All posts in “Twitter”

What is Google+?

Recently I’ve been thinking that social networks are getting a little too messy. I’ve felt it’s time for another big shift in how people communicate, and I’d love to see companies start to pull all the small pieces together – That’s why I’m so interested in the new Google+ project.

Google + image

Google has attempted many things to encourage users to spend more time using Google products doing activities other than searching. While Gmail, Chrome and Android have been very successful, we all remember the flop known Google Wave. On Tuesday, June 26th, Google started a very limited field test for their latest social network project, Google+,and unveiled the first five features: Circles, Hangouts, Instant Upload, Sparks and Huddle.

Please see the video below for a quick tour:


Everyone is saying that the project is Google’s answer to Facebook. However, there are couple of signs showing that it could be much, much more than that. Google+ could be the centerpiece to Google’s entire strategic map to link search, social, and mobile together in a seamless and intuitive package.

Google+ was developed by Google’s internal team, unlike Google Wave, which was outsourced to an Australia-based team in 2009. Google+ is the result of a year-long project led by Google’s SVP of Social, Vic Gundotra, and hundreds of Google engineers. It involves almost EVERY Google product. Google is already showing a very strong commitment to this project.

Google made significant changes to its user interface (UI), likely in order to accommodate Google+.  And remember, historically Google has been really conservative in changing their minimalist webpage, adding a black navigation bar at the top is definitely a big step for them.

Google+ is also a mobile app. By making use of Android’s dominance in the mobile OS market, Google+ has the potential to become an integral part of the Android experience, and will easily end up in the hands of all the existing users.

The key for Google is to figure out how to leverage the huge number of Gmail users. They have to identify and focus on people’s real needs for a social network, while providing the best product experience that links social, search and mobile together.

Here is the question I’ll leave for everyone: Do you think you that you will ‘hang out’ more on Google than Facebook?

P.S. Check out the Google+ virtual tour to see more videos and experience it yourself !


Best of 2010: Social Media Stats & Year in Review

Our SMG social media roundup this week is all about the year that was 2010. I hope you had an amazing year filled with much awesomeness and that you have a happy and healthy 2011.

Off the top, a hat tip to Steve Harris who helped out with the research for this post.

Sharing in 2010

Social sharing service AdThis shares some insights in this handy infographic about how, when and where we share. Facebook represented 44% of all sharing (up from 33% in 2009). Gmail and StumbleUpon had the greatest growth with increases of 394% and 254% respectively.

2010 AddThis Trends Infographic

(via Web Analytics World Blog)

Bonus: Mashable’s 19 of the Best Infographics from 2010

Top Search Terms 2010

In the no-big-surprise department, Experian Hitwise’s analysis of the top 100 search terms for 2010 shows “Facebook” was the top-searched term overall accounting for 2.11 percent of all searches. When you factor in four variations of the term “facebook” also in the top 10 terms, Facebook accounted for 3.48 percent of searches overall. Compared to last year “Yahoo! Mail” and “google” are the two terms that fell out of the top 10 for 2010.

The top 10:

Related: Google’s intereactive global search Zeitgeist “captures the spirit of 2010”.

Top YouTube Videos of 2010

Via TheNextWeb:

“The most-watched YouTube videos of 2010 reflect the people, places and events that captured our attention and imagination throughout the year,” said Mia Quagliarello,  YouTube Community Manager.  “YouTube has become the world’s town square – a place where culture is created and shared.  It’s a sign of YouTube’s growing importance as a platform for content creation that six of the top 10 most-watched videos globally were made-for-YouTube originals.”

Check out this year’s most-watched YouTube videos of 2010.

Bonus: Time’s Best Blogs of 2010 & AVClub’s The Best Podcasts of 2010

Twitter’s 2010 Year in Review – the 10 most powerful tweets of 2010

Nice work from Twitter on this review of powerful tweets. If you have a short attention span, or want a refresh on some of the biggest and most important stories of the year, check out this list. This has impact and drives home how incredibly powerful Twitter is as the real-time information network.

Bonus: The New York Times: 10th Annual Year in Ideas

2011 Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch

The smart folks at have identified 11 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2011. A number of them are directly applicable to social media marketing in 2011.

A few of the trends we’re watching out for in 2011 include UrbanomicsPricing PandemoniumOnline Status SymbolsSocial-lites and Twinsumers and Planned Spontaneity.

Happy Holidays from Team SMG

It’s the last official working day of 2010 for those of us who work at SMG, as we’ll all be taking some time off next week to celebrate the holidays and ring in the new year.

