How to microblog in high heels

A geek girl's guide to social media and online engagement

Posts Tagged ‘twitter

Lost in Denmark #3: #Dona conference and visiting offices in Copenhagen, Denmark

Last year I visited the Danish School of Journalism in Arhus to join a conference on hyperlocal journalism.

I was lucky enough to this year join the Danish online news association (Dona) for their regular meetup and speak alongside Kurt Westh Nielsen on ‘engaging with users for news organisations’.

Kurt has been speaking to a number of news publishers across the globe from the New York Times and meeting Rob Malda from slashdot to Le Monde to get an idea of the best practise for engaging with users.

He said speaking to Jay Rosen was inspiring, who fully believes that the user knows more than you do, and argues that journalists still need to overcome the fear that their ideas will be stolen if they work in an open way.

From speaking to many subjects, Kurt came up with a list of future competences for journalists (please be aware these are based on my notes):

  1. Engage in a dialogue with users
  2. Don’t be lazy – try out new platforms
  3. Digital journalism rewards specialist knowledge
  4. Refer each other (colleagues) to new digital platforms
  5. Communications between users – interact
  6. Share and request ideas from users

Kurt had also put together an (in progress) diagram for how different social media networks are performing against each other based on a metric system he created for measuring social success (which scored networks for things like togetherness – a presence of other users) – you can see a hazy picture of the diagram here.

He also had devised this handy checklist for journalists on good and bad uses of social media – some of this may be basic, but it’s worth remembering:


  • Write new versions for separate channels
  • Cross reference your other personal identities
  • Experiment!
  • Use social media to learn
  • Refer to other colleagues and good sources


  • Multiple channel streams
  • Not one personal identity doing it/or a general identity
  • Bombard users with content spam
  • Appeal to people’s common sense, don’t implement social media rules

Meeting and other news organisations

While visiting Copenhagen I also met up with Marie Bering from the third biggest national newspaper in Denmark, Jyllands-Posten (JP), and Katrine N. Jensen, news editor and Lars DamgaardNielsen, social media editor, from the online outlet for the Danish version of the BBC – 

Interestingly in Denmark – Facebook use far outweighs Twitter – with more than half of the Danish population (5.5m) using Facebook rather than just 70,000 on Twitter – although many believe Twitter will grow to be used as a mass social network in Denmark soon too.

I won’t go into the details of my conversations with Katrine, Marie and Lars as some of the information they shared is commercially sensitive, but the general impression from the trip – after speaking to journalists from the biggest national newspaper Politiken, as well as Peter From Jacobsen from the Danish School of Journalism’s research centre, is that some Danish media are still struggling to convince managing editors of the value of engaging with users via comments and social media. They are experimenting with different business models including the freemium idea that a certain amount of news content is free before extra niche/feature content is paid for, with Facebook commenting systems and social sign in methods to validate users on their sites.

Royal and parliament buildings in Denmark

Some projects of interest from include their following of election candidate’s activities on Facebook (not sure we could even do this in the UK!). also recently launched this great interactive for browing some of the latest data from parliament on Copenhagen and the country’s budget.

Finally here’s a huge thank you to Peter From Jacobsen for organising parts of the trip, Jon Lund from Dona, and Katrine from for chatting to me about some of the things going on in Danish media at the moment. I will follow with sincere interest!


Privacy and the audience: Who are you talking to?

As 2010 draws to a close, a topic has been dominating my thoughts on social media for a while now – privacy.

As one who could safely be tick-boxed in the ‘digital native’ bracket – changing online privacy settings when setting up new accounts is simply second nature.

But Facebook’s constant chopping and changing of their unnecessarily complicated privacy settings have not only been frustrating – but have thrown up a key question – should online privacy be the burden of the user or the platform?

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by hrwaldram

December 23, 2010 at 11:50 am

2008 was the year of…Twitter

twitter2As the news of Twitter’s widespread appeal to technophiles and global online communities trickles down to the mainstream (recent articles in the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times show some journalists are slow to cotton on), those already familiar with the web-based microblogging tool will firmly agree that this year was the year of Twitter.

Only born two years ago, this year the number of people using Twitter rocketed to six million, showing a 340 per cent increase in 12 months – a scale of increase which cannot go unnoticed.  

Twitter surpassed what the creators (just a 26-person team) thought it would do. They had not predicted the significance of a real-time webtool in the case of large-scale disastors and the US election. 

Twitter really came into the limelight this year when twitterers used the service in the aftermath the Sichuan Earthquake and the Mumbai terrorists attacks. This proved to the world (and Twitter sceptics) that Twitter was being used globally to connect people and provide a means of communication in the midst of a disaster – when other means of contact were blocked or failed. 

The way the service is being used to break news and alert journalists of breaking stories has also captured the online community and the media, who marvel at its ability to transcend standard methods of journalism. 

On Saturday at midnight, Mike Wilson, 37, from Houston used Twitter to alert friends and family of the fact his Boeing 737 had slid off the runway and was now in flames –  leaving himself and other passengers stranded. As Continental tried to shield witnesses from the media Mike was calmly standing to the side of the action, twittering more than 30 text messages to an increasing online audience, giving them a minute-by-minute picture of the scene. His messages soon gained national attention and once again, the power of Twitter was in the US and the the UK news.

Another part of Twitter’s success was the fact that other tools can be built on top of Twitter which relate to the site – what Jack Schofield calls ‘tweecosystems‘. So you get, Twitterly, Twitpic, Twitterfeed, Twitpay and so forth – all directing 20 times more traffic to Twitter (and creating a rather addictive way of moulding the noun ‘Twitter’ into new innovative sounding web tools – see my top ten amalgamations). 

Another turning point for Twitter fame this year was when it turned down the offer to be bought by Facebook for $500,000. This caused a lot of talk – but it seems Twitter is still looking at ways to integrate with Facebook – a pure sell-out wasn’t the key.

Here Twitter CEO Evan Williams talks to Conde Nast about the future of Twitter – features such as putting people you follow into manageable groups, the fact that those new to twitter don’t know who to follow, and the possibility of integration with Facebook.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

It is clear people are using Twitter for different things in different ways. The emergence of Twitter groups and hashtags has been a key development in the program – and one which looks set to make the service better in the future. One usage which has been particularly profound is the use of Twitter as a professional aid – to build contacts, share useful information and link to key sites and articles.

To separate personal and professional tweets, two accounts can be monitored on a tweet-deck on your desktop – Twirl and Twitterific being the most popular. 

It remains to be seen how Twitter will adapt in 2009 and whether my vision of 3D SecondLife/Twitter integration will take place. Jemima Kiss, who has 4, 6128 followers conducted a survey on Twitter for technological predictions for 2009 – the response was varied and illuminating. 

Towards the end of this year users of Twitter have been putting nominations for the Shorty awards – which award the best producers of short (140 characters or less on Twitter) content – i.e. the top Twitterers for the year. Nominations will close on December 31 and the winners revealed. Stephen Fry, who currently has 35, 806 followers gained popularity for his personal daily messages and has been nominated for the ‘entertainment’ category.

Although there may still be sceptics out there, usually those who have not yet found a use for Twitter which suits them, it cannot be denied that Twitter has paved the way for new uses in online journalism and social networking for the future – and will undoubtably continue to play a big part for developments of how we use the internet.


Written by hrwaldram

December 22, 2008 at 12:00 pm