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Thoughts on Public Relations, Communications, Social Media, Sports and anything else in my life…

Social Media or Bust…Part 3

Micro-blogging

I felt it only natural to transition from my last blog post on blogging to micro-blogging and explain some of the ideas surrounding it. So, what’s difference between the two? Funny you should ask!

 

The best way I can differentiate the two would be that blogging is done on a hosted webpage that you create and includes a process of planning a writing to shed light on a topic or to educate readers on a topic. Blogs also enable two-way communication by allowing others to comment directly to the post, generating an online discussion. Micro-blogging is about shortening posts and quickly sending text, links, files, photos and videos to a network of your “followers”. Micro-blogs are particularly useful to update people on the status of someone or something.

 

I know there is much more to both than I explained but for the sake of brevity, I came up with that crude explanation.

Now, there are many tools for micro-blogging, but the main ones I’m aware of are: Twitter, Pownce, Tumblr, Jaiku and Hictu. Each has its own specialization, for example, Hictu is a video micro-blogging platform. Tumblr and Jaiku are capable of  text, file, link and photo sharing, while Twitter only allows text and links to be posted. Though I haven’t fully explored the other four, I am somewhat familiar with Twitter.

 

Ahh, Twitter

Twitter is one of the most widely used micro-blogging platforms right now due to its simplicity. According to its website, users need only answer one question: What are you doing? In 140 characters or less, you say whatever you like for your “followers” to read, allowing them to remain updated on you and your activities. Simple, huh?

Another cool feature of Twitter is the many ways of updating your status. You are able to update via your cell phone, instant messengers, your logged-in homepage, m.twitter.com and any third party application. I use the third party application, Twhirl. It offers every feature one needs to use Twitter, and is customizable for your taste.

 

 I’ve only been using Twitter now for about a month, but I’ve fallen completely in love with it. I have read some of the best web content pertaining to social media and public relations through posts by Twitterers in my network. I’ve even used it to pose questions and receive helpful feedback. Just this week, I found out about BlogOrlando through Twitter and then sent out an invitation for any Twitterers/bloggers in Tampa to join me in attending.

 

That being said, I find it especially important to note some very serious, yet amazing uses of Twitter:

  • Victims of the torrential flooding in Iowa were able to update family members, community members, media and the general public about minute to minute situations during the flooding. Visit IowaFlood to check it out.
  • Those affected by the Southern California wildfires were “tweeting” about the locations of the fires, current situations and anything people should know about the fires. Check out this article about Twitter’s use during this.

As for other uses of Twitter, I have come up with these:

  • Posing questions to colleagues
  • Collaborative thinking
  • Status updating
  • Linking to great blog posts and news articles
  • Practicing concise copywriting
  • Breaking news updates
  • Informal office intranet
  • News pitching
  • Job posting
  • Etc.

That is all I’m able to come up with right now. But as you can see, the opportunities for using Twitter are endless. You need to experience Twitter in order to get the full effect of its capabilties. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that if you gave Twitter a try, you’d get hooked. Just take a look around you, everybody’s in the Twitterverse! You can even follow me if you like–@natefuller.

 

What are your thoughts on Twitter? What value do you find in it? What other uses can you come up with for Twitter?

 

So, What ARE you doing?

Filed under: Internal Communication, Social Media, Toolkit, Writing

Travelling Lighter

According to an article published in the New York Times today, airlines are creatively seeking ways to make their fleets operate more efficiently. By grounding older jets and taking better care of the newer jets, the airlines are beginning to see a decline in fuel expenses. That being said, the airline industry collectively is expected to spend a little more than $61 billion on fuel this year.

Tim McGraw, Northwest Airlines’ director of corporate environment and safety programs explained that the industry has begun to look inside the cabin of the airplane in order to improve efficiency. They are replacing passenger seats with models that are five pounds lighter as well as flight attendant carts that are nearly 17 pounds lighter. McGraw said that Nortwest was also reducing the amount of water they carry for faucets and toilets on international flights by 25% because most planes return with more than half of their water tanks full.

Aside from lightening the load, airlines realized that by pressure washing the engines of the planes routinely would reduce the amount of drag and allow them to save more fuel.

I think it’s about time, especially amid the rising airfare (and baggage) costs, that the airlines begin seeking out these creative ways to cut costs. Because the need to reduce fuel costs is so high, they have opened up the floor to any and all suggestions from their employees. They aren’t just relying on the engineers to come up with fuel-saving techniques, but allowing others with valuable input to join the discussion.

I love to see functioning communication models. (Or at least an effort to facilitate one!)

Filed under: Internal Communication

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