Welcome to my blog on Content Intelligence and Engagement Performance; I have spent years in collaboration, messaging and social space developing advanced technologies to improve the consumer experience and lead generation. Was inducted into the Viral Hall of Fame by Marketing Sherpa as well as other industry awards. Join me in the conversation.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Brands start taking advantage of social graphs.
If the late '00s were the era of the social network, the early '10s will see the rise of the "social graph" -- the network of you, your friends, and the friends of your friends.
There is going to be a play here for using consumers presence with Instant Messaging and the use of realtime as well .
Everyone has a social graph. In fact, the point of social networking has been to build one. We will now see services like Facebook and Google start to use social graph data more aggressively as we move away from the "destination web" towards a "social web" whereby people get information through their networks rather than a specific site. Facebook's new "reconnect with" feature is one implementation of social graph data.
The social graph needs two kinds of tool to work. At the service end, it needs algorithms -- the formula that use your graph to determine what information and connections you value most, which allows services to predict what information you're going to like (including, of course, which products and marketing communications you'll appreciate). At the user end, it needs filters -- the ability to group people and information more effectively to get the most out of a network. The effectiveness of both algorithms and filters are improving rapidly, and these will be a big factor in the continued evolution of social media.
In 2010 there will be a heightened need for brands to understand how to be more social in order to access these more segmented networks. There's increasing evidence that the ROI of social media is definitely worth the effort.
In my next post will talk to some of the above approaches in Social Brand Growth Part II.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Karen J. Bannan “Looking ahead: 2010 e-mail marketing trends” references leader StrongMail in the “2010 Marketing Trends Survey” indicates 89% of respondents plan to increase or maintain marketing spend in email marketing and social media budgets in the New Year. Of the 1,000 global business leaders found that the positive outlook is supported by 50% of polled businesses that expect their customers to spend more in 2010, and nearly a quarter more that expect them to spend the same. Only 8% of businesses expect their customers to spend less.
Email and social media marketing are the two leading areas of investment at 69% and 59% respectively.
(Thanks for the blug Kristin)
They will do so using several strategies, said Kristin Hersant, StrongMail’s director of corporate marketing. “We see marketers getting a lot more sophisticated, leveraging the viral aspect of the Web,” she said. “For example, using targeted segmentation to create a referral program with their top influencers, who they know are most active with their brand.”
Hersant said tools are finally coming to the market that will help marketers tease out the most active users on their lists by examining engagement metrics. Companies such as UNBOUND Technologies . can scrub those lists to determine which recipients are active in the social networking world and the networks they are on.
Among their goals, marketers reported a desire to increase relevancy by adopting segmentation and targeting, cited by 46% of respondents.
With social media marketing a clear focus for businesses, Respondents identified the top three benefits of social media marketing as:
• Awareness building (64%)
• Customer loyalty and retention (49%)
• Expanded reach (46%)
Bill Wagner, executive vice president of business operations at StrongMail, notes that “… this survey reveals a strong focus on high ROI channels like email and emerging ones like social media… (with) an unprecedented number of companies look to integrate email and social media in 2010…”
Reported survey highlights include:
- 89% of businesses plan to increase or maintain marketing spend in 2010
- 50% of businesses expect customers to spend more; 23% to spend about the same; 8% to spend less
- 69% of businesses plan to increase marketing budget for email; 59% social media; 42% search
- 69% of businesses plan to integrate email and social media in 2010
- 64% of businesses identify increasing awareness as the primary value for social media
The key here is you need to have a clear understanding of your consumers’ passion points, where they are interacting and your possible influencers. 2010 is a big year for Social Intelligence and Social Consumer Insight making email the quick hit for marketers in the new year.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Social networks are about conversations. Effective social marketing is about having those conversations with the right people. At this session UNBOUND Technologies Chase McMichael and Room 214’s James Clark will demonstrate a case history of the Travel Channel to show how they used Social Network Intelligence to identify, target, and analyze customers across the social graph and then tapped into their passion points. Hear how to create and nurture highly targeted marketing conversations that impact not just individuals, but influence entire online communities.
