Corporate communications + Public Relations Adelaide


August 2010

Me so into TV viewing … Miso

It’s been called “Foursquare for people who stay at home” and the app for “couch potatoes

And if you follow me on Twitter, you might be annoyed by it from time to time.

I’m talking about Miso, a relatively new social media platform which, according to the folk at Miso, is “a social platform that makes watching media content more fun”.

In a nutshell, while you’re sitting in your armchair with phone in hand, or at the cinema, you can check in to the TV show or movie you’re watching, letting your social networking pals know what’s on screen. You can of course add a comment, and over time you earn various badges.

Couch potato
'Miso is Foursquare for couch potatoes'

I’ve been having fun playing with Miso and pondering its possible future uses. It appears that Miso is interesting enough to raise the backing of Google Ventures

I previously blogged on how Twitter encourages live TV viewing. This is another evolutionary side-effect of Twitter, supported by the hashtag movement. Miso appears to have leapt off this concept, promoting live TV viewing in partnership with content providers, as seen for example in its relationship with WEtv’s reality show, Bridezillas.  Viewers don’t just gain coveted Miso badges (and let’s face it, users get over that sooner or later …) but have the chance to win real-world prizes (albeit small prizes like a Bridezillas DVD!) and also exclusive videos.

On the Miso app, featured badges are another way to drive people to change their viewing habits. Badges with time limits can be awarded if you follow the ‘hints’ and check into the right programming. When the Emmy awards were screened last night, a short-term Trophy Whore badge was available to viewers (no, I’m not sure I like the name either).

In future, there’s lots of potential partnerships on the horizon for Miso. According to Mashable, Miso “fans will be presented with opportunities like in-show scavenger hunts and challenges to prove that they’re a bigger fan than other views”.

Of course, just as with Foursquare and many other social media apps, when you check in or change your status, you may not be telling the truth. You might check into a TV show and have absolutely no intention of watching it. You might in fact be a trophy whore.

But if you’re that sort of user, the whole effort really does become pointless. As always,  genuine users will feel the rush and soak up the fun.

Connect with me on Miso if you’re interested:

Say who you are!

4 ways to improve your social media description:

When you’re delving into social media for the first time, there’s a few “MUST DO” items you need to attend to. I’ve blogged about many of these in the past, and you would have read about them on other sites.

You need a plan. That’s clear. You need to know where your target audience is. You need the resources to manage social media and a commitment to engage in conversation. You need to know how to measure success.

So when you’ve dotted those i’s and crossed those t’s, what next? Your brand and profile design are usually the next considerations. So you ensure you have the appropriate logo, backdrop and company colours, right? Easy enough.

What then? What about the words you’ll use?

This is where I see many company profiles fall down, again and again. Organisations are failing to adequately describe themselves and missing big opportunities. It’s so obvious, it’s not even considered.

To do: fix profile description!
To do: fix profile description!

Check that you’re doing the following:

  1. Say who you are. What business are you in? Do you sell widgets? Well, for goodness sake, tell us you sell widgets. Are you a hotel? Are you a restaurant? Are you a tour guide? Your business name might not say it all. Social media puts you on an international platform – don’t assume people have heard of you!
  2. Don’t use your mission statement. Your company vision or mission is NOT an appropriate piece of text for your YouTube, Facebook or Twitter biography. Your audience isn’t interested. Tell us what you’re going to do for us! Celebrate what you’re known for. Tell us how to engage with you online.
  3. Remember Search Engine Optimisation! SEO isn’t only for your official website. The words you use in your social media profiles have an impact on whether your target market finds you. Use important key words that describe your business.
  4. Your web address. I’ve seen many Facebook profiles and YouTube biographies where the company’s official website address is either absent or hidden away. Put your full address in your Facebook description (don’t just bury it under your Info tab), and include http:// so it’s linkable. Input as much as you can into YouTube. Don’t just load a video: you may as well create a whole channel. If you don’t have much content, just Favourite other relevant content to populate your page.

What are some things you think organisations could do better, with their social media profile pages?

Twitter has delivered for ‘traditional’ journalism

There’s been a lot of talk about what Twitter and other social media platforms can do for politicians –  especially in Australia where the federal election will be held tomorrow.

