Ashton Kutcher’s twitter fail

So in 2011 Ashton Kutcher committed an epic twitter fail when he posted a response about the dismissal of Penn State coach Joe Paterno. He wrote…

“How do you fire Jo Pa?” #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.”

There was nothing overly wrong about his tweet except that Kutcher hadn’t done his homework… the coach was not fired because of his age or job performance but because of his apathetic response to charges of a former assistant coach who allegedly sexually abused a young boy. Kutcher owns an anti-child sex trafficking foundation and was quickly told by his followers of his mistake.

Kutcher responded quickly saying

“As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn St. case” and “As of immediately I will stop tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed. I feel awful about this error. Won’t happen again.”

He even took a photo of himself standing next to an ‘I’m with stupid sign’. He also wrote a blog post to try and defuse the situation. However what he did next was seen as a bit of a no-no. He turned over the management of his twitter account to his team to ensure the quality of the content.Image

Kutcher’s feed is now just posting announcements about Kutcher and for the eight million people who follow him it might not be worth it anymore. We all make mistakes and can admit them and move on – the people who follow us on social media understand and will forgive but to give up on the network because of a mistake, and reducing the engagement defeats the purpose of being on the network to begin with.

Read for more details about the incident.

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The Tuesday Ten

So I once heard that Tuesday’s are actually worse than Mondays… so here is a bit of fun to raise your spirits

  1. This made me laugh and boy can President Obama deliver a good punch
  2. Some of the funniest protest signs from March in March
  3. Middle class problems…
  4. Cool blog
  5. Want to try to bake this
  6. Twitter is beginning to look a hell lot like Facebook
  7. Keep up to date with the Australian Government
  8. The Big Bang – and no, not the TV show
  9. How to use social media like a celebrity
  10. Name-calling on social media


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Social media – get serious

This week I have been looking at the honeycomb framework for social media – the framework was developed so organisations can understand the functions of different social networks. Organisations can then compare their business objectives with the framework and choose the best social networks to suit what they want to achieve.

The framework has seven functional blocks
1. Identity – what personal information is shared
2. Conversations – how much is communicated
3. Sharing – do people exchange, distribute and receive content
4. Presence – am I aware of others on the network
5. Relationships – do people develop relate to others
6. Reputation – the level of trust with others
7. Groups – are people ordered or do they form communities

According to the framework most social networks tend to concentrate on three or four of the blocks.

For example – YouTube focuses on sharing, conversations, groups and reputation. Facebook focuses on relationships, identity, conversations and presence.

By understanding the frameworks, organisations can determine which existing platforms will add value to their organisation. Instead of spreading themselves thin – organisations can focus on a few social networks which match their business goals and objectives and in turn develop better relationships with their consumers.

The video summaries it nicely

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The end of anonymity

When I was ten and the Internet was in its early stages of development – Google didn’t exist yet – I remember logging on to a chat room with my friends and pretending to be 20 year old male. Although we managed to keep up the charade for a good 15 minutes, we eventually exposed our true identities.

After that experience, I became fascinated with the concept that the Internet allowed me to become anyone.  I could be a middle aged man who owned a fish and chip shop, or an elderly Grandma who liked to bake cookies. The sky was the limit. The Internet gave me freedom to express my true opinions without repercussions because I was truly anonymous. I would never be held accountable for my opinions.

The online anonymity was at the front of my mind again when it was raised at the social media masterclass. David Pembroke made everyone promise to acknowledge that we were all publishers, Craig Thomler told us that we were all journalists – we all reported news, and Greg Jericho said that no one was anonymous online – everything is and can be connected.  All were highlighting that we can, and will, be held accountable for anything we distribute on the Internet. Every blog comment, twitter post and YouTube video we upload can all be traced back to our physical selves.

So what has changed since I was ten to stop us from becoming truly anonymous online? Besides improvement in tracking technologies, our personal and professional lives have become entwined.

Before the adoption of mobile technology, when someone left work at the end of the day, they also left their professional attitudes behind. In today’s society we can be contacted 24/7, in fact there are more active mobile phones in Australia than people[1]. It is hard to determine when we start and stop being professionals and start and stop being private citizens. Often the online communication tools we use for work are the same as the ones we use to stay in touch with friends and family, which further distorts the boundaries of our professional and private lives.

