Pinterest

If the old adage that a picture tells a thousand words is in fact true, spending a few minutes on Pinterest a day could be just as enlightening as reading a classic. For a budding journalist like myself, the thought of people sharing and consuming content at such a staggering rate is exciting – yet another way to communicate with a new audience of potential customers.
 
Late last year a study showed that Pinterest had overtaken Twitter in its popularity with American adults (Chan, 2013). This in essence, gives a different sort of power to marketers. Pinterest users tend to be more “engaged” with the site than do users of other sites like Facebook and Twitter and for this reason has been adopted as a powerful tool for prospective social media marketers (Dillon, 2014). 
 
Slowly, it is nice to see that many companies have seen the possibilities that Pinterest provides (Wishpond, 2014). Yet, for me, Pinterest is more about inspiration. Gradually I am finding I use the platform for ideas. I am more likely to search for a certain topic (usually something I am writing or photographing myself) in an attempt to get my own creative juices flowing.
 
This in itself, highlights the marketing potential on social media sites like Pinterest, however, I think search engine optimisation (SEO) will be a major factor of improvement in coming years.
 
References

Chan, E. (2013). LinkedIn, Pinterest more popular than Twiter: study. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/30/us-twitter-study-idUSBRE9BT0QO20131230
 
Dillon, J. (2014). Pinterest Marketing Tips & Strategies – How to Get Twice More Traffic Than Facebook On One Of The Most Underrated Social Networks. Retrieved from http://www.authorityhacker.com/pinterest-marketing-tips/
 
Wishpond. (2014). 15 Facts you Need to Know about Pinterest. Retrieved from http://corp.wishpond.com/pinterest-marketing-resources-for-business/15-facts-you-need-to-know-about-pinterest/
 
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YouTube

When ads started appearing at the start of YouTube clips I felt a little part of me died inside.  Just as I would be if the ABC became a soap box for the highest bidder I was palpably disheartened when YouTube inevitably succumbed to its corporate priority. Although I complain about having to wait the extra 13 seconds for my ‘cats doing stupid things’ videos, the phenomenon does provide good prospects for content creators.

 

One of the biggest conundrums facing modern media outlets is the fact that few, if any, have a clear strategy (or much knowledge) of how to best use online platforms to make money (Chan-Olmsted, 2014). Even the most successful of social media sites like Facebook and Instagram rely on the content creator but in each instance, aside from the gratification of getting involved there are very few ways to be personally rewarded for sharing content with value. Even in the blogging world it is more difficult to make money than many columnists would have us believe (Trunk, 2009).

 

YouTube however, through advertising has found an effective way to make money itself while not short changing the vital content creators that add value to the site. By accepting ads on your videos, successful contributors can, with relative ease monetise their association with YouTube (Youtube, 2014). This is a better way of attracting revenue for the content creator than the average blogger who has monetised their site – nobody need engage in shady ethical practices to endorse products in editorial pieces, instead relying on honest, advertising content thus continuing the vital distinction between PR and editorial.

 

As such, there is hope yet for me if I want to get rich quick by becoming a YouTube sensation – although I think a cosmetic how-to guide video blog is probably out of the question.

 

 

References

 

 

Chan-Olmsted, S. (2014). Introduction: Traditional Media and the Internet: The Search for Viable Business Models. Retrieved from http://www.mediajournal.org/ojs/index.php/jmm/article/viewFile/284/179

 

Trunk, P. (2009). Reality check: You’re not going to make money from your blog. Retrieved from http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/04/21/8-reasons-why-you-wont-make-money-from-your-blog/

 

YouTube (2014). Thanks for creating with YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/yt/creators/creator-benefits.html

Facebook

Sometimes I have to force myself to look past the Farmville requests, the ʻfeeling hungryʼ status updates and half-baked 9/11 conspiracy theories to seethe real value of Facebook. There are so many ways to waste time on the worldʼs largest social networking site that it is easy to get carried away playing Facebook Scrabble rather than learning to use Facebook as it was intended – a way to keep in contact with those friends closest to you (Zuckerberg, 2011).

