Social Media

Discover what’s happening with Twitter, Facebook, Social Bookmarking, Blogging and more.

Yahoo!’s new Web 2.0 Tool

Buzzlogo If you're looking for a Web 2.0 tools that can help give your product, service, company, blog or whatever some extra legs, you may want to take a look at Yahoo! Buzz. Following in the same vain as Digg it allows individuals to become editors and select the articles that they would like to appear on the Yahoo! home page. According to Yahoo! this is the way the system works:

The buzz can be about anything - a great story on a major news site, an extraordinary bit from an obscure site, an intriguing video, or a fantastic blog that shouldn't be missed.
Instead of editors, people like you determine the top-rated stories.

How does Buzz work?
A story is ranked based on its Buzz Score. The score is derived from search term popularity, the number of times a story is emailed from Buzz, and the number of votes a story receives.
Stories with the highest Buzz Scores may be published on the Yahoo! home page - you can impact what millions will see on Yahoo!

It's too early to say how this will develop but Yahoo! does tend to buy/develop some good Web 2.0 companies: Yahoo! Answers, Del.icio.us, Flickr, Upcoming. I have started to see some Yahoo! "Buzz Up" buttons on blogs I read - Guy Kawasaki is a case in point.


Facebook – Some Business Applications

I was at the Technology for Marketing show earlier this week and whilst a number of the presentations were quite forgettable, I must say I enjoyed the presentations by Matthew Banks of Oracle, Dan Cobley of Google and Blake Chandlee of Facebook.

Let me just focus on one of them - Facebook. Blake Chandlee offered people a glimpse of some of the tools that Facebook can offer clients. These included Facebook Polls which gives businesses the ability to set up a poll in next to no time and to aim these polls at their target markets. Blake created an ad for a targeted group in London and had the results delivered in around 10 minutes. He managed to blow $500 and get 500 people surveyed in that time - admittedly, he had Facebook credits!

Facebookpolls

The other Facebook business application that he demonstrated was Facebook Social Ads, which allow businesses to target ads according to country, city, sex, age, education status and even company. The interesting thing is that as you refine the criteria (age, city, etc) Facebook updates to let you know how many people would potentially be able to view the ad. Obviously, the more refining you do, the fewer the Facebook prospects become but it is still a very neat application for trying to hit the right markets.

Facebookads

Though many businesses are using social ads as a way of getting Facebook traffic to their site, some companies are even setting up their own Facebook Pages. According to Facebook Developer:

Facebook Pages are intended to be profiles that represent individual
businesses, a concept familiar to MySpace users. Creating a Facebook
Page is a simple process, much like editing one’s personal profile.

Back in November it was reckoned that 100,000 businesses had already signed up for Facebook pages and many of them were household names. When Blake Chandlee says that some 250,000 people mention Coca Cola on their Facebook profiles, it does seem to make sense for the big names to start creating pages and adding "fans" to their profiles.

So, if you're tired of Google AdWords or are just looking at more ways to get to your target market, head off over to Facebook and check out their business offerings.


Digital Media and Teaching – Some Fascinating Insights

Whilst doing some work on Wikis and social media for a workshop I'm delivering shortly, I came across this fascinating and truly, thought-provoking video. Here's the blurb which goes with it:

Since most of today's students can appropriately be labeled as "Digital Learners", why do so many teachers refuse to enter the digital age with their teaching practices?

This presentation was created in an effort to motivate teachers to more effectively use technology in their teaching.

I hope you enjoy it!


Citizen Marketing for the Democrats

Have you heard the story of how this singer

Blackeyedpeas

was so inspired by a speech by this politician

that he wrote a song

which generated millions of page views on Google.


Power of Facebook

Over the past month or so I have been working hard on building up my Facebook profile and doing some of my own research into the business reasons why companies should sit up and take notice of it. It has been fun to see some old friends on FaceBook and to try out some applications. One area that I have been keen to explore is the Groups side of the application and so far I have joined Social Media Club, Fiestas of Intercambio / International Exchanges Parties in Madrid and Social Tools.

