New attention has be drawn to the numerous fake or spam twitter accounts that follow us. Yes they boost numbers but but they provide no value. Isn't it better to know everyone is listening or potentially listening? It was back in June 2011 that I wrote "Twitter Fly Swatter - TwitBlock" after I was looking in to ridding my followers of spam bots. It was TwitBlock by @TimWhitlock that identified and enabled me to block the culprits. This week Status people came on the scene, a tool to identify fakers with the headlines
Quite some press coverage but lets get a little perspective. Bots boost your follow count, this is true. The relationships on Twitter of most importance are those with 'friends'. The ones you follow back. They read your Tweets and you read thier's. We don't control who follows us the only option if you want these bots to disappear is to block them. A twitter count inflated by fake, purchased followers and bots kids no one but your self.
Running @pcmcreative through StatusPeople reveals I have 90% Good, 9% Inactive, 1% Fake. StatusPeople only analyses 1000 accounts, just a sample of your total following. Information is all well and good but what about the clean up. This is why I write this post. Social Media evolves all the time with new platforms, tools and services emerging suite of complimentary apps come together. Three apps I now have to verify the effectiveness of the Twitter accounts I own, run and maintain.
TwitBlock - Finds Bots in fiends and followers - @pcmcreative 14 of 2543
SocialBro - Excellent Twitter management tool including providing statistics about inactive followers - @pcmcreative has 112 inactive friends and 526 inactive followers.
StatusPeople - New analytic tool to identify fake or bot accounts in your followers
The greater issue for me is my inactive friends. Many of them are Tweeters with the greatest of intentions but with no twitter passion. Some do ignite some just wait and watch. But I do know who many of them are. The other peeve is accounts with no custom avatar.
What about your account?
For more Twitter thoughts take a look at Twitterati, FibreCamp.tv's new twitter show with me and Phil Campbell.
I love info-graphics. This one caught my eye with its progressive stats which reflect my own social dilemma. As social media platforms integrate, the connection with an audience is made easier. Building the audience with consistency is as real as ever and not directly digital but the social media mechanics evolve in our digital lives for both personal and professional activity. Combined with public and private implications 2012 will be an intersting year.
Some of the most interesting highlights are below. Here, Dream Systems Media presents the must-know numbers from the biggest and best networks, based on AdAge data.
Auto-posting to Facebook decreases likes and comments by 70%
B2C Facebook results go up by 30% on Sundays
34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter and 20% have closed deals using Twitter
55% of people access Twitter via their mobiles
40% of bloggers consider themselves professionals
20% of searched on Google each day have never been made before
56% of college students said that if they were offered a job by a company that banned social media use, they’d turn it down
Meet @contentasaurus...brain child of Andrew Hanelly (@hanelly on Twitter). I am engaged in a battle of the bots. Not because I'm infested and plagued by then but because social media should be, or should have, a social element. It is why this social web environment has emerged. As human beings it is in our nature to reach out and connect with the world around us. Andrew Hanely's experiment and resulting blog post "Lessons Learnt from a Twitter Bott" asks the question, Can it be automated?, details the experiment and measures the results. The opening line "A robot didn’t write this post" illustrating right away that some things need a human touch.
Looking for work-arounds and time saving methodology is essential online and offline. Wouldn't it be cool if you didn't have to look after Twitter? What if it could look after its self? If you could set it up and let it run would you? Would you automate a customer facing aspect of your business? Banks offer us automated services, the "Hole in the Wall" but still we choose to visit the counter. Why is that?
A Twitter account can successfully be assigned an element of autonomy using automation with a reasonable quantifiable success but it has no soul and it has no intellegence.
Some statistics from the 43-day life of @contentasaurus:
The account posted more than 2,500 Tweets (about 60 Tweets per day)
Which generated 443 clicks
Which resulted in about 80 @mentions and 19 Retweets
And a Klout score of 43 (for whatever that’s worth)
Taken from Andrew Hanelly's post these stats demonstrate that is a short time and with well selected content it is possible to generate twitter activity. For him the down side and an touch of futility was not being able to add the human element and resond when comments and good wishes came in.