As our professional and private lives gradually interweave, it creates a dilemma for our employers. How do they let employees share both private and professional information on social networks without the employee discrediting themselves, their professional position or the organisation they work for? At the moment the jury is still out on this one. As Greg mentioned, the Australian Public Service has strict guidelines about how employees are advised to participate and engage with social media, while the ABC is more lenient with their guidelines. Both sets of guidelines have their merits and their flaws, but they both agree on a few key points:

  • don’t disclose confidential information;
  • don’t imply your personal views are the same as the organisations; and
  • don’t release information that can compromise public confidence in the organisation.

If we can use social media intelligently and are supported by our workplaces, we can co-exist as both professional and personal digital citizens. Unfortunately with the emergence of social media, there is not much room left for true anonymity, or a ten year old dreaming of expressing opinions without repercussions – everything has become transparent. It is something we need to acknowledge if we are to use social media appropriately.

President Obama was asked advice on how to become the next President by a 15 year old student. He said the following…

 “ I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook — because in the YouTube age, whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life.”[2]

Views are my own.

[1] Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, 2009

[2] Obama as cited by Gillmor, 2009

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Facebook as a marketing tool


Photo by Marcopako on Flickr used under creative commons licence

What is Facebook? I’m sure most people are aware of and use Facebook regularly but here is a little recap. Facebook describes themselves as a way to help you connect and share with the people in your life. Unlike Twitter Facebook operates in closed networks. Generally most people on the social network have private profiles and can only interact with others if they have been accepted as a Facebook friend.

The rules are slightly different for organisations – organisations can set up a Facebook page which is public, and anyone can view it. Individuals can like an organisations page and anything the organisation posts will appear in their Facebook feed, along with posts from their friends.

Facebook’s strengths lie in its numbers. More than 1.26 billion people are on Facebook and more than 757 million log on daily.  Facebook is also very visually focused – photos and videos generally the most common content uploaded to the site.

For small organisations, one of Facebook’s biggest advantages the ability to create a Facebook page. Websites can be costly to develop and maintain, while a Facebook page is simple and low cost. Organisations can run competitions, offer deals, post photos and update information on Facebook with minimal staff training. It provides business who previously didn’t have the capabilities to host a website to share information with their customers and the general public electronically.

So what about large organisations? I work for a large organisation but we are fairly new to Facebook. We are still in a bit of a learning curve about how to promote our organisation through our Facebook page.

Our Facebook page is used to inform our members of our policy, news and activities. We post two news articles from our internal news publication a day – this includes not just articles about our organisation but national, international and political news articles. We also post all media releases, audios and video grabs we issue as well as photos from events.

The Queensland Federal Police Facebook page is a great example of how an organisation can promote their organisation.

They recommend having a well thought out communication policy, which states clearly the relationship you expect to have with your audience – no swearing, etc. To build an audience on Facebook they recommend posting both the hard hitting news and the soft news. For example Queensland police asked for help solving a homicide case in a Facebook post, but later the same day they posted police officers stopping traffic to assist ducks. They also post news articles, both the good and the bad, and use humour to engage with their audience.

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Twitter as a marketing tool


Taken by Mark Beale on Flickr used under creative commons licence

What is Twitter? In Twitter’s own words they describe the social network as something that helps you create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. Twitter say that Twitter allows people to stay in touch with friends and family, follow what’s happening in your neighbourhood, your profession or your hobby and to understand life from the perspective of actors, musicians or sports stars.

One of Twitter’s strengths lies in its ability to disseminate succinct information in real time. Twitter only allows posts of 140 characters so everyone has to be succinct and to the point. Because the length of a tweet is so short, it is easy to broadcast news quickly. A study by University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics found that while traditional newswires still dominate the dissemination game, Twitter scoops old media on certain stories, usually large ones dealing with sports, major disasters, and sometimes riots.

Another strength is Twitters ability to connect like-minded people together virtually. It is a more refined version of a chat room. People can be watching a sporting game live and connect with someone watching the same sporting game from their lounge room – they can celebrate together or commiserate and bond over their similar interests.

So how can we utilise these strengths to promote an organisation. The organisation I work for uses Twitter in a variety of ways – we have four accounts.

