Interesting how an article with such low quality can be posted on one of the bigger Swedish Newspapers. This clearly shows that traditional media has a poor understanding how social media works. It also shows the eagerness from traditional media to down-play the importance of social-media by releasing negative articles like these.
The aim of the article written on SvD was as a response to the recent employment of several social-media experts. The reporter wanted to test if there was a social-media presence from our Swedish politicians. The reporter decided to narrow down his research to one social media. The research that followed on Twitter was of very poor quality.
The reporter begins his research by starting up a completely new account on twitter. This new account he does not even take the effort to fill out completely. NO bio and NO picture. He continues by spamming out one message each to every politician on his list (81) within 3 hrs. The spam is only inter-punctuated by a few small tweets which the reporter probably believes are normal for Twitter:
Uppe med solen 12:06 PM Jan 20th from web
Tycker att det får räcka med snö nu 12:16 PM Jan 20th from web
Har ätit en god lunch med polarna 12:11 PM Jan 20th from web
Testar testar 12:27 PM Jan 20th from web
Haha 12:36 PM Jan 20th from web
Twitter ist fantastic 12:36 PM Jan 20th from web
tebax efter sen lunch 2:21 PM Jan 20th from web
mörkret faller, men vi går mot ljusare tider 2:31 PM Jan 20th from web
Lite tam riksdagsdebatt eller vad säger ni? 2:42 PM Jan 20th from web
Hej och hå teknikproblem 2:48 PM Jan 20th from web
Stopp på tuben 4:02 PM Jan 20th from web
På väg hem 3:07 PM Jan 20th from web
Börjar tröttna på survädret 3:06 PM Jan 20th from web
The only thing to notice here is the reporters poor understanding of what people tweet, the fact that the SvD reporter counts being up at 12pm as “waking up with the sun” and that they apparently eat lunch twice at SvD:)
The list of politicians on Twitter that the reporters use contains 81 people, some of these not updated in a VERY LONG time!
E.g. last tweet: Jun 1st, 2009, May 27th, 2009, May 31st, 2009 <- not sure why he expects a reply from DEAD accounts.
He still sends these accounts a message to get his statistics inflated a bit. He later in the body adds his definition of an active account which he sets as active within the last month(!) Real-time social-media activity dies a lot quicker then that. When he subtracts his definition of dead accounts he ends up with 59 “active” politicians.
A revised conclusion for the “research” done by SvD’s reporter.
13/59 replied to a “spam account” with no bio or picture. Seeing that it was obviously not a voter with serious questions I believe the reporter should be happy with the response rate, especially when those 59 accounts are adjusted to only the ‘real’ active accounts instead of including all updated within the last month. For those 13 politicians who actively took the time to write a response the questions asked the reporter didn’t even reply back and thank them.
Social media is about discussion, don’t claim someone doesn’t know it if you clearly don’t know it either!