Thursday, 29 March 2012

Infographic: Social Media and Protecting your Privacy

Quick and dirty inforgraphic for you about social media and privacy. This kind of relates to a post I'm working on at the moment (relating to this recent development), so take a look at it, let me know your thoughts, and then keep your eyes peeled for a longer post later this week.

Thanks to Check Point.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Posterous + Twitter vs. Tumblr?

It seems that Twitter is finally starting to get the proverbial willies about Tumblr's tanks being parked on their microblogging lawn.

With the recent announcement that Tumblr has 46.2 million blogs and 18 billion-plus posts (and counting), and the concerns over Twitter's current commercial strategy, which is either a) too expensive or b) not very engaging, it's becoming clear that there are some serious companies out there gunning for Twitter's perceived 'runner-up' spot in the social media world (I know it's not that simple, but I'm talking about perceptions here).

So, Twitter's solution? They have bought Posterous.

I like Posterous. It's a nice, clean simple site, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens when these two companies really start bumping uglies and producing something. Maybe they are turning their own guns on Tumblr, and are going to make a more functional version for the Twitter demographic, that still retains the richness that Tumblr has.

But I have to admit - I'm starting to struggle a little bit with Twitter.

The reason?

Well, for starters, their official iPhone and Android app is a bit rubbish. I've found myself checking it a lot less in the past few months. It's just not quick enough, and I'm a bit bored with the way that the information is presented to me. I know that the latest redesign was meant to put content further to the fore, but for me, it's just become a little bit less about discovery, and more about curation.

Let me get this straight - I don't want Twitter to curate my news for me. I want it to be immediate. I want it to reflect the world around me. When I log in on my mobile, the first thing I want to see is a list of trending topics - not curated stories from popular hashtags. JUST GIVE ME A FEED! I'll do the curation.

I'm not sure if many people will agree with me, but some of the beauty of Twitter seems to be lost every time they launch a new feature.

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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Infographic: What Women Want on social media

I know it's just a bit of fun, but vanilla over chocolate ice cream? No woman I know would ever make that choice (sorry).

Thanks to NETBASE

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Infographic: How Facebook connections mirror old empires

This is a fantastic interactive infographic, and one of the reasons why The Economist is still going strong in the digital age.

Notice how strong this ties are between the old imperial nations and their former 'subject' nations. Looks like old imperialist ties translate into our social media connections too.

Simply put, we still have relatives and connections in old imperial countries, and thanks to a steady, healthy flow of economic migration, the world is slowly becoming a more connected place, despite it's sad, shadowy past.

Full interactive chart below:

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Is it copyright curtains for Pinterest?

It seems that these days, as a start-up you only get a matter of a few months in the sun before the clouds start to gather.  Recent issues with Path, and last year with location-based douchebags SCVNGR have proved this rule. You cross the industry, and you've got your own personal night of the long knives on your hands.

Pinterest, after being thrust into public consciousness last year, seems to be weathering a storm on two fronts at the moment. Is it fair? Well, not really sure, but I have a couple of niggles I'd like to get answers for.

Firstly, I've been reliably informed by my girlfriend and others that Pinterest have rather sneakily dropped the resolution of their images in response to recent legal concerns - not enough to really upset the casual user, but if you are a photographer, or you really dig detail, you'll be missing out on a little bit extra. I get that it's a response to the concerns laid out in the earlier blog post, but still, would be nice to know.

Secondly - what is the situation with us being able to pin stuff on your rather natty site? We don't own the content we pin, but then again, we're not really allowed to, are we? This is where it starts to get tricky.

According to this rather comprehensive blog post, and this one,  Pinterest's terms and conditions are too ambiguous.

The one thing that seems to be clearest from their terms and conditions is that if a website objects to their content being pinned (which, as I've explained before, is slightly odd given it's traffic-driving capabilities),  YOU will be the one in trouble. Not only will you have to pay the legal fees, but you will also have to pay Pinterest's legal fees too. Also, by signing up to it, you've already agreed to this. WHOOPS!