We’ll leave you with one of our favorite videos from this week, the story of the nativity as told through social media.

(How great is the rental donkey?)

Happy holidays and looking forward to a great 2011!

Social Media Roundup for December 17, 2010

2010 Twitter Statistics Revealed

Social media monitoring company Sysomos has released a new study on Twitter usage comparing 2009 data to 2010. The company examined over a billion tweets and discovered some pretty interesting findings. Here are the top line, most valuable insights from their study:

  • 44% of all Twitter users joined during January to mid-August 2010
  • Users with 100+ friends have increased by three-fold to 21% since 2009. 98.5% of users have fewer than 500 friends.
  • 22.5% of users accounted for about 90% of all activity. 80% users have made fewer than 500 tweets.
  • Significantly more users are disclosing their location, bio and web information in Twitter profiles. People who created a profile before January 2009 only accounted for 4.7% of the total population.
  • On the whole, more and more Twitter users are providing detailed information about themselves in their profiles. From full names, locations and website URLs, Twitter users are getting comfortable.

    My favourite finding from the study? Justin Bieber is one of top two-word phrases and top name in user’s bios. That kid sure gets around.

    You can ready the full Sysomos study here.

    YouTube to produce it’s own video content?

    The New York Times is reporting that YouTube is in talks to acquire Next New Networks, a web video production company. If the acquisition goes through, this will be YouTube’s first foray into the world of original content production – a sign that the company is getting serious about showcasing professional video content rather than just amateur videos.

    The potential acquisition raises some interesting questions around whether or not YouTube will favour it’s own content in search results.

    Surviving (and celebrating) the holidays social media style

    If you’re addicted to checking your Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr feeds every hour on the hour like we are, you may want to check out this Holiday Survival Guide for Social Media Professionals to help you get through all those family get togethers.

    Among the suggestions? Schedule time for social media breaks and make peace with the fact that it’s okay to have a “silent night” every now and again.

    Also, if you’re looking for ways to make someone’s holidays a little bit brighter, Mashable has put together a guide of 75+ ways you can do good with social media this year.

    Metrodome roof goes bye-bye

    One of the most popular videos to go viral this week was the unfortunate collapse of the Metrodome roof in Minneapolis. Check out the roof caving in under the pressure of the snow.

    Social Media Roundup for November 19, 2010

    Got a Minute?

    Would you give a minute to make your city better? That’s all that CEOs for Cities, a “civic lab of today’s urban leaders” is asking you to do. Their new Give a Minute program encourages citizens from Chicago (with Memphis, New York and San Jose to come soon) to enter into a public dialogue with their leaders via social media. The initiative asks, “Hey Chicago, what would encourage you to walk, bike and take CTA [Chicago public transit] more often?” Users then submit their ideas to the site directly or via SMS. Responses, on colorful post-its no less, appear on the site to be reviewed by community leaders like the chairman of the Chicago Transit Board.

    While some suggestions might not take off (as a Chicago-area native and CTA veteran, I think a Starbucks at every stop might be a bit hard to pull off), there are plenty of reasonable ideas like train-tracking apps for your phone or pricing incentives. For everyone who’s ever thought they had the secret to fixing their morning commute, this is a much more productive outlet than grumbling into your coffee cup.

    Let’s Analyze Some Tweets

    In exciting news for data geeks like us, Twitter announced this week that they’re testing an analytics product for a possible release later this year. According to Mashable,

    “With Twitter Analytics, users will be able to see a plethora of data about their account; for example, information about which tweets are most successful, which tweets caused people to unfollow, and who the most influential users are that reply and retweet their messages.”

    As if that wasn’t enough good news, rumors indicate that the product will be free.

    Underworld Goes Online

    In what is bound to be the most interesting news about the Underworld action movie franchise, filmmakers of the latest edition are searching for their talent somewhere new: online. With this first casting call posted to Face of the Fan, Sony Pictures’ foray into virtual casting calls, potential stars can log in, download selections from the script, and upload their audition videos to the site. Will aspiring actors from the Midwest stop packing up their things and moving to Hollywood now that the casting call is on their laptop? (via Onion AV Club)

    Facebook Has a Message For You

    As many predicted, Facebook’s big announcement this week was about their messaging and email capabilities. Over the next several months, Facebook will be bringing users a new type of messaging, complete with a email address. But Zuckerberg & Co. stressed that this is not email.

    “There are no subject lines, no cc, no bcc, and you can send a message by hitting the Enter key. We modeled it more closely to chat and reduced the number of things you need to do to send a message. We wanted to make this more like a conversation.”

