September 27, 2022

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Radio Roundtable: Curating content from Egypt, “gaming” social scores, and Groupon’s Super Bowl miss

Radio Roundtable: Curating content from Egypt, “gaming” social scores, and Groupon’s Super Bowl miss

This week, host Jen Zingsheim was joined by co-host Bryan Person. The two discussed Andy Carvin’s efforts to curate Twitter content from Egypt, a Wall Street Journal article that shows the downside of social scoring systems (they can be gamed), Groupon’s Super Bowl ads and how social media has altered Super Bowl advertising in general.


Today’s show is 32 minutes in length.

  • The two start off discussing an Atlantic article that details Andy Carvin’s efforts at curating Twitter content coming from Egypt during the crisis. Bryan starts off by discussing Carvin’s tremendous efforts, Tweeting sometimes 400 times in a day, and mentions that as he’s been following Carvin he’s built his own Twitter list on the topic.  Jen asks if Carvin’s efforts could be considered a new way of looking at journalism: a trusted source like NPR’s Carvin, who also is a subject matter expert with deep experience in the field is certainly a wise way to filter out the “noise” of many Tweets. Bryan agrees, and says that we are really starting to see the difference between aggregation and content curation; aggregation is automated and indiscriminate, content curation is selective and does prioritize some content over others. (Note: Jen and Bryan were not aware that Mubarak had stepped down, as he did so while they were recording the show.)
  • Next Bryan and Jen discuss the Wall Street Journal piece titled “Wannabe Cool Kids Aim to Game the Web’s New Social Scorekeepers”. The piece details how people are having gifts and trips showered on them, seemingly just because they are considered influential by Klout and other scoring firms. Bryan notes that this is one angle to look at Klout or other scoring mechanisms–that since people have decided that social media needs to be scored the following process emerges: a scoring system comes out, people question the methodology used, some question their position within the scoring system, then some say it doesn’t matter, and others figure out how to game the system–repeat as needed each time a new one comes out.
  • Finally, they discuss the Groupon Super Bowl ads. Jen asks Bryan if the backlash would have been so immediate and widespread had we just not seen the same sort of issue with the Kenneth Cole Twitter issue. Bryan thinks yes, the backlash would have happened regardless–Jen makes the case that because the other issue had just happened it was top of mind for her. Groupon has since pulled the ads. Bryan notes that Shel Holtz pointed out that while the execution was flawed, the company was making matching donations to the causes highlighted–and if they’d included that *in* the ads, the response may have been completely different. The two then discuss how social media has changed Super Bowl advertising, including the release of ads like “The Force,” which was released on Feb. 3 and had received a million views prior to kickoff.
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