Archive for the ‘News’ tag
It’s Friday, so that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics and our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook.
Reuters Digital News Report 2012 [from Reuter's Institute for the Study of Journalism]
”Blogs and social media are much more regularly used in the United States than in Europe (36% use these as a news source every week compared with an average of 20% in European countries).”
Social’s Impact on TV Still Small, but Growing [from Marketing Charts; written by Marketing Charts Staff]
“But, the study finds there is significant room for growth: the proportion of study respondents who interact with TV-related content on social media on at least a weekly basis is triple those who do so on a daily basis (37% vs. 12%), and the data also shows that social plays a bigger role in drawing viewers to new than existing shows.”
“Once others in the organization become not only equipped but also passionate about it, the editor doesn’t die. He or she focuses on what’s next.”
Eight Silly Data Myths Marketing People Believe That Get Them Fired [from Occam's Razor; written by Avinash Kaushik]
Your Friday long read.
Google Takes Home Half of Worldwide Mobile Internet Ad Revenues [from eMarketer; written by eMarketer staff]
“Twitter is also expected to see its worldwide mobile ad spending share increase this year to about 2% of the total, eMarketer estimates. In the US, however, Twitter will have a higher, 3.6% share, eMarketer estimates.”
”To sum up: Tumblr is an all around win-win proposition for nonprofits.”
Denny’s has taken the time to learn the culture of Tumblr– and it shows.
Tumblr, Foursquare Execs Map Out New Directions, Tools for Brands [from Xconomy; written by Michael Davidson]
“Brands want to put their best foot forward and have an expansive palette to convey their message,” Gottfrid said. “We think they can tell bigger stories on Tumblr with the tools that we have.”
When news breaks, it now often breaks on Twitter. In the throes of a national or international emergency or other breaking news, a lot of information comes pouring in quickly. Unfortunately, there is always bad information mixed in with the good. Here are some tips for making sure information is solid before you act on it, or choose to share it with others:
- First: check the source. Is it a reputable news publication (The New York Times), or is it a publication known for publishing joke content (The Onion), or pushing out anything they think will get the most views (The National Enquirer)? If you don’t know, don’t act on it or retweet it.
- Take everything with a grain of salt. Even the biggest publications feel pressure to keep everyone updated, especially via social media, so they may share information that isn’t confirmed with authorities yet, or has been misinterpreted.
- On that note, look for retractions or updates on claims, and remember that “allegedly”, “reportedly” or “hearing reports” doesn’t mean something has been confirmed. “Sources say” isn’t solid if you don’t know who the sources are.
- Search hashtags to find repeated links and information; this can often show you the origination of a claim so you can see if it’s reliable. When breaking news is happening, hashtags will likely flood your feed and start trending. If they don’t, see which hashtags trusted publications are using, then search those.
- News outlets will likely tell you which reporters they have in the area, or will confirm information from people who are tweeting on the ground.
- Check Snopes. They quickly list and categorize anything that might be an unfounded conspiracy theory, or that needs confirmation. Sometimes old fake photographs resurface too, as these did during Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012.
- Finally, be cautious of scams. While the best parts of humanity will reach out to help during a natural disaster or other tragedy, others will try to profit by creating false charities or funds. Verify before you donate with sources like Charity Navigator.
If you do share something that turns out to be false or unverified, say so and commit to sharing only the best information moving forward. Consider just listening until the situation becomes clearer, then use Twitter and other social media to see how you can help, no matter where you are.
We’re so very excited to announce the all-new TweetReach Report 2.0! With a brand new look and some great new metrics, the updated, upgraded version of our snapshot report is smarter and better than ever.
Believe it or not, we ran our very first TweetReach report in April 2009. And in the two and half years since that first report, we’ve run millions and millions of reports for customers all over the world. But the report hasn’t really changed much since then. Until now, that is. We’ve given the entire report a massive facelift and added in a lot of the metrics you’ve been asking us for. Take a look…
New Report Changes
Some of our favorite new report features include:
- Top tweets make it easy to identify the most retweeted tweets
- Top contributors make it easy to identify the most influential and engaged participants
- Graphical timeline makes it easy to identify when key moments occurred throughout the duration of the conversation
- Integrated contextual help makes it easy to figure out what a metric means and how we calculate it
We haven’t removed anything from the old report; we’ve only added to it. And there won’t be an increase in cost for these new reports – quick 50-tweet reports are still free, and full reports are still $20. (As always, full reports will include all tweets made available by Twitter, which is usually up to 1,500 tweets from the past week.)
