Archive for August, 2008



7 sites to visit today.

 

I’m going to make it easy on you. Here are 7 things that were interesting to me and maybe you should read them in your spare time today or tomorrow.

Chris Kieff says that Seth Godin screwed up, I know it’s shocking isn’t it?

Adam Cohen thinks that there is a danger of communities becoming too diluted I think what he means is that social networks are becoming too water downed, too many choices perhaps? You decide.

Kami Huyse espouses that a course in basic human etiquette might be better than one in blogger relations, which I think we could all use since manners and etiquette have gone away quicker than you can text BRB.

Discover the real you here at Signal Patterns

Rohit Bhargava, freshly back from China, posts on an Insiders guide to marketing on Flickr, in detail.

Brian Solis with the second part of his three part series the socialization of your personal brand

Here is a rockin post by Geoff Livingston that you have to read, titled The Naturals

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Social media pie charts for 2008

Sometimes I feel like social media is like the following pie chart.

Where the majority of people are talking about it (blue), some are actually doing some pretty cool things in the space (red) and others wannabe in the space and think they are in the space (green) and very very few are actually experts (tan). What do you think? .

Twitter bands of influence

When will Twitter reach the outer bands of where it could possibly have the greatest impact on brands and people? Currently the Twitter circles of influence are skewed towards the Twitterati-light blue. These were the early adopters and thusly have 5 figure amounts of followers. The next band-green or the elitists, are folks that in some cases, have as well, thousands of followers and mutually follow thousands of others.

This is not as large a group as you might think but their influence can be felt amongst the next layer of  heavy Twitter power users-red. These folks also have a lot of followers but generally its on a more 1:1 ratio i.e a thousand followers and following a thousand. Your next group-the blue band, are mostly listeners or followers and may tweet from time to time, but it’s not as heavy a group of active tweeters as the people above them. After this group is the yellow band- these are the people who know they have to be doing something on Twitter so they may get an account, but either barely use it or never activate it. This group also consists of brand squatters and hijackers

Your last 2 groups have the biggest potential for marketers and yet have little if any Twitter presence. The outside band is the largest and has the largest potential since this is essentially all of your brands. these brands are waiting for someone to show them how they can use Twitter to market and sell their products. What they don’t know is that there are only 6 degrees of separation that separate them from listening and participating in conversations with some of the top minds in marketing, PR and social media, on the many ways that Twitter can improve, enhance and market their brands.

My only questions are these? Who is at fault? The brands and their owners for not listening, or taking the time to listen or learning how to listen via Twitter? Or, now thnk about this carefully. Are we, as marketers and communicators, not taking the time to venture outside our industry specific cocoons of Twitter followers, to talk with people who may be listening but not talking? Look at the people you follow and the people that follow you (if you’re on Twitter) How many are clients or potential clients? Jeremiah Owyang from Forrester adds his 2 cents to why brands fail on Twitter which may lend some insight as to why we all are coming up short right now.

Maybe we all need to read up on how to listen. There are lots of lessons on the art of listening. the bottom line is there is a lot of black and white out there.

How does the user measure ROI in social networks?

I’ve been wrestling with this lately and maybe you can help. If I’m the social networking user and I frequent my favorite social network everyday, how should I measure my ROI? My investment of time to the site should be rewarded with what? The quality of my experience? What exactly is that? The number of people I meet? The real people I meet? the number of people I actually communicate with? The amount of conversations? Is it the stuff I create? The amount of personal interactions? the amount of micro interactions? The number of photos or songs I share?  Is it the quality of my everyday engagement?  Yes, yes, yes, and yes…..It’s all of those things. To each person, it is one of those, or all of the above.

So perhaps it looks something like this:

Do you see the dilemma though? I had previously written about user experience versus user interface, but what it really comes down to beyond the user experience is, the return on the user expereince or  the ROUE.  As a potential user of your social site, I need YOU the marketer, builder, architect or whomever- to show me quickly what my ROUE will be.  Because lets face it, I don’t want to work too hard to engage others or create content. Perhaps it’s the WIIFM paradigm? “What’s in it for me”.

