Content, SEO and social media news: weekly round-up

Welcome to the first in our new series of weekly round-ups. Every Friday we’ll publish a summary of what’s been happening in the content, SEO and social media industries.

#Kony2012

The scoop:

The biggest social media/ viral marketing story of recent days, #Kony2012 is an online campaign by the activist group Invisible Children, which aims to expose the crimes of Ugandan guerrilla leader Joseph Kony, and pressure international forces into capturing him. At the hub of the campaign is a half-hour video designed to “make Kony famous” and lead to his arrest. Kony’s crimes include abducting 60,000 children over the past 20 years, and protecting himself with an army of child soldiers.

Our viewpoint:

We’re torn on this one.

The campaign has certainly been successful in achieving its first aim to “make Kony famous”. Invisible Children’s Facebook page has nearly 2.5 million ‘likes’, and #Kony2012 has been trending on Twitter since Tuesday. The original Kony 2012 video has been watched over 52 million times on YouTube. As social media storms go, this one has been massive. Most of us can only dream of such results.

The success of the second aim – for Kony to be “arrested” – is a lot more controversial, because AFRICOM, the U.S.  military’s African command, has been pursuing Kony since 2008, with the deployment of troops to central Africa as recently as October 2011 to help regional forces capture Kony. The Kony 2012 video has been widely criticised for being overly simplistic and encouraging action that has already been taken. You can read Invisible Children’s defence of the many criticisms levelled at its social media strategy here.

Twitter to sell archived tweets to businesses

The scoop:

Twitter has teamed up with UK company Datasift to offer a new service to corporate customers, whereby the content of tweets from the past 2 years can be searched and analysed for market research purposes. “Historical tweets” can be analysed for content and context – such as whether a positive or negative tone was used, and location data will also be made available.

Our viewpoint:

Rather predictably, the privacy campaigners are up in arms, claiming it’s unreasonable to expose users’ past tweets. Gus Hosein, executive director of Privacy International, said that people have been using Twitter “in the belief that their tweets will quickly disappear into the ether”, but this is not the case in reality. Countless people, from company employees to celebrities, have been publicly exposed for saying the wrong thing on Twitter.

Social content has always needed to be approached with care. It doesn’t matter when it was published: the minute a piece of content goes online it’s in the public domain, and that’s not going to change, irrespective of how much time passes. In the meantime, Twitter needs to generate revenue, and companies are always looking for ways to learn more about their customers. The company’s partnership with Datasift could represent a win-win in this respect.

List of Top 22 PR bloggers released

The scoop:

PR agency 10 Yetis has, in a demonstration of its own skills, released a list of the Top 22 PR bloggers. The bloggers featured on the 10 Yetis list were extrapolated from the Advertising Age Power 150 global blog ranking.

Our viewpoint:

It’s actually pretty handy to have a UK-only list of top PR bloggers. Maybe we’ll take the hint and put a list together of the top blogs in our industry. Watch this space!