Pinch, punch, first day of the month – it can only mean our monthly look back at @SainsburysPR’s favourite tweets from January 2013.

And while we’re on the topic – Sainsbury’s has landed on rank 6 in the FTSE 100 social media index (up from 27th last year!). The report highlighted Sainsbury’s strong presence across all six channels in the index, especially the YouTube channel with its variety of content from recipe tutorials to playlists on its involvement in the Paralympics and with Fairtrade. Sainsbury’s use of Twitter and how we engage our corporate and consumer audiences through dedicated accounts @SainsburysPR and @Sainsburys was also seen as a reason for the strong performance.

Over on Escherman’s blog, @andismit takes a look at which journalists you should follow on Twitter. He uses data from Twitonomy to look at how The Guardian’s tech editor Charles Arthur uses Twitter (does he RT? Does he @? When is he most active?). This leads to a number of suggestions for how PRs should engage with journos on Twitter. It starts to get interesting though when Charles responds in the comments to the post and provides his own view on how to use Twitter – very useful to read his point of view and also goes to show that while using and understanding data is increasingly important for PRs, it should not be trusted in blindly.

In what ‏@marcusleroux from The Times called the most entertaining parting shot since Stephen Pollard left the Express, HMV’s official account @HMVtweets gained 10,000 followers in the space of a few hours yesterday as a an employee live tweeted the firing of over 100 employees. Apparently, HMV HR had started internal redundancy meetings with the marketing teams, including the person responsible for their social media account. The tweets were quickly deleted, but not before they’d been screengrabbed and retweeted all over the world. The social media manager behind it all later posted her motivations from her personal account. I’ve pulled together a summary of it all together in a Storify about the #hmvXFactorFiring.

You should always read things carefully. Especially when you retweet them, as Capital Hotel learnt when they shared what they thought was a positive review by Jay Rayner with their followers. Oops (HT @tomparker81).

Everywhere there is talk about the old media world dying. Interesting then that it is old media institutions like Forbes and the New York Times that are blazing a trail for the rest of the publishing world. Forbes offer a great insight into the changing of the guard that is evident in both the technology used by the journalists as it is in the their mindset in a great piece titled Inside Forbes: A New Wave of Digital Journalist Is Showing a Profession the Way Forward.

But what really blew my mind is this brilliant project by the New York Times about an avalanche at Tunnel Creek. Titled ‘Snow Fall’, it is already being seen as a seminal piece of work in terms of online storytelling techniques. It combines videos, animation and audio around one specific event and pulls it all together through some beautifully written and exceptionally harrowing narrative to deliver what is an entirely engrossing online experience. Truly magical in its implementation as it keeps perfectly the balance between tech and storytelling. Bottom line: PLEASE LOOK AT THIS. IT IS ABSOLUTELY MAGNIFICENT. I can also highly recommend the Q&A with the author of the piece, John Branch (HT @davidjstocks).

Vine, Twitter’s new 6 second video app launched last week. Imagine Instagram without filters and instead of a photo you record a short video. I played around with the new Vine app myself and also had a look at how brands are starting to use it.

Image credit: Vine

Remember Foursquare? That app where you check in and get to be mayor of a location if you check in most often? Well as someone who was once the mayor of my local pub, my local coffee shot, my local Sainsbury’s, Sainsbury’s Head Office and a number of other places – I never really saw the point. Why? Businesses just weren’t rewarding check ins or mayorships. Launched in 2009, it’s taken them four years to finally come up with an app that allows business owners manage specials and view analytics. We’ll see if that will make checking in worthwhile…

Videos of the week

“Push to add drama by TNT – the sequel”

and “The Replacer”

Awesome. And you gotta love the Fargo reference in the second one.

Image source: Failposters

And finally: anybody who has ever spoken to me about QR codes knows I hate them and, given the chance, will go on a rant full of colourful language. Mainly because of the half-arsed and poor executed implementation. Generally I point people to the brilliant Pictures of People Scanning QR Codes but our very own @SimonLP has started curating these wonderfully painful examples of QR Code fails on Pinterest so I shall from now on point people who mention them there.