Monkey Madness

Monkey madness!!!!!!!! I, honestly, loved our presentation. Very stressful but great fun. I thought we did a great job and one of the biggest lessons I learnt was to really know your audience and engage with them.

I think this analogy applies so well to social media. They’re tools to tell stories. like all tools they’re good for some things and rubbish for others. You wouldn’t unscrew a screw with a hammer or polish a stone with a saw.

The same’s true for social media – it’s a way to engae with a different audience demographic in a different way – in many ways it’s a new language and knowing how to speak is vital in communicating and telling stories.

As I’ve said before., the future’s in our hands and it’s our responsibility to know what to do with it.


Presentation Slides

They don’t tell you much but these were the slides from our presentation.. we will all add our notes as and when we find the time!

Social Media Monkey (PowerPoint)

A social future?

What is the future of social media?





We mentionned in our presentation that the future is digital.. save for a massive crash of the entire world’s computer systems, I think we can assume that the influence social media has on the news will only increase.

There has already been a backlash of some news organisations abusing social networking sites such as Twitter for their own gains… cf. The Guardian – using the viral nature of the site to send links to their headlines  and Channel4 using it as a digital voxpopping site. But I think there are still ways it can be a blessing to the news industry.

Yesterday Sky announced they were to have a Twitter correspondent, @KrishGM of @channel4 pioneered the ‘twinterview’ and obviously the site has proved itself as an intenational medium

But we aren’t just talking Twitter….

With all new technologies there will always be teething issues, questions over morality and debates as to how much it will affect the day to day running of the industry.

Since September we have been drilled constantly on the importance of the internet and being adaptable in order to survive. We have been asked to set up (and maintain) blogs of our own so we can get an idea of the wealth of options open to “consumers” in this digital age. The news is no longer a “closed shop” but I don’t see that as a threat to journalism. Instead it is a way of ensuring its survival.

Whereas once the news was a lecture – you were told what the headlines and main stories were without the opportunity for discussion – it is now more like a seminar. Which then brings the news to life.

Ultimately without people you have no news, so I say bring on the “cacophony of regional accents and patois,” because I for one don’t want to live in a monolingual society.

Congressional Tweet

Looks like the US media are trying to keep up with Social Media Monkey. In this video CBS News is looking in to the new ‘craze’ sweeping the hill.

Ben Matthews is a member of the online PR team at Hotwire – one of the first companies to recognise the marketing potential of social media.
In this interview he discusses the social media explosion, niche social networks and the need for quality news content on the net. He reveals that marketing online is no longer a case of paying for an ad, but a highly interactive process of identifying the right online communities and gaining their trust.
(Duration: 11:43)

Do you  have your mobile with you? You can now be a journalist.

Did a news article tickle your fancy? Digg it and you can influence the news headlines.

Have you posted photos on your Facebook profile? Then you have waived your right to privacy.

Social Media is the buzzword for 2009. I can’t open up my email and not be bombarded with blogs predicting the democratisation of media. If the technology exists, surely everyone will jump at the chance to become one of the press pack. But what is stopping those less scrupulous types from leeching all your private information off your profile pages? If you willingly put the information out into cyberspace, do you have the right of redress if it is used against you?

Well if the PCC are any sort of moral compass, it would seem that the Basingstoke Gazette was in the wrong when it used material which had been ripped directly from a teenager’s social networking profile. In a similar way that images and videos were ripped following the Virginia Tech massacres in the States, the Gazette lifted tributes and messages from his MySpace profile to suggest that he was a heavy drinker.

Social networking is a new concept, and I can see the temptation to use material which would seem to be freely available. Can we really demand privacy if we freely share information online?

Google Latitude

Be afraid… be very afraid…

Facebook made it possible for hordes of people to browse your drunken mug shots from the night before. Twitter allowed them to read a running commentary of your trips to ASDA. Now Google is providing live satellite tracking of your every move. It’s like being tagged, but you don’t even need an ASBO.

Latitude uses signals from your mobile phone to track your movements on a satellite map. The application is free and can be used on some mobile phones as well as on your PC. The service also allows you to send Twitteresque status updates to accompany your toings and froings.


Unsurprisingly the Big Brother brigade have kicked off at what they see as a breach of personal privacy. 

Google says that the application is 100% voluntary and that you can opt out of being tracked. They also point out that you can choose your privacy settings.

You can share, set, or hide your location – or turn off Google Latitude – from the privacy menu. You can also hide your location or share only a city-level location with certain friends. [Google]

Still, it’s always a shock to realise that your every move could be tracked. And then there’s the niggling fear that Google is in fact Big Brother after all and is selling your location to the CIA.

On Monday the Ponemon Institute, a US information security watchdog, reported that Google no longer ranks among its 20 most trusted companies for security. The ranking is based on a survey of around 6,500 Americans and is purely a measure of public trust.

The Future

So is satellite tracking the future of social media? Eric Zeman of Information Week thinks so. He points out that it was mobile phone companies who developed the idea and as more and more mobiles are fitted with GPS chips, tracking seems inevitable.

Of course there will be many who love the idea. Parents who want to keep an eye on their little ones, for example. Personally the only thing that would make me want to sign up is to track down the scally who pinched my phone.