New Report Access
For the next few weeks, the new report will only be available to anyone who purchases a full report or anyone with a TweetReach Pro subscription or a free TweetReach account. So to try it out, either sign in to your current account or sign up for a free TweetReach account.
If you don’t live in San Francisco you probably wouldn’t know that things got pretty out of control in parts of the city after the Giants won the World Series. I was at 22nd and Mission standing beside a smoldering mattress when the riot police showed up, so I got to see some of this first hand.
Why wouldn’t you know this? Well, mostly because it wasn’t reported anywhere – even in the local “traditional media”. The Chronicle’s (very minimal) coverage calls the scene on Mission an “old fashioned street party”. However, if you follow any San Francisco users on Twitter, you would have quickly seen all sorts of first hand accounts and pictures of the mayhem. As usual on Twitter, these started to converge around the #SFRiot hashtag.
And, as is also usual on Twitter, this rapidly became a conversation about how social tools and citizen journalism have eclipsed traditional media as a means of reporting what’s really happening since these old media dinosaurs can’t or won’t do the job. But is that really true? Was the #SFRiot an overblown bit of real-time naval gazing by nervous San Francisco tech kids or was it legitimate news that should have been covered by more mainstream media?
Let’s take a look at the conversation that happened around #SFRiot by the numbers. Using the TweetReach Tracker, we started tracking the hashtag around 11pm PDT last night – not long after it appeared. After tracking through this morning, here’s what we found:
- Peak activity was from 11pm to 1am with about 5,900 tweets (out of 7,920 total) during those hours
- 45% of those tweets were retweets
- 3,949 users generated those 7,920 tweets
- The most exposure was generated by none other than Vinod Khosla who retweeted some of the more amusing tweets followed by Twitter developer John Kalucki
- There are essentially no tweets from any news organizations
You can download the Tracker report (pdf) to see this for yourself.
As you can see from the numbers it appears there was a pretty significant echo effect. To a Twitter user following other Twitter users in San Francisco it might have seemed like the apocalypse but most of the traffic was generated by a relatively small number of people. A quick review of the tweets also shows that much of the chatter was snarky jokes, commentary and notes about what was happening on the police scanner. There were relatively few actual eyewitness accounts.
So what does this all mean? My interpretation is that while Twitter is a powerful way to keep up with real-time developments, especially those of local interest, we need to be aware that it doesn’t provide any context. In that environment it’s very easy for relatively minor things to get blown way out of proportion. That said, it was pretty scary watching people throw bottles at a line of riot police marching down Mission Street.
What do you think? Should the mainstream media have covered this? Or did Twitter just provide a platform to blow things out of proportion?
A Shooting on Campus
On Friday, September 28, 2010, a 19-year-old college sophomore took an AK-47 to the University of Texas at Austin campus, fired numerous shots, and then killed himself in the Perry-Castaneda Library. Fortunately no one else was injured in this incident, but it was a scary and sad day for thousands of students, faculty, staff, family members and Austin community members.
Even though it happened in Austin, Texas, the shooting was national news. And for us here at TweetReach, it hit pretty close to home. We started TweetReach in Austin, and lived there for five years before moving to San Francisco. And I recently earned my Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, where, in addition to my coursework and research (which meant I spent long hours in the P-C library), I also taught undergraduate communication courses for four years. Many of my friends and colleagues still work there and were on campus on September 28.
For several hours on the morning of September 28, it was unclear how many shooters there were and how many people were injured, and the entire campus was on lockdown. I anxiously watched as some of my closest friends posted Twitter and Facebook updates about armed police officers in the hallways outside the classrooms where they were sequestered. It was a tense day.
