Category Archives: social media

9/11 and The Birth of New Media

In 2001  I was in year eight. Yet its still a struggle for me to remember that new media didn’t exist the way it does today. I was reminded of that after reading news stories and personal reflections.

Fast Company

Decade Of Disruption: 9/11-Inspired Innovation

Content

The article speaks about different types of innovation. When talking about “social media and crowd journalism” the article reminds us that “ubiquitious social media sharing” didn’t exist, the internet was much less sophisticated and smart phones with in-built cameras weren’t around making it difficult for non professional journalists to share information and images.

The comparison it makes between now and then makes it very easy to see the differences and appreciate how much has changed. It is a very relevant article both because it is timely and because it reminds us that the knowledge we take for granted on a daily basis was not always accessible to us.

Layout

I’ve noticed a difference between Fast Company’s web page layout and the layout of other online media sources. Fast Company puts all the written info on the left and all the extra information such as related coverage and ads on the right. Lots of websites I’ve seen do the opposite or have a three column layout.

Decade of Disruption

The way Fast Company has done it is easier on the eyes because you are not bombarded with as much information and are more focused on the written content. It’s a ‘keep it to the basics’ approach which is great.

Media Rhetoric Blog

How the Internet Changed after 9/11–Citizen Journalism, Social Media and Mobility

Content

This reflection from a university lecturer  (Janet Johnson) who specialises in media described the lack of citizen journalism in 2001 and the void that it left in the coverage and the information flow of the attacks. Here’s a quote which sums it up pretty well.

“Trying to connect to the East Coast during that time was hard. The overload on phone lines was tremendous. I resorted to e-mail to ask my brother what it was like where he lived. My brother and my friends all lived in central New Jersey about an hour from New York City. I tried to connect to CNN.com during that time, but remember the web site’s message that said CNN.com was over capacity and to check back later.”

The writer feels that new media and citizen journalism became prominent to fill a need, a gap that the traditional media is unable to satisfy when unexpected disasters strike. Only those present while it is unfolding can share the most precious and useful information.

The entry was written on September 11 so it is timely, relevant and has currency in the news which are likely to continue covering September 11 from different angles even after the date of the anniversary.

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Filed under citizen journalism, journalism, new media, social media, Uncategorized

Facebook Launches Check In Deals in Australia

In its ever growing hunger for advertising dough, Facebook has finally scored with Australian businesses. KFC, 7-Eleven and the Commonwealth Bank have signed up to give people deals for checking in. Here is some Fb propaganda explaining (promoting) how it works:

And here are some of the businesses doing this in Aus:

Start Up Smart and Sydney Morning Herald covered the story.

Start Up Smart

Content

‘Facebook launches check in deals in Australia’

Start Up Smart caters to small businesses, sole traders and entrepreneurs. That’s important to note because it changes the way the story is reported. Have a look at the people interviewed for the article:

1. Paul Borrud, head of Facebook for Australia and New Zealand,

2. James Griffin, of social media intelligence firm SR7

3. Facebook

Interestingly the last third of the article consists of advice Facebook gives to businesses who use the check in function to promote their services. Since Start Up Smart comes from the business point of view it seems the check in deals as an profit opportunity and does not cover the consumer point of view, making the article highly tailored and slightly biased towards supporting the initiative.

Layout

Start Up Smart is pretty self contained in that it doesn’t hyperlink often and when it does the links tend to lead to websites of start up businesses. This article had a random link to commonwealth bank though, which is ….random.

Sydney Morning Herald

Content

‘Check in before checkout to save’

The audience is broader for SMH so there is a more general all encompassing angle to reporting this story. A range of people was interviewed including a research company that is meant to represent the users. But funnily enough no users (a.k.a. general public) were interviewed. That’s one criticism I have. Vox pops would have been sooo appropriate to include in this story. After all, it is about the user experience.

People interviewed:

1. George Patterson Y&R social media strategist Tiphereth Gloria

2. Westfield’s general manager of marketing, John Batistich,

3. James Griffin, partner with social media intelligence firm SR7

4. user experience firm Stamford Interactive director Lisa Wade

As with many tech stories, the hyperlinks are the funnest thing because they make references to other techie stuff. I got a bit over excited about the hyperlink about virtual dressing rooms. Anyway it was fun because I got to go on a complete tangent and see what this online dressing room concept is all about (I actually tried it out here!).

