Confrontainment, Conflict and Anti-Social Media.

By Dorn Martell

It’s an epidemic.

From the howling of radio hosts and talking heads to the heckling of the President, our entertainment and dialogue has somehow degenerated into an ugly, counterproductive, screaming match. Reality TV like Big Brother, America’s Next Top Model, The Surreal Life, The Apprentice and others have become more of a showcase for the ugliness of personal conflict than they are about the original premise. I was so disappointed by the History Channel’s “Expedition Africa”, a reality show tracing Stanley’s route across the Congo. Instead of a show about history, African culture and the legacy of Stanley and Livingstone, it became a show that should have been re-named “Everyone hates Pasquale” (the bush guide) because all it showed was people arguing about nothing. This mentality has transformed our political system into a self-destructive hate-fest. It has mutated personal communications into a “cage grudge match” and has transformed a great deal of social media into a school yard argument.

Follow threads on YouTube, FaceBook and even LinkedIn and you will find that some of the most popular threads are nothing more than an on-line argument. As companies look for the holy grail of ad platforms and get heavier into social media, they will find there is a huge risk when you ask “What do you guys think of our new pizza?” Inevitably someone will post “I think your pizza sucks, loser.” Try to comment about a band, a sports team, a work of art or anything on healthcare, guns, the environment, religion or gay rights and see what kind of immature and inappropriate responses you will get.

As we strive to create a dialogue with our customers we must be aware that the internet is a lot like a bar. Some people can handle the freedom and conduct themselves properly while others are there to pick fights, hit on girls and make asses of themselves. That’s why bars have bouncers. Is this the answer in social media? Will every discussion require a moderator who is filtering content in real time? And at that point, what will be the value of an “open forum”? Do we need bouncers on the floor of the Senate to keep elected officials from throwing chairs and chanting “Jerry, Jerry”? Polls show that Americans are getting quite fed up with this tone. Many people have opted-out of social media because it was getting “creepy”. And talk about creepy I have one word ChatRoulette.

Will social media be the greatest source of dialogue in history or will it be the ultimate forum for bullies and perverts? I guess it is what we allow it to be and our programming, politics and personal interactions will be governed by what we opt-in to or out of.

Measuring Tweets

by Gio Gutierrez

Latest stats from the Twitter Blog:

As a member of the Twitter analytics team, part of my job is to measure and understand growth. The graph above tells a story of how we’ve grown over the past three years in terms of number of tweets created per day. Please note that tweets from accounts identified as spam have been removed so the counts in this chart do not include spam.

Folks were tweeting 5,000 times a day in 2007. By 2008, that number was 300,000, and by 2009 it had grown to 2.5 million per day. Tweets grew 1,400% last year to 35 million per day. Today, we are seeing 50 million tweets per day—that’s an average of 600 tweets per second. (Yes, we have TPS reports.)

Tweet deliveries are a much higher number because once created, tweets must be delivered to multiple followers. Then there’s search and so many other ways to measure and understand growth across this information network. Tweets per day is just one number to think about. We’ll make time to share more information so please stay tuned.

66% of companies are Using Social Media in 2009

Nearly two out of three companies are Using Social Media in 2009.

As marketers embrace new media platforms, social media and viral videos have seen the largest jump in ranking, according to a survey done by the ANA (Association of National Advertisers), BtoB Magazine and in partnership with marketing services firm ‘mktg.’ The survey had the following findings:

  • 66 percent of marketers utilized social media in 2009, as compared to 20 percent in 2007
  • Fifty percent employ viral videos, up from only 25 percent in 2007
  • 55 percent of respondents funded new media formats by shifting funds from their traditional media budget, while 48 percent shifted funds from other marketing communications budgets. Twenty-six percent of marketers created an incremental budget.
  • The top concerns for marketers when considering newer media platforms are the inability to prove ROI (45 percent) and having metrics to properly allocate the mix of traditional and digital media (43 percent)
  • Among social networks being embraced by all marketers, the top sites used are:
    • Facebook (74 percent)
    • YouTube (65 percent)
    • Twitter (63 percent)
    • LinkedIn (60 percent)

Fortune 100 CEO’s and Social Media

by Gio Gutierrez

UberCEO recently did a study with the headline “It’s Official: Fortune 100 CEOs Are Social Media Slackers.” It goes on to analyze the social-media habits of CEOs at large companies and concluded, shockingly, that they don’t use social media much. They looked at Fortune’s 2009 list of the top 100 CEOs to determine how many were using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, or had a blog. The results show a miserable level of engagement. Here are the topline results:

  • Only two CEOs have Twitter accounts
  • 13 CEOs have LinkedIn profiles, and of those only three have more than 10 connections
  • 81% of CEOs don’t have a personal Facebook page
  • Three quarters of the CEOs have some kind of Wikipedia entry, but nearly a third of those have limited or outdated information
  • Not one Fortune 100 CEO has a blog

I’m surprised but then again… I’m not surprised. Too many CEOs think there are more important things to do besides identify with and build an audience for themselves and their company. I also suspect the reasons CEO’s aren’t using social media is because of fear and lack of knowledge seeing that the CEO’s that stood out of the pack are all from technology companies – Michael Dell (Dell), Gregory Spierkel (Ingram Micro) and John Chambers (Cisco).

Twitter is more popular than Britney

Twitter keeps growing faster each day… Comscore just released its March metrics and estimates that Twitter grew 131% since February to 9.3 million viewers. To give a sense of the type of growth, here is the month-to-month growth in U.S. unique visitors so far this year:

March, 2009: 131%
February, 2009: 55%
January, 2009: 33%

It’s so popular that “Twitter” surpassed “Britney” a few months ago and is even slightly ahead of “Obama” according to Google Trends.

Twitter for Search Engine Placement

Twitter for SEP
Twitter just changed their title tags on their site to know not only show you your twitter handle but also your real name (or company name).
Minor tweak right? Wrong…. this makes now a huge impact on search engine placement. Did a search for my name and like Emeril *Bam*. My twitter is top third on Google Results.
Tried it with other names like “jimmy fallon”, “obama”, “karen denisse” and they are ALL on Google’s first page results….