Bandwidth » Social Media 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 Info-Images + One Cartoon 2010 http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/12/29/info-images-one-cartoon-2010/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/12/29/info-images-one-cartoon-2010/#comments Wed, 29 Dec 2010 22:27:31 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:9859144 The images and infographics below struck a cord with me for a variety of reasons throughout the year. And be patient with the scrolling. There are six images in all . .  . and the best one is the last.

Where dweeb, nerd and geek meet. (I sure hope I fit the geek category and not the others.)

The death this year (one hopes) of the self-described social media guru. (And not a moment too soon.)

Facebook rules

Paul Butler, an engineering intern at Facebook, made this image from a sample of 10 million Facebook friendship pairs. The map was created organically from the pairs, and the lines represent human relationships.

Okay, maybe mobile browsers rule (Although personally I find my mobile brower frustrating to use, slow and with insufficient screen clarity. But I guess that’s just me.)

Facebook Places versus Foursquare (Some research on what people think about whether Facebook Places will overtake Foursquare, and some who don’t care. And apologies to the creator of this graph and academics who have to identify sources in their papers — I can’t find the source for this anymore. If someone would like to point me to the owner, I would be more than happy to give approprate attribution.)

The social demographics of Facebook and Twitter. (Too bad the creators couldn’t measure login by the hour: I wonder what the stats would look like then.)

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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.

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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.

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A Random Social Web Walk . . . With Voting http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/10/07/a-random-social-web-walk-with-voting/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/10/07/a-random-social-web-walk-with-voting/#comments Thu, 07 Oct 2010 17:52:35 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:9086283 Some random social web information and ideas:

From Mashable, a tongue-firmly-in-cheek campaign from the marketing firm Proximity will see the person who checks in most frequently on Foursquare at the City of Chicago Mayoral HQ become the new ‘mayor’ of the city. The current front runner is Rob Mowry who looks strangely like Rob Ford a real candidate for mayor in Toronto. Just showing up, rather than making change, seems to work for mayors in Toronto so why not a Foursquare mayor?

My Vote . . .

The title of this article by Robyn Urback in Canada’s National Post newspaper says it all: ” Facebook’s ‘I like it’ campaign pointlessly sexualizing tragedy”. The idea is that for breast cancer awareness month, women are supposed to say where they like to leave their purse. (I know: I don’t understand the connection either.) The result is such comments as ‘I like it on the floor’. Get it? Unfortunately, the article doesn’t tell you who thought up this offensive campaign.

My Vote . . .

According to a study sponsored by StephensGouldPincus in the US, “the total percentage of work devoted by communications consulting firms to social media as opposed to traditional media is 30% overall. Next year, the percentage will increase to an average of 42%, with firms over $3 million in revenue increasing to 46%.”

My Vote . . .

In post about a Gallup poll which shows that distrust in the media continues to edge up, Valeria Maltoni says something that people like me who blog about current affairs should remember:

Especially if you are creating content, you should do your homework, look to diverse sources. A greater share of voice comes with greater accountability.

My Vote . . .

It’s a good day. I liked three out of the four things I read.

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Augmented Reality News Release http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/06/04/augmented-reality-news-release/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/06/04/augmented-reality-news-release/#comments Fri, 04 Jun 2010 14:11:22 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:7857989 Forgive the fact that this is about an initiative of my employer, but it is too cool to ignore.

Yesterday, we launched what we are claiming to be the world’s first augmented reality news release to highlight our promotional activities around the Cannes Lions advertising festival.

As described by our CMO, Tony Burgess-Webb, “The concept is simple: recipients receive a document with a special marker printed on it, go to our website and hold up the document to their webcam. Our promotional video (featuring our esteemed CEO without trousers) then appears to play directly on the piece of paper.”

If you have a printer and a webcam, you can try it out here. Or if you just want to see it in action see the video at http://vimeo.com/12260607.

Is there a future in augmented reality news releases? If fun is a criteria for news release success, then I think so.

