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CableFAX Best Websites 2010 – Part I: Twitter

Photo by Niffty.. CC BY-2.0

CableFAX’s Best of the Web awards ceremony is being held in NYC  on 28th April 2010. All commissioners now want to know what the multiplatform/360 degree content will be for any idea you pitch, but it can be hard to think beyond the standard  programme website content of cast photos and biogs.

In this mini-series we’re taking a sneak peak at the Best of the Web nominations to see what’s standing out (and what’s not quite working)  in the current market. Explore the links and see if you can find some inspiration to help you develop your own original multiplatform content ideas.

This week, we’re featuring the sites that make the Best Use of Twitter. For the uninitiated, Twitter allows users to update their followers with their status, which has to be no longer than 140 characters (which is has spawned the term ‘microblogging). You are free to follow anyone, and there are many celebrities happily tweeting away, perhaps most famously Ashton Kutcher @aplusk (who has 4,523,220 followers). The appeal is largely to do with being able to interact with celebrities directly (should they choose to), although there are many imposters and some celebs have their people tweet for them.

Nonetheless it’s a great way for programmes and their hosts/cast members to communicate directly with their fans.

Here are the CableFAX nominations for Best Use of Twitter:

Fuse – Twt-a-palooza/FuzeMusic channel Fuse TV created Twt-a-palooza, an online site that allowed fans of bands playing at Chicago music festival Lollapalooza to interact with their favourite acts via Facebook or Twitter.

National Geographic Channel – On Board Air Force One Twitter Campaign. To launch On Board Air Force One Nat Geo had a Twitter stream that purported to be from the plane itself. The ‘plane’ managed to get 3,000 followers in two weeks.

See also @NatHistoryWhale, which comes from the blue whale suspended from the ceiling in NYC’s Natural History Museum, which currently has  11,773 followers:

  • “It’s the blizzard of 2010! Schools are closed! Kids everywhere are sledding! Once again, I’m stuck to the ceiling. :(“
  • “I am plagued by unrealistic-yet-wondrous dreams of one day returning to my beloved ocean.”
  • “Lots of people talking about my aorta lately, and yes @GCris it’s big enough for a human to crawl through.”

Man vs. Food In this Travel Channel series, foodie Adam Richman travels round the USA searching out the best food – from stomic Hot Wings platter in Pittsburgh to a pizza that weighs more than a new born baby in Atlanta. The @ManvFood Twitter stream has  14,353 followers.

E! – Celebri-Tweet – Back in May 2009, Broadcasting & Cable reported that the celebrity channel E! was looking for celebrity tweeters, whose Twitter streams would be scrolled along the bottom of E!’s programmes;  updates would also feature on the E! Online home page. You can follow @celebritweet on Twitter, but it looks like they don’t post many original tweets are just retweeting celebrity posts. Unfortunately, this activity has only attracted a following of 722 people, which compares poorly with the @eonline (the E! Online twitter stream), which has 2,021,420 followers. On that evidence Celebri-Tweet looks like a bit of a #fail.

Follow me on Twitter at @tvmole.

Don’t forget to check back next week for Part II: Blogs which reveals what happened when AMC, home of hit Mad Men, misunderstood the power of Twitter…


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