    It’s going to differ from email, as well, in that Messages will build a conversation history for each person you correspond with, whether it’s by chat, email, or SMS.  And similar to Gmail’s Priority Inbox feature, Facebook Messages will sift through conversations to separate out those that are “more meaningful” (i.e., from your friends and friends-of-friends). Will this be enough for you to move your correspondence into the Facebook system?

    Activist Wizards

    Photo courtesy of

    With Harry Potter fever going strong this weekend, NPR ran a feature on the Harry Potter Alliance, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes young people to take action on campaigns like Helping Haiti Heal or Wizard Rock the Vote.

    “Our mission is to empower our members to act like the heroes that they love by acting for a better world. By bringing together fans of blockbuster books, TV shows, movies, and YouTube celebrities we are harnessing the power of popular culture toward making our world a better place. Our goal is to make civic engagement exciting by channeling the entertainment-saturated facets of our culture toward mobilization for deep and lasting social change.”

    The HPA should serve as a model for any group trying to mobilize young people. They reach out to kids using cultural touchstones that are important to them, in the shape of the pop culture icons that they love, and utilize social media tools to bring them together.  It’s no surprise they’ve been so successful; their campaigns have raised thousands and helped countless numbers of folks in need.

    Roundup Flashback

    While this isn’t exactly new, it’s new to me, and too fun not to include. Did you know that rapper Coolio has his own YouTube channel? Did you further know that instead of uploading his music videos or clips from his stint on Celebrity Big Brother, this channel features mostly his web show, Cookin’ with Coolio? Neither did I. Enjoy.

    (via @bud_caddell)

    Social Media Roundup for November 12, 2010

    Living Your Life on Facebook

    Artist Maxime Luère has created a video, showing one man’s journey through life, as documented by Facebook. “A Life through Facebook” follows Alex Droner through the process of joining Facebook, making friends, and finding and losing love.

    Old folks like me weren’t on Facebook until we were well out of school and partnered off, and may have never experienced changing relationships on social networking sites. For teenagers and those in their early twenties, who’ve grown up with profiles on Facebook,  I would think this would probably ring quite true.

    (via Kotaku)

    Twitter and Ping Join Forces

    Beginning on Thursday, Twitter has joined up with Ping, iTunes’ social network. By linking their accounts together, users will be able to integrate the systems. Like a song on Ping, and it will be tweeted to all your followers. Click on a Tweet with an iTunes link, and you’ll see the song in Twitter. Given Ping’s lackluster adoption rate thus far, will this be the push it needs towards mainstream popularity?

    Your Own Worst Enemy

    For all of us who have ever said something that they came later to regret,  CNN has outlined four different ways for us to embarrass ourselves online. From calling an old contact in our phones that we’ve been meaning to delete (hi, ex-boyfriend!) to hitting “send” too quickly on an ill-advised email, it’s easy to make a social faux pas. It becomes even easier on those nights when we’re out on the town. After a few drinks, posting our feelings to Twitter or replying to our boss’ post on Facebook starts to seem like a great idea.

    Luckily for us, now there’s a social media sobriety test to slow us down when that urge strikes. Once you’ve installed this extension to your browser, you’ll need to pass a short test during pre-specified hours. So if you’re unable to type the alphabet backwards, you won’t be able to put that post up declaring your love for your ex.

    Facebook Launching Email?

    Facebook has an event scheduled for Monday in San Francisco, and the rumor (as reported on Techcrunch and elsewhere) is that they’ll be announcing a new email feature to compete with big boys like Gmail. Moving beyond the messaging capabilities Facebook currently has, this new feature would be a fully capable webmail client, complete with an address. So many of us have invested quite a bit of ourselves in Facebook–are we ready to turn to it for our email needs, too?

    OK Go’s New Video Makes Us Feel Nice and Toasty

    Amazing video artists OK Go have released a new video this week. Like their previous vids featuring Rube Goldberg machines and gents on treadmills, this one is something to see. They’ve teamed up with artist Geoff McFetridge to etch an animated vision onto toast…lots and lots of toast. Produced in collaboration with Samsung in support of their release of the NX100 camera, “Last Leaf” was created using stop motion animation and is hard to look away from. The song isn’t bad either.

    Social Media Roundup for November 5, 2010

    Yee haw! Calm yourselves, little doggies, it’s time for the weekly Social Media Roundup!

