Recently in Social Networks Category
December 3, 2013
I like this:
Lovely example of both how similar photos taken of certain sights can end up, even when "filtered" by Instagram, but also the creative potential of this vast online wealth of creative material we're building up.
[Found via Neil Perkin's e-mail newsletter]
Here's another example in a similar vein:
November 25, 2013
Are people rejecting the idea of a single online identity mediated by a large online entity? Stowe Boyd thinks so:
The Benthamite underpinnings of Facebook are becoming unpopular. Young people in particular don’t want their teachers, parents, employers, and even all their friends to know everything going on in their lives. Oh, and the government. People want to have multiple, contextually defined identities, different circles of knowing, different non-overlapping rules of attraction. Everything is not everything.
This, to me, seems the real lesson of teens' use of social media. They're seeing the dangers of centralising our online identity through the close-and-present authority figures of teachers and parents. We miss it because our authority figures are more distant. But the NSA are doing a bang-up job of bringing that reality home to us.
November 24, 2013
The organizations that have the idea for a community, spend weeks selecting a platform, months developing it, and a year before they invite anyone to participate, tend to struggle...a lot. Typically they splutter along for six months before being mercifully cancelled.
I bet anyone who's worked in community development within any sizable publisher is wincing right now.
November 18, 2013
Mathew Ingram responds to Farhad Manjoo on how telling teenagers' use of tech is:
[...] teens and twenty-somethings are good predictors of technology's future, even if the services or apps or hardware they prefer at a specific point in time don't become a "winner" in market terms. And that's why companies like Facebook -- and investors who hold shares in them -- should be concerned when they see younger users dropping off or adopting other services.
I'm not sure that I entirely agree with either of them - Manjoo is pretty clearly accurate when he points out that some major trends that do come to pass aren't led by teenagers, and it's not just the financially gated ones either - Twitter is one example of a service that has traction but which teens came to late, if at all.
But equally, Ingram is correct in saying that the behaviours of teens are more telling than the services they use. Teens' use of Bebo and MySpace in the mid-2000s heralded the rise of Facebook rather than a growth in the two sites they were using at the time. The trend was telling, rather than the sites.
So - look at teens' usage of disparate tools to maintain a loose, non-centralised network as the key message of today's situation, not at the particular services they're using to do that with right now. Indeed, if anything, this promiscuous use of a variety of tools makes it less likely that any one will become significant in the long-term - as swapping out any element of their social toolbox becomes significantly easier than it was in the centralise social network era.
And, of course, once their parents figure out they're doing it, that's exactly what they'll do. Snapchat's in the papers. The clock is ticking...
November 10, 2013
It might be a good time to start culling the politicians you follow on Twitter. Buzzfeed's Jim Waterson explains why Labour spammed its followers' Twitter feeds:
It's an attempt to recreate blanket broadcast-style coverage on Twitter. And if 4.5m people really did see this one tweet about energy bills then it would be an equivalent reach to the BBC's Six O'Clock News.
I suspect we're about to find out if people are prepared to accept politicians treating Twitter as a primarily broadcast medium. I have to say, if any group if people I followed did that, I'd unfollow the lot of them.
Nice piece of reporting by Buzzfeed.
October 15, 2013
Mashable reports on a complete abuse of New York Comic Con attendees' Twitter accounts:
Fans, celebrities and press attending New York Comic Con on Thursday sent out laudatory tweets expressing excitement to be at the annual convention — or at least it looked like they did, as the tweets were published entirely without their permission or knowledge.
What's worse is that they don't even seem particularly sorry they did it:
As you may have seen yesterday, there were some posts to Twitter and Facebook issued by New York Comic Con on behalf of attendees after RFID badges were registered. This was an opt-in function after signing in, but we were probably too enthusiastic in our messaging and eagerness to spread the good word about NYCC.
As the word spreads that social media can powerfully extend the reach of events like this, I'd lay good money on further abuses like this happening.
Photo by NY Big Apple and used under a Creative Commons licence
September 24, 2013
In a few weeks, I'll be up in front of a variety of journalism students, teaching them about live-tweeting events. Despite what some people have taken from my post on Social Media Week London, I think good event live-tweeting is a really useful resource. But it's a very, very tricky thing to do well.
There are three things I'll be suggesting to the students that can make the difference between ordinary live-tweeting and really useful tweets. I'll present them here for the criticism and appraisal of anyone who is interested.
(I'm aware that Rob Mansfield has posted something similar, but I'm dumping my thoughts out here before I read that.)
This sounds obvious, but it's easy to miss. Is what you're tweeting really news?
