Social media = the news

It’s been a bit of a love-hate relationship with me for a long time: social media is really not my thing. You see – I truly, truly detest it when people showboat their achievements all the time as if they have got nothing better to do. I hated it 20 years ago when kids showed their painting to the art teacher in class saying, “it’s really not that good, Mrs McGregor, is it?”… and I hate it when people these days proudly show me how perfect their last Caribbean holiday was, even if I didn’t ask them to. I don’t know what it is that annoys me so much about it. Call it ‘tall poppy’ syndrome if you want – after all, I am Australian.

On the other hand, as a journalist, social media is becoming an important tool for my daily work. It helps me decipher what our readers, viewers and users want to find out about and it is a practical tool to really engage in dialogue with them. And, it can sometimes offer faster-moving news coverage than traditional media.

But these days, the dynamics and so-called ‘trends’ of social media are also becoming noteworthy in and of themselves. For example, when people react with outrage or creativity to a world event (see Charlie Hebdo) or when they all express their opinion on something quickly, en masse.

At DW in early January we decided to have a look at what things were trending online ahead of the Ballon d’Or prize ceremony, which takes place every year in Zurich to decide on the World Footballer of the Year. This was the result of our research:

I actually really enjoyed delving into the social media world to put together this little piece in studio, and I learnt quite a bit from the social media experts at DW. In fact, it even helped me pick a winner for the prize.

But, don’t get me wrong. I haven’t changed my stripes completely: I still don’t care about how great your latest round of muffins came out! Even if you do put a crazy filter on that picture for me.

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