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    Entries in Social Media (36)

    Friday
    Feb272015

    Job Titles of the Future #12 - Professional Selfie Retoucher

    According to Business Insider, the reality TV personality Kim Kardashian spends upwards of $100K to keep a 'professional selfie retoucher' on call, who stands (or sits more likely) at the ready, poised to edit, smooth, crop, and apply just the right Instagram filter (I am a 'Hudson' fan myself), to her selfies and other photos prior to posting them to her millions of social media followers.

    If it sounds ridiculous, it is because it is ridiculous. But I think at least half of why it is ridiculous is the kind of silly name this job has been bestowed, and the kind of silly protagonist of the story. Kim Kardashian retaining a professional selfie editor to be on call is comical, but what about an author, sports figure, politician, or CEO engaging consulting services to protect, augment, and improve their online personas? Maybe not so silly.

    It must be a really big deal, and a important part of her business strategy, for Kim to be seen in a certain manner in her social media posts and activity. She must have figured out what her fans want and expect, and paying $100K to make sure she delivers on those expectations must be worth it to her in the long run.

    But in some ways it is not just reality TV stars or athletes or actors that rely on social media image and presence as a big part of their business strategy. Lots of 'normal' people do to. We are all, as long as we participate in blogs or on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram, placing some importance (and risk) in how our intelligence, professionalism, and value are interpreted via our posts and pictures and, yes, our selfies.

    And lots of us try to be really careful about what we post. Not just in that 'I better not post that pic of me and the boys doing tequila shots', but also along the lines of 'Does this picture make me look smart/cool/happening/likable/on 'brand'?' You know you think about that. Everyone does. Think about how much you crop and filter and edit those Instagram and Facebook pics before you load them. It isn't just about you wanting to be the next Ansel Adams.

    It's just that you and me and almost everyone else makes these determinations and manipulations of our preferred version of reality for ourselves - it's only people like Kim K. who can dish out $100K to worry about that stuff for her.

    There have been PR agencies and image consultants and even 'personal brand coaches' (that title just made me gag a little), around for awhile, so the idea of a 'professional selfie retoucher' may not be all that new or novel, and just may be the logical extension or modernization of these roles for the social media age.

    But still, something about it, the on-the-nose way it describes the function seems new to me, and thus I officually welcome 'Professional Selfie Retoucher' as Job Title of the Future #12.

    Have a great weekend!

    Tuesday
    Feb172015

    Your tweets, decoded

    An incomplete list of commonly tweeted sentiments and what they really mean:

    Tweet: 'Prepping for a Conference Call!'

    Decoded: Eating skittles, tweeting, and spending 73 seconds looking at your website before the call starts

    Tweet: It was awesome catching up with @JoeWhoHasNotMuchElseToDoAtTheMoment!

    Decoded: Joe called me, and I felt bad, so I answered

    Tweet: C'mon @MajorInternationalAirline - when is this plane going to leave! 25 minutes parked at the gate!

    Decoded: Crickets, as @MajorInternationalAirline is not compelled to spring immediately to action, not really worried that your 37 followers will rise up in protest.

    Tweet: Join us for #TwitterChatThatConsistsOfTheSame30PeopleRetweetingEachOtherWithLotsOfExclamationPoints at 8PM Tonight!

    Decoded: I don't have much happening right now.

    Tweet: RT @LargeInternationalNewsAgency - Huge blizzard heading to New England states tonight.

    Decoded: Just in case the one person in New England who has not yet heard the news about the upcoming winter storm happens to be following me AND is on Twitter right now at this exact moment, then Phew! they will be warned

    Tweet: RT @EllenShow - If only Bradley's arm was longer Best photo ever. #Oscars

    Decoded: Neither Ellen, or any of the other people in this picture know or care who you are. But thanks for the Twitter love!

    Tweet: Be the change you wish to see in the world. #quote

    Decoded: I have nothing interesting to say. Please read something interesting a different person once said.

    Tweet: The @MySillyTwitterHandle Daily is out! Featuring stories by @EllenShow -  www.noonewillclickthis.li

    Decoded: I set up this 'auto-tweeting daily summary' four years ago, and I forgot how to turn it off

    Tweet: @SuperstarAthleteFromProfessionalSports You stink! You are terrible! You don't know how to play!

    Decoded: If I were only fifty pounds lighter, seven inches taller, and actually possessed some modicum of athletic ability, I would be down balling at the YMCA over 40 league right now instead of sitting on the couch.

