The new director of BBC Global News has mandated that journalists working under him either "get with the social media program or get out." Socialmediatoday reports that he told the Guardian, "This isn’t just a kind of fad… I’m afraid you’re not doing your job if you can’t do those things. It’s not discretionary.”
More specifically, the Guardian report says that:
"Aggregating and curating content with attribution should become part of a BBC journalist’s assignment; and BBC’s journalists have to integrate and listen to feedback for a better understanding of how the audience is relating to the BBC brand.
Horrocks, formerly head of the BBC’s multimedia newsroom, finds clear words for it: ‘If you don’t like it, if you think that level of change or that different way of working isn’t right for me, then go and do something else, because it’s going to happen. You’re not going to be able to stop it.'" (Emphasis added).
Anyone think that the section emphasized above will only apply to the media field? Me neither. And even if it does, major media organizations shifting their models to account for social media means two things: first, that they've seen the writing on the wall for traditional aggregation and distribution models and, second, that anyone who's hoping to keep up with events relevant to their industry in this age of information overload would do well to follow where the most trusted names in media are leading.
Where would a discussion of social media be without Twitter? Billboard reports that Twitter's traffic increased some 8 percent from December to January. The 73.5 million unique visitors it drew in January means the company "can boast year-over-year growth of more than 1,000%, as it had only 6 million unique visitors in January of last year."
Look around you.
The only other thing still expanding in this economy is bonuses for bankers, and even they're nowhere near 1,000 percent gains in a single year. The only place that Twitter—and the rest of the major social networking tools—are going is deeper and deeper into our psyche and culture.
If you're not sure where to start in the social media realm, sign up for an account with both of the tools listed here: they're free, after all, and require you to invest nothing more than a little bit of your own time. From there, do some digging. If you're interested in what the tools can do for your business, check out what your competitors are doing. Google some best practice tips. Above all else, get involved: that's what all these tools are there for, and you can't start getting anything back from them until you put something in. So go on: you have nothing to lose but your inhibitions.
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Phil Stott is a staff writer at Vault.com in New York. Originally from Scotland, he has also lived and worked in Japan, South Korea and Eastern Europe. He holds an MA in English Literature and Modern History, and a Masters in Research in Civil Engineering, both from the University of Dundee.
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