Category Archives: Social networking

The milestones of a social media addict

Now, I am happy to confession I am a facebook Junkie and I think that a lot of people would nod in agreement. The other day I nearly sent my friend Sam into a fit when I emailed her some  startling news that our mutual friend Jesse had just deleted Facebook as she “wasted to much time on it and need to finish her uni degree”. Sam was shocked. And couldn’t believe the social suicide Jesse had just committed. Sam replied “Some people surf, some read, some even whale watch, but I, I Facebook.” Has Facebook really become a listable hobby? Why are we all so obsessed? And where did it all begin? For me the beginning was MySpace.

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Russia tops social media

The beautiful St Basil's Cathedral

The beautiful St Basil's Cathedral

Story by Matt Rhodes from Fresh Networks 

Earlier this year we reported on how Russia is the fourth largest social networking market in Europe. Data from TNS showed that use of social media and social networking in Russia is widespread, making it the fourth largest market in Europe for social networking behind the UK, Germany and France. In part this position is driven by strong local social networking sites, principally Odnoklassniki (Одноклассники), which reports some 30 million registered users, and VKontakte (В контакте) with some 28 million registered users.

These numbers are truly impressive and perhaps the rate of growth in membership of social networking sites in Russia is even more so. But recent research from comScore shows that Russians are the most engaged users of social media in the world.

The research showed that in May this year, 1.1 billion people went online worldwide, and 75% of these visited social networks and online communities. In fact, the typical user of the internet spent 3.7 hours on such sites in May. But users from Russia led the way with the typical internet user in that country spending a total of 6.6 hours ever month on these social media sites. Brazil was second with an average of 6.3 hours per user and Canada was third with 5.6 hours per typical user. These numbers compare with 4.6 hours spent by the typical UK internet user on social networks. And a typical 4.2 hours for people in the US.

By this simple measure, the Russian internet audience appears to be perhaps the most engaged in the world in social networking and online communities. This highlights the danger of focusing on English-language-centric developments in online communities, social media tools and social networks. In Russia, two local sites each reach more than 40% of the entire Internet population in the country. Facebook, by contrast, reaches only 2% of the Russian internet audience.

Some of the most interesting developments in the use of social networks and online communities are happening where the users are most engaged and where the user bases are growing most rapidly. This is more likely to be in the markets where the audience and access is developing quickly. Perhaps we should all look to Russia and Brazil more when we want to know what comes next.

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I’d drink to that

My friend has recently been part of the launch of PRinks, the monthly social get-together for people in the communcations industry, and as as she talks to me about the birth of PRinks, she refreshingly reminds me of the power of online networks to build relationships. It’s also given me an interesting view on traditional networking and where the value of these events lies. Continue reading

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Journalists <3 social media

Here’s an interesting article by Jeremy Porter from blog Journalists that looks at how 70 per cent of journalists use social networks to assist in reporting. Continue reading

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Don’t be a twit

Suzanne Mostyn wrote a powerful article in The Weekend  Australian, on September 12-13, about narcolepsy and the misreprestation of it in the media. The story is set around a tweet Mia Freeman posted with a link to a YouTube video with the words “Made me laugh. Rusty the narcoleptic dog.” 

The clip Freeman posted is of a dashshund running around on grass before, suddenly, inexplicably, collapsing in a heap, asleep. Mostyn raises the question; now imagine that it’s your child. Your child running, playing and – suddenly, without warning – collapsing in a heap, unable to stay upright or alert. Mostyn’s son suffers from narcolepsy and she didn’t find this clip funny at all.

She discovered that the footage was actually part of an instructional video shot for scientific purposes that’s been purloined for use as a punchline on YouTube. The words at the start of the clip say “Sleep disorders. Unit 3: states of consciousness”, while the accompanying commentary says “This dachshund, Rusty, suffers from narcolepsy, a condition that causes him to suddenly fall asleep when he’s trying to do ther things. Little is known about the cause of narcolepsy, except that it can be inherited. It affects humans and animals alike.” Here we can see how often the internet as well as viewers of the internet can take things out of content and something that is a sensative and important issue can be turned into humour by ignorant others. As Mostyn says “Freedman’s tweet ‘Made me laugh’ should have prompted a ‘made me sad’ or better yet – ‘made me think’ or ‘made me investigate’.”

