This week, host Jen Zingsheim was joined by co-host Mark Story, and the two discussed very bad, awful, no good hashtag use, the social implications of WikiLeaks (and how blocking Facebook and Twitter should be the least of a company’s concerns) and took a look at the issues surrounding paying bloggers for content.
This week’s show is 34 minutes long.
- First, Jen and Mark discuss CNN Breaking News’s poor choice of hashtags in a Tweet about the murder of a young girl. This issue was brought to our attention by the always informative Barbara Nixon, who after seeing the Tweet, contacted CNN to point out that this was a horrible use of hashtags (and, to this writer’s knowledge, she still hasn’t received a response). So, what’s the big deal? Well, Twitter hashtags are used as search terms, and CNN’s use of #dead and #raped was if nothing else in poor taste. Mark wonders if this is intentional, as just like on television there is competition for eyeballs and perhaps this sort of jarring, insensitive treatment is to be expected from the media. Jen is surprised that CNN hasn’t responded to Barbara or removed the Tweet–and she speculates that perhaps they need a chorus of people complaining before they’ll do anything about it. Both Jen and Mark concur with Barbara: who the heck searches on Twitter for terms like the ones they used–and if there is anyone, why on earth would a news organization want to be in *that* Twitter stream?
- Next, the two move on to discuss the WikiLeaks issue. Jen and Mark discuss the implication of the leaks, the “social” component of the site being a Wiki, and how companies have more to be concerned about than blocking Facebook and Twitter, especially if the objective of these high-profile leaks is to solicit similar content from a wide range of people–including corporate information. Are corporate communicators ready for this crisis?
- Finally, they move on to discuss a post written by Dave Fleet that hits all the right points in examining how the game changes when bloggers are paid by PR and marketing firms. Jen notes that blogger outreach for PR seemed like a natural link to her, as it seemed similar to the “earned” media PRs look for in print publications–but the missing component is that journalists are paid by their publications, whereas bloggers aren’t in most cases. So, she can see where the desire to be paid comes from, but points out that when money is exchanged, bloggers could be trading in their objectivity–the very reason the PR pros contacted them in the first place. Mark explains that with disclosure, some sponsorship or swag can make sense, for both PR firms and bloggers.