Tag Archives: Twitter

The PR value of UGC – fancy being Charlie Sheen’s social media intern?

Screen grab from Charlie Sheen's Twitter account

UGC encourages specialism – you can become an expert on a community based on interest, location or cause by generating content about it. While engaging with a community may result in you providing a news service via a blog or social media, your interest in UGC could lead to a job in PR in this promotion-centric world which also requires knowledge and specialism, specifically, knowledge of the brand. Twitter is often used for PR purposes, and right now actor Charlie Sheen is looking for a social media intern to promote his infamous reputation. Check out Charlie Sheen’s Twitter if you haven’t already!

UGC can help to promote brands. Consider Take Me Out on ITV, a dating show where women keep on their lights if they fancy the fellow that comes down the ‘love lift,’ and he picks one of the lasses that has taken a shine to him to date.  A person is employed to tweet throughout the shows from Take Me Out’s official Twitter account, and lots of people interact with them or tweet about the show, giving it publicity. It often trends on a UK level on Twitter as a result.

An example of the banter between Take Me Out's social networking team and users that helps generated publicity for the show (screen grab)

While you consider the PR aspect of UGC, check out the job description for Charlie Sheen’s social media intern:

Position: Full-Time,

Paid Timeframe: Summer 2011 (8 weeks)

Description: Do you have #TigerBlood? Are you all about #Winning? Can you #PlanBetter than anyone else? If so, we want you on #TeamSheen as our social media #TigerBloodIntern!

This unique internship opportunity will allow a hard-working, self-motivated, creative, resourceful and social media savvy individual to work closely with Charlie Sheen in leveraging his social network. The internship will focus on executing a social media strategy that will build on the success Charlie Sheen has attained in setting the Guinness World Record for the fastest time to reach one million followers on Twitter. The #TigerBloodIntern is expected to be proactive, monitor the day-to-day activities on the major social media platforms, prepare for exciting online projects and increase Charlie’s base of followers.

You will learn how to promote and develop the social media network of Hollywood’s most trending celebrity.

Did you/Are you gonna apply? Own up.

By Anisa Kadri @anisakadri on Twitter

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Online Identity and the Importance of Reputation

Phone-ins, interviews and opinion polls form the bedrock of traditional journalism. This form of audience participation enriched the journalism. In today’s online journalism, user generated content also serves to provide more layers to enhance the journalism.
Yet with all journalism it is important that your source is trustworthy.

Stephen Fry, is one of the most popular ‘Tweeters’, with more that 50,000 people following him on Twitter. He has built up an online reputation that makes people want to interact with him and experience his own micro-blogs.

However talking to one BCC reporter he revealed that his initial thought about Twitter, calling it ‘the weirdest and naffist idea I’d ever come across…You tell people what you’re doing and obviously a lot of that is pretty banal and common place and easy to mock…’

Fry goes on to comment that some of his blogs may be ‘savagely banal’ but such is the frequency and reliability of his Tweets that he is rewarded with such a high amount of followers.

If your online reputation is the basis of your popularity and reliability, then maintaining it is crucial. The ease and accessibility of Twitter means that it is very easy to destroy that reputation by Tweeting something that is false or slanderous. Stephen Fry commented on this, he is always ‘aware that I could shoot my mouth off inappropriately if I’d had a few glasses of wine or if I was in a really stinky mood, or if I reveal my location to disadvantage’.

Within the world of blogging and user generated content there grows a sense of online community. Many people who use Twitter commonly have questions or problems they need help with. This may be as a journalist, or for a more general question. The sense of community is such that you expect that if you ask a question, it is likely that another Tweeter will help you and answer it or refer you to a source that may help. By helping them, you not only solve their issue, you help establish credibility and identity among the Twitter and wider online community.

An example of this is when Stephen Fry tweeted asking for advice when a bat became trapped in his house and within seconds he had hundreds of replies within seconds! This method was by far the quickest way to tap into the collective wisdom of the public because of the reputation and following he had built up.