I think it’s a lesson for people to truely understand what information they recieve and to be careful what they say. This can be said for the whole of the media, people with highly respected positions must have the sense to realise what they are saying will have an impact on their viewers, listeners or readers. Journalists and public figures, while they can voice their freedom of speech, must also have a greater social responsiblity that doesn’t create a narrow minded society. We can see the abuse of this power in Kyle Sandilands’s contoversal comments made about Magda Szubanski’s recent 25kg weight loss on his 2DAYFM breakfast show, Sandilands said she would only be skinny if she was put in a concentration camp.

I think Mostyn’s words “think before you tweet . When you don’t you are rendered nothing more than a twit” should apply to the whole of the media.

Tweet this, Mia; the misfortune of others isn’t entertainment – http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,26056147-7583,00.html

Kyle’s big mouth in nasty relapse- http://www.watoday.com.au/entertainment/kyles-big-mouth-in-nasty-relapse-20090909-fgfx.html

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Face time

In 2008, Dentyne gum launched an advertising campaign called Make Face Time. Under the words:

“Power down. Log off. Unplug.
Have mercy on your thumbs.
Browse the world wide something else.
Send some not-so-instant-messages.
Undo. Hit cancel. Be together.
Make face time.”

The campaign  encourages internet users to allocate time to be with friends, face to face. It includes a television commercial, a series of print advertisements, and an interactive site (makefacetime.dentyne.ca) which can only be accessed for three minutes at a time.

This advertising campaign highlights the need to not forget the importance of social interaction that involves human contact. As Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other social networking devices become more and more popular it is easy for people to become complacent. Why have coffee with a friend, an associate or a future business partner when it’s just as easy to send an email that takes at max 10 minutes. The internet is convenient and efficient.  I know I’m definitely guilty of sending a text instead of taking the time to chat to a loved one. But as journalist, we cannot get lazy. We cannot be trapped behind our laptops and keyboards. How can the emotions of a person be evident in a story that the journalist merely copies and pastes from emailed questions? How can a journalist truly know the area, the subject and the issue when all their information comes from Google, Facebook and Twitter? While we cannot deny the significant impact social networking and the internet has had on news and they way we now receive and produce it, the journalist still needs to get out and experience the situation to truly report on the world we are living in.

This post titled Lazy Journalism and Lazy Reading from the blog Filipino Voices explains a situation where a theoretical exercise was taken as truth by the Inquirer, the Star and the ABC-CBN news in the Philipines. Instead of finding out the real story, which regarded an alleged receipt for a GMA New York dinner at Le Clique, these companies just used social networking sites to find the information. Had they had gone to the restaurant or had they called the GMA, they would have realised this receipt was theoretical not actually real. It was merely an experiment to see if it was possible to spend a certain amount of money. Despite time constraints and the need to constantly have new updated news, it is still unacceptable for news agencies to succumb to lazy journalism.

The following Youtube video is a satirical portrayal of the world of Twitter and adds to the need for face-to-face communication that is highlighted in the Dentyne gum campaign . Enjoy!

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The stats on social media

If you’re in doubt about the impact of social media just take a look at these mind-boggling stats I stumbled across on The Huffington Post:

  • By 2010, Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers — 96 percent of them have joined a social network.
  • Social media has overtaken porn as the number one activity on the Web.
  • One out of eight couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media.
  • Years to reach 50 millions users: Radio, 38 years; TV, 13 years; Internet, 4 years; iPod, 3 years. Facebook added 100 million users in less than nine months; iPhone applications hit 1 billion in nine months.
  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest, between the United States and Indonesia.
  • The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55- to 65-year-old females.
  • Ashton Kutcher and Ellen DeGeneres have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Ireland, Norway, and Panama.
  • 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices. People update anywhere, anytime. Imagine what that means for bad customer experiences!
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
  • There are more than 200,000,000 blogs.
  • 54% of bloggers post content or tweet daily.
  • 34% of bloggers post opinions about products and brands.
  • 78 % of consumers trust peer recommendations.
  • Only 14 % trust advertisements.

Amazed?? I was too. Now we can see how monologues have given way to dialogue. Bloggers, tweeters, forum contributors and Facebook groups are now out there readily influencing the public sphere – reading, sharing information, creating content for others and encouraging participation and conversation online.

Reference
Social Media — is it a fad?  by Mike McCready

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