Tech & The District » Twitter 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 Tiger and Twitter: The Road to Redemption? Fri, 19 Nov 2010 22:37:39 +0000 Ben Breit Nine words. That’s all it took to set the Twitter world abuzz with gossip and speculation. No, it had nothing to do with your friend’s ground-breaking tweet about the sandwich he was eating at that particular moment, nor was it related to your cousin posting a twit-pic of her dog dressed in a Halloween costume – though we have no doubt that Jasper made an adorable lobster.

What we learned Wednesday is that a nine-word tweet is all it takes – when your name is Tiger Woods.

11:40 AM EST, @TigerWoods: What’s up everyone. Finally decided to try out twitter!

Within two hours, he had gained 30,000 additional followers.

Before we delve into this, allow us to offer a little background. Tiger Woods – formerly the #1 golfer in the world – joined Twitter on June 26, 2009. That day, he tweeted three times: one referencing his new Twitter page, one referencing his Facebook page, and one referencing his new website. In the 17 months following, Tiger’s Twitter page had not been updated a single time – until Wednesday, that is.

We’ll spare you the soap opera, but suffice to say that the Tiger Woods we knew in June 2009 is a far different person than the Tiger Woods we know now. You might recall how Tiger handled the initial aftermath. A maddeningly vague post on his website after the car crash, followed by weeks of silence as his mistresses grabbed their 15 minutes of fame one by one. Finally, after more than three months, he came forward to admit his wrongdoing in one of the more anticipated and, ultimately, awkward press conferences in recent memory. But, as we all learned in PR 101, a few months of a feeding frenzy feels more like a few years. The damage was inflicted.

All of which brings us to a fascinating hypothetical: what if Tiger Woods had taken to Twitter sooner? Could social media have saved him?

The short answer is no. Tiger’s transgressions were spectacular enough and the circumstances bizarre enough that he was going to take a sizable hit no matter how he handled it. Still, could he have used Twitter to at least soften the blow and shorten his road to recovery? Absolutely.

Like it or not, Twitter has evolved into a critical tool for crisis communications. With Twitter, you don’t need to worry about getting taken out of context by an overly ambitious journalist. It effectively eliminates the middle man and allows celebrity users the opportunity to quickly and efficiently reach their desired audience. Tiger missed out on a golden opportunity to broadcast his perspective directly to his many thousands of followers, most of whom were already pre-disposed to liking and supporting him.

It is certainly true that the nature of his actions dictated that there was only so much he could have done via social media (or any outlet) to stop the bleeding. But perhaps Twitter could have benefitted him by combating elements of the story that weren’t true. Remember, in addition to his later confirmed affairs, wild rumors and innuendo flew regarding alleged drug use and violations of the law – none of which have been substantiated since. Perhaps he could have utilized social media to issue immediate and forceful denials, set the record straight, and possibly nip some of those stories in the bud.

Rather than at least trying to get out in front of the story and define it on his terms, Tiger let the story define him. In turn, he got swept up in a feeding frenzy for the ages and played a starring role in the most epic fall from grace in decades.  Can Tiger get back to top form personally and athletically. As a Ryder Cup fan, we hope the answer is yes! Only time will tell.

Tiger – welcome to Twitter. If only you had taken to it in November 2009 rather than November 2010…

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Sweets and Tweets Wed, 16 Jun 2010 20:24:31 +0000 Lauren Wilson

White walls fluorescent lighting, sculptures and carefully painted pieces mixed with cupcakes as heavy as a paper weight and the most enthusiastic women in technology meant that last night’s Sweets and Tweets: DC’s Most Influential Women in Technology was not your ordinary social media panel discussion. The Hamiltonian Gallery hosted the event, one of many being held during Digital Capital Week.

Are there enough women in technology? Well, we wouldn’t be gathered in an art gallery, tweeting every word, if women were dominating this field. Sadly, only 3% of tech firms are led by women. Debbie Weil, moderator of the discussion asked if we really need a separate list of Women in Technology and the panelists all agreed that a separate list is essential to identifying where women in technology work and what they do.

The panelists also discussed how to advance in this field, the importance of mentorship and a brief mention of other countries that strongly push for women to have a presence in technology. I left the discussion feeling like I wanted more, which is why I’m anxious to have one of the panelists, Katie Stanton, Special Advisor on Innovation at the U.S. State Department and former Google Product Manager, join us in our Hill & Knowlton studios for a video segment on government and technology. Stay tuned!

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Follow Friday-Peter Corbett Fri, 04 Jun 2010 21:41:06 +0000 Lauren Wilson @corbett3000

Happy Friday!

Welcome to June! Are you planning to attend Digital Capital Week? Digital Capital Week is a ten day festival in Washington, DC that focuses on technology, innovation, and digital activities. To get all the latest news out of Digital Capital Week, follow Peter Corbett, co-producer of the week. Events will take place June 11-20 primarily on George Washington’s campus and at a series of venues in the Washington, DC area.

Peter tweets about Digital Capital Week events, technology news, music and art, and all types of entertaining topics.

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Follow Friday- Peter Svensson Fri, 28 May 2010 16:06:40 +0000 Lauren Wilson @ petersvensson

Happy Friday!

What are your plans for Memorial Day Weekend? Lounge around, lay back by the pool, tweet perhaps? If you’re thinking about following someone new, then you should look into Peter Svensson.  Peter is a technology writer for the Associated Press covering telecommunications and consumer electronics. 

Peter’s tweets give you a taste of news mixed with cynicism.  Peter will tweet about topics ranging from 3D-TV to the smartphone, and he will even make note when he’s ready for lunch. If you want to stay on top of technology trends,  follow @petersvensson.

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Follow Friday – Jenna Wortham Fri, 21 May 2010 18:13:54 +0000 Lindsay Campbell Happy follow Friday fellow Tweeters! On this lovely May afternoon, we recommend you follow a favorite New York Times Bits Blogger, Jenna Wortham aka @jennydeluxe. Jenna, a self-proclaimed nerd, often links to great stories from other tech jounalists and colleagues (@bradstone, @nickbilton and @brianstelter). She also throws in some character and doesn’t make every tweet news related which keeps her page refreshing.

Overall, if you’re look for the latest tech news or some commentary on Lost, Jenna is a good follow.

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Follow Friday- Jason Oxman Fri, 14 May 2010 21:12:04 +0000 Lauren Wilson @joxman

Happy (follow) Friday everyone! A few weeks ago, Hill & Knowlton sat down with the CEA’s (Consumer Electronic Association) Senior Vice President Jason Oxman for our “Tech in 5” video series. Due to some technical mishaps, we no longer have the footage, but we do have some fond memories of our encounter.

We asked Jason about the biggest technology trend at the moment. He informed us that 3D TV is the new hot thing! So get on your glasses and head out to Best Buy to make a purchase! Jason tweets interstesting things about the Consumer Electronics Show, technology news and the activities he’s getting into at the moment. Follow and enjoy!

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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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Follow Friday – Brian Caulfield! Fri, 07 May 2010 20:32:14 +0000 Lindsay Campbell Happy (follow) Friday everyone! Today, we propose that you follow one of our favorite Forbes writers, Brian Caulfield. He is a Senior Technology Writer and often writes articles on the ever-changing tech industry.

So why is he worth the follow? Well for starters, he is pretty hysterical when it comes to animal news. For example he recently tweeted- Ewe have to be joking! Meet Mildred, the surfing sheep But aside from his twitpics of local pups and stories on extremely talented farm animals, he also does a solid job of updating his followers entertained with a wide varitey of industry news. All around, hes a good follow for both a good laugh and a good article to read. Follow and enjoy!

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British Generally Pretty Accessible Election 2010 Fri, 07 May 2010 19:31:01 +0000 duncanburns

As I watch from afar the events in Britain, as our party leaders try and settle on a workable coalition, it’s been fascinating in the last month to see how much more accessible politics has become. Not a particularly bold observation (or new), but from thousands of miles away I’ve been able to vote, follow the developments of the campaign, watch the debates (thank you CSPAN 3), find out the fate of friends standing for election (Congratulations Jo Johnson MP!), enjoy the legendary swingometer and enjoy an election party that took place a pleasant 5 hours behind, so no need for a ridiculously late night.

The analysis and insights from news organizations, colleagues and others I trust has brought me into a race that in previous generations I might have had to wait a month or two to know who won. Now it’s just a day or two till the musical chairs is over.

One last thought for our US readers… UK elections last a month from start to finish. That’s it. If one adjusted that by population for the US, a crude adjustment for sure, imagine US elections that ran for “just” five months. Unrealistic, but perhaps something to ponder on a Friday.

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Follow Friday – Kim Hart Fri, 30 Apr 2010 21:18:17 +0000 Lindsay Campbell Happy Friday fellow tweeters! To spice up your collection, we recommend you follow Kim Hart. She is a former Washington Post reporter who runs a widely respected technology blog, Hillicon Valley.  More recently, we got news that she is joining Politico in May to cover the politics and policy of the technology sector. Kim also has been featured in a Tech in 5 video! Kim is an avid tweeter and great to follow especially for DC locals! Follow and enjoy!

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