Impressions on the Social Age

I’m A Beat Blogger!

Posted in Social Media by Trace on February 3, 2011

Cool Glasses, Power Tie. Oh Yeah.

Hello readers, here’s a personal message from your friend, Trace.

This week has been a pretty fantastic one thus far. I’ve got a new apartment to sign a lease on, may have found a cat to help me occupy said apartment, and I became the newest member of the GeekBeat.tv & WebBeat.tv blogging team – the company is called Livid Lobster.

Thank you, thank you. Be looking out on WebBeat and GeekBeat for possible mention of my stories and you can always go to either site and find posts I’ve written! To watch GeekBeat go to Revision3 or subscribe on iTunes, to watch WebBeat subscribe on iTunes and I might even post on OneMansBlog!

I’ll do my best to keep updating here, though as I often write about technology, social media and other cool web trends and issues, it will be tough to keep me from putting those on the Livid Lobster blogs. We’ll have to wait and see. It’s going to be an interesting February, which is good, as last February was #SnOMG, #Snomageddon, and #Snopocalypse all in a row. Regardless, I’ll do my best to blog here, there and everywhere!

Now here’s a sample of the work of my new friends at WebBeat.tv, enjoy!

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I tweeted it! I didn’t tell anyone!

Posted in Social Media, Twitter by Trace on August 26, 2010

Via: ISTOCKPHOTO

Not long ago, a friend of my finally graduated from college and got her bachelors degree (congrats!), but the thing is, while we are close friends she neglected to mention it to me. Instead, I found out via Twitter. Now, finding information via Twitter is nothing new for someone as Tweeted out as myself, however this was one of those funny times when she’d been so excited she had actually forgot to tell me!

Later in the day, I sent her an IM and she spilled the news. I congratulated her and jokingly asked why I’d read it on Twitter hours before and she said, “I just tweeted it! I didn’t tell anyone!”

That comment gave me pause right away. Is that really what she meant? Later she realized her mistake and said, not that I didn’t tell anyone, but I didn’t tell anyone.

Has our sharing become so autonomous that this girl didn’t think twice in telling her Tweeps about her recent successes, yet didn’t actually think of it as exclaiming to a public feed? Are wires crossed in our heads? Isn’t Twitter a digital equivalent of shouting in a crowded square?

According to a Scientific American from 2008, we might have something crossed. “Public sharing of private lives has led to a rethinking of our current conceptions of privacy.” We don’t really think about privacy in the way that we used to. I sat with my Grandma recently, she was asking me what I was going to do now that I’ve got my MA in Public Communication and what that meant. I went on to talk about social media, new media, and how the world of information is growing and becoming more personalized. She shuddered and said, “It all sounds so narcissistic and petty to me. I’m glad I’m not involved in any of that… What happened to people’s sense of privacy?”

Grandma’s got it right. What did happen to our sense of privacy? YouTube is America’s Funniest Home Video’s run amok, Facebook and Twitter and Foursquare (of FB Places if you prefer) all want us to share all of our information with each other constantly… It’s a barrage of personal data that we used to keep to our chests and now we’re throwing into cyberspace (yep, remember that word?) on a daily, hourly, or minutely(?) basis! It’s a little crazy if you think about it too much.

How can we not think of sharing as… well sharing? I’m not sure, maybe I’ll tweet about it and see if I can get any responses…

Is Twitter A Step Back?

Posted in Social Media, Uncategorized by Trace on July 14, 2010

As social media becomes more and more accepted as “just plain media,” there are more and more tools and platforms to use this new social mediascape. In July 2006, Twitter launched to lukewarm fanfare, and gradually increased in popularity. As Twitter becomes the half-brother of Facebook – often mentioned as an aside – we start to study it for societal influence and opinion formulation. I love Twitter, I use it every day, every hour even, but isn’t Twitter a step backward?

What is Twitter about? It’s kind of like conversing on a train. It’s about sending information out into the public timeline and sharing that information with whomever wants to listen. You can talk to me, but random people chose to listen in, or shut you out, listening and creating their own conversation.

In comparison…

What is Facebook about? Facebook is like being invited to a private party. It’s about connecting a real person who has added interests, information, photos, purchasing decisions and using this as a digital representation of their personality. It’s like a suburban backyard BBQ, next to a shopping mall. I don’t even see the next party over unless I’m out looking for it, networking style.

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Facebook Fans, What Are They Worth?

Posted in Social Networking Discovery by Trace on June 15, 2010

So as Facebook updates again and again, constantly revitalizing its systems to try to keep up with the landscape of the internet, we all sit there and get pissed off.

Few things have remained constant, but the idea of Liking or “Being a Fan” of something has been around long enough that people have been able to academically study it.

Recently, a social media measurement firm called Syncapse has come up with an actual dollar value and published it in a report for all to read. You probably never thought Fanning something would be of interest to a brand, you just Like them. But Syncapse studied the Fans of the top brands on Facebook and came up with some interesting conclusions.

