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Social Media as News, SMG in the news

The new media paradigm:

The fastest way to get a news story out is on twitter.

Every journalist is using social to communicate and look for a scoop.

Social media is a big story behind elections, social movements and the occasional publicity crisis.

It’s symbolic of the fact that each and everyday we’re witnessing the convergence between social media and mainstream news sources.

Further proof of this convergence is the fact that every two weeks, you’ll find Social Media Group in the newspaper of all places (digital editions too!)  Bi-weekly, we’ll be contributing social media data and analysis to the folks at Postmedia relating to current events, both lighter fare and important issues.  We aim to be the Angus Reid of social media research!

To see what we’re up to, just click on our contribution to the viral global spread of the Occupy movement on Twitter, or last week’s gem,  Beaver versus Polar Bear as the Canadian national animal (infographic below).

Like the work we do for our clients, our goal is to inform, provide insight and occaisionally offer some entertainment!  Enjoy!


On Influence and Social Circles

Whilst Fast Company is busy mistaking pyramid schemes for influence in a noisy and much discussed way, quietly making the rounds has been a fascinating presentation by Paul Adams, User Experience Research at Google, in which real world social network and the influence within is examined.

The truth is we do behave differently offline than on, where we have loose collections of networks with tenuous ties. The concept of ‘friends’ as presented by Facebook is a broken experience and the notion of ‘influence’ is far more complex an issue than simply who can push the most people to click a link. What it all means is that we are nowhere near an end game in terms of social media marketing. If the changes and opportunities seen to date seemed to come fast and furious, hold on tight because this particular roller coaster hasn’t even left the station.

SAP: Most Extensive Use of Social Media by a Corporation

A whitepaper released recently by the Aspen Institute, titled Leveraging the Talent-Driven Organization, written based on a discussion that took place at the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Talent Development, presents a very interesting thesis,

The new talent-driven firm is one that provides conditions for talent to learn, collaborate, and make decisions utilizing social networks and other tools that characterize our digital age. The talent of today expects to learn constantly, to grow steadily, and to exert leadership where he or she can. Structures and strategies need to follow suit.

Author Richard Adler suggests that rather than scaling operational efficiencies, to be truly competitive today’s top firms need to scale learning so that their people can get better, faster; that’s the true competitive advantage (see “The Big Shift“).

Mark Yolton, Senior Vice President for SAP Community Networks (communities described as possibly “the most extensive use to date of social media by a corporation”) participated in the roundtable and has some really interesting perspectives on how social media can support The Big Shift that’s required to keep up with the pace of innovation inside firms (one of the key theories is that what helped firms thrive and survive in the 20th century is actually crippling them in the 21st). Based on this incredibly large-scale implementation, Yolton provides a new model that contrasts these differences and provides some interesting food for thought (for example, “Vertically integrated vs. Horizontally networked”).

It’s absolutely worth a read. To download your own copy, click here.

[full disclosure: SAP is an SMG client]

Social Media Roundup for April 30,2010

How’s this for an Internet throwback

Hats off to Mashable for finding this awesome Geocities-izer tool. The site lets you enter any website into the tool and spits out what the page would have looked like as a Geocities page back in the day. Check out The New York Times website Geocities-ized – complete with music!

Most Americans know Twitter, but few use it

A new report released by Edison Research reveals that Twitter awareness among Americans has been growing since 2008 with 87 percent now familiar with the tool, only slightly trailing Facebook’s awareness of 88 percent. Facebook continues to be the dominant social network in terms of usage with 41 percent of Americans maintaining profiles on the site whereas only 7 percent are tweeting.

The research also reveals that Twitter users are 3x more likely to follow brands on Twitter than on other social networking sites, and that less than half of regular Twitter users post updates, although 70 percent of these same users post status updates to other social networking services like Facebook.

Over sharing in 140 characters

We’ve all been victim to our Facebook friends and Twitter followers posting tidbits of “too much information” online. No one needs to know that you’re tweeting from the restroom, no one. The Huffington Post has put together a slide show summary of some of the worst Twitter TMI incidences – most of them from over sharing celebs.

Chatroulette inspires artists

Visual artists are taking to Chatroulette to let their creative juices flow. Check out this video of one talented user speed painting another user in various poses.