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The RAAKonteur #39 – The week Twitter came of age, Check-in to Social TV & more

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9 May 2011

The week Twitter came of age

Barely had Paul Mason, Newsnight editor declared Twitter his main source of breaking news and the service scored a number of journalistic coups. Not only was the death of Bin Laden first reported on Twitter, it was unwittingly live Tweeted as well.

It might never have the user base of Facebook, but we take a look at  the significance of real-time social news and why Twitter is a newshound's crack cocaine.

Great information, but how do I get to it

Twitter data is notoriously transient. Ever tried to search for a Tweet of somebody you followed using Twitter search? And what about finding out the Twitter profiles of all the Twitter users that have the word CEO in their bios? Actually, that's easy. How about those in Cape Town with the word Rugby in their bios? Again, easy, thanks to Google!

But what about our first question? How do I get to the content of the people I follow? Google does not help here. And Twitter search only queries the last week's Tweets, at best. Well now there is a service called PostPo.st. RWW explains :

"When you sign up for the service PostPost will determine 200 of your most relevant follows and index up to 400 tweets for each user. If some of the people you follow are also PostPost users then nearly all of their tweets will indexed. PostPo.st attempts to be as comprehensive a Twitter search engine that exists today."

Check-in to Social TV

For the first time in 20 years, the number of US homes with tv sets has gone down. Still, people are watching more video content than ever. No surprise then that integrating 'social' into tv is a sizzling hot topic.

And despite talks about its early death, the check-in seems to be a defining factor for this. This week GetGlue announced their checkins were up 55% compared to March. What's more, up to 20% of the Tweets about tv programs are generated through their 'social entertainment' app.

Also this week, Yahoo paid $20 million for another tv check-in service called IntoNow, after they'd existed for only 12 weeks. Their USP? It's based on their licensed Soundprint software, which can identify a tv show based on its audio, like a Shazam for tv. In other words, your phone knows what you're watching.


Are you a Heineken Star Player?

Another way of captivating that tv audience is to enhance the experience with some parallel, interactive content. A benchmark example comes from a brand, not from a broadcaster or production company.

To support their relationship with the Champions League, Heineken developed the Star Player iPhone app. It's a game that allows you to react to what's happening on the pitch and score points by predicting the next event in the game. Obviously you can integrate your friends by signing up with Facebook and by creating Leagues. Top piece of 'advertising'.


Facebook introduces Send button

Do you ever end up on an article that one of your friends must see? In that case, the Like button and the Retweet button just won't cut it. Because there is no guarantee that your friends will actually see the article.

Facebook has now introduced a Send button. Hit it and enter the name of a friend. Try it on our blog to see how it works.

Does your brand have the F-Factor?

Saying that friends influence what we buy is stating the obvious. But Social Media has been enabling that word-of-mouth process to go faster and bigger and further.

Now the guys at Trendwatching have just published a big study on the F-Factor, i.e. how friends, fans & followers impact our shopping decisions. It's not very stats-driven and focuses a lot on case-studies, but nevertheless it's an inspiring overview.


You are where you are

The significant triangle of social, mobile and location tech is getting bigger all the time. Nobody has cracked it yet, but not for a lack of trying. Here is a round-up of the latest location based apps. We particularly like the idea behind the Situationist app. It aims to bring strangers together to participate in random 'situations'. Although it has to be said that the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

Think all those apps are neat? Then read this in-depth article on how smartphones can give us real insights into human behaviour. Exciting? Oh yes. Scary? Oh yes.

"Every six minutes, each student's phone scanned for any other phone within 10 feet, as a way to identify face-to-face meetings. Among other things, each phone also reported its location and compiled an anonymous log of calls and text messages every 20 minutes. All told, the researchers compiled 320,000 hours of data about the students' behavior and relationships, buttressed by detailed surveys. Just by watching where you spend time, I can say a lot about the music you like, the car you drive, your financial risk, your risk for diabetes.

Creative of the week – Jamie Beck

Standing out in the field of fashion photography is no small feat. Doing anything vaguely interesting with GIF animations is possible even more difficult. But Jamie Beck aka From Me To You does just that by applying the oldest trick in the animation book to her stylish and beautiful shooting style.

Go and look at the Cinemagraph category on her blog and just be wowed by how the small addition of movement literally brings the images to live. 


Tech Insight of the week – Bending WordPress

WordPress 3 has been with us for almost a year now, yet few realize exactly what the changes that came with it imply. This week's tech post gives you the bigger picture on what can be done with our favourite CMS, mainly as a result of three new features.

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