Tag Archives: Content

Shoot the Messenger, the Media or the Originator? Social Media can do Good..

21 Jan

Last weekend saw the tragic death of a fairly high profile socialite/ businesswoman/ minister’s wife in India. Cause of death is still uncertain – but it followed a fairly venomous yet convoluted debacle on twitter, followed by retractments/ clarifications by husband and wife on Facebook.

A long debate followed – on the role of social media, twitter specially, in her death. Leading newspaper Hindustan Times actually carried a poll on whether Twitter was to blame for Ms. Tharoor’s death. (Results: 52% agreed that SM was to blame for her death!)

I say this is BS (pardon the french) – all that Social Media has done is allowed everyone an easily accessible/ easy to use/ free/ and increasingly popular medium for self expression – the presence of this medium in no way controls emotions/ behavior – except ofcourse allowing for an increasing need for sharing these emotions and behavior (and yes, in consequence making these same emotions/ behavior more share-worthy). It cannot be held responsible for what may be infidelity (except maybe give a means for communication of infidelity), and by no means is it a trigger for someone to pull a figurative trigger on oneself!

A now fairly viral article agrees with me – it looks like traditional media (read print and TV journalists) are those making the strongest allegations that Social Media was to blame; while, interestingly, post this article, Social Media is loudly saying that traditional media was to blame! (the lady had reached out to many journalists to “tell her story” – most were too busy to grant her a hearing!)

What Social Media is doing, is putting the onus on most of us to learn some new etiquette, and a newer/ maturer way of handling it. Celebs are most vulnerable (An interesting related article on Social Media savvy politicians mentions an interesting website Politwoops – check it for some fun stuff!). By the way, an Analysis of twitter behaviour for Mr. and Mrs. Tharoor shows that the politician was far more savvy than his wife.

There is a lot of good that Social Media is doing – look at its impact on Healthcare, with advocacy groups on most conditions bringing support and relief to millions of patients to state one. Or, as an example, my ex co founder’s initiative Let’s Do Some Good , and my husband’s proposed body for investing in Uttarakhand (yes yes, shameless plug!) that she is primarily promoting on Facebook. Or, just the pleasure that Facebook gives to the silver surfers – my mom and aunt being two avid proponents! It is really silly to state that the medium or the messenger is responsible for people’s stupidities.

I could go on and on, but just as I was writing this (reasonably impassioned) piece, I came across a new short film made in collaboration with…yes…you guessed it – Dove! It’s the perfect ending methinks to underline this message – the medium is not to blame! It can be used for a lovely reason as well…enjoy….

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Is Facebook Killing Other Digital Assets?

15 Mar

fbkills

A few days ago I got into a conversation with the sales head of an entity – this is a platform that operates in what i would say is still a niche. It started as a blog, but now has contributory content from many authors – some paid for, mostly free. Fairly wide coverage across segments, nice viewership numbers – which the team actively tracks as metrics.

Now they have the next step in front of them monetization – They are chasing the obvious like sponsorship and advertising by brands, apart from other more interesting ideas.

But, the question that this guy asked me is:

If you are a brand, why would you not buy facebook advertising – where you can get access to an immensely wider reach, a much wider demographic, arguably higher engagement…Don’t forget, even for this entity, 75% of their discovery comes via facebook – which is probably true nowadays of most newer digital assets.

Ofcourse, much has been written about why companies should keep their blogs rather than just go for facebook pages alone – here’s a neat infographic on this. Prime reasons are – control of content, better engagement of a type, higher relevance, better chances at showing thought leadership rather than mere snippets (so different content types as well). All these make sense.

Ofcourse, as a counter, there are apps – that pretty much work as content platforms now (the mother of all content platforms being arguably wikipedia), including those on Facebook. Actually, honestly twitter more than facebook works better as a local – intact hyperlocal – content platform, though with the changes to the newsfeed, facebook will come closer. But see, publishing houses such as the Guardian are choosing to evict those – read why here

And then there’s the argument against websites of how video is the big gorilla in the room now – look at these amazing stats, and facebook aids the video wave.

But this sales guy’s point was not so much from the brand/ company’s point of view, but the advertiser/ spender’s – who is viewing website vs facebook as media channels not necessarily content ones.

I do think if the advertising/ sponsoring brand is serious enough to want to own proprietary content – remember in the digital world content is king – it shouldn’t rely on Facebook – for the same reasons as owners of the content shouldn’t rely on FB alone! There is something to be said for acquisition of eyeballs in an uncluttered/ controlled environment after all. Ofcourse they will also get the concomitant facebook page – so you do end up “going where your targets are” – the classic win for facebook, apart from “taking targets to where you want them to go”.

What’s your take?

Read also related earlier post here

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Social Network User Segments – What type are u?

7 Jan

I looked at klout last night after a long time. they’ve got some fairly cool stuff now – an influence/ network map being one of the few. what i missed however, was this nice-ish segmentation they used to do for klout users – i forget what it was, but i think it essentially clustered you basis yr behavior on social networks and who you were influencing (on this note, i think the modern world should say a prayer every morning to BCG – the inventors of the 2 by 2 matrix!) imho i cd potentially reclassify all folks using social networks a bit differently – on the basis of WHAT they were choosing to talk about (or the topic/ theme of their content) and HOW they were choosing to do it (in other words how active/ passive they were). and then, the sizes of the circles cd potentially show how active u were (or the frequency of your activity) I drew this matrix — a few cells obviously don’t self populate. I think i occupy the top left hand corner — what are u???

Segmentation