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What 2012 Holds for Social Media

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We’ve already taken a detailed look at how outsourcing of social media could increase in 2012, but how else is the industry set to change in the coming year? There’s a lot to be expected in 2012, from Facebook’s impending and much-anticipated IPO, to seeing how the Google+ and Facebook rivalry will finally play out.

With the three heavy hitters – Facebook, Twitter and Google+ – taking up most of the social media space, it’s hard to imagine a new company coming into the picture and taking people’s attention away from existing services. Instead, we’ll probably continue to see services that plug into the existing environment, like Flipboard and its many competitors, which have capitalized on how social media has become a tool for the curation of current events and news. While the news aggregator space is overcrowded as it is, other tools may come to the forefront in 2012, capitalizing on social media as a tool to be used in politics, particularly with the US presidential elections on their way, and in education.

At the same time, new networks, like Path, have seen impressive growth rates, and with its focus on the mobile experience, 2012 may have a lot of good things in store for the unexpected service, but will it last? We take a look at these questions and more in the following list of 5 predictions for what 2012 holds for social media.

Continue via What 2012 Holds for Social Media.

Written by Kees Winkel

January 8, 2012 at 10:57

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The social in ‘social media’

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I found this article in The University of Utrecht’s New Media Studies group pages, right here and decided to share it with you.

by: Mirko Tobias Schäfer

The so-called Web 2.0 and social media are enthusiastically embraced as enabling technologies turning alienated couch potatoes into active producers of media content. But what is actually so social about ‘social media’?

A plethora of publications frames web applications such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and others as ‘social media’ to describe the dynamic interaction and massive participation of large audiences. However, ‘social’ receives here an overly positive connotation, something like ‘nice people are collaborating nicely with each other in order to create nice things.’

Three aspects are remarkable about the popular framing of ‘social media’:

a) Claiming that users belong to a community. Drawn from the notion of collective intelligence and peer-based production, the ‘social’ in ‘social media’ receives a positive connotation as a community experience. It is perceived as a social phenomenon rather than a commercial one.
b) Claiming mediated communication equals publishing. The simple use of technology that mediates communication and facilitates interaction is presented the replacement of established media production with user generated content.
c) Claiming that these practices are specific features of the Web 2.0 and distinctive from earlier media practices online.

The commentary on Web 2.0 constitutes a ‘rhetoric of community’, emphasizing aspects of togetherness, equality, collective production and democratic decision making. Turning users into media producers is only one part of the promise the ‘social web’ bears, the other is changing the world for the better through collective efforts facilitated by ‘social media’ (e.g. Leadbeater 2008, Shirky 2010). Social progress is considered as collective effort achieved by simply using advanced technologies properly.

In his programmatic text We think. The power of mass-creativity, Charles Leadbeater dreams of a way to amplify the collective intelligence of the plurality of users who then, in a joint effort, provided technology is used ‘wisely’, could “spread democracy, promote freedom, alleviate inequality and allow us to be creative together, en mass” (2008:6). Through this repetitive positive connotation of ‘social, the ‘social media’ acquired’ a public understanding that goes beyond the original denotation of social interaction and organisation. Actual events of using Web 2.0 applications, such as during the Obama Campaign in 2008 or in response to the Iran elections of 2009 constituted a strong belief in the revolutionary potential of media technology. However, this image is mostly shaped by not telling the entire story and therefore creating media myths.

Web 2.0 platforms or ‘social media’ established themselves successfully as community driven platforms committed to public weal. And while the enthusiastic promoters celebrate their potential to empower passive consumers, entrepreneurs have long realized that the ‘social media’ users are not only yet another audience for advertising, but also a crowd of helping hands in distributing the commercial messages. A plethora of marketing oriented books promises to provide strategies on how to employ social networks for commercial success and how to boost a company’s image by appearing friendlier and more committed to customers communicating through ‘social media’.

Recently some critical voices are pointing out problematic aspects about Web 2.0 platforms (e.g. Lanier 2006 and 2010; Zimmer 2008, Scholz 2008; Petersen 2008; Mueller 2009; Schaefer 2009). Critical perspectives can be divided into three accounts. The free ‘labour account’ draws from post-marxist critique of labour in media consumption (Andrejevic 2002; Terranova 2004; Virno 2004).

