How Twitter works (and why you need to know about it)

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Following yesterday’s post, I had quite an interesting conversation with someone from the didn’t-retweet band. What transpired over the course of the discussion was that, by the band’s own admission, they didn’t really understand how Twitter worked. More to the point, I got the feeling that the label didn’t really understand the medium, either. Social media have come so far in eclipsing websites and emails that is very worrying if anyone along the chain isn’t engaging with it properly, so I’m listing my response here (redacting names) in the hope that it would be helpful to anyone else who doesn’t really “get”  how it works. Continue reading

Nobody gives a crap about your stupid little project: 5 strategies for surviving the internet

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It was just about the rudest comment I’d ever seen: “Give up, mate … no-one gives a s*** about your stupid label and the s*** music you release…”. It wasn’t quite true: many, including me, cared quite a bit about this brave little indie, but it is a Have Not in the digital world, and with that, I can sympathize.

It’s very difficult to gauge hierarchy because it changes so fast: one week this little blog has more readers than the biggest magazine I wrote for; the following week, almost none. White Swan Events, I call them – unpredictable storms of traffic activity, but it’s dangerous to read too much into them, either way, because

Rule 1: Visibility does not equal engagement

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5 things you might be doing wrong on social media

1. “Awareness-raising”

I think the worst example I’ve seen of this was the “tell us what colour bra you’re wearing” status update, which was basically a salacious attempt at internet flirting thinly disguised as some sort of breast cancer awareness campaign. How does that make us more aware of breast cancer? Who on this planet is not aware of breast cancer? Before passing on one of these bulls*** “awareness-raising” messages, ask yourself exactly what kind of awareness you’ll be raising. What, exactly, do we need to be thinking more about, and how is your update going to help us?

Doing it right: “Blood in your poo or looser poo? Just tell your doctor.” (NHS Bowel cancer campaign)  Continue reading

Where did your picture come from?

Sofia Hassen has a point. The eagle-eyed among you might have spotted that the British wildlife photographer left a comment here earlier: “Don’t forget to credit photos and videos by others on your blog”. I was mortified to note that the feature on which she had commented didn’t have any attributions at all.

It’s something I’ve become more keenly aware of over the months, since I’m so pro-copyright when it comes to music but have been woefully neglectful when it comes to the pics I use on this site. I’m sure many of us are the same – we need a photo for a post, we’re in a hurry, and just nab something from Google without thinking where it comes from. For the past few months, I’ve been attributing images using the mouseover because the layout isn’t really conducive to actual captions: hover over the image for a second and you can see a brief description, the name of the author and where I found it. It’s not the best way of handling things, but it’s better than nowt.

Prompted to think a little more carefully, I realised that though I had dilligently credited the “tiny gypsy” picture by Shana Rae I used a couple of days back, I hadn’t checked to see whether I could use the image. As it turns out, the $5 usage fee was less of a problem for me than the 7-day turnaround on the usage request, so I nixed the pic and replaced it with a public domain image from WikiCommons. I don’t like it as much as the Florabella Collections pic, but that’s why Ms Rae is charging money for its usage. She’s got to eat, hasn’t she? That and pay for the equipment she uses. It’s all fair, so I feel a bit bad about being unfair to her by swiping her pic without permission.

Wikipedia is a quick, easy way of finding free, useable images without treading on any toes, but even that leads to some pretty interesting complexities.  Continue reading