Results in 6 Months
* Social Media Traffic Drivers
o Facebook Top 10 Referring Source
* Fan Base
o 375,000 Community Members
o 1.8 Million Kidnap! Users
* Fan Base
o 375,000 Community Members
o 1.8 Million Kidnap! App Users
o 350,000 Uniques to “I Have The Bug”
o 81,000 Hungry for More App Users
o Over 40,000 online conversations about Travel Channel
o 80% Positive Sentiment
o 150 – 1,500 Live Chat Participants
Interested in getting results like this? Contact us and will show you at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888 377 1264
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Social networks have changed the dynamic between businesses and consumers from two-dimensional to multi-dimensional. This shift occurred because social networks have allowed brands to become active listeners and participants in broader conversations that consumers with common affinities.
Going beyond antiquated marketing campaigns to create true, meaningful social interactions with consumers is not an easy task. Regardless of whether companies decide to outsource their social network efforts or manage those efforts in-house, UNBOUND Technologies' SNI (Social Network Intelligence) technology platform is a fundamental step that will enable data base marketing companies, email service providers and any marketing or sales organization to take full advantage of these rapidly emerging opportunities in social media.
The Growth of Social Networks
As most already know, a social networking friend is anyone who associates with another user. A friend can be a close acquaintance or a stranger, with whom the user shares some affinity, including jobs, music, movies, television or fashion. Social networks have experienced significant growth in recent years. 48 percent of American adults have either a MySpace or Facebook page. (1) 16 percent of these adults update their page at least once a day. (2) 74 percent of online users from 18 to 34 years of age have a Facebook or Myspace page.(3) MySpace brought social networking into the mainstream but it has been surpassed by Facebook. As of 2009, 19 percent of Google's unique visitors are referred by Facebook. (4) This suggests that Facebook may actually overtake Google in terms of number of unique visitors between 2011 and 2012. (5)
MySpace was the first social network to allow companies to create fan pages that users can join as friends. MySpace fan pages are not cheap: prices start at close to $100,000. Facebook followed suit, albeit with its own spin, offering both free fan pages and fee-based fan pages that can attract a significant amount of followers. For example, the Facebook fan page for actor Vin Diesel grew to 3.8 million followers in just a few months. In comparison, Coca Cola's Facebook fan page has 3.4 million fans. Facebook now boast more than a million fan pages with over 60 thousand that are consider top page having a /brandname over just a name and id.
Now Twitter houses massive consumer brand affinity , whereby, consumers “Follow” a brand Twitter feed and every major brand you can think of has a Facebook Fan page. What does this all mean?
For starters is creating a wealth of Social Intelligence never before seen enabling marketers to be smarter than ever before. The ability to truly understand their direct consumers as well as friends of their consumers and possible influencer is a major game changer in conversation induced marketing.
Marketers tapping into their social conversation is priority number one and reaching the right audience and affective composition is a driving force of these brand page going main stream. Utilizing UNBOUND's SNI platform enable the visualization of paid brand fan pages on Facebook.
As the chart illustrates, the growth of companies using the /brandname URL grew from 805 to 3301 from December 2008 to June 2009. Figure 2 provides a detailed breakdown of the friend growth of popular brand fan pages from December 2008 to April 2009. Now with Facebook opening up to any page owner that has over 5000 fans and had a page for over a year this has grown to an impressive 67K brand pages.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
By using UNBOUND’s proprietary friend proximity algorithm, though the wealth of known affinities, UNBOUND has taken the community insight and social intelligence to the next level.Using brand affinity clusters provide large scale pin pointing of influencers; igniting consumer conversation where it matters the most. Come see the power at Ad:Tech NY Nov 4,5 - booth 2146
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
STARTING A BRAND CONVERSATION WITH AFFINITY-BASED MARKETING
A. WHAT IS AFFINITY-BASED MARKETING?
Affinity-based marketing brings together merchants and consumers by identifying and communicating with “influencers” in consumer’s social networks. Consumers have brand affinities based on either a particular product’s identification as a status symbol or common “feel good purchases.” Consumers on social networks connect to brand-based groups and pages, as well as fan pages for musicians, films, and other content. Consumers who link themselves to brands can serve as possible brand advocates. The interaction with the influencer creates an association that links brands to large-scale social networking communities, thus generating ongoing sales revenue.
