Mariamz

Posts Tagged ‘Social Media

The London Fire Brigade has revealed it could allow people in the UK to tweet emergencies instead of dialling 999. Some might be concerned that this could lead to an increase in hoax fire reports being made, however arguably more indicative signals about a person can be drawn from their Twitter presence, than can be gauged on the phone.

There are many rapid checks that can be made to verify whether a tweeter is likely to be legitimate – including checking out their recent tweets, their follower to following ratio, and stated location. Another good signal of whether a fire report is genuine, is whether they are having Twitter conversations about the fire with other, similarly legitimate looking tweeters, especially in the local area. This certainly worked for me this year on two separate occasions when I looked to Twitter for information / confirmation: during the riots, and during a local power cut.

London Fire Brigade has used Twitter for information on fires in the past. At the beginning of the year LFB was faced with a lack of information when a police helicopter was unavailable to reach a large fire in west London. It asked its Twitter followers to take pictures and describe the scene. This allowed for a more detailed assessment of the situation and the subsequent dispatch of around 75 fire fighters. London Fire Brigade states without Twitter it would have taken longer to control the fire.

Jennifer Faull

Fire image by Colin Kinnear

Just noticed this new detail on a Linkedin profile I was checking out – it’s part of Linkedin’s new style layouts. I really like the way it visualises how you are connected to others: as you roll over the little circles (g+ inspired?) you can see all of the companies associated with a person, and those you share in common.

You can also select network types from the drop-down menu: industry, school and location, e.g.:

This appeared in a Daily Mail piece yesterday in relation to Sally Bercow’s latest mis-tweet. (Bercow – whose Twitter account has now been sucked down the memory hole – had identified an under-aged person in a tweet that a UK court order had banned from being named.)

I’d just like to focus in on the unnamed ‘legal experts’ here stating that using Twitter constitutes publication. In my view it is rather odd and irresponsible for Sally to have named the person in the way she did (and if this was knowingly done, is clearly in ‘contempt of court’). But overall, I maintain we need different rules for sharing and discussing on social media.

On social media, individuals should be treated as citizens, with special protections for their freedom of speech and right to share, until they write or speak with the authority of a collective, institutional platform.

First of all, because restrictions on public civic discourse are generally harmful and counter-productive, and secondly, because collective media institutions have a special legal status (and usually access to far superior legal counsel) which means they can be pursued by authorities (and wronged individuals like Lord McAlpine) as institutional collectives.

Without separate rules for individuals on social media, people will frequently foul of the law at great expense just for airing their views or unwittingly sharing problematic items they have come across in public environments or from bigger media. Or fall silent – and we surely don’t want that..

This web design detail on Dezeen encourages and champions online engagement neatly – highlighting ‘reader* comments’ prominently alongside editor picks.

*I wonder how long publishers will keep calling active online participants ‘readers’ for.. always seems too passive 

It can be really rather hard to train (or explain to) people who don’t use a social platform every day – what, why and when to share what others say, and especially when and why it is prudent or funny to pass on criticism from others, especially implied criticism that is laden with intended or unintended thought-provoking nuances.

http://twitter.com/QueenofBiscuits/status/265932216348057600

Having recently co-hosted a workshop laying out the differences between effective Facebook and Twitter engagement, I thought this example just retweeted by Mumsnet illustrates the Twitter trainer’s challenge beautifully…

p.s. posting via mobile, pls excuse any formatting issues

within five years social media will be the number two way to engage with customers (after face-to-face personal interaction). That’s a step in the right direction, but why wait five years? The internet will have changed all over again by then, and business is in danger of being left behind.

Richard Branson, via Global IBM CEO Study


This blog is about utilizing and optimizing the social web for business, pleasure and social change

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