Daily Archives: 15 October, 2012

Hillsborough, Jimmy Savile and the power of social media to do good

Jimmy Savile in 2006, leading the pipe band through Fort William to the Lochaber Highland Games in his capacity as Honorary Chieftain of the gamesIn some ways, it feels like we have had an autumn filled with some grim news. In particular I’d like to comment on two high profile stories – that of the Hillsborough cover up and the reported crimes of Jimmy Savile.

I think there are two themes here – that of excessive respect for authority, and the power of social media to do good. I would like to start by drawing comparison with the world of 30 years ago (the world I grew up in) and the world of today.

It goes without saying that the world of the 70′s and 80′s is very different from 2012. 30 years ago, the UK was still struggling with a post empire hangover and politics and the media was dominated by upper class (older) men with traditional perspectives. Of course one point of similarity is that of deep global economic recession – consistent across both periods. Read More »

Charity Hijacks Twitter Hashtag For Good #FirstWorldProblems

How many Twitter hashtags have we seen hijacked in the past 12 months? Only last month Waitrose fell foul to the Twitter trend of “bashtagging” – users flooding a brand created hashtag with negative comments against the originator.

Last week however the tables were turned on the mischievous Twitterverse as a charity gave users a taste of their own medicine. Campaigners for providing the third world with clean water, “WATERisLIFE”, decided that Twitter users in the #FirstWorldProblems hashtag were taking their lifestyle for granted, and decided to use social media to address the issue.

The Social Media Watchdog blog Social Slurp (created by Blueclaw specialising in Social Media in Leeds) picked up on the campaign last week and explained that the Twitter hashtag #FirstWorldProblems was being used to mock users of their petty concerns that they have in  ”first world” countries. For example, tweets included: Read More »

The New York Times to follow China web launch with site in Brazil

The New York Times plans to follow Chinese language launch with Brazil site in 2013The New York Times is planning to launch a Portuguese-language website for Brazil next year as it seeks to grow its brand internationally.

The news follows the beta launch of a Chinese-language site in June. Both launches help seal its position as the world’s largest newspaper and come ahead of the arrival of in November of Mark Thompson, the former BBC director-general, as its new chief executive.

The New York Times Portuguese-language edition of the paper will launch in Brazil in 2013 three years before the 2016 Olympic games, which are to be held in Rio De Janeiro Read More »

Blog firm Deadline buys Hollywood’s Variety from Reed, says will ditch paywall

How they used to be: A woman reads Hollywood newspaper Variety It is a deal that seems to perfect illustrate the changing times as Reed Elsevier sells off Hollywood institution Variety to blog firm Penske Media, which owns Deadline.com, in a deal valued at $25m.

The deal to sell the 107 year-old Hollywood institution is being described as a fire sale and has been a long time coming.

One of the first things that new owner Penske Media said it planned to do is to ditch Variety’s paywall.

Read More »

Pioneers of Digital: Stephen Fry talks Twitter and Steve Jobs in the new book

Last week we published an excerpt about Martha Lane Fox from a book I have co-written with Dr. Paul Springer from Buckinghamshire University.

We interviewed Stephen Fry because of his early adoption of technology (his first computer was not an Apple Mac) and his pertinence in using social media channels (not just Twitter) to tell his story and those of hundreds of others to his millions of fans.

In this excerpt, we shed light on what triggered his foray into Twitter, how seriously he takes the responsibility of having so many followers, and why Steve Jobs is such an influencer of his. Read More »