"Being highly visible in the new world of social media" A presentation by Jared Evans Copyright © 2009 Your blog’s reputation: Why bother at all? Many hours spent creating posts on your blog. You want people to easily find your posts and benefit from your insights. Making a good impression on your visitors can lead to new opportunities down the road. • • • Be offered work contracts Make new friends. Get tapped for interviews or presentations In these difficult economic times, referring to your blog may help give you an edge over other candidates when looking for jobs. How to shine on your blog • Interesting information/discussion? “Stimulating and thought-provoking” • Useful and solves a problem? “Blogger did the hard work and found a solution for me” • Original and creative? “Entertainment” • Exclusive or hard to get information? “Blogger had the access or knew the right people” • Timely? “People like to read about hot current events” Optimize your blog for… The #1 search engine 66% (2/3) of all searching on the Internet! It’s Google’s Internet. If a website isn’t found on Google, it may as well not exist. (who would be able to visit?) Attracting the clicks Eye-catching title and attractive summary quickly tell potential visitors why they should visit. Search results only show the title and a short summary, so make the best use of these valuable pieces of text! Use relevant keywords in your title. This is most important! Many potential visitors may look at only the title to determine whether or not to click and visit your blog. >>The revenge of the non-bloggers!<< • Blogs can be hard to setup and maintain! Time consuming to gather, research, and review information to make sure the post is well written or signed. Many don’t bother. • Facebook simplifies almost all of the work. Sign up, connect with friends, and start posting! Can do quick status updates, photos and video clips. Facebook • Easy for users to start using Facebook by finding and connecting with friends right away. • I was able to easily find 580 friends on Facebook and some people have 1,000 or more friends! A closer look at relationships inside Facebook shows they are symmetrical. HUH??? The type of relationship has big implications on how well a social media site can reinforce bloggers. Symmetrical nature of Facebook friends • • • • Before two people can share with each other, both of them must approve the other as a friend. This is a 1-to-1 symmetrical relationship. Results in clear user identities. Everyone on Facebook actually uses their real names! In contrast to the anonymous nature of Internet where people may have no or odd usernames that have nothing to do with their real names. Your Facebook friends are people you know personally or are acquainted with. No strangers lurk around your profile. symmetrical relationships lead to… • More focus on the personal relationships with your friends • What’s popular on Facebook: • Pictures of friends, parties, weddings, trips, newborn babies, family, etc. • Facebook sharing tend to be positive and leans towards superficial details about daily life. What do symmetrical relationships look like? • My Facebook friends are mostly deaf. Deaf community is small and many friends know each other. “It’s a small world.” • What if could draw lines between friends if they know each other? • Get an idea of what the interconnectivity of the Deaf community looks like? Graph of symmetrical relationships • The interconnectivity of the Deaf community: Implications of symmetrical relationships • High level of interconnectivity ensures that information travels fast within this tight-knit group of friends. To recap about Facebook: • Easy to use • Easy to find friends • Clear user identities • No strangers or anonymous users • Easy to post/view photos and video clips. • So what’s not to like?? Implications of symmetrical relationships • Facebook can be a double-edged sword, especially for blogs. • Your “sphere of influence” is limited to one degree. You can’t reach outside this circle. • Facebook doesn’t have a strong culture of re-sharing items with their friends. • More difficult to break out of this circle to spread your information to other users who aren’t your friends! Implications of symmetrical relationships • Large degree of overlapping within this set of friends. • Many friends will see the same information again if re-shared by other friends. • Example: All those VRS service announcements that show up several times if re-shared by friends. What about Facebook groups? • Facebook groups for nearly everything and many causes. Allows you to join other users outside your circle and talk about the cause. • Despite some groups having thousands of users, have not seen any concrete examples of success in affecting political changes in the real world. Facebook Groups are similar to online petitions. Easy to sign up but rarely any further action is taken. • Not clear yet, if at all, how Facebook can be used effectively to push for changes. Is Facebook helpful for blogs? • Facebook too comfortable of a place to bring up thorny political issues or activism? • Only a place to go and see