Tag Archives: twitter

Tweets from the bomber

7 May
Startling photo of the Boston Marathon bombers

Startling photo of the Boston Marathon bombers (Photo credit: Ninian Reid)

After the horrific Boston Marathon bombing that occurred on April 15, 2013, the world assumed the attacks were carried out by a high-powered terrorist group.  In reality, the bombing suspects were 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarvaev and his older brother Tamerlan.

As I watched all of the footage during the suspenseful days that followed, one thing stood out in particular.  As the suspects were on the run, CNN repeatedly displayed Dzhokhar’s tweets on the TV screen.  These chilling tweets occurred the day of the actual attack and there were even twelve tweets after the attack.  The night of the bombing, Dzhokar tweeted ” Ain’t no love in the heart of the city, stay safe people”.  It is such a scary thought to know that he is telling Boston to stay safe even though he killed three individuals earlier that same day.

The most shocking tweet came two days later when he posted, “I’m a stress free kind of guy”.  As the entire United States military is looking for this man, he is stress free.  Whether these tweets were just for show or they really captured how he felt, they tell a lot about his character.  That he could have just participated in one of the most horrific incidents this country has ever seen and still be fine enough to take to social media is shocking.

While these and more tweets are sickening, they offer a neat perspective on breaking news that we haven’t seen much of before.  This was perhaps one of the first breaking news stories that the reporters could display a suspects social media activity and track what they were thinking.  Because social media is such a public activity, it could become an important tool for understanding the minds of criminals.

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The Twitter effect

25 Apr
Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

A tweet came out this past Tuesday from the AP‘s Twitter account.  This tweet, which was released shortly after 1 p.m., stated that two bombs had gone off in the White House, injuring President Barack Obama.  The financial world reacted in a major way, causing the Dow Jones industrial average to drop by 130 points.

Within ten minutes, the AP tweeted that the previous tweet had been a hack and later in the day the Dow Jones returned to its previous number, but this incident proves an important lesson.  The average news consumer is getting much of their information from social media.  This is a great thing because news is able to spread quickly and efficiently to a huge audience.  It does, however, have its drawbacks as is evident in this situation.  People will believe anything as long as it is in writing.  Not only will they believe it but they will react.  One single false tweet causing enough damage to impact the financial measurement of the country is not good.  Hackers will continue to send out false information, but if the country takes this news on face value situations could become hysteria.

Citizens need to learn the importance of questioning everything.  One tweet does not explain the entire story.  Once social media users understand the importance of accuracy and of double-checking all information, we will have an informed public and social media will be successful.

“Never Know What is Going to Happen in Social Media”

19 Feb
Current "blue crescent" logo (July 1...

Current “blue crescent” logo (July 1, 1999–present) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As @ryancworkman tweeted earlier this day, you “never know what is going to happen in social media”.  I feel like every other day I am hearing a story about how an employee got fired for something offensive they said on facebook or twitter.  Today was the mother of all messes…the Burger King hack.  While technically this hack wasn’t something a Burger King employee did, it just proves how big of a deal simple tweets and facebook posts can be.

Earlier this day hackers got onto Burger King’s twitter site and changed the background photo to the competitior’s famous golden arches.  Attentionally they tweeted that Burger King had been sold to McDonalds and tweeted racially sensitive and tweets and gross things about food on the Burger King menu.  While their twitter followers climbed significantly, the hack is bound to leave a bad taste (excuse the terrible pun) in many of their followers mouths.

Today proved exactly how important one simple tweet can be.  People are fired every day for misusing twitter or confusing their work accounts for private accounts.  As our world becomes even more globally connected we must try to remember that nothing is safe out their in the cyber world and the second something is posted, it can never be unwritten.

Just a Few Years Later

13 Feb
English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So while I have claimed in past blogs that I am basically social media inept, I guess this past month of updating this blog and using my twitter consistently has taught me one huge lesson…social media is everywhere.

I woke up two mornings ago to go to class at 8:30 (which in my opinion is WAY to early for a college student) when I checked my twitter and facebook per my usual routine.  The first thing I saw on twitter was that Pope Benedict XVI was stepping down from the papacy.  For non-Catholics this may not seem like anything major, but as a lifelong Catholic, this was shocking news.  The announcement had taken over my twitter and I knew it was time to check a news source to get the full details of the story.

