Posts Tagged: Blogging

Twitter is not catching on with senior execs

Some FT research just out has revealed that Twitter hasn’t caught on with senior executives. A worldwide survey found that less than 10% of senior executives were using it for work. Really that low?

I’m surprised as that’s just one in ten using it for work with 20% using Twitter in their leisure time. Personally, I don’t really do Twitter and leisure – for me it’s all about work (is that odd?), but it is interesting to see more execs are using it more for leisure than work. That seems back to front. I think Twitter is a great tool to use at work, but I don’t want to share the useless crap that I spend the rest of my life doing (that’s what Facebook is for – unless you really care that I lost at softball and am in some bar in North London).

I wonder if this at all connected to falling sign-up rates reported this week by WebProNews. It said that in October new people joining Twitter was down, but tweets were up.

It said November looked similar with new registrations continuing to decline and tweets grow with 9.5 tweets per registered user up from 9.3 in October.

Social Media – Other stats that came out of the FT/Doremus survey included that only 22% of senior executives use social media for business. That also seems worryingly low or shows the extent of the social media barrier that has yet to be breached.

More than half of the executives questioned said they read blogs, stream video and watch webcasts.

Community sites – Not sure if this all LinkedIn is, but the research found that more than half participated in community sites for work-related purposes (although I’m not sure I like how they have separated community sites from social media).

Also making inroads are social book marking sites, which increased from 8% in 2008 to 45% percent in 2009. Use of community sites increased from 24% in 2008 to 60% in 2009 (a big rise for LinkedIn as it passed that 3m milestone in the UK? — a  person has to find a job somewhere).

Blogs – Few have blogs with just over one in ten blogging although 31% contribute to a blog and 69% read one (well at least they know what a blog is – that’s a bonus).

Read more on Twitter is not catching on with senior execs…

Labour Party to use ‘Against the Odds’ film in election fight

The New Statesman reports that the Labour Party is to use the short ‘Against the odds’ film as part of its effort to fight the next election after a campaign by bloggers.

It’s a short history of the Labour movement and is stirring stuff. It begins with the words: “It’s the fighters and believers who change our world” with nods to party hero’s like Nye Bevan; a mention of Cable Street and the fight against fascism; the formation of the NHS; the fight against Apartheid; and the creation of the minimum wage. All those moments are in there right up to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

The film goes onto say that “this history of Britain is the story of fighting for the right thing against the odds”.

The campaign to get the film adopted was pushed by bloggers including Ellie Gellard on her The Stilettoed Socialist site (“Squashing Tory Trolls”).

Nice work, take a look.

Read more on Labour Party to use ‘Against the Odds’ film in election fight…

Agencies not using social media well

The ad agency world is not shining when it comes to using social media to market itself, according to new research, but is pretty good at setting things up blogs and Twitter accounts and then infrequently updating them.

Overall, the **research from search consultants RSW/US found that very few agencies are using social media for new business prospecting.

The implications for that seem blindingly obvious: if you’re pushing social media at your clients, but are not actively using it yourself (or just as bad using it well) then what kind of message does that send out?

Of social media used, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are those that agencies are most often using. LinkedIn seems to be getting the most activity (56% use it most often), which the report says makes sense as it is a good resource for new business people looking to track down prospects.

However, while there are many signed up to LinkedIn there are far fewer (the report suggests) using it to share ideas or active participate in a community or LinkedIn group.

Overall 57% of agencies surveyed have a Twitter account; 74% LinkedIn; 56% a blog and 67% a Facebook page.

Those figures strike me as low. Why every agency doesn’t have a blog is beyond me. It’s cheap it is easy and in this business there is a great deal to blog about and to highlight to clients and new business prospects alike.

Even the 56% with a blog are pretty poor at updating: 45% never blog and 21% blog once a month or less. Once a month???

With Twitter the figures are worse. Of those on Twitter 74% tweet once a week or less indicating that agencies are taking a very passive approach to social media when the whole point about being social is being active and engaged.

To be fair Facebook fares better than Twitter and blogs, but I wonder if the social network is as useful here as Twitter or a blog.

Read more on Agencies not using social media well…

A Huffington Post for Europe

A Huffington Post style start-up news site is up and running in Germany with plans later for an English version apparently in the pipeline.

Techcrunch reports that German Web 2.0 figure Lukasz Gadowski, who was previously behind online t-shirt firm, is one of those behind online publishing venture that is going to be a kind of Huffington Post in Europe.

It’s called The European. Yes, the same name used by Robert Maxwell for his newspaper way back when, which was later revised and died several times under Andrew Neil and the Telegraph Group’s Press Holdings. The last incarnation of that was when Neil relaunched The European as a website. It didn’t last long. That was, of course, way before blogging.

Techcrunch reports that the site has/will have more than 20 journalists and possible contributions from the likes of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, German car producers association’s president Matthias Wissmann or bishop Margot Käßmann.

