Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Twitter as a Form of Crowdsourcing Can Rationalize Investment in Social Media Platform.

When it comes to social media – and specifically Twitter – the quest for engagement is right up there with weight loss and the Holy Grail. Engagement offers proof that people are paying attention, no easy task in a world where a greener pasture is always just a click away.

Yet, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that one of the greatest benefits derived from Twitter comes from a form of crowdsourcing. Most of us are lucky if we can devote 60 minutes each day to “discovery,” identifying news, insights and tools that help us become smarter in our jobs. The sobering reality is that this 60 minutes of discovery filters only a minuscule fraction of the relevant stuff raining down on us.
Yet, with the right management of Twitter, you essentially gain a team of brilliant individuals curating content for you. Let’s say you’re tracking 10 people – “tracking” meaning you actually read their Twitter feeds from top to bottom – who put an hour into discovery each day as well as capture content from another hour spread across the natural flow of each work day. Now, you’re benefiting from 20 hours of discovery.


One of the folks I track pointed me to a HubSpot post, “The Anatomy of a Highly Shareable Infographic” where I learned about a new tool called Thinglink that makes it possible to embed links in an infographic.  We’ve been looking for a way to embed hyperlinks in JPEGs for years. While not exactly the same thing, we’ve already kicked off an experiment with Thinglink.

Of course, the key to Twitter crowdsourcing lies in tracking the right individuals. As far as defining what constitutes “the right individuals,” I’m not just looking for relevance. What makes these folks so valuable is their ability to uncover information that isn’t widely tweeted in your circles and otherwise would have been missed.

insights from: Lou Hoffman, of Hoffman Agency

Amazon’s “Public Notes” feature for Kindle has been available for months. So why did my following and follower counts rocket up overnight to five times what they had been? It’s simple. When was introduced in February, you had to manually add users you wanted to follow. Now, if you’ve linked your Twitter or Facebook accounts to Public Notes, you automatically follow other connected users that you follow on those networks.

The old way was a bit of a crap shoot — it was hard to find and add other people unless they explicitly advertised their accounts or began broadcasting their highlights and marginalia on their blogs or social media. The new way is a little bit creepy — particularly since there doesn’t seem to have been any announcement from Amazon that they were changing how social media links were going to be used. (Amazon representatives haven’t responded to my requests for comment.)

It’s also a little bit creepy that the default for linking social media networks is set to broadcast your Public Notes activity on those networks to all your friends and followers. That option at least can be shut off; auto-adding the people you follow can’t. If you link your Kindle public notes to Twitter or Facebook because you would occasionally like to share a passage or note from a book you’re reading, you’re stuck auto-following everybody else who wants to do the same.

As a convenience, whenever a Facebook friend starts to use, or you become friends on Facebook with someone who already uses, they’ll make sure that you follow them here too.

Again, for some people this may be perfectly convenient: There’s no need to rebuild your social graph from scratch on yet another social network. It makes Kindle Public Notes the perfect set-it-and-forget-it special-purpose social network. All you have to choose is which of your books’ notes, highlights and reading status you wish to make public or keep private. But it’s worth noting that Barnes & Noble took precisely the opposite approach with Nook Friends. On the Nook and Nook Color, you can share with third-party social media like Twitter or Facebook, or you can share with B&N’s Nook Friends, but the networks are completely sandboxed from one another. They were explicit on this point: Nobody would be auto-added to your social network. Every friend request would have to be separately initiated and approved.

Remember, Nook Friends launched shortly after Google settled a federal case over its rollout of Buzz, which used e-mail contacts to build a public social network without clear notification. I’m not entirely sure where Amazon’s use of Twitter and Facebook to do the same rates on that scale. All my Twitter follows and followers are public, and I have technically authorized Amazon and Twitter to share information. Facebook users are promised a little bit more privacy with their contacts. I think they might have more reason to be upset if huge chunks of their social graph have been made public.

The sudden addition of new people also makes your network look pretty strange. Many people never filled out their Public Notes profiles, or filled it out with phony info. Many people on my following list are now listed only as “Unknown” — their only identifying characteristic is their linked Twitter account. They clearly did not expect their profiles would become visible to dozens of extra followers overnight.

Bootstrapping Public Notes with Twitter and Facebook makes a lot of sense for Amazon. It makes the network easier to start using and has certainly increased its visibility. Many people, including reporters covering e-readers and social media, believed it was a brand-new service that had sprung up overnight. It needs this visibility, in part because it’s not a full-fledged social network. It can’t do e-book-lending like Nook Friends, catalog non-Amazon books like LibraryThing, or facilitate book groups and discussion like Goodreads. It’s lightweight — the Twitter to its competitors’ Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook.

I like using Kindle’s Public Notes quite a bit, maybe even more for newspapers and magazines than books, and I’m excited that more of my social media friends may be using it. But next time, Amazon — could you please at least give us all a little more of a heads-up?

Microsoft always seemingly does everything big and it really turns out to be splendid. Now it’s with a return hit to Google.

Google threw a punch, But Microsoft fires back with a Missile in reply!!

Earlier today, Google came out swinging. Seemingly sick of being continuously slapped in the face by the patent issue, Google’s SVP and Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond, wrote a blog post calling out several of Google’s rivals for attempting to use “bogus patents” to destroy Android. Chief among the rivals called out was Microsoft. Drummond noted that the software giant had been getting in bed with other rivals to hurt Google.

Among the accusations was that Microsoft teamed up with Apple to buy Novell’s old patents, implying that they did so in order to keep them away from Google.

Microsoft didn’t take too kindly to that remark.

“Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no,” Brad Smith, Microsoft General Counsel tweeted out in response.

Damn. Shit just got real.

Just in case that wasn’t enough, Frank Shaw, Microsoft Head of Communications, followed up with the real heat-seeker. “Free advice for David Drummond – next time check with Kent Walker before you blog. :) ,” Shaw tweeted, referring to another Google SVP and General Counsel. Attached to that tweet was the picture of an email Walker apparently sent to Smith on October 28, 2010. It reads as follows:

Brad –

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you — I came down with a 24-hour bug on the way back from San Antonio. After talking with people here, it sounds as though for various reasons a joint bid wouldn’t be advisable for us on this one. But I appreciate your flagging it, and we’re open to discussing other similar opportunities in the future.

I hope the rest of your travels go well, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

– Kent

While it’s only one instance, this really does undercut Google’s entire argument. Google was attempting to set up a pattern of Microsoft teaming up with other Google rivals to damage them. But the first instance listed was actually the result of Google turning Microsoft down, as the email shows. That doesn’t not look good for Google.

Does that mean Google’s totally wrong and Microsoft is totally right? Of course not. But it sure makes Google look pretty stupid. And it reinforces something that many observers think about Google’s position here: that they simply weren’t taking the patent situation too seriously until recently, and now they’re all up in arms about it.

God I love it when Google and Microsoft take these fights to the streets. Now Google would know what a hit on nuts really would be!! ;)