The New York Times reports on its website today that a hacker claims to have accessed internal documents from Twitter that indicate the company’s expected growth: reaching 350 million users by 2011, and ultimately becoming the first Web service to claim a billion users. And to think, your news director still doesn’t “get it.”
Here’s what I’d tell you if I was your coach: forget out of touch managers and change-resistant reporters (remember all the bitching about going nonlinear?) and make sure you are actively participating in a platform that could quadruple in size by next year (to 100 million users, according to the hacker, identified as “Hacker Croll” (he’s always been reliable, hasn’t he?).
Need more incentive?
Gordon Borrell, writing on his Borrell Associates Blog, says follow the money: Local Ads Moving to Social Networks. “We just did an assessment of advertising placed on social networking sites and were surprised to find that nearly 20% of all ad spending is by local businesses,” Borrell reports. It total numbers, it’s not big. But the trend is important. In fact, Borrell says watch Facebook, where 74% of ad revenues are from local businesses.
TVNewsday Editor Harry Jessell’s been having some very interesting conversations of late, and this one is worth a look: Save Stations with Programming, Retrans. The interview, with John Tupper, owner of FOX affiliate KNDX-KXND/Minot-Bismarck, ND, makes the case that it’s not the economy killing stations, and it’s not even the internet. Tupper, who’s chair of the FOX affiliate group, goes old-school: It’s the Content, Stupid.
I recently signed on as a freelancer at The Daily Beast, and in addition to the appropriate tax forms and payment info, I received a one-sheet entitled, Tips for Going Viral. Now, if you hit this site with any regularity, you know I’m all about the links and all about spreading content around. The Beast’s advice is nothing new, but worth repeating: link, link, link. Add RSS feeds of your stories to your personal website. Post links on Facebook. And yes, use Twitter.
Since by now I have hopefully convinced you TwitterResisters to abandon all hope and enter the world of tweets and mini-URLs, check out Patrick Thornton’s Leaderboard post on BeatBlogging.org. The focus is on live tweeting, which Thornton describes, naturally, as “the cousin of live blogging.” (You never did get to live blogging? Oh, what am I going to do with you?) If you need a brush-up on hashtags, retweets and embedded Twitter feeds, check out the post, and gain the wisdom of Tracie Mauriello at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Nick Martin at Heat City.