  • One account is run by the CEO – he will tweet regularly about his movements – because of his high profile people want to understand life from his perspective – because of his profile he can advocate the organisation from his own perspective.
  • The second account is used for distributing media releases, audio and video content and is aimed at interacting with and informing journalists, politicians and other associations, as well as the general public. This account only discusses the organisations official positions.
  • Our third Twitter account distributes all material that appears in each edition of our internal news publication. The publication is issued fortnightly and is very extensive. It includes what the organisation has been advocating, as well as what is happening nationally, politically and internationally in the health space. This account is aimed at engaging members and the general public.
  • The last account targets a select group of members and is coordinated more like a public forum. It is a space where they can discusses changes, ideas and concerns with each other facilitated by information that we distribute.

I have found these methods to be effective in promoting our organisation. We talk to media to spread news, we discuss health topics with like-minded people and raise our profile, and we provide insight into the life of our high profile CEO.

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Tuesday’s Top Ten

ImageWhat have I been up to this past weekend? Other than being utterly exhausted, – had a full day master class about social media on Saturday (more to come) – I have been trawling the depths of the internet for useful titbits on social media and other fun things. Enjoy

This week in social media – what you may have missed…

Travelling tips for Japanese people going to America – interesting perspective!

Facebook’s new ad campaign structure explained

Fashion and art – matching fashion images with art and photography

Social Media – Building revolutions around the world

Maddie on things – I think Maddie has more flexibility than me

A Dr Seuss inspired guide to Twitter

Why you should love Seth Rogan more than you already do

Remember to always put your best side forward

Social Girl


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One small decision by Iceland, One big social change

Photo on Flickr by Moyan Brenn used under Creative Commons License

Photo on Flickr by Moyan Brenn used under Creative Commons License

So this week in class we have been looking at how Government can use social media to be more open and transparent, and how they can restore participation in social, civic, political and economic intuitions. For those of you interested in the theory check out this mouthful “From Bowling Alone to Tweeting Together: Technology-Mediated Social Participation” by Hochheiser and Shneiderman – $10 if you can pronounce their last names!

Anyway, essentially the article looks at Government 2.0, which is really just a fancy way of saying ‘as a Government, we are going to try and connect better with the people through social platforms’. Think Obama’s 08 or Kevin’s 07 social political campaigns. Both campaigns developed simple and basic messages to get the people involved – Obama’s campaign simply asked Americans to enroll to vote, and Kevin 07 made politicians approachable – made himself one of the masses – read more about his campaign here.
There have been countless studies looking at how Government’s can make friends with new media, why and the results of doing so. Check these out,,

But one of the best examples of Government actually doing so is in Iceland – now if you’re anything like me the only thing you know about Iceland is that in Mighty Ducks 2, the ducks faced off against the Iceland team in the Junior Goodwill games and won. In 2008, after the banking crisis where billions of dollars were lost in collapsed Icelandic banks, the Government drafted a new constitution in an attempt to change the political atmosphere in their despondent nation. But, the Government used social media to get the opinions of their citizens. They asked them to share their ideas as to what the new constitution should contain.

The Iceland council posted draft clauses for the constitution on its website every week. The public had the ability to comment or join in with discussion on the council’s Facebook page.
The council also established a Twitter account, a YouTube page which posted interviews with its members and a Flickr account containing pictures of the council members at work. Meetings of the council were open to the public and live streamed on the web and to their Facebook page.

The result from the locals was overwhelming – Iceland developed a constitution truly written by the people. Thorvaldur Gylfason, a member of Iceland’s constitutional council told The Guardian that the public saw the constitution come into being before their eyes. “This is very different from old times where constitution makers sometimes found it better to find themselves a remote spot out of sight, out of touch,” he said.

So what has the Iceland Government taught us? They have taught us that with consistently using the right social media tools and messages, Governments can engage people actively in what they do.
Social Girl

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Welcome to the social world

Social media - Daniel E Lee

So I decided to go back to University – crazy idea I know – and as part of my course I am required to write a blog which looks at social media, both my personal and professional experience, and how it can be utilised to effectively communicate messages. Snore – I know but bare with me!