The critique aims at the  the unacknowledged implementation of user generated content for commercial ends (e.g. Scholz 2007a, 2007b, 2008; Petersen 2008). A joint effort in revisiting participatory culture as unpaid labour for corporate companies has been initiated by Trebor Scholz on the mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity and a conference with the programmatic title ‘The Internet as Playground and Factory’ (Scholz 2009).

Another branch of critique emphasizes the violation of privacy in online services (e.g. Zimmer 2007, 2008; Fuchs 2009) and the power structures facilitating means of control and regulation (e.g. Galloway 2004; Chen 2006; Deibert et al. 2008; Zittrain 2008).

A third thread of criticism considers Web 2.0 platforms as emerging public spheres (Münker 2009; Schaefer 2010) and the new socio-political quality of user-producer relations in governing software applications and their users (Uricchio 2004; Kow and Nardi 2010). This is exceedingly important to consider since ‘social media’ platforms are indeed becoming something similar to traditional “third places” where conversations take place as much on private issues as on socio-political concerns.

In expanding the traditional private and public spaces and increasing the possibilities for socio-political organization and debate the actual social quality of online media is revealed. The function and role online platforms occupy in daily social life are still subject to negotiations between the various stakeholders ranging from common users over corporate producers and public administrations. These debates result from the technological qualities of the new media as well as from the media practices that are eventually transforming social interaction, markets and politics. Drawn from a deep-rooted idealism for participatory societies, democratic decision processes and freedom of expression expectations are formulated for potential use and regulation of the new technologies. Currently social media platforms constitute an area of conflict where platform providers and users negotiate possibilities and limits of corporate governance. While users attempt to make a difference through petitions requesting consumer rights, the platform providers seek ways of communication and negotiation in setting up policy blogs. The social in social media is recognizable in how these platforms increasingly constitute semi-public spaces and how they turn users into something similar to mini-societies while their corporate providers find themselves in the roles of governors.

Mirko Tobias Schaefer is assistant professor for new media and digital culture at Utrecht University. He is co-editor of the recently published volume Digital Material. Tracing New Media in Everyday Life (2009 Amsterdam University Press) and author of Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Industries (forthcoming at Amsterdam University Press, December 2010).

Andrejevic, Mark. 2002. The work of being watched. Interactive media and the exploitation of self-disclosure. Critical Studies in Communication, Vol. 19, No. 2:230-248.

Chun, Wendy Hui Kyong. 2006. Control and freedom. Power and paranoia in the age of fiber optics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Deibert, Ronald, John Palfrey, Rafael Rohozinski and Jonathan Zittrain (eds). 2008. Access denied. The practice and policy of global Internet filtering. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.

Galloway, Alex. 2004. Protocol: How control exists after decentralization. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.

Kow, Yong Ming  and Bonnie Nardi (eds). 2010. User creativity, governance, and the new media. First Monday, Vol. 15, No. 5.

Lanier, Jaron. 2010. You are not a gadget. Alfred A. Knopf: New York.

Leadbeater, Charles and Paul Miller. 2004. The pro-Am revolution. Demos: London.

Leadbeater, Charles. 2008. We think. Mass innovation, not mass production. Profile Books: London

Müller, Eggo. 2009. Formatted spaces of participation. In Digital material: Tracing new media in everyday life and technology, eds. Marianne van den Boomen et al., 49-64. Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam.

Münker, Stefan. 2009. Emergenz digitaler Öffentlichkeiten. Die Sozialen Medien im Web 2.0. Suhrkamp: Frankfurt a.M.

Petersen, Søren, Mørk. 2008. Loser generated content. From participation to exploitation. In First Monday, Vol. 13, No. 3, <http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2141/1948&gt;

Schäfer, Mirko Tobias. 2009. Participation inside? User Activities between Design and Appropriation. In Marianne van den Boomen, Sybille Lammes, Ann-Sophie Lehmann, Joost Raessens, Mirko Tobias Schaefer: Digital Material. Tracing New Media in Everday Life and Technology, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009, pp. 147-158.

Scholz, Trebor. 2007a. A history of the social web. Collectivate.net, <http://www.collectivate.net/journalisms/2007/9/26/a-history-of-the-social-web.html&gt;.
— —. 2007b. What the MySpace generation should know about working for free. Collectivate.net,  <http://www.collectivate.net/journalisms/2007/4/3/what-the-myspace-generation-should-know-about-working-for-free.html&gt;
— —. 2008. Market ideology and the myths of Web 2.0. First Monday, Vol 13. No 3 <http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2138/1945&gt;.