Stephen Collins pointed out (quite rightly) that “the average punter is still relying on the tabloids, commercial radio and mainstream evening news and current affairs for their political information”. News Limited said (probably with relief) that “it was touted as the Twitter election, but two-and-a-half weeks in it has become clear the new media is far from usurping the mainstream outlets for the political parties.”

Even more analysis was given to politician’s use of social media, particularly Twitter, where not surprisingly MPs were given a resounding #fail.

But what about the so-called “traditional media”? What has social media done for the press pack following the election campaign?

During this election period, journalists have taken to Twitter like a toddler discovering their first lollipop. They’ve been using the power of the platform to quickly share election campaign insights – everything from doorstop announcements through to behind-the-scenes fun on the tour bus (remember Latika Bourke’s great piece on John Faulkner’s discovery of Twitter? )

Twitter: addictive qualities for media, too.
Twitter: addictive qualities for media, too.

The election was called on 17 July but speculation started weeks before when Julia Gillard became the Prime Minister.  On that day – 24 June – the Twitter follow numbers for key media tweeters jumped dramatically. Tweet accounts for @abcthedrum @samanthamaiden @annabelcrabb @latikambourke and @laurieoakes all began to rocket on that day. Previously, their numbers were quite static.

Twitter ‘quality assessment’ tools like Klout provide more insights.

Annabel Crabb has a good Klout score of 41,  and Latika Bourke has a whopping 67. Both are called ‘personas’ that have built a brand around their identity. Laurie Oakes a more modest Klout of 22, though he’s been categorised as a ‘broadcaster’ (very apt). Klout tells Laurie: “You broadcast great content that spreads like wildfire. You are an essential information source in your industry. You have a large and diverse audience that values your content.”

(I’d love to know how much traffic the Twitter account @abcthedrum drives to the Drum website. Anyone got any insights?).

Social media has helped Australian political journalists to build their own personal profiles and also the profiles of their media outlets. They’ve been able to tweet links to their articles and position themselves as the people to follow for news updates. Isn’t that the ideal position for a journalist to be in?

So rather than take a combative approach to social media, the journalists who “get it” are leveraging digital channels and benefitting from social media – in a way that’s still elusive for most politicians.

Have you been following more media Twitter accounts? Are you following #ausvotes? Tell me about your experience …

Length doesn’t matter

Social media, in particular Twitter, comes under a lot of flak for being ‘trivial’ or ‘superficial’.

The problem with this sort of characterisation is, it’s subjective.  It’s also elitist and ignorant.

Saying “social media is trivial” is like saying human conversation is trivial. It’s akin to saying, all television is idiotic, or all glossy magazines are trash. It’s so broad-brush; all it ends up doing is making the accuser look silly.

Television has produced Three and a Half Men, and Cougar Town. It’s also the home of Sir David Attenborough, The Wire, West Wing, Sopranos and countless news bulletins that have had us holding our breath. Glossy magazines run the gamut of Famous Weekly or OK! to Time, National Geographic and Rolling Stone.Content found on social media is just as diverse. It’s as unpredictable as the content of books listed with Amazon. It’s as wide ranging as the conversations at an inner city restaurant. Sure, there will be some light hearted banter that won’t change the world … but in other cases, you’ll learn something, you’ll be profoundly impacted, and you may just change your behaviour.

Who says you can’t be profound in 140 characters or less?

The following meet the Twitter word count –

 “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.” – Ghandi

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Theresa

“Truth is incontrovertible, ignorance can deride it, panic may resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is.” –Winston Churchill

“It gives me a deep, comforting sense that things seen are temporal and things unseen are eternal.” – Helen Keller

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein

“Christmas to a child is the first terrible proof that to travel hopefully is better than to arrive.” – Stephen Fry

“And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain. Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders.” – The Beatles

 Footnote: there are Twitter accounts dedicated to posting quotes. I am not a fan of these. This list simply serves to illustrate that you don’t need to write an opus to make a point. Trivia is not dictated by word count.

Who judges what's trivial?
Who judges what's trivial?

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