Posts Tagged ‘social media’

The true ROI of Social Media

// February 9th, 2011 // No Comments » // Social Media Marketing, Technology

Earlier I was having a discussion with @iniQiti on Twitter about the true ranking of social media efforts. He was telling me how his 3rd party twitter rankings were high and it helped build SEO (Search engine optimisation) for his twitter account. I disagreed with his trying to rate it via SEO or follower ratio or number of tweets, because I believe social media is about interaction. Thankfully Gary Vaynerchuck (@Garyvee) sent out a tweet featuring the video below which confirmed what

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I was saying:

What grades your social media efforts are interactions, how useful your tweets or facebook posts are, how it helps people, how it relates to others. Social media is building a relationship, with your friends, other personalities and brands. If your social media efforts do not help, or build relationships, then why bother? Now some people will add that hey, they are just trying to broadcast information useful to their followers, this is also building a relationship because your followers then begin to trust you for quality content and in some cases understand you may not be able to reply specifically to them. The fact is trust, in social media people trust you for your content (opinions, blogposts, videos, photos, news, etc,). Changing or adjusting your content for better rankings or seo is not the aim, the community is the aim, build your community, word of mouth is a better recommendation than any search engine.

In all of your efforts, reporting, etc remember people first, ask yourself, are you helping someone or are you just pushing out useless content on a daily basis? It doesn’t matter if you have x amount of followers if they are bots, or you have no interaction, find your niche and provide for it.

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How to deal with deceased friends on Facebook and Twitter

// February 7th, 2011 // No Comments » // Life, Technology

Earlier today while inviting friends to a new Facebook Page I had created I was once again faced with the profiles of my deceased friends. At first I didn’t know what to do and asked friends on Facebook. After doing some research I found the following links: logo facebook A blogpost by Max Kelley:

….The question soon came up: What do we do about his Facebook profile? We had never really thought about this before in such a personal way. Obviously, we wanted to be able to model people’s relationships on Facebook, but how do you deal with an interaction with someone who is no longer able to log on? When someone leaves us, they don’t leave our memories or our social network. To reflect that reality, we created the idea of “memorialized” profiles as a place where people can save and share their memories of those who’ve passed. We understand how difficult it can be for people to be reminded of those who are no longer with them, which is why it’s important when someone passes away that their friends or family contact Facebook to request that a profile be memorialized. For instance, just last week, we introduced new types of Suggestions that appear on the right-hand side of the home page and remind people to take actions with friends who need help on Facebook. By memorializing the account of someone who has passed away, people will no longer see that person appear in their Suggestions. When an account is memorialized, we also set privacy so that only confirmed friends can see the profile or locate it in search. We try to protect the deceased’s privacy by removing sensitive information such as contact information and status updates. Memorializing an account also prevents anyone from logging into it in the future, while still enabling friends and family to leave posts on the profile Wall in remembrance……

The form for reporting a deceased friend on Facebook here: twitter logo Twitter handles it similarly by requesting that you email them, but they close down the account:

If we are notified that a Twitter user has passed away, we can remove their account or assist family members in saving a backup of their public Tweets. Please contact us with the following information:

  1. Your full name, contact information (including email address), and your relationship to the deceased user.
  2. The username of the Twitter account, or a link to the profile page of the Twitter account.
  3. A link to a public obituary or news article.

You can contact us at, or by mail or fax: Twitter Inc., c/o: Trust & Safety 795 Folsom Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94107 Fax: 415-222-9958 We will respond by email with any additional information we might need. Please note that we cannot allow access to the account or disclose other non-public information regarding the account.

Now that I know what I need to do, I just need to face the music and submit as necessary :( R.I.P.

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Advertising at any cost? Kenneth Cole’s Point of view

// February 3rd, 2011 // 6 Comments » // Life, Social Media Marketing

Egypt, the most populous country in the Arab world, erupted in mass protests on Jan. 25, 2011, as the revolution in Tunisia earlier in the month seemed to inflame decades worth of smoldering grievances against decades of heavy-handed rule by President Hosni Mubarak. – New York Times

Since then people have been killed, injured and kidnapped in Egypt as demonstrations continue.

Earlier today Kenneth Cole, a popular clothing brand released this tweet:

Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at -KCless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Here is an image just in case the tweet is removed:
Twitter Kenneth Cole Egypt Tweet Image

I will put this in my books as what not to do for social media marketing. What do you think?

Update! Kenneth Cole has tweeted this in response to the uproar on twitter:

Re Egypt tweet: we weren’t intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment -KCless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

I am not sure if that counts as an apology, is there any way for them to recover from this blunder?

Update 2! A fake account has been created on twitter: @kennethcolepr which is tweeting more scenarios that Kenneth Cole tweets could disregard history. The smoke is building, will this go viral? 2700 followers in 2 hours.

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Google joins the Check-in War

// February 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Social Media Marketing, Technology

Google announced today that it will integrate checkins to their Google Latitude app for Android devices.

Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

This new addition just adds to the company’s mission by integrating more social interactions into their products. Google has several social products, like Orkut which has been dwarfed by rivals Facebook and Myspace. They even tried microblogging with Google Buzz. However none of their social products have been dominant in their categories so far. With the addition of mobile check-ins Google will be rivalling Foursquare, Gowalla,

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Facebook Places and other social apps that have jumped on to the check-in train.

