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Listen up Celebrity Tweeters! Apparently Nobody Cares! September 27, 2010

Posted by billyburnettgbc in conversational PR, new media, Online Reputation, pr, TweetVolume, Twitter.
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Twitter plans to launch a free analytics dashboard that will help its users – especially businesses – understand how others are interacting with their tweets. Announced by Ross Hoffman, a member of Twitter’s business development team, the tool will show you which tweets are spreading and which users are influential in your network.

Although bad news for third-party Twitter analytics tools, such as Klout, Omniture and Twitalyzer, it is likely to be welcomed by many as a step forward in the way we measure the beast that is social media – especially as it’s free!

Twitter is perhaps one of the best examples of the difficulties surrounding social media measurement, with retweets, followers and the ability for a topic to trend all playing a role in determining influence.

Only this week, Ashton Kutcher, one of the services most famous users with millions of followers, shown to have very little if any influence according to a study conducted at Northwestern University. These findings hit the wire a few months after social media analytics company Sysomos claimed that celebrities’ followers don’t have any influence, either.

It might all depend on how you crunch the numbers. Don’t forget that Justin Bieber used to consistently sit near the top of Twitter’s official trends list, and that one source close to Twitter claimed 3% of the network’s servers are dedicated to tweets from Bieber and the retweets from his followers.

Although the launch of this service is unlikely to be considered the defacto standard by every PR or marketing agency, especially as some have already invested in developing their own tools, it does provide an independent view for the client.

Win, win, who will win? Pay or free to view? June 25, 2010

Posted by kewroad in 2010 predictions, Journalism, new media, Online Reputation, print media.
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The great paywall debate in the publishing industry continues to rage.  With the Sunday Times and The Times now taking out full page advertising to promote News International’s new pay wall scheme, the Daily Telegraph and others are also taking a stance.  According to Beehivecity, The Daily Telegraph is now running London Underground adverts along the lines of :

‘Award winning journalism, free at the dailytelegraph.co.uk.  Sometimes you get what you don’t pay for.’

And…

‘Quality journalism should challenge your mind not your pocket.’

This is possibly the first time that the Daily Telegraph is taking a clear stance that it does not believe paywalls are the right way to go and that newspaper content should be free.

There are clearly two camps evolving.   The FT sits with The Times on the far side of the paywall debate, while both The Guardian and The Daily Mail are committed to it being free and easy for all.  And with all BBC content free – that’s quite a strong ‘free’ force.

News International is charging readers £2 a week to access The Times and The Sunday Times online, the price of one copy of the Sunday newspaper.  I’ve just subscribed to the limited free version and  there is loads of interesting content in there that I would probably be quite happy to pay for it especially if it’s the same price as one copy of the Sunday newspaper.

On the free-side argument, the Guardian generates £27m of online advertising revenue which rises to £38m with dating site. Total turnover last year for Guardian News Ltd was £253m. So the advertising revenue more than makes up for lost subscription revenue.

And with the Evening Standard’s free edition going profitable this month for the first time and solely relying on advertising revenues, is this possibly yet more proof that long-term people won’t pay?

While the publishing industry works all this out, people still need to get used to going online for their news and information – no doubt the iPad will help do that.

Ultimately, may be the industry will end up with a mix of both – sometimes consumers pay, sometimes they don’t.  Whatever happens between pay and free-to-view models, the future business model of a medium that is nearly 500 years old will change forever.

Facebook – We love you, we love you not, we love you… May 26, 2010

Posted by billyburnettgbc in Facebook, Online Reputation, social networks.
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Despite being somewhat of a media darling in 2009, where the introduction of even the most basic of features were salivated over by the press, Facebook has come under heavy criticism over the past few months. This has predominantly been around privacy settings, though the odd security scare has also hit the headlines, which has resulted in Mark Zuckerberg announcing plans to roll out simplified features from 26th May.

Although this is likely to be met with a several hurrahs and pats on the back from people stating the power of social media has once again influenced power over an organisational strategy, I must admit I don’t really care and truth be told, I doubt 90% of the people on Facebook do either. Privacy settings are rarely a concern for the man on the street and he definitely doesn’t read the terms and conditions, as demonstrated by GameStation, so why all the fuss?

