10 lessons Twitter should have taught you in 2009

You know we’re all amazed at the power of Twitter and the numbers don’t lie. I know I am. But if Twitter went away tomorrow what would you do? How would you adapt? As we have all seen when Twitter does goes down for any prolonged amount of time, the silence is deafening. Some migrate over to Facebook and still others bounce over to friendfeed. But at those times, if you just stop for a moment you notice some things, actually a few things.

This morning I was thinking about those things and then some, and in those times you have to gather your thoughts quickly. Here’s my take on Twitter and real time conversations. Did you notice these things?

1) Our need for real time communication is insatiable

2) Our desire for a platform or a “place” that supports real time communication is what has fueled growth on the internet over the last 12 years.

3) The more focused these type of platforms are, the more successful they are and possibly you!

4) Simple wins

5) Plurk wasn’t simple.

6) LiveFyre will have potential

7) Friendfeed is not the alternative you think and neither is Facebook.

8. A premium level can exist but value has to trump the bells and whistles; And you won’t use it unless everyone else is.

9) The premium level has to have 99.9% uptime in order for you to trust it.

10) Yes, real time instantaneous communication is a great thing for businesses, and an awesome networking tool, but the real power will lie in its ability to bridge the gap with the customer. And the customer needs to know that they have this channel to access where they can get real answers from real people and get real results in….real time.

In the end,  I think Google still might win. If you look at this past year, Sidewiki and Google Wave were and are diamonds in the rough for real time communications, they’re just waiting for you to figure them out and…  given that those 2 came out in 2009, know that Google is not done, never forget that.

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10 social sites for your week

This weeks selection of  social sites cover the gamut from social media monitoring to a few juicy blog posts on community, strategy and real time search, to a couple of new social networks. Have any I should add? Lemme know!

1) Check out Zoho, It appears that Zoho offers everything from a business solutions standpoint to a new set of tires. (Just kidding on the tires)

2) 46 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools Free is good

3) Free is really good. 7 Essential multimedia tools and their free alternatives

4) From the SEOMoz Blog –How To Monitor & Track Google’s Real-time Search-Pay attention to this, it’s going to loom large.

5) Daily Mugshot is fun. Change the wrapper on your personal brand every day!

6) What is thankfulfor? It’s your personal gratitude journal. It’s also a collective gratitude journal, for all of us. Very cool and simple.

7) A strategic plan has a better chance of being successful when it’s easy to understand, easy to find, and easy to share. With that being said check out this post by Ben McConnell

8. Shiv Singh talks about Ken Burbary’s Social Analytics Lifecycle. I agree with Shiv on this, I like where it’s going and it is certainly a work in progress, but I would add consumer and influencer insights as an input as well too.

9) Check Daniel Eden’s Vinyl Art work out. This could definitely be a present for someone you know.

10) Share your experiences through Gowalla. I haven’t played with this to any degree yet, but I do like the UI.


20 social media predictions for 2010 that might actually happen

I’ve been asked a number of times already to provide some predictions for 2010 in the social media space. What I find interesting is that oftentimes we haven’t followed through on the predictions from the last 3-5 years, so I thought, “let’s put a list together in which the predictions have a better than 50% chance of happening”. So here goes.

1) Facebook will change their privacy settings again. This would appear to be a lock.

2) A large public company will misstep in its usage of social media and the social media community will use it as an example along with Motrin and Dominos and nothing else.  Again, another lock.

3) Google will create a social app that creates a lot of buzz on Twitter and then it will slowly fade away. Think Side-Wiki and Google Wave.

4) Seth Godin will piss someone off with something he wrote or did that goes completely against the grain. There will be viral tweets about it, Seth will explain, tweak, and everyone moves on.

5) Someone will create a customer complaint video that will go viral-again. The company either reacts quickly and they’re applauded for their swift action or they don’t and they’re hung out to dry by a social media flash mob.

6) A large social media darling start-up will be acquired, and dozens more will fail and dozens more will be created.

7) Twitter will continue to evolve into a self-promotional vehicle. In the beginning it was all about the convo, then it morphed into echo, and now it’s all about the promo.

8. Another 5000 apps will be created for the i-phone. No Brainer here right?

9) Brands will continue to say that they are social, but it will be in name only.  Why? Because they still don’t know what they’re doing and are afraid to admit it.

10) 40 hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube every 30 seconds.

11) Chris Brogan will be attacked again on someone’s blog for essentially doing absolutely nothing-again

12) You will see the consolidation of some large agencies into the mega-digital agency.