Twitter and Real-Time News
But the day was made less tense with lots of updates from friends on campus and off, as well as plenty of information coming from local news sources. Social media have certainly impacted how we consume and create news. For good or bad, breaking news spreads incredibly quickly in new media channels like Twitter.
There’s really no need for me to spend much time writing about the impact of Twitter on news – just do a quick Google search and you’ll find all the history and analysis of real-time news you could ever want. This is not a new idea. For example, two years ago, ReadWriteWeb wrote a nice piece on how they use Twitter for journalism. What I do want to write about is the specific example of how Twitter was used the day of the UT shooting.
The Austin American-Statesman has been a paragon of how local news outlets can use Twitter in innovative ways. I know Robert Quigley and the other folks at the Statesman work hard to make sure the @statesman Twitter account is useful, accurate and timely. In the past year alone, the Statesman has informed and guided the Austin community through several significant local news events, including the November 2009 Ft. Hood shooting and the February 2010 Austin plane crash. The September 28 campus shooting was no exception. And this time, we have tweet data to analyze.
How @Statesman Kept Us Informed
We’ve been running a TweetReach Tracker for a few months that measures Twitter activity with and about the @statesman Twitter account. [Note: The Statesman is not a customer of ours, nor did they sponsor this research.] On September 28, @statesman regularly tweeted updates and important information about the shooting. Those tweets were retweeted and discussed repeatedly, resulting in a huge Twitter reach day for @statesman. Huge.
On a normal weekday, the @statesman Twitter account, which has more than 26,000 followers, reaches on average around 75,000 unique Twitter users through retweets, mentions, and replies. We’ve been tracking this activity since mid-July, and before 9/28 it peaked at a daily reach total of almost 180,000. On the day of the UT shooting, that number skyrocketed to a unique reach* of 1.45 million unique Twitter users. That’s more than eight times its previous peak reach day and 19 times its normal reach.
The overall exposure (total potential impressions generated*) on September 28 was nearly 3.7 million, up from a typical weekday average of 125K and a previous peak of 292K. 2,700 Twitter users posted more than 4,500 tweets that day. In fact, 56% of all tweets with “@statesman” in them for the entire month of September were generated that day. @Statesman tweets were retweeted by many other news outlets, including the @washingtonpost and @dallas_news. They were also retweeted by lots of Twitter notables, many of whom don’t even live in Austin (a surprising amount from the Bay Area, actually).
These numbers are impressive and show the power of Twitter. How often do Statesman stories reach almost 1.5 million people in one day? I’m guessing never (their daily print circulation is about 140,000). But what else does this information tell us?
What We Can Learn
These data demonstrate the potential impact of someone in the right place at the right time (remember the first Twitpic of the US Air plane that landed in the Hudson?). As a well-respected newspaper, the Statesman was already positioned as the go-to news source for Austin area current events. But over the past few years, they’ve built a loyal following on Twitter of people who are eager to contribute to the news process. People send photos and updates to the @statesman, essentially expanding the paper’s news staff. And by making their Twitter updates consistently relevant and timely, the @statesman is insuring that they’ll be retweeted when something like this happens, drastically expanding their circulation.
These data also reiterate the importance and potential pitfalls of real-time news. If no one cared what was happening on campus, then no one would retweet the @statesman’s updates. But people do care; we demand information in real time, especially when something scary is happening. And we’ve all heard what the 24-hour news cycle does to news – stories are rushed out before being fact-checked or properly edited, stories that aren’t actually news are published just to fill space, sources are faked to get information out as soon as possible.
Finally, these data are a good reminder that you never know when something like this will happen. You need to be prepared. If you work at a news outlet (or any company or business, really), build your following now. Start measuring your impact now. You can’t suddenly have the reputation of the @statesman; that has taken them more than three years of dedicated effort to achieve. And you can’t go back and measure certain kinds of Twitter activity after it’s happened. Once it’s passed, it’s gone. The real-time speed of social media means that events can flare up and then flame out in just a few hours.
Fortunately, no one besides the shooter was killed at UT on September 28. But on that day, when no one knew what was going on and many people were assuming the worst, Twitter and the @statesman helped communicate vital information to those who needed it.
*If you want to learn more about how we calculate and define our metrics, including reach and exposure, read this.