Monthly Archives: November 2011

Google+ Update: Share Your Favorite Circles with Others

This new feature is awesome and will give Google+ something you cant do on Facebook or Twitter. Send and share your curated friends circles. Many people like Robert Scoble have spent tens of hours curating great circles of influences. Now those can easily be shared quickly and easily. Huge edge to Google+ for making it harder for people to say they cant find people to follow on G+.

Google+ Feature Share Your Favorite Circles with Others


Barack Obama now has a page on Google+

Today, the President of the United States of America has increased his social media footprint by joining the growing Google+ service.

Barack Obama now has a page on Google+ where you can interact with him and his team. The account has been verified by Google, so it’s definitely the President himself.

It’s not surprising that it took this long for Obama to join the service, since Google only recently released its Pages product, which lets brands and public features have a presence on the network without having to tie it to their own personal Google account.

Convofy 37 520x223 The President just got plussed: Barack Obama joins Google+

Barack Obama is by far our most advanced President when it comes to technology, having recently signed legislature with an autopen, and amassing millions of followers on Twitter.

It will be interested to see how involved the President becomes on Google+, considering that Google+ broadcasted Hangouts would be the perfect venue to interact with taxpayers and voters during this upcoming Presidential election.


Turkeys and Robots Don’t Matter, G+ Buttons On Google Doodles Matter

Google Doodle G+ Share Button Final

People are all caught up in today’s Google Doodles but for all the wrong reasons. Yes, there’s a customizable turkey for the US and a fun sci-fi game for Europe. But did you notice the G+ button hovering below the turkey? Google is now using its most visible, accessible, viral element to get people to sign up and share on Google+. If worked into future Doodles, this could be quite fruitful.

The Doodles have always been a way for the algorithm-centric giant to humanize itself. Tributes to dead rockstars, inventors, and world leaders show the company has a heart. They’re also obviously a marketing tool for Google’s search engine. By adding G+ sharing buttons, though, Google can convert Doodle visits into account registrations.

And Google needs them. Yes, the company is thinking long-term about identity, and it might not actually need people to engage on its social network. But it needs to get users registered for its social layer so it can start building profiles of their habits across its products to eventually target ads against. These registrations need to come eventually, and the fractured Google+ launch didn’t bring in enough.

Doodle G+ buttons could, because they leverage convenience. You could copy and paste the link wherever, but hit the G+ button and a pre-populated share prompt appears. Don’t have an account? Google tells why you want one: “Sign in to share your turkey doodle on Google+” Simple, direct, and effective. Unlike on most websites, here G+ buttons don’t have to compete with those from Facebook and Twitter. Before, Google+ was trying to sign people up without a clear value proposition for why they should.

As silly as it seems, adding cute matching G+ buttons to future Doodles could allow Google to slip its social layer under more casual web surfers.


Foursquare Checkins Reveal Holiday Travel Patterns


Click image to enlarge. 

 

In honor of Thanksgiving travel, Foursquare has posted an infographic on the company’s blog showing checkins related to travel in the United States by plane, train, and automobile, covering a period from Halloween until just after Christmas in 2010.

For airplane and train travel, data is pulled when someone checks in on Foursqure at two different airports or train stations in the same day. Automobile traffic, according to the graphic, is based on checkins on highways and roads, which sounds more ambiguous and harder to correlate specifically to travel, but it does show quite neatly the major interstates across the United States.

There’s also a timeline component showing the peaks and lulls of travel around Thanksgiving and Christmas, some of the busiest travel times of the year. The timeline shows a greater spike in travel right before Thanksgiving than before Christmas.

While the graphic doesn’t offer numbers of checkins or users, it appears that the highest number of people checking in are flying, though railway travel is consolidated to very specific parts of the country.

Graphic published with permission from Foursquare.


Facebook Reduces Degrees of Separation to 4.

A theory stemming from an experiment by social psychologist Stanley Milgram in the 1960s claims every living person is connected to any other through only six friends. According to a recent study, Facebook reduces the six degrees of separation to only four, meaning the world’s largest social network makes the world even smaller (figuratively).

