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Archive for the ‘twitter’ Category

The Sun and PR Week have both covered a story today about footballers being banned from social networks by their clubs (specifically Manchesters United and City). Footballers and social networks, particularly Twitter, aren’t often the best mix: see Ryan Babel and Darren Bent for further details.

Despite the freedom of speech argument, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. When it comes to social media a certain amount of common sense is required, and without wanting to resort to stereotypes, footballers aren’t considered one of the more sensible facets of society, so perhaps a blanket ban is best. Fans are still going to go and watch the match/purchase merchandise etc., and at the end of the day that has to be the consideration of the business – does a presence on SM by individuals have a positive effect on the bottom line? In this instance I don’t think it does.

Having said that, Bent has learnt from his mistake in the summer, and he now provides an intriguing insight in the day-to-day workings of a professional footballer’s life. As long he steers clear of engineering transfer moves on Twitter again, he could become a case study of how public figures should operate online.

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Great article from Econsultancy on Marks and Spencer’s social media strategy here. Sienne Veit, business development manager of the retail giant, talks about how M&S has implemented a social media strategy, where it has been successful, how it deals with difficult issues (such as Busts 4 Justice), Twitter and how it measures success. Interesting case study.

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Professional footballer and prolific twitterer Darren Bent (of Sunderland, ex-Spurs subs bench fame) has really taken the micro-blogging network to heart – he’s had his profile name, @DBTheTruth, stitched into his boots. The interactive kickers are courtesy of his supplier Umbro.

This isn’t the first time the occasional England striker has embraced Twitter. In the summer, in an attempt to reinvigorate his stalled transfer from Harry Redknapp’s White Army to the Black Cats, he let his feelings been known with what some might call a strongly-worded outburst aimed at the North London club’s chairman, Daniel Levy.

Obviously Bent isn’t the first sportsperson to use Twitter, but he does seem to be the one embracing it the most. We’ve had live event blogging and tweeting – what money on Bent to tweet whilst playing in a match?

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As the biggest bike race in the world enters its second week, Brit Mark Cavenish is racking up the stage wins and the rivalry between Lance Armstrong and his “team-mate” Alberto Contador has reached fever pitch but other than the battles on the road something interesting is also happening with how the tour is being reported on – especially on twitter.  Cycling is a relatively niche sport and doesn’t generate huge amount of coverage in the back pages of the UK nationals – so how is Twitter helping the cycling enthusiast?

I”ve talked before about how Lance Armstrong successfully uses a variety of social media tools to boost the profile of his LiveSTRONG charity but this year for the first time, loads of the riders involved in the race are posting regular twitter updates, before and after each stage – giving followers a real insight into how each rider is feeling. The tweets are also being used more and more by traditional media as direct quotes in articles – sometimes forming the basis for an entire article, an example from yesterday here.

So not only can cycling enthusiasts get more frequent and timely updates direct from their favourite stars but the real time coverage on twitter is better than the normally reliable BBC Sport. Thanks to ITV’s Tour De France twitter feed – followers can get updates on the race quicker than ever before. Updating in 140 characters speeds up the process a bit!

Twitter being useful – might sound amazing to some but to a cycling geek during the Tour it really is.

And just because I can – here is Mark Cavendish wining stage two of this year’s tour via this YouTube clip.

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A couple of US students have been signed up by Penguin to write a book which will turn classics from writers such as Shakespeare and James Joyce into no more than twenty 140 character tweets. Aside from the fact that people younger than me are getting book deals (always a sore point), it’s caused quite the stir in the media, with the Telegraph and the Guardian covering it.

The pair of culture wreckers/trend setters/whatevers said they wanted to “capture the grandest ventures of their generation that best expressed the soul of 21st century America”. Meaning they wanted to make a lot of money out of other people’s ideas.

Making great works accessible to the masses or the epitome of the dumbing down of culture? Personally, I won’t be shelling out for a book of extended blurbs. However, there in lies the book’s potential. 20 x 140 characters is 2800 characters, twice the number used in this description of Ulysses. This tome of shortened great works could become a catalogue of extended product descriptions, something that publishers already produce as part of their sales and marketing collateral to tempt booksellers. Co-incidentally, Penguin does a nice line in modern classics (I’m currently reading one myself).

Perhaps this is the future of publishing. Producing books of twitterature, the publishers would be charging the consumer to view a catalogue of relevant work. Said consumer, if intrigued by what they’ve read, could then toddle off down the bookstore/login to Amazon, buy relevant book, and the publisher gets more money. This isn’t the end of high culture and the written word, this is the publishing industry making sure they get ROI from their marketing collateral.

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Dave Gorman has a great post on why “following you back” doesn’t necessarily entail interactivity on Twitter, including Tweetstats fuelled analysis demonstrating quite clearly that people with a smaller number of followers are actually MORE interactive.

I follow around 200 people and struggle to keep up with all the noise – in fact, Tweetdeck is essential for managing the flow such that the more frequent Twitterers are isolated from the people whose daily output I’m more likely to want to chip into. After all, I don’t have a great deal to say to the Real Bill Bailey (who I follow because he’s funny and sometimes you want to read those Tweets to make you smile), but I do generally have more to say to my friends of old, my colleagues, my clients etc.

Like Dave Gorman (though without the stats to prove it, as sometimes I evidently don’t have anything to say in response to an @ mention), I like to think I’m pretty interactive in response to a reply… so I periodically urge my followers to @ me to get my attention – a request usually met with stony silence. Clearly they have too much noise to deal with as well…

New people to Twitter usually follow more people than they are following (it takes a while to build a network, after all, even at the speed of Tweet), but wondering how others manage the flow – do you follow everyone back? What does it take – one reply, one interesting link, or more?

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