We see a lot of Infographics and statistics about Twitter so we decided to put our own together, we hope you find it useful.
We see a lot of Infographics and statistics about Twitter so we decided to put our own together, we hope you find it useful.
Some say that personality is more important than looks alone. Even if this is true, Jessica Ennis should have no reason to fret – for she has both! The Sheffield-born heptathlete has been often praised for a quality that not many ‘celebrities’ can boast of; normality. There isn’t much doubt that despite her various world-class sporting successes, she will remain as normal and accessible as the rest of us. During an interview for the Daily Mail after their engagement, her fiancé said that “It’s like you’re a really good athlete, but the dog needs walking” when relating to her solid, responsible upbringing.
I think that is one of the reasons why Jess is so popular, because people feel that she has something fundamental that they can relate to. She clearly has a grounded way of thinking, and is an approachable, friendly person. In social media terms, she is in a way, a great success. The fact that she has 602,220 followers on Twitter, and the existence of the ‘Jessica Ennis Fans’ account says it all. This however also seems to say a lot about Twitter itself. The amount of daily tweets has grown from 0 to 200 in a five-year period. This success can be seen as a result of the ‘level-playing field’ that the social networking site both created and actively encourages. You could say that this in itself is Twitter’s unique selling point.
Despite the ‘social status’ of different users, if you have an account you can interact with anyone in the world, whether it be a celebrity, politician or an old friend. They may not reply of course, especially when considering that many ‘high status’ users have several million followers and obviously cannot reply to all of them. The point is here though, is that Twitter allows anyone to have a voice. It breaks down the old barriers that existed pre-Twitter between people on the many levels of online society.
It is this lack of centralised control (to a certain extent) that also sums up the success of the Internet as a whole. Nobody really ‘owns’ it, everybody (if they have access) can contribute to it. According to the co-founder of Reddit, a social site related around news, says that any idea of a ‘privately’ controlled global web would immediately contradict, and kill itself. The New York based entrepreneur stated that: “I don’t believe it’s sustainable, because it’s the openness of the Internet that makes it so valuable. It’s the most level playing field in the world.”
If organisations are to succeed in the increasingly vast social space, it seems imperative that they take into account what the elements that cause people to use it in the first place. People, and consumers especially want it to be simple, honest and friendly when they interact with others, and preferably in an arena where they feel to be on the same level with the party they seek interaction with. Maybe, if organisations applied a touch more ‘Ennis philosophy’, they could win social media gold.
“I’m safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!!”. This, in case you haven’t been following was the first ‘post-landing’ tweet by NASA’s Curiosity Rover on the Red Planet. The rover touched down on the rocky, dusty surface at approximately 6:30am British Summertime on Monday morning (6th August) and was met by a swarm of interest on the social networks, especially Twitter.
Shortly after landing, Curiosity ‘tweeted’ several photographs illustrating its successful arrival, as well as the Martian sun hanging low over the blurry horizon. I think it would be safe to say that this was one of the most gripping extra-terrestrial events experienced since the explosive growth of Twitter from 2006 onwards. The Curiosity rover (or at least the three members of NASA’s social media team responsible) provided updates via Twitter along its journey, which got more and more intense as it got closer and closer to entering the planet’s atmosphere.
Using the hashtag ‘#MSL’ (Mars Science Laboratory) followers could keep up with Curiosity’s decent, and converse with other tweeters about the unfolding excitement. The rover’s account was giving updates in a way that seemed almost real-time, which also added a real sense of momentum to the event.
Let’s not forget though, that this mission, like previous missions to Mars was an incredible financial and reputational risk for NASA. I guess the most heart stopping moment was when the $2.5bn rover actually started to enter Mars’ atmosphere: “Entering Mars’atmosphere.7.Minutes.Of.Terror.Starts.Now. #MSL”. This ‘terror’ felt by NASA summed up the fragility of the whole mission, and maybe the repercussions if the landing was to fail!