Important Realisation!: Even news stories are becoming a tool of social media because through hyperlinks they connect us to other people, news, places and stories. And the thing is, the author of the story gets to determine where we end up (if we chose to click on the hyperlink). Hmmm one more way to influence opinion and perspective?

Layout

The comment functionality tells the truth…that is all. As I mentioned, SMH didn’t interview the common person but in the end they didn’t have to. I read the comments on the article and they mostly consisted of irritated and bitter grouchiness. People were very cynical about the deals which they thought pretty much sucked.

 

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Filed under digital media, digital technology, facebook, social media

goCatch app controversy

Andrew Campbell and Ned Moorfield

GoCatch is a smartphone app that allows passengers and taxi drivers see each other’s current location on an GPS map. Passengers can request the closest cab by making a booking via the app. The app’s goal is to make the taxi system more efficient by providing passengers with a faster service and taxi drivers with more jobs.

Its developers received funding from the government and have since launched goCatch across several states including Victoria, Queensland and NSW.
Not everyone is happy about that though. NSW Taxi Council is not happy, as reported by the media sources listed above.

Sydney Morning Herald

Digital Media

The article has a well rounded collection of opinions from both sides.

I felt the article was slightly biased against the app, but I didn’t know why. After squinting at individual sentences and picking them apart I came to the conclusion that quotes taken from app developer Mr. Campbell are a good device used to emphasize the angle. Here they are:

“So if someone is not a taxi driver, downloads it and drives around in their old beat-up Commodore or something then when they actually arrive to pick you up as a passenger you’ll see that they’re not a driver and you can immediately report them or whatever.”

and

“So when a taxi arrives, you need to sort of use your own common sense and make sure it is a taxi before you get in it. Don’t get into a taxi if it’s not a taxi I suppose.”

The quotes make the developer appear slightly dismissive of the issue, which I’m sure he’s not, but its a good choice of language to manipulate the reader’s opinion.

Layout:

Hyper-linking: present! SMH hyper-linked the words ‘NSW Taxi Council’, ‘goCatch’ and ‘Collaborative Solutions’ (which is the name of the govt. initiative that supported goCatch)

Reporter’s Twitter link: present!

Comment functionality: absent! How, how, how can the DIGITAL life section of  SMH lack the comment functionality? Ironic, huh

The Telegraph.com.au

This article took an angle that was more sympathetic towards the goCatch app. These quotes from Andrew Campbell highlight a different side of the story to the one told by SMH and Brisbane Times.

“The taxi industry is dominated and some people say monopolised by powerful industry stakeholders.”

“Because it is a largely monopolised, self-regulated industry, there is simply no incentive for improvements in efficiency, customer service, driver conditions, safety and standards in general.”

Layout:

My favourite functionality of the page was the Related Coverage box embedded in the article.

Why? Because it actually contained related coverage.  Stories concerning the taxi industry, taxi drivers and passengers.

On the bottom, a tool bar listing such social media widgets as MySpace, Yahoo and Digg presented itself to readers.

Very useful.

I think covering goCatch is newsworthy because the news is timely (it comes after the Taxi Council’s comments), it has proximity (the app is australian), it is relevant (we all use taxis from time to time), it has conflict (the clash between the new and the old systems of taxi booking) and it has currency (because there are other similar apps and lots of issues both legal and social to explore)

 

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Filed under digital technology, new media, news, social media

Build a Digital Resume You Can Be Proud Of

I knew it! I knew it all along. Resumes are going digital.

To be more exact I’ll just pretend I knew it all along since I’ve already blogged about digital/interactive internship applications. But that was kinda going on a whim. Making my application interactive was something I did instinctively. Now I’ve actually stumbled across heaps of advice about making social media resumes.

I will thoroughly enjoy writing my own digital resume because resumes are my sore point. I HATE WRITING THEM.

Why? because I’ve had to re-write my resume so so so so many times.

Why? Because I decided I want to head down different career paths so SO So sO soooo many times.

I’m done. I just want a place to rest my resume on and a digital space will do nicely. I want my resume to be my toy not the bane of my existence. I want to make my resume exactly as I want it to be.
So I’ve decided to sign up to Visual CV where you can create your online resume. I’ve chosen this site because
a) I found it through a link on Mashable
b) I was too lazy/busy to look for others
c) It was easy and free to sign up

My point in saying the above is, you have to try it out first. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just get the ball rolling and switch to a better/more professional site once you’ve aced the crappy version.