To break the suspense, a fan is worth about $136. How do they know you ask? Well, they broke it down and thought strategically. They considered Product Spending, Loyalty, Propensity to Recommend (word-of-mouth, very important), Brand Affinity, Media Value and Acquisition Cost.

They took these metrics and studied people who were Fans of products like Skittles, Oreos, Coca-cola, Adidas, Blackberry, Victoria’s Secret or Starbucks (to name only a few) and compared them to those that were not Fans.

What did they discover when they studied these groups?

  • On average, fans spend an additional $71.84 on products for which they are fans compared to those who are not fans.
  • Fans are 28% more likely than non-fans to continue using the brand.
  • Fans are 41% more likely than non-fans to recommend a fanned product to their friends.

So what?

Well, this means Fans are more loyal, more likely to tell their friends about the brand (and more importantly recommend a purchase) and are more likely to buy something themselves!

Curious about more details? The must have Fan were those of McDonalds, who are frequent visitors to their establishments, are highly loyal, frequently refer others, and actively participate in the McDonald’s Facebook community. Because of all these metrics and the Fan effort the average McDonald’s fan netted the organization a value of $259.82.

Conclusion…

This is crazy! Why don’t these brands pay people, Google style, for recommending their brands? Maybe someday they will, but for now, I am going to login into my girlfriend’s Facebook account and Fan Victoria’s Secret…

Facebook Sells Your Profile

Posted in Social Networking Discovery by Trace on June 7, 2010

Recently, a friend of mine graduated from college interviewed with a large DC tank. This girl is Facebook savvy and keeps out both “The Man” and “Strangers” using the strictest privacy settings possible. As she says, “If I’m not friends with you, then all you know is I exist.”

For an aspiring job hunter in the nation’s capitol, she’s made the right online privacy decisions, right? Wrong.

My friend made three major mistakes. She friended her professional references on Facebook. She assumed her privacy settings actually protected her. And she didn’t anticipate her Facebook security guards were looking for a little extra cash.

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The Hint Caravan

Posted in Reading Response by Trace on June 7, 2010

Understanding the Internet is more than reading a book or playing Farmville. This, the five guys that wrote the Cluetrain Manifesto understand. While they admit they don’t understand the true purpose of the web – “telephones are for talking to people… what’s the web for.”

This ten-year anniversary addition almost doubles the original book published in 2000. IT contains new information discovered since the before our Web 2.0 generation. Back in 2000, before the popularity of the social web, before Facebook, MySpace or Twitter had taken over the bandwidth this book said something outrageous. “Markets are conversations.”

This simple idea was a revolution in 2000, and the Internet was the best driving force behind these conversations. Today, we take this idea for granted. The idea that outside of a barbershop or store aisle we the consumers can have a true conversation regarding the products or policies of our favorite providers.

Unlike some of my other posts, today I felt this book is too important to pick apart. It’s an Eastern philosophy of the internet. The authors looked at the Internet how an Amish person might design an Internet scheme. I read earlier this month how the Web increases our hand-eye coordination but decreases our critical thinking. This book is fantastic for those who have never thought critically about webspace. For those of us that who have, it becomes more of a How-to-explain book. It’s more of a crash course of more of an eastern school web.

We’ve Got Your Number: Mobile Campaign Strategy

Posted in Reading Response by Trace on May 26, 2010

These days, everyone has a shortcode and some type of bandwagon-style promotion, (Text PORK to 234O2 and get a free HAM!) But the question isn’t availability, it’s viability. Why should your company or your campaign go through the trouble of a mobile campaign? The short answer, because there are 4.6 billion mobile phones worldwide which means a potential for 4.6 billion impressions, donations or contacts.

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The Photo, Made Creepy

Posted in Social Networking Discovery by Trace on May 17, 2010

By now many of us have heard of DailyBooth, but for those that haven’t… DailyBooth is a social networking/media site that allows users to upload a photo (similar to a visual status message).

With this in mind, were a Clark Kent impersonator to step into DailyBooth he would emerge not as superman, but as Robo.to a strange/creepy version of DailyBooth. Robo.to’s website self-describes it as gathering “the latest about you into a tiny, easy to update, video-enabled calling card.” These calling cards can then be embedded and used in place of some photos you see around the blogosphere.

Verdict? Creepy? Cool? Or a bit of both? To view my Robo.to go to: http://robo.to/td501

So, You Want to be a Successful Campaign?

Posted in Reading Response by Trace on May 12, 2010

Engaging the public in an Internet age is not necessarily more difficult than engaging the public previously. If anything according to Rosenblatt, Delany and Rigby, it would seem to be easier to reach, offer influence and recruit individuals. The problem is not access, but organization and strategy.

The days of driving the megaphone through the center of town are not gone, but the megaphone has evolved into a series of electronic pages. Instead of driving it through town you create the data on a server and shout your message into people’s email inboxes and social networks. Additionally, the campaign cannot use the hypodermic needle theory, they need to engage and respect their audience (who are often NOT the general public, but subsets of that public known as publics). In the age of engaged publics who can communicate and search for your campaign, you need to respect and value their input from the ground level. If you don’t care, then why are you even soliciting it?

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