The|Intangibles » Twitter http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/boydneil Selected posts from Boyd Neil's blog at http://www.boydneil.com Tue, 23 Nov 2010 20:22:30 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Canadians Like Their Social Networks http://www.boydneil.com/blog/2010/11/19/canadians-like-their-social-networks.html http://www.boydneil.com/blog/2010/11/19/canadians-like-their-social-networks.html#comments Fri, 19 Nov 2010 22:03:05 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:9521357

I’ve just been looking at research firm Ipsos Reid’s 2010 Canadian Internet Fact Guide, which I think was released this summer but is based on 2009 data.

It’s a useful snapshot of Canadians’ internet behaviours, but a couple of facts jumped out at me (besides the fact that 84% of Canadians aged 18 to 34 have an online social network profile).

    • 86% of Canadians with online social networking profiles are aware of Twitter, although only 10% have a Twitter profile and 5% actively use it.” Of those, 90% have their profile on Facebook.

    Frankly, I don’t believe this. While I accept Twitter tends to be used by an older demographic with younger people favouring BBM and texting in general, I wonder whether this has changed over the past year. Maybe its purely anecdotal, but I think business usage of Twitter has increased significantly over the past year, which should influence this number.

        • “56% of Canadians with online social networking profiles visit social networking sites at least weekly; 31% visit daily.”

        This I think is true . . . In a presentation at Meshmarketing in Toronto, Janice Diner of Horizon Studios says there are 16 million Canadians on Facebook who spend an average of 411 minutes per month on it (noting as well that about 38% are more than 35 years old).

          • 17% of  smartphone owners who also have an online social networking profile have downloaded a Facebook application to their phone; 4% have downloaded a Twitter application.”

          I would have thought this would be a lot higher, although again it may be that a year makes a huge difference in people’s usage of social technologies. Diner’s presentation, for example, says that 200 million globally engage with Facebook on their mobile devices and they are twice as active users as others.

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            A Year in Five Social Media Movements http://www.boydneil.com/blog/2010/1/4/a-year-in-five-social-media-movements.html http://www.boydneil.com/blog/2010/1/4/a-year-in-five-social-media-movements.html#comments Mon, 04 Jan 2010 21:13:31 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:6132697 Reports on social media trends in 2009 are ubiquitous -- here's one of the most useful lists from Adam Vincenzini in The Comms Corner -- as are cogitative posts about what to expect in 2010 like that by David Armano blogging at the Harvard Business Review.

            My assessment of what mattered last year is shorter and more personal, and I am too deferential to the forecasting abilities of others to speculate on 2010:

            1. Many words, occasional invective and a lot of social media blood were spilled over the demise of newspapers and its effect on journalism and those who practice it within the historical news delivery infrastructure. I weighed in often enough because I believe there is a radical shift in the sources of reporting, the formation of public opinion through communication, and the opportunity for individuals and groups, when motivated, to work around the traditional news infrastructure to exchange information, ideas and opinion for social change and political purposes.  The critical words on this issue in Canada may have been spoken by The Supreme Court of Canada. In late December its ruling on responsible communication made it clear that such communication is not just the province of journalists, but of anyone engaged in public communication including bloggers  As David Eaves so eloquently summed it up in his post "The ruling acknowledges that we are all now journalists and that we need a legal regime that recognizes this reality."
            2. During the Iran elections in June 2009, Twitter became the means for getting images and news out about the repression of democratic protest. Recognizing that Twitter was a tool by which people in Iran were communicating with each other, and the world outside, even the U.S. State Department asked Twitter to delay its scheduled maintenance outage in order not to impede the flow of information. In my view, this was the single event that brought Twitter naysayers to heel, especially cynical journalists. News was being reported by citizens through a social network that some silly luddite columnists (still) see as "little more than the glorification of self indulgent trivia". (Martin Vander Weyer in The Spectator, January 2, 2010). 
            3. Speaking of reality, it is now being augmented in ways that are mind boggling. Augmented reality refers to the overlay of the virtual on the real. As explained by Ben Parr last August "These applications combine virtual data into the physical real world by utilizing the iPhone 3GS or an Android phone’s compass, camera, and GPS system. The result is that you can see things like the location of Twitter users and local restaurants in the physical world, even if they are miles away." While excitement has been focused on fun apps like being able to wave your iPhone or Android in the air and find the nearest pubs, there are obviously hundreds of other uses, especially for product seeding . . . about which I know nothing. As for reputation management, corporate communications or issue identification and control, well, I'm not sure.
            4. I am a little surprised that Google's Sidewiki has become a non-story. At first blush, it seemed to have the potential to be a game shifter in how people interact with web content about which they have strong opinions, pro or con. It may be that social networks are already platforms for interaction about web content and Sidwiki in the context of opinionated and criticism-friendly social networks is simply redundant.
            5. As a consultant over the past couple of years, I have been recommending social media strategies as pivotal in the success of reputation management programs largely because they are community (or affinity) rather than media focused. Clients are buying into it. But the conversations I've been having with companies over the last few months lead me to think we are at a social media tipping point (no, I have not read Mr. Gladwell's epnymous book). According to the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts, "Social media is mainstream. Forty-three percent of Inc. 500 companies consider social media important to their business, with 91 percent of Inc. 500 companies employing at least one tool in 2009." Employing one tool, however, is not a strategy and many companies and organizations are recognizing that the one-off Facebook page or Twitter handle isn't giving them traction, nor will it. They'll want -- or should be wanting -- the full game plan.

            So, I lied: Number five is a 2010 forecast.

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            Reports on social media trends in 2009 are ubiquitous — here’s one of the most useful lists from Adam Vincenzini in The Comms Corner — as are cogitative posts about what to expect in 2010 like that by David Armano blogging at the Harvard Business Review.

            My assessment of what mattered last year is shorter and more personal, and I am too deferential to the forecasting abilities of others to speculate on 2010:

            1. Many words, occasional invective and a lot of social media blood were spilled over the demise of newspapers and its effect on journalism and those who practice it within the historical news delivery infrastructure. I weighed in often enough because I believe there is a radical shift in the sources of reporting, the formation of public opinion through communication, and the opportunity for individuals and groups, when motivated, to work around the traditional news infrastructure to exchange information, ideas and opinion for social change and political purposes.  The critical words on this issue in Canada may have been spoken by The Supreme Court of Canada. In late December its ruling on responsible communication made it clear that such communication is not just the province of journalists, but of anyone engaged in public communication including bloggers  As David Eaves so eloquently summed it up in his post “The ruling acknowledges that we are all now journalists and that we need a legal regime that recognizes this reality.”
            2. During the Iran elections in June 2009, Twitter became the means for getting images and news out about the repression of democratic protest. Recognizing that Twitter was a tool by which people in Iran were communicating with each other, and the world outside, even the U.S. State Department asked Twitter to delay its scheduled maintenance outage in order not to impede the flow of information. In my view, this was the single event that brought Twitter naysayers to heel, especially cynical journalists. News was being reported by citizens through a social network that some silly luddite columnists (still) see as “little more than the glorification of self indulgent trivia”. (Martin Vander Weyer in The Spectator, January 2, 2010).
            3. Speaking of reality, it is now being augmented in ways that are mind boggling. Augmented reality refers to the overlay of the virtual on the real. As explained by Ben Parr last August “These applications combine virtual data into the physical real world by utilizing the iPhone 3GS or an Android phone’s compass, camera, and GPS system. The result is that you can see things like the location of Twitter users and local restaurants in the physical world, even if they are miles away.” While excitement has been focused on fun apps like being able to wave your iPhone or Android in the air and find the nearest pubs, there are obviously hundreds of other uses, especially for product seeding . . . about which I know nothing. As for reputation management, corporate communications or issue identification and control, well, I’m not sure.
            4. I am a little surprised that Google’s Sidewiki has become a non-story. At first blush, it seemed to have the potential to be a game shifter in how people interact with web content about which they have strong opinions, pro or con. It may be that social networks are already platforms for interaction about web content and Sidwiki in the context of opinionated and criticism-friendly social networks is simply redundant.
            5. As a consultant over the past couple of years, I have been recommending social media strategies as pivotal in the success of reputation management programs largely because they are community (or affinity) rather than media focused. Clients are buying into it. But the conversations I’ve been having with companies over the last few months lead me to think we are at a social media tipping point (no, I have not read Mr. Gladwell’s epnymous book). According to the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts, “Social media is mainstream. Forty-three percent of Inc. 500 companies consider social media important to their business, with 91 percent of Inc. 500 companies employing at least one tool in 2009.” Employing one tool, however, is not a strategy and many companies and organizations are recognizing that the one-off Facebook page or Twitter handle isn’t giving them traction, nor will it. They’ll want — or should be wanting — the full game plan.

