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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday Twitter: Leavitt Leaves It, AIM 2-Ways, and Anthem BCBS?

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Leavitt Leaves It

I'm surprised every week at the flurry of news having to do with how sports and Twitter are intermingling (and often fighting). This week has South Florida's Jim Leavitt quitting Twitter:
Leavitt has decided to quit in part because he found out a few of his players were tweeting on the way to and even in the locker room before Saturday's game against Wofford. Carlton Mitchell was updating his Twitter feed during the rain delay before kickoff.

"It just seems like something they probably shouldn't do," Leavitt told the Times. "I'm not going to use Twitter anymore. ... If I'm going to ask my players not to probably do it during that time, I'm just going to stop. My twittering days are over. .. .That's it for me, and hopefully it is at certain times for other players. We'll see."
Again, we're dealing with the advance warning, the threat that someone might let someone slip. And as I've said before, restrictions like that are in place because not every Twitter user is the brightest bulb in the bunch. Honestly, I'm mildly surprised that there hasn't been a college or professional sports team that's made the news because of a firing based on dumping extra-secret information at a very wrong time.

While it may be unfortunate for fans and a little extreme in my view, Leavitt is at least walking the walk well before he talks the talk to his team.

AIM on the 2-Way, and I Don't Mean Cincinnati Chili and Noodles

I can't say that this is huge news, but as someone who has been a Trillian addict for years now, I'm a little detached from what each IM client has been doing individually. Here's the skinny: in July, AIM upgraded their service to include Twitter and Facebook feeds. The rub? You could only read the feed, not update through the interface. Why anyone would release a service at half o'clock is beyond me. But they did go ahead and implement that pesky extra stuff everyone was asking for a week or two ago. And now you can update Twitter and Facebook through AIM.

As I may have already mentioned: just get Trillian.


To avoid confusion, please allow me to begin by stating that the annotative context of the article lies here:
Currently, Anthem is piloting a program in which it uses Twitter to identify members who may have questions or concerns about their health benefits. Twitter allows Anthem to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, real time conversation, and respond to each tweet about Anthem. Members can follow Anthem on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AnthemHealth.
Okay, that's a notable item. Additionally, they have a Facebook fan page to implement discussions and a YouTube channel to ...channel their expertise and advice.

The Twitter and Facebook pieces make me somewhat nervous when talking about health care. I'm guessing that ABCBS has some generally knowledgeable folks in charge of owning their conversation online (though you may question that after the next paragraph), but there are a bevvy of folks on both Twitter and Facebook that do not understand either how to use the services or how visible their personal use can be. And then one angry woman does an @AnthemHealth Tweet about why they won't pick up the cost of [enter embarrassing personal surgery here] and wonders why her tweet is on a dozen schadenfreude websites and people have stopped following her.

Oh, don't change that channel! We've got one more level!

Because this if from Reuters we can assume it is a published news release - verbatim - from Anthem ("SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin"). And that's where the connotative nature of this article reveals itself.
Not just for teens anymore - social networking and media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are being used by adults to interact with their friends, families and to gain information.
I know. It's like listening to your mother karaoke "Baby Got Back." The most recent research on Twitter showed teens are much more a minority user than previously assumed. But even at that level of media ignorance, language assuming Twitter as EVAR a huge teen/tween phenomenon pushes past a n00b label to "You do not now - nor have you ever - understood what this is about. Please stop embarrassing yourself, leave, and self-educate."

Wait. More?
Anthem is also launching a brand channel on YouTube (www.youtube.com/AnthemHealthConnects) to create a vital and viral community around health and wellness.
Oh, and your uncle dials up "I Will Survive." Just because you have a YouTube channel does not mean that you are doing anything viral. Yes, YouTube videos can go viral, but it is generally because it is something nasty, sick, painful, heroic, incredibly annoying, or unbelievable. I'm guessing Anthem's professional and informational outlook would prevent them from anything that had the potential of going viral.

My biggest hope about this article is that it was not written with the advice or input of the team that is heading up this social media expansion, and that the author just doesn't get it (not that that says much for their collaborative organization). If not, then Anthem might want to brace for a very serious Epic Fail.

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