Tech & The District » Facebook Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 Do Americans Still Get Their News From Traditional Media? Thu, 16 Sep 2010 16:52:23 +0000 Lauren Wilson Newspapers, broadcast media, radio— Are these tools still relevant when it comes to receiving daily news updates? Some argue that traditional media is dead and claim that we’ve moved away from this forum to gravitate towards online media and social media to receive our news.  According to a recent Washington Post article, which discusses findings from a PEW Study called, traditional media is still holding its weight alongside online media.

The article highlights that Americans spend on average 57 minutes getting their news from TV, newspapers, or radio; just as they did in 2000. Can you believe that?  In fact, we spend an additional 13 minutes each day consuming news on the Web. The only thing that has really changed is that Americans have more immediate access to news than ever before.

Where do you get your news from and why? Is it from broadcast, newspapers, radio, Twitter or Facebook? Feel free to comment and let us know!

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PoliTwitch! Fri, 07 May 2010 20:36:39 +0000 Lauren Wilson

Last Night I attended PoliTwitch!: Public Relations and Politics in the Age of Social Media hosted by Mopwater PR + Media Notes.

On the panel:

•Peter Cherukuri, Huffington Post-DC Bureau Manager
Mark Preston, CNN-Political Editor
Patrick Gavin, Politico-Staff Writer
•Rachna Choudhry, National Partnership for Women & Families-Policy Manager
Jackie Kucinich, Roll Call-Staff Writer

Theme: How social media and new media technologies have influenced news making.

I’ve been to a thousand and one of these panel discussions with top notch journalists usually saying about the same thing. The discussion typically focuses on how Facebook and Twitter are changing/revolutionizing how we receive news. For the first time, I witnessed a group of panelists crush this notion. While social media has impacted the discourse in politics and has advanced issues such as the Tea Party Movement and Haitian relief efforts, last night’s panelists believed that social media was still at its infant stages and by no means the way these journalists receive leads on news stories.

Patrick Gavin, Politico’s staff writer remarked that journalists are still not sure how big of a deal social media is and that most reporters don’t pay attention to comments on a blog. Interesting, I disagree. I think most journalists KNOW that social media is a big deal, considering many are asked to blog in addition to writing print stories and many journalists have twitter pages. I think what Patrick meant was that many journalists aren’t sure how to use social media as a platform in creating their own news stories.

On Twitter— These panelists were right on when they said that “you’re getting the message out to a room full of your friends.” You choose who you follow which lends itself to a bubble of followers. Jackie Kucinich from Roll Call gave an example that Republicans are tweeting to Republicans and they aren’t getting their message out to other groups who they want to influence, i.e Independents or Democrats. When used correctly, Twitter can be successful in building yourself as a brand. However, it is much easier to be a candidate than an elected official using Twitter. There is no filter when it comes to twitter and tweets aren’t fact checked. Some politicians have accidentally disclosed sensitive/private information on Twitter without their press secretaries in sight which has gotten them into trouble on a National level.

All and all, did I learn something new? –Yes! I learned that there are 123 Republican Congressman on Twitter and only 61 Democrats. But really, most importantly I learned that not all journalists think the same way about social media. Some think social media is at its “infant stages”, some think social media is becoming traditional media, and others are over social media all together.

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FTC Updates Endorsement Regs to Address Social Media Tue, 06 Oct 2009 15:44:56 +0000 Vanessa Truskey Today the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recognized the growing influence of social media on the consumer by introducing new regulations aimed at bloggers who review products and provide testimonials.  According to the New York Times, these bloggers must now disclose any connection with advertisers, including if they’ve received free products or payment from the advertisers whose products they are reviewing.  This will also apply to celebrities.  Ad Age reports that violators could be fined up to $11,000 and could be held liable for false statements, including those made on Twitter or Facebook.

This seems to be a huge win for the consumer:  no more misleading reviews from bloggers whom they consider to be objective third parties.  And while it may plug a revenue stream bloggers came to rely on, in a way, it’s a win for them as well.  It is recognition of their growing influence, something many bloggers have fought for and struck out on their own to prove.