- Does it say something that doesn't feel obvious?
- Will it deepen people's understanding of the subject under discussion?
- Why are you tweeting it?
- What will your followers - and other people on the hashtag - find useful in it?
There's a temptation to tweet things that in some way badge you with what they're saying: "Hey, look, I know that social media use should be authentic". This is rarely useful to others. Concentrate on sharing things that you find genuinely surprising or useful, not those that confirm your existing beliefs.
Really good live-tweeters can construct a narrative of a speaker's thoughts through selective tweeting. That's a skill you can hone over time.
Context is everything. I once saw a tweet from a conference that accurately reproduced a speaker's words (about the growing power of the amateur photographer), but missed the context (a service to help professional photographers). Many people not in the room assumed that he was celebrating the fall of the professional photog, not trying to arrest it. That's about context. An isolated soundbite without the context of the quote can be deeply misleading.
If you can't quote it without the context being clear - don't tweet it.
You can't rely on people reading the whole of your stream either. People dip in and out of Twitter, and once a tweet is retweeted, all context from surrounding tweets is lost.
Remember that the hashtag and geotagging your tweets are both useful context. The former aids discovery, the latter aids verification, suggesting you were actually on site, rather than repeating something heard elsewhere.
Every time you quote someone, attribute that quote to them. Don't rely on flagging it up in the first tweet quoting them - that context is easily lost. Where possible, use their twitter username. It'll save you characters, and allow people interested in what they had to say to find them and follow them. If you know you will be live tweeting an event, you can research this in advance. If you are an event organiser and want to encourage people to tweet, put the Twitter username of the speaker up somewhere in the venue in a persistent manner.
Is this is a lot to cram into 140 characters? Yes, it is. But that's the skill of using Twitter well.
Feedback gratefully received…
September 22, 2013
I've just used Tweetbot's muting feature for the very first time:
The Social Media Week London hashtag - #smwldn - is banished from my timeline.
Why? Well, there are multiple reasons. As best I can sum them up:
- Anything really good said over the week will find its way to me through different channels
- I've had enough of people retweeting "insightful" snippets shorn of context or meaning for one lifetime, thanks very much
- The signal/noise ratio on previous Social Media Weeks has not been in signal's favour
- I've been working professionally in the field for eight years now - believe me, we should be well past the point where we're talking about the tool. It's the work done by the tool that matters.
Feel free to tell me how wrong I am using the hashtag #smwldn ;-)
September 4, 2013
September 2, 2013
The very first time I saw someone use Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in a corporate presentation, I was impressed. It tied the pyramid neatly to reasons for doing social activity around a magazine brand. It was clever, and gave intellectual weight to the presentation.
And then I saw it in another one.
And then I started getting suspicious. It was all too neat, too convenient. Human needs, all parcelled up in a tidy pattern of ascending importance. Simple.
But people aren't simple, are they? And the more I looked at it, the less evidence there seemed to be to support that pyramid. The BBC have just taken a closer look and - surprise, surprise, it's bunkum:
However, after Maslow's death in 1970, researchers did undertake a more detailed investigation, with attitude-based surveys and field studies testing out the Hierarchy of Needs.
"When you analyse them, the five needs just don't drop out," says Hodgkinson. "The actual structure of motivation doesn't fit the theory. And that led to a lot of discussion and debate, and new theories evolved as a consequence."
So, next time you see that pyramid in a PowerPoint, remember that the speaker hasn't done their research.
The full impact of the social web will only be apparent when being "professional" - in the sense of restrained, impersonal, guarded and "businesslike" as distinct from being bloody good at your job - is finally seen as unproductive, dysfunctional, often bullying in intent, and a waste of time and energy.
I love Euan's blogging.
August 12, 2013
I recently realised that I need to distance myself a little from this social media pigeonhole I'm in -- not that I'm going to stop doing what I've done until now, not at all, but I find the label keeps dragging me a little too close to social media marketing for my comfort, and keeps me away from gigs which are more productivity-related ("use technology better to do what you want to do"). This can cover strategies for dealing with e-mail, discovering Evernote, Google Docs, managing one's digital content, etc.
One of the things I discovered last year was that the social media marketing crowd have managed to make so much noise that a very significant proportion of people now think that social media is marketing and nothing else. Mind you, you'd expect marketing people to try and dominate a conversation, wouldn't you?
It wasn't always this way - back in the mid-2000s the conversation revolved around ways of using social media to enhance businesses on multiple levels. That will come back, because there are good people doing these things, and having an impact. We just need the social media marketing bubble to burst a little, as people get tired of the increasing marketing noise in their social channels.