Welsh Rugby Legend
A couple of days back I came across, and joined, a group whose sole objective was to get a song - Yma o Hyd - by a Welsh folk singer (and president of Wales' Plaid Cymru party) to the top positions of iTunes. If you're not Welsh, maybe I should explain. Last week Ray Gravell, who played for probably the finest ever Welsh rugby team, died. He was only 56 and was well-known (and loved) in Wales. So popular was he that his funeral will be held at Stradey Park, where he played for Llanelli and it is expected the ground will be packed to the rafters.

This particular FaceBook group has already got 1,313 members and it seems that their objective is starting to take shape. When I last checked the 79p single, Yma o Hyd, was already number 4 in the Folk charts and I would like to think that it will enter the main charts shortly.

Poppy Appeal
This morning whilst on the Poppy Appeal website (don't forget 11th November at 11 am), I started to explore how the British Legion was using the Internet and mobile devices to generate funds for veterans and was quite surprised. Aside from the Poppy wallpaper you could download for your mobile, and Poppy email signature, there was also some information on a virtual cenotaph in Second Life - it looked pretty cool, actually!

The British Legion have also come up with a Facebook Application which allows users to send Poppies to friends - their objectives on Facebook is the following:

Social networking websites such as Facebook present us with an invaluable opportunity to reach a whole new generation of supporters. We hope that Facebook users can send to and receive poppies from all of their friends in the next fortnight and help us reach our target of 1,011,011 poppies distributed by 11am on 11 November when the nation pauses for the Two Minute Silence.

So far 54,918 Poppies shave been sent and their target does look like quite a tall order at this point in the proceedings. But again it's great that such an established institution has recognised the power of social network sites to get the word (and money) out there.

Update
Dafydd Iwan got to number 1 on the UK Folk charts but only made it to number 50 (I believe) on the main charts. Not bad, though!

The poppy appeal seems to have failed quite miserably in terms of their original objective but I don't know if this was due to the fact that the technology didn't work as well as it should have first off.

See Also
The New Facebook Economy
Facebook - Some Business Applications


The New Facebook Economy

If you don't know much about Facebook, here's the Wikipedia lowdown:

Facebook is a social networking website which was launched on February 4, 2004.

Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Harvard graduate and former Ardsley High School student, in 2004. Initially the membership was restricted to students of Harvard College. It was subsequently expanded to other Boston area schools (Boston College, Boston University, MIT, Tufts), Rochester, Stanford, NYU, Northwestern, and all Ivy League schools within two months. Many individual universities were added in rapid succession over the next year. Eventually, people with a university (e.g .edu, .ac.uk, etc.) email address from institutions across the globe were eligible to join. Networks were then initiated for high schools and some large companies. Since September 11, 2006, it has been made available to any email address user who inputs a certain age range.

Wow! Where would we be without Wikipedia?

Exploring some Del.icio.us tags just now I came across a couple of articles about Facebook on Charlene Li's excellent blog. The first talks about the value ($10 billion) that the company would be worth if Microsoft goes ahead and invests $500 million for a 5% stake in the company. Yes, you did read that right - a 5% stake! As she notes the business was "only" valued at $1billion  a year ago when Yahoo! was interested in buying it. Through some basic computations (hell, I could even follow it), she shows how it is feasible for that figure to be arrived at.

Facebook is the hottest Internet property at the moment and the world's biggest corporation wants even a small part of the action.

The second article - Faceforce kickstarts the social business app movement - discusses an element of Facebook which has ensured that a lot of developers (read: Web 2.0 developers) have migrated over to the Facebook platform. Facebook, unlike MySpace, has opened its doors to developers and made it easy for them to not only add their applications to Facebook but also to monetise them. FaceForce, is very interesting in that it allows Facebook profiles to be integrated into Salesforce, a leading online CRM solution. Like Facebook, SaleForce lets external developers create applications which makes SalesForce a more robust, and tailored solution, than its competitors.

It's fascinating to see how many of the 'new' technologies, like Blogging, Video Sharing and Social Networks have graduated to the business world. And probably the businesses that partner with, or use, these new technologies, will be the long-term winners.

