Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not Really a Twitter Subject

Online is a world of nearly infinite choices for ...

readers, advertisers, information gathering...

The difference , for news and journalists between the Internet and Hard Print Media, is the difference between scarcity and abundance.

A newspaper needs a lead story, a lead page for its advertisers, and then has only a finite amount of pages it can fill.

A website or a blog has almost an infinite number of pages and information it can pull in (via links etc)

So do we get more and better info through the websites?

The other thing to consider is that newspapers and magazines have editors (and advertisers) that check what is written. It is said The New Yorker has the most through Fact Checkers out there.

A blog may be a fifteen year old in a bedroom, or a seasoned journalist, or a dedicated group of newshounds, or a complete prank.

The Internet has also been likened to a public washroom wall - anyone can write on it, and anyone does.

The Internet has the newspapers worried of course - because of its abundance and the fact that anyone can write. But to get a following - and in the'noise' of the Internet that is a work in and of itself - to create and keep a following, the website, the blog has to stand up on its own merits -has to have value. Just like a trusted newspaper.

Are Blogs and websites biased? Are newspapers?

So a well read website carries more information, and possibly faster than the old media.

Advertisers still get more bang for their buck in print, unless you look at a local market. See link.

But as the eyeballs move away from print. As no-one both T.V. and print can afford large news gatherers.

As T.V. and Newsprint turns to "entertainment' to try and hold readership - the web, though no-one except google has figured out how to make money there - the web is the true form of news now.

Whatever is said the way information is created and disseminated had changed forever.

The really interesting question - whats next?

Below a quote from a web article with a journalist

Google is the enemy of newspapers. Agree or disagree?

Google doesn’t kill newspapers. People kill newspapers.

Assuming the business model works out either way, and you had to choose, would you rather live in a world with MoJos and no newspapers, or thriving newspapers but no web?

At this point I couldn’t live without the web.

re; Nieman Journalism Lab

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Twitter comes of age

Extract from AFP NEWS

NEW YORK (AFP) — Twitter may be only two years old and not making money yet but it has definitely come of age.

Just days after Time magazine put Twitter on its cover and weeks after talk show megastar Oprah Winfrey signed on as a user, Iranians turned to the service to protest the results of their presidential election and get the news out.

As Iranians fired off "tweets" about the disputed vote, half a world away in New York hundreds of entrepreneurs, advertisers, technology buffs, media and others from around the world were attending a conference dedicated to Twitter.

And if that wasn't enough, the importance of the San Francisco-based startup was underlined by the US State Department, which asked Twitter to postpone a planned maintenance shutdown on Monday because of the situation in Iran....

The brainchild of Stone, Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams, Twitter has been adding millions of users a month for the past several months and its website received 32.1 million unique visitors in April, according to comScore.

The actual number of users of the micro-blogging service is hard to figure since Twitter can be accessed using personal computers, mobile telephones and dozens of custom-built applications such as the popular Tweetdeck.

The Twitter co-founders have reportedly passed up offers running into the hundreds of millions of dollars for the service and have so far only unveiled vague plans to turn it into a money-making venture.


"Social media, particularly systems like Twitter and Facebook that are good at driving traffic out into the Internet the same way that Google does are very important and powerful economic forces," Wilson said.


"When more and more people have real-time information we're going to see transformations happen that no one expected," he said. "Businesses will fail, others will flourish and there will be billions of dollars of opportunity created."

full article here

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

7 tips for Networking with Twitter

By Skeeter Hansen and Al Ferretti

These 7 tips will show exactly how you can get the most out of your networking efforts on Twitter.

1. Start by using your real name on your profile, upload a real photo of yourself and fill out your bio. Your bio is about you and not your business. People want to know they are talking to a person. Your website link will take care of your business.

2. Follow people that interest you and who can help grow your business.
Follow quality people. People you can connect with is more important than the quantity of people you follow.

3. People want knowledge, information and resources. It's always better to give first and then receive. I'm not saying you shouldn't self-promote, but if the whole time you're on Twitter and you're just self-promoting, people aren't going to care and will most likely un-follow you.

Note: Networking is about engaging, building relationships and
providing value.
A person who only has self-promotion on their
mind is looked upon and labeled a spammer.

4. People like freebies and tips. Offer your best tips on working from home, on direct sales, web design, marketing and even Twitter tips. There are tips for everything so find something in your niche that you think would be valuable information. Throw in a few freebies as everyone loves something for free.

5. It's important to engage in conversations with your new found "friends". Don't ignore their tweets. Use it to strike up conversations by asking a question or giving a compliment, as you will never know where these will lead.