Watch Stephen Fry’s Unofficial Guide to Twitter below!

By Vanessa Holland

When UGC turns Ugly- You’re fired! on Twitter

On the 8th January 2010, Simon McMenemy (Simcm7) tweeted: ‘Feels totally disrespected. No call, text, nothing. Been told my a friend who watched it on TV, this is not how to treat people.’

This was Simon McMenemy’s reaction, as he became the first international football manager to be fired on Twitter.

Simon McMenemy should have been celebrating his other first, becoming the youngest international manager in the world and becoming an overnight hero in the Philippines after inspiring the country to its greatest-ever success at a major tournament. Yet instead he picked up a more unwelcome first. He became the first international boss to discover his sacking on Twitter before having it confirmed by a friend on Facebook.

McMenemy’s rise to fame was sudden. He worked as Albion’s football and health development officer and last season he was assistant manager at Worthing, before he successfully applied for the manager of the Philippines.

McMenemy took the Philippines reached the semi-finals of the Suzuki Cup in South East Asia, the national side’s best ever performance.

“After four months I had been the most successful Philippines coach of all-time. Three wins, five draws and three losses were not too bad.”

But this was not enough and he still lost his job as new German financiers of the club demanded the right to choose their own manager.

I talked to Simon for BBC Sussex to get his reaction on the story. He told me that by using this form of media, it was so much more impersonal than ringing him or contacting him directly.

This highlights the worst aspects of UGC when a leaked story can ruined someone’s professional credibility as well as their career. The speed of which the leak from Twitter moved to Facebook was rapid enough that the chairman of the Philippines had to appear directly on national television to confirm the rumours, rather than alerting McMenemy first.

He said: “It’s a sore one to take as it got leaked on Twitter.”

On 3rd February he Tweeted: ‘football rules my life. Has cost me jobs, relationships, my health (broke my leg in a tackle 2 years ago) still in love with it’

With his previous career success, in a matter of mere months of rising from non-league football to an international manager, it seems that he shouldn’t be short of future job offers!

By Vanessa Holland

Why UGC is not a cheap alternative to real journalism – an in depth interview with Trushar Barot

Trushar Barot is a senior Broadcast Journalist from the User Generated Content hub at the BBC. I managed to catch up with him to find out what he does on a daily basis, which social media site the BBC benefits from using the most and whether he thinks UGC is a cheap alternative to real journalism.

The future of journalism is going to be much more about journalists who work with social media becoming trusted editors of UGC, according to Trushar.

The department at the BBC finds Twitter “essential” in newsgathering and are confident in using it to source stories. He says there has been a huge shift in the way people use sources such as Facebook, Youtube and Flickr.

It is particularly helpful when sourcing information in the Middle East fot the recent crisis. He says there has been an intense pressure for the BBC to keep up with the most current information and pictures.

He says he trys to maintain a good relationship with users who contribute information and makes sure they know they own the copyright of their information. The BBC also has a policy of never paying for information they obtain.


By Linzi Kinghorn

What time of day do you get the most out of Twitter? HubSpot reveals all.

One of those golden questions that we’d all like to know the answer to. Especially as journalists. If we’re asking for some information in the form of a question we want to ask it at the time that will brings back the most responses, right?

Similarly if we’re tweeting out news articles, videos, audio interviews etc we want to post them and shout about them when the optimum number of eyes will see our work, of course.

I’ve been looking around for stats on this for a while and came across HubSpot – a fab site dedicated to social media marketing mostly aimed at businesses and advertisers. Lots may think that as journalists marketing isn’t really our thing – it’s the dark side, but when it comes to online journalism and the effective use of social media within our work – it most definitely is.

HubSpot have data on all sorts of things on all the big social media platforms. You can find out what the most retweeted words are, what kind of thing gets the most ‘likes’ on Facebook and what things make users click through links you post in updates.

We all use social media, but lots of us don’t know how to use it properly.  Whether you’re contributing to a blog, updating items online as part of a larger news organisation or finding guests for programmes, optimising your social media usage can make a big impact on your journalism.

