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Monday, August 10, 2009

Can Rupert Murdoch Save Newspapers?

Rupert Murdoch’s plan to start charging for all of News Corp’s online content has engendered quite a debate at the Smarter Social Media offices. In a series of posts Bryce and I will debate the future of online journalism and content in general. rupggert-murdoch-media-journal-BZ01-vl-vertical In my opinion, Murdoch’s plan won’t be very successful. As someone who gets all of their news from the internet, I can tell you that I have no intention of paying to read online content, and I will explain this in more detail below. Right now you might be asking “But Jordan, when you buy a newspaper in print it costs money, so why shouldn’t you pay to get your news online?” Well that’s easy, the money you pay for print newspapers covers the printing costs (ink, paper, machines, etc…), which eliminated online. All of the real money in print publications is made the same way as in online publications - advertisements. Which brings me to another question: Does Rupert Murdoch intend to charge us for access to the online publication and then ALSO include advertisements? It is likely that he does intend to do so, which means we are really being charged on two fronts – which is ludicrous. The next problem people can just go to another, free, online publication. Murdoch is hoping that after his publications begin to charge, then the rest will follow suit, though I imagine that he will see some resistance from other online newspapers. But even if he can get all of the major online papers to charge for content, he still has one major problem. Bloggers! skeetskeetI get a great deal of news from some of my favorite blogs. Guess where my favorite bloggers get their news? You said, the major online news publications. So then what will happen then? Well, these bloggers will buy subscriptions to these online publications. Then they will blog about the news that they have just read, and I will still get the same news, for free (which is why I wouldn’t pay for access to online publications). The bloggers will then actually become more profitable because people who refuse to pay for news online (like me) will then read what these bloggers have written, and the only cost will be that they have to see an advertisement. But because their will be so many more eyeballs on these publications almost all ad dollars will flow to the blogs – not the newspapers.
Saturday, August 08, 2009

ESPN Not Allowing Employees to Tweet

First it was the Us Marines who banned social media altogether. Now ESPN, has told its employees not to Tweet!Three days ago, ESPN sent a memo to its employees telling them not to tweet or in social media to publicize their personal views of sports without permission. According to the ESPN memo employees were only to use social media to promote the brand and unbiased reporting of sports: All of a sudden the folks at ESPN robots who toot the same tune! PTI anyone? Here’s what Ric Bucher, ESPN NBA analyst said about the initial memo: ricbucher-1 ESPN Spokesman, Chris LaPorta, however, said that Bucher misinterpreted the networks social media policy. ESPN has responded to Bucher’s tweet,publicly, as their publicist, Nate Smeltz, tweets @jbruin statement: espn-1 espn- In a scramble to avoid the media fall out from this blunder, ESPN has since distributed its Additional Guidelines for Social Networking. If ESPN is sincere in embracing social media, they should be careful when starting such incendiary conversations.
Saturday, August 08, 2009

Twitter and Firefox No Longer Friends

firefoxTwitter users are getting confused! Accounts aren’t updating and they aren’t sure if it’s the DDoS attack or something else. DDoS caused the service to be down for an hour. But the rest of the service outages appear to be due to something different. It appears that some users are unable to update on the web using Firefox 3.5. Other actions like following and sending DMs are also affected. >ibon From personal experience in the Smarter Social Media offices it seems that Twitter is not working on Firefox 3.5.2, but is working on 3.5.1. But have no fear folks Twitter is working on it. For now let’s just hope that they fix it as quick as they fixed the DDoS issues.
Friday, August 07, 2009

American Idol beats American President

Picture 12Ryan Seacrest has beaten the leader of the free world! You heard me right ladies and gentlemen; President Obama has officially been overtaken by Ryan Seacrest, when it comes to number of Twitter followers. Why is Seacrest more popular than Obama? Some say Seacrest is sexier, others that he tweets more often, while Twitter founder Biz Stone says it may be because Seacrest is featured on the list of people to follow when you first sign up on Twitter and Obama is not. What ever the reason by Twitter bio, “44th President of the United States” has been beaten by, “Ryan and his producers.”
Friday, August 07, 2009

Teenagers don’t Tweet

twitterA report of a 15-year-old boy caught everyone’s attention in the media world and even sparkled a debate among the leading internet businessmen. It was a Morgan Stanley media analysts who asked Matthew Robson to write a report about media habits of himself and his friends. According to Robson, teenagers do not use Twitter. He stressed that while most of his friends have signed up for the service, they quickly stopped using it finding the 140 character messages mostly pointless. Edward Hill-Wood, Executive director of Morgan Stanley’s European media team published this report to the public, and called it one of the clearest and most thought provoking insights about the future viability of Twitter’s business model. Nielsen recently gathered data from its NetRatings panel of 250,000 US Internet Users, that corroborates Robson’s insights, finding that there are far fewer younger people on Twitter than initially expected. While, the fact that teens don’t tweet may not pose a large threat to Twitter anytime soon, the teenage demographic has historically predicted where media is headed. Perhaps this means that #Twitter2012 is real after all.
Friday, August 07, 2009

Facebook on Nintendo

nintendoNintendo DSi users are rejoicing for they now have the power to upload their pictures direct from DSi to Facebook. At this year’s E3, Nintendo officially announced its partnership with the social networking giant, allowing users to enhance their social experience using the device connecting directly to Facebook. Nintendo released the software update on August 3rd. DSi users are now able to tap an on-screen icon to send photos from DSi camera albums to Facebook profiles pages, using the DSi’s wireless connection.fb Cammie Dunway, Nintendo’s Executive VP of America, said that Facebook and Nintendo DSi built on the trend of personalization that is so important to consumers. In addition to this, she also mentioned that they are giving people the tools to express themselves in creative new ways and show off the results to their friends and family on Facebook. Gaming gadgets are now taking linked to social media. DSi users start uploading your pics!
Friday, August 07, 2009

