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Saturday, 10 July 2010

Social Australians And Positive Koreans

Internet Map. Ninian Smart predicts global com...Image via Wikipedia
I have written before about the need to change the mindset that many CEO's have about the effectiveness of their corporate web site.

The belief that "we build it and they will come" simply does not hold water any more. The term "web site" in itself is very 1990's.

It is the "network" that should be referred to, as the principle of engagement and personal interaction is paramount in building the brand and online buzz.

Being online where your market is should be the primary goal. The principal focus now should be on social media and any corporate web site should also have social media capability.

Nielsen reports that social media now dominates Asia Pacific internet usage:

"Social media usage has seen unprecedented growth in Asia Pacific in the past year and is now one of the most critical trends in the online sector."

The survey found that three of the seven biggest global online brands are social media sites – Facebook, Wikipedia and YouTube.

Close to three quarters of the world’s Internet population (74%) have now visited a social networking/blogging site, and Internet users are spending an average of almost six hours per month on social media sites. "

Some Key Findings:
  • Koreans are most likely to relay positive comments in any review while the Chinese are most likely to to focus on the negative
  • The Koreans are one of the most social engaged in the world
  • The Japanese are the world's most avid bloggers and the percentage of twitter users in Japan now surpasses the States
  • The Chinese admire grass root celebrities and track them.  The bulletin board is still a dominant platform
  • Social media games are big in China and drive new users to to sign on.
  • In India Facebook is rapidly making up ground on Orkut as the platform of choice for social networking
But it is the Australians who are the worlds most socially engaged .  Their focus is communities of interest, which explains why 62% of Aussies visited a forum or message board in 2009.  The professional network platform LinkedIn experienced 99% growth in a single year
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Friday, 9 July 2010

Using The Road As A Canvas

The Fun Theory for Volkswagen has won the Cannes Cyber Grand Prix.

But for my money the Nike Chalkbot campaign was more innovative (see video below).  It is a very clever amalgam of actual and virtual technologies.

It also raised over $US 4 million for Lance Armstrong's foundation Livestrong

According to reports, 36,000 user generated messages were posted to Chalkbot.
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Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Me, Me Me - Just How Well Are Your Sites Connected?

Image representing Google Social Graph API as ...
Substantial sums are invested in web sites and social media.  But just how effective is the inter-connectivity of your sites?

As the aim is to drive traffic from one to the other, building search rankings and the Buzz, this intelligence is important.

Google's Social Graph API makes information about the public connections between people on the Web easily available and useful for developers.  It measures site connectivity and shows:
  • your other sites that are connected to the URLs you entered.  These are known as "me" links. 
  • a 'Score' column that demonstrates how well-linked each is - green for fully linked, red for just one.
  • 'Possible connections' -  a list of other sites that link to your URLs with 'me' links.
Try also the My Connections application.  It shows the list of web URLs that are connected to the ones you entered. The first section lists all contacts you've linked to. Below that is a list of all contacts who have linked to you, using relationships like 'friend', 'kin' or 'colleague'.
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You Are What You Tweet

Logo used by Wikileaks
Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University has written a thought provoking article in the New York Times. 

The focus is "how best to live our lives in a world where the Internet records everything and forgets nothing - where every online photo, status update, Twitter post and blog entry by and about us can be stored forever"

And the primary lesson to be learnt is that everything you ever put online can come back to haunt you!

There are sobering examples of job applicants never getting out of the starting gates after the content of their tweets and Facebook rants have re emerged to haunt them.

As the recent press coverage of Wikileaks demonstrates, the web is also the platform of choice for the disaffected. On the positive side whistle blowers have a global medium through which they provide balance to an orchestrated PR positioning. And people are genuinely interested in the recent information posted on the site with Google Trends recording Wkiileaks as the #1 ranked "hot topic", even out pacing the Clinton wedding.

But there are few reliable ways to comprehensively verify information and even searching through reputable sources can have its problems.

Take the Chocomize story as an example. Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land in his article about the Google Sewerage Factory says "The pollution within Google News is ridiculous. This is Google, where we’re supposed to have the gold standard of search quality. Instead, we get “news” sites that have been admitted - after meeting specific editorial criteria - just jumping on the Google Trends bandwagon, outranking the actual article causing the term “chocomize” to be popular, polluting the news results and along the way, earning Google some cash."

So if, as Jeffrey Rosen has written, the web means the end of forgetting are we finding and remembering the right stuff in the first place? The search results may be garbled but the data is there forever.

If you really want to mask your identity from any future employer you may wish to take the advice of Michael Fertik, founder of ReputationDefender, and Paul Ohm, a law professor at the University of Colorado.  The New York Times article covers questions of Internet privacy with practical advice on how to make online commentary untraceable.

Meanwhile Google maps is making it even harder for a company to run from a bad reputation,  They are now using sentiment analysis and pulling content from non traditional sources like newspaper articles and single blog entries that appear across the internet.

Writing in his blog, Mike Blumenthal sees a marketing research opportunity in this new development -  the ability to discover review sites in your market:

"Go to and simply type the domain that you identified into the Maps search box ie, You might want to include a local modifier. Maps will display an array of Places listed in which the site you identified has been mentioned. You can verify that they are a review source by then examining the review section of the Places Page"

He adds "This new capability will dramatically increase the reach of hyperlocal blogs, change how businesses manage the review process and could, over the long haul, change how and where reviews are generated and aggregated.".

Clearly this is a reputation management challenge that businesses need to be aware of.  Not forgetting that what happens on the web, stays on the web.
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