Twitter’s Breaking Down The DM Wall & Journalists Gain An Advantage

Millions and millions of people use Twitter every single day, including journalists. An important feature of this social media site, the Direct Message (DM), Cision explains, is getting an improvement.

Before, only users that “follow” each other on the site could send direct messages to one another, but users can now accepts DMs from users that they don’t follow. These messages are private from the rest of the Twitter world and are only seen within a user’s personal account.

This new feature of the DM could prove to be a huge benefit for journalists in need of sources. Some tipsters prefer to be anonymous, but this proves to be difficult if they are tweeting out to the public about a tip, but now they can send personal DMs to a specific journalist that they wish to tip off.

Brian Stelter, Television and Digital Media Writer for The New York Times, is one of the first journalists to sign up for this feature. On October15, he tweeted out to his more than 200,000 followers:

“I’m going to treat Direct Messages like they’re anonymous tips — so if you send me something sensitive or secretive, I won’t I.D. you.”

Stelter also allows people to email or call him with news tips, but using Twitter as an option will give him access to more sources.

While users can opt-out of this new feature and continue to receive direct messages from only those that they follow, users of certain professions, like journalists, may want to take advantage of Twitter’s new feature rollout. In this digital age and the age of getting breaking news fast, Twitter sources can prove to be a very useful source for writers.

Would you feel comfortable sending a news tip to a journalist using Twitter? What do you think about journalists using sources that they got from Twitter? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

Posted in Online Privacy, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

NYSE Runs First Mock IPO Ever, For Twitter

Rehearsals and practices aren’t just for musicals and sports teams. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) held a practice on Saturday, October 26 for Twitter’s upcoming IPO.

This is the first time the NYSE has ever rehearsed for a company’s initial public offering, proving to the world what everyone already knew: This IPO is set to be huge.

Twitter reaches an extremely large audience and touches countries all over the world. It is currently a private company, but this is about to change, as the company is rumored to begin selling shares on the New York Stock Exchange within the next month.

This is not the first large-scale company to go public, but it is the first time the NYSE has decided to do a trial run of the IPO. Perhaps it knows something the rest of the country doesn’t. Either way, the day Twitter shares go on sale, the NYSE will surely have one of its busiest days ever.

This trial fun was full-scale. There wasn’t simply one or two associates involved, but the whole organization participated in order to prepare for the upcoming IPO day. It was taken seriously, with NYSE workers acting as if the IPO was actually occurring at that moment.

Why do you think the NYSE decided to practice for Twitter’s IPO? Do you think this truly will be a hectic day for the NYSE? Let me know in the comments below.

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

Posted in IPO, Twitter | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Interns Ruin It For Future Interns: Condé Nast Edition

The magazine industry is hard enough for college graduates to jump into, but it just got a little bit harder.

Unpaid internships have become somewhat of a norm in the journalism and communications industry, but some interns are just unable to accept that. A couple of former Condé Nast unpaid interns are among that group and they decided to take their anger and sue Condé Nast. The top magazine company decided to altogether cancel its internship program because of it.

The whole point of internships are to learn what one does and does not like about a specific career or industry, to gain experience in her field of interest and to network with those already in established positions within that field. If the internship is paid, that is simply icing on top of the necessary cake.

With magazine jobs few-and-far between, having internships on a resume puts a job applicant in the lead compared to applicants that do not. Unfortunately, it is getting harder for college students to participate in internships because upset unpaid interns are complaining that they are doing a lot of work for no money.

Some companies are deciding to start paying their interns (woohoo!), but others, like Condé Nast, are simply canceling their programs and not hiring any interns (boo!). In such a competitive field, aspiring magazine journalists need every chance they can get and former interns complaining about money are ruining it for them.

Internships may be work, but they are not jobs. Interns may be “hired,” but they are not employees. Industry connections and story bylines are all the payment interns should need, but apparently this isn’t the case for the upset few ruining it for the eager plenty.

If an intern doesn’t want an unpaid internship, then they simply shouldn’t apply for one. They shouldn’t go through with the whole internship, which they themselves applied for and accepted, and then complain about it in the form of a lawsuit.

Pay your dues as an intern, then you can fight for your salary when you get that first job position because you will have the prior industry experience to back it up.

What do you think about unpaid internships? Do you think they should be gotten rid of or taken advantage of? Let me know in the comments below

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

Posted in Condé Nast, Internships | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Best Reason To Let An Employee Go: They’re Not ‘BuzzFeedy Enough’ (Sorry, Fired Copyranter!)

BuzzFeed fired Mark Duffy, known as Copyranter, recently and his audience wasn’t exactly sure why. Until Duffy posted the reason on his Facebook page that is.

“[M]y content wasn’t inline with what BuzzFeed wanted (wasn’t ‘BuzzFeedy’ enough),” wrote Duffy on his Facebook wall for all to see.

The BuzzFeed website is known for its funny lists and viral posts, but it also held the Copyranter blog, which was a collection of posts written by Duffy that poked fun at different advertisements going around.

Copyranter Screenshot

A look at the Copyranter page on BuzzFeed on Oct. 20, 2013.

