Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Contribute, don’t regurgitate.

September 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Imagine you are in a coffee shop full of people who may or may not know you. There is a rack stocked with very well-known newspapers and magazines. Every few minutes, you grab one of these titles, pick a headline, and read it out aloud so that everyone in the coffee shop can hear you.

What do you think the people in the coffee shop will do after about 10 minutes? My guess is the ones not interested will leave while the others will start picking out their own stories from the magazine rack.

Odd behavior isn’t it? You would never do this in real life would you? I am sure not. So why do people do this on Twitter and Facebook all the time? Pick any general subject (e.g. Tech) and look at your twitter feed. Almost everyone will be retweeting from the same four or five well-known sources. Some people seem to spend their entire day retweeting from a few sources. They don’t add an opinion or a perspective or a personal experience. This is akin to the person randomly shouting in the coffee shop. These people are usually the same ones who announce how many followers they gained or lost, or the ones who let everyone know their Klout score. They seem more interested in building a following than actually benefitting their followers.

There is an implicit contract between you (as a person or a brand) and your followers on social media platforms. They are giving you their attention, but in return expect to obtain interesting and relevant information from you. There are scenarios where retweeting/linking is useful: to curate for a specific subject from relatively unknown sources, or to broadcast regional stories to followers in another part of the world, or to highlight original contributions from other members of your network. Otherwise, you are wasting your time and your follower’s time.

So next time you want to retweet or link to a story as-is from a very well-known source, think twice and evaluate whether you can add context or perspective that will make it valuable.

The Future of Media Measurement: Instantaneous, Ubiquitous and Quantifiably Qualitative

March 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Audience measurement has been developing rapidly (outside MENA anyway!) over recent years with the advent of connected devices and increasing broadband penetration. However, much of it has remained quantitative and sample-based. Demographic data has allowed content owners/ distributors/ advertisers to measure the number of people who have consumed their content. However, if anyone wanted to know what people thought of their content and whether they liked or disliked some or all of it, they could only infer it from the quantitative data. If the number of viewers dropped, it could be assumed they didn’t like the show. The data could be examined on a per-second basis in some cases to establish if specific story lines or characters were well received. However, to obtain qualitative information, content owners need to rely on methods such as focus groups, face-to-face interviews, behavioural analyses and surveys. These tools remain relatively expensive techniques that require time to deploy and analyse.

Contrast that with the power that today’s social media provides to content creators: while a program is being viewed or heard, comments from its audience can be tracked in real-time. In a live tv show or a radio program, this could be used to alter some aspects of the content in response. A small-scale example of this is now found in conferences where moderators and panellists often find themselves responding to comments/ questions/ criticisms from twitter while they are still on the panel. This is no different for a producer in a studio gallery or a DJ in a radio show.

As the reach of broadband (mobile and fixed) and dual-screen viewing (TV/ Tablet or TV/ Laptop) grow, it is only a matter of time before mining qualitative data in real-time becomes the “norm” for measuring audience preferences.

Volcanic Connections

April 24, 2010 Leave a comment

After spending four days at MIPTV 2010, a volcano in Iceland with a tongue-twisting name has inevitably become the most dominant thought in the minds of the 11,000+ delegates. Most of them probably accompanied thoughts of volcanos with four letter expletives, yet the Icelandic eruptions have further reenforced how connected we, and our world, have become.

Borders are increasingly meaningless. A single volcano, helped by jet streams and wind directions, disabled not only aircraft but the flow of daily life for millions of people in tens of countries. Our economic connections are deeply rooted and transcend geographic borders or pre-conceived ideas of national boundaries.

Technological connections are increasingly personal. My trek back home took more than 24 hours across three countries, but I was never alone. My smartphone kept me connected like never before. While I did make some voice calls, the connections were mostly forged through access to various groups of friends, colleagues, and complete strangers. I was interacting with my friends on Facebook, being helped by colleagues back in the office over Messenger, taking advice from strangers over Twitter, and finding out about the plight of countless others through the comments on news sites. Sure I used my phone to check the status of airports, find flights, reserve taxis and book hotels, but the ability to stay connected to friends, family and colleagues was by far the most powerful of its capabilities.