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Twitter event: Twittershizzle

It is often said that the key to 'how social media works', or at least how you can gain inlfuence as an actor in social media is staying honest and true to what you believe as a person. (ie: don't try to operate as a typical company) Although one can certainly make arguments against that, I do support the notion that an open and honest approach is appreciated by many. This is true in real life, but even more so online, where hiding ones true intentions can be a lot easier. Thus, when it became apparent that the Dutch 'twitterer of the year' election was set up by a advertisement agency people began to criticise they way this was set up. Of course it didn't take long before freelance journalist Bert Brussen announced on twitter that he would take care of organising something more fun. What followed is an example of a typical social media effort.

Research using the Social Web

Whenever people asked what it was that I meant by "doing Social Research", I could talk passionately for an hour. But sometimes it became apparent that a more structured approach was needed. After all, speaking in a passionate way about something you have in your mind might not always get the message across in a clear way. Thus I developed a way of structuring my talks. I think my main argument for both how Social Research is possible and why it could be useful can be summarized in three main points. I've used these three points from then onwards to structure my approach when talking about this issue, which seems to work fine for me now. I've made a slide show based on these three main points, which may be nice to share with you here.

Agencies are pooling panel resources

Following the recent acquisitions in the research industry, think about Toluna buying Greenfield Online/Ciao Surveys, one would expect a response from other players in the market. And to be a bit more specific; what would smaller players in the market do with their panels? There are several obvious solutions to the troubles of maintaining smaller panel(s), one could thing about an advanced sharing system or outsourcing panels. As all of these seem to be happening there is the other obvious solution to which I've been pointing several times in the past; several companies 'chipping in' together and combine their panel efforts.

How do you treat your following?

The question "do you deserve your following" might sound a bit odd. After all, if it is a followerbase like on twitter that you have, people have the option to unfollow you once they feel mistreated. Nevertheless it is a good thing to stop and think about how you treat the people that follow you online. Yes, of course there might be real life friends and other contacts represented in your following, but quite often posts on how to deal with your following tend to lean towards "what do you get from it"  side. Thus I thought it was nice to come across this blogpost, asking how you really treat your followers. It's a sad thing really, that posts like these have to be made, but I do think they are necessary, even though the answer to what a "good way" to treat them is migth be easy.

Browser fingerprint tracking

Maybe you are familiar with the fact that a webserver can see which browser version you're using and for example also how big the window is you're using to view that website. In itself that is interesting enough for some statistics on the visitors of your website. But there is more, way more and that is where thoughts of privacy, but also of marketing and research potential come in to play. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has made a website to show a bit of what is possible. (Go support them here, by the way.)

Broadcasting; information sharing on Twitter

If new media, social media or web ‘2.0’ has something new to offer from the ‘old’ ways then it's the way of sharing information. I think this is, besides the way of creating this information, indeed one of the key points that many before me have described about this new way of using the web. But what is this new way of sharing information all about? Is it indeed the ‘prosumer’ approach where everyone is creating and consuming content at the same time? If one would name sharing, editing and redistributing content as the key to social media, a virtue of this new way of sharing and consuming content then one neglects the underlying question; why this 'works'.

Community Manager Appreciation Day

It is a bit strange of course to have a specific day to appreciate someones job. Shouldn't everyone always (try) to make a good effort at doing ones job and shouldn't we always appreciate our colleagues who do? Then again, these kind of "appreciation days" do make a good point. Quite often, various roles in organizations get neglected, more than often these are support roles as they only seem to cost us money and don't bring any direct revenue. Today, the 25th of January is or was Community Manager Support Day. On every fourth day of January we try to look at our communities and those people who help support these or get involved in those communities out there. There are many reasons to appreciate the efforts of a community managers, but Jeremiah Owyang says it all when he points at four mayor difficulties they have to face. Of these I think the "Seemingly never ending job" and the "Emotional drain" are the most essential. Please remember why you've hired these people to do this never ending job and if you think you're only wasting revenue, rethink your community strategy so that community management will be of value to your organization. Community Managers enjoy your #cmad !

Too much tradition in the research landscape?

Have you ever taken a survey recently, or maybe several surveys? If so you might have wondered about several things. And maybe those things are exactly those things that bother me about surveys. One could have, of course, something against surveys altogether, but they remain a powerful research tool, that is one thing that’s for sure. Even though I’m personally calling for a broader way of doing research, I don’t think we should abandon it. I do think we should look more into some of the things that come to mind when you look at a survey. These things are often related to a certain tradition that lies in doing survey based research and indeed in a sort of tradition that is created per tracker survey as well. Not changing things for tradition’s sake, is one of the worst things a researcher could do and still this seems to happen all too often. Survey methodology in general is one thing, but a lot of me wondering about survey research is the lack of changes, of innovation.