Chief editor Alexander Görlach, who holds 50% of the company alongside Gadowski, reveals traffic is rising (from first day numbers of “5,000 readers and 30,000 page impressions”) and that first month revenues are three times bigger than originally scheduled in the business plan.

The Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau recently said in an interview that it had ruled out European versions despite being approached: “It’s not an international strategy, almost every week some pretty big organization would like to partner with us,” Hippeau said.

The UK is its biggest market and it is surprising that no one has tried a Huffington Post here (and they have ruled it out themselves).

Clearly, the market is a lot smaller and a lot of our newspapers have great blogging operations, but that said it feels like there is a gap there for an uber blog or two.

Unless after the demise of the likes of Shiny Media and other blogging operations there really is no money out there for what could be an expensive blogging operation to start-up.

Read more on A Huffington Post for Europe…

"Twitter: Unpoliced playground for paedos"

There was I under the impression there were not a great deal of teens on Twitter, when the Sun sticks on its front page this morning that the micro blogging service has become “a free and easy hunting ground for paedophiles seeking to lure kids for sex”.

The tabloid claims that it uncovered this as part of a wider investigation into abuse of the ultra-successful blogging website.

It says that pornographic pictures of young girls are also freely available.

The Sun says it was shown an online conversation between a group of youngsters that had apparently been infiltrated by a pervert who asked a 13-year-old boy, who had posted a photo of himself and his sister on Twitter:

Read more on “Twitter: Unpoliced playground for paedos”…

Hyperlocal; a goldmine or fool’s gold?

Fast Company takes a look at the hyperlocal market that everyone is watching, which some say is a multi-billion dollar future of online, but might not amount to anything much more than a sizeable pile of nickels.

The projections say, according to Borrell Associates, that the hyperlocal market could (one day) be worth $15bn by 2013. Whether they happen or not, the big numbers are enough to attract the likes of The New York Times Company (the Local) and AOL (Patch) in the US and the likes of Newsquest, Trinity Mirror and Associated Newspapers in the UK.

But whether that cash will materialise is another question, considering how the growth rate for online advertising is not the steam train it once was.

The thing with Hyperlocal as Fast Company points out is that it is lauded by many, but success always “remains perpetually around the corner”. The reason for this according to Mark Josephson, CEO of the hyperlocal aggregator is that local advertisers are not online in force, but he insists they will be.

The piece also quotes Debbie Galant who runs Baristanet, one of the models for hyperlocal (championed by Jeff Jarvis), as saying only that they are making “real money” and that “ad revenue is six figures”, but she won’t go into more detail than that – probably because after costs there is not a lot left.

This growth in hyperlocal revenues is dependent upon a number of things. One is local advertisers ditching the Yellow Pages and local newspapers on mass, those mom and pop advertisers, which are not exactly overflowing with local classified advertising (anyone remember craigslist?).

Read more on Hyperlocal; a goldmine or fool’s gold?…

AOL: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of unemployed journalists

AOL, the former dial-up internet juggernaut, now online
content and display advertising somethingortheother, seems to be building a
vast Ark – a rescue vessel for the unemployed journalists who were nearly
washed away in the floods of the foretold mediapocalypse.

Read more on AOL: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of unemployed journalists…

Blog profits, the apocalypse is off

In the UK last week blogging outfit Shiny Media went into administration, but across the pond Nick Denton’s Gawker is in rude health despite his apocalyptic predictions.

Last Autumn Denton grabbed a few headlines when he said we should be preparing for a decline of up to 40% in advertising revenues. What he actually said was: “Anyone who isn’t prepared for ads to go down 40% is crazy.”

Well there has certainly been a lot of craziness since. Today Denton reveals the good news. First-half revenues at Gawker were up 45% as its ad growth continues pretty much uninterrupted. Nice work.

He’s even updated his apocalyptic chart. Awesome, you have to respect someone who takes time out from the apocalypse (I mean there’s all that Evian, cans of Heinz baked beans and flashlights to stock up on and that takes time) and updates the chart.

Obviously, Denton didn’t sit around waiting for the apocalypse, he took steps. Were they apocalyptic steps? He cut staff and closed sites as Gawker reduced the number of blogs it publishes from 15 to nine. This included the axing of and incorporating it into Gawker.

But it wasn’t the cuts alone that paid off. As Denton puts it:

“The plunge has already been pretty terrifying for a range of companies from Yahoo and IAC to the newspapers. But I was wrong in one respect: a few premium internet brands, Gawker’s among them, have withstood the advertising apocalypse.”

“Sometimes there’s consolation to be found in congenital pessimism; I’d rather be wrong and thriving than right and dead.”

As for Shiny Media, the sites (like Shiny Shiny) are gathering digital dust despite talk they might be bought. Interesting blog post here, however, by a former Shiny Media staffer who says one of the problems was the errrm lack of traffic and ads.