 Tech & The District readers should know that we’ve been abiding by this disclosure regulation since the inception of this blog.  (I’m sad to report we are not flooded with free products or payments for our statements – but that’s why we’ve been objective all along.)   I’m proud to work for a company that has outlined such clear, mutually-agreed-upon social media principles which included right from the beginning a full disclosure of our client links.  You can read all H&K guidelines here – the same guidelines which received kudos from ZDNet’s Sam Diaz  just last week. 

It will be interesting to see how the FTC enforces these new regulations.  In the interest of continuing our disclosures, we did host Sam Diaz for lunch while he was at the Washington Post, but we made him work for that lunch, so it doesn’t count as payment, right?  Just shows the importance of openness and transparency when working on the web.

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Antitrust & Tech 2: The Sequel? Wed, 10 Jun 2009 14:26:51 +0000 Vanessa Truskey The editors at “Tech & The District” are always striving to bring you the best thinking from a variety of perspectives at Hill & Knowlton.  Thus, we are proud to present the second of what we hope to be many guest blog posts from our colleagues in the DC office.  This perspective comes from H&K’s Mitchell Derman, a vice president in the Corporate Practice.  As always, we welcome your comments.  Enjoy! -Vanessa

Antitrust & Tech 2:  The Sequel?

By Mitchell Derman

 The year was 1995.  We were probably in a Web .50 world when the Internet was just starting to become a platform for day-to-day communications and information.  Microsoft was about to launch its most anticipated operating system with Windows 95.  At the same time, Microsoft was drawn into a legal and perception battle related to antitrust issues.  Microsoft was consistently chastised by competitors, media and the government for alleged monopolistic, anti-competitive behavior. 

The large issue centered primarily on the integration of the Internet Explorer browser with the operating system. Remember Netscape.  At the time, that company probably had about 95 percent of the browser market.  My oh my, have times changed.  When it came to antitrust, the pundits questioned the validity of laws and regulations created during the industrial age. 

Flash forward to 2009.  Google is now perceived by many as the monopolist and Microsoft is on the other side of the argument.  How ironic is that?  Interestingly, Google often makes the claim that they are one click away from obsolescence.  That may be a stretch; however, with Facebook having 200 million members, this certainly is not far from reality.  But it also begs the same question as 14 years ago. Are the current antitrust laws modern enough to deal with the challenges of a Web 2.0 world?  Companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple and others are certainly being tested as the Department of Justice has started an inquiry about collusion related to recruiting talent.  See Washington Post article.

The pundits certainly can debate the legalities of this policy debate. In the meantime some lessons learned from Microsoft’s experience in the 1990s:

  • Engage key stakeholders across the policy spectrum – locally and in Washington
  • Be more modest about how you message your business objectives – being too aggressive could be perceived negatively
  • Educate your employees about what is said in e-mail; I believe the Microsoft case was one of the first instances where e-mails proved to be a smoking gun
  • Educate consumers about the benefits you are delivering with lower prices and more innovation.
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Baidu is Chinese for Google Mon, 20 Oct 2008 10:14:00 +0000 Chad Torbin I sat down with Lynn Fong and some members of H&K’s China Digital team last week for an interesting discussion on social-media in China. When thinking about social media, I myself often over look how user-behaviors influence the landscapes differently from country-to-country. Maybe it’s just that I love writing obnoxious comments on my friend’s Facebook walls that I simply assume everyone else does too?

Popular U.S. companies that come to China such as Facebook, Amazon and Google don’t always do quite as well here since it’s extremely hard for them to localize their platforms which were originally designed with U.S. social behaviors in mind. Take the example of search. Chinese don’t differentiate between paid and non-paid search the same way we do in the U.S. For some in the US, you’d rather throw your computer out the window than click on one of the paid-for, “sponsored links” on the right side of our Google search query. The typical Chinese user however see’s both sets of results, paid and non-paid, as helpful. The Chinese equivalent to Google is Baidu, which we do represent as an agency on some levels. Baidu is designed to search and highlight both sets of results equally whereas Google in China still separates the two as if one had the plague and one was helpful. So if you’re wondering why everyone in China doesn’t just use Google, the answer is that local versions understand the local behaviors better and have designed their platforms with themselves in mind.

If you’re interested in exploring social-media in China in a bit more detail, Lynn’s team has created a great digital library of stats and information accessible internally by H&K staff only by clicking on this link: URL:

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