Flippin’ virals

August_goviral1-600x437I have to admit this has long been coming.  I saved it when I saw it but then never actually posted it.

I have somewhat of a difficult time with virals as I alluded to here and here. But when someone posts something like this my blood does somewhat boil.

The problem is that viral is a consequence rather an action.  The best one can do is create something that has inherent value – whether through knowledge or entertainment – and if it’s good and worthy it will be shared.  It matters not if it is filmed on HD, SD or an old reel to reel tape.

And it is this basic point that annoys me about the question because it is trying to put the technology ahead of the content (again) and the viral element isn’t the technology.  The technology is merely a conduit, a facilitator to both capturing it and sharing it but it’s not what makes it a viral.

Rant over, onwards to Xmas parties!

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Is everything we know really wrong?

I came across this slide deck a few weeks back and thought it has some pretty interesting statistics about Advertising/Digital/Marketing.

It makes for some pretty interesting reading with good stats to be used and some quality quotes, none more so that a client who says

I love this work. It’s on brand and on brief. Let’s move straight to research.

Or the very true point that we often measure the wrong things (especially in digital) and therefore

Many confuse quantifiable social stats with channel effectiveness.

Anyway, have a read, digest and plagiarise!

To auto-tweet, or not to auto-tweet? Where do you stand?

The North Blog recently posted an entry about Guy Kawasaki‘s conduct and approach to Twitter and Facebook.

Whilst I appreciate Guy’s reasons for doing it – he wants to cut through the clutter and ensure people in different time zones get to see his posts and he gets more followers.  I get it, I really do. And it seems to work for him.

However, I don’t believe in it.  I don’t believe in it for a few reasons:

  1. Social is about being ‘real’ – whilst I don’t doubt that his tweets are genuine, there is an assumption that if you tweet you are there and ready for a ‘conversation’ (isn’t that the point of social media?).
  2. If your followers truly value your tweets, they will seek them.  You don’t need to pester them.
  3. You’re just adding to the clutter you are trying to avoid.
What’s your view?  Do you use automated tweets?  If you do, how and why do you use them?

Following etiquette

This is another Twitter-inspired post.

Earlier this week @chrisbrogan posted this

In his post he discusses whether you should follow someone just because they follow you.  This is something he has done on Twitter.

My personal view (and what I practice) is that you shouldn’t feel obliged to follow anyone.   I understand Chris’ point about not wanting to appear ‘some kind of a jerk’ (his words not mine), but then how much worse is it not to follow someone and not pay attention.  The people you follow think you might be out there listening to you, but you’re not.  You’re giving them a false pretense of what your ‘relationship’ is.

Surely the point of Twitter is to follow people who say things that interest you and interact with them.  If you follow them but don’t pay attention it a bit like the turning up at a party and ignoring everyone.

But that’s just me.  What do you think? Are you going to follow me now?

Favouriting Tweets

@briansolis recently posted this tweet

I had been thinking for a while about favourites and how that functionality can be used.

Personally, I used them in two ways:

  • Save to read later – sometimes reading long posts/articles on the iPhone is not the easiest, so I tend to save it until I’m on the iPad or when I get into work and can print it out. Also, with the amount of tweets coming through it is nigh on impossible to then go back and find it so much easier to do this.
  • Keepers – these are tweets that I want to keep because they’re funny, interesting or inspiring. They’re tweets I’m likely to go back to over and over again.

Doing a little digging around, it seems that most people use them in the same way. Favourites are important to use because they let potential follower know what you are into.  I often look at who people follow and their favourites before following them to give me a better understanding of whether they are likely to be someone whose tweets I will enjoy or not.

But tweets can also be used (particularly by brands) as testimonials – to promote particular positive messages someone has sent to other.  And now that you can export tweet and display them on your blog/site (as shown above) you can have that in two place rather than confined only to your Twitter feed.

What about you?  Do you use Favourites?  How do you use them?

Will Google+ bring down Facebook?

Unless you’ve been stuck in a cave over the last 48-72hrs you’ll know that Google has launched its Google+ project.  This is widely being seen as the real Facebook killer with its Circles and Huddles functionality.  If you’ve not seen or heard much about it, here is a short video explaining the project.

In ‘response’, Facebook has, only a few short hours ago, announced their joint partnership with Skype which has added video capabilities to its service.  Click here to see a video of it.

I’ve not actually tried either service but my first impressions are that Circles is a HUGE plus to the whole social interactions.  It is how people compartmentalise their friends and connections and now Google is offering that ability online.  I also think the Huddles functionality seems a lot better than Facebook’s.

Saying that though, I’m not actually sure that this will be the thing that sees the demise of Facebook.  With c. 600m there is bound to be some attrition but I think Facebook has more fundamental issues to take care of, namely:

  • Privacy – how secure is your data?  Why can’t you delete your account rather than de-activate it?
  • Boredom – people have been living with it for 4-5 yrs and the world has moved on, much like it did for MySpace
  • Displeasure – Facebook has done things slightly underhand, they’ve changed layouts, added new functionality which has changed the site from its original inception (selling rather than interacting)
The one thing it has going for it is that people are used to that ‘space’ for communicating, more so than they are for Google.  Also, more people have FB accounts than Gmail accounts, so they will need to create new profiles, learn new interfaces and ways of communicating.

I will be joining G+.  I would love to relinquish Facebook (with or without the advent of G+) but unfortunately the rest of my friends are Facebookers and use it to organise get togethers so, for my sins, I am still there.  But my activity is virtually zero.

I don’t think it will be the death of Facebook.  They will be impacted quite badly, but they will be around (and making lots of money) for years to come. However, they need to truly understand how people want to interact with others and their part in that process.