I’m regularly looking around for the latest stats to back up points of view, or to help me understand exactly what’s going on the world.
One of the ways I pool everything is via Evernote (which if you don’t use it, you should), which makes everything incredibly searchable. I use an if this then that recipe (bear with me) which looks for every post on a couple of statistics-heavy sites, and then automatically pulls those stats into Evernote. It works like a dream. Would totally recommend it.
I’ve made the notebook public – feel free to have a dig around.
Also – and what prompted this post (which has been sitting in draft for way too long) was the publication of this post by Brian Honigman on The Huffington Post.
If you want to gen up about how much sex influences social sharing, the number of Facebook pages wtih more than 10 likes or other similar stats, dive on in…
(pic credit – Gapinvoid. Go buy his art. It’s excellent)
Is Google + finally going to come of age?
I’ve long argued that Google+’s ‘public’ profiles are something of a stalking horse for Google’s more corporate aspirations. And at the end of August, the (former) search engine took another giant leap into offering collaboration and content software for enterprises by launching a set of Google+ features specially for businesses.
The quietly-announced development means that some corporates can formally use some of Google+’s innovative features as part of the suite of Google apps. Group video conferencing (on hangouts) during which teams can share, discuss and edit (google) docs in real-time is now a reality.
The battle-lines are increasingly being drawn for enterprise-level ‘social’ software. Microsoft recently bought Yammer, and IBM has long been active, along with Salesforce and Jive and a number of other players. It’s only a matter of time before Facebook makes a play in this financially-lucrative market.
The days of organisations being tied down to using what came bundled with Microsoft Office are drawing to an end.
And the days of organisations starting to build communications networks structured around the ways that people actually like to communicate are beginning.
Q: When is a Tweeting clock more influential than the editor in Chief of the Guardian?
A: When you rely on a flawed algorithm like Klout to measure influence
Klout is an algorithm which promises to ‘measure influence’ in social media. But (as I seem to be arguing a lot recently) it’s immensely flawed. It’s also getting huge amounts of attention – yesterday/today (in Wired and the Wallblog) and last week, from Mark Shaefer, who was in London to promote his book Return on Influence).
As social media started to come under the wing of Marketing Directors and e-commerce teams, it was only natural that the ROI of social media activity would come under the same scrutiny as other comms. But because social media is by its nature networked and leads indirectly to people saying or doing things, and cause and effect is therefore harder to measure, companies like Klout and Peer Index started to offer ‘proxy scores’ of influence – to help marketing managers decide who is ‘influential’, based on social media footprint and activity.
Understanding influence is a social science of its own. Measuring it adds even more complexity. And one of the central concepts of influence is that it depends on who’s asking. So reducing ‘influence’ to one number, irrespective of the algorithm behind it, is always going to fail. Yes, a Klout or Peer Index score can help to identify some people’s networks, but it’s incredibly short-sighted to rely upon it.
As a social business consultant, when I’m asked to identify influential people in a community I never start with Klout. I always start with a question: Why? Why do clients want to identify these people? What do we want them to do once we’ve identified them? How likely are they to actually do what we want? Where do they hang out online, and who do they talk to? I take a lead from the PR industry, from years spent creating stakeholder maps, using a mix of data and gut feel to understand a community, ideally from within it.
Newer start-ups in this space, like Kred, are much more subtle in their identification and application of influence. But there’s still a long way to go – I recently blogged about how measuring social media influence is like nailing jelly to a wall. It will remain so for several years to come.
Until yesterday, @big_ben_clock was deemed to be ‘influential’ in drugs because it regularly used the word ‘bong’ in its tweets. In fact it pretty much only uses the word ‘bong’. That’s how wrong Klout can be.
(This is a slightly updated version of a post originally written for Cogs Agency)