I don't know about you but I must say that I enjoy watching programmes like the BBC's Question time. It's probably one of my favourite current affairs programmes and gives the audience (both studio and TV) a great chance to ask questions and listen to the thoughts of the "panel of experts". Until recent years the only real way of voicing your opinion was by shouting at the TV or getting into heated argument with friends and family at home! Today, with the advent of social networks you can now discuss topics online with friends or strangers.
Recently, I have been watching Question Time (and sports' games) whilst holding an iPhone in hand or iPad on my lap to access Twitter. On Thursday evenings you can follow the Question Time programme on Twitter through the hashtag #bbcqt. For those unfamiliar with hashtags, they is how they work:
When I tweet about a certain subject, in this case Question Time, I use a word preceded by a hashtag to let people (both those who follow me and those who don't) about the subject I am talking about.
To find out who is talking about this subject, I simply type in the hashtag query into a Twitter Search and it pulls in ALL tweets related to that word.
If I want I can then reply or retweet what people have said.
You can use Twitter itself to locate these tweets or you can use a third party app, like Tweetdeck, Seesmic, Tweetie or Hootsuite to set up these searches and have them updated whenever you wish. Here is an example of people tweeting when Simon Schama was speaking last night (the image is not a real-time image).
This weekend, if you wish to check it out, there will be a flurry of activity on Twitter when progammes like Strictly Come Dancing, X-Factor or any rugby or football games you will find that there is a common hashtag for each that will allow you to interact with people like yourself online. I must say that watching programmes like Question Time and following conversations through Twitter does add another dimension to the viewing and does make for a richer experience. The ability to learn new things you didn't know before, to be pointed to articles/documents that support or contradicts arguments and even to engage in conversation is quite a big draw. So, go ahead and give it a go this weekend.
For most of us the most advanced Social Media monitoring tools that we will use will be Tweetdeck.
For an SME Tweetdeck can help to pick up the odd lead and to gain some insights into how the market - digital marketing - is developing. It also helps you to see how your competitors are faring in the Social Media Marketing sphere. Are people complaining about or saying positive things or even what are they latest innovations?
However, Gatorade seem to have taken Social Media monitoring to a whole new playing field and have created a Social Media 'mission control'. Take a look at this video and see what I mean.
I think I'm going to create a series of articles on the subject, "Twitter is awesome...". I just fired up my Twitter account - not Tweetdeck on my laptop, nor Tweetie on my iMac or Twitter on my iPhone or even Flipboard on my iPad - but plain old Twitter - the 'browser version'! And it hit me how many great suggestions there were from my people I was following on articles that I could read. Hence, the idea of Twitter is awesome...!
Below are a selection of Tweets that I came across just now and which I have already started to eagerly digest. For those of you who are not familiar with Twitter, the Tweets of the people you follow display on your default Twitter page and are displayed in chronological order. If you haven't opened a Twitter account, I strongly recommend you do if only to pick up on the latest news - product launches, industry news, debates, conferences, research, statistics, competitor information - for your industry.
Twitter is awesome for learning new stuff about your industry. You will probably find that, by following the right people, you can stay ahead of the game and keep bang-up-to-date with what's going on in your sector.
So, here's what I learnt today:
(notice how 53 people who follow Matt also told (or Retweeted) their followers about this tweet.
Avinash is a Google Analytics guru and always has links to interesting articles. This article discusses Social Media and politics in the States.
And here's one from Lucy, a lecturer at Swansea Metropolitan University on the Gap logo
Meanwhile, David Szetela reckons that Google may be doing some testing of Sitelinks:
But sometimes, there are things which are much more important that business.
The golden ratio has fascinated intellectuals for over 2000 years. It was said that Pythagoras discovered the ratio and down the ages it has been used by architects, biologists, musicians, mathematicians, designers and people from many other fields. The Parthenon, Pyramids and even the Mona Lisa are said to be influenced by it. Recently, Twitter has announced that the golden ratio has influenced its new design - which from the reviews seems to have pleased many in the social media sphere.
Last week Twitter announced at its Chirp conference the launch of its much-awaited advertising model. Called Promoted ads, these ads are displayed at the top of the search results page for given searches. I believe that at the moment only a small group of advertisers are using promoted ads whilst it's in the pilot stages.
Here's how it works. You type in your search term on your Twitter page - I typed in "flights new york" - and one promoted ad appears at the top of the results page. In this case Virgin America appeared but you can also try it out with "Starbucks" and "Best Buy". According to Biz Stone of Twitter all ads are actually organic ads on Twitter anyway.
I must admit that I do like the idea of these promoted ads and think they could be quite a powerful tool for marketers. I look forward to seeing what the CTR's, CPC's and impressions will be like. Here's the lowdown from Twitter's Biz Stone on the Twitter blog.
Having just come back from LeWeb in Pairs, where the theme was the Real-time web, it was quite interesting to see that Google are now including real time Twitter results in their Search results. Here's one for myself (it's only for demo reasons and not because I Google myself - often!):
and this displays the multitude of conversations going on around the subject of #leweb. The feed refreshes fairly frequently:
Give it a whirl for someone whose Twitter handle you know.
I am off to a conference for the next couple of days and so blogging will be light. However, I thought I'd post an interesting interview that Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Eveerybody, did over at TED.com. Here's the TED overview:
While news from Iran streams to the world, Clay Shirky shows how Facebook, Twitter and TXTs help citizens in repressive regimes to report on real news, bypassing censors (however briefly). The end of top-down control of news is changing the nature of politics.