Bandwidth » facebook http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth Insights from H&K Canada's social media strategy team Fri, 07 Jan 2011 21:05:56 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Blogging is Dead: Long Live Blogging http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/12/23/blogging-is-dead-long-live-blogging/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/12/23/blogging-is-dead-long-live-blogging/#comments Thu, 23 Dec 2010 19:35:42 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:9812503 I was going to post my own comments on the false notion that blogging is dead based on this piece from a week or so ago at Mashable, as have dozens of others.

But Kimberly Turner writing at The Regator Blog (that’s not her in the pic) has taken up the cause with more effect than I could. Here is the Coles Notes version of her well-argued comeback(my emphasis):

“The Mashable article’s (current) headline states: “Everyone Uses E-mail, But Blogging Is On the Decline.” According the study Schroeder based the post on, this is false. As the handy-dandy chart below (from the same Pew study) shows, blogging is on the decline in Millennials (18-33) and G.I. Generation (74+) but on the increase in all other age groups with an overall increase from 11 percent of internet users in December 2008 to 14 percent in May 2010.”

“The Mashable post turns its nose up at blogging but makes no mention of stats from the same report indicating that even after blogging’s decline with teens, there are still more teen bloggers than tweeters.

“The blogosphere has become the realm for things that cannot be expressed in 140 characters, a place where significant conversations, debates, and information exchange can occur. This shift means the blogging is maturing and evolving—not dying.”

“The evolution of blogs has made the very definition of a blog ambiguous. Millions access blogs such as Mashable, The Huffington Post, TMZ, Gawker, and Boing Boing every month. Because the line between blogs and other websites has blurred with blogs’ maturation, visitors may or may not consider themselves to be blog readers…even when they are.”

I guess I’ll keep at it.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/12/23/blogging-is-dead-long-live-blogging/feed/ 0
Blocking Social Networks at Work – A Dying Practice? http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/11/16/blocking-social-networks-at-work-a-dying-practice/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/11/16/blocking-social-networks-at-work-a-dying-practice/#comments Tue, 16 Nov 2010 15:49:09 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:9472308  

(Once again I’ve enriched a post with a Rob Cottingham cartoon since no one captures the social web zeitgeist better. I don’t think he’ll mind.)

I hope the title of this post is true. But based on my experience with some organizations over the past six months there are fewer offering this “benefit” than I thought would be the case given where we are in the social web’s six or seven year history.

The resistance is still coming from senior management teams and human resource departments (a) concerned about the impact on productivity (b) afraid that organizational intellectual property will be compromised.

Others can desconstruct the problems with these quarrels. Instead, let me suggest five arguments in favour of making Rob’s cartoon redundant:

  1. The signal sent by blocking Facebook, other social networks and micro-blogging platforms like Twitter is that you think your employees are children . . . if not idiots. That feeling is likely to be a greater draw down on productivity than a few minutes checking a social network feed.
  2. With smart phones and mobile apps employees can simply duck their hands below their desks and check Facebook and Twitter anyway.
  3. As Rob says in a post accompanying the cartoon above blocking these platforms may mean missing an opportunity for “companies and organizations (to create platforms – my addition) for productive, collaborative work.”
  4. The social web isn’t going away. Many businesses are trying to find a way to make it relevant for them. By shutting off desktop access to the social web you are slamming the door on creative business scenarios or better customer service strategies.
  5. You will delay learning what kind of specialized content might make users of the social web pay attention to your products and services, because your employees won’t help you find out.

Senior managers can be stubborn, especially when backed by IT departments mumbling about non-business driven server overload. So don’t bet these ideas will tip the scales among the hold outs . . . though it’s worth a try.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/11/16/blocking-social-networks-at-work-a-dying-practice/feed/ 0
Twitter Helping Politicians Use Itself http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/11/07/twitter-helping-politicians-use-itself/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/11/07/twitter-helping-politicians-use-itself/#comments Sun, 07 Nov 2010 15:50:16 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:9399299

According to ClickZ (via KStreet Café) Twitter has hired Adam Sharp to provide advice to DC politicians and bureaucrats on how to use the micro-blogging platform for the pubic good. Why?

“A Twitter spokesperson told ClickZ in June: ‘We are seeing strong growth of government, policy, and political usage of Twitter, and we want to help officials get the most out of our service to better communicate with constituents.’ “

(Given Facebook’s capacity and usage as a hub for political campaigns, maybe it should be thinking of doing something similar, if it hasn’t already.)

Not a bad idea at all . . . social web platforms providing strategies to specific target user groups for getting the most out of them. It should make government relations consultants a bit nervous that platforms are  stepping into their advisory role.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/11/07/twitter-helping-politicians-use-itself/feed/ 0
Social Networks : Modern day Knights of Columbus (or Loyal Orders of Water Buffaloes) http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/05/31/social-networks-modern-day-knights-of-columbus-or-loyal-orders-of-water-buffaloes/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/05/31/social-networks-modern-day-knights-of-columbus-or-loyal-orders-of-water-buffaloes/#comments Mon, 31 May 2010 17:52:20 +0000 Michelle Sullivan http://michellesullivan.ca/?p=1830 I spent part of a glorious Sunday afternoon this weekend sitting in an unusual place (for me) : a pew at the Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts church in the Laurentians. Curiosity had led me there. While I’d sat through countless Sunday masses as a child, this was the first time I would witness the ordination of a priest.

The whole process was very fraternal (emphasis mine). The novice, the Bishop and dozens of priests were led into the packed church by a plumed and caped group of older men I knew to be Knights of Columbus. While I’d never seen these men in full regalia, I knew immediately by their demeanor and costume who they were. For the uninitiated, the Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organisation. Akin to Fred Flintstone’s Loyal Order of  Water Buffaloes, if you will.

As I cursed myself for not having a fully charged iPhone with me for live tweeting and TwitPics, I sat back and reflected on the community I was observing before me. My mind eventually – inevitably – turned to social networking. Yes, I see everything (not really, but anyway), even the ordination of a priest, through a web 2.0 lens. I call it 2.0/2.0 vision.

I was watching a tribe in action. Two communities of men (the Knights, the priests) – mostly of an older generation – sharing similar values, a similar belief system and a relationship which is mutually beneficial. It’s not a stretch to imagine that members of the Sainte-Agathe chapter of the Knights of Columbus help one another and even refer business to one another. This is what we do when we’re part of a group of like-minded people. We refer people to those we know and we help other members of our tribe when we can.

Business groups are the same. On Facebook a few minutes ago, my cousin Dermot, an Irish photographer,  shared a Sunday Times article in which he’s featured. In the interview, he credits part of his business development success to Business Network International (BNI), an organisation that brings business owners from different disciplines together into a single group whose members refer their personal and professional contacts to one another.

Social networks, like LinkedIn, step in to provide a virtual way to cultivate and maintain business links. Today, I received a note from a colleague from a dozen or more years ago who is now a real estate agent looking for business.  Would I know anyone in the market for a house? I might decide to go out on the limb for him for any of a number of reasons — because I like him, because I see an opportunity for myself, or just because I’m nice. I’m not likely to do it, however,  if I don’t perceive him to be a member of my tribe.

No matter what form our business networking takes, the glue that holds it all together is the concept of tribe.

As we build our LinkedIn profiles, join Facebook discussion groups or join a hashtag-ed discussion on Twitter, we’d all be wise not to lose sight of the fact that human relationships remain at the cornerstone of it all.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/05/31/social-networks-modern-day-knights-of-columbus-or-loyal-orders-of-water-buffaloes/feed/ 0
Facebook and Twitter on a Tear http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/02/11/facebook-and-twitter-on-a-tear/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/02/11/facebook-and-twitter-on-a-tear/#comments Thu, 11 Feb 2010 14:07:38 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:6649206 Reading studies about trends in digital marketing is not how I prefer to spend leisure time. But they can be a nice counter balance to the time spent trying to convince organizations that social media are not going away (unlike mainstream media).

A comScore Inc. recap of digital marketing in 2009 in the U.S. released yesterday tells us, among other revealing findings (Would you have guessed that the largest growth rate in e-commerce in 2009 was in the purchase of books and magazines?), that people in the U.S. continue to flood to Facebook and Twitter, and to a lesser extent MySpace.

According to the study:

"Facebook grew substantially across nearly every performance metric in 2009. Unique visitors, page views, and total time spent all increased by a factor of two or more. Frequency metrics such as average minutes per usage day (up 6 percent) and average usage days per visitors (up 37 percent) also saw gains. As more people use Facebook more frequently, the site has grown to account for three times as much total time spent online as it did last year."