Read more on Blog profits, the apocalypse is off…

Harsh lessons: blogs belong on the internet

Who would have guessed? The idea of printing a newspaper full of blogs, you know, on like actual paper is not a winner.

Well, back in January, while the some of us were still trying to work off the turkey and the gazillion ridiculous non-Christmas like snacks that you eat at Christmas, there was a story about a company that had this genius idea (maybe after hitting barrels of sherry or barrels of other non-Christmas like drinks you drink at Christmas) of putting out newspapers with, um, blogs in them.

Okay, granted hindsight is a wonderful thing, but for this you don’t need hindshight. The New York Times put it like this: “Amid the din of naysayers who insist that newspapers are on the verge of death, a new company wants to start dozens of new ones — with a twist.”

Don’t you just hate naysayers? What with all there crazy naysaying it’s really hard to hear sometimes. Well, sometimes you should listen to the naysayers, they’re not shouting for “the love of god don’t do that” for nothing. They do it for a reason.

Anyway, so a Chicago start-up called ‘The Printed Blog’ unveiled a plan (nice tag line “Like the internet, only inflammable”) to launch dozens of newspapers that contained reprinted blog posts. The idea was that these papers were to be supported by local ads and would be distributed free in big cities.

Local ads? Well, okay, sure, if you can find “local advertisers” (wait aren’t those called classifieds…).

The Printed Blog first launched two weeklies in Chicago and San Francisco laid out like a blog (yeah from the interwebulator that some people shorten to the “web”) instead of columns.

The hope was eventually to publish free neighbourhood editions twice a day in many US cities.

At launch Joshua Karp, the founder and publisher of The Printed Blog, told The New York Times: “There were so many techniques that I’ve seen working online that maybe I could apply to the print industry.”

Maybe you see the problem with that sentence, but I’m feeling too dumb to go into it, but I want to ask the question: Why? Why Josh?

The idea was that bloggers would give the Printed Blog permission to reprint their blog posts in return for a share of the ad revenue. That sounds like so many other great ideas that I heard about out in the digital frontier. Do you remember syndication? That was going to be quite awesome. Other people were going to pay you money for your content. They would republish it elsewhere on the interwebulator, but the returns proved just enough to send a number of companies out of business.

I digress, the Printed Blog was talking about cities like Chicago having 50 separate editions tailored to individual neighbourhoods. The amount of advertising needed to support an endeavour would probably need half of the ads of Craigslist. And apparently Craig just will not give those ads back. Bad Craig.

So, here we are six months later and the whole thing is over. The Printed Blog also dubbed hyper local free papers has ceased publication due to a lack of outside investment capital, according to Josh who blogged it. No, not in print dummy, online; on an actual blog, which is like all ironical or something.

“Friends, It is with great sadness that I must report that, due to a lack of outside investment capital, The Printed Blog is ceasing publication. Despite a significant personal investment on my part, and the additional support of six or seven credit cards, we were unable to raise the minimum amount of money required to reach the next stage of our development.

Read more on Harsh lessons: blogs belong on the internet… to take on Huffington and Tina Brown

Don’t know much about former MSNBC and now Fox personality Tucker Carlson, but he launching a site called to take on the and Tina Brown’s Daily Beast.

Report earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal that says pundit Carlson will launch a “conservative-leaning news site that will aim to be an answer to the Huffington Post”.

“We’re sincerely trying to think through what comes next in journalism,” Carlson told the paper. “I think we can answer the basic question, which is: How do you keep reporting? How do you make reporting a viable business?”

As well as blog posts, Carlson is promising original reporting: “We don’t simply want to be parasites of other news sites. We want to be creators of news.”

The site will focus on coverage of President Barack Obama’s administration, I’m guessing from a conservative point of view.

But Carlson is no Bush supporting Republican. He has said in the past that he cares deeply about conservative ideas, but he does not care about the success or failure of any political party. And Conservative Republicans have accused Carlson of not being sufficiently conservative

As well as giving the likes of the Huffington Post and (for which he has written for and he’s a fan of) a run for their money (Carlson described it as a “general interest newspaper”) it will also try to outpace the conservative favourite Drudge Report.

There’s more on the website TV News Insider including this:

Daily Intel: So, all of the articles about your new project say that you’re competing with the Huffington Post. But isn’t what you are doing also competing with Tina Brown’s Daily Beast, which you sometimes write for?

Tucker: Even if I could, I’d never compete with Tina, both because I love her, and also because I’m not that stupid.

Daily Intel: Says: You love her? (Thinks: Does he mean in a Harold and Maude kind of way? Ew. Don’t ask that. You don’t want to know the answer.) Says: That’s kind of gross.

Tucker: And also true.

Read more on to take on Huffington and Tina Brown…