What really strikes me as unique about this situation is the way in which I received the news.  In a matter of moments after the story had been released ever major news source had the story which resulted in every twitter, facebook, blog, and other media site being full of the news as well.  It doesn’t seem that look ago that I was sitting in my 8th grade class room with my eyes glued to the TV as my home room class watched coverage of Pope John Paul II‘s death was announced.  There was no other forum for us as grade schoolers to receive the shocking news except in our class and from our parents.

The fact that in just a few short years we are able to receive information so easily and quickly is something I will never get used to and leads me to wonder what technologies and medias these next few years will bring.

My Score Isn’t Zero

30 Jan

A lot of thinking can happen in a matter of seconds- more specifically a lot of self-doubt can happen.  As I logged into Klout for the first time waiting to see what my score would be, I was almost positively certain I would get a score of zero.  I figured there was no way my limited amount of social media knowledge (Check my prior post), would result in any kind of score.  Klout and other similar websites like Social Mention, Twitalyzer, and Kred

Image representing Klout as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

help measure exactly how big of an impact your social media habits have.  Each website has its own measurement tools which basically inform you if you are using social media correctly.  The one thing I was terrified of getting on all of the sites was a score of zero.  Zero in todays modern world would basically be equivalent to getting picked last on the basketball team at recess.  Zero meaning no one wants to be your friend. (Ok maybe I am being a little dramatic but still I did NOT want the worst score).  Luckily to my pleasant surprise I had a 21 on Klout.  A 21 is in no way a great number but it at least means I cyberly exist.

After checking out my Klout score I logged onto Kred.  I have a Kred score of 477 out of 1,000 which again is not too shabby.  The funny thing about Kred is that it tells you exactly what topics social media has influence over.  Apparently I have a lot of kred in the mom bloggers and extreme sports community, two things of which I am not.

Next I logged onto Twitalyzer’s free 7 day trial.  I have an impact score of .1 and influence score of 0…not exactly what I was hoping for.  Apparently when you are terribly with social media they label you as a “casual user”.

Finally I tried to search for myself on social mention.  To my bitter disappointment I was no where to be found.  I guess this was reasonable since I hadn’t tweeted in about three weeks.  I decided to make it my mission yesterday to tweet up a storm in order to get myself at least one mention.  After my first tweet I could actually find myself and then the more tweets I had the higher my score got, therefore I tweeted A LOT.  By the end of the day my social media was at 6% strength, had 66% passion from those that followed me, had 5:1 positive vs. negative mentions, and I had a reach of 3%.  Those numbers definitely were a win, especially since I couldn’t even find myself earlier that day.

Discovering how I use social media and how much more I could be using it definitely  has inspired me to tweet more.  It is fun to see the statistics on where you stack up in the social media world and to discover new ways to make your own social media sites better.  And hey at the end of the day, at least I wasn’t a zero.

Internet Illiterate

21 Jan
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

For being a journalism major, I am about as illiterate with social media sites as I possibly can be.  I am always one of the last people to hear about all the new sites but instead of jumping on the bandwagon, I instead hold out on getting one until I can just no longer “survive” without.  I feel like at this point if businesses people aren’t on Twitter or Facebook they will really suffer professionally, so the main thing I am hoping to get out of this class is an understanding of how to be effective with social media to build my brand.

Currently I am on Facebook and Twitter and I use them pretty regularly but only for personal uses. I love how connected social media allows us to be.  I have friends who have graduated and moved across the country that I still can talk to everyday.  Many people complain that social media sites keep us hidden behind laptops and causes us to lose our communication skills, however I truly believe that these sites if used correctly can only enhance our human interactions.  Most of my life as a child isn’t documented and if it is it’s through a few pictures or videos.  Kids growing up today who are surrounded by computers will have the opportunity to look back once they are older and know exactly what they were doing and what they thought all throughout their lives.

If these sites are used well, people will have a wonderful scrapbook of their entire lives, however there are parts of social media that make me nervous.  The thought that anyone can have access to images of me or words that I have said is a little frightening.  There are so many people out there that would use this information to exploit or even harm others.  This is one of the main reasons I am hesitant to blog or even tweet.  I do have a few blog posts that I had to write for a previous class but I still wouldn’t have gotten a blog unless it was for academic purposes.

Another reason I don’t use very much social media is that it confuses me.  I have a Pintrest but can’t really understand how to use it and I dislike it because if you like something on Pinterest often you can’t find out how to purchase these items.  Instead I like using a site called Wanelo, which is similar to Pinterest but it takes you directly to the sites you want.  Besides Twitter and Facebook, Wanelo is the only site I regularly visit.

My social media habits haven’t really changed much since I originally joined but hopefully this class will give me the tools and knowledge to effectively participate in our changing world.