Category Archives: Social networks

Why all the fuss about Fancy?

I’ve been a user of Fancy for a few months now and really like it. It seems to be gathering some momentum. A lot of people simply see it as another Pinterest, but there’s a bit more to it than that. So I put some slides together and thought I’d share. You can find the presentation on SlideShare here.


Tagged ,

Resuscitating a flat-lining blog

I’ve *kind of* made a new year’s resolution to try and post a bit more frequently here on Another Flamin’ Blog. I’ve got to work out the most efficient way to do so…there are so many other methods to quickly post bits of content and links to interesting stuff online (Twitter being the main one, but I’ve also been Tumbling a bit and having another look at Path. Oh, and there’s Facebook too, obviously…)

Let’s see how it goes, eh? I make no promises.

 

Putting a value on social media outputs

The other day I had cause to Google: “What’s the value of a Facebook fan?”

This because some colleagues were evaluating a recent campaign for a client; a campaign that over a month or so had attracted nearly 4,000 Facebook fans. The client wanted to know how much these fans were worth. My initial reaction was that their worth was difficult to calculate, as it would (should) potentially increase over time as they became more engaged, bigger advocates and, hopefully, valuable lifelong customers. But no. We needed to put a value on them. Hence my search.

One of the first results returned highlighted the problem. This article in Advertising Age from June last year references two different studies that tried to answer the question. The studies – by social media companies Syncapse and Vitrue – both used highly complicated and sophisticated formulas. Syncapse put a value on a Facebook fan of $136. Vitrue’s value was $3.60. Perhaps an average of the two might work?

It’s a bit ironic that we’re armed with any number of buzz monitoring and sentiment tracking tools – applications which can help measure the outcome of not only digital and social media but all marketing activities – that we’re being driven to measure the outputs of social media activity: Facebook fans, tweets, blog posts and check-ins. And not only to count the mere numbers, but to stick a precise value on them too.

But clients we have, and clients we serve, so I’m thinking that we should at least have a stab while we’re also trying to educate them…

So earlier today I tweeted that I was thinking about pulling a cross-industry group together to put a value on social media outcomes and that if anyone was interested in getting involved to drop me a line. I’ve already had a great response – the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. If you fancy it then drop me an @ reply on Twitter, or leave a comment here. I’ll try and get a meeting organised.

Path, and why I’m liking it

Path‘s a new little social iPhone application which has gained some attention over the last week.

It calls itself a ‘personal network’, largely because you’re limited to 50 contacts. This, as you can imagine in a world where hundreds of Facebook friends and thousands of Twitter followers rule, is one of the aspects which has caught people’s attention most.

Path’s thinking is that with only 50 contacts max, you’ll think carefully about who’s in your network and subsequently be more comfortable about what you might be sharing with them. I like that.

I also like the fact that it’s picture based. It’s very simple. You take a picture with your iPhone, say what it is, where it is and who’s in it (though it doesn’t force you to include all of these) and then you post it. That’s it. It’s a bit like Foursquare, or Facebook’s Places, but uses pictures instead of only text. I like that too.

The way it presents the pictures from your friends is very nice. A letterbox crop until you touch it and then expanding to the full image. Like.

There are a couple of things that I think would add to it. The main one would be being able to comment on other people’s pictures. I’d also like to be able to use any of the images on my camera. I’ve taken a couple of pictures with my phone that I’ve subsequently thought I’d have like to have stuck on Path and can’t see a way to.

So is there a point to Path? I’m not sure as yet. I’m enjoying it, but I’m not sure whether I’ll continue to do so. It really needs – as ever – more of my friends and contacts using it. 50 contacts might seem restrictive to some, but I’ve only got five right now. It would be easy to dismiss it as not very useful. But a lot of people did that with Twitter at launch (myself included) and have changed their minds now (myself included).

I do find the idea of capping the number of people you can have in an online network interesting though, and was wondering whether the same limits might be useful in other places. Perhaps a number of different and small niche networks for specific areas of interest would be a good idea? I already run two Twitter accounts for instance.