Others with an analytic predisposition can deep dive into the charts and graphs in comScore's study. Suffice to to say from my perspective this even more important than the huge numbers tossed around which compare Facebook's 350 million or so users to the populations of various countries.

The numbers are telling us that people are coming to Facebook more often, spending more time there, and exploring the Facebook landscape more broadly.

As for Twitter, someone commented on a recent Tweet of mine which asked whether I should try to be funnier in my posts that I shouldn't because it is a "business medium."  The comment may have been justified a year ago given the demographic composition of users, but the change in the age of Twitter users (which now total 20 million in the U.S.) may bring that assumption in question:

"The initial success of Twitter was largely driven by users in the 25-54 year old age segment, which made up 65 percent of all visitors to the site in December 2008, with 18-24 year olds accounting for just 9 percent of visitors . . . Despite Twitter's initially older skew, as it gained widespread popularity with the help of celebrity Tweeters and mainstream media coverage, younger users flooded to the site in large numbers, with those under the age 18 (up 6.2 percentage points) and 18-24 year olds (up 7.9 percentage points) representing the fastest growing demographic segments."

There may be troubling questions about the options for monetizing these platforms so they can be sustained and about the ability best ways to harness online networks for marketing purposes, but there is clearly every reason to keep at it. These platforms are in increasing part of how the world plays out its relationships, idea and information excahgne, civic engagement and, yes, product and service research.

]]>
Reading studies about trends in digital marketing is not how I prefer to spend leisure time. But they can be a nice counter balance to the time spent trying to convince organizations that social media are not going away (unlike mainstream media).

A comScore Inc. recap of digital marketing in 2009 in the U.S. released yesterday tells us, among other revealing findings (Would you have guessed that the largest growth rate in e-commerce in 2009 was in the purchase of books and magazines?), that people in the U.S. continue to flood to Facebook and Twitter, and to a lesser extent MySpace.

According to the study:

“Facebook grew substantially across nearly every performance metric in 2009. Unique visitors, page views, and total time spent all increased by a factor of two or more. Frequency metrics such as average minutes per usage day (up 6 percent) and average usage days per visitors (up 37 percent) also saw gains. As more people use Facebook more frequently, the site has grown to account for three times as much total time spent online as it did last year.”

Others with an analytic predisposition can deep dive into the charts and graphs in comScore’s study. Suffice to to say from my perspective this even more important than the huge numbers tossed around which compare Facebook’s 350 million or so users to the populations of various countries.

The numbers are telling us that people are coming to Facebook more often, spending more time there, and exploring the Facebook landscape more broadly.

As for Twitter, someone commented on a recent Tweet of mine which asked whether I should try to be funnier in my posts that I shouldn’t because it is a “business medium.”  The comment may have been justified a year ago given the demographic composition of users, but the change in the age of Twitter users (which now total 20 million in the U.S.) may bring that assumption in question:

“The initial success of Twitter was largely driven by users in the 25-54 year old age segment, which made up 65 percent of all visitors to the site in December 2008, with 18-24 year olds accounting for just 9 percent of visitors . . . Despite Twitter’s initially older skew, as it gained widespread popularity with the help of celebrity Tweeters and mainstream media coverage, younger users flooded to the site in large numbers, with those under the age 18 (up 6.2 percentage points) and 18-24 year olds (up 7.9 percentage points) representing the fastest growing demographic segments.”

There may be troubling questions about the options for monetizing these platforms so they can be sustained and about the ability best ways to harness online networks for marketing purposes, but there is clearly every reason to keep at it. These platforms are in increasing part of how the world plays out its relationships, idea and information excahgne, civic engagement and, yes, product and service research.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/02/11/facebook-and-twitter-on-a-tear/feed/ 1
Get your head in the Olympics with Podium Pals http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/12/02/get-your-head-in-the-olympics-with-podium-pals/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/12/02/get-your-head-in-the-olympics-with-podium-pals/#comments Wed, 02 Dec 2009 17:44:23 +0000 David Jones (Former Member) 408469:4468444:5969744 The team at H&K Digital has been working on this little bit of Olympic fun for the Canadian Olympic Committee to get everyone excited about Painting the Town Red for the upcoming Vancouver Olympics.