    Over 50,000 people check-in to vote

    This past Tuesday was the mid-term elections in the US and while races heated up, so did social media. There were a number of cool stories and studies like the New York Times showing how actively users were tweeting about different candidates or Mashable pulling in sentiment statistics for Republicans and Democrats. One of the things that caught our eye was Foursquare offering a special badge for people who checked-in in at a voting location and put #ivoted in their shout out. In the end, 50,416 users checked-in to Foursquare from 23,560 different voting locations. Of course this is a very small percentage of all the people that voted in the US on Tuesday, but could it be a sign of services and things to come? Did you get your iVOTED badge?

    Foursquare iVOTED

    Foursquare iVOTED via

    The Big Tweet Off

    Speaking of Foursquare, this Thursday saw debate come alive on Twitter via The Big Tweet Off. The site is the creation of Paul Sutton and Beth Carroll who thought of the idea after an afternoon going back and forth on whether or not Foursquare users were “the modern equivalent of stamp collectors”. The basic idea is that it will be a regular “tweet off” between two people with totally opposing views on a subject debating via Twitter using the hashtag #bigtweetoff. At the end of the debate, those watching the hashtag will be able to vote on who the winner is. What was the topic of the first Big Tweet Off? Foursquare and its ability to be social. After 550 tweets from 90 participants, Foursquare fell. If you’re interested, you can check out the whole debate transcript here. The next Big Tweet Off will be announced soon.

    Facebook is your breakup Magic 8 Ball

    Let’s face it, dating and relationships are hard work. Many end with a breakup that can sometimes feel like it comes at a completely random time. Or is it random? David McCandless data-mined almost 10,000 different statuses on Facebook and was able to map out the frequency of breakups to show when people are most likely to experience one. Unlucky for all of us, one of the biggest spikes happens about 2 weeks before Christmas. So according to the study, you might find yourself single in about 4 weeks. That said, during Christmas breakups drop down to almost nothing as David thinks it just might be “too cruel”.

    Breakups on Facebook

    Facebook breakup graph by David McCandless

    (via InformationIsBeautiful)

    It’s an ear trumpet, not a time traveler

    Proving once again that they like to ruin people’s speculation with cold hard facts, scientists this week may have debunked the cell phone using, time traveler video originally posted by George Clarke. In case you missed the video, you can check it out below. Basically, in the video, George speculates that a woman walking in the background of a 1928 film showing the premiere of a Charlie Chaplin film was holding a cell phone. Seeing as it was 1928, his only conclusion was that the woman had to be a time traveler. The video went viral with over 49,000 comments and views approaching 5 million inside a few weeks. Scientists, however, said that the woman in the film was most likely using an ear trumpet which was the hearing aid in the 1920’s. As Gizmodo writer Kyle VanHemert put it, though, “maybe it was a time traveler from the future using an antique ear trumpet…”

    (via Gizmodo and Life Science)

    Sesame Street: There’s an App for That

    Finally this week, Sesame Street proves that it is still cool and up with the times by releasing a song called “There’s an App for That”. The basic idea is that the characters all sing and dance around a really cool new tool called the iPogo that features useful apps for things like combing a cat and cutting butter. For certain, Apple was probably disappointed that it didn’t come out with the idea first. Of course, my first thought was “who really uses a pogo stick anymore?”

    And that’s the Social Media Round up for this week. As a parting thought, there are only 50 days until Christmas, will you be checking-in on Foursquare at the mall soon?

    Demonstrating Social Media ROI

    A few weeks ago, I delivered a presentation at BlogWorld Expo 2010 about some of our recent work in blending earned, paid and owned social media (I also recently did a 90-minute Bulldog Reporter PR Unversity Webinar on the same topic, which is available here on demand). While I was in Las Vegas, I had the chance to speak with Abby Johnson from WebPro News about the concept, and here’s the video:

    The notion of paid social media is really just beginning to emerge, and while many organizations and agencies are starting to talk about bringing earned and paid together, Social Media Group has been actively doing client work in this space since 2009 (in fact, we wrote a whitepaper on it). Our connections in the industry have helped us bring clients on board at the beta stages for both Digg and Twitter paid social media programs, which has been really interesting for us. For our clients, the results have been mind-blowing.

    What do you think the opportunities are in to bring together paid, earned and owned social media?

    Social Media Roundup for October 1, 2010

    Influence and Popularity Not the Same on Twitter

    (via Mashable):

    Kim Kardashian isn’t the most popular celeb on Twitter. She’s a couple million followers behind the heavy-hitters of Internet-savvy entertainers; however, she’s accomplished something no other individual celebrity has done: She’s the celeb who gets the most traffic referrals from Twitter.

    Kardashian’s stats prove that popularity and influence — quantity and quality — are two different things. And we think the ability to direct web traffic is a pretty big part of influence.