6. If you read an interesting or newsworthy tweet, retweet it. This is a great way to say something if you can't find anything to say. Retweeting a quote is a great way to help promote others, others will help to promote you.

7. Expect to spend some quality time and be consistent in your networking. Try to visit daily and the relationships will start to take shape. Enjoy and be yourself on Twitter and be respectful. Your reputation should always be guarded as you brand yourself.

more tips at Twitter Watchdog.com

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Twitter and Iran

BTW - if you want to see the amount of twitter info on Iran and 'the election' - type in #Iranelection -or just Iran into twitter search

Its not voting that is democracy - its the counting of them: Tom Stoppard

1)Twitter users were posting “#CNNfail” on thousands of tweets Saturday night saying that their coverage of important news like the Iranian elections were downplayed by the cable network.

2)The U.S. State Department contacted the social networking service Twitter over the weekend to urge it to delay a planned upgrade that could have cut daytime service to Iranians, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

"We highlighted to them that this was an important form of communication," said the official of the conversation the department had with Twitter at the time of the disputed Iranian election. He declined further details.

Bester News

On-line info fills the 'News' void for Iran

3)The absence of mainstream media in Iran has been filled with a dizzying array of clandestine video, cellphone photos, blogging and thousands of Twitter posts.

Below, the five best resources to use to keep up with the country's rapidly evolving post-election uprising.

Demotix: A citizen-journalism news and photo site with more than 5,000 members around the world, and the best way to get a handle on the flood of information. Supported by Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, and openDemocracy, among others.

Nico Pitney's live blog with video: Housed on the Huffington Post website, this up-to-the-minute account covers both on-the-ground reports and mainstream coverage. Pitney has chops. He's Deputy Research Director at the Center for American Progress.

Twitter/Twazzup: For newcomers to the ubiquitous social-media service Twitter, this search engine aggregates real-time tweets on Iran from a variety of sources.

YouTube: More than 100 short, homemade videos, many of the cellphone variety, directly from the heart of the action.

Picasa: A photo-sharing website that presents a vast pictorial document of events on the ground.

Toronto Star

4)Fox News Video on Iran and Twitter and facebook and Twitpics - here

5)The University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies is one of many groups that have been providing software to Iranian Internet users to bypass government restrictions on web access.

The Iranian regime has ramped up efforts to stifle dissent in the wake of a controversial election result by cracking down access to text messaging and social networking websites.

But Twitter has remained operational because of proxy servers set up to bypass the government's cyber blockades.

"Iran's revolution is going to go down as our first real cyber war. Hacking, counter-hacking, spreading proxy servers," user withak53 said around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on the #Iranelection feed.

Twitter has been flooded with reports that the government has siphoned off access websites such as, Yahoo Messenger, Facebook and YouTube.

Ref: CTV

Monday, June 15, 2009

Is it Cnn? BBC? Fox? - no its Twitter

Live from Tehran, it's the Twitter revolution.

In the crackdown following the disputed Iranian presidential election results this weekend, the authorities shut down text messaging, blocked Facebook and YouTube and cut off the BBC Persian-language service — but they forgot about Twitter.

Because of that, the simple microblogging service has become Iran's lifeline to the outside, a way for Iranians to tell the world what's happening on the streets of Tehran in real time — and a vital means of communication among themselves

Also Associated Press extract: -

In Iran, as in many still-developing countries, Internet usage is mostly still a phenomenon of the affluent, the youth and city-dwellers — meaning Twitter and other networks are used mostly by the young and liberal — and may overemphasize their numbers while ignoring more-conservative political sentiments among the non-connected.

On Monday, the Twitter site showed topics that were getting the most attention, including "IranElection," "Mousavi" and "Tehran." In one 10-minute period, 12 users who identified themselves as being within 50 miles of Tehran posted Tweets.

Some media such as The Associated Press and others often monitor sites such as Twitter, looking for news tips and to assess the general mood.

Even Ashton Kutcher, one of Twitter's biggest fans, has weighed in on the elections. He tweeted: "I think that truely (sic) the only people that can change things in Iran are the Iranians themselves and they seem to be speaking their minds now."

Twitter has played a role in other world political events. This April, protesters of parliamentary elections in Moldova used Twitter and the Internet when mobile phones and cable news television stations went down. They rallied as many as 10,000 people to one demonstration.

Earlier this month, government censors in China shut down Twitter as well as other social networking and image-sharing Web sites as part of their attempt to block out news about the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The latest tweets on the elections can be retrieved by typing in #iranelection into the Twitter search box.

