I’ve been low on bandwidth lately…so throwing this up in rough form, clean this up at a later date. Here is my quick, straight from the gut reaction to the AdAge round table discussion. Glad to see Matt, Armano, Rohit at that table.
Category: Social Media
Maybe that is why I love my Ning(s).
And I don’t really want to get on someone bad side…and this is more a poke at social media enthusiasm than her. But really…you spent 9+ hours on a Saturday night making web 2.0 Easter Eggs? I mean…I just…I just shake my head. Was it better than my Saturday night…I’m not sure it is that tough of a call.
Co-worker of mine said that quote in passing, half joking, half teasing me because of the area I work in (she also has a nick name for me that plays off my name and viral diseases…because I “spread” things in social media…I’m sure it’s meant to be endearing). But whether she realized it or not, I think that there is some actual truth in her statement.
In my own observations, I think we have hit the tipping point within the general masses of people feeling comfortable blogging. For the sake or argument, I’m staying in the blogging world…I think this trend actually holds true across all consumer created content. I say this because the same girl who said that quote has just started blogging more on a regular basis. Her friends are the same way. I’ve noticed that co-workers who have teased me in the past about having a blog…have now started their own. They post fairly regularly – pics, videos, etc.
Fueling this I believe is the combination of several trends;
- Adoption of reading blogs has tipped – from journalist to my office mate who read 15 craft blogs a day
- Blogging is becoming accepted and is shedding the ‘only early adopters do that’ attitude
- Tools to blog, post pics, post video are now very simple
- People feel comfortable publishing
In an interesting spin, I think Facebook became the Trojan horse and catalyst for people to get into blogging. For the sake of argument lets say that Facebook is basically a personal content aggregator to all your friends. It opened the door to let a group of people know that you’ve been tagged in a photo. Mentally, this helps people get over the hump of having themselves published on the internet…and actually they think it is not that bad. But while Facebook is great for aggregating content, it doesn’t really have the ability to create content, allowing for people to express themselves beyond just a photo tag. Creating a simple blog does. For the 80% of 18-42 year olds who have broadband (rough summary/estimate from this emarketer report), blogging is now just another simple login. With news stories of people micro-publishing, a la twitter, the masses also get comfortable with the idea that they don’t have to publish the next great novel on their blog.
Given, this trend is all from the observation of space 967 on the 9th floor of 110 North 5th Street. But if my co-workers who just gotten into blog stick with it…we just might be on to something. We might be able to ladder this up and say this is part of a larger trend and that ’08 will be about mass adoption of people creating their own content, growing the content creators past the 1-10% range…but that’s another blog post.
Update: Thank you Heather for the edits.
I think one of the main “trends” of 2007 was the maturing of the discussion/idea of social media and the relationship it has with business/consumer (person)/brand. I’ve been reading some great ROI discussions that really illustrate how far the strategic thinking has come. I’m going to kid myself and say that over the holiday break I’m going to try and gather as many of these good thoughts and put them into a great client slideshare…but we all know that it is a very lofty holiday goal.
Additional suggested reading (besides from my last social media ROI round post), ROI and what it can achieve –
Stepping back from tactics, what are we going to achieve? What will we effect? Earlier this year Tom from WME Blogs post Extending Forrester’s Blog ROI matrix explores benefit, metric value. I wish I would have seen this earlier, it would have helped with the question I was getting time and time again – why does social media matter again? A article from iMedia Connection: Keys to social media pairs with this to help start thinking how getting your plan going. Along similar lines is 7 Idea for Social Media and Business from Patrick Schaber at the Lonely Marketer. And for those clients/bosses who need it more black and white, Emergence Marketing does a great job laying it down to bare bones, ex:
The Viral Garden has another post I’m thinking I should just spam my office with, understanding the value of blogging. While it does get into Google Page Rank and other analytics, the most important part is that while numbers are nice – consumers are into conversations and we need to understand what value blogs bring as a community building tool. Laddering up, its not about being stone face company anymore – need to start living and breathing, need to start “communicating”.
But to put some real “numbers” to social media, Tom from MotiveQuest is working with Northwestern University to develop an Online Promoter Score. I think we’ll see more more tools like this in the near future. I like this idea of the Online Promoter score…but I wonder what is under the hood. I know from other studies last year social media and brand engagement were having a hard time correlating to market share and sales because of ‘chicken/egg’. Does sales lead to more social media/brand engagement or do social media/brand engagement lead to more sales? And is it strictly social media/brand engagement or was it a really good online marketing program, SEO program and offline promotion that drove chatter? (And honestly, I’m not sure we really should be separating chicken/egg).
Moving forward into 2008, I really see a breaking out of social media campaigns (if not happening already). I think the tipping point is just about here – broadband adoption(eMarketer.com), social media consumer usage(eMarketer.com), smart thinking on social media (Jeremiah Owyang). I mean if my mother found a blog...yours will too. What is making me nervous is when a blogging/wiki/flickr/social network gets mashed and dumbed down enough (no offense mother) for even my mother to use(eMarkerter.com). This social media thing might really take off…