Pick your sport, pick your photo and through the magic of the Interwebs you're an Olympian!  You can share your Olympic you on Facebook, make versions of your friends and post to their Facebook walls or download to your PC for e-mailing or desktop wallpaper. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Web: http://podiumpals.olympic.ca or http://chumsdepodium.olympic.ca

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/canadianolympicteam


]]>
The team at H&K Digital has been working on this little bit of Olympic fun for the Canadian Olympic Committee to get everyone excited about Painting the Town Red for the upcoming Vancouver Olympics.

Pick your sport, pick your photo and through the magic of the Interwebs you’re an Olympian!  You can share your Olympic you on Facebook, make versions of your friends and post to their Facebook walls or download to your PC for e-mailing or desktop wallpaper. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Web: http://podiumpals.olympic.ca or http://chumsdepodium.olympic.ca

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/canadianolympicteam



]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/12/02/get-your-head-in-the-olympics-with-podium-pals/feed/ 0
Beyond adoption – considering NGO’s social media intentions http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/10/05/beyond-adoption-considering-ngo%e2%80%99s-social-media-intentions/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/10/05/beyond-adoption-considering-ngo%e2%80%99s-social-media-intentions/#comments Tue, 06 Oct 2009 01:11:10 +0000 Meghan Warby http://withoutayard.com/?p=657

It’s been a long non-blogging stretch, which included live music (natch), a bday (piñata & nacho-enhanced), driver’s ed (2nd time’s a charm, right?), domain registration lapse (ack!) & details emerging on what could be the wildest winter ever…

Thankfully, the key sanity check (outside of running/air-drum solo’ing) has been reading.  One of the best nerdy reads in a long while has been the Hatcher Group’s recent report ‘New Media & Social Change: How Nonprofits are Using Web-based Technologies to Reach their Goals.’ Despite the sins of unnecessary capitalization, this is a punchy report worth downloading regardless of whether you or your clients are in the nonprofit sector.

Why is the Hatcher report, which is filled with some good ‘how-tos’ & tip sheets, different than the usual freebie ebooks or ‘top ten’ digg/delicious-bait blog posts?  It’s the data peppered throughout the report, which was culled from a relatively recent survey (May 2009).  The survey asked 70 key questions to gauge 30 NGOs’ new media interest & experience.  Most telling were these statistics confirming NGOs’ attuned state regarding the online world:

  • 53% ‘infrequently’ & 30% ‘frequently’ perform blogger outreach (& 57% spend at least 1-2 hours a week doing so)
  • 73% frequently monitor blog references to their organization &/or issue
  • 60% increased their fanbase, 40% increased web traffic & 20% increased media coverage thanks to Facebook

It’s valuable to stay on top of this sector’s digital communications habits because it’s planting social media seeds in the most fertile ground.  This fertility is thanks to two factors – the necessity of very cost-conscious tool-use & a youngish workforce with a seemingly limitless supply of passion for their cause.

About this time last year, I drafted an interview list for a winter interview circuit of New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles & San Francisco.  A large percentage of the almost 30 interviewees were working for social change either in-house at non-profits or at agencies dedicated to the nonprofit sector.  While almost all of the interviewees were at or near the cutting edge of online tool adoption & seamlessly integrating digital communications into their organization’s overall plan, the Hatcher Report is a valuable sample of an average NGOs’ habits.

To demonstrate the more realistic snapshot & less experimental respondents, check out this survey response about the aims of an organization’s blogger outreach:

  • 91% of organizations hoped to reach media
  • 83% wanted advocates, legislators &/or staff to take note
  • 70% sought the general public’s engagement through this unique digital channel

Perceiving online communications & blogger outreach as primarily a ‘means to an end’ for mainstream media coverage is a somewhat disheartening response from almost all 30 groups the Hatcher Group surveyed.  While blogs can break or popularize stories before they are reported in newspapers or on television, the 91% wish to affect MSM left me worrying that blogger outreach wasn’t being executed with the best intentions, & as a consequence, without the most tactful approach.