Twitter: 2012?

twitterIt’s interesting to think about Twitter’s future.  Most social media gurus agree that Twitter has revolutionized social media. But this leads to few questions: What exactly does this mean for Twitter?  What new features will they add?  What new and exciting techniques will they use to captivate an even larger audience? And what could they do to screw everything up? According to Mashable, Twitter’s growth cannot be stopped.  Twitter has gone from being a network used just to keep in touch with friends to a network where people get their news and even do business.  And that’s just the beginning. There is still potential for Twitter to revolutionize social media even further than it already has. A small example is the way that social bookmarking site Delicious has integrated Twitter into its search platform (kind of a rip of trending topics though). It won’t be too long before we see other social networking sites integrating Twitter into their platforms (i.e. Facebook and Myspace) so that they don’t become obsolete. But I can also tell you that if Twitter isn’t careful, they can screw it all up. Take a look at the new sponsored tweets system that IZEA has just launched.  Users sign up at the Sponsored Tweets website and select their price per tweet or price per click and from there they will be contacted if anybody makes an offer for them to be paid to tweet.  It has to be disclosed that the tweet is a sponsored one (through a hashtag), so as to keep everything ethical and avoid a violation of recent rules set forth by the FCC. As interesting as an idea this is, it is also terrifying.  Plenty of brands on Twitter are already trying to throw themselves in our faces, but what happens when the average Joe Schmoe on Twitter begins to throw somebody else’s brand in our faces?  Twitter is already rife with spam, and this new system stands to increase amount of pointless promotions seen on the microblog service.  The irony is that IZEA has found a way to monetize Twitter before Twitter has figured out how to monetize itself! So where will Twitter be in 2012? I’m eager to hear your thoughts.
Friday, August 07, 2009

Twitter Down, as Facebook faces flooding issues

I was wondering today why people here at Smarter Social Media can’t access Twitter and was having some trouble using Facebook today. Seems like a DDOS Attack(Distributed Denial of Service) has been hovering the Twitter system according to Mashable. The facebook problem, on the other hand, is due to massive Twitter users logging in to Facebook, thus flooding the site. aw The extent of the attack is still unknown as Twitter is still fixing the problem.  As everyone is waiting for the announcement, one could only ask “who is doing this?”
Thursday, August 06, 2009

The NFL and NBA vs. Twitter

Colts Chargers Football The $2500 tweet? Well it’s no longer a figment of your imagination thanks to Antonio Cromartie, starting cornerback for the San Diego Chargers. Cromartie recently tweeted that the “nasty food” in the Chargers training camp is to blame for the Chargers perennially underachieving in the NFL playoffs, resulting in a $2500 fine levied by the team. This fine continues the trend of NFL teams and coaches cracking down on players tweeting during team functions such as practices and games. Despite a policy that forbids players from using mobile electronic devices during games, players such as Shawne Merriman and Chad Ochocinco continue to tweet. In order to completely stop the use of Twitter during games, the NFL is currently working on a policy to ban any type of social media during games. This is in stark contrast to the NBA’s free for all Twitter scene. Players such as Shaquille O’Neal and Charlie Villanueva are famous for tweeting every chance they get, even during halftime. For example, Villanueva posted this during halftime of a recent Milwaukee Bucks game. “In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt We’re playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.” First of all…um what? Second; if you’re going to let Twitter distract you from battling Kevin Garnett you probably don’t deserve the win. So what’s the big deal?! Twitter is another avenue for big-mouthed athletes and owners like Ochocinco or Mark Cuban to parade their boisterous personalities to thousands of people. Personally I couldn’t agree more with the NFL for creating a policy specifically banning the use of Twitter during games. The NBA should follow suite. Players and owners should be focused on the game, not self-promotion. On the other hand, I’m all for athletes using Twitter during their free time. Their names are essentially a business and they should be allowed to market themselves just as any company does. What’s important is that athletes don’t abuse the site during games. Besides the fact that Twitter distracts them from their jobs, both the NFL and NBA are concerned that players will divulge information such as injury statuses and game plans through the public forum. Because of this, there definitely needs to be policies instituted in both leagues to regulate the use of Twitter. After all, shouldn’t Mark Cuban be focused on building a consistently winning team rather than complaining about referees?
Thursday, August 06, 2009

Paying for Tweets

sponsoredtweetsIzea, formerly known as PayPerPost, a company that helped bloggers get paid for their posts, has recently launched Sponsored Tweets, a service that will make easy for anyone to get paid to tweet. You heard it right. Anyone can now be paid by selling yourself and your twitter account to corporate sponsors. According to Ed Murphy, Izea’s CEO, users will set their own rates and Izea advertisers will then select participants for their campaigns. He also added that the program is a natural extension of the company’s effort to find new ways to connect with customers. Izea is not the first company to do sponsored tweeting. Magpie, offers the same service, but it doesn’t give the tweeter as much control as Sponsored Tweets. Many of Magpie’s users’s accounts were overloaded with advertising and had their Twitter accounts blocked as a result. sponsoredThe idea of getting paid for a specific brand, product or company’s publicity is not new. Many bloggers and even traditional journalists have received money or gifts in returns for positive reviews and promotions. But on the social web it is a question of transparency. While paid Tweets are supposed to be revealed with a #hashtag, who is going to regulate the millions of Twitters if they do not utilize this practice? Social media is doing to journalism what digital did to music, making it even harder to regulate and enforce the rules. Izea may give a few folks some pocket change, but it could also ruin the credibility of Twitter itself.