings were tweeted from various people hours before the news crew got to hear of it. And some of these Twitter citizens were actually at the scene. The way I interpret this is simple – citizen journalism. A journalist used to be someone who worked for a news station and is formally employed for the role. But the recent trends in online social media and digital publishing have since thwarted the definition a little such that now a journalist is anyone who can report on an incident via whichever medium.

The fact is, the people who tweet are everywhere, and sometimes there before the news crew gets in. Things are made easier with a mobile phone and a short text – the world will now know what happened at ground zero. Short and sweet updates are being made easily accessible too.

Some have brought up the point that the credibility of the information is questionable. Yes, I admit there have been instances where wrong information have been reported on – bringing back the case of the Mumbai bombings where earlier reports on Twitter misled readers to think that the Marriott Hotel in Mumbai was bombed where in actual case, it was the hotel next to the Marriott.

However, studies on trending topics have shown that wrong information is quickly corrected and piped down with the accurate ones.

On a frivolous note, RIP Kanye made it to the trending topics before. And no, he isn’t dead. (Unfortunately) Yo Kanye, I’m real happy for you and I’mma let you finish but #musicmonday is the greatest trending topic of all time!

But that’s a story for another day.

Trending topics are fascinating, they are like viral topics being disseminated to millions at a go. Websites like http://www.whatthetrend.com/ have been created to explain each of the trending topic in detail and why it made it to the list. Reading the short synopsis behind the reason for the word’s emergence is already acting like a short news snippet!

The Straits Times (ST) have set up a Twitter account to tweet snippets of information to readers. I must say the choice of news they pick to be tweeted is always extremely novel and fresh. And I admire the way they can summarise a whole article into 140 words, and that includes the link.

I’m not sure if ST depends on Twitter trending topics for news or not, but I personally have witness the fact that ST reported the exact same news that made it into the trending topics on Twitter! It was quite a classic moment because yes, it was then when I started noticing this trend myself. (I used to be a Twitter non-believer previously.)

All in all, the way we are getting news is changing. And I reckon that one day the professional journalist would have to take the backseat and with us, citizens, leading the way for them.

A snippet from Tech Crunch’s blog:

‘What matters isn’t any individual Twitter message and whether it’s right or wrong. It’s the organism as a whole, the aggregate, that lets people stream what they’re witnessing in real time to the world. That aggregate stream gives us more information, faster, than anything before. It’s news, and it’s incredibly valuable.’

Indeed.

Have a great weekend. It’s Halloween, and guess what? Yes, it’s already a trending topic since yesterday.

Sources:

http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/29/so-much-for-twitters-trending-topics-to-indicate-breaking-news/

http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/27/i-cant-believe-some-people-are-still-saying-twitter-isnt-a-news-source/

http://www.mathewingram.com/work/2008/11/26/yes-twitter-is-a-source-of-journalism/

First week of school down, first week of NCT down, first blog post up!

The basis of Twitter never ceases to amaze me. It plays with a simple thing called curiosity and the physiological need of being accepted with the trademark question of ‘What are you doing?’. And there you have it, being ranked one of the 50 most popular websites, nabbed $100 million dollars in funding , and most interestingly, is currently boasting a horde of celebrity users. Which is a phenomenon I am personally very interested in.

Ashton Kutcher currently holds the prize as the most popular user with more than 3 million Twitter followers. And when Miley Cyrus finally pulled the plug on her account, fans around the world came together armed with the hash(#) tag of mileycomeback. Let’s just say #mileycomeback stayed on the trending topics long enough to annoy me.

In the online article, ‘Celebrities Need Authencity To Rule On Twitter’, it was stated by Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group consultants (a firm that helps companies with the emerging technological trends) that the celebrity status does not guarantee followers, but the personal dialogue created by the person.

To quote him, “If they talk about Christmas, or what they’re doing this weekend, then a conversation is begun.’

I couldn’t agree more. The reason I follow Dita Von Teese and Perez Hilton (even though the action was never reciprocated) is because I now know that Dita Von Teese would rather ‘eat a dirt sandwich than watch a movie called “The Vampire’s Assistant” or that Perez Hilton decided to start a trending topic of #Happybirthdaykaty in order to live up to be Katy Perry’s ‘tweetheart’. He succeeded by the way. This topic is currently trending and growing as I type, but that’s another story.

It really seems to be the fact that celebrities seem to genuinely care about Twitter, injecting their own personal touch and in Perez Hilton’s case, leading total celebrity tweets in August with 1,488. An average of 48 tweets closer to knowing Perez more each day.

Twitter has been hitting the highs of the celebrity world, but research has shown that although Twitter has a monthly growth of 1,382 percent, only 40 percent of the users retain.

Some celebrities who quit Twitter would be Miley Cyrus, Nelly Furtado and Joe Biden ( is he considered a celebrity?).

I don’t have a credited explanation for the poor retention rate but on a personal level, I would think that most people actually review their actions before making it Twitter worthy, and the ones who quit just find it pointless to update the world after they just opened a can of coke.

Social networking sites are like flu bugs, easy to be infected with yet at the same time, easy to get over.

I wonder when celebrities decide to move on again. After all, they did make the shift away from Myspace.

I end off with a quote from Jonathan Ross, a TVpresenter and comedian.

“You can lead a celeb to twitter but you can’t always make them tweet.”

Sources:

(I lost a few links but here’s what I have)

http://mashable.com/2009/10/20/twitter-celebrity-stats/

http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE59F4GQ20091016?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=11570&sp=true

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article5641893.ece

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