B. BUILDING AN AFFINITY-MARKETING SYSTEM
Three major components interact to form any powerful affinity-based marketing system: consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketing, business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing, and network-to-network (N2N) marketing.
1. CONSUMER-TO-CONSUMER (CNC) MARKETING
Most consumers do not save or “bookmark” the websites of major brands. The reality is that social network profiles are the most frequent destinations for users. As a result, sites such as iGoogle, My Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL are all fighting to become the user’s home page. This means that traditional internet marketing is becoming less effective. There is only so much screen real estate for banner ads. Search keyword marketing is also becoming less useful. Businesses are competing for the same key words, which makes it less effective and more expensive than in the past.
The strongest alternative to banners and keyword advertising is word-of-mouth marketing. Taking advantage of the viral nature of consumer conversations has always been the best way for brands to obtain both public mind share and market share. Affinity marketing is word-of-mouth marketing for the Internet age. It combines traditional word-of-mouth marketing approaches with the quantifiable reach of the Internet to build a stronger, more substantial connection with the target audience.
A growing body of research is establishing that certain people have more influence than others on the purchase decisions of friends, family and associates. Brands ranging from the largest to the smallest need to understand that knowing who their potential customer’s influencers are and how to tap into their networks can be the deciding factor for a product’s acceptance.
Influencers can be categorized into a few different types. First, celebrities can be influencers. These people may include sports figures (e.g., professional or Olympic athletes), musicians, politicians, actors, and entertainers of all types. Another type of influencer is the person who has a closer connection with friends and family. These are people who have a direct relationship with an individual and are connected within their social circle. Regardless of the specific type of influencer, brands must both identify with these individuals and incentivize them to talk about their products or services. Thus when marketers purchase web advertising, they are not only communicating to their prospective customers, they are also advertising by proxy to the friends, colleagues, and family members of influencers.
c. WORD-OF-MOUTH MARKETING AND WIDGETS
In the face of the dwindling effectiveness of banners and keywords, widgets are an essential component to word-of-mouth advertising over the Internet. Most significantly, widgets can go “viral” when injected into social networks, and through the use of influencers, a widget can carry a brand’s message further more people than ever before.
d. THE MOMENTUM EFFECT
The C2C value of affinity-based marketing comes from seeing the brand represented within one’s social network. The proliferation of a company’s brand through a social network allows the creation of a momentum effect: the active participation of consumers in communicating personal stories that use a brand, product, song or film as the reference point. The benefits of the momentum effect are significant. Research conducted by Yahoo! found that influencers or advocates have a 2:1 conversion impact across categories. This means that each single sale to an influencer converts two people to the same product. Influencers also tend to embrace consumer-generated media more than their peers, often to an online retailers' advantage. Customers benefit by gaining access to quality goods and services, usually at a discount, while supporting the association or group of their choice.
2. BUSINESS-TO-CONSUMER (B2C) MARKETING
Affinity-based marketing leverages the momentum effect C2C interaction to develop a B2C value creation model. Thus, the measurement of value isn’t just a message sent from a business to a consumer; the measure is the impact the message has on the consumer who receives it. The initial communication is B2C but the message takes on a life of its own as consumers use it, forward it and share it amongst themselves. Thus, social networking becomes part of the product experience, and the value of social networking extends to increase in advocacy and loyalty. Impact repeats as pass along continues. Each interaction is an impression.
3. NETWORK-TO-NETWORK (N2N) MARKETING
By far the most important step for any brand is to establish a N2N presence based on consumer registration. The latest web technologies have created a unique opportunity to truly engage an audience and build a presence where consumer’s friends give brands the power to create syndication networks within networks. Corporations have collected consumer emails from a variety of points such as newsletter signups, product registration and contests. The main problem with consumer email lists is that they are only as good as the collected information. A corporate email list is a treasure trove once these emails are mapped directly to a person’s social presence. Emails lists are valuable assets if they are intelligently segmented based on social demographics, social connections and matched affinities. Companies may create widgets to initiate B2C communications. Users may then share these widgets in C2C interactions. Consumers are demanding more interactivity and a richer media experience on the Internet, thus requiring data-driven C2C interactions. The N2N approach provides a real collaborative hub that empowers companies with the ability to connect and understand its customers.
