There’s the to-be-expected outrage over the changes Twitter is making to APIs and it’s got some people panicking that there may be a lot more adverts in the future, which brings back to mind something that amazes me – is Twitter the only company that doesn’t see easy ways for it to make money?
At the moment, Twitter dictates who gets verified status and that can cause problems for people who are either niche celebrities or small-time (by Twitter’s status) so charge a decent fee – not enough to deter people but enough to scare off impersonators – to have a verified account. You’d find lots of people getting this to prove to the world who they are – anyone using Twitter for business would snap it up so people knew tweets were coming from a genuine source.
Just now, getting an account name from an account that hasn’t been used for any length of time is nigh-on impossible. You send an email to Twitter and then wait. And wait. And wait. Submitting a help ticket is no better. The irony isn’t lost on me that for a company so many use for customer service, they are terrible at it themselves. So instead, tell people that if they see an account name they want – and the account hasn’t been used for more than 6-12 months, then they can have it for $25.
Before anyone moans, bear in mind that you don’t get to keep URLs forever, so paying for a Twitter name isn’t an outrageous thing to suggest.
In a similar vein to the above, set up a storefront where people can say “I have this name” and people can come in and bid on it with Twitter taking a percentage of the fee – 30% seems to be the going rate in digital terms.
This might not be possible, but if so, worth exploring. Some companies have names longer than the traditional Twitter limit so why not offer them their proper name – but at a cost? Again, charge something decent but professional – say $100.
At the moment this is free (and how people would love to be able to do it on Facebook) but why not make it an option on Twitter?
Perhaps more controversially…
This is more just thinking out loud as I think the free service is probably part of what has made it so popular but you want to cut down on the spam accounts? Charge every person who uses it. Or perhaps allow so many tweets per person for free (20 a day?) and then charge after that.
Or just charge an absurdly low amount – $1 a year. Even if you have 1million users, that’s $1million coming into you.
So are there any technical reasons the above can’t be done? I’d love to hear if there is…
Have you seen some of the stuff the Scottish Catholic Church has been putting out recently? Linking a MP’s death with his homosexuality and callling for incest to be approved? Are they deliberately going for the linkbait? Is it easier to do than three Hail Mary’s?
According to The Next Web the job site Adzuna has started posted an interesting little snippet on it when you go job hunting – it not only tells you how many jobs are available but also the average salary.
And what does it tell us about Marketing, PR and Social Media in Scotland?
Marketing - £34,891 (UK marketing average is £36,931)
SEO - £25, 375 (UK average is £34,279)
PR – £25,357 (UK PR average is £34,917)
Social Media – £21,829 (UK social media average is £32,868)
PPC – £19,049 (UK average is £29,729)
Of course, these all factor better than journalism in Scotland where it can’t even find enough jobs to pull together an average. The UK average for a journalist is £30,753.
So if you earn more than £22,000 in social media in Scotland, well done, you’re beating the odds.
One thing that’s quite interesting to me is that the Scotland/UK gap in the traditional sectors – marketing and PR – is quite small but wild – by almost £10,000 in each case – in the new sectors. Does this show that Scottish businesses have yet to place a value on the new industries or are they overvalued elsewhere?
Long story short (as it seems to be going global so you probably know about it): Scottish council bans wee girl blogging with pics. This is a monumental cock-up on a number of levels. Here’s why:
One: Getting kids to embrace social media tools is great (heck, even The Brownies now have a badge for blogging) – it helps develop their language, their writing/photography skills, their confidence, may even get them interested in using technology. To slap that down takes all of that away. It says “Don’t bother, we know best, you’ll do as you’re told. You can only write if we approve what you say.” There goes self-expression eh?
Two: It’s turning PR horrific. There will be those in the council that don’t care this has been mentioned in magazines like WIRED but reputationally? This has got to sting.
Having said that, will it have financial impact? Probably not. No-one’s suddenly not going to the area because of this.
Three: Most importantly, Scotland has a terrible time with food. It’s not a healthy nation, so we’re discouraging someone from taking an interest in food and making things better – we’re also causing a charity to lose out on vital funds.
Four: It’s also a bad day for democracy – making a 9 year old child stop blogging. FFS. Yes, I know all they have done is asked her to stop posting pics of her meals but in essence that hits the blog hard as that form of content is a major part of it.
Argyll & Bute Council were dealt a bloody nose when this blog comes out highlighting the state of school meals. Now instead of coming out and explaining why the meals are so awful and encouraging people to come up with better solutions (you know, like engage with your local residents and perhaps crowdsource a bit), they went old school and tried to stop the messenger. Now they haven’t told her to take the blog down but by stopping her uploading pics of what she’s eating, they’ve killed one of the two main forms of content that goes up.
No. (But I’m convinced there’s more to that than meets the eye – why did it take five months for there to be outrage over that event?)
There’s quite a few ways they could do that, but they could start with the basic idea behind it all: fix the bloody problem, which in this case appears to be school dinners. If you use that as your starting point, the rest falls into place quite easily and creatively.
Who would be a teacher? I mean, really. They have a tough time of it. Parents expect them to be day babysitters without letting them do it right, if a pupil fails it’s not the pupil’s fault, it’s the teacher – it’s a no-win job. You give too much attention to someone, you get labelled. Give too little, you get labelled. All the power is in the hands of the child and not the adult – something many a child exploits.
In days gone by, you would have pupils trawl through the phonebook to get your details and phone you up, annoying you – now they do it on social media instead, forcing teachers to use locked accounts or not be on platforms for fear of what is said if they engage with pupils.
And now, along comes this idea that teachers should provide out of hours support via social media to pupils – and the NASUWT union, along with Dumfries and Galloway Council want to stop this from happening.
Which is wrong, because you know what? It’s a bloody brilliant idea. For everyone concerned – teachers, pupils, the country.
Ever since picking up my iPad, one app has stood out for me in terms of newsgathering (well, two if you want to count FeeddlerPro as my RSS app) – and that’s PressReader, which provides 2,100 newspapers to your iPad (or Android device) for less than £20 a month.
And it just got better for people in Scotland…
Interesting read in The Herald today with a column by Mhairi Clarke about her designer clothing business The Clothes Tree. It talks about how she’s had to learn things about digital engagement to boost her business online. There’s some good observations in it, so go have a read, but here’s some more tips for those like Mhairi trying to wade through the social media waters…
Much chat over the weekend about Scotland and Wales getting their own domain names – .scot, .wales and .cymru. But what does this mean for Scottish/Welsh businesses and should English firms be rallying for a .england or .eng?
In this age of social media and customer engagement, sometimes we can forget the basics and fail to see the wood for the trees. This sad post by brilliant author Peter Watts about the death of his cat strikes that very note on website design:
Google desperately on 24-hour emergency veterinary Toronto: get a hit down, click (idiots, what kind of emergency clinic doesn’t have phone number and address on the splash page where’s the phone number?)
It’s great we see websites with email, Twitter, Facebook and other contact details but always keep in mind function – in this case, it’s more likely that people will pick up the phone in an emergency so make sure people can contact you and find you easily.
As I’ve said in training courses, sometimes the best thing you can do is think like a punter.
Rangers Football Club is having a terrible time of it. It used to have a really easy time in the mainstream Scottish media but of late has been more and more under fire between a tax case and scrutiny of the new owner, Craig Whyte. And there’s crisis social media and PR lessons here for any businesses.