Related
The Kid Who Turned Down $1 billion (Fast Company)
The Facebook Economy (Business 2.0)
Inside the Facebook Economy (Fast Forward Blog)


Spread of Web 2.0 Amongst SME’s And Singing Stars!

I was just going through some old magazines this morning (February, 2007!) and came across an interesting advert from Ford, which was advertising the Ford Focus. The advert, part of the Ford Focus 'Own the Road' campaign, features a musician Ben Griffith who is "starting out, which means a load of gigs" and therefore, he needs a "decent car as much as a good guitar." Whatever your thoughts on Ford's advertising techniques, the interesting thing is that the artist was able to plug his MySpace page on the ad. Further inspection shows a busy My Space page with a healthy "fan base" and some half-decent music.

Going back about a year the words "Social Networks" and "Web 2.0" used to draw a blank look on the faces of my clients - both those attending workshops and from my consultancy. Well, that has changed very much. Clients are now seeing the importance of trying to engage and interact with their audience on the web and tools like Facebook, MySpace, Blogs and Flickr are becoming their most important tactical tools. Over the past month I have seen 3 of my clients take up the "Web 2.0" challenge - one is a Welsh Langauage Teaching Centre, the other is Record Shop and the third is an Online Bike Retailer.

Back in June a little-known singer called Paul Potts, from Port Talbot, Wales, became a global celebrity when he won the Britain's Got Talent TV show. What was interesting was that social media sites like YouTube and MySPace started to propel him to a global audience. The show was transmitted on the British channel ITV1 over the course of a week - from the 9th to the 17th June. By the time of the grand final the video clips of Paul Potts singing opera on YouTube were hitting the hundreds of thousands of viewers - today just 1 of the clips had received 6.5 million views!

His MySpace site was receiving messages of support from all over the world - I even saw one from a US fighter pilot! Paul has already done the rounds of TV stations in the States and his, yet to released album, is already number 20 in the UK album charts and number 17 in the USA. starting to become a household name - all in 1 month!!!

Looking on Technorati the week after I found that it was a hugely popular search term and hundreds of blogs were discussing either the ITV1 performance or the YouTube videos.

There is huge potential for the use of Social Media tools in a firm's marketing arsenal and the potential to generate revenue and interest is phenomenal but the key for small companies is to identify the most suitable social media platforms.


Is Your Company Monitoring Web Conversations

At present I am developing a new service which will help companies identify what is being said about them, by whom and where it is being said. In addition, the service will offer advice on the various strategies that an organization needs to take to involve themselves in this conversation. In order to demonstrate the first part of this service, I thought I would explore the various conversations that are taking place around the web relating to the company Coffee Republic.

Why Coffee Republic? Well, at the moment I am reading an interesting book by the founders of this company - Anyone Can Do It: Building Coffee Republic from Our Kitchen Table - and I thought it would be fun to listen in on some of the conversations going on about them.

First stop, Google Blog Search
The Franchise Business Opportunities site talks about Coffee Republic To Raise More Funds To Support Franchising Plan - no real commentary hear just a quote from Caterer. A Turkish site mentions that Coffee Republic is going to open some shops in Turkey, though points to Hemscott for more information. It is starting to appear that some of these sites are actually picking up on a press release which has emanated from Coffee Republic HQ or Turkey. Picking up on another press release the Overseas Property Mall discusses the company's growth into Bulgaria.

Getting back to the book theme


State of the Internet: Mary Meeker

For the past couple of weeks I have been downloading Web 2.0 podcasts onto my iRiver MP3 player. Most of them came from the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, where there were some great 'conversations': Eric Schmidt (of Google), Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Bob Parsons (GoDaddy), to name but a few but the podcast which I remember most is the Mary Meeker: State of the Internet, Part 3 one. The main reason is that she delivered 37 PowerPoint slides in around 10 minutes - I have used a number of them on the eMarketing courses that I deliver.

Here are the downloads:
Meeker
PowerPoint Presentation Slides
Download Audio
Download Video