Tag Archives: digg

Twitter

I know. You must be thinking “OMG, another Twitter post…”. Yes, Twitter has been on the spotlight for some time now and everybody seems to be using it. But what this post is actually about the uses of Twitter.
If you consider the basic use of Twitter, it is far simpler than a Social Network. That’s because you cannot consider Twitter a social network per se, although it contains a strong networking (essential actually!) and it is based on exchanging information amongst peers. Nor can you consider it a Social Bookmarking tool, although the use it has been having from most users is to share links to interesting stuff they come across the web. It’s not a messaging system either as it goes beyond it. So what exactly is it? It really doesn’t matter what it is – it’s a lot more interesting to check what it can do.
Twitter has something that is completely different from any other service of the same genre – it can work as an add-on to other tools online. That’s right – we can consider Twitter as an upgrade to the user’s needs and purposes online. Better yet, Twitter can work towards a company’s objectives and even a fellow website purposes. Consider the following examples:

- Digg – Digg is a Social Bookmarking website. What Twitter does is, instead of having all sorts of digital scrap on the top popularity links due to having the same “credible” individuals posting and using convenient titles such as “TOP 10 MICROSOFT vs. APPLE and IPHONE PICTURES” (all the basic keywords to attain first place on Digg’s homepage), Twitter allows the users to select the people most in tune with their preferences and just check the postings and links placed by them. Yes, I said it’s not a Social Bookmarking service, but the fact is that more users are using Twitter to share their common interests and “work” related information. Which leads me to my next point;

- Linked In – A professional social network, Linked In is probably one of the best sources of information for head hunters to find their targets. It’s like an online résumé. But what Linked In lacks (or simply users don’t use it to that purpose) is information regarding the involvement of the target with the type of job he has. Is he a simple Joe who just does his 8 hours of work and doesn’t do much more or is he this information powerhouse that would be valuable for the company? Simple – if this person has a Twitter account, you can check just the type of information he shares and is interested in simply by following him and checking who he is following. Sure, you can always say that the Linked In target is not exactly Twitter’s target, but consider that most Twitter users are professional above 35 years-old.

- MySpace and Facebook – Here’s the bigger issue. How to mashup Twitter and these two while the first two have a service that sort of works the same way Twitter does. Well, consider this – how much stuff do you have on your wall to check? With Twitter, you can focus the attention towards where on the Profile you want people to look at without all the crowded information about the Quizzes you did.

- Youtube – Having recently added a Twitter sharing button, Youtube has definitely discovered the potential in Twitter for it’s business. Twitter users are used to follow up links and, like I mentioned before, are more prone to go to a link to Youtube placed by a trusted followed source that on any other place.

I could go on but I believe you got the big picture. The truth about Twitter is that it isn’t a threat to other Social Media websites – it can actually work towards a common goal. It all comes down to how the relationship between the companies influences the integration of their tools and, of course, on the user’s interest.
Twitter is growing so we are sure to see more users joining Twitter. So, instead of fighting it, why not just ride the waves like Youtube did and find out how we can use it to the consumers advantage. Companies have already started scrapping Twitter and finding the first uses from this tool:

- Extending the reach for those individuals or companies that already have a blogging strategy in place, and want to deepen or further ties. Good examples: Carnival Cruise Lines. The ScienceNewsBlog’s weather tracking updates. Andy Carvin’s PBS blog on education and technology.
- Retailers announcing sales and deals. Good example: Deals on Dells. Blue-light specials at Amazon.
- Increasing the ability for frequent updates to blogs or web sites or news. Examples: The NY Times, CNN, BBC, Adrants, and those of us here at MarketingProfs.
- Building consensus or a community of supporters. Good examples: Presidential candidates John Edwards or Barack Obama.
- Building buzz. Example: Scott Monty and CC Chapman introduce a new blog.
- Updating breaking news at conferences or events. Example: Jeremiah at the Web 2.0 Expo. Forrester seems poised to use it to update happenings at its upcoming Consumer Forum.
- Updating your network to shape your own personal branding: Example: Oh boy… there are zillions. Pick a face on Twitter. You’ll see what I mean.

Get more information on how the Twitter community works and thinks for your marketing efforts. As I’ve repeat several times before respect your audience – don’t jump in and apply pure hard-selling tactics because that’s not what consumers what. It’s not enough to repeat that again.