13) UGC will more and more be the driving force in online advertising since it costs nothing. Somewhere a light bulb will go on.

14) The FTC will continue to focus on paid bloggers and recommendation engines. This is not over.

15)  On Twitter, authority will continue to be defined by influence which will be inversely proportional to popularity

16) A Twitter business model will emerge and it may just be the model we all love to hate-advertising.

17) The argument around the ROI of social media will not end-nor will the incessant amount of blog posts surrounding it either.

18) Large scale social media aggregation projects will continue to pop up, with the thinking that “that” is what the people really want, it’s not.

19) Social media case studies will start to appear that are less accidental in their success, and more purposeful in strategy, implementation and measurement.

20) Taking umbrage with those that call themselves social media experts will continue.

21) What do you think is possible in 2010?

Hopefully you’ll see that some of these were created purely for fun and others I truly believe have a realistic chance of occurring. Only the next 12 months will tell. Happy Holidays everyone.

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Your success is determined by one thing

I know this is going to ruffle some feathers, but right now your marketing initiatives, your social media efforts, your email campaign, your DRTV campaign and more- all of it will rely on one thing in the end. Consider the following scenarios:

  • You are going to launch a new product. You build a website but how are you going to drive people to the site? How do they find it?
  • You launch a new product with a new company, that no one has ever heard of before, how will people find out more about you, your company, and your product?
  • You launch a new social network, how will it grow? How is it found? You start a new blog and you want people to read your kick-ass content? How will they know you’re out there? You join a new social network, how do you meet others?
  • You launch a new brick and mortar business, how do you drive business? Newspapers? Radio? Magazine? What is a person’s first knee jerk reaction to your advertising?
  • Your reputation? Where can you find it? How can you find it? Do you know if anybody is talking about you, your company and your product?
  • Your friends? Your family, How do they find you? Old friends? How do they find you?
  • You need a new job. How will you get your next one?

I could go on. But I think you get the point. Everything. and I mean everything that you do revolves around…

SEARCH

Think about it.

search-engines

19 things you should know about your world

  1. Did you know that China has over 253,000,000 internet users which amounts to about 17% of the world’s users?
  2. Did you know that China will eventually become the #1 English speaking country in the world? Or that
  3. The 25% of the population in China with the highest IQ’s …is greater than the total population of North America.  In India, it’s the top 28%.  Translation for teachers:  they have more honors kids than we have kids. 
  4. There are over 2.7 billion searches performed on Google each month.  Which speaks to a post I did about tech trends.
  5. The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years.  For students starting a four-year technical or college degree, this means that…half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.  It is predicted to double every 72 hours by 2010.
  6. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10-14 jobs . . By the age of 38
  7. Predictions are that by 2013 a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computation capability of the human brain.
  8. According to the U.S. Department of Labor . . .1 out of 4 workers today is working for a company they have been employed by for less than one year
  9. More than 1 out of 2 are working for a company they have worked for for less than five years.
  10. According to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley . . The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004.
  11. We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist .
  12. The U.S. is 20th in the world in broadband Internet penetration.(Luxembourg just passed us.)
  13. 1 out of every 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met
  14. The average MySpace page is visited 30 times a day.
  15. The number of text messages sent and received every day exceeds the population of the planet
  16. More than 3,000 new books are published . .
  17. It’s estimated that 40 exabytes (that’s 4.0 x 1019) of unique new information will be generated worldwide this year
  18. The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years
  19. 47 million laptops were shipped worldwide last year

 

Many thanks to  Karl Fisch  and Scott Mcleod  who compiled alot of this data, which in the end, really gives you a sense of how very large this world is and how very small you are.  

 

 

 The only constant in life is change. Don’t be static.

5 huge tech trends that you can’t ignore.

That’s it. Just 5. But why just 5? Because these 5 are rockin’ our world now and will continue to do so for the next 10 years. Do you remember the Gartner Hype Cycle? I blogged about it awhile back in regards to certain things we can be excited about over the next 5 years. Take a look at it real quick.

Ok Now look at this next slide real quick:

 

Ok, one more and I will let you off the hook.

 

 

So the hype cycle pretty much lets you know where certain “things” are in their growth development. It’s a great point of reference and doesn’t take a long time to figure out. Samw with the next slide, what does it tell you? It tells you that music is important to us. Always has, always will be. Here’s a quick 1 question quiz: What does the MySpace business model revolve around? Music and social networking. Ok So there’s 2 trends that will not be dipping anytime soon. Awhile back I wrote a blog post about the top 44 music related social networks and to this day it still pulls traffic. I recently tweeted a question as to what brick and mortar industry has completely dried up but thrived online-answer: music

Trend #1 Music will continue to thrive online and you cannot ignore it.