            So, I lied: Number five is a 2010 forecast.

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            Twitter . . . Why Bother? http://www.boydneil.com/blog/2009/10/4/twitter-why-bother.html http://www.boydneil.com/blog/2009/10/4/twitter-why-bother.html#comments Sun, 04 Oct 2009 20:18:41 +0000 Boyd Neil 417677:4590288:5368009 Maybe it isn't enough to denounce silly sniping at Twitter - as I did in the previous post - without making a case for why bother exchanging 140 characters with some friends and many more people I've never met.

            How about because:

            1. You can use Twitter to reinforce the legitimate personal need to provide value through your comments, links, humor and polemic . . . I do.
            2. Twitter, as Andrew Keen said last Friday at a panel discussion with Clay Shirky, is pure, by which I think he means it is direct and surprisingly transparent.
            3. Twitter posts expose personality, your own and that of others, better than dinner party conversation. You learn a lot about people by what they contribute and how they participate.
            4. Twitter has some many political and social uses as evidenced by last June's elections in Iran. Jim Gilliam, creator of the Twitter petition tool called act.ly says his 'tweet change' tool makes it possible 'for anyone to pounce on an opportunity, no matter how small, without the run-up and vetting and committee meetings that traditional advocacy groups might have to churn through before they act.'
            5. It can be, says web strategist Jermiah Oywang, a shared feed reader, chat room, listening tool, traffic driving tool, and note space.
            6. People direct me to great stories, edgy ideas and very occasionally products (usually wine) that I would not find otherwise.

            In other words, assuming you choose the right people to follow (and by "right" I mean those who you want as part of a community of interest) Twitter helps build fruitful, lively, and perspicacious reciprocal relationships.

            If you have an extra six minutes, watch this video about why others like Twitter.

             

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            Maybe it isn’t enough to denounce silly sniping at Twitter – as I did in the previous post – without making a case for why bother exchanging 140 characters with some friends and many more people I’ve never met.

            How about because:

            1. You can use Twitter to reinforce the legitimate personal need to provide value through your comments, links, humor and polemic . . . I do.
            2. Twitter, as Andrew Keen said last Friday at a panel discussion with Clay Shirky, is pure, by which I think he means it is direct and surprisingly transparent.
            3. Twitter posts expose personality, your own and that of others, better than dinner party conversation. You learn a lot about people by what they contribute and how they participate.
            4. Twitter has some many political and social uses as evidenced by last June’s elections in Iran. Jim Gilliam, creator of the Twitter petition tool called act.ly says his ‘tweet change’ tool makes it possible ‘for anyone to pounce on an opportunity, no matter how small, without the run-up and vetting and committee meetings that traditional advocacy groups might have to churn through before they act.’
            5. It can be, says web strategist Jermiah Oywang, a shared feed reader, chat room, listening tool, traffic driving tool, and note space.
            6. People direct me to great stories, edgy ideas and very occasionally products (usually wine) that I would not find otherwise.

            In other words, assuming you choose the right people to follow (and by “right” I mean those who you want as part of a community of interest) Twitter helps build fruitful, lively, and perspicacious reciprocal relationships.

            If you have an extra six minutes, watch this video about why others like Twitter.

             

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