Posts tagged ‘social media’
I came across a great phrase the other day – Time Vampires. Which seems to be commonly defined as distractions or events that take you away from your working day.
So hello, Twitter. And hi there to facebook and just about every other social networking site and blogging platform. It’s very tempting when inspiration is failing to strike to click over to bloglines and see what’s new or to have a quick look at BrandRepublic.
To be fair, I regularly find blog posts via my RSS feeds that are hugely relevant to whatever I’m working on at the moment. I just have to spend a lot of time wading through baby pictures, technology reviews and bitching to get to them.
I know some people who are really virtuous and only check their RSS feeds once a day. I don’t have that kind of self control but having just moved desks to one where my laptop screen can be seen by at least twenty people at least there’s a bit more of an incentive to stay productive.
Aligned to what I see as a future move towards more discerning social networking (only using the networks that really work for you), maybe we’ll see a Second Life style growth in inactive accounts on Twitter as the world remembers that they really do have to get that report finished.
Neil from Only Dead Fish had a presentation to make at IMM09 about online communities. So he crowdsourced ‘A Presentation About Community, By The Community’ by requesting slides from the planners, digital specialists, researchers and so on who read his blog.
The final presentation is below (including a slide contributed by moi, see if you can spot it).
I’ve been reading lots of Social Media Predictions for 2009 (including Peter Kim’s excellent piece) and one of the trends that stood out for me was Cleansing.
I suppose it’s the digital equivalent of Spring Cleaning and a good ‘new year, new me’, kind of activity. This week I’ve found myself cleaning out my RSS feed and ‘defriending’ on facebook so my friends list is entirely composed of my actual, real-life friends and not people I last saw when we sat our GCSEs in 1993.
There’s also been a lot written about how there’s going to be a need for services that ‘sanitise’ your social media profile. One report made the very good point that the politicians of 2030 are currently at uni, posting drunken pictures of themselves on facebook. Heaven help anyone who suddenly finds fame in the next few years, only to have their facebook/ blog/ flickr/ twitter feeds mercilessly scoured for any hint of scandal.
I don’t think the majority of social media users have totally woken up to the fact that whatever they upload to the internet will be there forever.
Ben over at Noisy Decent Graphics has thrown out an all-users tag:
I have to say that I’m with him on his number 1 – Twitter. I tried twittering, but its just not right for me. In fact I’ve already dumped it.
The problem is that the texts I normally receive are requests for information like ‘what time is the meeting?’ which need replying to fairly quickly. I just can’t ignore the constant beeping that an active life on Twitter generates as somewhere in and amongst will be a text that actually needs replying to. But I can’t read every text/twitter as it comes in because I’m supposed to be, you know, concentrating at work.
But I’m NOT giving up without a fight:
Bloglines – I’m addicted. I love the mix of work/fun/friends feeds I’ve got on it and its ease of use. I’m also increasingly ‘clipping’ interesting blog posts rather than printing them out and storing them in my toolbox.
Flickr – not only a really useful photo storage/sharing tool but brilliant for sourcing (creative commons licensed of course) imagery for presentations.
WordPress – not because I love its usability (in fact its just got worse with a redesign), but because blogging (or quite often ranting in my case…) has connected me with so many interesting people.
Facebook – no, not for those ‘become a knight of the round table’ applications. Lots of my Uni mates moved to London and this is a great way of keeping in touch with them between visits.
What about you?
There’s an interesting interview with Woody Harrelson in today’ Sunday Times. In it he talks about choosing to live in an environmentally conscious community in Maui which he describes as “we all get together for Thanksgiving and look after each other’s kids. It’s a real community, like one I’ve never been a part of in my life”.
This got me thinking about everybrand’s attempts to create communities online. Particularly in a jumping-on-the-bandwagon kind of way. The thing is, you don’t just create communities. You create a place where similarly-minded people can come together. Its not ‘I am brand, come worship at my website’, its ‘you love our stuff? that’s great, come and talk to us about how we can be even better and maybe connect with some people who love us too’. I know this isn’t exactly new news, but I’m constantly amazed by the number of brands that still don’t get it.
I’ve changed my mind and signed up to facebook. Not because I was desperate to connect to everyone I worked with in 1998 or did my GCSEs with, but because I couldn’t get to all the brand facebook pages, plannery things and blogs without signing up.
So thats a dormant facebook account to add to the dormant myspace, second life, vox, plannersphere and god knows what else that I’ve forgotten about. I keep forgetting to twitter and then there is the three email adresses, this blog and my flickr that I actually manage to keep up to date with.
Surely someone is going to have to come up with a better way of accessing and monitoring all this social networking malarky? Or the entire economy is going to grind to a halt. How about an RSS-style single page that pulls all your social networking sites together? Has anyone heard of one? Please?
I’ve been thinking about Second Life recently and it seems to me that its quite an exclusive world – you either ‘get it’ or you don’t. If you’ve grown up playing computer games and especially role-play games, it’s a very comfortable environment, but if you’re more of a Microsoft office type person, its all very alien and hard going.
Add to that the amount of time required to understand the world and maintain an active presence in it and I think that although Second Life will undoubtedly be/is a real force and an active online community, but it won’t become part of everyday life for everyone.
Which means that any activity organisations use to get feedback/buy-in from users will inevitably have skewed results as it only attracts (and crucially retains) the ‘get its’.
The retention issue is a real problem. Some reports estimate that only 10% of those signed up to Second Life are active users, visiting at least once a week. Which leaves an awful lot of dormant accounts (including mine) included in the hype. According to CNN, only 16% of October ’06 registrants were still using the service 30 days later.
Two of my favourite bloggers have recently been subjected to unprovoked attacks online. I’m not going to link to them because a) that would fan the flames and b) some of the material intended to upset these bloggers is not nice to put it mildly.
Perhaps its naive of me to assume that the internet is any safer or better than the big, bad real-life world out there, but in the normal course of events I’ve been struck by the spirit of support and co-operation that exists online. Thanks to the net, I’ve made Planning friends that I would otherwise never had met and rekindled some old friendships too.
I suppose that to enjoy the highs, you’ve got to cope with the lows too, but today I’m deeply depressed by the state of the online community. What makes it worse is that both of these bloggers had really embraced connecting with their readers and bringing people together via the web, but the high profile that their openness created seemed to make them a target at the same time.
Amelia has posted about what happened when she googled Coke’s new end line.
When was the last time you googled the brand(s) you work with (pitches don’t count)? And when was the last time you checked them out on technorati or google trends? The most interesting ways that consumers are interacting with your brand probably haven’t got anything to do with what appears on your brand pyramid/triangle/onion. I’m doing some work for a soft drink brand that it turns out is being consumed in ways the manufacturer never had in mind…
OK, so maybe some of these brand interactions aren’t exactly what you had planned in your quest for total brand/world domination, but sometimes you’ve got to work with what you’ve got.
On the other hand, you can go a bit too far – as this brilliant piece from The Onion hypothesises.