Category: Social networks

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).