And an aggregator that automatically bundles together the latest Iran tweets can be found here.

Other similar services that search twitter include Tweetscan andTwitterfall .

Twittersearch provides real time updates from Twitter as they come in.

article here

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Twitter not just a Social Network

According to the research, conducted on a random sample of about 300,000 Twitter users in May 2009, 25% of Twitter users don’t tweet at all, while 50% of users tweet less than once every 74 hours. Active users, on the other hand, tweet a lot, which makes Twitter a lot more like Wikipedia than an average social network

Although this may sound strange at first, Twitter really is more like Wikipedia than, say, Facebook Twitter is not so much about connecting with your friends, it’s about broadcasting information. Although it doesn’t necessarily take much creativity to create a tweet, only the most creative users actually persist in tweeting every day over a longer time period.

However, Twitter is also similar to a instant messaging tool, which should have a very different curve, with a larger proportion of users contributing to the number of overall tweets. It seems that Twitter’s micropublishing component is winning over its chatting component.

The Harvard Business Review study reveals another interesting tidbit: men seem to follow men more than women on Twitter. There are more women than men on twitter - approximately 55% of all users are female - but an average man will follow a man in 65% of all cases, while a woman will follow a man in 56% of cases. It’s hard to pull any meaningful conclusions from this anomaly, except one: Twitter is different than other social networks. But you already knew that

Ref Mashable

Warning Now Heavy research stats follow from Harvard: -

Twitter has attracted tremendous attention from the media and celebrities, but there is much uncertainty about Twitter's purpose. Is Twitter a communications service for friends and groups, a means of expressing yourself freely, or simply a marketing tool?

We examined the activity of a random sample of 300,000 Twitter users in May 2009 to find out how people are using the service. We then compared our findings to activity on other social networks and online content production venues. Our findings are very surprising.

Of our sample (300,542 users, collected in May 2009), 80% are followed by or follow at least one user. By comparison, only 60 to 65% of other online social networks' members had at least one friend (when these networks were at a similar level of development). This suggests that actual users (as opposed to the media at large) understand how Twitter works.

Although men and women follow a similar number of Twitter users, men have 15% more followers than women. Men also have more reciprocated relationships, in which two users follow each other. This "follower split" suggests that women are driven less by followers than men, or have more stringent thresholds for reciprocating relationships. This is intriguing, especially given that females hold a slight majority on Twitter: we found that men comprise 45% of Twitter users, while women represent 55%. To get this figure, we cross-referenced users' "real names" against a database of 40,000 strongly gendered names.

Even more interesting is who follows whom. We found that an average man is almost twice more likely to follow another man than a woman. Similarly, an average woman is 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman. Finally, an average man is 40% more likely to be followed by another man than by a woman. These results cannot be explained by different tweeting activity - both men and women tweet at the same rate.

These results are stunning given what previous research has found in the context of online social networks. On a typical online social network, most of the activity is focused around women - men follow content produced by women they do and do not know, and women follow content produced by women they know. Generally, men receive comparatively little attention from other men or from women. We wonder to what extent this pattern of results arises because men and women find the content produced by other men on Twitter more compelling than on a typical social network, and men find the content produced by women less compelling (because of a lack of photo sharing, detailed biographies, etc.).

Twitter's usage patterns are also very different from a typical on-line social network. A typical Twitter user contributes very rarely. Among Twitter users, the median number of lifetime tweets per user is one. This translates into over half of Twitter users tweeting less than once every 74 days.

At the same time there is a small contingent of users who are very active. Specifically, the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets. On a typical online social network, the top 10% of users account for 30% of all production. To put Twitter in perspective, consider an unlikely analogue - Wikipedia. There, the top 15% of the most prolific editors account for 90% of Wikipedia's edits ii. In other words, the pattern of contributions on Twitter is more concentrated among the few top users than is the case on Wikipedia, even though Wikipedia is clearly not a communications tool. This implies that Twitter's resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network.

ref Harvard Business Review

Bill Heil is a graduating MBA student at Harvard Business School, and will start at Adobe Systems as a Product Manager in the fall. Mikolaj Jan Piskorski is an Assistant Professor of Strategy at HBS who teaches a Second Year elective entitled Competing with Social Networks. Bill undertook research for parts of this article in the context of that class.

i Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Networks as covers: Evidence from an on-line social network." Working Paper, Harvard Business School.
ii Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan and Andreea Gorbatai, "Social structure of collaboration on Wikipedia." Working Paper, Harvard Business School.