You are being watched.


Only the paranoid survive. Even the paranoid have enemies. And the list of paranoid quotes goes on.

Within the last 18 hours, I’ve had two experiences with twitter that are worth sharing. If only for twitter bragging rights.

Firstly, whilst ABC1’s Media Watch was shown last night – what I considered a long “advertorial” piece about tablet devices and their impending saviour status for newsprint. I tweeted:

Someone should #mediawatch#mediawatch for 15 minutes of "Apple iPad" advertisement. NOT F***KING HAPPY MARK SCOTT

Within an hour, the host of Media Watch, Jonathan Holmes, responded:

@NickHodge ah! U work for Microsoft! Wondered why u were SO upset!

Oops, sprung. Well almost. My twitter bio is clear about my employer. As I had already responded to the iPad shills, I responded similarly to Jonathan. The ABC must be above spruiking products; it is a part of their editorial policy. I will admit that my tweet is tainted with the perspective of my present employer: for sure; no-one is truly independent from their source of income. But I do expect all commercial organisations: including Microsoft, to be treated equally in terms of publicity on our ABC.

A thankyou, Jonathan, for being concerned about your show and looking at “the stream of conversation.” This shows you care.

Second incident. Only a few hours later, in response to Tony Abbott appearing on ABC TV’s Q and A: a promising TV show that has fallen below my expectations. Tony, in response to a questions on Catholisism mentioned that another leader, Kristina Keneally – the NSW Premier, being not so harangued about her faith. My tweet:

ooh, @KKeneally is at least a serious Catholic as @TonyAbbottMHR ..#opusdei !!!

Very early this morning, 5:47am Sydney time, the Premier responded:

@NickHodge hi Nick this is an old and false rumour. I’ve never been a member of opus dei. My area of interest is feminist theology. Cheers

Oops, sprung again. My response to her was a public, hopefully graceful mea culpa. I doubt that I would vote ALP in the next State election – but that fact that Ms Keneally took time out to respond to mine – and other questions on twitter shows a level of care. And she spelt rumours correctly.

So, two famous people responded to my rather cheeky, specious and snarky tweets. In both cases, apart from the individual tweets these people do not know me. Nor the somewhat satirical/childish nature of my tweets.

In the context of “social media” for organisations – can personally responding to individual tweets like mine scale? Whilst NSW has 6 million residents, only 4000 follow her on twitter. If twitter goes mainstream like Facebook, one could expect a Premier of NSW to have up to 2 million followers (30% of Australians are on Facebook) . No one, magical person can respond to them all.

Here at Microsoft in Australia, a few product groups have been experimenting with social media monitoring tools. Watching the conversations, and responding where appropriate in a formal way. This also involves an escalation process for response to queries that include PR, Customer Service and Evangelism. I know of other organisations doing similar for their products and services – Internode, for instance.

So, be careful out there. You are being watched. And if your comment is not satirical, hopefully responded to. Personally.

5 thoughts on “You are being watched.”

  1. it’s big in the US, has been growing for a while. But it’s still pretty new to the media and politicians here in Australia. I don’t really get it myself, but the younger generation thrive on it, future voters and media consumers.

Comments are closed.