No more excuses, you can now have Olympic alerts sent to you via Twitter or SMS with these IFTTT recipes. Just don’t try this rather spammy one.

NBC coverage an olympi-shables

NBC’s decison to move the Olympic broadcasts from live to US primetime, showed an incredible lack of awareness of how media works today from a venerable media institution. Insult was added to injury when an NBC Twitter account live Tweeted events it was not broadcasting. The real time social web has placed “live” on the winner’s podium, a woe betide media executives that forget that.

Is money corrupting Twitter?

Twitter what have we done - Guy Adams

One particular critic of NBC was The Independent’s correspondent in Hollywood – Guy Adams. Adams had sent a barrage of Tweets critical of NBC. One of those tweets identified the NBC executive that was reponsible for it all, Gary Zenkel, named his email address, and asked people to tell Zenkel what they thought. We now know that somebody at Twitter saw this Tweet, and without waiting for a complaint, decided it was against Twitter’s rules of publishing others’ private information. They contacted NBC (who happens to be a commercial partner of Twitter) and asked them to complain. Adams’s Twitter account was suspended.

Twitter needs due process

Twitter has in the past been exemplary in the way it has dealt with take down requests from all-comers, including the US government. The Guy Adams incident came as a shock. A massive outcry had NBC retracting their complaint, and Twitter apologising. It was wrong of Twitter to take the initiative, the mea culpa explained. But as the Electronic Frontier foundation (EFF) points out, Twitter needs an appeals process like YouTube has.

A house of cards

Many developers that depend on Twitter for their livelyhoods live in fear after recent developments: LinkedIn being cut off, Instagram loosing access to the friends API, StockTwit’s Cashtags being copied and now rumours that Flipboard will get the chop. This good analytical piece explains where Twitter is heading – away with the open platform and in with the new Twitter Cards. Twitter Cards will allow developers to build rich media into Tweets – but on Twitter’s media sites and apps.

Angelina and Kim walks into the Bar…

jason russell attention

Giving somebody your undivided attention is the ultimate compliment. But attention in the age of social media has far wider implications. In an excellent post Ethan Zuckerman explains two new units of measurement helping us make sense of attention:The Jolie and the Kardashian. The latter is the amount of global attention Kim Kardashian commands across all media over the space of a day. Says Zuckerman: “most normal humans have their lives irrevocably altered if they experience even 1 centiKardashian of exposure”, citing Jason Russell, the front man of the Kony Campaign for Invisible Children.

The first is a unit that denotes the amount of international aid a country receives when it becomes the cause celebre of a prominent celebrity. In Darfur – for which Jolie campaigns – an aid recipent gets 27 times what an individual in the DRC gets.

Why is this significant? If attention matters, then the critique of slactivism often cited against the effectiveness of social media looses much of its power. A retweet can indeed make a difference. It also points to another fact. Klout is important even though it measures status and the potential to garner attention, if not actual attention.

The Olympics shower winners with centi-Kardashians

For an Olympic athlete a Gold medal can double their Twitter followers overnight: Rebecca Adlington went from 64,010 followers to 171,093 followers in the space of a few hours and she got a bronze. Can they make use of their new attention power? Perhaps not. Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual) who inadvertently live tweeted Osama bin Laden’s death, became the first Pakistani to break through the 100,000 follower mark, but since then his follower count has slipped back to under 70,000.

Attention is money

athletes protest rule40

No wonder the Olympic athletes are rebelling. See for exmaple this Tweet. No, they are not protesting the inaction of the UN, or the looming food crisis. They want the freedom to endorse the brands that support them and not the official ones prescribed by the Olympic Authorities.

Creatives of the week – Marcio Puga, Mauricio Massaia & Per Thoresson


A bit of voyeurism, we all love it. But what’s the social equivalent of live webcams? 3 developers from Brazil and Australia combined forces to build This Is Now, a real-time ‘moodboard’ that shows what’s going in your city right now by pulling in Instagram images. Simple but compelling.