For the first time here, the exploration of another world has been documented and shared though social media, which reveals a couple of interesting things. Firstly, that if used in the right way, social media can engage people in something that they would not normally have much access to. So far, space related projects have mostly been shown on traditional media, such as television, which has up to now allowed that much social interaction. Secondly, and possibly more importantly, it has allowed what is essentially a lab on wheels to have something much more human. Curiosity has a personality.
As more and more of the rover’s equipment become operational (hopefully!) over the next few weeks, I personally can’t wait to see what discoveries Curiosity will share with us!
A recent research paper commissioned by ACAS and undertaken by the Institute of Employment Studies highlighted the difficulties some employers may have when setting standards for the use of social networks by their employees.
Whilst the report advises employers to take a “common-sense stance” to regulating behaviour, what they seem to forget is the age old adage that common sense is not common.
Protecting your business from the damage to its brand or reputation by its employees is of course sensible but nevertheless it’s not always clear what is acceptable behaviour i.e. when an employee is talking to his friends they may forget that others may also see their comments or that their friends may in fact be customers too.
In the last month there has been a number of high profile instances where a tweet supposedly said in jest has been subject to media scrutinisation, a very high profile example was a recent alleged racist comments branding Ashley Cole a ‘choc ice’ for supporting team-mate John Terry in court. Rio Ferdinand then shared the tweet in a message on Twitter with more than three million followers and subsequently the tweets originator is being investigated by the Police for racism. The issue of racism aside, a major brand like Manchester United could do without any of its players being involved in such a controversy and should always protect itself against potential damage caused by its employees.
This is where social media can become complicated, even though the person in question may only represent their own views, its not uncommon that Twitter accounts for high profile employees to state that they only represent their own views and not the views of the organisation they work for, however this may not be sufficient to protect damage to the company anyway.
In the early 90’s before social media existed, there was the very infamous speech by Gerald Ratner, Managing Director of Ratners – a large high street jewellery business whose wares were extremely popular with the public. During the speech at the Institute of Directors, Ratner commented: “We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, “How can you sell this for such a low price?”, I say, “because it’s total crap.”” He also compounded this by going on to remark that some of the earrings were “cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich but probably wouldn’t last as long.” Ratner’s comments have become textbook examples of the folly of making fun of, and showing contempt to, customers.
After the speech, the value of the Ratner group plummeted by around £500 million, which very nearly resulted in the firm’s collapse but destroyed the brand which was replaced shortly after.
Today ‘Doing a Ratner’ has never been easier, a jest can be recorded and shared across many social media networks in an instant, what could be an innocent if not a naive comment can quickly be taken out of context and shared.
By having a written policy on ‘the acceptable use of social networking’ at work, an organisation can start to: -
Once the policy is in place follow this up with training for your staff and set-up a monitoring service to ensure the policy is followed in order to help protect your business.
Author: Neil Pickstone
Company: Volcanic(UK) Ltd
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
One philosophical argument revolves around the distinction between our understanding of ‘sound’ (being the excitement in our ear in response to vibrations in the atmosphere) and of ‘noise’ (being a scientific measure of the vibrations regardless of whether or on they affect human hearing). Another revolves around the nature of perception, and yet another might confuse us by denying all physical reality in favour of a model created in our psyche based upon our perceptions. (A series of movies embodied and extended this notion as The Matrix trilogy.)
In all cases there is a dependence upon someone else’s understanding and/or perception of the event. The cartoon brings in a modern twist – Twitter. In today’s connected world we know that whatever we tweet about on Twitter or comment about on Facebook someone will hear it, and not just one, or even a few. Our social media networks extend globally and reach millions. We live in an increasingly connected world. We feel we’re losing out if we don’t know what our friends, family, business contacts or favourite celebrities are up to.
These events are significant in that they are all reliant on others, and have no value on their own or without more of the same or a wider take-up.
So Alexander Graham Bell may have been there at the beginning of the social media revolution over 130 years ago! It’s a good job someone heard him!