Shirky, Clay. 2008. Here comes everybody. The power of organizing without organizations. Penguin Press: London, New York.

Shirky, Clay. 2010. Cognitive surplus: Creativity and generosity in a connected age. Penguin Press: London, New York.

Terranova, Tiziana. 2004. Network culture. Politics for the information age, Pluto Press: London, Ann Arbor.

Uricchio, William. 2004. Cultural Citizenship in the Age of P2P Networks. In European Culture and the Media, eds. Ib Bondebjerg, and Peter Golding, 139-164. Bristol. Intellect Books.

Virno, Paolo. 2004. A Grammar of the multitude. Semiotexte. Los Angeles

Zimmer, Michael. 2008. The externalities of search 2.0: The emerging privacy threats when the drive for the perfect search engine meets Web 2.0. First Monady, Vol 13, No. 3, <http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2136/1944&gt;.

Zittrain, Jonathan. 2008. The future of the Internet, and how to stop it. Yale University Press: New Haven, London.

Written by Kees Winkel

September 23, 2011 at 11:24

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Social media nightmares and how to avoid them – TNW Social Media

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While social media may be the pervasive form of communicating online today, it’s not without its inherent flaws and dangers. We’ve seen companies made and ruined, as well as the same happen for personal reputations, all because of the behavior that is relayed via social media. While it’s always infinitely easier to give advice than to take it, sometimes what we have to do is take a step back to examine cases as they have happened in order to learn from them.

It’s with that in mind that I went to work this past week, asking people for their social media horror stories. It’s either sad or fortunate that what most people consider to be a horror story is really nothing more than a typical first-world problem, but there were a few stories that stood out among the rest.

Here’s where I’ll tell you that every story relayed here is based on something that has actually happened. The names have changed, the businesses have changed, but the stories are all real. If you think that you recognize one of them…well…you’re probably right.

So here we go. We’ll be taking a look at some cases where social became a nightmare, and then we’ll also point out some ways that things could have gone for the better. Our first story is one of fine dining, a terrible illness and the troubles that followed.

Continue reading via Social media nightmares and how to avoid them – TNW Social Media.

Written by Kees Winkel

September 12, 2011 at 08:22

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Experiential currency drives digital and social landscape – Luxury Daily – Multichannel

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NEW YORK — Starwood Hotels and Resorts employs a localized infrastructure for all digital and social media to provide a 360-degree customer experience, according to an executive at the Luxury Interactive conference last week.

Starwood creates separate personalities for each of its hotel locations and equips them with personal social media sites, Web site pages and tabs in mobile applications. Unique brand identities are extremely important and must be recognizable across all three platforms.

“The new economy that drives the digital and social media landscape is based on experiential currency,” said Stephen Gates, senior creative director of global brand design for Starwood, New York.

“People want to have unique experiences and they want to pay to be part of and experience something that is not the same as what everyone else does,” he said.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts owns high-end hotels and resorts such as The Luxury Collection, St. Regis and Le Meridien, as well as the W, Westin and the Sheraton brands.

Stink bombs

The three overall platforms that Starwood focuses on for all of its properties are Web sites, social media and mobile.

On the Web, the most important factor for brands to remember are the core values of the brand and highlighting them through the Web site design.

For example, Starwood’s Le Meridien hotel site is based around the brand’s core brand positioning: “Discovery starts with you.”

To embody that in digital form, a feature on http://www.starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien allows guests to choose photos they like, and drag and edit them to create a collage on the screen.

Based on the images that a consumer finds appealing, Le Meridien suggests personalized vacation destinations that she would specifically enjoy.

Le Meridien’s photo collage feature

Each Starwood property also has personal social media sites that are monitored 24/7.

From these sites, real employees can interact with current and potential guests to offer suggestions, follow-up on complaints and respond to questions in real-time.

In one extreme example from a Starwood property, someone tweeted a bomb threat to the hotel.

The social media employee saw the tweet within eight minutes and alerted hotel security, who then cleared the glass-encased front lobby.

Fourteen minutes later, a bomb went off across the street and no guests were harmed.

via Experiential currency drives digital and social landscape – Luxury Daily – Multichannel.

