Video Clip of the Month: Teenager’s Snipe Goes Viral

A teenager's snarky, potty-mouthed tweet about Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback contains important Web 2.0 lessons for us all: Anything you write on social media, no matter how small your audience, has the potential to go viral. Trying to control your message behind the scenes is not only futile, it could backfire in a big way. Check out the CNN video below, my pick for December 2011 video clip of the month, on the latest most-famous tweet in the United States. To … [Read more...]

AP vs. Social Media: For Whom the Pepper Spray Tolls

Chilling video images surfaced online today showing a campus police officer at the University of California, Davis, calmly pepper spraying the faces of Occupy Wall Street protesters seated quietly in a line with their arms interlocked. The images, captured with cellphones by several onlookers, quickly spread virally across the Internet. As unsettling as the video images are, the keyword for me in the news event is onlookers plural. It reminded me of … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Booker, Social Media & Irene

A tweet about diapers caught my eye during my frantic Twitter searches last weekend to find information on Hurricane Irene's impact on Long Beach Island. It read "If u have problems finding diapers please DM me your # so we can talk. @darkangel1321" and was from the "verified" account of Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker (@CoryBooker on Twitter). I took a couple of seconds to read the mayor's Twitter stream and found he was doing more than help moms find diapers. … [Read more...]

Are Municipal Entities Getting Social Media Message?

Are municipal entities around the country getting the message that social media plays an important role in communications during and after natural disasters? My personal experience trying to get information about Long Beach Island (LBI) following Hurricane Irene where my in laws have a cottage makes me wonder. Only one island municipal entity, the Harvey Cedars Police Department, is on Twitter. None, except the Borough of Harvey Cedars, appear to be on … [Read more...]

Tweeting Libya’s ‘Digital Black Hole’ Revolution

"RT @mashable: Unconfirmed: Tweets Say Gaddafi Has Left Libya [BREAKING] -," read a surprising tweet flashing across my smart phone screen Saturday afternoon. Since Mashable is a very reputable social media and technology blog, I immediately retweeted the message to my Twitter followers and began running searches to find out more about what was going on. Last January and February I'd followed the Revolution 2.0-powered uprisings in Tunisia and … [Read more...]

Is Twitter King and the Press Release Obsolete?

Now that anyone can break a story through Twitter is the old-fashioned press release obsolete?  People have been predicting its demise for years, but I think the truth is much more complicated. As I wrote in my Are Blogs King and Press Releases Obsolete? post last year, today’s Web 2.0 world doesn't mean you should stop issuing press releases and replace them with announcements on your blog. Likewise, you shouldn't just start tweeting all your announcements. The … [Read more...]

40 Tweet Gems from NEMA’s #SMEM Camp

After participating in the Emergency Social Data Summit remotely last summer (see my 30 Tweet Gems from Emergency Social Data Summit wrap-up post, I was thrilled to learn the public was invited to attend the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) Social Media in Emergency Management (SMEM) Camp yesterday in Alexandria, Va. I signed up as soon as I cleared the date. Why? Of all the ways social media can make a positive difference in the lives of ordinary … [Read more...]

Mobile the ‘Missing Link’ in Revolution 2.0 Debate

"I'll send you the email tomorrow when I have power. We're in a brownout," a volunteer I was coordinating with in Kenya tweeted in a direct message to me using her cell phone. The exchange (for one of my non-profit clients) brought home for me the "missing link" I think many are missing in the debate over social media's role in the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. To connect to Revolution 2.0, you don't need a computer. You don't even need electricity. All … [Read more...]

7 Ways to Be a Good Twitter Citizen During a Crisis

In the wake of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster, a handful of pranksters elected to play on fears and launch hoax tweets, fooling thousands if not millions. Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of the Pokemon, become a Trending Topic yesterday on Twitter after Twitter user @xCyrusAndLovato tweeted "The creator of Pokemon died today in the #tsunami, #Japan. RIP: Satoshi Tajiri. #prayforjapan." It turned out to be one of many online rumors, some more harmless than … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Andy Carvin & News Curation

My March 2011 video clip of the month is a PBS News Hour interview of Andy Carvin, (@acarvin), National Public Radio's social media guru, on how he used Twitter to curate social media to turn himself into a "real time wire service" for the protests in Egypt and Tunisia. I chose the video because Carvin’s work curating the news provides a hint of what news and information management can look like in an increasingly networked world. From a cubicle in Washington, … [Read more...]

Egypt and the Rise of the Social Media ‘Swarm’

Last May I wrote that "we are on the verge of a massive shift in the way we communicate and inspire action." As I watch jubilant Egyptians in the video below celebrating the resignation of their 82-year-old former president, I think I can safely say that paradigm shift has arrived. The leaderless Revolution 2.0 in Egypt, and earlier in Tunisia, illustrate how powerfully social media can be used to galvanize real action in the real world. Social media contributed … [Read more...]

Using Social Media for Emergency Response

You've got to check out this fascinating video of Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), explaining why his agency plans to engage the public more in disaster response via mobile phones and social media. "A government-centric abroad to solving disaster problems will fail in a catastrophic disaster," he says. "It is a brittle system that does not have the resiliency that we have when we can incorporate the rest of the team: … [Read more...]

HOW TO: Top 10 Social Media Tips for Online Success

Today’s reality is that your organization needs to be on social media. You can no longer rely on issuing press releases and keeping your website up to date to get your message out. You must proactively lead conversations and participate in stories using Internet- and mobile-based social platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube. To successfully start and maintain your social media presence, however, you need to know what works and what doesn’t. … [Read more...]

5 Reasons Why You Won’t Find Me Posting on Quora

The last few weeks I've been seeing all these articles about how Quora will be the next Twitter or Facebook and is the biggest blogging innovation in 10 years. Quora is a crowdsourced answer site that is a cross between LinkedIn's Q&A feature, Reddit, Yahoo Answers, and Wikipedia. With everyone so excited about it, I signed up and checked it out. After a week of use, however, I've concluded Quora is a lot of hype. I only see myself monitoring a few … [Read more...]

The Social Media Revolution Nobody Watched

"Huh?" I thought to myself as a Twitter retweet from @Galrahn flashed across my screen: "I just watched a government fall on Twitter while #CNN interviewed the Jeopardy host about a robot contestant." Then I saw another retweet from @pareen reading: "I am relying on someone live-tweeting al-Jazeera to keep up with Tunisia news. MSNBC reports that Martha Stewart's dog split her lip open." "Wow," I thought, "what is going on?" So I checked the Washington Post's web … [Read more...]