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While firefighters battled widespread fires in New South Wales in October 2013, hundreds of thousands of people turned to social media and smartphone apps for vital updates. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Crisis communication: saving time and lives in disasters through smarter social media

When disaster strikes, more people than ever are turning to social media to find out if they're in danger. But Australian emergency services need to work together more to learn what works to save lives.
Esenna O'Neill’s dramatic departure from YouTube and Instragram was precipitated by her feelings of inauthenticity. Vimeo

When authenticity and advertising collide on social media

Essena O'Neill's dramatic rejection of her successful social media channels raises important questions about how advertising and sponsored posts are regulated on social media.
From one hand-held habit to another. Shutterstock

Can social media help you quit smoking?

Services like Facebook and YouTube may have the upper hand when it comes to getting people to give up cigarettes.
They came in like a wrecking ball… online firms like YouTube, Spotify and Apple have fundamentally changed the way we consume. But whose rights are protected? AAP Image/Julian Smith

Shift to online music underscores power of a handful of tech giants

The sheer market power concentrated in the hands of such few online companies represents a formidable hurdle to fair competition.
Just a regular Labour millionaire. Fat Les (bellaphon) Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wik

Can a plug from Martin Freeman make up for Ant and Dec fleeing the Labour fold?

Labour’s latest election broadcast is a direct-to-audience address by the actor Martin Freeman, who you might know from The Hobbit, Sherlock and The Office. It’s a curious affair – as Freeman stands alone…
A screenshot from one of the most popular science channels on YouTube – but what makes these videos so popular? YouTube/AsapScience

What makes a popular science video on YouTube

Everyone's looking for an audience for their videos on YouTube, and there are plenty of science videos out there. But not all are popular so what makes one more interesting than another?
While many use YouTube solely to watch videos of cats, increasing numbers use it for education and training. Phil

YouTube a valuable educational tool, not just cat videos

For many, YouTube is little more than a deluge of low-quality videos depicting the latest internet craze or conspiracy theory, perhaps some painful-looking accident, music videos and video-bloggers of…
Does the fat bird catch the fattest worms? Alex Gorka

Buying fake accounts won’t get you anywhere on Twitter

Two of Scotland’s leading politicians illustrate an interesting phenomenon on Twitter. In the wake of the Scottish National Party’s surge in popularity following the independence referendum, Nicola Sturgeon…
The product placement is obvious, but are viewers aware that it is paid for? And do they care? AmazingPhil

Why product placement on YouTube can’t be regulated like television

Names like Zoella, Caspar, Alfie Deyes, and Tanya Burr might not trip off the tongue for the over 35s, but they are among the vloggers (video bloggers, that is) at the vanguard of radical changes in the…
Tracking the career of YouTube star Charles Trippy provides some insight into the dynamics of YouTube success. YouTube screenshot

Collaborations are key to kickstarting your YouTube career

It might be ancient in social media terms but YouTube – which has been around since 2005 – continues to capture popular attention, with a number of internet entrepreneurs successfully building careers…
Kjellberg argues his low-budget method is a ‘winning concept’. YouTube.com

YouTube games star PewDiePie is playing for global dominance

Does the name Felix Kjellberg sound familiar? How about PewDiePie? … Still nothing? Clearly you’re not one of the 31 million subscribers to YouTube’s most successful channel, PewDiePie, starring 24-year-old…

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