Monday, 20 February 2017

Social Media: Contributing to a live event

As part of my social media masters degree course, one of the assignments this semester is to organise a social media 'event'.

I'm looking to contribute to a Facebook live event, which will take place over the course of one week, with the other people in my class.

Each person will go live on social media each day and talk about a different topic, relating to social media.

For my contribution I am looking to focus on the following:

  • Creating a profile/persona on social media focussed primarily on being an activist and political commentator.
  • Ways in which I have increased my prominence, on Twitter in particular, giving some tips as to how this has been achieved.
  • Ways to create more engagement and get the most out of content.
  • Instagram, and how content from Twitter can easily be easily re-hashed on Instagram, through things like posting Twitter post screen shots.
  • Klout score and how this has been of benefit in terms of increasing my prominence on social media.
As most of my contribution would be related to Twitter I would look to present my segment on Twitter 'live', using the Periscope app.

This will also mean I can hopefully get some of my Twitter followers watching, many of which are newly emerging activists, looking to increase the impact they have on social media.

So in a nut shell the main focus of my segment will be: Audience, Engagement and Prominence on social media.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

The importance of having a social media strategy

A few tips and comments on having a strong social media strategy.

This semester as part of my University masters degree in social media, we have started looking at 'social media as practice'.

Straight out of the gate, the key focus has been on having a strategy, and how this is essential for businesses, news outlets, and those wishing to raise their social media profile.

In week one we looked at the BBC's English regions social media strategy from 2012, which begins by presenting the following vision...

This 'vision' appears at the very start of the BBC's strategy, and gives guidance as to what the BBC hopes to achieve on social media.

The 'vision' is for the BBC to produce content on social media, on a daily basis, by BBC journalists and other staff, focussed on the local community (e.g. a social media presence for a local BBC radio station).

I think even as an individual on social media, having a vision as to what you want your presence to look like, and be about, is vital.

I have done a lot of work on my personal Twitter profile in order to increase my prominence on social media among the LGBT+ community.

In terms of a vision for my social media strategy, mine would be...

"To be an advocate for LGBT+ issues, posting daily about topical issues, encouraging engagement, and as a result, increasing my profile as an advocate and political commentator"

I think it's important to have a vision for your social media strategy, it gives you a broad goal to work towards, and helps in terms of sticking to your audience, and posting content which will appeal to that audience.

The BBC, in its strategy talks a lot about individual social media sites and how they should interact with their social media audience, for example they say the following about Twitter...

To me this idea of interaction with those who mention you on social media is vital to not just building, but sustaining a base of loyal followers, who will interact on a weekly, or even daily basis.

If all you're doing is posting endless content each day, people are taking the time to mention you, which in turn gets an @YourProfileHere mention, and you don't bother replying at all, the likelihood is that individual may cease interaction, or even unfollow you.

Of course I'm not talking about the accounts that spam you - For example someone sends you about 10 mentions a day, that of course is over kill, and could be considered bad interaction, and does anybody really have the time to respond to every single mention? (especially from the same person!) - the BBC even mention in their strategy that replies should be to a "manageable proportion" of users.

But if someone does comment on a post to say they agree with a post, or to offer some other insight, taking a few seconds to send a "thank you", can have fantastic benefits for your social media presence.

It may even mean others are more likely to follow, if they can see that the profile has an added element of humanity. I think this is especially important if you're posting on a business account, rather than an account representing yourself as an individual.

You can read more about the BBC and social media strategy at the BBC Academy - Click Here.

Monday, 13 February 2017

George Michael honoured at the GRAMMYs

Pop superstar and LGBT icon George Michael, has been honoured at this years Grammys in Los Angeles, with Adele taking to the stage to perform 'Fastlove', in tribute to the star, who died on Christmas Day last year.

James Corden welcomed Adele on stage to perform and described George Michael's music saying "In times of joy and sorrow, his music was a partner and a friend".

Corden added: "George was an artist like no other. A true original. One of the finest male vocalists of his generation".

Adele was again plagued by problems and had to restart her performance saying "I can't mess this up for him", noticeably fighting back tears she apologised for swearing and asked to start again.

