social media

A welcome cautionary note opened SXSWi today as Danah Boyd, a leading social media researcher, warned technologists not to disregard the users’ privacy as they build services that share ever more personal information with the public.

“No matter how many times a privileged straight white male tech executive tells you privacy is dead, don’t believe it,” she told upwards of 1,000 attendees during the opening address. “It’s not true.”

Ms Boyd focused on the recent rows around the launch of Google Buzz and Facebook’s resetting of its privacy features, citing the furore that surrounded each episode as evidence that web users are still very concerned about how much information they share with the public. Read more

Sky News – which famously became one of the first media organisations to appoint a “Twitter correspondent” last year – is now issuing all its web reporters with tools for scanning social media for stories.

Every journalist in the online newsroom has had Tweetdeck – which provides a more sophisticated interface for using Twitter, Facebook and other sites than do their own homepages – installed on their computerRead more

It’s renowned as the most digitally savvy election campaign yet. The story of how Barack Obama used social media to build grassroots support has become the stuff of social-media legend.

But when David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager, took to the stage at the Cannes Lions  International Advertising Festival today, the surprising message for marketers was to keep  it “old school”: email and TV are still critically important. Read more

When Dow Jones executives last week came out with guidelines describing how employees of The Wall Street Journal and other publications should use social media, they were lambasted for putting forward an approach that many saw as out of touch. Among the new rules were restrictions against promoting one’s own work and becoming Facebook friends with confidential sources.

But Dow Jones should be commended for even trying. Social media can catch businesses off guard if they are unprepared — witness Motrin’s belated attempt to make amends with offended mommy bloggers — yet most companies have not formalised their policies around it. While a limited number of savvy corporations are developing social media guidelines, most are still unsure what to make of conversational technologies such as Facebook and Twitter. Read more

One of Twitter’s most powerful attributes is its ability to deliver real-time search. Rather than wait for blogs and web pages to be scraped, archived and inserted into search results, Twitter allows for instant searching of the thousands of brief messages its users generate each day.

Companies have already begun using Twitter to douse PR fires, service customers and promote sales. Now one US candy-maker is using Twitter’s real-time search as a way to show off just how much people are Tweeting about it (and flaunt its social media savvy). Read more