Written by Kees Winkel

July 5, 2011 at 11:17

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The Rise Of The Mobile Social Network – TNW Mobile

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Right now, we are in the middle of the smartphone boom. Apple, Google and other mobile operating system vendors have provided the foundations for developers to launch innovative new services that add extra functionality to powerful new mobile phones.

Increased smartphone use has led to the introduction of many mobile-based social networks; some aim to connect people based on their location, others assist users in sharing their photos or help people find a new partner – but it never used to be that way.

Myspace, Bebo and Orkut have enjoyed success, multi-million dollar valuations and unrivalled popularity in different countries around the world. Whilst they may have presences on mobile, none of them managed to leverage the boom in smartphone use to their advantage and have since languished as Facebook continues to innovate via its website and mobile applications.

Google launched its long-awaited Google+ social network last week, unveiling a service that many had referred to as “Google Circles” after ReadWriteWeb’s editor Marshall Kirkpatrick’s revelation earlier in the year. The search giant not only launched an impressive new Web service, it also dropped a companion Android app to help those with early access interact with the service and their friends that had joined it.

Google and Facebook are tech behemoths but startups are trying to innovate the social networking space each and every day, introducing new features that ultimately mean they are snapped up by the very companies they are trying to beat.

The shift to mobile has been fast and it has been highly innovative. Here, we take a look at what investing heavily in mobile can do for a company’s strategy.

via The Rise Of The Mobile Social Network – TNW Mobile.

Written by Kees Winkel

July 4, 2011 at 08:12

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A lesson from Zappo’s: The Like button is not a social media strategy – Social Media

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Since its introduction, the Like button has provided as many difficulties as it has opportunities for brands. It seems to be largely responsible for the near-meaningless race to numbers we’re now experiencing, as it places a value or an indicator of success against every piece of content it’s installed against. Whether this is your site, a blog post, a piece of clothing, a classified listing – the Like button has become dangerous for brands, as many seem to view it almost as their complete social media strategy.

We’ve seen a proliferation of Like buttons in marketing both offline and online, including the most annoying Facebook Like advert we’ve ever seen, but often the call to action is completely lost or there seems to be no strategy behind its placement. The temptation to make the Like button centre stage because of its ease of use, and the option to tick the social media box when it’s done can be dangerous for brands who risk missing out on the real potential.

via A lesson from Zappo’s: The Like button is not a social media strategy – Social Media.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 10, 2011 at 09:03

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McDonald’s Brilliant Interactive Billboard Campaign – Social Media

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We thought we had seen every type of app and interactive billboard campaign under the sun until we came across this brilliant one from Mcdonald’s that the company ran in Sweden recently. The concept is a simple one in that users get to control the billboard and turn it in to a personal game. By completing the game in 30 seconds win coupons for free food in the nearest Mcdonald’s restaurant.

What is especially interesting about this technology is that you don’t actually have to download an app, which normally causes quite a big barrier to entry. Instead the phone picks up your location and you can join the game via a website address. Not only is this some of the most interactive and engaging marketing that we have seen in some time but it also drives people into the Mcdonald’s restaurants to redeem their coupons. It’s interesting to see more and more campaigns combining mobile and billboards and it’s a trend that we will probably see accelerating over the coming years. Hats off to Mcdonald’s on a great campaign…

via McDonald’s Brilliant Interactive Billboard Campaign – Social Media.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 5, 2011 at 10:41

Google Gobbles Up PostRank in Surprise Acquisition in the Mobile Social Space | Mobile Marketing Watch

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On Friday, it was confirmed that Google has acquired PostRank, which calls itself “the largest aggregator of social engagement data” in the analytics industry. In short, PostRank enables social media users to measure and monitor the reach of their content – like Facebook posts and Tweets – across the Internet.

Although terms of the deal were not disclosed, Google’s intentions are obvious. The Internet search giant is ramping up its focus on all things social. And the acquisition of PostRank could prove a vital component of the company’s burgeoning social strategy.

“We know that making sense of social engagement data is crucial for online businesses,” the PostRank team posted on their website Friday, “which is why we’ve worked hard to monitor where and when content generates meaningful interactions across the web. Indeed, conversations online are an important signal for advertisers, publishers, developers and consumers — but today’s tools only skim the surface of what we think is possible.”

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished,” the post concluded, “and we now look forward to working with Google’s team to build more useful tools for measuring engagement online, and we’ll be sure to share details on our progress in the coming months.”

“We’re always looking for new ways to measure and analyze data, and as social analytics become increasingly important for online businesses, we’re excited to work with the PostRank team to make this data more actionable and accountable,” a Google representative tells Tech Crunch. “They have developed an innovative approach to measuring web engagement, and we think they can help us improve our products for our users and advertisers.”

Written by Kees Winkel

June 4, 2011 at 14:58

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Jak Boumans asked me to make this one public and I most certainly will do so:

Young People use Internet and Mobiles for Social Good

Do you use social media to do good for your community and for your own future? Do you use blogs and vlogs to raise critical questions? Do you create websites or mobile apps that fight discrimination, hunger or diseases? If yes, take your chance to show that you are at home in digital and social media and know how to bring about positive development, be it in your neighbourhood or in another country: Submit your new media project to the World Summit Youth Award (WSYA) and win the chance to meet engaged Youth from around the world and network with representatives of NGOs, governments and media!

The WSYA is an annual award and a network for young people, under 30 years of age, using the internet, mobile phones or other digital media to put the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) into action. The MDGs were set in 2000 by the UN to prompt member states and civil society to fight poverty, hunger and disease, inequalities, lack of education and environmental degradation.

Starting May, 2nd, and until July, 15th, you can submit your product to this international competition at http://www.youthaward.org in one of the six WSYA categories:

1.         Fight Poverty, Hunger and Disease !        4.         Create your Culture !

2.         Education for All !                                        5.         Go Green !

3.         Power 2 Women !                                         6.         Pursue Truth !

Three winners and two runners-up for each category will be selected by an international jury of young ICT experts. They will evaluate the projects in two rounds of online judging.

Being a WSYA Winner, your project will be elevated to a new level. All winners will be invited to the WSYA 2011 Winners’ Events in Skopje, Macedonia. This is where they will have the chance to present their projects on a world stage. Aside from the award ceremony, meetings, discussion rounds and workshops will provide the space to exchange ideas and make friends with engaged youth from all continents.

Representatives of governments, NGOs, media and other renowned experts in the field of ICT for Development will take part in these events and be available to the winners. This is a unique chance to boost your project by getting access to the WSYA network. The Youth Award network offers you the possibility to develop your project, refine your business plan or even find sponsors.

World Summit Youth Award winners 2010 at the New York StandUp meeting in New York in September 2010

About the World Summit Youth Award (WSYA)

The WSYA selects and promotes best practice in e-content and new media, demonstrates young people’s potential to create outstanding digital content and serves as a platform for people from all UN member states to work together in the efforts to reduce poverty and hunger, and to tackle ill-health, gender inequality, lack of education, lack of access to clean water and environmental degradation. The WSYA is organised as a follow up activity of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) and its action plan towards the year 2015. The Youth Award is organised by the World Summit Award Network for the fourth time after 2005, 2009 and 2010.

WSYA is supported by the UN Global Alliance for ICT & Development (UN GAID), the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Internet Society (ISOC), INTEL, the telfree Group, the Fundação para as Comunicações Móveis (FCM) and the Layla Fakhro Foundation.

Website: http://www.youthaward.org

Social media: http://friends.youthaward.org/ http://www.facebook.com/youthaward | http://twitter.com/#!/youthaward

via Buziaulane.

Written by Kees Winkel

May 28, 2011 at 08:56

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MinuteBox goes social to help users buy-and-sell expertise – TNW Apps

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How much would you charge for a minute of your expertise? Or, how much would you pay for a minute of someone else’s expertise?

These are good questions, and ones that UK-based entrepreneur Josh Liu hopes to answer with his MinuteBox web app.

In a nutshell, MinuteBox enables people to buy and sell expertise in units of time via a multimedia chat portal. The expert sets their per-unit fee (typically per-minute), and the user decides how much time they would like to buy with the expert.

So this app proclaims to solve the age-old dilemma of matching questions with answers. But isn’t that what the Internet itself does? Isn’t Google the only necessary tool if we have a question needin’ answered? Not so, according to MinuteBox Co-founder Liu:

“Those free online resources are great for general problems. However, when we have specific or complicated problems, we often struggle to get the solutions we need from those resources. That’s where MinuteBox can help.”

via MinuteBox goes social to help users buy-and-sell expertise – TNW Apps.

Written by Kees Winkel

May 27, 2011 at 06:47

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