Pilot Light

Inferno is a PR consultancy. This is not. This is Inferno’s blog.

Posts Tagged ‘Twitter

What is news?

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News-sense

There have been discussions for some time now over the shelf life of the daily papers. Now you can access all the news you want online, quicker and for free. It seems that with the advent of blogs and micro blogs such as twitter, even these online sites have lost some of their news value as people are updating on the news in real time, as it happens. The recent plane crashing into the Hudson river being a classic example.

By the time a journalist has written up a story and posted it online, there are likely to have been several tweets about it and a conversation already developed. Likewise, many of us use Google or similar search tools to find the latest information we need, but is this now also ‘old news’? Will real time search be the Google killer, and is news already considered old by the time it has been categorised and listed online? With so much content updated in real time now, Google search cannot hope to find it all. As the weekly and monthly publications continue to disintegrate into nothing, will the national papers follow hot on their heels? Will our news resource become dominated by social media channels where information can be supplied and shared by anyone and everyone, instantaneously? And what does this mean for the future and power of the media? How should we define ‘news’?!!

The fairly new concept of the Sony Reader or Amazon eBook has meant that books can be downloaded and read online via a small computer screen. Perhaps this is also how newspapers will be read in the near future? I am not a particular traditionalist and am always excited by the new and innovative ways of accessing the information around us, but I also find it quite sad to imagine a tube full of people reading the news via a machine, like a carriage of robots. Despite having someone’s elbow shoved in your side, there’s something rather comforting and perhaps quite English about seeing men in suits on their way to the office, opening a broad sheet or that smell of the crisp pages when you start a new book. I admit I haven’t been to a library in at least a year, but watching someone dust off and open a tired old book with the library stamp in the front still makes me smile with slight nostalgia 🙂

Beth

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Written by pilotlight

05/03/2009 at 10:29 am

Posted in Media, PR, Web 2.0

Tagged with , , , ,

Is twitter the new email?

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Next stop Tweeters corner - Hyde Park

Now that Twitter, the micro blogging site, has reached the heady heights of one of the top 100 sites in the UK, I thought it might be useful to have some kind of Twitter language discussion; not just the usual how you should use it, why you should use it, how it helps you business (or not) etc, but also tone, language and style of tweets.

Following in the footsteps of email, 10 or more years ago, Twitter has people excited, bored and cautious all in the same breadth. And, in the same vein as email, businesses are attempting to understand how this new form of communication can help their company develop, or indeed if it’s just a time-wasting, productivity-reducing, miniature FaceBook ‘status’ type application.

But while FaceBook is designed for and mainly used by Friends to reunite and share their lives, email has become the primary source of business communications. Back in the mid-1990s, email was shrouded in FUD, and many businesses blocked their workers from using it – an eventuality that could happen to Twitter.

To stop that from happening I have come up with the following ten tips for those of you starting out in the Twitter tundra.

1 ) If your followers are mainly colleagues use appropriate language – if you wouldn’t use it in an email to a client – don’t Tweet it

2 ) Saying that, don’t be boring and corporate. Twitter is a social networking tool, so keep the tone light and simple

3 ) Twitter is only 140 characters, but this is no excuse to start using text language like a teenager. L8r and 4u aren’t professional

4 ) Abbreviations can be things such as, pls, tho, thru – general rule of thumb – if your parents would understand it, then you can use it

5 ) Ensure you use the right capital letters in the right place, this is 140 characters, it doesn’t mean 140 characters of bad grammar

6 ) Use punctuation, otherwise people will not understand what you are talking about and may misinterpret your tone

7 ) Remember discretion. You wouldn’t put what you think about your customer/client in an email to them, so don’t announce it on Twitter

8 ) Don’t run over 140 characters – if you can’t say it in the allotted space then maybe you shouldn’t be saying it to a Twitter audience

9 ) Be useful – you wouldn’t just send an email out to customers telling them what you had for breakfast so don’t Tweet it

10 ) Twitter is developing a sub-language. Don’t succumb to this. Twitter is just micro blogging no need for a new vocabulary

And there you have it. 10 rules all succinctly conveyed in 140 characters or less in true Twitter style. But in the meantime, let’s make hay and get busy twittering our thoughts, passions, funnies and important news articles, to our loyal followers. With any form of communications you have to think about the audience – who is reading this and why? And from that point, adapt your style, language and content accordingly.

Happy tweeting.

Sarahttp://twitter.com/saradriscoll

Written by pilotlight

16/02/2009 at 2:03 pm

Getting social with social media

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Feathered geeks

The brouhaha surrounding social media is reaching a crescendo; is it a good thing, does it bring people together and can it drive business, or is it a waste of time, bad for productivity and, well, just so last season? There are no definitive answers and every Tom, Dick and Sally has their own opinion. But for what it’s worth, social media is here and here to stay no doubt.

MySpace graduated to FaceBook, and FaceBook has upgraded to Twitter, but what’s next? No-one has a crystal ball about where this phenomenon will go, but we can shape and mould its future – after all we are all part of the numerous communities that social networking and tools such as Twitter bring together.

This is why I’m excited to be able to get together with some fellow ponderers this Friday that my first ever Tuttle Club event. The event seems fairly fluid and is open to anyone, meets every Friday and is to “sit, chat, drink coffee, eat delicious cupcakes from the bar, do some work, meet old friends, find some new workmates, stick around for lunch, start an exciting new business, plan a rave… whatever bag you’re into,” according to its web site.

Attending with my colleague Beth, I have no idea what we might learn or take away from the event, but that is the whole point of going to new things and sharing ideas – the surprise outcomes that occur. I do have one certainty though…. I very much doubt we’ll be planning a rave.

Sara Driscoll

Written by pilotlight

05/02/2009 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Blogging, Web 2.0

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