Of course it depends on the type of content you’re posting in the network. I’m more than happy for my LinkedIn network to grow as big as it might like to, as long as I genuinely know every person in it (even if not very well). I certainly think that the breadth of my Facebook network makes me think twice about some of the content I post there, which it shouldn’t do really, so I reckon I could do with shrinking that one a bit.

Food for thought.

PR Week digital ramble

PRW_DIGI10_Shine_021

As requested, here’s a pdf of the Shine essay in the PR Week digital supplement, penned by your’s truly. As such, it’s a bunch of old pony.

(NB: I’m not entirely sure that I’m allowed to post this up here. It might upset the powers that be at PR Week. If so, let me know and I’ll take it down.)

The Flackenhack Awards 2008…are you in?

The Flackenhack Awards are back again for the second year…let’s see if we can get it right this time, eh?

What am I saying? Last year’s event was a cracker. So it’s more of the same, just bigger and better. If you weren’t at last year’s awards, you can get a flavour for the evening here.

All the relevant details can be found on The Flackenhacks blog, but here’s a summary:

- The awards are taking place on October 29th at the Village Underground in Shoreditch (a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street station) starting at about 7.00pm

- Tickets are on sale here. Full price is £65 but if you get in before the 23rd September you can snap one up for £50. Credit crunch friendly, see? You’ll get some grub, enough booze to make you wobbly, some music and a decent laugh. Not bad for a wet Wednesday in London, eh?

- To make sure we have a decent turnout from the press community, there a ‘buy a hack’s ticket on eBay scheme’ going on. Again, more details here.

- The all-important award categories will be announced soon. These are prestigious…look here.

It’s all shaping up to be another cracking night. John ‘Wheels of Steel’ Ozimek is back on the decks; Paul ‘Balls of Steel’ Wooding is our witty compere once again. Why change a winning formula?

Hope to see you there.

In search of the fairer Twitterer

I’ve been Twittering for a week now.  It’s been OK.  Quite entertaining.  That’ll wear off I expect.  Or perhaps not, as I’ve realised the compelling thing about Twitter is that it’s just so damn easy.  Like blogging but without the thought or effort.  I can see why people like it.

I am following 19 other people’s Twits (I think the official term might be Tweet, but I like Twit so much better) and have 10 people following mine.  Clearly there’s some overlap in these two groups.  In fact, in the Venn diagram of my Twitter universe, the circle containing my followers sits entirely within the circumference of the one containing my followees.  I realise that true Twitting power comes when the reverse is the case.  I am never likely to attain that.

The thing that struck me is that all those people that I’m following are male.  Not a girl among them.  Obviously 19 isn’t the biggest sample but looking at some of the other Twitterers with which I’m linked, there don’t seem to be many women around.

It might be, of course, that they have better things to do with their time.  Or perhaps that they’re generally later adopters of the latest geek porn…but then Twitters been around for a while now, hasn’t it?

Some might say that asking a member of the fairer sex to say anything in fewer than 140 characters is nigh on impossible (I wouldn’t, of course).

Go on Facebook my son, go on

scoble.jpgThis Scoble thing’s a laugh isn’t it?  I’m entirely with Facebook (on this, at least).

He broke the rules, they chucked him out.  Fair enough.  I don’t care if he’s high profile and can make an almighty fuss.  I don’t care if he had 5,000 friends.  Rules is rules.  If Facebook capitulates then I’m outta there.  That is unless they change the rules for everyone.  In which case, I’m outta there.  I don’t want every Tom, Dick and Harry running scripts to download my personal information.

But of course I won’t do, because I know all of my Facebook friends.  I’ve met them.  Scoble doesn’t know all of his 5,000 so-called friends…he’s just been happy to accept all the friend requests.  It’s not his fault that, in the friend finding frenzy that smothers us all when we sign up to Facebook, people send friend requests to anyone and everyone they’ve ever heard of, let alone talked to.  And can you really blame Scoble – ego boosted by this superficial popularity – if he gives in to human weakness and decides to grab all that lovely data?  After all, he probably didn’t have many friends at school.