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ICCO Says Social Web Consulting Growing http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/05/19/icco-says-social-web-consulting-growing/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/05/19/icco-says-social-web-consulting-growing/#comments Wed, 19 May 2010 21:14:17 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:7729200  

Nothing in the ICCO's World Report 2010 is surprising including that "As interest in the exploitation of digital channels grows, public relations consultancies are increasingly positioning themselves as experts in the field, especially when it comes to managing an organisation's reputation online." (The ICCO is the umbrella organization for communications agency trade associations in 28 countries)

But here's a tip: If you are thinking of expanding your agency business internationally, forget Sweden where most consultants find that "companies perfer to mee their digital needs entirely in-house or via specialist sub-contractors". Instead head for Norway where "communication via new technologies is the domain of external providers, and 100% of consultancies offer these services". Demand and supply are growing.

The opportunities are in Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, India, and Turkey where communications consultancies are apparently slower to add social web expertise to their range of services.

Since we have so many social web experts in North America, maybe some should think of setting up shop in these under-served countries.

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Nothing in the ICCO’s World Report 2010 is surprising including that “As interest in the exploitation of digital channels grows, public relations consultancies are increasingly positioning themselves as experts in the field, especially when it comes to managing an organisation’s reputation online.” (The ICCO is the umbrella organization for communications agency trade associations in 28 countries)

But here’s a tip: If you are thinking of expanding your agency business internationally, forget Sweden where most consultants find that “companies perfer to mee their digital needs entirely in-house or via specialist sub-contractors”. Instead head for Norway where “communication via new technologies is the domain of external providers, and 100% of consultancies offer these services”. Demand and supply are growing.

The opportunities are in Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, India, and Turkey where communications consultancies are apparently slower to add social web expertise to their range of services.

Since we have so many social web experts in North America, maybe some should think of setting up shop in these under-served countries.

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Digital for the Defense http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/05/07/digital-for-the-defense/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/05/07/digital-for-the-defense/#comments Fri, 07 May 2010 20:55:05 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:7597684

The plaintiff's bar, according to Richard Levick, "has asserted digital dominance over the defense. In countless class action engagements, plaintiffs’ attorneys have outpaced the companies they target in search engine marketing and optimization (SEM and SEO), in the blogosphere, and on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube."

The same can be said for companies under attack by activist groups and angry citizens. Activist organizations are much better at using the social web in attack mode, although they nearly always have far fewer resources at their disposal than their targets. The examples are legion, from Nestle to Toyota to critics of the development of Canada's oil sands.

It isn't so odd really. To use the social web to greatest effect, you need quick decision-making, nimble approval of content, faith that public opinion matters, and willingness to let others speak for you . . . in other words, actions counter to the command-and-control and circle-the-wagons mindset that overtakes the C-suite in a crisis. Unless it is proved that public opinion will influence the purchase behaviour of a company's customers, piss off regulators or make investors unhappy, there is a propensity for managers to equate defense with inaction.

But that isn't the best strategy. As Mao Zedong said "the only real defense is active defense.", which is a good description of what companies should think of doing online, and a more felicitous strategy for the social web than the common adage that 'the best defense is a good offense.'

Companies don't need to be combative or belligerent as might a plaintiff's counsel in the U.S. But they should offer -- and be willing to discuss -- a point of view using social web tools for three reasons:

  1. A transparent, fact-based story shared with appropriate humility (if a mistake has been made) and discussed will get traction with non-aligned, non-dogmatic (yes, there are some) social web participants. The critics on the social web may shout the loudest, but the conversationalists and collectors can have political impact (Note . . .  Forrester Research social technographic categories)
  2. The ubiquitous use of search -- on any platform (Google, Twitter, YouTube etc.) -- means that the company's angle on an issue or problem at least stands a chance of getting exposed to  non-obdurate or non-ideologically driven citizens.
  3. Digital memory is timeless and the next time something happens to the company that digital retrospection may not just be of a mess but also of an accurate explanation.
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The plaintiff’s bar, according to Richard Levick, “has asserted digital dominance over the defense. In countless class action engagements, plaintiffs’ attorneys have outpaced the companies they target in search engine marketing and optimization (SEM and SEO), in the blogosphere, and on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.”

