I love social media especially Twitter. It is a great way to meet many good and interesting people, collaborate with projects, share experience, or just to chat. Over the last few months however my experience with social media has become somewhat frustrating to the point that I have felt bullied and have been insulted by other users because I have not supported a particular social media competition. This has reached a stage where I have resorted to restricting access to my twitter account and have started to block and report offending accounts.
Currently in New Zealand a competition is running that would give the winning town access to ultra fast internet access. Chorus New Zealand, the company that is running and promoting the Gigatown competition plays an important part in the infrastructure of telecommunication in NZ and the prize would be positive for the winning town. I have no issue with the company itself but the competition is highly worrying.
The competition works on twitter (should work like )by using a particular hashtag to raise the importance of high-speed internet and its benefits to the entire community.
Initially I looked at supporting the competition, however, some others who support the competition consistently request/reminded me to add the hashtag to all of my tweets. Most of the followers I have on twitter are not in New Zealand and the competition is irrelevant for them so I chose not to use the hashtag.
There are multiple twitter accounts being setup by individuals solely for the purpose of the competition, with tweet numbers that can only be described as spam. New accounts with 48 followers, following 67 and have 3500+ tweets, most of which are retweets of other people’s hashtags. Another account is worse.
Many of the tweets being sent by the supporters of the competition read like this…
“@[________] : Anyone tried the Sundaes from ____________ in #Gigatown_______? Delicious!”
“@[_________]: At the ice hockey in #gigatown_______! What a game!”
“@[_________]: Great day to try out the new shoes! Feel pretty good and look awesome! #gigatown________ “
(tweets modified to protect the account owners)
Very few tweets actually discuss the benefits of fast broadband internet.
Some supporters are promoting that for every original tweet or reply they should be retweeting four other gigatown hashtag tweets. It might just fit with Twitter rules but in regards to good social media practice this can only be seen as spam. Some accounts are sending up to 1000 tweets a day.
The pressure put on myself (and others) by the supporters of the competition to use the hashtags and the sheer number of hashtags being used has caused much dissatisfaction and annoyance amongst seasoned and long-standing Twitter users like myself.
At no other time in the five plus years of using twitter have I encountered so much pressure that can only be described as stand over tactics against people who are not participants in the competition.
Intellectual Property – What’s yours isn’t.
The competition itself has terms and conditions that I strongly object to around the topic of Intellectual Property and submission of material.
the clause reads…
“You grant Chorus a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable (without consent or notification), irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to use anything you post on any platform for the purpose of this Competition, in part or in its entirety, for any purpose. For purposes of this clause, “use” includes (without limitation) promote, replicate, copy, modify, enhance, sublicense, distribute, transmit, exploit, sell, rebrand and market, whether as part of Chorus’s products and/or services or otherwise, without reference or attribution to you.” http://gigatown.co.nz/terms-and-conditions
One major concern as a person in the creative arts is about ownership, copyright and attribution of created works. I have some work which is creative commons (Attribution, No Derivative, Non-Commercial) licence and others that I have chosen to have full copyright by myself.
A concern is that if a third-party submits content of mine to the competition (with or without consent), the conveyor of the competition would then have the rights to it. I reject this entirely. I reserve all rights to my own created works and I will decide who, how and where they are used and what attribution is required.
The sooner this competition is finished the better.
Brilliant satire about gigatown from John McGlashan High School in Dunedin
Tags: Communication, Competitions, important, Intellectual Property, New Zealand, Paul S Allen, Paulusthebrit, Photography, problems, Social Media, social media competition, Social Networking, telecommunication, TheWaterside, Twitter
The following excellent slideshare presentation was delivered by Ekaterina Walter, social media strategist for Intel, at the recent World Chamber Congress in Mexico (June 2011). It features the Otago Chamber of Commerce.
Please enjoy this presentation and put into action any points that are relevent to you and your organisation/business.
p.s. Thanks Ekaterina, you lead by example.
Social Media Expanding Chamber Reach
Social Media – Food for Thought
It is one thing to deal with people outside an organisation making comments or criticisms, but what happens when staff within an organisation starts to share their personal opinions and views online?