But he got nicked.  It’s a fair cop guv…just go quietly, for Christ’s sake.  Jack Schofield’s got it right this morning: “So what is Scoble playing at?  If he wants to harvest data from his Facebook friends, he should not only tell us what and why, he should ask us first.”

Surely we can all learn something from this about Facebook?  When I was little, my parents told me not to speak to strangers.  Parents these days should be telling kids not to make friends with strangers on social networking sites.  It goes for adults too.  This morning I went through all of my Facebook friends and “defriended” all those that I haven’t actually met in person or had some meaningful communication with.  That was just two out of 219. 

Coincidentally, Hugh MacLeod has a post on his blog this morning in which he interviews Seth Godin about his new book.  MacLeod asks him whether handling the public side of being Seth Godin is becoming harder as he becomes better known.  The first bit of Godin’s answer:

Facebook is pretty much the only hassle right now. I joined to check it out, but I don’t use it, and I end up disappointing a lot of people I don’t ‘friend’. I should just turn it off, I guess. (Once you friend someone, I figure, you really owe them quite a bit of interaction).

Now there speaks a man who understands marketing.  No indiscriminate friend making for our Seth.

Ego boost

Have you done that QDOS thing yet?  A few people have mentioned it.  It calculates your online presence.  Initially, all you can do is enter your name and postcode and it gives you a score.  This’ll likely be a few hundred…which looks a bit rubbish when you can see 50 Cent there at the top of the board with a score of more than 10,000.

But when you apply to register – and are accepted – you build your profile by adding details around your online presence, so any URLs, blogs, Flickr pages etc etc, and your score increases.  Your presence is split into four elements: Popularity, Impact, Activity and Individuality. 

I added my details and my score went up to 4,420, which found me sandwiched between Seb Coe and Demi Moore.  I haven’t decided whether I’m happy with that or not (though I’ve heard he goes like the clappers for four minutes and then it’s all over).    A few more points would’ve seen me stuck between Catherine Zeta Jones and Terry Wogan which, frankly, is even more confusing.

But I still wasn’t happy. 

And then it struck me. When you enter your URLs and blogs and that there’s no check on whether they’re really yours or not.  So I added a few more…like google.com, microsoft.com, scobelizer.com, bbc.co.uk.  Before you know it, I’m at 9,839 points, in 12th place overall and just behind P Diddy! 

And I feel great.

About-face book

u.jpgWhen Bite PR, as PRWeek put it back in October, “became the envy of trendy consumer tech agencies everywhere [by] scooping up the Facebook UK brief” I bet in all their excitement the team never suspected that one of the first things they’d be handling would be the fallout from the Facebook founder’s humiliating apology over a dodgy advertising system.  Though perhaps they’re not having to do very much at all…as we all know, when stuff like this happens with our big American clients, it’s generally time to stick to the prepared statements and say nothing else.  I’ve always found that enormously rewarding.

In fact, with all the current chat about Facebook having jumped the shark, I’m not sure that other agencies would be that envious right now.  My gutfeel is that Facebook’s crested the hill and is starting a chilly descent.  I reckon Zuckerberg knows it too, so he’s grabbed the cash from Microsoft and the rich Asian fella while he can…$300m isn’t a bad return for a few years’ work in anyone’s book.  Hopefully Bite has negotiated a long notice period.

I bet the guys at LinkedIn – the client that Bite (rather arrogantly in my eyes) thought wouldn’t mind being serviced by the same agency as Facebook but which (rather predictably) decided that it did – are chuckling away though.

One thing I chuckled away at this morning is Kara Swisher’s decoding of Zuckerberg’s apology on her excellent BoomTown blog.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,931 other followers