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Response to River Newspaper

March 5, 2011

Dear River Newspaper,

After I had blogged a Facebook note on my Facebook fan page, I had found Tweets with comments about it.
Firstly, my note wasn’t to pick or find something to easily disagree with. They were genuine logical thoughts.

Before I had even read the article itself, I had not heard of anything; my girlfriend had not heard of anything, my friends had not heard of anything, my girlfriends friends of friends of friends of friends had not heard of anything.
I didn’t know such said story even existed, if it hadn’t been for me reading the article. If my friends did not read the article, we wouldn’t have even ran the Google search in the first place to see how easily obtainable the PDF was.
I am a software engineering student and I know perfectly well how social networking sites such as Twitter work and I know how to even run the most complex of Google searches. The fact I was able to run the most basic Google search to find the file, purely because I was known of the perfect search name that was displayed in the paper made it oh so easy for me and everyone.
Yes, you’re right about how Twitter produces a snowball effect but I think I do know about social networking psychology.
Twitter hashtags are started from a source which would have been from the actual site who made/posted the link to the PDF, but it takes an even bigger source for the hashtag to truly pioneer to produce a great deal of feedback from others. I ran a cached version of the hashtag and found minimal results at the end of February 2011. It became an even bigger story because it was published to Kingston University students.

Again, you’re right that Twitter users are adding to the snowball effect, but surely, the article came way before many Twitter users queued in-line for the snowball effect. For a snowball effect to take place, it requires information to be passed on from one person to another, even writing my note on Facebook or through Tweets and even through this very blog post, I am indirectly inviting others to it. That is the point, I am admitting that I am making the story known to others and that I could potentially provoke other students to go ahead and look for the file or become a part of Twitter to post even more thoughts, arguments and rumours around, even without making direct provoking comments, suggestions and influencing students to go ahead and do as I just mentioned.

You’re right that it’s a local newspaper, but whatever stories The River publishes won’t of course stay within Kingston University (If there is anything interesting to tell, obviously).
I didn’t suggest the newspaper was all to blame, I would, just like yourselves, greatly blame Twitter users for giving out even more exposure, but the newspaper article was feeding more fuel to the fire because let’s be fair now, The River can popularise the hashtag greater than one or two said persons could.
If what you say is right about it becoming a major story two weeks ago, for it to die down, why on earth would you expose (pun intended) the story again? Fair enough, it’s your job to do so and you’re possibly training to become journalists for mainstream newspapers in the future and you’re all doing great jobs, but it’s a university newspaper, not The Sun.

The story about ‘Anna’ and her drug abused housemate worries seemed more accurate to be on the headline, as to the ‘Poison’ headline yesterday. That seemed more interesting and an even greater share to students suffering from similar problems.
The ‘Anna’ story excretes an even more serious matter, rather than hearing something ‘professional’ about silly and naive students exposing their sex lives to someone/some people, to result in them being pin-pointed in a PDF collection.
If I was on the list, with all the drama that would have been going on before the article was published, it would have definitely been a slap in the face for me, even if some were open to tell of their story to you. I’m pretty sure their close ones wouldn’t have been happy either.

1.5 million downloads? Really?…Really?…Really?

/just saying.

Final year Software Engineering student, bringer of the gravity of change, anti-hero. Don't call me a cockroach, jerk.

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