updates about your friends? • When limited only to your circle of friends, it’s difficult to start a wave of action on Facebook and it easily dies out. • Facebook may not offer strong reinforcement for bloggers. Starting to gain steam within the Deaf community • Unlike Facebook, Twitter is based upon asymmetrical relationships. Twitter is more “open” than Facebook and allows more ways to interact between users: • • • • You can follow anyone. Anyone can follow you. You can see anyone’s updates before following them. You can send a message to anyone. Following on Twitter • Unlike Facebook, there is no need to approve people to follow you. • No limits for number of followers. • Some people have thousands of followers. A few celebrities have millions of followers! They can get attention of many people instantly. Tweeting and ReTweeting • Two things make Twitter a powerful communication medium: Tweeting and Retweeting (RT). • When you update your Twitter status, you are “tweeting” to your followers. • If some of your followers liked your tweet, they can retweet (RT) and spread your tweet to their followers. Tweeting and ReTweeting Tweeting 250 followers with 4 retweeting Retweeting 800 users total Can Twitter reinforce blogs? • Important thing to remember: Tweets can only be 140 characters or less. Just sufficient for a single thought or comment. • Hence, they cannot replace blogs. Still need blogs for content with in-depth coverage. • Twitter can be used to pass along links to blog posts. • Twitter and blogs work very well together. Twitter now #1 source of traffic for some blogs. How Twitter and blogs conquered Netflix in 14 days • Recent example of how Twitter and blogs worked together for the Deaf community. • May 29, 2009: The annual Netflix shareholder meeting Blogger Matt Rafat asked CEO Reed Hastings about adding captions to Netflix movies online. CEO: “Other sites don't caption their online video and technology isn't ready yet. Adding captions isn't an active agenda item. DVDs are good enough.” Basically, Netflix lied to deaf customers after "promising" captions for over two years. How Twitter and blogs conquered Netflix in 14 days • Within minutes: First shots fired by blogs • Two bloggers, Jared and Jamie Berke, blogged their disgust about CEO’s remarks. DeafRead publishes and draws the initial attention to the blog posts. • Set off additional comments about this event on other relevant blogs. • Some people publicly cancel their Netflix accounts. How Twitter and blogs conquered Netflix in 14 days • • Within hours: Ignition on Twitter Aggressive outreach to Twitter users by pointing them towards the blog posts and comments. • A twitter user with 2,000 followers tweeted about it. She is well-known in high-tech Silicon Valley (where Netflix is based). • Frequent retweeting by several “small-time” Twitter users with lower number of followers to keep on spreading the news to others. • Marlee Matlin, at this time, has only 1,000 followers and doesn’t yet know about the Netflix event. How Twitter and blogs conquered Netflix in 14 days • Next few days: continued pressure • Several more blog posts about the lack of captions on Netflix • One deaf blogger talking about Netflix’s lack of captions gets 4,400 views via DeafRead. • Many tweets continue inside Twitter about Netflix How Twitter and blogs conquered Netflix in 14 days • June 4: The tide turns • Marlee Matlin catch the wind of the protest and goes on a rip about Netflix and the lack of captions. At this time, she is up to 5,000 followers. • Her star power packs an extraordinary punch. • Marlee’s constant tweeting and retweeting, including the subsequent retweeting by her followers starts the #caption trend on Twitter. • Netflix’s own twitter account is aggressively targeted by many tweets. How Twitter and blogs conquered Netflix in 14 days • June 11: Increasing the pressure on Netflix • Marlee Matlin gets Kirstie Alley to retweet about Netflix’s lack of captions to her 51,000 followers. • Marlee experiences a big increase in followers and grows to 10,000. Only seven days earlier, it was at 5,000! • Marlee continues to tweet about Netflix and encourages her followers to spread the word by retweeting and complaining to Netflix directly. How Twitter and blogs conquered Netflix in 14 days • June 12: Victory? • Netflix caves in and openly promises on their official blog that online captions will happen within a year. • The overall bad PR for Netflix brought in over 8,000 letters and calls about the lack of captions. This real world example shows how Twitter and blogs can complement each other to push for real results. Value of asymmetrical relationships • Having a celebrity with thousands of followers take the lead was probably the most significant contribution to a successful outcome. • Asymmetrical relationships on Twitter made it possible for Marlee Matlin to have thousands of followers. This would be impossible on Facebook. • Today, Marlee has 14,000 followers but she is only following 80 people. • What is special about these 80 people? Here, Twitter again shows the value of those relationships. Thank you all for coming!