Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category
I spend a lot of my day using Gmail. In fact, all of Google’s productivity apps: mail, calendar, tasks and documents. I’m a big fan, as well.
For the last two days, I’ve spent a few minutes poking around Google Plus because I get the sense that it’s on the verge of breaking out.
One of the things I’ve noticed is how many older Google services have been integrated into Google+, for example, Picasa Photos and Google Local.
Over the weekend, I attended a wedding. I took a picture on my phone during the ceremony. On the drive home, I edited the picture on my phone which was pretty cool. The picture came out great, and I was proud of my work.
Naturally, I decided to post the picture to Facebook, so that I would have the memory in my timeline. And, I tagged the bride and groom, so that they would have the picture too. All of this happened before I had arrived home from the wedding.
So, for those of you joining the program late, let’s recap: wedding, picture, phone, edit in car, share with bride and groom…all before I arrive home from the wedding.
Growing an audience on Twitter can be hard, but I once took a new Twitter account from 0 to 1,000 followers with just a few hours of work.
How? By following everybody and anybody that looked interesting.
Once a month, I run a form of private focus group called a monthly poker game. It’s a handful of my friends from college and after, all men, ages 37-42. All are college graduates, have kids, live in the suburbs, and I suspect make a good living. Only one of them besides myself has a job with anything to do related social media or the Internet. They are what people in the business call, “the normals”.
So, last night I asked, “Have any of you heard of Google+ and how many of you have used it?” Here were the results, as I went around the table:
- Financial planner: never heard of it
- Home builder: never heard of it
- Criminal defense attorney: heard of it, but didn’t know what it was
- Friend who is a genuine social media expert and professional: using it, but thinks it’s a bunch of social media experts gazing at their navels
- Real estate developer: never heard of it
- HR consultant: heard of it, but didn’t know what it was
- Guy who runs the e-commerce web site for his family-owned retail business: heard of it, signed up, but wasn’t using it
- Lawyer at Microsoft: heard of it and understood that it was a competitor to Facebook, but hadn’t signed up for it
- Me: I have signed up for it, but I am not using it. Why? Because it is only tied to @gmail.com accounts, and I use a Google Apps account as my primary Google account. (I have my @gmail.com account simply forward to my Google Apps account.) Until they fix that problem, it is very unlikely that I’ll be a regular user.
I am in, what I will broadly call, The Internet Business.
If you’re in the business, what you hear a lot is that real-time and social (and geo) are the future. Recently I heard this notion expressed as (paraphrasing, because I forget exactly where I read it):
Google and the other search engines are becoming irrelevant because, in the future, you won’t get most of your information from web pages, but you’ll get it from other people via social networks.
The prototypical example: the other day Lisa, my wife, called me at the office while she was in the car and said, “hey, traffic is horrible downtown…something is going on…will you look online to see what it is?”
Yesterday I participated in “the shortest marketing conference ever”…The Influencer Project. I was one of 60 people who discussed how to use social media to build relationships, develop influence and grow reputation. You can register to receive a transcript and audio recording of the entire event.
The gist of my remarks were that the best way I’ve found to build influence online is to develop relationships offline. In other words, solidify the relationships you’ve built online by making a “in real life” connection with those people. Social media is excellent for building a broad network of friends and contacts. But, in my view, real, genuine deep connections happen in real life.
Now, let me stop all the haters here: I’m not saying real relationships can’t be built online. There are endless anecdotal stories of this happening, so I’m not going to assert that it’s impossible. (Along these lines, Mark Pilgrim wrote recently on the notion of 25-year friends.)
I’m thinking of a conversation I had over Chinese food with a friend who is the manager of a camera shop in Seattle.
Let’s imagine you ran this shop. Obviously, you’ve experienced a lot of competitive pressure from e-commerce over the last decade. If someone knows they want the latest camera gadget there are all sorts of ways to find the best price online for the identical product. These types of businesses have been dropping like flies for some time now.
Lucky for my friend, they’re considered the leading retailer in town, primarily catering to professionals and enthusiasts who expect a high level of service and expertise. As a result, they’ve withstood the competition better than many because these qualities are hard to replicate online.
Here’s a really valuable lesson: if you had $5 and 2 hours to make as much money as possible, how would you do it? That’s the question that Tina Seelig, a professor at Stanford, asked her class.
The nominal lesson that Seelig gains from the experience is that that one of the keys to entrepreneurship is to be flexible and think outside of the natural constraints of the problem. She split the class in to three groups, and each set them about their challenge:
One group employed a loss-leader strategy: they setup a free bike tire pressure testing station on campus, and if your tires were flat then they offered to pump them up for a small fee.
I basically have one thing in mind when I use Twitter:
Listen to what people are saying, so I can help them out if I am able.
Actually, I suppose I have that in mind all the time. But, it comes to the forefront when using Twitter because the tools (i.e. the different Twitter clients and applications) are still so embryonic, and often make it so difficult.
The introduction of Twitter Lists is a major step forward, in my point of view. Lists allow me to create different listening contexts which reduces noise. In other words, when I am listening to my “friends” that’s different than listening to “social media opinion leaders”.
In the New World (the world of social media, the Internet, online, whatever you want to call it)…which is basically NOW…technical capability on the web isn’t really the limitation any longer. I’m a web developer, so I hate to say it, but for the most part technology has become a commodity.
When I started doing this 15 years ago (“this” meaning, building web sites as a profession), that basically wasn’t the case: you had to have specialized skills to publish on the web. Ward Cunningham had introduced the wiki in 1994, but very few people knew about it or understood it. Even so, it took technical skill to set one up.
Then, a few years later Dave Winer’s UserLand introduced Manila which, to my understanding, was the first widely available edit-in-the-browser blogging tool that was provided as an online service.