Where is the boundary of personal freedom (including freedom of speech) and control of a staff member’s ability to express an opinion publicly?
Some issues can be addressed with clauses within employment agreements regarding confidentiality of information and clauses that mention bringing the organisation into disrepute. There is no difference between offline and online activities in regards to this.
For the person who is using these forums it is good to remember a few basic rules about social media:
• Online, treat everything as public regardless of personal privacy settings
• People, including the media, employers and staff, are watching your personal accounts
• It is recommended to think twice before you post anything online, for example those comments and photos of that party last night may not be the best thing for your employer (or employee) to see.
Remember that it works both ways, you may check up on staff but they may be checking up on you.
Now what happens when staff members who have personal social media accounts become known publicly as being part of the business? The line between personal and business becomes blurred. If a staff member expresses an opinion or discusses personal values, beliefs or ideologies or even details about their routine or daily lives, does it reflect on the business? Can an employer insist that staff stop using social media or control/restrict what is said?
There are other questions in this area as well.
• Should an employer be searching a staff member’s account?
• Is it appropriate for an employer to “follow” or “friend” a staff member?
• Should you ignore/decline/block staff members (or your boss’s) friend request?
The question is where are the boundaries? Should it be left to chance or common sense or does it need to be controlled by policy or legislation?
Social media is here, to try to stop it is futile, to control it is problematic, so the other option is to become aware of how it works and educate yourself and others as to the appropriate use of this media.
Food for thought.
As micro-blogging and social networking sites increase in popularity and normality, the business community needs to make best use of these new media to promote and sell their services and products.
Language needs to be precise and concise so that the message given is clearly understood leading to the desired response from the intended market. This needs to be achieved in as few characters as possible.
Social media is no longer the domain of teenagers, students and geeks; it is rapidly becoming a normal part of life for a wide demographic of users including businesses.
Regardless of the channel used, be it facebook, twitter, etc, the call is interaction. Online networking should be a natural extension of off-line connection. There are no more limitations around time zones or boarders or even language barriers, businesses of any size now have the potential to have a truly global reach.
So what is stopping this expansion into new media?
Office policy where tight restrictions are placed on access to these sites can be detrimental to new ways of communication. I am not suggesting to allow free and unbridled use of facebook to chat with friends or to play one of the many annoying games; but rather allowing it to be used to communicate, research and collaborate with people and businesses to achieve the goals of the organisation.
We take telephones in the workplace today as normal now where once they were very restricted, why not social media?
If you own or run a business let me encourage you to take time to investigate how these new media could benefit your organisation.
For about a year or so, every time you watch the news you hear something about the effect that twitter is having on the world or how facebook is being used to break stories. This is great but what will happen next?
Already I have heard of people getting tired and bored with social networking.
This is how it should be, through history new inventions, ways of communication, and technologies have come and seemingly disappeared. Much of it, however, still exists, but because it is entrenched in every day familiarity we fail to notice it.
How many of us still marvel at the copper wire technology that carries our voice to a another person using a simple telephone? Yet how would we survive without this truly remarkable innovation. We take it for granted.
The next stage for social networking is normalization and integration into everyday lives and situations, whether at work, home, or wherever.
No longer will it be an organisation having a single twitter or facebook account (or whatever the next incarnation is). When years ago, organisations used to have a single telephone in the building and now have at least one on every desk (I have three on my desk at work plus my personal mobile phone); so, I believe, the next step will be each member of staff should be using these networks as communication tools just the same as the copper wire telephone we now have.
Invisable and unremarkable?… Yes
It is only when innovation, including social networking, becomes so routine and integrated in our business systems so we don’t notice we are using it that it will be of full benefit.
Never stop innovating, but don’t just gloat in the glory of the newest “shiny thing” work to make it part of ordinary everyday lives where we will say “how did we ever live without it?”.
The moment an innovative product becomes so routine it is not noticed or acknowledged is the moment it is truly successful.
Paul S Allen