Posted: May 31st, 2012 | Author: Patrick Thornton | Filed under: Main | Tags: Facebook, Pew, Twitter | 1 Comment »
Pew has a new report on the state of Twitter that shows that the rate of adoption and usage of Twitter is remaining fairly steady. The real story, however, might be that Twitter finds itself popular with educated and wealthy people and people at the other end of the spectrum, but not in between.
Some key findings:
- 15% of online adults use Twitter. A year ago that number was at 13%.
- On a daily basis about 8% of online adults use Twitter.
- Black American use Twitter at the highest rate with 28% of online black Internet users using the service. Compare that with 12% of online white Internet users.
- Young people like Twitter more than older adults. 26% of internet users ages 18-29 use Twitter, nearly double the rate for those ages 30-49. And 31% of Internet users between 18-24 use Twitter.
- The service is popular with poorer and wealthier citizens. 19% percent of Internet users with a household income below $30,000 use Twitter and 17% with a household income above $75,000 use Twitter. The people in between use it the least.
- The same trend holds true with education. Those with no high school diploma use the service the most at 22% and on the other hand those with at least a college degree use it at 17%. Again, in between the numbers drop off.
Twitter is a big site, but it’s clearly not a tool that the majority of Americans use. Half of adults and three-fourths of teenagers use social networking, with Facebook as by far the dominate site.
Twitter is the darling social network of journalists and cultural elites, but Facebook is where the majority of Americans are hanging out.
Posted: January 10th, 2012 | Author: Patrick Thornton | Filed under: Notes | Tags: Facebook, Google, search, Twitter | No Comments »
Google announced Google+ integration into Google search today, which will bring users more personalized results based on friends’ usage of Google+. The social integration, however, will only be for Google’s in-house social network Google+. MG Siegler believes the feds and rival social networks won’t stand idle:
This is the type of case that Senators die for. Google wrapped it in a bow and placed it in one of their laps.
Most of the broader antitrust concerns against Google are bullshit in my opinion. You can argue that they have a monopoly on search, but it’s a natural one. They’ve earned it. They’re simply better at search than their competitors. This has always been true. It remains true.
But when they use that natural monopoly to start pushing into other verticals, things get gray. Travel, restaurant reviews, etc, etc. We see more of it each year.
But this, at first glance, seems decidedly worse. Google is using Search to propel their social network.
Posted: January 3rd, 2012 | Author: Patrick Thornton | Filed under: Notes | Tags: The Ohio State University, Twitter, Urban Meyer | No Comments »
Another day and another coach believes that banning something rather than educating is the way to go.
Cleveland.com reports on some of the reactions from Buckeyes players:
Junior tight end Jake Stoneburner Tweeted from his account,@STONEYEleven:
Twitter=Done. Me=back for senior year, leading this team, and shocking the world!! #gobucks #12-0
Tight end Reid Fragel, who is soon to be converted to offensive tackle, chimed in on his Twitter account, @Fragel88:
New staff new rules. No more twitter, not a big deal and probably for the better. Love our fans, love this place. Go Bucks #2012
I, of course, support education over banning when it comes to communication tools, especially when the institution in question is one of higher education. What was that whole thing about student-athletes?
Posted: December 21st, 2011 | Author: Patrick Thornton | Filed under: Notes | Tags: social media, Taliban, Twitter, U.S. Military | 1 Comment »
The U.S. military and the Taliban are waging a Twitter war:
U.S. military officials assigned to the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, as the coalition is known, took the first shot in what has become a near-daily battle waged with broadsides that must be kept to 140 characters.
“How much longer will terrorists put innocent Afghans in harm’s way,”@isafmedia demanded of the Taliban spokesman on the second day of theembassy attack, in which militants lobbed rockets and sprayed gunfire from a building under construction.
“I dnt knw. U hve bn pttng thm n ‘harm’s way’ fr da pst 10 yrs. Razd whole vilgs n mrkts. n stil hv da nrve to tlk bout ‘harm’s way,’ ” responded Abdulqahar Balkhi, one of the Taliban’s Twitter warriors, who uses the handle @ABalkhi.
Utterly fascinating. Social media matters.
Source: Washington Post.