So let’s start with the basics – what is social media? Isn’t it just another medium for connecting with others who have similar interests? An opportunity to know that hey you’re not the only other person on the planet who hates bananas and can’t ride a push bike. If you’re wondering yes I do hate bananas, and no I can’t ride a push bike not for lack of trying…

When I googled social media the Wikipedia page said that we have been communicating with others socially for thousands of years referring to cave paintings as one of the original forms of social media – a way to relate/ connect with a large group who have similar interests without directly speaking – today it is more understood to be a method of communicating with others electronically via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest to name a few, as well as communicating via chat forums, blogs and a variety of other mediums.

So what is my experience with social media? the same as most – I Facebook, tweet, pin pics to Pinterest watch cat videos on YouTube and follow several blogs – even started my own a few years ago only to give up on it once my husband found out about it and couldn’t stop laughing at its name…. nope don’t ask I’m not sharing that one.

Professionally I work in communications for a health association and we use Twitter and Facebook, have a website which allows members to post forum topics and hold discussions and allow the general public to have a say on anything we upload. We just started our own TV studio – as we all know video is the way of the future or so the stats tell us – so I am now the producer, director, cameraman and video editor as well as the resident photographer. It has been an interesting experience to say the least.

So the million dollar question is why are we on social media? Personally I use Facebook to keep up to date with all my friends – some of them I see quite regularly while others I might not see for a few months and I like feeling like I am a part of their lives even if we only converse over the web. I use Twitter to keep up to date with all my favourite authors and latest movie releases – I also follow politicians and current news and affairs programs. I use Pinterest to catalogue everything that I would have previously bookmarked – recipes, house designs, beauty tips and art and fashion designs.

Professionally I see social media as another avenue to communicate. It is just an additional communication medium – similar to issuing a media release or holding a doorstop. The benefit of using social media opposed to traditional communication mediums is receiving immediate feedback.  We have four Twitter accounts all for different purposes – one is follows the movements of our President, one is used to inform media of our activities, one is used to talk to health professionals and one is used to speak to a select group of health professionals. Our Facebook page is used to communicate with health professionals about our activities. As mentioned, we have just started producing videos which we upload to YouTube – these are usually one to two minute grabs of one of our spokespeople talking about topical health issues. We have been using social media as an organisation for a few years and originally started utilise the various tool after members claimed we didn’t inform them enough of our activities. One of the biggest hurdles we have had is informing people that we are now using different social media tools – we are steadily increasing awareness of our participation on these sites. We are now trying to develop great content that reflect what our audience wants to know.

So back to the blog… defines a blog as a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions etc., and often contains images and links to other websites. So who am I and what are my opnions… At the age of five on my first day of kindergarten I became best friends with a boy in my class because I asked him two very important questions and we happened to agree on the answers so here goes… Do you like bananas? And do you like rocks??? If you answered no for the first and yes to the second you are my new BFF … No seriously… I was a strange child! My favourite foods were stinky cheese (blue-vein cheese) and red onion bread. I honestly believed everything tasted better with tomato sauce and that beetroot was made by the Gods… now I can’t stand either. I loved books – still do and wrote my own stories constantly – mainly about unicorns.

Now  days I am a too close to 30 female that believes in changing her hair colour with the seasons and loves to watch tacky action movies – Mission Impossible, Fast and the Furious – you get my drift… ha… get it drift. I love to read young adult fiction – so shameful I know, and constantly design my future house by spending hours trying to find the perfect wallpaper to match my latest colour scheme. I am a mad art fanatic – I went to New York recently and was shamefully close to tears by getting up close and personal with a few Picasso’s, Monet’s and Van Gogh’s. I am an environmentalist at heart – I developed a ‘go green’ program when I was 10 for my school. I am also obsessed with the latest fashion trends and change my shoes seasonally! I married my high school sweetheart – yep we are that lovey dovey annoying couple that you all love to hate and have been married for five years in October with no kids and none planned for anytime soon.

So although I had to start this blog to talk about social media and how it impacts both organisations and people generally I will do so in relation to my own personal thoughts and beliefs – for what is social media without a social connection.

To end here is a video of a cat doing something on YouTube because you can nenver get enough of other peoples cats doing crazy stuff!!

Xoxo – social girl

Photo on Flickr by Daniel E Lee used under Creative Commons License

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