As you may or may not know, I am, among many other things, a contributing data analyst at PeopleBrowsr, a leading provider of social search and conversation mining tools and services.
While PeopleBrowsr receives the activity feeds of many prominent social networks, among the most fascinating to analyze, is of course, the real-time micro conversations that populate Twitter and the passionate people who tweet towards significance. In the past, we gawked at Twitter’s Most Engaging Celebrities and also boarded Twitter’s Most Engaging Airlines. Now let’s take a look at the very place that catapulted Twitter into the spotlight, our beloved SXSW Film, Interactive and Music Festival.
Trending topics reveal much more than the objects that captivate the hearts, minds, and keyboards of Twitter users around the world. Twitter’s trends is a cultural mirror that reflects the state of attention and intention. And as such, Tweets then offer an MRI that visualizes the minds of consumers and more importantly, serve as a crystal ball that reveals the future of products and services before and soon after they’re released.
Touchpoints serve as the point of contact between a buyer and a seller. As the race to socialize commerce escalates, these touchpoints represent the nodes that define the human network, connecting people across the social Web and uniting them around common interests, themes, and movements.
In January 2010, nearly 75 million people visited Twitter according to comScore. While that number seems remarkable, it represents only a fraction of what’s realistically attainable. I believe that Twitter’s growth, to date, is hindered not by its ambition nor potential, but by the company’s ongoing focus on competing priorities rather than showcasing how users can effectively communicate and excel on this unique platform. But that’s all about to change…
Dan Schwabel is not only a personal branding expert, he’s someone I’ve come to know and respect over the years…and definitely someone I consider a friend. We recently sat down to discuss Engage and the resulting interaction culminated in a wonderful discussion that explored the state of professional and personal branding in the era of new media.
How do you define “Engage” and do you believe that people and business that fail to engage will cease to exist in the next decade?
In July 2009, Twitter debuted a new home page to appeal to the early market majority who were suddenly introduced to the popular microblog, but not quite sure what to make of it. Version 2.0 of the home page spotlighted popular themes and conversations through trending topics and real-time search to lure new users into the service through context rather than technology. Almost nine months later, Twitter continues its race towards mainstream ubiquity with the release of a new home page, version 3.0.
In September 2008 at Web 2.0 Expo in New York, I shared something that many, to this day, believe to the contrary, “There is no such thing as viral marketing.”
The declaration was empathetic in its direction to those marketers who have been on the receiving end of directives instructing them to create and unleash viral content. In parallel, the statement was aimed at those decision makers who assign such projects.
The argument is strong on either side of the case: do social networks increase or decrease productivity on the job?
It’s a landmark case where the decision will ultimately determine the fate of business within respective online communities of influence. Perhaps however, it’s also a decision that we may never realize.
On one side, the focus of employees and the output of their time and energy, is essential to the livelihood of the company that employs them. Unregulated distractions, especially those of an addictive nature such as real-time consumption and interaction on the Web, are potentially disruptive.
Good friend JD Lasica asked me to answer some fantastic questions for a post he published in celebration of Engage. I poured so much of myself into the responses, that I felt it was worth sharing here with you as well.
In 2007 Charlene Li, then at Forrester Research, now running the Altimeter Group, along with Forrester ‘s Josh Bernoff, Remy Fiorentino, and Sarah Glass released a report that introduced us to Social Technographics. Forrester’s research segmented participation behavior on the social web into six categories, visualized through a ladder metaphor with the rungs at the high end of the ladder indicating a greater level of participation.
Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.
His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.