C. UNBOUND’S AFFINITY-BASED MARKETING SOLUTION IS SUPERIOR TO TARGETED MARKETING
1. SOCIAL MAPPING TECHNOLOGY
For companies interested in reaching consumers, including influencers, the single most important question: where are consumers gathering and who are they connected to? UnBound’s affinity-based marketing platform, which builds upon the previously mentioned concepts, provides the answer.
First, UnBound has developed affinity maps, which are data sets identifying large numbers of social connections. This is achieved by grouping individuals in a social network who have allied themselves with a brand. Second, UnBound has created the first algorithm that enables social ranking based on social connections, thus allow companies to identify influencers.
This algorithm creates social density maps. The creation of a social density map is a multi-step process. It begins with a consumer’s micro-graph, which details a person’s direct connections to other people, places, things, and other affinities. Through the analysis of a large set of these micro-graphs, a macro-graph is created based on second degree connections. By monitoring the social density linked to the most popular key categories, one can determine possible influencers: people that are the most connected to others in a particular social network. Social density mapping can be combined with cross-affinity maps to create very powerful view into the make up of user communities.
2. UNBOUND’S ULTIMATE ADVANTAGE
Brands that have a clear understanding of their consumer’s connections, affinity and social density have the unique opportunity to start a conversation with their key social influencers. UnBound’s technology platform provides the only available tools to analyze social density through consumer affinity maps. The competitive advantage provided by this toolset is essential in developing a truly sustainable social campaign. Established brands that have the insight to collect email from newsletter options, contests, consumer registration and ecommerce sites can both see where their customers are on the social graph and find which existing customers are social influencers. Brands can then target conversation starters.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Episode 103: Shiv Singh, Razorfish on the Social Influence Marketing, the Portable Social Graph and Friendsters
Shiv Singh is VP, Social Media and Global Strategic Initiatives at Razorfish, one of the top digital agencies in the world. In perfect alignment, he also holds an MSc (Research) from the London School of Economics and Political Science on social network theory. And he’s writing, “Social Influence Marketing for Dummies.” Dude knows of what he speaks...
Suz and Shiv discuss four of the top "Trends in Social Influence Marketing" from the insightful and masterful Razorfish "Digital Outlook 2009" report:
1. The Focus Will Shift to Influencers
2. Social Advertising Will Grow Up
3. The Portable Social Graph Will Fuel Marketing Innovation
4. Not Just Friends, but "Friendsters," Will Start to Matter
Shiv breaks down his thoughts about where the three categories of Social Influence Marketing are going - listening, advertising and participation. Shiv's favorites are companies doing Appvertising, like ContextOptional, BuddyMedia and SocialMedia.com and companies doing social graph analysis like Media6Degrees and Unbound Technologies.
Unbound Technology's ability to cluster social graphs by kinds of products, services, public figures and media they "fan" on Facebook (called Affinity Maps) is giving marketers a distinct advantage in gaining insight into clustered preferences. Suz shares some of the key affinities in her map on the show.
If you are interested in tracking the most cutting edge thought about where marketers are taking the social media opportunity, this show will delight and educate you.
Click now to listen!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
How Social Nets are Changing Advertising
Fresh questions are being asked about Facebook's ability to monetize following the huge $200 million cash injection secured earlier this week with Russian firm Digital Sky Technologies. A $10 billion valuation is a lot to live up to, after all. Meanwhile, the argument still goes that people go to Facebook to socialize, not hunt for products.
BusinessWeek's Jonathan L. Yarmis thinks that that argument misses the point; he thinks the focus should be more on how Facebook and other social networks are changing advertising. "I'm loath to affix the 2.0 moniker to yet another phrase, but if ever an industry needed to be 2.0-ized, it's advertising," Yarmis says.
