Will Manage Twitter Get a Reprieve?

30 04 2010

For the last few weeks I have been using a great application called ‘ManageTwitter’ to do exactly that for my multiple accounts.  Described by TechCrunch as a “must-use” it is one of the most practical twitter apps available.

ManageTwitter allows you to manage your Twitter followers in a variety of ways. It informs you os all the Twitter users you follow that aren’t following you back, those that have been inactive for over a month and those that are very talkative or very quiet.  You can then unfollow these groups of users individually or in bulk and that is the issue – twitter does not approve of bulk unfollow and as of last Friday a message appeared on the ManageTwitter home page indicating that it was to close in a week because it was breaking the microblogging site’s terms of service.  Today a different message appeared:

Save ManageTwitter Thank you for all your support! We are currently in negotiations with twitter regarding the future of ManageTwitter.  Updates will be posted to our blog.

This is a genuinely useful site that doesn’t encourage or facilitate spamming.  It just might get a reprieve but doubtless with modifications to its current functionality.

Will the Last Newspaper Proprietor to Back a Party in the General Election Please Turn Out the Lights

23 04 2010

I posted a few months ago saying that The Sun can’t win elections any more or even influence them in the same way they once did.

This election is proving that to be the case.  Yesterday after the press rounded on Nick Clegg after his success in the first TV debate and on the cusp of the second TV hustings, the twittering classes hit back.  The hashtag #nickcleggsfault was essentially a crowd sourced piss-take that said we don’t have to take whatever politically motivated guff you throw at us and the choice is ours not yours.

The Murdoch media are however hanging on to the old ideas of influence and boy have they had a concerted go in the last 24 hours pushing a YouGov poll on Sky News that was out of step with all others and that the pollsters have admitted today that they used a flawed process. The Sun has even been accused of suppressing polls that are out of step with their support for the Tories.

However we are now facing the absolute racing certainty of  hung/balanced parliament, so the only party guaranteed to be part of the next administration is the Liberal Democrat party.  When media owners realise that they can’t be certain of backing the winner they will back off from nailing their colours to the mast.   The backlash begins.

Social Media and the CIPR

17 04 2010

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the professional body for public relations  in the UK.  With over 9,500 members, involved in all aspects of communications, the CIPR is the largest body of its type in Europe. It develops policies, represents its members, and raises standards through education and training.

I am an executive board member and I’d been invited to form a social media panel which was launched this week.  Reassuringly there was a lot of online buzz with over 100 people using the hashtag #CIPRSM, people blogging about the initiative and lots of traffic to the announcement on the web site.   The reaction was overwhelmingly positive and their were even people saying it had prompted them to join the CIPR.

The panel includes people with considerable experience and reputation and we will we will use the tools available to us to facilitate discussions, develop ideas and to make recommendations public so that CIPR members and the profession can comment, suggest and input.  The full line up is as follows:

  • Daljit Bhurji ACIPR – Managing Director, Diffusion (@Daljit_Bhurji)
  • Mark Borkowski – Managing Director, Borkowski (@MarkBorkowski)
  • Rob Brown FCIPR – Managing Director, Staniforth (@robbrown)
  • Stuart Bruce MCIPR – Managing Director, Wolfstar (@stuartbruce)
  • Dominic Burch – Head of Corporate Communications, ASDA (@dom_asdaPR)
  • Simon Collister – Head of Non-Profit & Public Sector, We Are Social (@simoncollister)
  • Gemma Griffiths – Client Director, Racepoint (@GemGriff)
  • Katy Howell – Managing Director, Immediate Future (@katyhowell)
  • Marshall Manson – Director of Digital Strategy, Edelman (@marshallmanson)
  • Beccy McMichael – Head of Corporate & Technology, Ruder Finn (@bmcmichael)
  • Danny Rogers – Editor, PR Week (@dannyrogers2001)
  • Julio Romo MCIPR–PR & Communications Consultant, twofourseven (@twofourseven)
  • Philip Sheldrake – Partner, Influence Crowd LLP (@sheldrake)
  • Stephen Waddington MCIPR – Managing Director, Speed Communications (@wadds)

The panel is not the initiative but rather will facilitate and create initiatives and shape an agenda that will encourage open conversation on developments and initiatives that concern the public relations profession.

Read the CIPR’s announcement.

The Fall of Bebo and The Real Value of Social Networks

7 04 2010

Just two years after being bought for £417 million ($850m), the former social network of choice for the pre-teens, Bebo is to be sold off or closed down.

To put that in context the value of the site in just five years went from zero to not far short of a billion dollars back to zero (if no buyer is found).  The reason is simple.  The pre-teens grew up and went to Facebook and the generation that followed, like the 12 year readers of Just Seventeen magazine desperate to play with the bigger kids, have gone straight to Facebook (even if that means telling a porkie pie about their d.o.b. when they set up to their accounts).  In February Facebook had 462.7 million unique users and Bebo had just 12.8 million.   “AOL is not in a position at this time to further fund and support Bebo in pursuing a turnaround in social networking” a  memo sent by the parent company to Bebo staff this week explained.

Whilst Facebook becomes more entrenched as the No 1 social network what will this mean for MySpace and other legacy networks?    We also need to understand better where the real value lies if the life cycle of a network that once generating 60 million page views a day can be so short.

Bebo was set up in Michael and Xochi Birch in January 2005.  It could close as early as May this year.

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