The fact is that more than we love to see someone succeed, we love even more to see them fail and this is especially true when it comes to brands in the internet age. What will be interesting to see is whether Mark and the rest of his team will be able to turn up the marketing charm, something they haven’t had to do much of previously, and get the media back on side.

Apple: Victim of its own success? March 10, 2010

Posted by billyburnettgbc in conversational PR, HP, iPad, iphone, Online Reputation.
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Apple knows how to create hype around a new flagship product. Fact. Most apparent with the recent launch of the iPad, thousands of articles were dedicated to industry rumour and speculation around the name of the product, let alone a laundry list of features that were dedicated to showcasing possible designs and features. But, what happens when the hype outweighs the product itself?

This is a major challenge that Apple is now facing and with the launch of the iPad in the UK at the end of April, something they need to address quickly. Unveiled on January 27th, the media bubble quickly burst and subsequent polls found that the masses agreed.

Was this because the media had put too much hype behind the product, perhaps? One supporting point behind this is the string of videos, images and articles dedicated to ridiculing the name of the product itself. Even I find myself referring to the product on occasion as the iTab, but what can I say – I just preferred what the masses had come up with?

Even Apple fan boys have struggled to hide their disappointment; as a result this has resulted in another PR challenge for Apple – competitors are highlighting the product weaknesses with few product ambassadors to protect them and media keen to draw attention to them.

One such video was released yesterday by HP which highlighted the flash capability of the HP Slate and immediately captured the media’s attention:

Over the course of the next few weeks the Apple PR machine will be tested and how they react is likely to make or break the success of this product (and potentially a slight price discount).

Who will pay? November 18, 2009

Posted by kewroad in 2009 predictions, blogs, conversational PR, Facebook, Google, information technology, Journalism, new media, Online Reputation, Uncategorized.
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Murdoch has created a lot of storm recently talking about how consumers will have to pay for content.  In this Sunday’s Observer, there was yet more discussion about how even in the good old days of printed newspapers, customers never paid the full price anyway – so why does Murdoch think they will now! And then later in the week, the editor of the Times shed more light on how he expects readers to pay for the digital edition of the Times.  Good luck to them. Now, the founder of Digg, is suggesting that news aggregation sites have a contribution to make.  So it’s definitely all still up in the air, in terms of how it’s all going to work financially.

In the meantime, it’s goodnight to another printed publication, 25 year old Media Week but welcome to it’s new online presence..let’s hope they can make it pay.

So in this revolutionary world we currently live, the winners will be the ones able and prepared to change their business model and make it work financially.

Sue Grant

All of a Twitter – Measuring Online Reputations February 12, 2009

Posted by kewroad in Addictomatic, Flikr, Online Reputation, social networks, TweetVolume, Twitter, YouTube.
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Despite coverage appearing in media outlets, ranging from The Daily Mail to CNN, the 23rd January will be regarded by many as the day that Twitter became mainstream. This was the day that Britains two most famous Twitterers, Stephen Fry and Jonathon Ross, set the micro-blogging service alight as they discussed their love of the online tool on Ross’s comeback programme. Combined with Stephen being subsequently trapped in an elevator, the media landscape is now abuzz with news about Twitter and its abundance of followers.

With Twitter now being accepted as mainstream, companies are now wondering how to measure and monitor their brand reputation in an increasingly digital landscape. It is now accepted that we have moved from a watch and listen to a search and share society, where people are having active discussions and forming opinions not via traditional outlets, but through social networks, forums, blogs, virals, RSS, UGC, link-building, wikis and of course Twitter.

Actively monitoring this array of digital outlets represents a new challenge to today’s brands looking to not only monitor their presence against competitors, but also to play an active role in these discussions.

For brand managers looking to provide a basic overview of how they are faring in the digital arena against their competitors, TweetVolume, a tool that scans and counts the number of times a word or phrase appears on Twitter, and Addictomatic, a tool that builds a one page summary of results from 18 sites ranging from YouTube to Flikr to Twitter, are great starting points.

With media now sourcing stories from a range of digital outlets, be it a Facebook group or Twitter thread, the ability to measure, monitor and engage with online resources is key to an effective PR strategy in todays increasingly digital ecosystem.