"The good news is that we're on the verge of a major rethinking of advertising's fundamental premises," he says, noting that one of the biggest challenges facing the industry is ad credibility. Consumers don't trust ads, but they do trust their friends, and telling friends about the products they use has never been so easy. As Yarmis says, through social nets, "credibility now has a channel for mass distribution."
He adds that businesses have to be thinking about how to incorporate the social map into the way they deal with customers and prospects. "This is going to be huge," he says, "and the opportunities are immediate." - Read the whole story...
Sunday, May 24, 2009
|Where are the Users of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter|
This is from Kenradio I know about the Harris Poll and agree with the 48% of internet users ie 250 myspace and 210 facebook but there is a ton of dups and non users that don't come back We are on track to find the real answers with the cross map so will see.
51% of Americans do not use Twitter or have a MySpace or Facebook account. 48% of adults have either a MySpace or Facebook page, with 16% of adults updating their page at least once a day. While the media may have found Twitter, only 5% of Americans are currently using it, according to a Harris Poll. There are some substantial differences in who is and who isn't using these social networking sites, says the report:
I think for Twitter the realiaty is a great deal don't know how to use it so to say that the % is coming back to still use that's another question we are working on to have on twitter cross tabing.
* 74% of those aged 18-34 years old have a Facebook or MySpace account but this quickly drops off the older one gets. Only 24% of those 55 and older have an account
* 8% of 18-34 year olds use Twitter, 7% of those 35-44 use it, 4% of those aged 45-54 and just 1% of those 55 and older
* Men and women use Twitter at the same levels (5% each), but women are more likely to have a Facebook or MySpace account (52% versus 45%)
From our SN Analysis this is spot on
* Two in five people with a high school degree or less have a Facebook or MySpace account compared to 55% of those with some college and 52% of those with at least a college degree
There has been some discussion about whether these social networking sites may, at some point, become a threat to search engines such as Yahoo! or Google. Right now, that doesn't seem to be an issue, as 45% of adults believe the sites are popular, but they won't pose a real threat to the domination of search sites while just one in ten say they may become a threat. 46% of Americans are not at all sure. Even among the largest users of the social networking sites, 18-34 year olds, 62% say they will not become a real threat to the search engines.
While the younger age groups are all about the social network sites, they haven't yet migrated to Twitter. The report concludes that if they had found it before the media had, there is a stronger possibility they would be increasing their usage, but they may already be looking for the next big thing.
We are in the mist of getting more data to back these numbers based on cross tabbing facebook to twitter to linkedin to myspace so stay tuned
Monday, May 18, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
From David Carlick ...... Retro email rant on tweeting.
Tweet. Kindle. Wha!
The irony is that the two most interesting technology stories on the pages are about Twitter (and, by extension, FriendFeed and social networks themselves) and Kindle.
In my opinion, these are polar opposites, an irony in plastic and electrons.
While Twitter coverage celebrates a sort of global stream of snippety consciousness, the Kindle is a product that is, in the end, about thoughtful reading.
Twitter and its social network brethren certainly deserve a place in our consciousness – a hundred million people can’t be ignored.
Pundits are breathless over Twitter, and the plumbing of that stream of consciousness that will, in theory, emerge and give us insights into the mind of God, or even better.
But the ‘need’ to post is a compulsion and so is the ‘need’ to know what all your friends and friends’ friends and celebrities are doing.
This colossal ‘party line’ is a kudzu vine that is choking off people’s time and thinking, with a deluge of the inane and a swarm of links that lead to more of the same.
But then, after having read too many of their thoughts than I needed to, maybe that is appropriate.
Asynchronous communication (first, voicemail, then email) were great steps forward in communication. I formulate my request and send it to you. You deal with it, or not, on your own schedule.
In parallel, the FAQ and its website progeny have made it easy for people to get information without bothering others.
So moving back to synchronous, short form, real time updates and queries from everyone on everything is proof that technology can waste as much time as it saves.
In fact, I will call it David’s Law: Technology Wastes More Time Than It Saves, But It Saves Enough To Pay For Itself and It Makes Time Wasting Even More Efficient.
