Social Networking Blog

Guy Clapperton on the evolving new media

Twitter annoyances

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Great blog post pointed out by Jack Schofield of the Guardian to his followers, on ways of annoying Twitter users. I could add a few; we’re getting to the stage at which posting to Twitter about Twitter is going to seem very old hat (we could just accept Twitter’s there and get on with it, nobody phones you to talk about the phone network); engaging in endless one to one communications which should long ago have been taken to private mail and posting exclusively about your product are among them. But the list in this link is pretty much excellent and I’m relieved to say I don’t indulge in many of them. Not often anyway…

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April 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

How not to win friends in a social network

Social network
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Some great tips from the Feverbee blog on ways of dooming online communities and other social networks, by extension. It involves things like not planning your first ten members, not befriending people before the launch and making big announcements (so setting expectations when you’ve less to say).

There’s actually something a lot more basic that you can do to achieve much the same level of screw-up, in my view. It’s very simple – you just set the thing up without any clear idea of your message. The times I’ve seen companies decide they need an online community of some sort (they’d have called it a Web forum a few years back) and forget they actually need something to say, thinking of this only when they’ve started telling everyone it’s coming, is embarrassing.

Of course it needs marketing and of course it needs some sort of strategy. But many of the issues associated with an online community become a lot more straightforward if you address the basics first.

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April 6, 2009 Posted by | social media trends | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social media experts 2

Earlier today I blogged about social media experts and how half of them don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s all too new, nobody’s an expert yet.

Another post has been drawn to my attention on Twitter by Nikki Pilkington, for which my thanks – have a look at this item on how you know when you’re talking to a social media expert – and be prepared to cringe at how many of these habits you’ve adopted yourself!

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April 3, 2009 Posted by | social media trends | , , , , | Leave a comment

Social networking ‘experts’ and ‘gurus’

Digitage Web 2.0
Image by ocean.flynn via Flickr

Someone asked what I thought was an odd question when I started this blog a month or so ago. “So, you’re going to become a social networking guru then,” they said.

Once I’d picked myself up off the floor I asked them why they thought so. “Well, the socialnetworkingblog.co.uk domain name, the book coming out…” I could see how it was looking. But I’m not. In fact I hate people who describe themselves as ‘gurus’ or ‘experts’ in such new areas – I don’t actually believe they exist yet, we don’t know how social networking will evolve over time because it hasn’t had enough just yet. I was delighted. therefore, to be shown this piece on people styling themselves as such describing them as idiots.

It did make me think a bit about my objectives for the blog. First, this blog exists as a statement: I’ve been commissioned to write a book on social networking and I’d look ridiculous if I didn’t walk the walk and other such cliches. It’s a good repository of links I might come across that will help me, and if I can share some of the insights I gain with other people along the way, fair enough. When I found the socialnetworkingblog.co.uk domain name was available I couldn’t resist it, which is pure vanity, but if I have a book in the area coming out it might yet be useful for marketing.

And I do a bit of speaking in the area, it’s true – I enjoy that part of my work (actually I enjoy most of my work except the filing and record keeping, but nothing’s perfect). And if the blog brings a bit more of that work through, great. Sharing your research is a new way of working for me, but I’m finding it highly pleasurable.

None of which makes me anything like a guru. A guru knows stuff. A guru offers guidance, vision and direction. When the book comes out it’s going to be a lot more about practicality than the vision thing, and accommodating social networking into a business plan. Simple brass tacky stuff is what I want to offer, nothing high-flown. And there are so many people who claim they’re some sort of social networking know-it-all! Frankly even if I did know everything about social networking I wouldn’t call myself a guru, it would put me in the same league as so many chancers!

I was talking to a colleague – who I met through social media of course – about this only today. She thought of a new term I could use. I don’t have to be a guru, I don’t have to claim to be an expert somehow, I just have to use this new term and it’ll work fine. I think I’m going to do it. As of right now.

That’s it, then. I am the social networking antiguru. End of!

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April 3, 2009 Posted by | Unexpected things happen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social Networking makes you more productive

Facebook, Inc.
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I’ve had a feeling about this for some time. And now there’s actual evidence to suggest social networking makes you more productive. Visiting Twitter, Facebook, YouTube et al actually makes you a better worker.

Some of us have been saying this sort of thing for years. As long ago as the mid-nineties, when I signed up to something called Cix (still going, a very early social networking thing before the term was invented) once I’d gone freelance I noticed that if I had some human contact, albeit through a keyboard,  I was happier, more motivated and therefore more productive.

This is exactly what services like Twitter offer, particularly to the self-employed or remote working community. I’ve been stunned – often – to read about people banning their staff from its use, missing the point that having pointless conversations about last night’s telly is part of the process, not something that distracts from it.