Here are social media resumes of two random people:

Random person #1

Random person #2

Sorry but I actually think they are pretty crap. They might be online but they’re far from being interactive. My advice to anyone planning to make a smooth transition into the 21st century job hunting world is to at least include a Youtube video (a visual cover letter) of yourself.

I love this video cover letter for Google:

I think a Youtube video is a reasonable ask for anyone who is not especially techno minded or in touch with the gazillions of new techy tools popping up on the net.

Attaching links inside the resume makes it heaps more visual too. For example if you’re describing a project you worked on you can insert a hyperlink that leads to the website or a video promo of that project. That way any potential employer can see your work straight away and they won’t die of boredom reading through the Nth bland job application.

You can also share your resume on a social bookmarking site like del.icio.us. or use Share This, Add to Any or Add This to make your resume truly viral.

Here are some other tips (which I stole from here)

– A video or MP3 of you answering basic interview questions.
– Video of a talk or seminar you recently conducted.
– Photos of you meeting industry celebrities or business people.
– Audio testimonials from previous clients and coworkers.
– A podcast you’ve started.

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Filed under career tools, digital media, digital resume, digital technology, resume writing, social media, strategy

Osama Bin Laden and Twitter

At this point we are all familiar with this:

I could rave on about Osama Bin Laden related issues for the next five hours. I could tell you that I want to write a letter to the American government saying something like “shhhhh, please be quiet and stop celebrating the murder of a terrorist master lord! You might hurt Al -Qaeda’s feelings!” I could ponder the pros and cons of releasing the photos of OBL’s dead body or re-watch old September 11 documentaries in morbid fascination.

Instead I’m going to say what Osama Bin Laden’s death has done for Twitter. In the international relations/war on terror scheme of things, the way his death broke on Twitter is a trivial matter BUT it is important for the future of news and information spread. It’s important for us, the people who have never had much control over news, to recognize that we can all create news now, one tweet at a time.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

Because if you know how information spreads on Twitter, you can spread information on Twitter. Fast. Like wildfire. Like the ripple effect. Like a Lamborghini on the freeway.

But it ain’t easy.

How did people find out about Osama Bin Laden’s death and when? May 1st around an hour before the official presidential announcement by Barack Osama (oops Obama). Here’s good timeline.

People are naturally inquisitive and people who use social networking are neurotically inquisitive. They are addicted to information and they hunt for it like…hunters…SO speculation about what-the-hell-is-going-on began as soon as the White House announced that there would be a presidential address. It was after a bit of a wild guessing game that people began to mention Bin Laden. But at that stage it was still just the blind leading the blind.

FINALLY Keith Urbahn (sorry people, not the singer/husband of Nicole Kidman) tweeted the tweet that made the difference.

Urbahn was a reliable source because of his position as Chief of Staff in the Office of Donald Rumsfeld. The trustworthiness of his information meant that it was re-tweeted by 80 people in the new minute.

His tweet also got re-tweeted by Brian Stelter, a very influential tweeter (he is a machine. I’ve never seen anyone do that many tweets in one day).

And that’s how it took off. The crazy tweetering, digital river of information. And then Obama gave his speech.

For the twitter universe, he was a bit too slow (and a bit too triumphant for my liking).

But you know what? I’m glad that he was too slow. Down with the controlled media. We don’t need it to tell us everything anymore. We can tell each other whatever the hell we want. As long as we have access to information and the right twitter following, we can break news. Of course a lot of elements come into play, but that’s the essence of it.

Social flow did an awesome analysis of how OBL’s death broke on twitter zoomed through the wired world (I just like the pretty graphs). Actually I gonna insert the pretty graph;

Based on what I’ve read and the Social Flow analysis this is the way to break news on Twitter:

  1. Have the information
  2. The news has to be timely. No one will care if it happened a week ago (unless its something massive) or if no one knows about it or its significance.
  3. Be well connected on Twitter. That doesn’t necessarily means have millions of followers, just have the right ones.
  4. People must trust that you’re not the boy/girl crying wolf. Reliability is the key.

I actually think that by using Twitter as an information hub, we are making a statement about the world we live in and about our own role in it. We are shrinking the world and growing our individual significance. News is no longer decided by journalists and the media, nor should it be.