Personal computers did spreadsheets and word processing, but they also did hobbies, recipes, family trees.
The instant they got a modem, you had forums, discussions, groups, and forwarded jokes and of course, pornography.
Now the Kindle, that is something different.
Paper lovers bemoan its lack of texture and size while computer and iPhone lovers bemoan its passive mono screen.
But it is the end of paper, finally, and passive = low power and mono = resolution that finally brings digital text into the readable realm of print and line art.
I will own two, one for my pocket and one for my briefcase, and eventually, one the size of a tabloid for home and office reading, and maybe another for the bathroom.
Other than coffee table tomes, I will never buy a print ‘word’ product again. If it won’t go on my Kindle, I don’t want to bother.
My bookshelves look, now, as useful to me as the cabinetry I had built to house a 40” CRT television once.
Not only is Kindle the end of paper, but in a fit of irony, it ushers in The End Of Free.
I happily, gladly, cheerfully pay for newspapers and books and blogs to be sent to my Kindle, and judging by the size of the cable bill most people pay for free TV, I am not alone.
The tyranny of users not paying is over, or at least, the flame that will burn it away is now kindled.
Investors will no longer tolerate funding free, and the Kindles, Facebooks, MySpaces who will never really get advertisers to pay for as much time and bandwidth and storage as users consume are going to have to face this.
Twittering won’t go away. Nor will social networks.
There is a genuine benefit to having a digital presence, connectivity.
There is, for some, genuine fun in slavishly reading the constant comments of those who feel slavishly compelled to post them.
The technology that saves us time will give us ample opportunity to waste it, but it is still paying for itself.
And the little Kindle is the milestone on the road to a coherent content future.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Is the social graph Web 3.0?
November 22, 2007
Well, it looks like there'll be no escaping the "social graph" term. World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, in a blog post last evening, not only bestowed his blessing on the social graph but elevated it to the capitalized Social Graph, a sign that we have a New Paradigm on our hands. Sir Tim suggests that the Semantic Web (recently dubbed "Web 3.0") was really the Social Graph all along, and that the graph represents the third great conceptual leap for the network - from net to web to graph:Wanted to share this since I'm speaking at Web 3.0 2009 on this same topic at http://www.web3event.com/program.php
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Unbound Technologies' social monetizer will give a marketer a precise idea of what customers to target a specific campaign to. With these programs, it's possible to increase conversions by reaching the right customers at the right times, and represents a merging of internal and social network data.
Saavn and Verizon used Unbound Technology to find Bollywood dance enthusiasts on sites such as MySpace and Facebook and invite them to participate in Bollypop, the first-ever Bollywood-themed online dance competition. The chances for success greatly improve if people are already interested or exposed to marketing about your business.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I fully agree with Molly and what we have been talking for for so many year on spending time with your quality customer who have reach in your target audience.
|April 22, 2009|
What's your Twitter strategy? What's going to be the next Facebook? How do you make inroads on the latest mega-platform before anyone else? For some brands, social media marketing has become a tools and technology chasing exercise. Once the mainstream media latch onto a platform, companies feel that if they're not instantly on-board with a host of apps, add-ons and highly visible branded activity, the fragile facade that they're run by a switched-on bunch of kool kids will evaporate like spring mist in the sun.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Facebook Refers 19% of Google's Uniques
RBC Capital Markets points out that 19% of Google's unique visitors are referred by Facebook, up from just 9% a year ago. Given current rates of growth, they also suggest that Facebook will overtake Google in terms of number of unique visitors by 2011-2012.
These two fairly amazing data points permit a couple of interesting conclusions:
Facebook is actually positive and complementary for Google thus far, but that could change if Facebook's rapid growth trajectory continues on its current path, or if/when social media can find a business model and attract ad dollars from other online media.
At the very least, we think Facebook as the "starting point" for more and more users on the Internet could create some multiple compression for Google over time, if the momentum continues.
Using my secret-agent financial analyst decoder ring, I can tell you that "multiple compression for Google" in this context should be taken to read, "Google is paying MySpace $1 billion per year for perhaps 3% of Google's traffic. On that basis Facebook should be hitting Google up for $6 billion a year, no?"
