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The Interest Graph – Eight ways to get ready by Edward Boches

Posted in blog, ideas, Media, web by aldorf on July 22, 2012

Social networks like Facebook start with your friends and let you see what you have in common.  Interest graph-based models – Springpad, Pinterest, Get Glue – start with your interests and then let you make connections. It’s less about who you know and more about what you care about.

Platforms attempting to capture and map the interest graph are the next big trend in social media

If you happen to have your Google alerts set up to grab the latest blog posts and articles about Pinterest, you’re stream is pretty well populated these days. Add “Facebook Actions” or “Springpad” or “Svpply” or “Hunch” and it gets even more crowded.  Maybe that’s why I don’t dare add queries for Google’s new privacy changes or developments like YouTube’s original channels. It would be more than anyone could possibly bear.

With each passing week, the social web evolves. Now that we’ve supposedly mastered Facebook and Twitter, we’re confronted with Google + and all the new interest graph platforms mentioned above. Are we ready? Do we know what to do? Do we have a strategy in place?

Recent research that Mullen just conducted suggests not. We surveyed 160 CMOs and marketing chiefs to find out where they stood when it came to using social media, monitoring the stream, developing conversation strategy and having a plan for tapping the interest graph.

We were surprised at some of the results.

Marketers remain challenged by social media

While 87 percent of respondents claimed that social media was somewhat or very important to their marketing efforts, most of their efforts remained limited to, or at least focused on Facebook. Nearly 80 percent were committed to the world’s largest social network. But fewer than 20 percent were using Google + and a full 80 percent had no focus at all on a platform like Foursquare.

While ongoing engagement emerged as one primary objective (64.5 percent noted it) marketers declared their number one reason for using social media was to generate awareness (76.8 percent), an objective that beat out both customer support (29.7 percent) and building loyalty (53.5 percent).

Among the more disappointing, but perhaps expected findings was the fact that marketers measure success primarily by how many followers and/or likes they generate (71.6 percent). By comparison, downloads (24.5 percent), share of conversation (25.2) and referrals (35.5) remained far less important. The latter is particularly surprising given the social web’s built in ability to inspire word-of-mouth marketing and the sharing of recommendations.

When it comes to content, marketers continue to think like traditional advertisers. They primarily use social platforms to promote products and offers (67.5 percent) and to deliver updates (64.9 percent). Providing utility (33.1) and offering entertainment (22.7) remain far less important concerns.

Despite the flurry of press coverage on the emerging importance of the interest graph, nearly half or respondents (48.7 percent) never heard of the term “interest graph,” and when they had it explained – the ability to connect with consumers in a more meaningful way by tapping into their interests – only 26.6 percent thought it could be “very useful.”

As for all that buzz around Pinterest, a platform generating page views, user growth and inbound links for the early adopter brands? Close to half of our respondents (42.2 percent) never even heard of it, while barely a sliver (4.5 percent) had started using it.

Perhaps that’s no surprise given that 68.8 percent of marketers surveyed capture no interest graph data at all — not preferences, interests, or intentions.

Finally, while brand stewards aren’t quite overwhelmed with the proliferation of platforms, they (44.2 percent) struggle with one fundamental challenge – where to put their resources.

According to a recent Mullen study, most marketers don’t capture interest data

From the social graph to the interest graph

The last finding surprises no one. Getting social media efforts to deliver hard results and ROI is a challenge for the simple reason that most consumers aren’t there to connect with brands and their advertising messages.

But the interest graph platforms can change that. If marketers can suddenly identify people who’ve raised their hands and virtually asked for a “proposal,” they can more easily connect with people who’ll welcome them.

Every social network knows this is the future. Facebook Actions now allows users to tap into and identify friends’ interests — music, tastes in foods and preferences for movies, books and more. Presumably, if you actually know what friends have good taste in music it will now be easier to call on their recommendations. Actions aren’t perfect, however.

You still have to scroll through the stream and most content isn’t really persistent, meaning if you miss it in the stream it’s gone. It still poses challenges for marketers, too.  Check out your own page and refresh it a few times. I guarantee that you’ll find the majority of ads that get served to you are completely irrelevant.  But the promise is significant. Facebook will inevitably get better at capturing even more data and presumably allow advertisers to more accurately focus messages.

Foursquare, which our research told us is barely on the radar for most marketers will start making recommendations to its users on where to eat and where to vacation based on past behavior and that of friends. Certainly any hospitality marketer – restaurants, chains, museums and hotels – should at least be exploring the possibilities, if not encouraging user participation.

But all of this is still new. The social graph as we know it is only a few years old while the interest graph has been a topic of discussion for a matter of months. So what does it all mean? For brands, it’s definitely not too late to be early. Marketers can still get in on the ground level. But they need to embrace it and work to leverage it.

For social media practitioners, there’s work to be done. We need to learn, educate each other, experiment and develop effective strategies and tactics.

