The Dangers of the RT social media

Normally at this point I’d apologise for the lack of updates but one, I’m pretty sure I have like, one follower and two, I’m not sure long form blogging works for me.

So I’m using the last few minutes of my lunch hour and the first few minutes of my working hours to write a little blog about the dangers of the retweet.

Before lunch, I witnessed an employee of a certain charity, who tweets in a work capacity (charity name in the username and all), retweeting a debate she was a part of. She then tweeted something I disagreed with. Rather foolishly I decided to engage with her, even though the inevitable consequence would happen. She retweeted my disagreement. I had no interest in debating the stream of followers who then leapt on me. I wanted to debate her. As a representative of her charity. She was the one I disagreed with. Thankfully my lifestyle (vegetarianism) wasn’t too different from theirs and we all reached a reasonable middle ground. But I shouldn’t have had to have placated her followers when trying to engage with her as an employee.

Now when you’re tweeting as an individual, you can retweet that git you don’t agree with and that’s fine, that’s entirely your right and I dare say something we all sign on for when we use Twitter. We put our opinions out there. The "problem" is, your followers are likely to agree with you. I mean, that’s why they follow you in the first place. That’s a hell of assumption I agree but still, it’s not an entirely unreasonable one especially if you have a branded account.

Recently I was involved in an incident where my thoughts got retweeted and I was bombarded by aggressive & abusive tweets. For a hour I tried to debate them but it was futile. In the end I deleted a lot of it, blocked them and temporary turned off my account. The guy who retweeted me exposed me to his following (several times larger) and promptly crushed me. It was totally his right to do so (his personal account), but it wasn’t a great debate I tell ya. It’s impossible to debate a half dozen angry people who are pissed off because something you said was taken entirely out of context of the conversation you’re having with someone. God help the person who makes a misjudged comment or a mistake (cough, me, cough). It was awful and I felt like I’d just taking a kicking from a half dozen people. That’s the other problem with retweeting a segment of the debate. People will only see that one negative point in isolation and they will flay you for it.

If you’re presenting yourself as an employee on twitter, the rules are different. Or should be different. You’re engaging with a customer, a supporter, a complaint waiting to happen, someone who you’re trying to convert. You have a responsibility to your company to behave in accordance with your handbook. If you wouldn’t expose someone you meant on the street to this, why is it okay on Twitter? I want to engage with you as an employee, not you and all of your followers.

Finally, I get Twitter is about debating and engagements and so on, but don’t be an ass about it. Engage, hold your corner, and for crying out loud, if you’re an employee of a company and you’re tweeting to engage people:

1 – It’s okay to have debates and engagement with people on Twitter, even if it’s difficult.
2 – However consider asking permission before retweeting if you know you’ll potentially inflame things (I know, it’s so alien to twitter, but it seems some people’s judgement sucks). At least try and give some context of the debate alongside your RT.
3 – When I ask for your charity’s social media policy you better be able to present it! Having a half dozen of your charity’s employees using branded accounts without a policy is not wise.

I suspect I’m way, way off here, but I’m really only focused on employees tweeting. Individuals can be gits all they want.


The value of good content

So I put this together based on the great media being generated by everyone from the marathon yesterday. Professional photos will only get you so far! Long and short of it is, encourage everyone inside and outside your organisation to tweet and you’ll get to put together stuff like this!


[View the story “Team Macmillan – Virgin London Marathon 2012” on Storify]

all the Kony blogs

I rather foolishly shared the Kony 2012 video going around. I’d heard of Invisible Children back when I was interning with the APPG and had liked some of their work. Unfortunately it transpires Invisible Children may be funding the Ugandan army, which has a spotty record re human rights. Thanks to Jude for opening my eyes on that one.

Anyway, have a read

At least they’re raising awareness right? Well, if you raise awareness & support for a group that may make things worse, was the awareness all that good?

This is not an new issue. It’s been going on for years and it’s far too complex to compress down to a 30 minute video.

Social media lends itself to trendy campaigns where people can buy things or sit down in places and do the “bare minimum”. Well, if you really want to affect real change, it takes money and it takes a lot of hard, grinding work.

May I Pinterrupt?

I have to admit, I got pretty bored of Pinterest for my own use quite quickly. I am slightly more amused by the male versions that have popped up, but it’s still more effort than I’m willing to go to. It doesn’t help there’s no Android app.

That said, I think it’s brilliant for organisations and I’m loving what UNICEF has done for theirs. I’ve already used it at Macmillan to spotlight some of our more photogenic events and I’m hoping everyone will pitch in to add content. The single pin uploading thing is frustratingly slow – if anyone knows a way around this, please let me know.

Also, thanks to our wonderful Creative team, Macmillan’s social media presence finally looks like it belongs in this decade (see our Twitter). While we debated the loss of the info we had on there, it was pretty obvious that until brand pages roll out (or maybe not even then) no one looks at twitter backgrounds. So we may as well go minimalist. It’s also great that an organisation with an insane number of accounts has a standard set of imagery to work from.

I’m working on launching FB timeline soon once we get around the whole destruction of landing tabs things. Quite excited, especially as we’re so close to a 100,000 users, which isn’t bad considering we’ve only used FB advertising for a small percentage of that.

I’ll link it when it’s good and ready.


So the old theme for this blog was starting to look tired, so I’ve given it a slick new look and a wonderful background image of a sunset over Battersea.


I welcome people’s thoughts.


Now, if only I could get my private personal blog up and running, as opposed to this, my public one!

Shoddy service from

Oh dear. Another case of bad customer service for my blog.

Having ordered a pair of audio-technica ON3 I've found the fit to be absolutely rubbish. Which is a shame because the audio quality is pretty good. I'm quite a fan of the brand too. But these silly headphones can either extend OR swivel …not both. Which means a comfortable fit for someone with a decent sized noggin is impossible. Surely that must be faulty. have refused to return them due to hygiene. At this point I should state they're entirely external headphones that just sit on the outside of the ear.  Hmm. Not quite in-ear.

They also charge a restocking fee, which is illegal.

I've been told to play around with and adjust the headphones for a better fit. Well that isn't going to make them wider now is it?

Think they shall be receiving a phone call next week assuming I can find a telephone number.

They're no Amazon that's for sure!