The same can be said for companies under attack by activist groups and angry citizens. Activist organizations are much better at using the social web in attack mode, although they nearly always have far fewer resources at their disposal than their targets. The examples are legion, from Nestle to Toyota to critics of the development of Canada’s oil sands.

It isn’t so odd really. To use the social web to greatest effect, you need quick decision-making, nimble approval of content, faith that public opinion matters, and willingness to let others speak for you . . . in other words, actions counter to the command-and-control and circle-the-wagons mindset that overtakes the C-suite in a crisis. Unless it is proved that public opinion will influence the purchase behaviour of a company’s customers, piss off regulators or make investors unhappy, there is a propensity for managers to equate defense with inaction.

But that isn’t the best strategy. As Mao Zedong said “the only real defense is active defense., which is a good description of what companies should think of doing online, and a more felicitous strategy for the social web than the common adage that ‘the best defense is a good offense.’

Companies don’t need to be combative or belligerent as might a plaintiff’s counsel in the U.S. But they should offer — and be willing to discuss — a point of view using social web tools for three reasons:

  1. A transparent, fact-based story shared with appropriate humility (if a mistake has been made) and discussed will get traction with non-aligned, non-dogmatic (yes, there are some) social web participants. The critics on the social web may shout the loudest, but the conversationalists and collectors can have political impact (Note . . .  Forrester Research social technographic categories)
  2. The ubiquitous use of search — on any platform (Google, Twitter, YouTube etc.) — means that the company’s angle on an issue or problem at least stands a chance of getting exposed to  non-obdurate or non-ideologically driven citizens.
  3. Digital memory is timeless and the next time something happens to the company that digital retrospection may not just be of a mess but also of an accurate explanation.
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Activist Boot Camps for Everyone http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/04/28/activist-boot-camps-for-everyone/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/04/28/activist-boot-camps-for-everyone/#comments Wed, 28 Apr 2010 11:15:00 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:7468473 Take a look at this description of an activists' training summit being organized in seven U.S. cities this spring and summer:

The following training courses were designed for the grassroots and focus on key areas of effective activism.

Grassroots Organizing:

  • Creative Leadership
  • Micro-targeting Precincts
  • Building Effective Coalitions
  • Media Training

Online Activism:

  • Online Image Management
  • Blogs and Wikis
  • Patriots 2.0
  • Creative Messaging

I know what you're thinking: It's just another left-wing fringe group preparing for the G20 Summit in June in Toronto or a protest over some environmental sin or other committed by a multinational corporation somewhere in the world.

Not this time. The social web activist boot camps are part of a series of 'Post-Party Summits' organized by a group announcing "the beginning of the new American Revolution, one in which we organize for liberty and take back our communities from the political class." That's right . . . The Tea Party, or one of its sister organizations on the right, is looking to train its supporters in social web influence strategies.

Ironically, it may be that the Obama presidential campaign's successful use of the social web has given the "enemy" new ideas for grassroots organizing.  

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Take a look at this description of an activists’ training summit being organized in seven U.S. cities this spring and summer:

The following training courses were designed for the grassroots and focus on key areas of effective activism.

Grassroots Organizing:

  • Creative Leadership
  • Micro-targeting Precincts
  • Building Effective Coalitions
  • Media Training

Online Activism:

  • Online Image Management
  • Blogs and Wikis
  • Patriots 2.0
  • Creative Messaging

I know what you’re thinking: It’s just another left-wing fringe group preparing for the G20 Summit in June in Toronto or a protest over some environmental sin or other committed by a multinational corporation somewhere in the world.

Not this time. The social web activist boot camps are part of a series of ‘Post-Party Summits’ organized by a group announcing “the beginning of the new American Revolution, one in which we organize for liberty and take back our communities from the political class.” That’s right . . . The Tea Party, or one of its sister organizations on the right, is looking to train its supporters in social web influence strategies.

Ironically, it may be that the Obama presidential campaign’s successful use of the social web has given the “enemy” new ideas for grassroots organizing.  