And now it’s official. There’s evidence. I’m not surprised in the slightest.

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April 2, 2009 Posted by | social media trends | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Twitter overtakes newspapers on G20 reporting

No overtaking
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Well, that’s what it says here. One of the Frontline Club‘s bloggers claims that Twitter is overtaking traditional methods as the place the G20 stuff is being reported.

I’m sure that’s kind of true. Social media is increasingly important and this is a case where it’s being noticed. On the other hand until someone produces an issue of the Times with 140 characters only I’m not sure there’s a direct comparison to be made.Sure, bulletin for bulletin there are more Tweets than reports – but until someone does a word/character count on all the traditional media so we can see how many Tweets it would account for, the position isn’t clear.

You could almost think it’s not really a like for like comparison, don’t you think?

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April 2, 2009 Posted by | social media trends | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Discovery Engine Coming to Twitter Homepage. Wait, What Twitter Homepage?

SAN FRANCISCO - MARCH 10:  Twitter co-founder ...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Discovery Engine Coming to Twitter Homepage. Wait, What Twitter Homepage?

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This post makes an interesting point – that nobody really looks at the Twitter home page any more. When I first signed up for the service I also signed for TwitAds, the idea being that people who look at your page get to see an advert in the background and you get paid a tiny, tiny amount. Yesterday I had offers from a couple of companies wanting to take me up on this – but I couldn’t help wondering, is anyone actually going to see the ad if I go ahead with this? My guess is not, because people see my Tweets on Twitdeck, Twitphon, Twihrl and all those other applications people use when they are definitely not using a Web interface. The Techcrunch people in the link above are right – Twitter has been outdone by the people writing applications around it.

Which is fine for Twitter as it provides the underpinnings and reaps the benefits. But the people providing the stuff like TwitAds, which depends on someone using the web view, will have a harder task in making anything out of this.

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April 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Twitter going to face a backlash?

An image of a compact disc - Pencil included f...
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No, not just a backlash because it’s successful and people resent it. Everyone gets those. No, this is a backlash from its advocates who don’t like it when they get the fail whale picture. CNN thinks it’s happening and it’s happening right now.

Which of course it is. And it will continue. Not because it’s Twitter but because this is how human beings interact with technology.

We start by being overawed. Take the CD; I remember when CDs launched, they were incredible, we were told, and quite possibly indestructible. We soon got over that – then we noticed that the music industry had managed to double the price of an album without anyone noticing. Then the backlash started – they didn’t sound as good as vinyl, de dum, de dum, de dum. Later on email began which was great – at first. Instant communication with someone the other side of the world – until you get your first outage, at which point email sucks. Big time.

Things move faster now. Twitter’s rise from a tiny minority pursuit has been nothing short of meteoric and lookee here, it can’t always cope. So yes, we get a backlash and it’s a big one – but it’ll move on just as quickly.

Someone on Twitter was just saying their local radio station was speculating that Twitter won’t last another year. My guess is that it will, for people who have a reason to use it, but the simply curious will move away quite quickly and find the ‘next big thing’. The apparent disillusionment when it can’t cope with a squillion users all wanting to get a glimpse of their favourite musician, sportsperson or other hero is all part of this process.

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March 31, 2009 Posted by | social media trends | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Newspapers aren’t making themselves interactive enough

taken by :he:משתמש:Hmbr
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Social media shouldn’t be the death of newspapers but many people are portraying them in that way. This is why it’s good to read Marketingvox’ report of the Gartner view that they need to embrace the social networking area rather than compete with it, with thanks to Steverubel on Twitter for pointing the link out in the first place.

I find my experience mixed. The problem with the current model is that yes, you can comment on some stories online (I find the ones without the chance to comment now look out of date) but if it’s a popular newspaper you get lost in the mass of individuals.

I suspect there needs to be a new model to make real interaction work, and it’s not going to be leaving a couple of sentences on the end of an experienced writer’s polished prose. Where we go from here I don’t know, but for me the current model doesn’t work.

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March 31, 2009 Posted by | social media trends | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

More over the top Twitter advice

Eschers Coffee Twitter Theme
Image by JoshSemans via Flickr

I appreciate Twitter is great for all sorts of things. I’ve had a book commissioned through my use of it and have picked up literally thousands of pounds in other commissions so even if it wasn’t good for those coffee machine moments I’d otherwise miss as I work by myself – and it’s great for them – I’d recommend it to anyone.

But now Gartner of all people is publishing a guide on how to do it. Gartner, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a serious corporate advisory and research organisation. I’m not convinced microblogging needs a massive corporate infrastructure and advice – so much of it is down to common sense.

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March 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment