Jul 30, 2012

Most Tweeted London Olympics 2012 Event

As the 2012 Olympics event in London currently develops, reports on the ongoing events are posted live on social media networks especially Twitter. Those who seek updates on the latest results turn to Twitter to keep informed on the individual competitions. Because Twitter uses hashtags to categorize tweets according to topics and events, it is easy to get Twitter followers to keep track the outcome from various athletic matches in the Olympics.

Before the 2012 Olympics officially opened on July 27, 2012, announcements were focused on the ceremonies and general pre-assessments of the games. Now that the competitions are already transpiring, individual hashtags on each event have been put up. The number of followers and tweets on each event hashtag depends on the popularity of the respective games. It is common in every Olympic event that there are favorite key events and gymnastics and swimming competitions are among them.

On the first day of swimming competition itself, there were over one million tweets already and the figure is expected to go up to the last day of the event and even up to the time when medals will be awarded. These tweets however are collated all over the world, which means that every country has contributed to the total number of posts. From the charts published on the internet, it is apparent that United States Twitter users have posted the most updates in swimming events. This could be attributed to the fact that Michael Phelps, an American swimmer, figured as top contender in the last Olympics swimming events four years ago, hence most Americans are now all eyes on his performance in the 2012 competitions.

Next to swimming as favorite Olympics event is gymnastics. Men and women who vie for the medals in this event participate in various categories such as women’s vault, men’s vault, men’s horizontal bar, men and women’s all around tournament and the most popular category which is the free floor exercises. Another most watched event is track and field where European and American contenders usually come strongest.

With the days rolling by, the two-week 2012 Olympics in London will certainly enjoy more publicity through Twitter as medal count progresses among the top athletes. Currently, predictions on who shall dominate every event are already trending on the said social media network. Some people say these tweets are too early and preemptive of the actual results and they might influence judges’ decisions. However Olympics officials assure that no advance publicities on the results of the games will ever affect the decisions of the judges because there are technicalities to be followed.

Since Twitter often gets drawn into controversies with regard to baseless tweets from its users, such as Twitter follower rampage about NBC not showing a live coverage on the opening ceremony, the Olympics committee must have set strict guidelines on the judges and athletes. This could mean that they may have been disallowed to engage in social media interactions during the events. It can be considered a wise move, actually, and even if there is no such regulation set by the officials, every athlete and event judge must take it upon themselves to not mind media opinion on the events. As it should be, they must focus on the Olympic events while it is taking place to avoid unnecessary distractions. 

Jul 26, 2012

2012 Olympics: Greece’s Papachristou is Out

Twitter lets people say what’s on their mind quickly in 140 characters. There have been many times that controversial tweets were posted on the site that made some buzz online. Adding to the list is Voula Papachristou, a Greek triple jumper. The 23-year old athlete tweeted about the growing number of African immigrants in her country, which a lot of people found racist. Here’s what Papachristou posted on her Twitter account:

@papaxristoutj: With so many Africans in Greece … at least the West Nile mosquitos will eat homemade food!!!” Aside from this, she posted a comment made by Ilias Kasidiaris, a Greek politician, regarding the lenient policy of the country’s government when it comes to immigration.

Voula Papachristou

Reaction and Apologies

Papachristou’s post received comments and responses from several people who were offended by her tweet. She didn’t reply immediately to any of them until after a few days. She issued an apology on her account telling that she didn’t mean to offend anyone. Here’s the exact tweet she posted:

“I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.”

The controversial post reached the Hellenic Olympic Committee, who deliberated the issue and even consulted with some of the members of the Parliament of their country.  The said committee is the Olympics Federation of Greece. The verdict, Papachristou was removed from Greece’s Olympic team. She was preparing in Athens to compete for the London Olympics 2012 and was about to go there in a week to represent the country when the decision to evict her from the team was made.

Reason for Removing Papachristou from the Team

Aside from the racial issues on the tweet, the committee didn’t want any problems with the anti-racism groups that may show their protests on the game, if Papachristou was still in their team. The sponsors for the country’s team for the Olympics may not like this and may cost them their support. Because of the financial challenges that the economy of the country had been facing, corporate sponsors made possible the funding for Greece’s Olympics team. According to the official statement released by the Committee, Papachristou was removed from the Olympics team of Greece because of her tweets, which opposed the Olympic movement’s ideas and values.

Papachristou may have been sorry for her remarks but it was too late. It already cost her the chance to join in the biggest sports competition of the year. The Olympics is considered the biggest event for athletes. This is what every sportsman dreams of as it serves as the pinnacle of their career. Joining the Olympics does not only give them the chance to be known in their field of sports, but most importantly, they will be able to represent their country and bring pride and glory to their nation. Words when written or spoken cannot be taken back. So everyone must be careful with what they say or write, especially on popular sites like Twitter, as this may backfire on them. 