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Picture this: the whole of human knowledge as a figurative mind that can selectively focus on certain areas. It’s a profound notion, and visualizing such a construct is an enormous undertaking. But with last week’s release of a new “map of science,” a team of researchers led by Johan Bollen is attempting to do just that — with a high-resolution visualization of how scientific literature is accessed based on users’ downloading and browsing behavior, known as clickstream data. This usage data was collected, aggregated, and normalized across a wide variety of journal publishers and institutions. The result is a network map with color-coded nodes (clusters of research articles from different fields) and interconnected lines (shaped by users’ clickstreams), demonstrating the connections among a comprehensive sample space of scholarly research.
A new map of science based on clickstream data. Click to enlarge. Credit: PLoSOne
This isn’t the first attempt to extract meaning from the referential loops within scientific literature. In 2006, Columbia University’s W. Bradford Paley released an influential map of science based on data from Thomson Scientific, a firm that tracks article citations across scholarly journals. More recently, Carl Bergstrom, a biologist from the University of Washington, has developed a suite of innovative visualizations based on his own citation data sets for a venture called Eigenfactor. His method draws from network science and information theory to determine how often specific articles cite other articles as part of a relative ranking system for journals.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Michelle McGiboney, Nielsen Online
Twitter.com continues to grow in popularity and importance in both the consumer and corporate worlds. No longer just a platform for friends to stay connected in real time, it has evolved into an important component of brand marketing. Unique visitors to Twitter increased 1,382 percent year-over-year, from 475,000 unique visitors in February 2008 to 7 million in February 2009, making it the fastest growing site in the Member Communities category for the month. Zimbio and Facebook followed, growing 240 percent and 228 percent, respectively.
Fastest Growing Member Community Destinations in February 2009
|RANK||Site||Feb 08||Feb 09||% growth|
|source: Nielsen NetView, 2/09, U.S., Home and Work|
Twitter Most Popular Among Working Adults
Twitterers (a.k.a. Tweeters) are not primarily teens or college students as you might expect. In fact, in February the largest age group on Twitter was 35-49; with nearly 3 million unique visitors, comprising almost 42 percent of the site’s audience. We found that the majority of people visit Twitter.com while at work, with 62 percent of the combo unique audience accessing the site from work only versus 35 percent that accessed it from home only.
Unique Visitors to Twitter.com by Age Demographic
|Age Group||Unique Audience||Composition %|
|18 - 24||**||**|
|25 - 34||1,379,000||19.6|
|35 - 49||2,935,000||41.7|
|source: Nielsen NetView, 2/09, U.S., Home and Work |
**These demographics have insufficient sample sizes
Twitter On The Move
PC Web usage of Twitter.com doesn’t tell the whole story. The ability to twitter via a mobile phone-whether through the mobile Web or via text messages-is a driving factor in the social network’s success. In January, 735,000 unique visitors accessed the Twitter Web site through their mobile phones. The average unique visitor went to Twitter.com 14 times during the month and spent an average of seven minutes on the site.
Finally, text messaging offers a third platform for consumers and businesses alike to take part in the twitter craze. In the last quarter of 2008, 812,000 unique users sent or received Twitter text messages from AT&T or Verizon cell phones. There was an average of nearly 240 tweets per person for the quarter.
It will be interesting to watch the evolution of Twitter as it continues to gain momentum. In an unstable economy, it might prove to be an economical and important part of an employer’s marketing strategy that helps to keep consumers aware of and connected to their brand.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Will Search-Marketing Dollars Also Shift to Social Media?
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Marketers spend billions to attract search traffic from Google, but late last year Facebook started becoming a bigger source of traffic for some large websites, according to analytics firm Hitwise.
It seems inevitable that, given Facebook's sheer scale (180 million registered users and counting), it would at some point start referring a lot of users to some sites, but the development is surprising. Web users go to Google to figure out where to go next; they go to Facebook to, well, hang out.