Look - I know that these issues are a little bit niggly. I hate complaining about companies, unless they provide really shitty customer service. Pinterest don't, they provide a great service, one that I'd happily trade my personal data for (it's a transaction, after all), but it would be great to get these two little niggles sorted before the site's scale starts to make these niggles into biggles (bigger niggles - I know).

Friday, 9 March 2012

It's viral: #Kony2012

As I've said before, the real reason that a video goes viral is because it resonates with us.

Kony 2012 is a perfect example of this.

The plight of the child soldiers from Uganda in this video really resonated with the internet community, and the world at large, mainly because it told a story, and asked something very simple of it's audience: SHARE.

Spread the message, pass it on - very powerful, connection-building actions that build relationships between us, and can change the world.

As always, the real story behind Kony 2012 is a lot more complicated than it first appears on this documentary.

But I'm not here to cast a judgement on the film's validity. Regardless of that, it has made millions of people aware of who Joseph Kony is, and has made headline news.

The one thing we need to be aware of with virality is that truth is not necessarily at the centre of every great story, or documentary. You need to remain sharp online, and not fall pray to sharing content that has bypassed your critical faculties.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Why are you on Facebook?

This may seem like a bit of an odd question to be asking, but please bear with me, as it's important.

I've been around and seen enough businesses, and talked to enough people to know that one of the most common reasons for a business to be on a social media platform like Facebook is the popularity of the network. We all want a slice of that traffic; it's the reason why the number one question that SEO managers hear is 'Can you get me to number one on Google?' Not Yahoo, not Bing, but Google. The most popular network will always win out when a company has limited time and resource to assign.

But have you ever stopped to ask why you are actually on Facebook?

It seems that for every company doing it right on there, there are hundreds doing it wrong. And it's all for a very simple reason.

You may think that the platform is important to the customer, and to a certain extent, yes it is.

But people are not on there specifically to engage with you. They are there to connect with their friends and family, and the only reason that they are going to be a fan of your page is if they feel they are going to get something from you without making too much effort.

But if they already like you, you're guaranteed a like. You are already part of their life. Treasure that connection.

Trouble is, we have a funny way of showing it sometimes. Is it because some brands and marketers have actually forgotten why they use the networks themselves.

A recent study carried out by CMO Council and Lithium showed that there is a disconnect between what marketers think the audience wants, and what the audience actually wants and expect.

Here's what the audience expect:

So, they like you because, well, they like you, and they want to hear news, and get some incentives and rewards for engaging with the brand.

On the flipside (of reality), here's what the surveyed Marketers thought:

COME OOOON, GUYS! 'The Content is agreeable?' do you really expect audiences to be sat around saying things like this?

Or this?

I'm really sorry to break it to you, but your audience don't think like that.

It's more 'oh, that's cool, a voucher', or 'Oooh, they've got tickets to the Foo Fighters before anybody else'. I'm not quoting people by the way - it's just a thought process, people don't talk to themselves when they're online - unless they are a bit unhinged.

Simply put, you need to add real value to your audience's life on social media. Give them something they want, tell them something they didn't know, and be human, don't talk to them like Data out of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

They are following you because they like you - they are already loyal to some extent. So reward them for it! These are your number one fans! Show them some love.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Video: Why People Share on Facebook

Thanks to Facebook, not only for launching real-time analytics this week and a great new timeline function for brands, but for also hosting a rather fantastic conference in New York.

One of my favourite moments of the conference however was when they had a breakout session on not how people share, but why people share.

Watch live streaming video from fbmarketingtalks at

We all fundamentally share unconsciously - we are hot-wired to share information, and we are fundamentally social. The information that we share is often information that can either bond us closer together. We are sharing a bit of our identity.

So the information that brands should be sharing on Facebook shouldn't come from a selfish place. It can't afford to. It has to come from a good place. You have to want to help, share and basically have a friendship with your audience, like, you know, a normal person would!

What do you think?