Am I being completely paranoid?  It seems odd that there was a 20% gap between NGOs who considered the ‘general public’ as a separate entity worth speaking with via blogs vs. feeding messages to the masses in a backdoor fashion via blog authors.  Regardless of this concern, the report is a great short read & in addition to the data offers short & sweet reminders about best practices in conducting campaigns online.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/10/05/beyond-adoption-considering-ngo%e2%80%99s-social-media-intentions/feed/ 0
Why online protests fail IRL http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/08/30/why-online-protests-fail-irl/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/08/30/why-online-protests-fail-irl/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2009 02:42:16 +0000 Meghan Warby http://withoutayard.com/?p=642 What do KISS, IKEA & Muslim women have in common? Unfortunately there’s no snappy punchline, it’s just an excuse to weave a nerd narrative through a bunch of interesting news stories.

I’m sure by now you’ve got your Oshawa B&B resos, relieved to hear the city’s glam-rocker residents’ KISS ARMY allegiance wasn’t in vain. The band ran a straightforward prove-how-much-you-love-us online contest, which was styled like a petition, requiring city residents to submit email addresses, & promised a concert for the winning city (regrettably it was a KISS concert).  After the band announced the winning city, they published a tour schedule that did not include Oshawa. Now, it doesn’t take Columbo to examine a tour schedule & discover a gap that is geographically & schedule-wise able to accommodate a ’secret’ show or ‘by popular demand’ second night in a venue (Hello Wilco, Welcome to Massey Hall x2!).  Nonetheless, the interwebs’ hyper hypos have an irrepressible impulse to stretch their harnesses.  The city was up in arms, thousands joined Facebook protest groups, locals became ‘representatives’ on news outlets, fansites heaved & a PR maelstrom ensued.  Can’t completely blame unnerved fans for their reaction, but it proves that an online ‘petition’ campaign banking on engaging region-specific communities must reach all stakeholders clearly, consistently & concurrently – online & in ‘public’/mainstream media messaging – or face the wrath of multiple red-dye-tongue-waggings.

From KISS to kisses, The Times’ Freakonomics blogger Steven Dubner references gay rights kissing protests in Salt Lake City (or ‘IRL’ – in real life) in a fantastic quorum post called ‘How Much Do Protests Really Matter?’.  It’s a great long piece that highlights some of the most effective protests throughout history – & puts the KISS KRAP, ridiculous IKEA font fiasco & the ultimate online overreaction of #AmazonFail (of which Shirkey’s blushing reflection is the best) – into perspective.  Kent State, this ain’t. Aside from totally dismissing the online flareups, what can be gleaned from recent issues that’ve made their way into the mainstream?

One positive example of addressing consumer concerns straight-on is the triage-style response from Tim Horton’s to their comp’ed coffee clusterfritter.  After being accused of supporting anti-gay groups, HQ calmly, widely, publicly stated otherwise, while explaining the franchisee relationship & corporate values in a balanced manner.  Though they’ll go down in Twitter history as being ‘too slow’, realistically a major multi-national addressing an online issue centered on a (not ideal ideologically…) backwoods charity BBQ in less than 48 hours (counting weekend days…sadly the downside of our email era is expectation to check 24/7) is approaching impressive.

Finally, last Sunday’s NYTimes magazine on women’s issues had a special ‘The Medium’ column on Feminist Hawks by Virginia Herrernan. It illustrates how ‘motherhood’ issues (for lack of a better word…) can be repackaged, re-purposed & emailed for protest campaigns under new auspices.  In this case an anti-Afghan outlook was wrapped in women’s rights.  Herrernan tracked a popular email petition propelled by pundits such as David Horowitz that sought signatures supporting persecuted Muslim women, but stated military aggression was the solution to women’s liberation.  “This material is expected to help seal Horowitz’s general case for the war on terror, though he has not yet changed the name of his cause to, say, the war on misogyny.”

It might be hard to assign a #fail to online protests writ large, but the summer months brought a new level of inane chatter that could be called out & calmed down as the temperature drops & leaves begin to fall.  Creating online communities, sharing fact-checked/substantiated information & organizing IRL events is one of the strengths of the internet.  Our creative communities’ ongoing successes in subverting negative legislative/funding changes & presenting a strong case for supporting the arts is my favourite example of combining social networks, multimedia & the power of assembly to affect legislative change & public discourse.  Maybe revisiting the history of protests & learning from past well-informed, organized, thoughtful participants, will remind us of this.  You’ve been assigned Whingeing History for first period, first semester – enjoy the final days of summer, kids )

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2009/08/30/why-online-protests-fail-irl/feed/ 0