After scraping data on the best time of day to send tweets, I put together this visualization using ManyEyes:

What time of day do you get the most out of Twitter? Many Eyes

From the data above we can see that the best times to tweet is:

  • 9-10am in the morning
  • 12-1pm over lunch
  • 4-5pm in the evening

These times correspond directly to an average working day. People arriving at work in the morning switch on their computer and check Twitter, this happens again over lunch breaks and again at the end of the day when employees are anticipating home-time and may be hurrying time along by checking their social networks/tweeting out work they’ve completed during the day.

So keep these times in mind when sharing content with your digital networks – the more eyes the better right?

 

By Lucy Hewitt

How Simon Rogers from the Guardian views UGC

I spoke to the Guardian’s Simon Rogers about User Generated Content, how to source a story from different social media platforms and what the Guardian will be offering in terms of UGC in the future.

Here is a little bit of information about Simon: Simon edits the Guardian Datablog and Datastore and is also an editor for the newspaper. Simon won the annual award for statistical excellence in journalism with his work with the Datablog. His journalism career began on trade magazines The Lawyer and Brand Strategy followed by four years at the Big Issue in the mid 1990s, when this paper was running interviews with leading opinion formers and politicians, including Tony Blair. Rogers joined The Guardian in 1999 and was launch editor of Guardian Unlimited News, and other roles at the paper have included editing the science section.

I asked him how he goes about collecting user generated information and which is the richest social media platform for the Guardian. I also asked what’s in store in the future for UGC at The Guardian.

According to Simon, half the traffic generated for the Guardian’s stories come from Twitter and therefore it is one of the best social media platforms to use. It is also extremely useful when it comes to generating data for interactive maps – a good example of this being when it the weather was unpredictable back in 2010.

By Linzi Kinghorn

Happy 5th birthday Twitter

For those of you who are just getting to grips with Twitter or those of you who have long been an avid tweeter, it might be time to feel concerned about the internet phenomenon. In an article by Viv Groskop in the Evening Standard this week, an important issue was raised about whether its 5th birthday is a make or break moment for the Twitterati…

Myspace came and went….as did Bebo….and who remembers Friendster?! Point made. So could Twitter follow in the same footsteps? When it began, it’s first users were “exhibitionists” according to Grodkop, everyone’s time-waste of choice. Author Hari Kunzru calls it his “work avoidance tool” and Jemima Khan remarked last week, “it revolutionises the way I procrastinate”. So is Twitter merely an avoidance tool?

Nowadays, it seems as though people have completely stopped using it for this method and are instead using it to communicate important information and implementing it into news just as much as television and radio. For example, Laura Kuennsberg and Georgie Thompson, both broadcasters, tweet constantly, updating me with news. There is much talk of revolution, politics, environment and anything else that is of interest.

Aside from that, people enjoy using it because you can post fun things that pop into your head and things that may sound silly when you say them out loud but are kind of acceptable on Twitter, like, “I’m just making a lovely cup of tea.” Ridiculous when said out loud. But on Twitter, they seem to work. It’s not just A-listers that use it any more – politicians and public figures tweet which adds to its authenticity but obviously you should take care because you are liable for anything you say on a Tweet.

Is Twitter destined to become part of our social existence that we cannot live without? Is it so ingrained into our lives now that it would be too hard not to tweet about your new handbag or the latest suicide bombs in the Middle East? Can we live without it? In order to maintain Twitter’s phenomenen, it may need to consider making some money. Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive, didn’t mention anything about revenue projections or growth targets at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week so experts are worried the company may flop.

David Cameron said, “too many tweets make a twat”. Do you agree? Will it suddenly disappear into the stratosphere or will we get to a point where we regard it as useful and as important as email and question how we ever lived without it? Will it peak soon to a point where everyone is using it? Some argue this is a make or break time for Twitter. Watch this (my)space….oh dear….
By Linzi Kinghorn