Eight steps you can take to get ready

  1. Learn the difference between the social graph and the interest graph.  This simple description, by David Rogers writing in Read Write Web might help.*
  2. Read Grouped and get a better sense of how influence happens on the social web. The Tipping Point is a fallacy. Influence isn’t what you think it is. Small groups are what really matter.
  3. Open accounts on at least a few of the platforms. We would recommend Pinterest, Springpad**, and one other of your choice (The Fancy, Fab, Hunch) just to learn what it’s all about. Don’t commit to any one platform. Pinterest may be hot right now, but it’s too early to own this category and some consider the platform of the month a bit one dimensional.
  4. Take the time to learn what constitutes appropriate and effective conversation strategy on these new platforms. (Hint: it’s not simply about publishing content or adding a Spring This or Pin It button to your site.)
  5. Pay attention to Google’s new privacy policy and as mentioned earlier Facebook Actions.
  6. Look for opportunities to market to the data. We’re a few months or more away from this, but it’s coming.
  7. Use the platforms yourself. There is no better way to learn and understand their potential.
  8. If you’re at SxSW this year, come to our panel on the interest graph and deferred intent.

*The Social Graph

A social graph is a digital map that says, “This is who I know.” It may reflect people who the user knows in various ways: as family members, work colleagues, peers met at a conference, high school classmates, fellow cycling club members, friend of a friend, etc. Social graphs are mostly created on social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, where users send reciprocal invites to those they know, in order to map out and maintain their social ties.

*The Interest Graph

An interest graph is a digital map that says, “This is what I like.” As Twitter’s CEO has remarked, if you see that I follow the San Francisco Giants on Twitter, that doesn’t tell you if I know the team’s players, but it does tell you a lot about my interest in baseball. Interest graphs are generated by the feeds customers follow (e.g. on Twitter), products they buy (e.g. on Amazon), ratings they create (e.g. on Netflix), searches they run (e.g. on Google), or questions they answer about their tastes (e.g. on services like Hunch).

Your thoughts? Please share ideas, examples or insights as to where you think things are going.


 

Please read another related article here “Social media gets interesting” 

What everyone in Silicon Valley and “Venture Land” conceive of as the real game-changing model involves capturing and capitalizing on the “interest graph. The company that succeeds in doing so would be “close to the Google search paradigm because it would be right in line with demand generation and with discovery that relates to product purposes.” Thus, it is the interest graph that defines the middle ground between Google and Facebook — between search, advertising, and the social graph.

(original posts by Edward Boches)

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Creating a Data-Driven Business – by David Cancel

Posted in ideas, internet, Media by aldorf on July 21, 2012

Not really an easy to click trough presentation by David Cancel but some great insights and observations on creating a data-driven business. http://bit.ly/HbjPIH 

One great striking slide,

A Kindle In Real Life – New York Secret Bookstore

Posted in architecture, Media by aldorf on October 17, 2011

How much digital space would it take..?

Michael Seidenberg, a used book dealer who has been selling books since the ’70s, recently converted his 84th Street apartment into a kind of salon for collectors. Accessible by appointment, Michael entertains anyone armed with a wine bottle. The Brazen Head (named after a John Cowper Powys work) has had several incarnations over the last 30 years: sharing a performance space near the Gowanus with a puppet company, in a storefront on 84th Street between Lexington and 3rd (now replaced by a laundromat), and along the sidewalks of Manhattan on folding tables.

Music Piracy – New Research Shows That Restrictions Don’t Work

Posted in internet, Media, music by aldorf on October 17, 2011

(Credit: Emin Ozkan / Shutterstock)

“[The late] Steve Jobs said it best: ‘Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy.'” says marketing professor Dinah Vernik. “And our research presented a counterintuitive conclusion that in fact, removing the DRM can be more effective in decreasing music piracy than making the DRM more stringent.”

Because a DRM-restricted product will only be purchased by a legal user, “only the legal users pay the price and suffer from the restrictions,” the researchers write. “Illegal users are not affected because the pirated product does not have DRM restrictions.”

“Removal of these restrictions makes the product more convenient to use and intensifies competition with the traditional format (CDs), which has no DRM restrictions,” Vernik says. “This increased competition results in decreased prices for both downloadable and CD music and makes it more likely that consumers will move from stealing music to buying legal downloads.” Read full article here.

 

 

Mobile Internet Facts [Slideshare]

Posted in inspiration, internet, Media by aldorf on August 15, 2011

Facts and data around mobile internet and mobile applications that I researched and prepared a couple month ago.

News today, FWA is pleased to announce the upcoming release of: The App and Mobile Case Study Book (by TASCHEN) pre-order at http://www.thefwa.com/book/tamcsb.html

 

Digital Rube Goldberg Processor

Posted in Animation, art, film, internet, Media by aldorf on August 4, 2011

 

The Digital Rube Goldberg Processor is the outcome of a workshop The Product collective gave at the HfG Karlsruhe (Design School). The team was invited to give a 4-day Processing workshop for the communication design students there. Since they understand it is impossible to teach programming to beginners just within 4 days, they decided to focus more on the essential topics behind generative and computational design, to provide a grounded starting point for the students.