Facebook gets a little more than a third of Google's unique visitors in the U.S. (50 million vs. 149 million in January, per ComScore); since last summer, registered users have been growing at a double-digit rate.
Where they're going
But since the beginning of the year, Facebook has become a bigger referring site than Google to a number of sites, including gossip sites PerezHilton.com and Dlisted, mom site CafeMom, Evite, video site Tagged.com, and, yes, Twitter.
There are good reasons for some of this: CafeMom has a Facebook fan page, which no doubt helps drive traffic, and users can synchronize updates with Facebook and Twitter.
It's hard to know why two gossip sites are on the list, aside from the fact that they tend to be places people spend a lot of time. Since the beginning of 2009, gossip site PerezHilton.com has received 8.7% of its visitors from Facebook, compared with 7.6% from Google, according to Hitwise. The same didn't hold true, however, for gossip site TMZ, which got 12.2% of its traffic from Google, compared with 3.8% from Facebook.
Big source for video sites
As NewTeeVee points out, Facebook has also become a big source of referrals for video sites as users post and share clips. Traffic from Facebook accounted for 3.3% of visits to video sites in February, according to Hitwise, up from less than 2% in February of last year.
It all points to the growing power of content sharing; the question is how to harness that and what it means for the future of "search" marketing. Companies spent $12.2 billion in 2008 on search optimization and marketing to get traffic from Google, according to eMarketer.
But Peter Yared, CEO of marketing firm iWidgets, said he thinks some of that spending is going to shift to where the viewers, and the traffic, increasingly are. "Soon the [search-engine marketing and search-engine optimization] spend will start to follow the eyeballs and transition from Google to social media," he said.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Social Networks Poised to Play Role in Recession
With 40 million active users in the US, social networking has grown 93% since 2006 and is poised to play a vital role in the current economic downturn, that also predicts a related increase in social media advertising opportunities. 76% of US broadband users (105 million) are active contributors to the web via social media (including uploading photos, blogging, rating products and other Web 2.0 activities). Moreover, approximately 29%, or 40 million broadband users are regular contributors to the web specifically through social networking sites and are spending increasing amounts of their online time communicating with each other, both one-to-one and one-to-many, according to Netpop Research.
Key findings about US social networkers:
* Social networkers in the US are most likely to be single, employed women, age 18-39 and living somewhere between Indiana and the Atlantic Ocean, or along the west coast.
* A typical social networker connects weekly with an average of 18 people one-to-one, and 110 people one-to-many.
* Social networkers spend an average of 36% of their online time talking and sharing. This compares with 29% for non-contributors to social networks.
* Social networkers use multiple modes to communicate and stay in touch. These include IM, texts, blogs and microblogs.
* The top two social networks in the US are Facebook and MySpace. Currently, 60% of social networkers use Facebook, 63% use MySpace and 34% use both. However, Facebook has grown 500% between 2006 and 2008, catching up to MySpace in regular users in the past year.
* Other social networking sites are popular among subsets of US users with broadband, including employed networkers (who use LinkedIn, Friendster, Plaxo); students (who use IMeem, LastFM, and Veoh) and retirees (who use reunion, Groups.Google and Classmates.com).
Social networkers also are much more likely to shop and spend more online than their non-contributing peers. Social networkers buy a variety of products and services and spend an average of $101 online per month, the study found. This compares with non-contributors to social networks, who spend $80 per month. The top sources used by social networkers when making shopping decisions are search engines, brand or manufacturer sites, online-only retail sales and auction sites. Some 6% also use social networking sites to decide what to buy.
Individuals who participate in a social networking site, 71% have profiles on two or more different properties, with 26% having established four or more profiles.
Among social networkers who report having two or three profiles:
25.6% are 18 to 24 yearss old
23.3% are 25 to 34 years olds
14.7% are 35 to 44 years old
15.6% are 45 to 54 years old
18.4% are 55 to 64 years old
Among people with four or more profiles:
* 31% are between the ages of 25 and 34
* 14.1% are 55 to 64 years old
Social media will play the same role in this recession that movies played in the Depression. Brands that experiment in social advertising now will be in the best position to leverage these important media channels when the economy turns the corner.