That being said, never did I embrace Facebook as much as when I started working. The famous ʻfacestalkʼ (Urban Dictionary, 2007) became invaluable in the newsroom when I needed to find out information about someone quickly, or for that matter, contact them for a story. The ʻFacebook for Journalistsʼ function has made my life even easier giving me the option to “Search for people, places and things” who are part of other networks or associated with other organisations. Although the site is perfect for basic, personal research on a subject, it is a direct manipulation of the concept first developed by Zuckerberg – a medium that would allow a degree of privacy to its users not afforded by a personal web page (Zuckerberg, 2011). Regardless, the great thing for desperate young cadets like myself is Facebook is indeed embracing the use of the site by reporters, creating pages and engaging with organisations (Facebook, 2011).

The biggest pitfall however, is the vast amounts of time that can be wasted on the site. My devastation when Facebook Scrabble was offline for a matter of months was the kick in the pants I needed to realise that my obsession had in fact crossed the line from being a healthy quirk to something more sinister. The Huffington Postʼs Susie Neilson calculated that for all the time she has spent on Facebook she could have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro eight times or taken six round trips to the moon (Neilson, 2014). This to me, embodies the risk of utilising a site for work that was intended for recreation.

The days when one can wake-up and spend the best part of the day, chatting, updating statuses and selecting the best selfie that epitomises #yoloswag are all too real. I forever live in fear while searching the subjects of my stories on Facebook that I will find myself hours later with a high Candy Crush Saga score and no articles written at the end of the day.

Facebook. (2011). Facebook & social journalism. Retrieved from https:// http://www.facebook.com/notes/journalists-on-facebook/facebook-social-journalism/ 210530275625661

Neilson, S. (2014). Forty Days and Forty Nights: What Iʼve Learned From Wasting Time on Facebook. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susie-neilson/forty-days-and- forty-nights-what-ive-learned-from-wasting-time-on-facebook_b_4768953.html

Urban Dictionary. (2007). Facestalking. Retrieved from http://www.urbandictionary.com/ define.php?term=facestalkingZuckerberg, M. (2011). Our commitment to the Facebook Communit

Wikipedia

“Conan O’Brien assaults sea turtles while canoeing” and “Tony Blair worships Hitler”. These are two in a list of some of the biggest Wikipedia Blunders ever recorded and are probably a decent rationale for the decreasing number of online contributors (Raphael, 2009) and possibly the death of the world’s largest wiki.

 

It has been widely reported over the past few years that Wikipedia is losing its valuable contributors. Since 2007 the site’s number of contributors has decreased by more than one third (Simonite, 2013). Unfortunately, it’s a catch 22 for the ‘Wikipedians’. Those most eager to avoid such blunders as highlighted at the start of this blog, in so doing, were the makers of the site’s undoing. By making it more difficult for users to contribute, less posts got through and the site consequently lost contributors (Halfaker, 2014). 

 

The loss of contributors has undoubtedly compounded the one problem stringent restrictions on posts were aimed to combat. Less contributors means less people involved in the conversation that adds to the likelihood that inaccurate information is picked up and altered quickly. Wikipedia is now a contributor to the “information overload” (Blair, 2010) as inaccuracies make readers more skeptical of content and less likely to participate in the wiki exchange, crucial to the site’s success.

 

I love the idea of a “Free Encyclopedia” as much as the next desperate student but unfortunately it seems evident to me that there will always be a trade-off for ‘free’ information. As Judge Judy says, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is…

 

Hyperlinks

 

Blair, A. (2010). Information Overload, Then and Now. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/Information-Overload-Then-and/125479/

 

Halfaker, A. (2014). The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration Community: How Wikipedia’s reaction to sudden popularity is causing its decline. Retrieved from http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~halfak/publications/The_Rise_and_Decline/

 

Raphael, JR (2009). The 15 Biggest Wikipedia Blunders. Retrieved from
http://www.pcworld.com/article/170874/The_15_Biggest_Wikipedia_Blunders.html

 

Simonite, T. (2013). The Decline of Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/520446/the-decline-of-wikipedia/

Image reference

Wikia. (2010). Conan O’Brien. Retrieved from http://wikiality.wikia.com/Conan_O’Brien