Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- Is Blogging Dead?
- Airlines Embrace Customers on Twitter
- Red Cross Recovers Gracefully From Rogue Tweet
- Popular Twitter Clients Reinstated on Twitter
Is Blogging Dead?
A recent article in the New York Times has reignited an open debate that comes up from time to time in the social media world. According to the weekend article, blogging is down among those aged 12 to 17 by just over half between 2006 and 2009. However, among folks aged 34 to 45, blogging is up by 6 percent. Looking at traffic, Google's Blogger platform has seem a decline in unique visitors in the United States by 2 percent, even though the global numbers are up 9 percent.
So what's really happening here? Is blogging slowly dying or are there some other conditions going on here? Well, let's look at the ages. Yes, among teenagers, blogging is down as participation to sites such as Facebook and even Tumblr is up. But think about it: Tumblr and Facebook are lightweight platforms that make it possible to publish with little effort. Blogs require maintaining categories, tags and more of a time commitment.
Blogging isn't dying -- it's evolving as a communication platform. If blogs are dead, then why is AOL spending multiple millions of dollars acquiring properties such as TechCrunch and the Huffington Post? Users of social media platforms are using them for what they do best: Short messages go on Twitter, short posts with multimedia are sent to Tumblr or Facebook, and longer form materials go to a conventional blog.
Airlines Embrace Customers on Twitter
A major airline having a presence on Twitter is nothing new. Most airlines now have a Twitter page dedicated to getting the word out about promotions, taking feedback and the like. However, American Airlines is doing a first -- targeting regular customers and frequent fliers with a dedicated Twitter and Facebook presence for its frequent flier program.
On the new outlets, American Airlines describes ways to get more miles and allows the high flyers to share tricks and secrets. So, if you're a regular American customer, check out @AAdvantage on Twitter and get some good tips on how to maximize your AAdvantage miles.
It's in American Airlines' and other carriers' best interest to embrace their most esteemed customers. These customers are high-value and if they are listened to and respected, they can be vocal brand advocates. Delta Airlines has an account dedicated to taking feedback and making customer service wrongs right. Which brands do a good job on social networking? Sound off in the comments below!
Red Cross Recovers Gracefully from Rogue Tweet
The American Red Cross suffered a potential PR disaster last week as a rogue Tweeter said this from the @RedCross Twitter account: "Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head's Midas Touch beer....when we drink we do it right #gettingslizzerd". Social media specialist Gloria Huang sent the tweet in an apparent mistake until the message was later taken down by the social media director for the Red Cross.
A few online publications picked up on the initial tweet, calling attention to the mistake. In a sign of humility, the Red Cross later tweeted a message saying "We've deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we've confiscated the keys." This response is among the best corporate replies to an errant message in recent memory.
The message here for organizations is that, every now and then, errant messages will happen. It's important to have a plan for dealing with such mistakes. Also, it helps to have some humility along with professionalism as you proceed. The Red Cross has proven to show a good example.
Popular Twitter Clients Reinstated on Twitter
Last week, Twitter raised eyebrows for banning popular Twitter clients including Twidroyd (for Android phones) and UberTwitter (a popular Blackberry client) from utilizing the Twitter client. This meant that users of these popular mobile clients were unable to useTwitter on these specific applications. Twitter suspended the clients because of "privacy issues, trademark infringement, and changing the content of users' tweets in order to make money."
There was a huge outcry by the company that makes these two applications over the technicalities of why they were banned. Twitter is a popular service built based on the success third-parties had in building and monetizing clients to access the service. Some good news landed today as the UberMedia apps are now back online. In related news, UberTwitter now has a new name: UberSocial. This addresses a complaint Twitter had against UberMedia, the company behind these two Twitter clients.
This whole episode is most unfortunate for Twitter users. These users, who purchased an application, have no idea why their Twitter access was turned off and are unfortunate bystanders of an odd complaint Twitter had against UberMedia. Hopefully this fiasco is behind us.