Google Latitude Checkin screenshot Google Checkin Map

Unfortunately Google has launched the service in their Android Application only, leaving Iphone and Blackberry users waiting to test it out. Another flaw is that users cannot add venues from the mobile app, which negates it’s effectiveness in poorly mapped areas. Additionally Google Latitude doesn’t allow you to share your location with other social networks like Facebook or Twitter. Hey Google, this is 2011, people like sharing content between social networks!

The good thing is that Latitude will support automatic checkins, well sort of, it will pickup your proximity to venues and automatically prompt you to check in. Never forget to check-in again! Also Google has learned from their Buzz privacy issues and have integrated some key privacy options from the get-go which seem to be very customisable.

Overall I think it is too early to tell if this is a hit or miss, with 10 million Latitude users, Google will have a large customer base to try out this new service, even if it is currently limited to Android users only. Let’s see how this will change the geolocation market and how other services will adapt to stay ahead.

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Wikileaks: The Bigger Picture

// December 15th, 2010 // 7 Comments » // Technology

I am not a conspiracy theorist. This is not a conspiracy. In this article I would just like to talk about facts. This is not all the facts, because I don’t think anyone has all of the facts. Use your own judgement.

Wikileaks Hour Glass

What is Wikileaks?

WikiLeaks is a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for independent sources around the world to leak information to our journalists. We publish material of ethical, political and historical significance while keeping the identity of our sources anonymous, thus providing a universal way for the revealing of suppressed and censored injustices. – Wikileaks website

The Problem

For weeks now, there has been more and more press about Wikileaks and “Cablegate” especially the fact that they have been blacklisted by several major companies. Since Wikileaks announced that it was planning to release over two hundred and 50 thousand (>250,000) documents they have experienced the most difficult circumstances the organisation has ever faced. They have been barred or suspended by Amazon, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, and few companies have been willing to do business with them since.

I am not going to get into the politics of it, who is attacking who, or any conspiracy of the sort. I really could write many pages about the Wikileaks case. The point of this article is to show that the battle between Wikileaks, Julian Assange and the US Government is way bigger than releasing secret documents. Let’s go back to 1971, when The New York Times won a Supreme Court case against The U.S. Government allowing it to print classified information:

New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971), was a United States Supreme Court per curiam decision. The ruling made it possible for the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers to publish the then-classified Pentagon Papers without risk of government censure.

President Richard Nixon had claimed executive authority to force the Times to suspend publication of classified information in its possession. The question before the court was whether the constitutional freedom of the press, guaranteed by the First Amendment, was subordinate to a claimed need of the executive branch of government to maintain the secrecy of information. The Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment did protect the right of the New York Times’ to print the materials.

Wikileaks is not based in the U.S. nor does it cater to the U.S. only. My question is, how can a single government take down a website catering to the World?

The internet was designed to be indestructible. The internet however, has exceeded what it was designed for. Since then issues have come up where Governments like China and Australia censor the internet that their citizens can access. To me this goes against civil liberty since the internet is not owned or operated by any one person, government or organisation. However if an elected government decides to censor the internet for their nation for the better well being of it’s citizens, then they have the right to do so (especially for content like child pornography).

What is wrong with the Wikileaks case is that their major service providers (hosting and payment gateway for donations) have ceased working with them. The biggest blow was when also ceased providing Domain Name Service which basically erased Wikileaks from the internet. Doing this to any website will cripple it, fortunately Wikileaks is resilient.

When I speak to people about Wikileaks, they have mixed reactions, some say it’s a security risk, others say it just really doesn’t matter. However the fact is, what if Facebook was shut down in the same manner? Not accepting payments, not being found in search engines, their hosts denying traffic? Facebook is now used by 500 Million people and is a huge communication tool. In the same breath I live on the island of Jamaica, could a foreign government deem our internet use illegal and cut our internet connection? What if a major company can lobby a government to block a rival company’s website or service to an entire nation?

We have all become so used to and take for granted the many services provided by the internet. I would go as far as to say that information is the new valuable resource, bigger than any other industry. The scary ting is that it is not renewable, when people don’t get access to information it cannot be used, new things cannot be developed from it, policies cannot be changed because of it. In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king, however the internet allows us all to read and type braille.

What will happen

In the coming years, Internet Governance will become a major issue. Currently organisations like Diplo train people and organise workshops to create policies and awareness for

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a free and open internet. Unfortunately I fear that cases like Wikileaks may re-occur before the necessary international laws are in place to protect online content.

Back in 1999 the first real online media challenge arrived in the form of Napster. Napster was the first popular peer to peer music sharing application and it upset the big record labels, causing it to be the target of many lawsuits which led to its eventual demise. Since then it has led to more sophisticated peer to peer networks, which have resulted in new technology like Bittorrent being created. Bittorrent is virtually impossible to control or limit due to its architecture, many have tried with limited success. In the same way, the censorship of online content will only result in new ways to distribute it. There have been many sites taken down before, even seized.

Already Wikileaks has created opportunity for others, has been created to share similar content and a new payment service flattr, has since become popular for still supporting the site. This is the type of growth to be expected in the coming years as new opportunites present themselves. The internet is a snowball that seems to have no end.

I hope to continue to enjoy a free and open internet, where I can share content without censorship. -Dmitri

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