Jens explains: We first gave a quick introduction to the processing environment, thematically centered around the actual matter of generative design, namely digital data. Given the fact that any stored data is binary code in the end, it is the encoding and decoding algorithms that make digital data meaningful for us. To create an awareness for that, we came up with the idea of the rube-goldberg-processor (wiki). It is an potentially endless line of sub-processors that transform the same dataset from one state into another. Each group of students had a translate-from-to assignment, e.g. from moving image to sound. To make the steps more comprehensible for observers, the transfer was made in an analog way (camera pointing to monitor, microphone in front of speaker…) In the end, this obvoiusly led to an indecipherable outcome, but on the way, the teams had to negotiate basic “protocols” and concerned themselves with several techniques that are used in computational design.

The Product team provided the first step (image to text) as well as the last step, the flickr uploader. The rest was done by the students.

For more teaching by The Product, see the-product.org/category/teaching

The Product a berlin-based spatial and media-related design practice. They conceive design concepts. They create installations. They animate surfaces. They design spaces. They develop objects. And they extensively think about the application and combination of technologies in meaningful ways.

15 Key Facts About Digital Today and 2015 by Neo Lab

Posted in Animation, design, film, internet by aldorf on June 1, 2011

15 Keys Facts About Digital Today and 2015

  • 01) It takes 100 years to have 1 billion fixed lines & only 20 years to reach 5 billion mobile subscriptions
  • 02) More consumers will access the Internet by mobile devices than by desktop or laptop by 2014
  • 03) 2015 forecast of annual global mobile data traffic (75 exabytes) is equal to 19.000 million DVDs
  • 04) Mobile-only Internet population will grow 56-fold up to 788 million by the end of 2015
  • 05) In 2015 mobile devices will exceed the home PC base installed
  • 06) 500 million mobile using mobile health Apps in 2015
  • 07) In 2015 revenue mobile Apps will be an amount near to 40.000 million dollar
  • 08) M2M revenues will grow more than 3,5-fold from 2010 to 2015
  • 09) The TV experience will be more personal and social but less familiar
  • 10) Traffic generated by 20 homes will be greater than the total traffic of Internet in 1995
  • 11) New services in the cloud: “ Your Desktop Wherever You Want”
  • 12) Social Networks revenues will grow more than 4-fold from 2010 to 2015
  • 13) By 2015, it is expected that 500 million people worldwide use their mobiles as metro and bus tickets
  • 14) MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) is expected to reach 20.000 million dollar by 2015
  • 15) It is expected that in 2015 it will exist 2,5 Internet connected devices per inhabitants worldwide

neolabels.com

Visual.ly – Create, Share, Explore Great Visualizations

Posted in Animation, design, illustration, web by aldorf on May 3, 2011

A new service founded by a team of infographics geeks, who met at Mint.com. A place where people create and share great visualizations. A one-stop shopping for anyone in need of high quality infographics. Providing a data warehouse, a reporting and editing team, and skilled designers.

Get an early invite http://visual.ly/

Real World Infographics in 3-D

Posted in design, illustration, photography by aldorf on April 27, 2011

Infographics in 2-D are great, but real life, 3-D infographics are even more mesmerizing and interesting. Jose Duarte, a graphic designer, has been using found physical objects to present his data findings. For example, the balloons you see above represent the amount of Internet users there are in (from left to right) China, Europe, India, Brazil, Mexico, and Portugal. (via Holy Kaw!)

Think Quarterly – New Online Magazine by Google

Posted in blog, ideas, inspiration, Media by aldorf on March 24, 2011

Google has quietly launched its own full-length online magazine, a quarterly publication whose aim is to create a “breathing space in a busy world.”

The first edition of Think Quarterly, based out of the U.K., is a 68-page dive into the world of data and its impact on business. The first thing most people will notice is that it’s a visually stunning piece of work. It’s a rich Flash app with Google’s quirky sensibilities and the in-depth writing you might find in BusinessWeek or Salon. Google’s quarterly magazine is edited and designed by creative agency The Church of London.

The articles themselves are thought pieces about major business and technology topics from a variety of freelancers and contributors. Google was able to snag Simon Rogers (editor of The Guardian‘s Datablog), Ulrike Reinhard (editor of WE Magazine), and other journalists for the project. Many of Think Quarterly‘s articles feature interviews with Google executives and technology leaders. Some of the people featured include Vodafone U.K. CEO Guy Laurence, Google chief economist Hal Varian and famed psychologist Peter Kruse.

“At Google, we often think that speed is the forgotten ‘killer application’ – the ingredient that can differentiate winners from the rest,” Matt Brittin, Google’s managing director of U.K. and Ireland operations, said in Think Quarterly‘s introduction. “We know that the faster we deliver results, the more useful people find our service.

“But in a world of accelerating change, we all need time to reflect. Think Quarterly is a breathing space in a busy world. It’s a place to take time out and consider what’s happening and why it matters.”

It’s unclear whether the new online magazine is another sign that Google is entering the media business or whether it’s just a project to feed the company’s intellectual curiosity. Google doesn’t describe its newest project as a magazine or a publication. Instead, Google calls it a book on its website and a “unique communications tool” on its Twitter account.

Regardless of what you call it, Think Quarterly is an interesting and informative experiment by the search giant.

(via Mashable)

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