Nation Can Benefit from #Wales Being a Top Trending Topic on Twitter, Say Online Experts; SOCIAL MEDIA CAN WIDEN CONNECTIONS FOR BUSINESS

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 3, 2012 | Go to article overview

Nation Can Benefit from #Wales Being a Top Trending Topic on Twitter, Say Online Experts; SOCIAL MEDIA CAN WIDEN CONNECTIONS FOR BUSINESS


Byline: KATHRYN WILLIAMS

IT'S the website where hundreds of millions of users around the world post news, business and personal information thousands of times a second.

But Wales could be missing out on vital business and social opportunities thanks to the lack of a regional "trend" option on Twitter.

Recent events from Wales, such as the death of national football manager Gary Speed and the break-up of the engagement of Katherine Jenkins and Gethin Jones were among the most popular subjects on the microblogging site when they happened.

But it is now being claimed that without a Wales-specific trend thread - where Twitter identifies the most popular subjects being discussed through key words and provides an on-screen chart - users are unable to see what is popular within the nation.

Users can currently see what is trending worldwide, in the US and the UK, as well as several other countries which do not include Wales.

Dr Jeremy Segrott, a research fellow in Public Health at Cardiff University is leading calls for Wales to have a more visible presence on the site, which was created in 2006.

He said engaging with young people is the key to his work - which involves researching alcohol misuse and smoking among young people - and Twitter would go a long way towards increasing interest in his research.

"Social media is integral to the way we work these days and increasing our visibility on Twitter would benefit academic research," he said. "Most of the trending topics for Wales are unlikely to show up when merged with the rest of the UK.

"Having Welsh trends would allow the Twitter community here to develop better connections. For me, connections with others is one of Twitter's strengths, and the experience would be even more positive if I could connect it in a more meaningful way to where I live.

"Anything that's putting Wales on the map is a good thing.

"Having a 'Cardiff' trend button would be good, but then the people of North Wales would not be included. …

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