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Using Social Media to Engage in the BP Oil Spill Discussion

Social media and the gulf oil spill

I’m writing this for people who may be interested in the use of social media to “cover” a disaster such as the Gulf oil spill. For those of you who tend to “bounce” from one website to another, here are links to the BP Oil News blog, BP Oil News Twitter feed, BP Oil News Facebook fan page, and BP Oil News Group discussed in this article.  Also, a warning: the next paragraph of this post contains a little personal history which some may find boring. For pure social media talk, skip to the third paragraph. [Read more…]

How to measure influence on Twitter

A lot of people are trying to integrate Twitter into their marketing efforts or political campaigns. But the question arises, what is the best strategy for using Twitter to influence people to buy your product or service, or vote for your candidate? The conventional wisdom about Twitter has been that the more followers a person has, the greater that person’s influence. This belief has been so entrenched that some companies reportedly pay $5,000 to $10,000 to people with large followings (50,000 followers or more) for each tweet that contains a link to the advertiser’s website (pay-per-tweet). But now there’s a new study that says a large following does not equate to large influence. Meeyoung Cha headed a team at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems that studied 2 billion follow links among the 54 million Twitter users (“Tweeple” in Twitter parlance). The result is a study called “The Million Follower Fallacy.” [Read more…]

Crowdsourcing solutions for the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

We’ve got 3 new posts at BPOilNews.com about the use of social media and crowdsourcing to empower the public to help with the oil spill at BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf. The Louisiana Governor’s Homeland Security Department has an active Twitter account (@GOHSEP)that is well-used, and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade is using crowdsourcing to map locations where oil has been observed. At BPOilNews, we were surprised to find ourselves crowdsourcing possible solutions for stopping the oil flow or limiting the damage to shorelines. [Read more…]

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