    Nokia Ships New Smartphone

    Thursday, Nokia began shipping their new smartphone, the N8. Intended to compete with the Blackberry and the iPhone, the N8 is the first to run on the Symbian OS. Also of note is the 12 megapixel camera, in comparison to the 5 megapixel cameras available on Blackberry and iPhone.

    (via HuffPo):

    Nokia said deliveries would begin immediately for pre-orders of the touch screen model, which had received “the highest amount of consumer pre-orders in Nokia history.” Worldwide availability would be “in the coming weeks” and will vary by country, Nokia said.

    The N8, which looks like an iPhone, features a 12-megapixel digital camera with Carl Zeiss optics and a 3.5 inch display. It is built on a new version of the Symbian software with photo uploading connections to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

    SAP & B2B Social Media Marketing Excellence

    Our friends and clients over at SAP wrote a great post this week over at Social Media Today. It offers four steps for best practice in setting up a B2B social media marketing strategy.

    The Value of Facebook Likers

    On Wednesday, Facebook released more information about “likers.”

    People who click the Facebook Like button are more engaged, active and connected than the average Facebook user. The average “liker” has 2.4x the amount of friends than that of a typical Facebook user. They are also more interested in exploring content they discover on Facebook — they click on 5.3x more links to external sites than the typical Facebook user.

    As publishers work to identify the best ways to reach a younger, “always on” audience, we’ve found that the average “liker” on a news site is 34, compared to the median age of a newspaper subscriber which is approximately 54 years old, as reported by the Newspaper Association of America.

    Google Takes Street View to Antarctica

    While you probably won’t need to use it very often, it is pretty cool to get a street level view of what’s happening on Half Moon Island. The normal street level view icon of a green man is also replaced with an icon of a penguin.

    (via The Daily What):

    Social Media Roundup for September 24, 2010

    Its a bird, its a plane, its the Social Media Group roundup.

    Google Search with My Location Experimental Ad: “Pizza. Pizza. Pizza.”

    Via The Daily What:

    Google just released this experimental ad to promote geolocation-enable mobile search in which a guy says the word “pizza” for ten minutes straight. Some intrepid soul who managed to tough out the whole thing reports that Easter Eggs abound:

    Click on the basketball at 0:42, on the word “azzip” at 1:22, on the fire at 1:47, on the word “Florida” at 4:39, on the horse head at 5:49, on the dinosaur at 6:36, on Santa at 7:58 and on the toast at 9:06.

    How long can you last?


    Social Media for Social Good: Dan Savage Creates YouTube Channel to Help Gay Teens

    Michelle’s pick this week is this incredible project:

    (via Mashable):

    Sex advice columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage has launched a YouTube channel called “It Gets Better.” He’s soliciting videos from fans who want to provide support and encouragement to gay teens who face adversity, discrimination and bullying in high school.

    Savage announced the new channel today in episode 205 of his podcast. He’s also hinted on his blog that further explanation will come in the next issue of his sex advice column “Savage Love.” The channel was created after Indiana teenager Billy Lucas committed suicide in response to bullying from his classmates, who assaulted him with epithets and told him to go home and kill himself because he was gay.

    Each video will feature a role model sharing personal experiences that illustrate that life for gays and lesbians improves beyond high school.

    Twitter for real-time journalism: Did Mother Jones coverage take it too far?

    Hasdeep pointed me to Phil Bronstein’s column at HuffPo:

    Everyone’s a critic in the digital mosh pit. But the venerable and politically earnest magazine Mother Jones was accused last week of “retweeting rape.”

    So what really happened? And is a “rape feed” something we shouldn’t do, just because it hasn’t been done before?

    Mother Jones reporter Mac McClelland, currently in Haiti, decided to live-tweet her day spent with a Haitian rape victim trying to get medical care. The power and immediacy of the real-time, staccato exposition, punctuated with emotion …  was unpleasantly jarring for some followers used to the magazine’s typically lengthy, contextual articles.

    Data Mining of social networks: insights in social connections

    This article about network data mining from The Economist captured Mark’s imagination:

    “Of course, companies have long mined their data to improve sales and productivity. But broadening data mining to include analysis of social networks makes new things possible. Modelling social relationships is akin to creating an “index of power”, says Stephen Borgatti, a network-analysis expert at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. In some companies, e-mails are analysed automatically to help bosses manage their workers. Employees who are often asked for advice may be good candidates for promotion, for example.”

    List of the Week: The Seven Best “Why Facebook is Down” Cracks

    Over at GigaOm Mathew Ingram compiles seven of the most awesome cracks made during this week’s Facebook outage including this doozy: