Daily Archives: March 23, 2011

Channel 4 News launches cuts map in time for Budget – UGC to the max

The developer behind the #uksnow map Ben Marsh has launched a crowdsourced cuts map for Channel 4 to monitor spending cuts across the UK in time for George Osborne’s Budget.

Twitter can be used to report government cuts taking place via this map. On Twitter, the hashtag #c4cuts, a place name/postcode and a link to an article will appear on the map on Channel 4’s website.

So we see a big broadcaster using UGC in a fantastic way, reaching more communities than they might do otherwise. Channel 4 News say they want to “harness the power of social media and the wisdom of the crowd” to find stories they may have missed.

Channel 4 News’s Head Of Online Ed Fraser told Generated By Users: “…if you ask a Channel 4 News presenter like John Snow or Krishnan Guru-Murthy a question or one of our correspondents or producers then you will usually get a reply/answer.

“We are now looking to evolve the next stage of our social media strategy and reach out to the audience to help us develop our journalism both online and then to translate that onto television.  There have been a lot of collaborative style projects online but few that make the translation onto television.

“We hope our Cutsmap will enable the audience to join with us in pinpointing cuts around the country at a local level and it can be a resource for both them and for us to develop stories from.”

Channel 4 isn’t the only broadcaster using innovative Budget-inspired UGC. Sky News will have a Budget calculator available shortly after the announcement so people can fill in their details and see how much better or worse they will be as a result of the Budget. The BBC also has a Budget calculator. And ITV News had a live web chat featuring a panel of experts whom users could post questions to and interact with online.

If you’re in Budget mode, here it is at a glance. And below is some reaction from Twitter:

@drummermik: Wow. A whole penny off fuel per litre. I can now get a couple penny sweets every time I fill up. #Budget

@lightboxstudios: So far it seems the budget is pretty good, especially for small businesses. Nice one George, looking forward to my reduced business rates!

@mancman: @10anta i suggest you watch the BBC, this shocking budget is not going down well with the public, Roll on May 5th when you get massacred

Lots of different opinions then – what are your thoughts on the cuts map/Budget? Feel free to add some UGC to this post with a comment or two!

By Anisa Kadri @anisakadri on Twitter

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Social Media Replacing Research Surveys?

Many journalists, bloggers and businesses rely on research surveys to direct their products and output.

Research surveys have been vital in the past but the top research executive of Procter & Gamble Co., (Joan Lewis) has said that she expects research surveys to dramatically decline in importance by 2020. The reason?-  social media.

Joan Lewis, is responsible for P&G’s $350 million budget in annual market-research outlays. She has warned that the advertising industry should get away from “believing a method, particularly survey research, will be the solution to anything,” she said. “We need to be methodology agnostic.” However this doesn’t just apply to the advertising industry. It has more far reaching applications to any businesses or media.

Another important element P&G warned was that businesses are not being interactive enough. Indeed, P&G were the only UK company among the top five companies to use Twitter.

Joan told the conference: “The more people see two-way engagement and being able to interact with people all over the world, I think the less they want to be involved in structured research,” she said. “If I have something to say to that company now, there are lots of ways to say it.”

As UGC is recognised by big business we should realize it is just as important in our online community and journalism.

Using online polls, Twitter and other forms of trending provide an insight into the feelings of the online community. As the online community can include a whole strata of the public, it can offer a good cross section and therefore act as an accurate research facility. The ability to target a specific audience by targeting different social media forums is also a key advantage.

Well, what do you think? Vote below!

By Vanessa Holland