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O2′s momentary lapse of uncool – The RAAKonteur #93

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13 July 2012

Remember the first year on Twitter? Looking at that, it seems that even the Twitter founders and early adopters thought it was about broadcasting what you were having for breakfast!

Is social media killing journalism?

Is social media destroying journalism?

If you came to our talk this week you would have learned that the answer to the above question is … well … er, yes and no. A recent study has shown that most US dailies will close within 5 years. The UK Guardian is losing nearly a million pounds per week. Meanwhile ‘struggling’ Facebook is already raking in more advertising than all US papers put together. To top it off star journalists are getting bigger than the brands they work for. So while journalism will survive in some form, the old institutions it used to have a home in are fast disappearing.

Does my ad look big in this?

Facebook is doing ok compared to newspapers, but Twitter might be much better suited to doing ads. Startup advisor Alistair Croll reckons this might be because the assymetric nature of Twitter makes it more conducive to commercial messages. We think other factors are even more important. Twitter is a weak-tie network (you follow people and stuff who you don’t necessarily know personally). Its prominent retweet feature makes information travel much further (so you see many more things and people in your timeline than on Facebook), plus the basic unit, the Tweet, is easy to ignore if you so wish.

Control has an inverse relationship to trust …

The New York Times relaxed Social Media Guidelines

Social media affords journalists and other employees unparalleled power and freedom to publish their thoughts. But how to make sure they don’t mess up, and hurt your brand in the process? The New York Times has a novel approach. They trust their smart staff to use it wisely.

… but does O2 really get this?

In the same spirit, O2 yesterday gave us a star performance in crisis handling on Twitter. In an aikido-style move, whoever managed the @O2 account replied to rabid abuse from angry customers with a series of rather hilarious tweets. They managed to make a lot of people smile and were soon applauded for their approach. Sadly, but perhaps not that surprising, yesterdays’ humorous tweets have now been removed from the @O2 account and a much more corporate customer service tone has been reinstated. Yesterday’s highlights were captured here.

On that note, do take a moment to read about the history of how Twitter’s @reply came to be. We always knew that the Retweet was a user community invention. But it turns out, so was the @reply. Twitter doesn’t leave all its development to the users, though. A recent update to Twitter’s own search enables searching only content by the people you follow. Very handy when looking for ‘that tweet you saw the other day…’.

Under Cover Viral Marketing

This one was so good, we just had to do a full blog post about it. The head of a New York Exhibition on Spy Technology did an amazing awareness campaign by posing as a homeless person, handing someone on the New York subway a $50 note and an encrypted message. This ended up on Reddit, unfolding into one of the most amazing viral posts in a while, with the poser also pitching in, with a follow-up encrypted message.

Kickstarter crosses the pond

Like clockwork, we report on Kickstarter every time something amazing happens there. Every time we think: “Wow, that’s really cool. We didn’t expect them to reach these heights”. And every time they just seem to trump there previous accomplishment within just a few months. Like now. A brilliant new Andriod-based open source gaming console just reached $4.4 million (and rising) on the Crowd Funding platform, with 26 days to go. They were the fastest to reach $1 million yet, and the eighth project to make more than a million. On that note: Kickstarter is coming to the UK! This is fantastic news indeed …

Creative of the Week – Johannes P. Osterhoff

Johannes Osterhof - iPhone

Artist Johannes P. Osterhoff (the P stands for Performance) calls himself an ‘Interface Artist’. He came on our radar this week with his lifecasting project iPhone Live, in which he will document his mobile usage with 1 year worth of screen grabs. But he’s done 10 years worth of internet & technology-based projects (like his Steve Jobs portrait), so do have a browse through his site.

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