According to Comscore  In August 2008, Americans conducted 11.7 billion core searches, virtually unchanged from July, as Google Sites extended its lead in core search market share by 1.1 percentage points.

Search is, the gateway to everything that we do online. You may see some play in regards to trying to refine search into more of a niche based environment, but the bottom line is search will alway be the mainstay of any internet based activity.

Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in July with 63 percent of the searches conducted, up from 61.9 percent in July, followed by Yahoo! Sites (19.6 percent), Microsoft Sites (8.3 percent), Ask Network (4.8 percent), and AOL LLC (4.3 percent).

Americans conducted 11.7 billion searches at the core search engines, nearly identical to the number of core searches conducted in July. Google Sites handled 7.4 billion core searches (up 2 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.3 billion and Microsoft Sites with 977 million.

In the comScore August 2008 analysis of the top properties where search activity is observed, Google Sites led with 10.2 billion searches, a 2-percent increase versus July.  That’s billion! Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 2.4 billion searches, followed by Microsoft Sites with 1 billion and AOL LLC with 839 million.

Trend #2 Search ain’t going nowhere.

According to Hitwise, MySpace.com received 67.54 percent of the market share of U.S. visits in August 2008 among a custom category of 56 of the leading social networking websites.  The market share of U.S. visits to the social networking site decreased 2 percent in August 2008 to 6.40 percent of all U.S. visits compared to July 2008. Visits to the category decreased 17 percent year-over-year. But check out the chart below:

What do those numbers mean to you? It means that MySpace had 66 million visits in one month and Facebook had 28 million. The fact of the matter is that social media and social networks are interwoven into the daily fabric of our lives. I know, it’s not like it’s earth shattering, it’s just not a fad anymore. It’s legit. It will continue to evolve and the potential will always be there for someone to do something different and exciting and unique with the social media application. Could that be you? I hope so.

Trend #3 Social networks will continue to evolve and grow larger and gain in importance.

A recently released UN study indicates that by the end of 2008 mobile phone use worldwide will reach 50% of the earth’s population for the first time in history. Although the percentage of mobile phones in North America, Western Europe and most of Asia is much higher than 50%, in developing countries, a mobile phone is still considered a luxury.

Mobile phone ownership rates have been rising significantly, almost at an exponential rate. Countries like  India, Brazil, and China are seeing crazy growth in the number of people owning a cell phone. In fact, China had an estimated one billion cell phone subscribers in 2007. At the current rate of growth, there will be over 3.3 billion cell phone subscribers worldwide by the end of 2008.

So there’s no escaping the fact that cell phones are now-another essential part of our daily lives. Grab the keys, grab the wallet, the purse, the backpack and the cell phone. Ok so we get that. But now, pay attention.

According to a recent online survey conducted by ABI Research, nearly half (46%) of those who use social networks have also visited a social network through a mobile phone. Of these, nearly 70% have visited MySpace and another 67% had visited Facebook. No other social networking site reached 15% adoption mobile adoption.

So what are these consumers doing when they access their mobile social network? They’re checking for comments and messages from their friends, with both of these features registering above 50% for mobile social network users. Posting status updates also has proven popular, with over 45% of mobile social users letting others what they are up to via their phone.
What we are seeing is a melding of 2 functions into one via the hub of the cell phone. Or is it the hub of the social network?  There’s no doubt that a social network is increasingly becoming a central hub for communication across online and mobile domains for a lot of people. Because it’s  allowing them to consolidate activities or processes. From text, to email, to chat, to phone calls, to exchanging of data, uploading images and downloading songs. The phone and the social net. allow thesee things to occur almost seamlessly. As a trend, the centralization of a consumer’s cell phone activities combined with their increased social network usage is only going to make adoption of mobile social networking more inevitable as we move forward.
Trend #4 The growth of the mobile social network will be steady and exponential.

Here is trend 4a for you as well:   comScore M:Metrics reports that in June 2008, 20.8  million U.S. mobile subscribers and 4.5 million European mobile phone subscribers  accessed search during the month, an increase of 68 and 38 percent from June 2007, respectively.  The U.K. had the highest penetration of mobile subscribers using search at 9.5 percent, followed closely by the U.S. at 9.2 percent.  That’s right, Mobile Search.

Ok last one-And it’s a no-brainer. Check out the slide below. It’s from December 2007, but the message is loud and clear.