If you checkout “on this day in history” you’ll see, among other things, that 5 years ago on 31 January 2007 Cars.com published a list of the 10 most memorable cars from TV shows. Top of the list was ‘K.I.T.T.’ the black Pontiac Trans-Am GTO from the 1980′s ‘Knight Rider’, followed by the red Dodge Charger named ‘General-Lee’ from ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’, also from the 1980′s.
Cars.com republished their review a little over 2 years later but their top 10 list had not changed. What does this mean?
Even if we can be certain that the publishers of the data had revisited their sample, we might need to know who made up that sample. The results might be skewed by high proportion of petrol heads choosing the General Lee, or Sci-Fi nuts choosing K.I.T.T., or kids choosing ‘The Mystery Machine’ from ‘Scooby-Doo’.
Even then, to assign real value to the results we might also ask how the survey was framed and what question was asked. The result might be different if the question was “Think of your favourite TV show that featured a car” versus “Think of your favourite car that featured in a TV show”.
These days we don’t have to rely on the crafted and possibly leading questions asked by survey companies and pollsters. We have at our fingertips the whole of the Internet and every snippet of comment or opinion that anyone chooses to publish in a variety of ways. People tweet to their followers, comment to their friends, ‘like’ images, articles, blogs, pages and websites, and by association the companies that they represent.
Rather than take note of possibly stale, skewed and analysed statistics, we can run our own search across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more, looking for public comments to or from people or companies, or about people, companies or products, or even just mentioning something of immediate and transient interest – far more relevant that a survey carried out some time ago.
The same technological change that enables this kind of immediate capturing of public sentiment also gives us the opportunity to respond immediately where we see a potential new customer, or an existing customer with an issue. This also might be the only way we can discover or identify individuals who are influential in our chosen field.
Of course there is an amount of work involved in doing all that searching, and then organising the results to be able to make sensible use of the information found. Making use of such information involves responding directly and/or openly to the person at the source. We can also benefit by publishing our findings directly through our own social media channels including Twitter, Facebook or our own website.
Social Churn is a tool designed to do just those things. The worlds of information gathering and publishing have both changed significantly over the last couple of years. We must all move with the times, and that might mean doing our own research and analysis of public sentiment concerning our product, our company, or even our clients.
Cars in TV shows illustrate another point. Very few of those once thought of as ‘memorable’ are still current, even if they are fondly remembered. These days times have changed so much that its hard to think of a current TV show that features a car in quite the same way.
Can you think of one? And if you can, what do you think needs to happen to make sure that public perception doesn’t lose contact with it forever?
Apparently the Pope is concerned about the information ecosystem and the negative effect it is having on our lives (BBC Radio 4). The point he was trying to make was that a continual bombardment of information is having a detrimental effect on our well being. He’s got a point, it’s continual noise with TV, radio, newspapers (remember them?), mobiles, laptops, PCs, tablets etc. all delivering information to us 24/7 – you get the message.
Of course, the way to maintain sanity is to take in the important stuff and ignore the rest. Then we’ll have the time to reflect quietly and make the right decisions. But how?
Kids playing with their X-Box games or watching the X-factor in a world of their own. It’s hard to break the cycle. You’ve seen (or been) those lost souls wandering the streets transfixed by their mobile devices. Continual access to e-mail and social media networks has just increased this trend. Even going for a quiet walk is no guarantee of inner peace when you’ve taken that Blackberry or i-phone
New studies are showing how social media is changing us – shortened attention span, low concentration etc. This one from Singularity Hub (apt name) summarises it brilliantly;
The challenge, however, is to harness social media networks in a way that users can benefit from them rather than suffer. Help users concentrate on those elements that interest and stimulate them, rather than getting distracted and sidetracked.
We just need tools and techniques that help us to do this and the social media community is working hard to develop these tools and we are no exception to that.
However, there are limits to what technology can do – as ever it’s down to humans to harness it correctly – some people will always watch too much Big Brother or become addicted to Twitter. My favourite statistic is that the average office worker checks their e-mail every 90 seconds! How can we get anything done when we can’t resist this constant temptation. That return to personal discipline has got to come and maybe it will. Maybe we are just adapting to this new version of the information ecosystem and eventually we will go full circle and start talking to each other again!