Blog Archives

Thoughts on Online Influence: Social Media

Am not sure if you saw this, but I was named one of the 25 HR Digital Influencers of 2010.

Now that could be hilarious.

It’s important to remember that influence/popularity/power in the digital world is totally different from the real world.

The issue is that the online world enables one to measure a lot of things – like impressions, number of readers, followers, fans across various platforms – which are collectively called “engagement metrics” because they show the number of people interested in the content you put out and the community that you help build.

On top of that there are things like PageRank by Google, Alexa Rank which show over a period the number of people who link to you and hence the “authority” you have.

It’s no wonder that there are enough services and information providers that slide and dice this data to enable people to make sense of these numbers.

Earlier there were directories like Technorati.

Then there came lists like the Career 100 – which combined data to rank blogs roughly in the same domain.

However with the rise of social and information and professional networks – and movement of the focus from pure content to the people behind the content – services that track “influence” based on Twitter numbers, Facebook fans, and Linkedin connections rapidly are making strides.

The demand is being driven – primarily in the western world – by companies who believe that “social influencer marketing” is the way to reach out to an increasingly splintered audience across these networks.

Enter services like Klout (my profile here) and (my profile here) which want to enable people and others track their “reach” and “audience”

Then there is traackr which use algorithms

However, it’s early days yet and these systems can be easily gamed.

Let’s see how it evolves in the future


Personal Social CRM Systems

Image representing Gist as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase
I’ve been using to manage my social media contacts – and it’s an amazing resource.

What is basically does is link all your social network contacts and email contacts together – so before you send a mail to the person you can see what’s on his/her mind on Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin or blog. See What is Gist

Another resource is – a Chrome and Firefox extension unfortunately only for Gmail and Google Apps mails which let you see when you are mailing someone his social network details and status updates. See the review on Web Worker Daily.

Of course, if you are a MS Outlook user – you only need to install the Xobni plug-in – and when you see a mail you can see the recipients and the mails you have exchanged and his/her social network information – and Hoovers information is he/she is on a company email account. Read more here

What are your personal social CRM systems that you use?

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Google’s Project10tothe100 – $10mn for 5 ideas

Google has announced $10mn to support 5 ideas. The details are here.
You can submit your ideas here. Hat tip: Dr. Madhukar Shukla

the deadline is 
October 20th, 2008.
The guidelines and categories are given below
Our goal is to set as few rules as possible. However, we ask that you put your idea into one of the following categories and consider the evaluation criteria below.
Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures?
Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?
Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?
Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem?
Health: How can we help individuals lead longer, healthier lives?
Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?
Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?
Everything else: Sometimes the best ideas don’t fit into any category at all.
Reach: How many people would this idea affect?
Depth: How deeply are people impacted? How urgent is the need?
Attainability: Can this idea be implemented within a year or two?
Efficiency: How simple and cost-effective is your idea?
Longevity: How long will the idea’s impact last?

What would the Android mean for Social Media

T-Mobile’s HTC Dream phone, the first to run on Google’s Mobile OS Android – debuted. As this review on Gizmodo shows it seems a good enough thing. Not spectacular. Not breakthrough on the consumer front, but a big deal because it breaks the monopoly of Windows Mobile, Symbian et al.

I think it’s important because the next battelground for the internet is going to be the cell phone. And Google needs to be in some position to take on Microsoft where it can hurt it. Let’s face it, there’s no way Google Docs can compete with Office 2003 (forget 2007!) and Chrome is a long way away from dislodging IE. 

So getting onto mobile is a strategic move for Google. It gets to take on Apple’s dominance in the US smartphone market, as well as Microsoft in the rest of the world. As Vint Cerf mentioned in Hyderabad:

Cerf’s contention was that the further growth of the internet would be in the domain of the mobile phone and the majority of the new users will first experience the internet through that device, which is quite different from PDAs and laptops and therefore has implications and challenges for application providers like Google.

He showed another slide which showed that Asia is the largest proportion of internet users. “As Asia’s influence online increases, the languages, applications, demographics and economics of the internet will be impacted by what you and your countrymen in India and other Asian countries deem interesting”

So what’s the effect it will have on social media. Well some interesting trends I can visualise already:

YouTube integration means this OS would be able to handle the load of video much better than others.

Google Maps and mashups apps would add an interesting geographical twist to mobile social networking, think of a Twitter mashups that shows yout twitter followers near you by proximity and you can @reply and set up a face to face meeting.

How it gets rolled out to GSM markets like India and China would be crucial to the success of the OS.