Thursday, 26 February 2009

Twitter Journalism.

You may not be familiar with this site but it demonstrates how useful Twitter is as a news source.

At the top of the page it says "Unedited. Unfiltered. News".

It also explains that " is a user-generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they post. Only stories marked "On CNN" have been vetted for use in CNN news coverage."

You may have heard that Twitter was the first to report the plane crash in Amsterdam yesterday. This highlights it's use for the media and everyone appears to be raving that it is amazing, to a degree it is.


For those of you not familiar with Twitter, it is in my opinion a Facebook status without Facebook. That I find is the best way of explaining it.

For future stories, even if it does not report breaking news then a journalist can find peoples opinions on stories. PR practitioners can find opinions on a product, service or organisation and feature them as a quote or an opinion.

However, although the speed at which Twitter can break news is impressive it could be wrong in the future. I think that we could see Twitter hoax stories where if enough people 'Tweet' a story then it could be believed. That is why I will continue to wait for news to be featured on actual news sites which are more reliable.

Pictures may also be posted on Twitter but there could be ethical issues, some pictures would be great to feature, but others may be inappropriate- especially when there is an accident with deaths and injuries.
Surely if reports on Twitter are wrong then there may be financial implications and reputation management issues just as we have seen with the rise of blogs and information being published on the internet.

So embrace this method of communication and it's uses but be cautious and be aware of possible implications from it's use.

UPDATE: On a story on BBC news 24 on Monday 2nd of March the presenter referred to opinion on twitter. This was on an issue regarding British home owners in Spain being forced to move back to Britain due to the cost of living becoming more expensive over there.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Have a break...

KitKat have created a new website where NOTHING happens! Great, fantastic! A total waste of time!

Instead we could just turn our computer off but although this seems useless it does make a rather good point. When do we ever really not use the internet?

With the rise of social media it seems that all we ever do is use a computer or our mobile phones to communicate with each other. We feel the need to constantly let each other know how we feel, what we are doing and what we have just done. This begs the question, why? I guess it's liberating and makes us feel like we have a voice, that we are not alone, that we matter.

Of course those reasons are social. In business they allow people to target consumers, publics and stakeholders. It is an area of communication which companies are attempting to understand and use more effectively. It is extremely cost effective in many cases. For example you can search for your company/organisation on Facebook in order to find out what people think about you or your product. This is much cheaper than finding people on the street and can be much quicker. 

However, that is the thing with Social media research, it costs nothing to produce in materials as it's at your fingertips already-it is time and to quote that famous quote or equation; time equals money.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Burping Cows

Now i haven't gone crazy and you may have to bear with me on this one but cows are a huge threat to the planet! To some this is common knowledge, many may have herd of this (sorry couldn't resist), but cows emit as much carbon in a year as the average famliy car!

But do not worry because help is at hand from experts at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research in Aberystwyth. They believe that by altering the diet of cattle they can prevent them from producing as much methane.

And before you laugh at this latest revelation people are taking this very seriously. Especially those at Cadbury. They are currently attempting to reduce their carbon emissions by sending their farmers a guide to dairy farming which produces less carbon emissions. By altering the diets of the animals the hope is that they won't burp as much. How about that for an example of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). Although I remain slightly sceptical of this mooove by the company it will hopefully do some good.

Producing their chocolate amounts to 60% of their carbon emissions. Although how much difference making their cows less flatulent will make to the planets future is debateable. Surely the figure will be a long way off the 60% mentioned. A publicity stunt or a big step in the right direction for the company? You decide.

I wonder if they can harness the emissions instead...