Tag Archives: Emerging Digital Media

TechCrunch Squirrels Have Blogasm Counting Tweets

More ranting. Step back so no one gets hurt. I realize that this is useless for those at TechCrunch. They won’t listen. They’re confident they know everything. But, it is at the very least therapeutic for me. I’ll also be able to use this as just one more case study example of the cluelessness my students should avoid in sites like TechCrunch.

Does anyone else get really turned off by these lame attempts of people trying so desperately to assign rankings of authority to all things blog, Twitter, etc.? I do. And, I’m fed up.

First, let’s consider the term authority, please.

An authority is “a person or body of persons in whom authority is vested” and/or the authority is an “accepted source of information, advice, etc.” (Source, and isn’t it sad that we have to share a definition for something like this?)

Techorati has been touting authority in their indexing of sites for some time. They still put the technorati-authority image in their results. You have to click the lil’ “?” to see that it is only Technorati’s version of authority. Translation? They need to have a good word to try and make their results look legitimate – even when they are not legitimate. And Technorati’s claims of legitimate authority is ridiculous.

At least they have now decided to label it “Technorati Authority” in their definition, but they don’t use the “Technorati Authority” label throughout their site. This makes Technorati continue to be a laughing stock with regard to rankings and research.

What’s the problem with these uses of the term authority? Technorati, for instance, does not actually vet the sites and links they are using to assign these labels of authority and ranking. Gee, come to think of it … even Google doesn’t vet incoming links/clicks either. Hmmm? They are, quite simply, just counting things. Is counting enough? No. “In counting tests, an African Grey Parrot, Magpies, Ravens, and squirrels can ‘count’ up to 6.” (Source) Maybe the parrots, magpies, ravens, and squirrels are running some of these sites.

Yes, I’m sorry to tell you this but … squirrels are in charge of TechCrunch. Meet the co-editor squirrel at TechCrunch. Squirrel #2 put paws to keyboard and tapped out this little gem: It’s Not How Many Followers You Have That Counts, It’s How Many Times You Get Retweeted.

Squirrel boy is all excited. I think he had a blogasm. Seriously.

blogasm
[blawg az-uhm] –noun

the physical and emotional sensation experienced at the peak of blog comment excitation, usually resulting from stimulation of the social media link-bait blego (blog ego) and usually accompanied by (mostly males) commenting, tweeting and blogging with idiotic glee. Synonym: ignorance (is bliss)

Some people have created a few little toys that count things. Woo Hoo!. This has sent squirrel boy (and his friends; the parrots, magpies and ravens) into an apoplectic frenzy of sycophant reach-around joy. See Full Metal Jacket, if you’re not familiar with the phrase.

You see, they’ve found a new link bait post topic that will likely carry them through a few days of the startup downturn and holiday “we can’t find any real news” vacuum that exists today.

What these tools are doing (yes, the scripts & the people) is counting what is sort of an exponential shell game. Certainly the Twitter users with the most followers have a greater potential to be retweeted. That doesn’t mean they are influential. It doesn’t mean they are writing interesting content, either.

Has anyone followed back to see who the retweeters are? Has anyone followed back to see if the retweeters are making fun of the post? These are just a few of the possibilities. You see, the most influential and/or interesting retweets might well be taking place between a group of just three or four people. Has anyone looked into that? No. So, we now have just the simplest examples of why these simple counting scripts are pretty much worthless as a research tool.

One person is making some ridiculous claims with his lil’ toy, too.

My comment, which I chose to post here instead, is as follows:

Well, it is an interesting script that counts stuff. However, it really has very little meaning, now does it. In research, we tend to compare similar variables. When you write, “They are the once (sic) producing most interesting content across the twittersphere” you’re stating a falsehood. No, they are (at best) posting content of interest to their audience. That’s all. You have not vetted the content in each retweet instance. Therefore, you don’t know if they are making fun of the person or retweeting it because it is interesting or any number of other possibilities. You are, quite simply, counting RT. That’s it. This is nothing more than an exponential shell game and/or fetish with assigning ranks.

We won’t waste time by discussing independent, status and/or dependent variables here. The squirrels may be able to count, but they sure won’t understand the concepts behind research.