I do recommend you go and read his post "Lessons Learnt from a Twitter Bott" as the consequent comments are an interesting read also. What interested me was the foundation. I think there is room for scheduling informative content but I am hearted by the increased emphasis I see around the social web for the curation of content. It's important to understand the web around you in terms for your audience and twitter is a good resource for doing this but must be done appropriately. With automation you can get a result but with any success there has to be the satisfation of a job well done or an idea reached for. There are no quick wins or we'd all be rich! After all being social is about conversation and engagement.
"I’m not going to talk about why startups should utilize social media and all that other basic stuff. Instead, I’ll focus more on the bottom line aspect of finding out what their purposes and agendas for using social media are, which is a prerequisite before even thinking of hiring a social media expert."
I am very interested in the emerging attitudes to social media 'bringing in the best to be the best'.
Every 'Start Up' should include a social media 'expert' in the executive team or someone who knows someone who does and can bring them on board. You shouldn't 'hire', you should look to them to ignite a social media following from the start. The power of social networks is the following network connections. You have to have a social heart before being a social media 'expert' we make projects fly.
I'm uncomfortable with the term 'expert' when referring to social media, being good at social media is being a good communicator through the medium of digital.
Have you wanted to defriend that person for ages? Social networking
Purging Day invite you to spend a day united, collectively ripping off
the band-aid, and get all those dusty
“relationships” out of our news feeds and inboxes for good on Saturday, March 20th.
This will most likely be the one that people need to deal with most. Clean out all those friends
that aren’t really friends. You need to determine where to draw the
line for yourself. Maybe it’s anyone you don’t have a personal face to
face relationship with. Whatever it is, determine your cutoff criteria.
Unfortunately, facebook doesn’t make it that easy to remove friends. If
you need instructions they have a page about it here. Also, go through and delete applications, groups, fan pages, etc. that have become irrelevant."
Digital hoarding is effortless but polluting. Many people say to
me that the information in their social stream isn't worth reading.The trouble is if post, magazines and newspapers piles up in your office or at home (my dinning room table is an embarrassment) a time comes when enough is enough and 99% of it gets binned and recycled. Digital junk just expands.
PCM's Top Twitter Tips
Understand who you follow (listen to) and who follows you (listens to you)
My Tweeple lets you analyze that further delving in to inactive tweeters and most active tweeters. You can friend and unfollow from here too.
Identify your top ten most active followers
Identify your top ten most active friends
Analyse and evaluate the results
Understand your impact and reach
provides analysis of your activity across twitter benchmarking you against other tweeters in your network.
Twitter Analyzer gain a greater understanding of when your network is active on Twitter and who you engaged with most.
Tweetreach check out the reach achieved by an event hashtag or Twitter name.
Identify your top 10 most valuable tweeters who contribute to extending your reach in Twitter.
Analyse and evaluate the results
Document for reference
Finally...Read the best bits from your streamlined Twitter account with The Twitter Times a service that delivers to you the news and buzz as tweeted by your Twitter Network. The Twitter Times is a real-time personalized newspaper generated from your Twitter account
What are your spring cleaning citeria? I have to admit Facebook is my most neglected and mismanaged network mainly because it doesn't return any investment I put in for business. I really should purge but on the other hand I want to provide options for people to engage. Facebook is most definitely a quandary.
MediaCamp is an "unconference". Once the date of an event is announced a wiki type collaboration web presence is created. Anyone wishing to attend, assist or present are free to update the collaborative space to declare their intentions.
MediaCampLondon3 was slightly different in that an event platform Eventbrite provided a payment system and event portal for delegates with the Venue details, sponsors, event info, directions and delegates signed up to attend in an Eventbrite event page. During sign up intention to present and a request for a session title was included in the form. Links included in the body of the event page aggregated relevant web content:
Here we are at part 2 of my MediaCampLondon post... after lunch
A suggested topic caught my eye when the event details first appeared online.
Social Media Ethics
Whether its codes of conduct, best practice or end user policy the accepted structural controls laid out relating to Social Technology are in their infancy. Protection or Oppression? Safe access or restricted boundaries? Who is the protected? Knowledge is power and with it comes responsibility. Following a consistent code of behavior and practice backing up open and honest engagement builds trust.