Is it the tools that are available for the user to create UGC? Is that a big feature? It is for Myspace. Is it the ability to add hundreds of “friends”? It is to Facebook. Is it the ability to network with notable people in business? It is to LinkedIn. You see each site has a different ROUE to offer the user. What keeps the user coming back in each scenario is, when we boil it down- the response, the return, the pay-off, the money shot.  We are “geeked” by the response that we receive from whomever. The user investment for the user, is their time and efforts, and the reward for the user is a response from others. Write a blog and no one reads it, how much and how long will you write? It’s predicated on a response. Take nny user generated content created in a vacuum and the creator won’t be doing it for very long.

So perhaps the measurement should be Return on user effort as much as it is Return on user experience?  Think about why YouTube is so popular. Well, it’s a few things. It’s the ability to create content for free, the ability to share it, the possibility of getting noticed, a return on the user generated content, communicating with others, a response. Notoriety. 15 minutes of fame.

So next time you’re evaluating the NBT of social networks, Look at the ROUE.  Is the return on user experience and return on user effort very high? You should be able to determine that fairly quickly. In my follow up piece, I’m going to look at ROI and engagement and how we measure those as a barometer of social media success.

Twebinar 3, a Mashup of Heavy Hitters

So yesterday was the final Twebinar in the series of 3. I’ve written about how successful the other 2 were and this one did not disappoint. What makes these twebinars better than good, are the components, that in their own right are singularly successful.  Combined into a mashup of staccato like proportions though, they then take on a life of their own.. It is in short a live show, a webinar, live video, taped video, live Q & A, and twitter. Will it blend? Ohhhh yea it did and yes it does.

Each of the Twebinars is and was hosted by Chris Brogan  from Crosstech Media, who currently is the pied piper of all things social media related and rightly so. Chris knows everyone and everyone knows Chris, so it works. Along with David Alston from Radian 6, Chris and David have melded multiple technologies and people into a workable format for robust discussions. In the course of the hour plus twebinar Chris trots out all of the hitter heavy hitters in marketing, PR and social media like Todd Defren, Maggie Fox, Sally Falkow, and Paul Gillin, to name a few, and in rapid fashion they give you their take on all things, in this case, the art of listening in the space that we all are swimming in right now. How to listen, as I tweeted yesterday is not a novel concept, but you would be surprised how often it is ignored and overlooked as a tool of measurement. All of yesterdays guests and fellow twitterers essentially said nothing to the contrary either.

I’ll tell you why I like twebinars. It’s an opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas and opinions on what I think works, with my peers, with my colleages, and with people that are looking for answers. All in an insanely fun and interactive format. In fact, all of the participants have that exact opportunity because we are as much a part of the twebinar as are the people that Chris had on. It’s why it works.

Glitches? A few but all temporary and expected. The upside? 95% of those who participated woudl do it again. And the downside?  I’m sure there was a downside if someone chose to find one, but on the surface, I’d say Chris and David, and all those who were a part of the Twebinars, would say in baseball parlance, went three for three. To check out the tweets from yesterdays Twebinar, Try #tweb3 on Summize. I would keep your 2 ears open for the next one.

John Challis has passed away

Normally I write about all things tech and social media and marketing related. But every once in awhile I like to include the human element in what I do and what I write about.  With that being said, It is with great sadness that I have to write another post that pains me. I thought that writing about Randy Pausch would be tough and here I go again. 

Awhile back, because of the fact I lived in Pittsburgh for quite some time, I am still connected with friends and the community there, I wrote about a young man in Pittsburgh who was inspiring others with his optimism, his courage and his indelible spirit. His name is and was John Challis. A remarkable story on so many levels not the least being that he was dying of cancer and was still able to muster the strength to not only get up out of bed every day, but to also play in his high school’s baseball game and get a hit. The story is a must read.

He was embraced on so many levels. Mike White of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette profiled him, Scott Van Pelt of ESPN radio profiled him and every notable sports person in the Pittsburgh area, as well as nationally, wanted to meet a truly amazing individual. John challis died today and he was only 18.  Here is Mike White’s latest on the passing of John Challis.

We’ll miss you John.


The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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