Archive for “March, 2010”

Predicting Tie Strength With Social Media

Eric Gilbert and Karrie Karahalios of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have begun to study how social media can be used to predict tie strength in a sample of 2,184 Facebook relationships:

They asked 35 people to rate a number of their Facebook friends that were randomly selected. Then they looked at the Facebook behavior of these people to see if could accurate predict the strength of their ties as reported by the participants. Dimensions such as the use of words associated with intimacy and intensity, duration of communication, social distance, and other factors were looked at for their predictive power. The complete set of variables was combined to form the predictive model that worked in 85% of the instances.

The authors used 74 predictive variables, spanning connection intensity, intimacy, duration, reciprocal services, structure, emotional support, social distance, demographics, and usage: Continue Reading…

Social Media Roundup for March 26, 2010

Location Tweets Coming Home to Roost

It isn’t only the robbers that you need to worry about when telling your Facebook friends about your vacation or checking in on Foursquare from Hawaii, but your insurance company as well. According to MediaPost, home insurance premiums in the U.K. may go up by 10% as a direct result of the approximately 40% of British social network users who update with holiday plans.

Pillow Talk – Social Networking Style

Apparently finding out if someone liked your Facebook status is more important for many social network users than sleep. According to the Gadgetology study done by Retrevo a whopping 48% of US social network users check in every time they wake up during the night. Stay tuned next month for social network’s role in the US divorce rate.

If the Grateful Dead Were Alive Today…

It would appear that Deadheads got the whole social media thing before there was an Internet. Shannon Paul’s Very Official Blog has an interesting read on the 4 Things the Grateful Dead Can Teach You About Social Business. The Dead were masters at keeping their most loyal fans on the inside while combining free and paid models to the benefit of both business and their fans.

Memewatch: ChatRoulette Musical Improv

It all started with a guy named Merton (who looks a lot like Ben Folds Five) improvising songs (video featured above) to lonely ChatRoulette participants. Sadly, the video was pulled down by YouTube for some violation or other and then subsequently edited and re-posted. Then Ben Folds Five takes up the gauntlet and records a live Ode to Merton. Now Mashable has a great video interview with a talented and funny guy who is making ChatRoulette “exhibitionist”, but in a good way this time.

Handy Tool: follows your twitter feed and updates your delicious account with the links you tweet. It also offers some basic rules allowing you to include or exclude specific types of links.

Canadians spend more time online than watching TV

Pollster Ipsos-Reid reported this week that for the first time ever their research showed:

“the weekly Internet usage of online Canadians has moved ahead of the number of hours spent watching television. This latest finding comes from the Inter@ctive Reid Report, a syndicated Ipsos Reid study that tracks online Canadians usage of the Internet. Overall, online Canadians are now spending more than 18 hours a week online, compared to 16.9 hours watching television. Internet usage is up from 14.9 hours last year. The number of hours watching television also experienced an increase in the last year, rising from 15.8 hours. Other media, such as newspapers, radio and magazines have all remained relatively stable in the last year.”

I did a quick interview on CBC Radio’s Blue Sky on Monday to talk about these findings. What we’re seeing here are a couple of shifts – broadcast vs. on-demand and passive consumption vs. engagement.  Canadians are obviously choosing what my colleague Doug Walker calls, “lean forward” entertainment vs. “sit back”.

Social Media Roundup for March 19, 2010

It’s the Social Media Roundup, and I’m just bitter I didn’t get to go to sunny Austin.

…because if I had, I may have been part of the world’s longest live-streamed crowd surf.


So once more, the nation’s geeks, nerds, and wannadorks gathered in Austin, TX this week for a meeting of the memes at SXSWi.  But there was no joy in Mudville; this year it was different.  Folks fled the Twitter keynote interview in droves, and generally had a lousy time.  Except all these happy, smiling people.  Pay no attention to them.

It’s our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus

Nestle heard from their Facebook fans today.  A fairly innocent, though perhaps heavy-handed trademark-defending request turned ugly, and the page administrator handled it rather poorlyTwitter mobs, to arms!