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Filed under communication, communications, digital media, digital technology, journalism, social media, Uncategorized

Facebook Studio

I remember being amazed and astounded the first time I used a chat room online. It was an almost surreal experience for a 10 year old who had never actually owned a computer and barely understood what the hell the internet was all about. But once I got it, I really got it. For about a month chat rooms were my life, and I obsessively build online friendships with people I just knew were cool and awesome. My longest online buddy went under the name of “bigdong1988”  (back then I didn’t know what ‘dong’ meant).

Now that I think of it, our relationship probably looked something like this:

In any case it was the feeling of connecting with a stranger that I liked, but more than that it was having a link to the rest of the world.

Compare that to now. Compare that to the level of connectivity Facebook provides for its users. And now, taking it up by more than a notch Facebook is pulling in the world of business into the conversation.

Facebook in its infinite wisdom has decided to launch Facebook Studio, a stand alone community site where ad agency creatives can share ideas, comment on campaigns and learn what it takes to create a successful page for a brand.

Why?

Facebook is trying to entice a new generation of advertising executives to tap consumers’ emotions through social advertising.

By strengthening its relationship with ad agencies and teaching them how improve their results, Facebook hopes these agencies will push their brand clients to spend more on Facebook’s own marketing and advertising services. Here’s a little piece of their persuasion.

What Facebook Studio allows

•    Ad agencies can display their work
•    Host live events for advertisers
•    Browse a collection of work that represents some of the best marketing on Facebook.
•    Agencies can create their own campaigns on the site,
•    Sort through a directory of agencies: which will include pictures, videos, summaries of campaigns
•    Enter a contest for the best Facebook campaign.

Why do I care?

It’s just fun to watch. No, seriously. Go on it. Campaigns are presented as short videos and since its an international platform you get to see the weird stuff companies all around the world are doing.

It’s also like a game. You can try out the stuff they’ve created. For example (my favourite) The Altoids Curiously Strong Awards.

Click on ‘visit’ button under the video and it will take you to the facebook app. Try it out for yourself.

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Filed under communication, creative media agency, digital media, digital technology, facebook, social media, strategy

Writing Digital Resumes

There is so much written about the art of resume writing. How to make it sound good, how to emphasize the good and tuck the bad under the carpet. Which verbs are the most effective, which ones are not. What duties to describe, how to phrase achievements and boast without boasting. Whether to provide references/date of birth/extra curricular activities or hide them to avoid bias from the interviewer. Blah blah.

What no one seems to get told about now, is that the most awesomest pedantically written resume will result in zilch if the writer of the said resume has a shitty facebook page or an inappropriate Twitter account. For example a seemingly able female psychiatrist didn’t get a job after the recruitment agent saw indecent photos of her on facebook (here’s the article). Fast Company even offers you tips on how to sensor your social media when you’re job hunting…just in case.

Think I’m exaggerating? Think again:

Because that is what’s going to be looked at by employers now and in the future. Hell it might even become a compulsory slot in the application process “please provide fb and twitter account details”. So just as in all other areas of our lives its time to adapt and innovate, especially as users of digital.

This guy agrees with me:

To counterbalance the horror of social media self censoring you can spice up your resume with the joy of digital creativity.

I get particularly twitchy and irritable when I have to write a really dry application for anything (probably because I’ve applied to so so many random things in my life). That’s led me to stop giving a f*_*k  start being creatively free.

For example in my application to the Peace Conference of the Youth in Japan, I decided to push interactivity.

In other words I did what I do in my blog posts (and what countless websites do) and attached a heap of hyperlinks to illustrate what I’m talking about. It is possible that my application will thrown out in disgust because I dared to do something unexpected and disturbingly different to the application instructions. But I figured I have the right to some creativity after having to suffer the torture of application questions like,

“What are your main interests under the present social situation?  Why?”

I mean, c’mon, WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

Anyway as I toiling away, writing, finding examples and hyperlinking them into the text, I realized that I was having fun. I was also reaching out to the people who will (hopefully) read my application, in a way that made my application more relevant and alive to them. I was giving them more reasons to keep reading by  engaging them on a deeper level.

If I had more time I would have made a YouTube video to include in that application. Just to make it clear, I exist, this is who I am, these are my passions and skills.

Think about it. It’s the perfect way to sell yourself. You have all the control. You can edit, do a 1000 takes until you get it right. The same with the text. Unlimited attempts. Hyperlink this, double check relevance. Delete or retain. So simple.

To conclude:

  1. Use social media responsibly
  2. Innovate your resume

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Filed under communication, digital media, digital technology, facebook, social media, strategy