Jul 25, 2012

Google Panda 3.9 Update Released, Are You Keeping Calm?

Here’s the sweetest breaking news today for webmasters and site owners out there:

Google is all set to open up the vaults again and install Panda 3.9 updates to the algorithm. The schedule says “later tonight”, the 24th of July as revealed by an official tweet.  In this time of writing, the update is currently happening.

The Panda update was officially rolled out last in February of 2011 and Google has been incrementally refreshing its search algorithms as supplements to the initial update done last year. The SEO community has been counting tabs and now we’re on the 3.9 refresh.

Sentiments Vary

We’ve got our finger on the pulse of the web developers and the SEO community as a whole regarding this statement released by Google. 

Tonight the web is silent. There’s nary a sound to be heard except for the occasional hush about the announcement which have already spread throughout the search communities and put everyone vigilant.

Many websites who have been hit by the previous Panda and Penguin algorithmic changes, who have suffered de-indexing and lower rankings as well as a deep dive of plunging traffic flow of website visitors. Businesses and livelihoods build for many years have been toppled over like a house of cards, completely demolished. Cries of foul rang all over the internet including the premise that Google is out to destroy the SEO industry.

History aside, many who’ve been hit decided to look for ways to build everything from the ground straight up of what’s left of their businesses and site rankings. Webmasters and site owners have done extensive research about the nature and the target to these lovable updates, adapting strategies and correcting previous mistakes they’ve deliberately or unknowingly did in the past.

So in this current snapshot, people are trying to get back their glory pre-update. Now, just a month after the last Panda update, not counting the Penguin updates, we’re in for another wave again. Will it crumple the efforts people have done like paper? Or will it prove to be a reinforcing encouragement that websites are finally cut and shaped the way the search God want it?

“There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne.” The words of Selena in the movie The Dark Knight Rises reminds me of the calm this evening. Is it the kind of calm at the beginning of a storm?  

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Jul 24, 2012

How Small Businesses Can Go Beyond Branding Failure and Social Media Fear

No matter how ubiquitous the use of social media is and how entities like Forbes encourage its adaptation and use in business, it cannot be denied that many organizations are still fearful about the whole social shebang. The reluctance lies on the leaders and managers of these companies. According to the current Social Readiness Assessment by Gartner, business leaders are divided between the social media ready and the social media challenged. This attitude spreads to small business owners and managers too.
Note: Clicking the link above will take you to the assessment to find out if you’re social ready or getting there.
The assessment categorizes 6 attitudes leaders take towards social – Fusing, Forging, Formulating (being the three positive attitudes), Flippant, Fearful, and Folly (being the three negative attitudes). Executives and managers don’t consider social media as folly with only 1% responding it to be so, however, 35% of them feel fearful towards social media.

So Many Examples Of Fail That Leaders Are Threatened

Business executives and managers don’t want to be like the brands that failed big-time in social media and became a worldwide, internet laughstock. They’d rather embrace being a wallflower than risk a marketing misstep in the form of a social media error and lay that failure bare for the whole internet to see. They feel it would be very difficult to recover their brand image and reputation after that.
Their minds are littered with so many real-life instances of huge brands having social media “fail” moments that it masks the positive role of social media in marketing and brand building. Most organization heads still view social media as a threat – a threat to employee productivity, company security, privacy, management authority, and/or regulatory compliance.

The Danger in Fear

The feeling of being fearful towards social media, of being threatened by it, brings a particular trouble to many organizations and businesses big and small. More often than not, companies that take a fearful attitude towards social media don’t take a specific stance – they brush off the marketing strategy or set it aside while they’re yet to make up their minds while discouraging and going to great lengths as prohibiting its use by employees in the office.
Now while this approach greatly reduces the chances of leaks and undesirable behavior, it also hugely mutes any business value obtained from engaging in social media.

What Social Media Marketing Really Is

The willingness of small businesses to forego the positive results of social media in branding and marketing, their fearful reluctance to adapt social media strategies in marketing can be overcome by getting back on track and putting on a clearer head on the issue.
A lot of the confusion that ultimately leads to fear stems from the concept that social media is advertising. While that may be true, it holds a very small part in the whole bucket. Social media is first and foremost PUBLIC RELATIONS.
The power that drives a social media marketing strategy and/or tactic is the people. Without understanding people, any social strategy adapted by any company is deemed to fail. Getting Twitter followers, Facebook fans, YouTube views and other social communities is just half the story. The other half is the most essential part and that is, connecting with these people.

Jul 20, 2012

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