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A Natural Marriage – CSR and Social Web http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/04/19/a-natural-marriage-csr-and-social-web/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/04/19/a-natural-marriage-csr-and-social-web/#comments Mon, 19 Apr 2010 21:49:16 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:7384401

The Conference Board of Canada is the matchmaker in a sensible marriage of two closely related concepts -- corporate responsibility and social media.

A Conference Board event called CSR and Social Media is taking place in Toronto on May 13th. (I am the conference chair, but this is not about shilling for it. But do come.) I wanted to explain why I think a discussion of these two conjoint ideas just makes sense, and in any case the post will likely metamorphose into my introductory remarks.

Three ideas make the marriage of corporate responsibility and the social web work:

  • A readiness to identify, work with and listen to stakeholders should be at the core of corporate social responsibility strategies within organizations if they are to be influential, believed and trusted. Organizations which leave stakeholders out of their responsibility planning, actions and reporting are missing the most important program "element" . . . people who care about, can affect or can be affected by their actions.
  • The social web exists because people are, well, social. They will choose social exchange platforms in which they are listened to, have the possibility to question and observe, and have the potential to contribute. People become stakeholders of the conversations or dialogues (they're different these two, but that's for another more philosophical day) in which they participate.
  • The harmony of CSR and the social web around what I guess you could call 'people dependency' opens up interesting and worthy new ways to gather information and opinion about CSR performance (point of view mapping, open performance data rooms and online co-development of evaluation models) as well as to report on -- and evaluate -- progress on achieving targets and goals through quarterly online reporting on performance indicators which are open for comment (see Timberland).

There. . . I have set my expectations for what I hope at least some of the speakers will address. If they don't, I get 15 minutes at the end of the conference to make my case anyway.

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The Conference Board of Canada is the matchmaker in a sensible marriage of two closely related concepts — corporate responsibility and social media.

A Conference Board event called CSR and Social Media is taking place in Toronto on May 13th. (I am the conference chair, but this is not about shilling for it. But do come.) I wanted to explain why I think a discussion of these two conjoint ideas just makes sense, and in any case the post will likely metamorphose into my introductory remarks.

Three ideas make the marriage of corporate responsibility and the social web work:

  • A readiness to identify, work with and listen to stakeholders should be at the core of corporate social responsibility strategies within organizations if they are to be influential, believed and trusted. Organizations which leave stakeholders out of their responsibility planning, actions and reporting are missing the most important program “element” . . . people who care about, can affect or can be affected by their actions.
  • The social web exists because people are, well, social. They will choose social exchange platforms in which they are listened to, have the possibility to question and observe, and have the potential to contribute. People become stakeholders of the conversations or dialogues (they’re different these two, but that’s for another more philosophical day) in which they participate.
  • The harmony of CSR and the social web around what I guess you could call ‘people dependency’ opens up interesting and worthy new ways to gather information and opinion about CSR performance (point of view mapping, open performance data rooms and online co-development of evaluation models) as well as to report on — and evaluate — progress on achieving targets and goals through quarterly online reporting on performance indicators which are open for comment (see Timberland).

There. . . I have set my expectations for what I hope at least some of the speakers will address. If they don’t, I get 15 minutes at the end of the conference to make my case anyway.

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Be Careful How you Judge http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/03/19/be-careful-how-you-judge/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/bandwidth/2010/03/19/be-careful-how-you-judge/#comments Fri, 19 Mar 2010 19:56:28 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:7070353 Thanks to a former colleague - Sharon Fernandes - for directing me to this YouTube video. Warning, though, you need to watch it all the way to the end to understand exactly what is going on. It's less than three minutes long.

While the video is about book publishing, there are important lessons in it for anyone in an organization responsible for its interaction with customers, the public or communities . . . be careful how you judge what they value.

 

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Thanks to a former colleague – Sharon Fernandes – for directing me to this YouTube video. Warning, though, you need to watch it all the way to the end to understand exactly what is going on. It’s less than three minutes long.

While the video is about book publishing, there are important lessons in it for anyone in an organization responsible for its interaction with customers, the public or communities . . . be careful how you judge what they value.

 

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