The singer had technical problems during her Grammys performance last year.

The Recording Academy were right behind her, tweeting their support:

Adele had specifically asked the Academy if she could perform the 1990's hit as a tribute to George Michael.

Later she received the award for 'Song of the Year' for 'Hello' and took the opportunity to apologise again, for swearing during her performance (though I honestly don't think anybody cares!).

Adele also took home four other awards, including Record of the Year and Album of the Year.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

BAFTA 2017: The Results

The British Academy Film Awards 2017 have taken place in London tonight with 'La La Land' among the big winners of the night.

Here are the results:

Rising Star Award: Tom Holland

Best British Film: 'I, Daniel Blake'

Best Film: 'La La Land'

Best Actress (in a leading role): Emma Stone for 'La La Land'

Best Actress (in a supporting role): Viola Davis for 'Fences'

Best Actor (in a leading role): Casey Affleck for 'Manchester by the Sea'

Best Actor (in a supporting role): Dev Patel for 'Lion'

Best Foreign Language Film: 'Son of Saul'

Best Director: Damien Chazelle for 'La La Land'

Best Special Visual Effects: 'The Jungle Book'

Best Sound: Arrival

Best Makeup: 'Florence Foster Jenkins'

Best Original Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan for 'Manchester by the Sea'

Best Documentary: '13th'

Best Adapted Screenplay: Luke Davies for 'Lion'

Best Editing: John Gilbert for 'Hacksaw Ridge'

Best Film Music: Justin Hurwitz for 'La La Land'

Best Costume Design: Madeleine Fontaine for 'Jackie'

Best Cinematography: Linus Sandgren for 'La La Land'

Best Production Design: Anna Pinnock and Stuart Craig for 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'

Academy Fellowship Award: Mel Brooks

Review: Hidden Figures

'Hidden Figures' the untold true story, which invites us to meet the women we don't know, behind the mission we do know.

It's based on Margot Lee Shetterly's non-fiction book 'Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race', which became a New York Times bestseller last year.

The book and the film follows three African American women, Mary Jackson, Katherine G. Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan, who worked in various department's at NASA during the 1960's and beyond.

In particular the film is set during the early 1960's, and the United States' Space Race with Russia, to put a man in space.

The parallel that is drawn between the progress of space travel and the fight to make progress during the civil rights movement is excellent.

At times it really pulls at your heart strings, as these three women face barriers and discrimination, not just for being black, but for being women. All three face an uphill battle, but they kept going no matter what, it truly is inspirational to watch.

Katherine Johnson, played by Taraji P Henson, has a number of emotionally charged scenes highlighting the level of discrimination.

The building Johnson worked in didn't have a "coloured" toilet for her to use, so she had to walk half a mile to another building to use the "coloured" restroom, which eventually results in one of the most emotionally driven parts of the film, delivering an emotion you can physically feel.

As someone born in 1991, living in 2017, it's hard to believe that this level of absurdity actually existed, this level of hatred, this level of disgusting abuse, based on the colour of someones skin.

More about the women...

Mary Jackson was a mathematician and aerospace engineer, firstly at the NACA, which became NASA in 1958. She worked for most of her career at Langley Research Centre in Virginia, and after 34 years at NASA earned the most senior engineering title available. She could have been promoted to a supervisor position, but took a demotion in order to work on improving equality at NASA.

Katherine G. Johnson is a physicist and mathematician known for her unmatched accuracy in computerised celestial navigation. She worked at NASA for decades and calculated trajectories, launch windows, and emergency back-up return paths, for many flights for Project Mercury, which included the early John Glenn, and Alan Shepard missions. Johnson went on to work on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the Moon, and the Space Shuttle Program, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2015.

Dorothy Vaughan was a mathematician, who became acting supervisor of the West Area Computers. Vaughan prepared herself for the introduction of machine computers in the 1960's by teaching herself and her staff to programme the computers, she later headed the programming section of the Analysis and Computation Division (ACD) at Langley Research Centre.

Hidden Figures has been nominated for 3 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Octavia Spencer, who played Dorothy Vaughan, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film is also up for an award for Best Adapted Screenplay at tonights BAFTAs (British Academy Film Awards).