Posted: December 10th, 2011 | Author: Patrick Thornton | Filed under: Notes | Tags: #triumphalnaya, botnets, political protest, Russia, Twitter, Windows | No Comments »
Botnets, networks of compromised zombie computers, can be put to use to take down websites, send junk mail, break into networks and more. Now a botnet is believed to be used to drown out the political protest in Russia. Ten pro government messages are showing up in the #triumphalnaya hashtag every second, making it very hard for protest tweets to be seen:
Maxim Goncharov, a senior researcher at security firm Trend Micro, said the attack on Twitter had all the hallmarks of being co-ordinated by a botnet.
This is a network of PCs, usually running Windows, that have been infected by a virus putting them under the control of a cyber criminal.
Mr Goncharov said the machines, or bots, in this network had targeted chatter about the protests in Moscow’s Triumphal Square.
The protests followed accusations about irregularities during Russia’s recent parliamentary elections. Results showed a significant dip in support for Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.
Some of the chatter on Twitter was organised around the topic name, or hashtag, of #triumphalnaya
Twitter is becoming a place for both political protest and and for democracy to be silenced. Twitter, the company, needs to do a better job of detecting and deleting spam accounts. This is democracy at stake, and Twitter is becoming an important communication tool in political protests. It shouldn’t be so easy for bots and spammers to take hold on Twitter.
Yes, by not updating your computer and using an insecure operating system, you can unknowingly help criminals send junk mail, take down websites, break into networks and silence political protest. Maybe it would be better if the average person used a computer that was more like an appliance — like, say, an iPad.
Posted: December 9th, 2011 | Author: Patrick Thornton | Filed under: Notes | Tags: Arab Spring, Arabic, social media, tweets, Twitter | No Comments »
More than two million public message are posted in Arabic every day on Twitter:
The volume of Arabic messages has multiplied by 22 (+2 146%) in the last 12 months. Arabic is now the 8th most used language on Twitter, and Arabic messages represent 1.2% of all public tweets (2.2M per day). With recent events, Twitter has grown exceptionally fast in the Middle East. Although they are not part of the top 10 most used languages, Farsi (+350% in one year, but only 50K messages per day) and Turkish (+290%, 0.8% of all tweets) have also grown fast over the period.
For those wondering, English now makes up about 39 percent of tweets, showing the truly global nature of Twitter as a platform.
Posted: December 8th, 2011 | Author: Patrick Thornton | Filed under: Main | Tags: FCS playoffs, football, Lehigh University, retweets, Ryan Spadola, suspension, Twitter | No Comments »
The NCAA has suspended Lehigh University’s Ryan Spadola for one game in the FCS playoffs for retweeting a tweet that contained offensive language and a racial slur.
Add this incident to another long line of regrettable things that have been said on social media by students, kids, athletes, children, angry adults, etc. I think a lot of kids and college students haven’t fully grasped yet the open nature of social media. Twitter isn’t the same as sending a text message to a friend or anonymously making comments on a message board.
What you say on the Internet can stay with you for a long, long time. Students shouldn’t make public comments on the Internet — even if only a few people will see it at the time –that they may one day regret.
I’m amazed at how many people say and do stupid things while on Facebook and Twitter. It’s as if they don’t understand the public nature of what they’re doing (and how good Google’s search algorithms are. With Facebook being used for commenting on many blogs and websites, I’m even seeing people leave the same terrible comments that we saw for years on news stories but this time with their real names attached.
It’s interesting to me that the NCAA is suspending athletes for what they say on the Internet. In this case, a student was suspended for retweeting what someone else said. It wasn’t even clear if the retweet was an agreement or not with the original tweet, and this isn’t exactly the most offensive thing I have seen on social media.
But Spadola was suspended. Should the NCAA be involved in these issues? Are there more appropriate ways to address issues like these from college students?
Such are the perils of retweeting. I, and many others, still maintain that retweets are not endorsements. I regularly retweet things that are interesting. Sometimes I’m even playing devils’ advocate.
Update: Many of you are wondering what the offending tweet is. I didn’t put it in the original story because I can’t confirm 100 percent what was said. The tweet was deleted, other media outlets don’t have the exact words either and neither Lehigh, nor the NCAA specified what was said. I’ve heard from multiple people and sources that this is what was said (warning: strong and offensive language).