The study, a joint effort by Facebook and Università degli Studi di Milano, shows that the number of “hops” separating any two persons on Facebook is in fact smaller than six. According to the study, “99.6% of all pairs of users are connected by paths with 5 degrees (6 hops), 92% are connected by only four degrees (5 hops),” with the average “distance” between users getting smaller over time.

 

 

 

 

In popular culture, the best known implementation of the “six degrees of separation” theory is the Kevin Bacon game, which requires you to connect a Hollywood actor to Kevin Bacon, with actors being connected if they’ve been in a movie together. The higher the number of “hops” between an actor and Kevin Bacon, the higher that actor’s “Kevin Bacon Number” is.

The game can be tested at the Oracle of Bacon, a web application that uses information from the Internet Movie Database to calculate the number of links between an actor and Kevin Bacon. The site says that Kevin Bacon Numbers over 4 are very rare, with the average number being 2.981. It could be a coincidence, but Facebook’s latest findings show that the Kevin Bacon game provides quite an accurate representation of relationships in a social network.

Facebook has also published the results of another study, which looks at the average number of friends on Facebook. According to the study, “10% of people have less than 10 friends, 20% have less than 25 friends, while 50% (the median) have over 100 friends.”

 

 

 

 

However, the distribution is skewed, so the average number of friends is 190. It might seem low to a lot of users, but it can be explained with a phenomenon explored by sociologist Scott Feld in 1991, which shows that people usually perceive their friends to have more friends than they do.

Facebook’s study shows that even on an online social network that is supposed to cross the boundaries of geography and age, people tend to befriend others their own age, as well as people in the same country.

 

 

 

 

Finally, Facebook’s research shows that if you limit the analysis to a single country, the “four degrees of separation” theory shrinks even further, with most pairs of people being only separated by 3 degrees.


LinkedIn Adds Business Cards With the New CardMunch iPhone App

With the new CardMunch app, you now have access to deeper and richer information about the person behind the business card. Thanks to their LinkedIn profile, you can find out who you know in common, where they’ve worked, where they went to school and much more.


A Better Way to Handle Publicly Tweeted Complaints

Here is a portion of a Harvard Business Review article that I really enjoyed.

Consider the most obvious, and pernicious, perverse incentive: publicly tweeted complaints get faster/better reaction than calls or emails to the corporate customer contact centers. Social media circumstances invite organizations to prioritize indiscreet tweets over less transparent call center interactions. The squeaky tweeter gets the grace. Customers aren’t stupid.

Why plow through irritating IVR menus on your mobile, hold for seven minutes, have a frustrating conversation with a representative not empowered to resolve your issue, hold another four minutes for a supervisor and then vent all over again? If a well-chosen 140 characters provoke comparable results — and the personal satisfaction of public shaming — then that’s what will increasingly occur. How smart are customer-centric firms that effectively train complainers to disregard or disintermediate their contact centers?

If you enjoyed this excerpt you should read on at: http://blogs.hbr.org/schrage/2011/11/a-better-way-to-handle-publicl.html


Managing your Twitter community made easy

If you are looking for a tool that tightly focuses on managing your community, look no further than SocialBro. The app lets you manage your lists, see your community in a map and browse your community conveniently based on their engagement. On top of this the app allows you to bucket your followers according to time zones which is very useful to know when to best reach them.

Pro Tip: What I like best here is that SocialBro shows you how fast your followers have been growing over the past and at which times you have lost most followers.


Find out who is Tweeting any article

Always wondered who those people actually are that make the count go up on the Tweet button? With WhoTweetedMe you have a powerful to answer exactly this question. You can drop in any URL and the app will display who Tweeted it, at what times and with what reach. It is a very powerful measure to understand the impact a Tweet can have across the Twitter universe.

Pro Tip: WhoTweetedMe also gives you a list of the top influencers that have retweeted that article. Via the “thank you” button you can thank them right from inside the app.


Klout for Chrome – Find top influencers with one glance

Despite some of the recent uproar for Klout’s changes in its algorithm, I believe it is a fantastic way to cut down on time spent looking for the right people on Twitter. With its Chrome extension, you will be see immediately who the best people are you should start engaging with right inside Twitter.com. Since it is often hard to decide which Tweets to pick up and reply to, this is very helpful.

Pro Tip: What I like best is that you can click on each score and get to their Klout profile page to learn more about what they are up to.


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