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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)

Stop Kony – This Is Powerful Social Media

Posted in film, innovation, internet by aldorf on March 7, 2012

This is how to utilize social media!

KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice. Pledge your support by donating here: bit.ly/konydonate and continue to share this story. GOAL: 500,000 shares

10 Lessons Learned On When To Change Your Game by Jason Goldberg

Posted in inspiration, internet, web by aldorf on August 2, 2011

by Jason Goldberg, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Fab.com (via venturebeat)

 

All of the steps that lay behind our decision to transform Fab were rooted in the lessons learned over seven years in the startup world. Here, based on our experience, are the top 10 reasons to alter course.

  1. If you can’t get traction after one year, switch gears and work on something different. Particularly if you’re building a consumer e-business, you can tell pretty quickly if it’s going to fly or flunk.
  2. Don’t get bogged down in something just because you’ve been doing it. There are plenty of other fish in the entrepreneurial sea. Go catch the one that looks like it’s swimming faster than the turtle you’ve been riding.
  3. Be willing to go in a completely different direction. Remember, YouTube started as a video dating site. No one is going to shoot you for abandoning an idea that didn’t work.
  4. Consider your options well before you’re down to your last dollar. That will give you the time and resources to make a mid-course correction if necessary. It’s better to change when you’ve still got over $1million in the bank like we do.
  5. Do the math at least once a month. You can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken.
  6. Don’t get seduced by your own ‘brilliant’ idea. It may have sounded good on paper, but you need to be objective in evaluating the results.
  7. Change courses because you want to, not because you have to. If you’ve done your homework in a timely manner and you see the writing on the wall (see #5), you’ll have time to figure out where to go next.
  8. Get your board on board. They invested in you. They’ll want you to do whatever you’re convinced can give them the greatest return.
  9. Think like an investor. What can you do that has the greatest chance of delivering 10 times the investment you (or they) make in your business?
  10. Ask yourself the following six questions to determine whether to regroup:
  • If we could do anything for the next year, what would it be?
  • What are we most passionate about?
  • What are our customers telling us?
  • What can we (realistically) be the best at?
  • If we were to use our limited resources for anything, what would we spend them on?
  • What will create the most value for our shareholders?

Some people say great entrepreneurs just make it happen. I can tell you from experience with my own companies and in serving as an advisor to other startups: that is rarely true. Good businesses need inspiration as well as perspiration. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. The next time, you might get it right.

YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen buy Delicious from Yahoo

Posted in internet, Media, pioneers, your take on... by aldorf on April 28, 2011

Delicious will become part of Hurley and Chen’s new Internet company AVOS, starting in July 2011. Their goal is to build the best information discovery service.

“State of Cloud Computing” by Jess3

Posted in Animation, design, illustration, internet, Media, web by aldorf on April 19, 2011

Visit http://www.thestateofcloudcomputing.com/ for up to the minute stats on cloud computing.

“State of Cloud Computing,” is an encompassing look at the history of cloud computing and the growing cloud economy.

The State of Cloud Computing video highlights the multitude of possibilities that cloud computing offers, from sharing videos and photos from anywhere in the world to storing and organizing data for remote access. Skype, Dropbox, YouTube, Wikipedia, Yahoo, MSN, Gmail, Farmville and Twitter are all referenced, and the video provides a snapshot of statistics.

The fact is, unless you have been living under a rock, you are in the cloud. Cloud computing touches us in numerous ways in our daily lives. As cloud computing continues to evolve, so does our ability to express ourselves and accomplish amazing things on the World Wide Web.

The conversation about cloud computing is happening around us. The three-minute video is hosted on a micrositehttp://www.thestateofcloudcomputing.com that aggregates the conversation about cloud computing across the web, including Top Cloud Computing Links, Top Cloud Computing Terms and Cloud Computing Around The Web, which pulls Tweets in real-time that are related to the cloud.

Sponsored by salesforce.com, an enterprise cloud computing company, and produced in collaboration with JESS3, a creative interactive agency, the video is part of a broader family of videos, The “State of” series, which launched earlier in 2010.

The Bicycle Film Festival – Your Submissions By March 17 2011

Posted in Animation, design, film, Media, photography by aldorf on January 6, 2011

It’s Tenth Anniversary!

The Bicycle Film Festival screens films and videos documenting, depicting, promoting and supporting bike culture in all its forms. Films can be any length, but to be eligible for our shorts programs, we prefer films under 10 minutes and strongly discourage films that are already posted online


Apture – Search and Explore Without Leaving The Page

Posted in ideas, Media, pioneers, quality by aldorf on November 22, 2010
Image representing Apture as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Apture is shifting the way information is connected on the Internet. It’s about turning anything on a page into a link or doorway to more information. Everything is interactive. If you aren’t using Apture to browse the web, then you aren’t experiencing the Internet.

Apture Highlights gives readers the power to search and explore rich content and media from the web without even leaving the page. It’s a single line of code for your website. Installs in Seconds.

That’s what David Lynch and the others picked

Posted in film by aldorf on November 4, 2010

And the 2010 vimeo award winners are…here.

another favorite, the experimental category winner,

Now open – Annual InnoCentive Video Challenge 2011!

Posted in film, innovation, web by aldorf on October 29, 2010

The Uniquely Prepared Mind”

InnoCentive opened their fourth Annual InnoCentive Video Challenge! It’s called The Uniquely Prepared Mind, where they ask you to demonstrate the idea that a uniquely prepared mind is capable of solving even the most demanding Challenges the world has to offer.

This year, $10,000 are guaranteed in awards for the best 30-second shorts that nail the 2011 Video Theme, The Uniquely Prepared Mind.

The first prize will receive a minimum of $5,000. Visit YouTube to see the 2010 winner and runners-up from previous years.

Clock is ticking! Check it out.

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