Posted: December 5th, 2011 | Author: Patrick Thornton | Filed under: Notes | Tags: Facebook, LinkedIn, media executives, social media, Twitter | No Comments »
These are the kinds of responses you would get from someone who doesn’t understand social media at all:
Maurice Levy, chief executive of advertising group Publicis, said Twitter and its social networking sister Facebook were simply not for him.
“I hate the idea that I would have to share things which are not for sharing or which are superficial,” he said in Paris.
Remember when all we heard about Twitter was that, “I don’t care what people are eating for lunch.” Well, the only thing people are eating for lunch is your old media business.
Posted: December 2nd, 2011 | Author: Patrick Thornton | Filed under: Main | Tags: community management, Eric Berger, Facebook, New York Times, TechCrunch, Twitter | No Comments »
Kevin Zieber succinctly summed up the growing resentment of requiring a Facebook login to comment around the Web (or to get special privileges).
Want to comment on TechCrunch? You better have a Facebook account. Want to be a trusted commenter on The New York Times’s website? Not only do you need to leave great comments — which is a good idea — but you also need to tie your Facebook account to your nytimes.com account.
Some commenters have expressed that being highly regarded by fellow nytimes.com commenters should be enough to become a trusted commenter. Is using your real name a requirement for being trusted? What if you work in a sensitive industry?
I’m not sure yet what to make of the Facebook requirement for nytimes.com. The Times already has good comments and this may encourage even better comments. But it does leave out some people who can’t comment under their real names.
I’m firmly against TechCrunch and other sites requiring Facebook for comments. That goes too far in my book. What if someone doesn’t even have a Facebook account?
Should Facebook, a private social network with serial privacy concerns, be the driver’s license of the Internet?
To be clear, there are merits of having people use their Facebook accounts to comment. Most people use their real names with their Facebook accounts, and by requiring a real name, a website should get higher quality comments than your average site without active community management.
Many of the sites with the best user communities, however, do not require Facebook to comment. Slashdot famously has one of the best user communities on the Internet, and uses a user voting system to encourage good comments. The new tech site The Verge doesn’t require Facebook either and is quickly building a good user community by allowing users to recommend and flag comments. Great comments are highlighted by stars.
We do allow people on the Interchange Project to comment using their Twitter and Facebook accounts because it’s an easy way for people to login in, comment and establish a pan-Web commenting profile. However, we also allow people to comment anonymously. There are some people who simply cannot comment with their real names.
Why can’t they? They may work in sensitive industries. They may be afraid of reprisals from their work. You certainly won’t get whistle blowers by requiring someone to use their real names.
And thus, we won’t require people to use their real names and link to their social media accounts. We think it’s great if you do, but we also see the value in anonymity and pseudo-anonymity.
Requiring Facebook for commenting is a lazy way to weed out (some) trolls and nastiness. And it works, to an extent. But the ultimate goal is not just to weed out trolls, racists and other bad commenters, but to encourage and inspire great comments.
Bloggers such as Eric Berger didn’t get great user communities by requiring Facebook commenting. They did it be being active in comments and encouraging good comments. It’s called community management.
Allowing people to comment with Facebook, Twitter and other services is convenient and should be encouraged. Requiring that users use Facebook or Twitter to comment goes too far in my book.
Here is some advice on how to build a strong user community without demanding a Facebook driver’s license:
I highly suggest you check out Mathew Ingram’s thoughts on this subject as well.
Posted: December 1st, 2011 | Author: Patrick Thornton | Filed under: Notes | Tags: Mathew Ingram, Pulitzer Prize, tweeting, Twitter | No Comments »
Mathew Ingram is on board with a Pulitzer Prize for tweeting based on the new prize criteria for breaking news:
In a news release about the changes, the Pulitzer board also said it was moving away from looking at print submissions for the category because “it would be disappointing if an event occurred at 8 a.m. and the first item in an entry was drawn from the next day’s newspaper.” Although recent winners have included online elements, most have focused on news packages that appeared in print.
If reporting that occurs “as quickly as possible” is the main criteria, then I think Twitter definitely fits the bill — or is at least a leading contender. Videos uploaded to YouTube or streamed from a news event like the “Occupy Wall Street” protests (as my colleague Janko described in his recent post on videographers becoming citizen journalists) are also clearly real-time, but nothing matches the speed that is possible with 140-character text messages and links on Twitter, and videos and photos often spread this way as well.