Time magazine’s 2011 person of the year was the protestor, and rightly so. Protests erupted all across the world in 2011, and a vast majority of these protests emerged from ordinary people mobilizing supporters on the Internet for their cause. It is only the second month of 2012, and I already sense this is going to be another big year for the protestor, especially the Internet protestor. In January, an Internet protest of anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA garnered so much attention and support that both bills were shelved. Last week, another massive Internet protest emerged following reports the nonprofit organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure was cutting off hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to another nonprofit organization, Planned Parenthood. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter played a huge role in both protests, thus cementing my belief they are not only here to stay, but they are also some of the most influential channels that exist in the world today.

For the purpose of this analysis, I focused on some of the application tools Twitter offers the everyday user to help me gain insight into the most recent Internet protest against the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization. The 3 tools I found most useful were Twitter Search, Twendz and Twitterfall.

Twitter Search is the application tool from which most other Twitter tools steal their power. It allows the user to search for any user he or she is interested in finding as well as view any tweets directed at the specific user. Additionally, users can search topics and hashtags to find out what users everywhere are talking about with regards to the topic or hashtag. The only downside to the tool is the oldest tweets users can view are only a week old. Still, the simplicity from which this application runs makes it the most user friendly tool on Twitter. Twitter users only need to log into their Twitter account and view their home page to utilize this tool. It is located on the upper-right hand corner of the page, and users simply type in what they are interested in searching and hit enter. For this analysis, I made multiple searches including: Planned Parenthood, Komen for the Cure, Nancy G. Brinker and Karen Handel. I also searched by their respective Twitter user names as well as some hashtags. Overall, each of my searches alerted me to many different people’s feelings regarding the incident, links to informational articles on the incident and a broad idea of the overall perceptions of each of these people or organizations involved in the incident.

Twendz was another tremendously useful tool for me. It uses the power of Twitter Search to monitor, measure and analyze searches. This is a more extensive and complicated version of Twitter Search and a key tool for marketing professionals. Similarly to Twitter Search, Twendz allows the user to search any topic, user or hashtag he or she so desires. The difference is Twendz evaluates the tweets as they come in monitoring, measuring and analyzing not only what people are talking about, but their emotional reactions. Twendz is a fantastic tool to help manage a brand as it determines the brand’s impact and the factors that influence it. One problem I had with it was in order to get more out of the tool a user must subscribe to the WE trendz pro™ service. I definitely would not have a problem with this if I was managing a major brand. In fact, I would suggest large companies and organizations such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood to utilize this tool in order to not only get a comprehensive idea of what people think about their brand, but to manage the brand by connecting with users.

Lastly, Twitterfall was a useful tool in researching this incident because it provided me a geographical filter for what people were saying in my area. It works similarly to the previous tools. The user simply adds a search, or searches. Users can view multiple searches at a time and assign a specific color to distinguish between the searches. The tool allows the user to change settings for the speed, fall size, language, text size and whether the user wishes to view retweets. One of its most useful elements, however, is the geolocation tool which allows users to narrow tweets within a set radius or particular location. This would be especially useful for journalists that wish to report on what people are talking about in a particular area, in my case, I could specify Mankato, Minnesota.

After utilizing these three tools, I identified two specific issues I would emphasize in a news round-up. First, I would detail the tremendous impact this incident had on both Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood. Amidst both sides of the controversy, everybody agreed that the incident significantly impacted both brands and as a result their support. How it impacted each organization is something readers on both sides of the spectrum are interested in reading. Returning to my beginning statement, the second issue I would address would be the influence of the Internet protest. I would specifically outline how this incident developed and why it is important for businesses and organizations to be consciously aware of the influence social media sites have in today’s world. In short, I would detail why today’s audience is more aware than ever before.

Advertisements