YouTube goes all Marty McFly

Yes, I’m a metrics guy.  But sometimes the math just gets a bit wonky.  For instance, YouTube announced this week that users are uploading 24 hours of content to the vid-sharing service every single minute. One day every 60 seconds. I envision servers run by tiny Deloreans with tinier Mr. Fusions to power it all.  I have an active imagination.

We like our social media, but we have to find it first

A couple of studies out this week shed new light on where social media fits in the average person’s day-to-day.  The BBC, for instance, tells us that search sites take the largest chunk of traffic among the top 100 sites on the Internet, with social networks and blogs much lower.  But when we find them, we sure are hooked.  Retrevo reports that roughly half of us are tweeting after bedtime, and a quarter of respondents under 25 have no problem texting from the toilet.  I’m a little grossed-out just typing that.

Social Media Statistics: TV, Multi-tasking, Online News and Your Brand's Friends, Fans & Followers

Probably no one can make numbers look as cool as Sesame Street, but I’m about to give it a go in the name of Social Media. Here’s hoping these social media statistics make your next PowerPoint sing.

Couch Surfing, Channel Surfing and the Interweb

According to a recent survey by Nielsen, more people are surfing the web while they watch TV. Between 2009 and 2010 people who watched the Super Bowl while browsing the internet rose from 12.8% to 14.5% while Oscar viewers in the same time made a massive leap from 8.7% to 13.3% who watch and browse. What might surprise you are the sites that are keeping them hooked; Facebook (okay, not surprising) and Yahoo (Yahoo?). (via Fast Company)

Media Post reports people are also watching more TV online. A recent survey by Unicast found that of  planning to tune in to NCAA March Madness; 54% plan to watch the games online. An additional 10% plan to watch via mobile devices and 18% through social networks. The full study is available as a PDF. (via Mashable)

News is Not Dead

While the increase in Internet sourced news has created much dialogue around the death of the newspaper, news itself is not dead though traditional channels might be suffering. A Pew Internet study has found that 53% of all American adults get news online today- that is about 71% of all internet users. The interesting part is that only 35% are loyal to a particular source. The rest, seem to news graze using multiple sites and don’t rely on any one site in particular. Of the faithful, about 65% of them check in with their favourite news site at least once per day, yet only 19% of them said they would be willing to pay for online news. 82% said they would find another place to get their news instead. In other news, Yahoo News, Google News, AOL and Topix are the most commonly used online news sources. Not CNN, CBS or even <gasp> the New York Times. (via Web Search Guide)

Why Do They Become a Fan and What Does it Mean?

Ta-da! It turns out that Friends, Fans and Followers of your brand are more likely to support you at the cash register. According to a study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate more than 50% of Facebook Fans and 67% of Twitter followers feel more inclined to buy from brands they are social with online. But why do they socialize with you to begin with? The same study shows that 25% are hoping for discounts and deals while 18% want to show off how much they love you. <Aww>. (via eMarketer)

Twitter @anywhere on the Internet

A newly-announced service from Twitter, called @anywhere, will eventually allow people to add the Twitter experience to any website:

Imagine being able to follow a New York Times journalist directly from her byline, tweet about a video without leaving YouTube, and discover new Twitter accounts while visiting the Yahoo! home page—and that’s just the beginning.

The service will debut on several major web destinations, including Amazon, AdAge, Bing, Citysearch, Digg, eBay, The Huffington Post, Meebo,, The New York Times,, Yahoo!, and YouTube.

Ford wins PR Week Award for Best Use of Social Media!

We’d like to extend our sincere congratulations to our client Ford Motor Company for this week’s win at the PR Week Awards! This past Thursday in New York (where we were all very dressed up, including Ford Digital Communications Manager Scott Monty in black tie) the team took home a very prestigious and competitive award – Best Use of Social/Digital Media (some of the other nominees included the Queensland Department of Tourism and their “Best Job in the World” campaign).

