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Holy Tweet!

His holiness will be learning a new language, he announced today. This new language? Twitter.

Pope Benedict XVI announced his official personal twitter account today, under the name @Pontifex.

“It’s going to be a challenge to find the appropriate language to produce a sweet, short message and to learn the fluency of the language,” said Monsignor Paul Tighe, an Irish priest who is the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications according to the Christian Science Monitor.

San Francisco-based Twitter wrote an excited blog post about acquiring a holy member to their dance card called “Welcome, Pope Benedict XVI!”  Twitter’s Manager of Social Innovation Diaz-Ortiz wrote,

“Perhaps not surprisingly, we see a very high level of engagement with religious and spiritual content.”

According to Twitter’s website, The Vatican will give people a a chance to ask questions using the hashtag #AskPontifex while the Vatican staff will answer in a live  tweet starting Dec. 12.

Cool with me. I have a lot of questions for the big guy upstairs.

According to Bloomberg News, the Pope is not estranged from new technology.

His holiness used an iPad to tweet a non-personal Vatican account message: “Dear Friends, I just launched Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.”

The 85-year-old already surpassed 200,000 followers in his first several hours of existence, but no holy tweets yet. Probs still talking to God.

Obsessed With Innovation

VentureBeat writers are obsessed with innovation. Healthy or not, it’s an obsession that rings relevant to the heart of the San Francisco and at bay with tech’s finest. How could we at SJSU’s Mag Club not visit?

Conceived by San Jose Mercury News reporter Matt Marshall, VentureBeat covers the tech, people and money that innovate our lives. On the forefront of the tech news cycle, Venturebeat’s tech-savvy journalists allowed us SJSU media students to join the obsessive conversation in their small, humble offices where we had the pleasure of speaking with Executive Editor Dylan Tweney and Senior Editor Heather Kelly .

An unlikely sight in tech, VB is comprised mostly of women writers and editors. Geek-chic staffers Heather Kelly and writer Jolie O’ Dell coined the term “Pink-collared”  when referring to the small staff. On the ball, VentureBeat’s Jennifer Van Grove was responsible for revealing Twitter’s secret offer for Instagram that made Facebook pay $1B.

Editors make a conscience effort  to make shareable headlines that will attract clicks. Following a story posting, they retreat headlines to make it twitter and google search-friendly. For instance, they will make a headline read “Facebook IPO Zuckerberg” as opposed to “Zuckerberg Earns Facebook’s IPO On A Grand Scale.” While it may seem awkward, it’s definitely an effective sneak tactic. But more than SEO, Tweney advocates readability as a must-have. “Readability always trumps SEO. You can’t go wrong with read-friendly material.”

As far as community management, Tweney admits they need more engagement. But, close-fetched dreams aside, the team is in good direction with eventual hopes of breaking into more lifestyle and entertainment-based content. “I’d like to show how we live better with technology.” And, I’d say they have a good chance since seeing exploding responses from stories such as SNL’s hilarious club-hopping character Stefon who now has a Yelp account. While it’s not hard news, the staff’s quirky writing voices make for a promising broader obsessing-spectrum.
Big thanks to the VentureBeat team for hosting us!

VB Quick Stats (Averages):

  • Staff of 20
  • 12-hour news day
  • 40 stories a day
  • 4 or 5 stories a person
  • Postings till about 7 or 8 p.m.

 Tweney’s advice for young, prospective obsessors:

  • Be aware that first impressions are important when communicating through initial emails.
  • Show reporting experience. Working on a school newspaper is a plus.
  • Don’t include too many links of your work, but just use between three and five of your most relevant work.
  • Always following up.
  • Show you can write things fast. “I push people really hard at first to gage what they can do best. I like timing people” Tweney says.


A Social Business Plan for Tory Burch Brand & Foundation

In this weeks Social Media class, us students presented our semester-long social business plans for the brand of choice. Seeing a deficit in fashion designer Tory Burch’s social business plan, our group chose to take on the challenge of improving her presence as well as that of her foundation The Tory Burch Foundation. With measurements and content, we built this model utilizing the various social business practices from that of the class and professor Michael Brito. Hope you enjoy viewing it as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Search. Measure. Succeed.

Graced with the Skype presence of Hootsuite University Director Kristen Bailey (@6oz), our Social Business class learned from her the various uses this social media platform. Furthermore, we went over ways to not only attract customers but also measuring it.

Hootsuite is a social media-multitasker’s dream. With tools like geocode searching, Klout score measurement and list management, I saw first-hand how Hootsuite is more than just a multi-viewing network deck. One tool I found interesting was the ability to find local tweeters. Bailey used the example for the upcoming SXSW Festival. With so many #SXSW hashtags, it’s hard to narrow down the search to those relevant to a particular purpose. So, Bailey displayed a way to filter through the discussion and find people on the ground. Using the geocode tool, just copy your coordinates from Google Maps’ land marker and paste them into Hootsuite’s geocode. This is a good way to find people who are near you to find out what’s going on around you geographically. It also presents potential networking opportunities by tweeting those local to you to schedule meet-ups.

Google Search Terms. Two search tools I found most interesting came from Google and Hootsuite. A valuable way to find detailed measurements in by going to Google keyword tools and entering relevant search terms. This will display what people are looking for so that a brand can know what to include in their SEO and which content should be expanded or avoided.

Social Omnipresence. Professor and Author Michael Brito stressed the necessary capability to utilize each vertical with unique presence. “Do not recycle the same content,” Brito said. Instead of spamming with marketing messages, each vertical should contain one-to-one conversations that are appropriate for each social network. Likewise, his book Smart Business Social Business‘ fourth chapters notes the importance of having multiple people hold leverage to each vertical as a mechanism to accomplish social omnipresence.




In this week’s Social Media course, I learned about brands that have succeeded in reaching their customer base with both affirmation and promptness. Standout brands including the Brooks Brothers took time to personalize tweets and responses. One student shared his positive experience with a full-on dialogue with the Brooks Brothers brand over his purchase and his Valentine’s plans. They even referred to him by his personal name and included brand-relative terms and adjectives such as “daper.” This brand proved affective in going above and beyond the generic responses. Without knowing him, the impression proved so lasting that there has been a positive chain of reactions across twitter which can only benefit the brand. More brands should definitely use this as a model to create successful dialogue with their consumers and think about the domino affect it has on perspective customers.

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