Folks, when you see people all excited about their new abacus (that’s a compliment, by the way … these guys probably couldn’t work an abacus) run the other way. They are clueless. It is more TechCrunch self-absorbed nonsense.

Would a more powerful and useful version of search for Twitter be welcomed? Yes. Do these new tools do that? No.

Yes, I realize this is perhaps the beginning of development of useful tools. But, don’t get all hyped up with terms like authority and rank when your current toys don’t accomplish the feat. Please, stop the insanity. I beg you.

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The 3rd Annual Excellence in New Communications Awards :: The Society for New Communication Research

Please allow me to do my due diligence. These awards are truly significant. Your participation will, with the receipt of an award, add luster and – even better – share your work with a large interested audience. I hope you will both consider submitting your work for an award and consider joining the Society for New Communication Research. Details of this year’s awards program follow.

The final submission deadline for the 2008 Excellence in New Communications Awards. is coming up soon! Submit your entries now – the final deadline is Monday, September 8th.

Each year the Society for New Communications Research presents the prestigious SNCR Excellence in New Communications Awards. These awards honor corporations, governmental and nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, media outlets, and individuals who are innovating the use of social media, ICT, mobile media, online communities and virtual worlds and collaborative technologies in the areas of business, media, and professional communications, including advertising, marketing, public relations and corporate communications, as well as entertainment, education, politics, and social initiatives.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY TODAY! Continue reading

Camp ASCCA and Felicia Day :: People and Places I Love

I love a lot of people and places. You may think I throw around the word love, in that respect, but no … I really do love them. You know, in that respectful “You’ve made my life happy and better, so I want to say thank you” kind of way.

Examples? How about our interns at Camp ASCCA. Danika Kmetz, Kelli Hood and Zeb Ramey. These people are absolutely terrific and did such a wonderful job. Look at ASCCA Friends and the Camp ASCCA Journal to see all the great work they did this summer.

But, there is more. They did video, audio, photos, media pitching, releases, features, tours, marketing … the list goes on and on. Continue reading

Obama to Announce VP Choice via Email and SMS :: Maybe, We’ll See

Obama VP announcementAccording to an email I just received, Barack Obama is going to give his supporters the news of his pick for Vice President via email and SMS, before anyone else.

Hmm? Well, it would be a first. I must admit to a wee bit (OK, a lot) of skepticism on this one. All the news organizations are signed up for all of his mailing lists, after all. They also see mailing lists we never see. So, will his supporters really be the first to know? Continue reading

Three Links :: Excellent Posts and a Video For You

Still exploring the Revolution theme and the featured posts capability. So, this week, I’m sharing three posts from great people. You’ll enjoy them, I’m sure.

First, we find an article about social media perhaps producing social change and helping someone with a terminal illness. Then, we learn that the SEC has recognized the spread of online / web communications (particularly social media) and they’ve now updated guidelines for publicly traded companies with regard to their Web sites and (if you read it into the speech) social media. Finally, we find the most wonderful video. You’ll want to watch it. Look to your right and you’ll find it is our featured video today. Continue reading

UGA Connect ’08 :: PR is changing. Become part of the conversation.

UGA ConnectConnect, the Public Relations & Social Media Conference, hosted by the Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication, is set for September 19-20, 2008 at the University of Georgia.

Please note Karen’s comment below. They are “taking educator and professional registrations now but student registration info won’t go out until August, when classes resume.”

Last year’s conference was a a great inaugural event. This one promises to be worth your time and effort to attend, too. A video from Dr. Kaye Sweetser is today’s featured video here, on the front page. It is embedded below, too. Continue reading

Sprout Builder :: Student Multimedia News Packages for Submission to Online News Sites

Always looking for new ways to create news releases for newspaper Web sites, I had a little epiphany regarding Sprout Builder and multimedia news packages for submission to news outlets.

Mindy McAdams’ book has me intrigued. I’ve been going through it in preparation for including it in this fall’s PR Style & Design course. It is a great book. Her site, flash journalism, even offers class tutorials. Visit her blog, too. Continue reading