Google Sites  ranked as the top U.S. video property in December with 3.3 billion videos viewed (32.6  percent share of videos), gaining 1.3 share points versus the previous month. YouTube.com accounted for more than 97 percent of all videos viewed at the property. Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 358 million (3.5 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 340 million (3.4 percent) and Viacom Digital with 238 million (2.3 percent).

In total, nearly 141 million Americans viewed online video in December. Google Sites also captured the largest online video audience with 79 million unique viewers, followed by Fox Interactive Media with 43.9 million and Yahoo! Sites with 38.2 million. So if you don’t already know it online video consumption is growing at a sick-ass rate.

Trend #5 Online video consumption will evolve into an acceptable replacement for a TV.

In conclusion, here’s the most interesting aspect of them all. The hub for all of the above trends can and will be centered on one thing, Your cell phone.

Social Networks: The path you take is equal to the effort you make!

So for shits and giggles the other day, I decided to do a search in LinkedIn for people with my name Marc Meyer. I think I found 13. I thought,  in their infinite wisdom, that maybe they would appreciate linking to me. There was a teacher, a sales rep, another techy person, someone in real estate, and a fireman to name a few. I only got 2 people who agreed to do it, probabaly because they either a) got a little freaked out and thought it was a glitch in the LI system or b) don’t use LI that much or c) were worried about ID theft? d) did not appreciate the irony of linking to themselves…

Marc Meyer is now linked to Marc Meyer.

Odd to think that there are lots of “us” running around out there. But this thought led me to Google where I subsequently “Googled” my name and did a couple of searches on Reunion.com and PeopleFinders and came to find out that there are about 46 of my likenamed brethren running around.  Before you say anything else, I guarantee that YOU have “Googled” yourself at least once. In fact, I am willing to bet that some of you have RSS feeds set up to notify you when your name is mentioned somewhere. Relax, it’s no big deal. I’ve done the former but not the latter.

 Back to my point on why this is relevant?

I’ll tell you why. I have spoken on numerous occasions and in numerous blog posts and to numerous clients about what will happen in the social media space in the future. I have said that what you will see is the “nichefication” of the space. Where large social networks will splinter off into smaller distinct groups. It’s already happening, in fact if you look at the current number of networking groups within the social networking site of LinkedIn, you will see that there are currently roughly 24,000  distinct groups and counting! Thats smaller social networking groups within the environs of the larger ones.

What does this have to do with me and my 46 counterparts?

Well in theory, we all have something in common, in this case, my name. So in theory, it might be worth it to network with people who have my exact name. Maybe not, since I haven’t really thought through the whole identity theft thing. But what could a social networking group consisting of 46 people with the same exact name do? Maybe not much, but they do have something very in common and that is essentially how people are now coming together today, as we speak, in these groups. They find a common thread or link and they build upon it. Through these connections, things happen. Conversations are started and relationships occur. As I have said in the past, we all want to run with our pack, our brood, our peeps. There is a comfort level that is there with people of like minds and backgrounds, so what is more common a starting point than your name?

So do I contact the 46 Marc Meyer’s? Maybe not, since the undertaking, the leadership and the roll out of something like that would fall on my shoulders. Perhaps I could start something on NIng and see where it might end up. But the bottom line is this, and this is what you need to be thinking about going forward: You need or rather you should try and find the group that best fits you and what defines you rather than settling for the stadiums or oceans that are the current state of social networks.

So do you want to run with your own/ or be a part of this large melange of different kingdoms, phylums, classes, genus’s and species?

Or this?

 

And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make.

I had to rework the quote “In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make”  which is essentially the Beatles closing statement. It is the last lyric on the last album they recorded. Let It Be.  Though it is certainly not the last line or epitaph for social networks and all that they have to offer, it can certainly define the future for Social Networks. So yes, “and in the end, the path you take, is equal to the effort you make.” Now more than ever, you determine you.

Google Health

I was reading John Battelle’s blog this morning and came across a really cool post about Google health,  In short, You can import medical records from other services, and explore the list of health services to link to your profile. Google writes, “When you link a website to your profile, you may authorize that website to read your Google Health profile or to automatically send and update information in your profile (such as medical records or prescription histories). You decide which permissions to grant when you sign up with each website.”

Here’s a screen shot:

Some would have you believe based on this article about Where does Google go next, that they are hurting. What do you think?

 

10 sites to check out this week and pass on

Wow, it finally it might be warming up in the Northeast. And we’re only mid way through April! With that being said, you’re still going to have some down time here and there since you might be bumming a little that Kristy Lee Cook finally got the ax on American Idol.  So as you peruse all the info that you can get your hands on regarding American  Idol, here are 10 other websites you might want to check out that may deliver more a bit more than Idol updates.