Facebooks Causes

Social tools’ usage and potential are far from have been completely explored. This is a fact. Besides their original use – Social Networking for friend aggregation or Social Bookmarking for common bookmarks shared on a webpage – there are subsequent effects and results that have derived from the constant use and reinterpretation of social tools. One specifically comes as a result of peer pressure, generation Y and the Youniverse theory – the rise of a civic and social conscience on the Web.

Surely you’ve come across P. Diddy’s campaign “Vote or Die”. A political service group, Diddy’s group Citizen Change aimed at getting young people to vote. Exercising civic duties is a lost art on younger generations who grew under the influence of disappointed, entertainment driven parents whose disbelief in politicians and economical system influenced the younger people to just not care. Following the words of Bart and Lisa Simpson – “We’re the MTV Generation. We feel neither highs nor lows.” Well, they couldn’t be farther from the truth – this generation simply lacked the necessary tools and influential peer to actually push towards a more civic mind.. Read More »

Interesting News…
Social Bookmarking Websites are definitely a trend – most of the techies/geeky receive a feed from one SBW every day, telling them what’s the new buzz, what’s the news with the Iphone in Yugoslavia or the best top 10 reasons to stop questioning your parents. But, with the rise of new competitors to the market that bring new added value, are SBW going down the same path Newspapers went – from source of news to shallow tabloids?. Read More »

Digg Images
If you browse most social bookmarking websites this moment, you will definitely find a lot of posts regarding Digg’s launch of its new feature – the Digg Images, as well as the Universal Taxonomy.
It is fascinating to see how a Social Bookmarking website is indeed analyzing the users interactions and applying it’s very own eCRM system – by observing behaviors and patterns in the users postings, Digg has been evolving constantly. If we take into account the timeline in Digg’s changes, we can definitely state that it’s always evolved towards the tendency of the users – be it requirements or just plain must-have functionalities. The truth is that, since Google, we hadn’t seen such a good example of eCRM on the online world.
Digg images now allows users to watch thumbnails instead of links for the posts. This quite a simple and expected add-on, but it is quite welcome if you take into account that most of the top links in Digg mostly relate to a single pic. Digg has proven that there is a pattern, such as the inverted structure for offline news information organization, in the user’s postings and subsequent digg rate. If a user uses keywords such as “Top X (10 for example)” or “Apple” or simply states that the link relates to a [PIC], then most users will definitely click on the link. This gives us a strong perception on how to grasp an user – spike up their curiosity.
Universal taxonomy allows users to now filter and display the links according to categories or type of media desired. Once again, by applying a simple tool to the user experience, Digg has enhanced the user experience once again. This proves a point in this article – sometimes the simplest solution is the most desired one. We worry about creating visual and stunning effects on websites, but by observing consumer interaction on websites and giving navigability its due importance, we are gaining a winning edge on user preference.
Digg has, by applying two simple, but well thought, functionalities, shown the upcoming (and present) tendency on the web – enhancing your consumers intuitive navigability on the website. Users sometime just want to be helped. So, going back to basics might be the best way to advance your website into the next step in the online world.

Don, Apple is not in the top spot of our links!
After reading an article making an interesting paralism between a movie and a web 2.0 symbol, I couldn’t help but to sit and think about it. Web hits are becoming more and more a way for Brands to evaluate a site’s performance. Although true to a certain extent, aren’t the Social Media websites acting towards these results in the same way that the TVs’ effect of creating a public opinion did on their audiences?
Yes and no. In my opinion, Social Media has given birth to a new form of Marketing, specific to each of the Webstartups it’s related to – Digg-Marketing, Reddit-Marketing, etc… – as each has its own specificities. This Marketing, while attractive as a way to add visibility to a Brand, promotes false results as the results that are on top of a page in one day vary, which originates a huge influx of visitors at one moment and a big pitfall in the next. So, in one way, the Social Media websites are shaping the apprehension of the online public opinion to a certain extent. But, there are two variables that differ from the original effect that the TV had – time and interactivity. People might be curious to check a link that is on top in Digg, but the truth is that in the next hour, he’ll be back to check the new number one link, almost forgetting about the original one – information overload syndrome. And there are instant comments – people refute and approve the information in real time, thus shaping and steering information towards a common ground with online audiences.
The bottom line is that Social Media is indeed acting as a opinion shaper, but only towards a certain extent. Yes, it is important for Marketers to acknowledge these tools and their effects, but it isn’t a good strategic pillar to focus on them for pure brand awareness – it will only originate the desired brand awareness if more people actually create links related to the same topic. If it’s a single interesting link, it will definitely create a lot of traffic, but only in a 1 hour maximum time slot.