Since my first engagement with virtual worlds and then social media acceptable behavior in a space with faceless encounters and constructed reality, who are we? Has intriged me. Who are you?
Actors play their roles in a play, become the characters they portray but when the curtain goes down they are the character no longer. Playing roles, trying on different morals and behaviours is one of the underlying attraction to actors. Being someone else. The greatest actors draw from an inner reservoir of experiences but they slowly drown if they loose sight of who they really are. Identity is wrapped up with ethics.
I spent over 6 months playing one character in a play each performance was 60 minutes living as someone else. Playing a role and living your life. This is all very esoteric, how does this relate to social media?
Ethics at MediaCamp
Sylwia Presley presented Social Media Ethics. The session began with a 20min presentation and continued as a Q&A discussion.
Sylwia talks with great authority using case study examples to illustrate her key headlines. Real stories, of successes and failings throughout the public consciousness of social media. And not illustrated ad-nausium with statistics.
The only difference between online and offline content is the communication channel. I knew I was going to learn valuable insights when Sylwia expressed this sentiment.
It was about message not method. Delivering a consistent message across an organisation needs formalising but as her presentation illustrated, not solidifying. These formalised rules set out guidelines of best practice. While referencing Twitter Sylwia noted Twitter ettiquette with ethics evolving as behaviours change. How to behave, what is acceptible? what is not. These things do change. The use of auto-response tweeting to new followers was just one example.
The field of Ethics is notoriously difficult to define. Everyone's ethics differ by degrees.
So...How to capture without distraction?
I decided to Qik, live stream to my Qik account. (with Sylwia's permission) The thing a like about this method of capture is not having content hanging around waiting for action. Point and Shoot, the upload takes place in real time and with a player embedded in my blog I have instant blog content. Qik also provides a share facility enabling me to tweet the fact I am streaming live in case any one in my network should want to watch.
Sylwia presented for 20 minutes which I streamed. The following Q&A I did not stream. This was a conscious decision one take, no distractions or frustrations that I just missed a great phrase. I listened as a delegate while capturing the content.
With so many social media tools, services and sites on the web how do you make sure you get a balanced distribution of content for your time and money?
Being so busy with social media clients recently its ironic that my social media activity has been lacking. Not in quantity as I am a prolific Tweeter which cross posts my updates to several other web services, notably Facebook. My social media activity has lacked focus and depth.
I tag articles, websites, tools and services I discover during my working day using Delicious and these online bookmarks, kept in check on all my PC's by Xmarks means I can effortlessly maintain my online and offline bookmarks (as an added bonus it means they are all backed up) and using the nifty Delicious widget I can filter selected tagged content in to the various online networks I act as custodian for, at the moment predominantly Amb:IT:ion and it's multiple UK regional digital opportunities networks I am building and igniting.
So... Geek Chart. What I think is great about this embeddable widget is it's a way to show where you share online and most importantly how that activity is distributed. Geek Charts show the last 30 days of your activity on the sites you enter usernames for.
Seeing mine on May 1st 2009 (left) I realised I need to even out my activity.
The active embedded PCM Geek Chart should be in column on the right. If not see it on the Geek Chart site. It tracks Twitter (the turquoise) Delicious (the pale blue) a blog (the orange) Flickr (the pink) StumbleUpon (in green) and also at the time of writing this post - YouTube, Digg and Last.FM.
It is a visual gauge to show your followers, readers and friends where you are most active on line but it is also an excellent indicator to help measure your personal effectiveness and to focus attention on areas of your activity that are weakest and hopefully prompt you to ask your self if your communication is effective and assess how to redress any imbalance.
Quite frankly for me it highlighted how poor my blogging has been, coming in at 6% of my activity. Targets are a good thing and by blogging more I hope to alleviate my blogger's guilt and produce the more focused and considered content the medium of blogging facilitates.
So see for your self have I addressed the imbalance?
If you set up a Geek Chart or already have your very own Geek Chart please post a link to yours here in the comments. How has it made you think about your online activity and has it promoted you keep a different balance?