When we started working with Ford in 2007, their social media activity consisted of a lone (unauthorized) YouTube channel. It has been incredibly gratifying to be a part of such an amazing evolution and to watch our client grow and master these new and emerging tools and ways of communicating, and be recognized by their peers for doing so.

Congratulations! We are so proud!

Social Media Roundup March 12, 2010

Role of Community Managers Growing in the Enterprise

Dion Hinchcliffe over at the EnterpriseIrregulars has written an enlightening post on the rapidly evolving role of community managers in large companies. He also points us to The State of Community Management – 2010 report.

Facebook to Become Location Aware

Location-sharing tools like Foursquare, Loopt and Gowalla continue to grow, while other social media services like Yelp and Twitter are offering location-aware features. New York Times reports  that Facebook wants some of the action and is planning to release it in late April. Let’s hope this time they avoid the backlash of previous feature releases by getting the privacy settings right out of the gate.

Social Media Gumming up the Wheels of Justice

MediaPost has an interesting article on how the increased use of social media (particularly mobile use) is changing the rules in US courts. It is not only the risk of jurors updating Facebook or live-tweeting aspects of the ongoing case, but also some jurors doing side research on aspects of the case that have some judges specifically instructing jurors not to connect. Last year the American Bar Association discussed the issue at their general meeting.

Why journalists hate embargoes

TechCrunch Europe published a couple of videos with an amusing take on the subject of embargoed information. The post highlights the love/hate relationships that journalists and bloggers have with some of the less competent PR people.

Social Media Roundup for March 5, 2010

See ya later February. It’s March. Here is the first Roundup of the month.

OK Go! Video

And you thought setting up a game of Dominoes with your old CD collection was tricky. OK Go! released another stunning video this week that very quickly went viral. It currently has nearly 3.5 million hits and friends have shared the video with me about a dozen times. It’s embeddable against their record labels policy <tsk, tsk> and features one of the most fantastic Rube Goldberg Machines ever. A convoluted way of saying ‘you can’t stop us from sharing!’?

Social Media Policy Tool

For those who need rules or at least need to set some up for others, look no further. Web design and development company rtraction has created a tool to get you started– and quickly. With the tagline ‘Need a policy? Need it quick? Get started today.’ You should be set up in no time.

Wave? What Wave? Google Wave.

Oh, that Wave. I know, I sometimes forget about too. But not anymore. The company more famous for updates than Courtney Love’s Twitter has introduced email notifications for their useful but sometimes forgotten service, Wave. Now we’ll all remember to use Google Wave until it becomes habit like those other social sites we know and love.

Social Media in the Classroom

If your grandparents are still bugging you about ‘playing with social media’, tell them to check out this video from the University of Texas at Dallas where one prof has made Twitter a huge part of the classroom calling it, The Twitter Experiment. One student has even ditched his laptop for a phone because who needs paragraphs or even sentences? 140 characters or less, right? If only collaboration hadn’t been called cheating when I was in school.

Stewart Mader Joins Social Media Group as Director of Enterprise Client Services

As part of Social Media Group’s continuing commitment to meet the needs of our evolving client base (and recognizing fully that one of the key things that differentiates us as more than “just” social media marketers or a social PR agency is our holistic approach to organizational change) I’m very pleased to let you know that Stewart Mader, author of Wikipatterns, has joined SMG as our Director of Enterprise Client Services and member of our management team.

As one might expect from his title, Stewart will be responsible for leading SMG’s Enterprise Services practice group and will work with clients like SAP, ICANN and others to help develop strategy as well as foster and manage the organizational change that is a core part of effective integration of both collaborative and social media tools inside and outside the enterprise.

For those who don’t know him, Stewart is an experienced content strategist and project manager, dynamic speaker to corporate audiences and conferences, author of two books, and editor of Future Changes, a widely-read blog on information design, content strategy, wikis, and collaboration that has been cited by The New Yorker, The Guardian (UK), CIO Magazine, Fast Company, InfoWorld, InformationWeek, and The New York Times. He’ll also be contributing regularly to the SMG blog.

Friends, please join us in welcoming Stewart to the SMG team!