These posts garnered anywhere from 15 to 150 comments and beyond, but apparently this wasn’t enough for attention-hungry BuzzFeed. Whether Duffy’s reason is the actual reason for his firing or not, the outcome still holds true: Duffy is being let go from BuzzFeed.

While a new “Copyranter” might fill his shoes, some of his audience may not be so inclined to check out postings from a newcomer. No worries for BuzzFeed, though, because it still has a whole site full of nostalgic or comical posts for readers to check out.

Do you think not creating “BuzzFeedy enough” content was a good reason for Duffy to get fired? What’s your favorite thing to read on BuzzFeed? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

Posted in BuzzFeed, Facebook, Fired | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Transparency Isn’t Just For Journalists & T-Mobile Agrees

No matter what industry one is involved in, transparency is almost always the best way to go where clients are concerned. T-Mobile, as opposed to other cellphone carriers, has learned this.

Four pairs of jeans? Check. Nine shirts? check. Three pairs of shoes? Check. All personal essentials? Check. Bought international cellphone plan? Nope, not if you’re a T-Mobile subscriber.

T-Mobile International Plan

T-Mobile’s website homepage advertises its new international plan.

While the main cellphone carriers, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, all charge incredibly-high-priced date and cellphone plans for international use, T-Mobile recently announced that starting next month its users will get free texts and date internationally included in their plans. For international calls, subscribers can sign up for the minimum one-month plan of $30.

Most people assume that the reason they are paying so much for international cellphone use is because it is a necessary cost and that it is expensive for their service provider, but this T-Mobile announcement acts to dispute that thought. If T-Mobile is able to accomodate this plan, then why won’t the other service companies as well?

“The big carriers have created a perception that it costs this much. But it really doesn’t,” Mike Sievert, T-Mobile’s chief marketing officer, told David Pogue, a writer at The New York Times. “It’s just that they’ve gotten away with charging us these bloated 90 percent profit margins.”

Transparency is clearly in Sievert’s vocabulary. As for the executives at other cellphone service providers? A dictionary would probably be a good thing for them to invest in.

“Those other companies sit around trying to figure out what customer charges they can get away with,” Sievert continued to Pogue. “We sit around and say, ‘What can we get away with not charging the customer?’”

What do you think about T-Mobile’s idea to include international data and texts in its subscribers’ plans? Do you think other phone companies will begin to do the same? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

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News To Tweet About: Twitter Reportedly To IPO Mid-November

It won’t take a full 140 characters to sum up what’s going on: Twitter is reportedly going to have its IPO (initial public offering) on November 15, 2013, according to PrivCo. Only 112 characters, not bad. Twitter executives would approve.

Tweet Screenshot

It only takes 112 characters to summarize the news about Twitter’s IPO.

Since this is not Twitter, but a blog, more information shall be given. Over the past few months there has been a lot of speculation that Twitter is going to have its IPO soon, but the exact date of this event was unknown.

Twitter S-1

Heading of Twitter’s S-1 document filed on October 3, 2013.

Twitter seems to have had a slip-up on its S-1 document (a form containing its business and financial information), inadvertently revealing that it would be releasing company shares to the public on Wall Street on November 15.

Twitter's S-1 Share Info

This is the section of Twitter’s S-1 document regarding the end of employees’ share lock-up period.

The document states that company employees can begin to sell their shares on February 15, 2014 after the lock-up period of 90 days has ended.

The IPO date wasn’t blatantly written out for all to see, but doing the math wasn’t too difficult of a task for those who cared even in the slightest. With over 215 million active monthly users, Twitter is a large company with a huge global reach.

Unfortunately, the social media site has yet to turn its large network into a profitable network, but it doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. More info sure to come once Twitter’s stock hits the market.

Will you be buying Twitter stock once it has its IPO? How can the company gain a profit from its giant global network? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

Posted in IPO, Twitter | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

MSNBC Looking To Re-Launch Its Online Presence

Microsoft and MSNBC were once a duo, but July 2012 marked the end of that relationship. The two companies cut ties and MSNBC started on its way to reinventing itself.

Aiming to improve user participation and enhance viewing experiences, MSNBC will be re-launching its website next week. Readers that are part of the company’s newsletter mailing list were treated to an email from Executive Editor Richard Wolffe regarding the new site.

“The wait is almost over,” Wolffe wrote. “We launch next week, and as promised, you’ll get an early look at the website that will transform the digital progressive community. Keep an eye out for an email next week so you can be one of the first to try it out.”

While the new site is not officially available, redirects users to

NBC or MSNBC’s option page for users to visit or a sneak peek of MSNBC’s new site.

Viewers can also choose to get a first look at the updated MSNBC website, which will bring up the following page: Sneak Peek

A sneak peek at MSNBC’s new website.

MSNBC is hoping to be in the forefront of the digital news age, allowing users to watch its channel live online, join online communities and create groups based on specific interests. Wolffe is encouraging his readers to share the news about this re-launch to all of their friends on social media sites.

Are you excited about this re-launch? Do you think it will garner the company more viewers? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

Posted in MSNBC, Re-launch | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment