Archive for the ‘Richard Dalke’ Category.

Open Journalism: the benefits of collaboration


Sky and the BBC have recently been in the news for restricting their journalists’ use of social media. The BBC released guidelines encouraging employees not to break news stories on Twitter while Sky’s new social media guidelines advise against sharing stories from anyone other than their own employees.

Both have been criticised for such policies. Cutting such an important communications tool out of the news gathering process is surely to miss a trick. There’s a wealth of timely and rich content shared on social media. Using social in the media can be contentious – and should be handled with care to avoid disseminating inaccurate or unverified information, from a legal perspective and also to protect the news brand. However, such restrictive practices have caused some people to question whether news content that doesn’t embrace social will become boring and outdated.

The Guardian has taken a very different approach and recently kicked off its ‘Open Journalism’ campaign. The campaign which aims make journalism more collaborative, kicked off with a punchy video. This highlights nicely, how we expect to consume information from different sources and the benefits of a more collaborative multi-channel approach. The video entitled ‘Guardian open journalism: Three Little Pigs advert‘ has been released on YouTube and illustrates the efforts that The Guardian is making to integrate social media in order to present a structured, reliable and more comprehensive source of information.

The Three Little Pigs is a great demonstration of how user generated content can enhance news stories. It just goes to show what organisations will miss out on if they are over-cautious approach. Some industries operate in such a strictly regulated environment that they have to be cautious. However those that see restricting social media as an easier option may find that view short sighted. If time is taken to manage potential risks social media could provide increased benefit for both the organisation and its audience.

The Guardian has a reputation for digital innovation. It’s too early to say how successful its Open Journalism initiative will be, but, The Guardian certainly seems to be working to embrace and adapt to the change social media represents rather than trying to ignore it.

And they do say that fortune favours the brave.

A guide to measuring Twitter (using the API)


There are lots of tools emerging that appear to give us wonderful statistics and data about Twitter, but it’s hard to know which data we actually want and how we want to receive it.

As Twitter’s API has been undergoing a few changes recently, we thought it would be useful to give you an overview of the information that you can still get from the platform itself, as well as providing some guidance on the best way to measure the data.

The four main data types on Twitter are:

  • User data - relates to the user who posted the message.
  • Friend and follower data - relates to the relationship a user has to other users.
  • Tweet data - all the details and content relating to a particular tweet.
  • Places and Geographic data - the geographic and location based aspects relating to a person or tweet.

There are also four main measurements that we can use to measure this data in order to understand the impact of the activity on Twitter:

  • Impressions - aggregated users exposed to messages.
  • Reach - number of unique users exposed to a message.
  • Frequency - number of times each unique user reached is exposed to a message.
  • Relevancy - reach to specific demographics.

When it comes to the ROI of these messages, it’s important to think about how they compare to your other channels in terms of reach and impressions.

Take a look at the presentation below - we hope it helps to reveal some of the Twitter data you can access through the API and ways in which you might go about measuring it.

View more presentations from FreshNetworks

The #Londonriots and social justice


London riot social media

Courtesy of hozinja via flickr

The role of social media in the current riots across London and the UK has been mixed. Twitter, in particular, has had a lot of bad press due to reports that it allegedly played a part in inciting trouble. Unfortunately it’s a medium of communication to a mass audience and due to its public and searchable nature it is having the finger pointed at it for adding fuel to the fire. As social media is highly effective for bringing together groups of people to a common agenda, it has been deployed considerably over the past few days, BUT with a strong base using it for good rather than bad. 

In June we wrote about the Stanley Cup hockey riots in Canada, and how the sheer outrage of the local communities that were affected resulted in a mass ‘naming and shaming’ exercise on Facebook. Angry people were happy to call people out on contributing to the distressing and damaging events that rocked their city in spite of the relative transparency that doing so would result in (as tagging a person tells them that you have tagged them.)

If we look at social networks and break them down to their raw characteristics (scalable, persistent, replicable and searchable)  they are perfect for disseminating information to a large group of people. In my opinion, over time,  social media will play more of a positive role than a negative one in the riots.

I wanted to highlight the ways in which social networks have been and could be used to bring some justice to the bad things that have happened in the riots:

  • Social networks for up to date news - mainstream news has its advantages over social networks for reliability and accuracy but social networks are direct forms of communication and you can very quickly find out what is going on, what areas in London to avoid and the difference in the opinions surrounding events, which allows you to make your own mind up about what is going on. There is a lot of speculation about whether the police were monitoring Twitter to find out more real time information. I would be inclined to believe they are but there is a lot of speculation about this: London riots: How social media real-time monitoring could have helped police, Met needs to start engaging better with Twitter rather than blame it for riots
  • Social networks for identifying culprits - people who are stupid enough to post pictures of themselves, allow their picture to be taken or be involved in the riots should be caught, and in a similar way to the Canadian hockey riots communities are moving towards getting justice by identifying the culprits in leveraging the critical mass that social networks have. See for instance:, catch a looter,  Self posting on Twitter
  • Social networks for rebuilding communities - after the devastating mess that the rioters have left throughout affected communities in London and the UK people are already leveraging social media to arrange clean-up events across the country: residents using twitter to arrange a clean-up, Secret cinema are arranging clean-ups all over the country and even more residents organising clean-ups.

Ultimately social media has had both a negative and a positive effect in this situation but it’s clear that it is very powerful and ultimately it comes down to how people want to use it and what information they want to communicate.

Social media case study: the Stanley Cup hockey riots


Image courtesy of pixdaus

When the Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks and became winners of the Stanley Cup earlier this month no-one expected social media to help resolve the violent riots that broke out on the Canadian streets.

As one journalist aptly described it:

“Watching the post-Stanley Cup apocalypse was like staring at a car wreck. It was hard not to look. Hard not to get enraged at the burning, breaking, looting, violence and mayhem perpetrated by the worst kind of brainless, destructive losers.” Robert Marshall, Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

For the last 15 years or so there have been a lot of riots in Canada caused by the hockey. However, this year, Canadian citizens had enough and decided to take it upon themselves to name and shame the alleged perpetrators and the most successful way of achieving this has been social media.

The use of social media sparked off when the mayor of Vancouver requested that any information on the riots and the people involved should be passed forward to the police.  Ever since then, a number of blogs and Facebook groups have been very active, with lots of angry citizens posting pictures and tagging the rioters that they recognise. There are already upwards of 100,000 people on some of these Facebook sites and according to various sources over 2,000 pictures of rioters have been posted.

So why have the Stanley cup hockey riots resulted in such a successful use of social media? The reasons that social media has been so effective in this situation is because:

  1. It is great for bringing a  group of people together around a common agenda (catching rioters that have trashed their community).
  2. People are really engaged when they are contributing to a good cause.
  3. It bridges different social circles - in this case, using social connections to extend the reach of the photos increases the chances of someone being able to identify a rioter.
  4. Functionality is simple to use yet effective - you only need to tag photos.
  5. It happens very quickly and it was a very cost effective medium for reaching a large audience.

There has been some criticism about whether its right to use social media for this activity - some people have criticised the various online groups because they have turned social media into a surveillance tool as opposed to a communications tool. The public ‘name and shame’ element has also been treated with reproach because of the potential to erode communities offline.

While I definitely disagree with using  social media in a “big brother” type fashion, photos and video footage would be used to identify people anyway and given the nature of the situation I think that it’s a very effective example of how social media charactaristics can an existing task more efficient.

What do you think?

Articles relating to the riots and involvement of social media for helping identify potential perpetrators:

  • Vancouver riots: The shame and the blame spread online
  • Go get ‘em, Vancouver Hockey rioters deserve jail
  • Vancouver: Riots after Canucks’ Stanley Cup defeat

What are your social media photo rights? Image T&Cs examined


What are your social media photo rights?It’s always an area that has little transparency, who actually owns the rights to our images once we upload them to social networks? Could I end up seeing one of my photos all over the web, in the papers or on TV? It’s a common question that’s asked when we run our social media strategy sessions with clients.

Steps to retaining the copyright of your content

First, determine whether sharing an image is a bad thing. Sometimes, an image being viewed many times can be good for your personal and professional brand image. However, if you want to protect yourself:

  1. Understand the rules of the site you use (they change often)
  2. Avoid posting pictures that you’re particularly ‘protective’ over
  3. Delete or export any content that you don’t want shared if it’s on a network that could distribute it (see a great post by The Next Web for more information on this)
  4. Be selective with your privacy settings and licensing selections
  5. Use sites like TinEye to see if your images are being shared where they shouldn’t be.

Kathy E Gill from Media Shift compiled a great list of the terms and conditions relating to photo usage on most social media sites. It’s a great resource for seeing the relevant information side by side and identifying which platforms could take credit for the photos that you create. (She also wrote a great blog post covering this in more detail)

So who are the good, the bad and the ugly in the world of photography rights?

Retain most rights:

“You retain full copyright of any original content that you send us. By posting to Posterous, you’re granting us a license to distribute your content on this site.”

Your images are licensed for use on Posterous but you retain how they are distributed.

flickr (by Yahoo!)
“Photos and/or images found on Yahoo! Images or Flickr are the property of the users that posted them. Yahoo! cannot grant permission to use third party content. Please contact the user directly.”

As long as you control your licensing settings you can limit use to Yahoo! properties.

yFrog (by ImageShack)

“The content that you distribute through the ImageShack Network is owned by you, and you give ImageShack permission to display and distribute said content exclusively on the ImageShack Network.”

After the Twitpic cotroversy, ImageShack have reversed their policy to give you more rights and limit the use to the ImageShack network.

Publicity / partner sharing:

Picasa (by Google)

“You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”

This distribution of your content is also extended to the Google Partners, of which there are many!


“Instagram does NOT claim ANY ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, applications, or any other materials.”

However any content that is shared publicly can be used by Instagram for their promotion across any media.

Limited rights / sublicensing:

All of the following services have some form of ‘sub-licensable’ rights:


“You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings.”


“However, by submitting Content to Twitpic, you hereby grant Twitpic a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and Twitpic’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service.”


“Subscriber shall own all Subscriber Content that Subscriber contributes to the Site, but hereby grants and agrees to grant Tumblr a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, transferable right and license (with the right to sublicense), to use, copy, cache, publish, display, distribute, modify, create derivative works and store such Subscriber Content and to allow others to do so (“Content License”) in order to provide the Services.”


“By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed)”

All the statements about terms and conditions of the various photo sharing sites in this post are my own interpretation. Please visit the terms and conditions of the relevant site to view the official statements.