Published on Friday, January 20, 2012

What have APD, Wikipedia and Alex James got in common?

Siren Communications delves into the world of social media and picks this week's top stories....

Travel industry staff are being urged to put their names to an e-petition opposed to the proposed hike in Air Passenger Duty due in April. The petition was started by John Howell, boss of travel tech firm Multicom, and runs until February 18.

Proof that all big news stories now have a social media element, part 36. Newspapers were quick to scour Facebook for new angles in the Costa Concordia sinking. First off, the revelation that the ship would deviate from its usual course came from the sister of one crew member on board - she revealed he’d told her the vessel would sail close to the coast 30 mins before the accident. We also learned Facebook pages both supporting and criticising under fire Capt Francesco Schettino were doing big business.

Students and internet idlers around the world wondered what to do with themselves on Wednesday when online knowledge repository Wikipedia and a number of other big-name sites went dark in protest about web piracy laws being considered in the US. The two US bills - the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act - are intended to crack down on websites that allow users to download films, music, TV and software illegally. However, critics say they potentially threaten the fundamental freedom and openness of the internet. Wikipedia’s stance won support from other big name players, including Google, Twitter and Facebook.

One minute you are member with a huge British band, the next you’re a tweed-wearing artisan cheese maker… and the next you are getting slagged on Twitter as a massive sell-out! Former Blur bassist Alex James found himself in hot water this week thanks to his new role as The Sun’s food critic. Alex penned a piece in praise of fast food giants Greggs, McDonald’s and KFC for the paper, trashing his previously well-crafted persona as a gourmand. As well as being a nauseating piece of PR puff that does nothing to suggest he could make it as a journo, the feature even managed to libel the bakery in his local village. James was soon trending on Twitter, with most comments decidedly unflattering!

Youth travel provider STA Travel has signed a partnership with Gap Daemon, a new community and advice site for gap year travellers. The deal will see Gap Daemon members get access to exclusive discounts, while STA will be able to tap in to the forums where travellers discuss their adventures.

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