That didn’t take long at all.
A short piece of fiction by Pierce Gleeson about the people behind corporate Twitter accounts.
‘We are not building anything here,’ stated one morose-sounding detergent brand. ‘All those marketing guys pushing Twitter think you can build something on it. Awareness or brand or something. But they can’t back that up. We’re just a mirror of what’s happening in the real world. We’re just echoing awareness, not creating it. It might work for small coffee shops but for global brands we’re just a shapeless appendage.’ All this came in several messages. The brands tended to be verbose once they got talking. Probably overeducated and unemployable, like himself. He didn’t agree, he didn’t disagree. He consciously refused to give it thought. The pay was excellent for the hours he worked.
Meet the Mind Behind Barack Obama’s Online Persona
You’ve most definitely seen it by now. Michelle Obama, wearing a red-and-white checkered dress, stands with her back to the camera. Her arms are wrapped around her husband, the hints of a smile lingering on the edges of his lips. “Four more years,” reads the text, which was posted on the Obama campaign’s social media accounts around 11:15pm on election night‚ just as it became clear the president had won a second term.
The photo, taken by campaign photographer Scout Tufankjian just a few days into the job, pretty much won the internet: 816,000 retweets, the most likes ever on Facebook; thousands of reblogs on Tumblr. And yet it wasn’t chosen by the president’s press secretary, or even a senior-level operative, but by 31-year-old Laura Olin, a social media strategist who’d been up since 4am. For the first time since the campaign ended, she talked to Tumblr, in partnership with The Daily Beast, about what it’s like being the voice of the President — where millions of people, and a ravenous press, await your every grammatical error.
So how does it actually work, being the voice of the President? Who makes the decisions about what to post?
All of our decisions were made in-house — in Chicago, mostly — so we weren’t getting direct directives from the White House or anything. But we tried as much as possible to have voices for each account, so depending on the message — because we had all these channels — we had an appropriate place to put it. Obviously some stuff was sufficiently huge so that it went everywhere, but as much as possible we tried to tailor the message for the channel and the audience.
It must be daunting.
It was kind of terrifying, actually. My team ran the Barack Obama Twitter handle, which I think was probably most susceptible to really embarrassing and silly mistakes. We didn’t ever really have one, which I still can’t believe we pulled off.
Recently released documents reveal that the Department of Homeland Security is keeping tabs on us via our social networks.
According to an internal DHS document released by theElectronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the department and/or a DHS subcontractor is searching social networks like Facebook and Twitter for all kinds of keywords, which are then made into reports about “items of interest” (IOI). The list of terms is HUGE, and according to the blog Animal New York, ”the DHS can also add additional search terms circumstantially as deemed necessary.”
(link via mohandasgandhi)
A few months old, but this piece from the Awl that I must have missed about Twitter (and other social media) and local slang is worth your time.