Shout Out to Google

First off let me throw some major props out to Google.  If there is one thing that I will not stand for, it is the exploitation of children in any way, shape, and form, and child pornography would have to be #1 on my list. The fight against child pornography is getting an assist from technology designed by Google to help identify copyright-protected clips on its YouTube video-sharing site.

Four Google employees used their “20% time” — during which the company encourages them to pursue unofficial, out-of-the-box projects — to customize the copyright software for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s program for identifying children in sexually explicit photos and video.

Software already has been used to match known images, but when new ones are submitted by law enforcement and service providers, analysts generally make identifications manually, often based on recollections. The center has recently employed facial-recognition technology to make those IDs easier, but with limited success.With the new Google tools, analysts can also seek matches based on other attributes, such as the color and shape of a couch or the wallpaper pattern in the background of a photo.

Anything to stop this in it’s tracks, I’m all for, so right on Google.

Next up is an Ad agency in Pittsburgh Called Smith Brothers I personally know these guys and they are a good bunch. They just received some major recognition out at the Adtech 11th Annual Awards Ceremony in San Francisco, The Brothers received top honors for Best Integrated Campaign for the Heinz Top This TV Challenge campaign – beating out hundreds of entrants from top advertising and interactive agencies worldwide Smith Brothers’ campaign featured the innovative use of messaging on the labels of millions of Heinz ketchup bottles and ketchup packets – combined with integrated support from print, TV and interactive advertising. The campaign invited consumers to visit TopThisTv  where they could create, upload, view and vote on the best consumer-generated Heinz TV commercial. To further promote and facilitate consumer participation, Smith Brothers formed a strategic partnership with Google and YouTube – and the response was unprecedented. The campaign received over 10 million views, 8,000 consumer-generated commercials and visitors to the site spent over 127,000 hours interacting with the brand while viewing and voting on the consumer-submitted videos Good job fellas.

You Guys Rock

 

 

On a side note that has nothing to do with Heinz or Smith Brothers, but plenty to do with branding, check out John Mayer and his ever evolving sleeve!

John Mayer\'s sleeve

 

I came across this site the other day, though I’m not sure how. It’s called the experience project  It seems rather cool and unlike “most” social network sites. Here’s the description”

Experience Project is the first social experience website where you can anonymously share the experiences and personal stories that matter most to you. Quickly build a network of supportive new friends who understand your life, while exploring over one million life experiences told first-hand by people just like you. You can be yourself here.

 

The experience project

Awhile back, I had thrown a question out my Linkedin Network which asked whether social media sites were doing enough for the poor and underprivledged. The responses were interesting, but one of the sites that I was made privy to was a site called Kiva whose tag line is,”loans that change lives”. Essentially it is a social networking site that helps to put donors of cash in touch with 3rd world or developing nation entrepreneurs. A cool concept if you ask me. And it’s a way to give back through the power of a social network!

Kiva

Another site that caught my eye is called Friendfeed FriendFeed enables you to keep up-to-date on the web pages, photos, videos and music that your friends and family are sharing. It offers a unique way to discover and discuss information among friends. Hey anyway that I can keep the chaos that takes place on my desktop in some sort of order works for me, check it out and let me know what you think.

Ok, the spring time means lots of things in lots of places. In New Orleans, where I grew up it means 2 things to me. One is the Jazz Fest and the other is Crawfish. If you have never been to NO then you need to go to the JazzFest, generally the weather is awsome though there might be the occasional sprinkle, and the combination of music and food over a 2 week period is ridiculously fun.  Check out this small snapshot of a line-up:The Neville Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Jimmy Buffett, Tim McGraw, Santana, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, Sheryl Crow, Widespread Panic, Dr. John, Al Green, Diana Krall, Keyshia Cole, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss….Woooowheeee… Ok.. So if you can’t make it, then the next best thing might be a few pounds of crawfish. The above link will ship them right to your door. Live. You do know how to prepare them right?

I saw this sight Rollyo and all I could think of…well never mind what I thought, but it has a pretty cool app when it comes to search. And remember folks, just because Google is the big dog, doesn’t mean that the other breeds of dogs are bad…So Check out Rollyo 

This last site you will def have to bookmark. It’s called Workhappy. Hey, any website titled “work happy” is going to grab my attention. It’s sorta entrepreneurial based but I’m sure you know someone who could benefit from it.

I came across this other day to and it seemed sorta interesting, let me know if you had any opinion of it, good or bad. It’s called Loladex and the tag line is, “Local picks from people you trust…” What if you trust no one?