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One browser no longer rules them all March 22, 2010

Posted by kewroad in Broadband, information technology, internet, Microsoft.
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Things appear to be looking up for Opera Software since Microsoft began offering a choice of 12 browsers to Windows users on 1 March. They’ve reported significant increases in downloads of its desktop browsers with more than half of all European downloads originating directly from the Choice Screen.  

Microsoft agreed to offer browser choice to European users following a 10 year dispute with the European Commission over competition regulation. As well as the ‘better known alternatives like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Internet Explorer and Opera, web users will also be offered lesser known browsers such as Sleipnir, Green Browser, Maxthon, Avant, Flock, K-meleon and Slim.

It will be interesting to see how this will affect the PR and marketing initiatives of these companies, with companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple already possessing mainstream recognition. Over the next few months I fully expect to see the browser wars heating up, similar to that which the search engine industry has seen over the past few weeks, with a flurry of online touch points being saturated with content around speed, customization and of course security.

Twitter hits PR agencies – guess what it’s called: twitpitch November 25, 2009

Posted by kewroad in 2009 predictions, blogs, conversational PR, internet, Journalism, pr, Twitter.
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Twitter makes the world go round and probably provides more opportunities than people can think of right now. Not only journalists, bloggers and analysts find a new communication channel in the 140 characters space that Twitter offers. Companies start to talk to their clients, partners, best friends and potential new clients about new products, the market or other hot issues. PR agencies like us try to introduce the advantages of  Twitter to our clients and we try hard even in “far-behind-Germany”.

Now as part of the PR community we can make Twitter a new business channel for us as well. We start twittering in our community and talk about PR news, discuss issues and get quick feedback from other agencies of our thematic focus. And this network could lead to new contacts for our business. Watch us twitpitching!

Bettina

GBC Germany

Twitter: Next Generation of Citizen Journalism? June 30, 2009

Posted by billyburnettgbc in Journalism, new media, Twitter.
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I didn’t learn of Michael Jackson’s death on the news, nor did I read it in a newspaper or online, I heard about it on Twitter, the fastest growing medium of so-called citizen journalism.

I was in a public house near my flat and as a friend frequented the little boy’s room I took the opportunity to load up Tweet Deck on my iPhone.  I was suddenly met with over 300 “MJ related” Tweets, with an assortment of hash tags and tiny URLs which I could use to follow the story.  This was citizen journalism in action and I became part of it the minute I decided to Retweet and subsequently break the internet.

As the fastest growing website in the UK, experiencing a 22-fold increase in the past year, Twitter is now not only used by many for communication, but also as a source of news.  This is supported by a recent study by industry analysts Hitwise, who found that during May, links from Twitter accounted for 1 in every 350 visits to a website.  The figures also revealed that Twitter was the 27th most popular source of traffic to media and newspaper websites in the UK.

But is this a sustainable medium, not in terms of enthusiastic users but in terms of quality?  On the same day that I learnt of the news surrounding Michael Jackson, Tweets were also circulating around the death of Jeff Goldblum, culminating in an Australian news channel covering the news.  A term we are referring to internally as Tweeting Whispers.

Another challenge facing the use of Twitter as a source of news is the opportunity for misuse. Habitat has hit the headlines over the past couple of weeks when an overenthusiastic “intern” decided to leverage the popularity of hash tags surrounding the Iran elections and Apple iPhone to promote a special offer by Habitat.  On this occasion the site was simply misused to promote a special offer, but what if it was to send people to an infected website etc.

The challenge for Twitter is on how to address these problems. Does it put in place technical solutions that could potentially inhibit growth and functionality?  Or does it leverage the Twitter audience and create a new system of rating or reporting tweets?

The task ahead is unenviable however there is no doubt without some action from a predominantly unchanged social networking platform the Twitter platform will be replaced.  I am already thinking of a tool where you aren’t allowed to use vowels.