    Tweet: RT @SteveBoese - New post: Your tweets, decoded - www.thisisterrible.com

    Decoded: I really need to turn off my auto-tweeting of that idiot's blog posts

    Thursday
    Sep042014

    Maybe you're spending too much time on Twitter

    Recently Twitter made available to all users of the service its advanced analytics tools that show interesting statistics around impressions, (how many people actually saw a tweet), engagement, (replies, favorites, retweets), and trends over time on these metrics.

    To check it out for your own tweets, just sign in to Twitter then click on http://analytics.twitter.com/

    Below is a screen capture of the top part of my Twitter analytics review from this morning, take a look and then a few comments from me after the image:

    Apologies if it is a little hard to read, but the couple of points I wanted to call out from observing my own data and that might be applicable to you are not really dependent on the precise data points anyway.

    Point 1 - Hardly anyone sees the average Tweet. As of this week I have about 25.4K followers, give or take a few. The average impressions, (people that actually SEE my wonderful Tweets), ranges between about 500 on the low end and 1,200 on the high end. So if you do the math, that means only about 2% - 3.5% of my followers even see the average Tweet. Of course, I have little idea which of my followers these are, but that is a separate point.

    Point 2 - Of the people that actually see my Tweets, about 1% of that group actually "engages" with the update - (replies, RTs, favorites, link clicks, etc.), resulting in an engagement level, when compared to the overall number of followers I have, is almost akin to me simply shouting my status updates and pithy tweets out of the window. Maybe 1 in 10 of my Tweets have 0 engagements, meaning no one replied or clicked or favorited, etc. That is the tweet falling in the woods and having no one there to hear it scenario.

    Point 3 - I think we all, me included, need to keep Twitter, (and every other social network probably), in perspective as to its true reach, value, and the imprimatur it foists on those who have seemed to "figure it out". I have way more followers than the average Twitter user. But I am not sure that really means all that much when looking at some of this data. And I am not even talking about the folks who have bought followers or somehow gamed the system in other ways. That is another story totally.

    I guess my final point is that I and everyone else needs to keep data like this in mind and not just when thinking about Twitter or social networking in general. It is really more about figuring out where and how to spend your time and effort such that you are getting closer to whatever it is you are chasing. And if Twitter is a part of that strategy for you, then you definitely ought to dig in to your analytics and get behind the data.

    What do you think, have you checked out your Twitter analytics? Are my numbers representative or am I just bad at Twitter?

    Tuesday
    Jul012014

    Three quick takes on the Facebook mood manipulation study

    By now you have certainly heard or read about Facebook's 2012 study in which researchers altered the messages and posts presented in about 700,000 users' newsfeeds in order to determine if seeing relatively more negatively or positively connotative posts would in fact make the user him or herself tend to post more negative or positive posts than they might otherwise.

    Turns out, that yes, seeing more positive or happy kinds of posts led users to post (to a small degree), more positive and happy updates themselves, while the inverse, with more negative posts in the feeds led to more negative updates than would have been expected.

    Here is a quote from the research paper that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

    “When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks.”

    This study became news not so much for the findings themselves, (which seem kind of obvious), but for the expected and now kind of tired internet rage that accompanies every questionable move Facebook makes around privacy or related matters. How dare they manipulate the emotions and possibly the mental well-being of so many of its users in the name of a (kind of dopey) experiment? That kind of thing.

    So since I  A: Don't really use or care that much about Facebook to be emotionally invested in this, and B:  Need something other than the NBA or HR Tech to blog about occasionally, here are my (FREE) three quick takes on what this entire 'Facebook is using us for lab mice' kerfluffle should mean to you:

    1. You have been a lab mouse for years, you just like to forget this (or don't care). The instant Facebook began to tailor or select on your behalf the updates and posts it decided to display for you, (as opposed to a simple reverse chronological feed of all the updates from your friends and the pages you follow), you became a part of their little devious laboratory. In fact, you likely have no idea why Facebook shows you what it does, you just kind of accept it and move on. You miss probably hundreds of updates every week because Facebook has decided not to show them to you. You are already a mouse in their maze. 

    2. The business of Facebook is selling ads. The 'emotion' study, the hiding or promoting of items in your feed, the insane amount of times Facebook asks you for more information about you and your life are all for one (ultimate) purpose only - to better target you with 'relevant' ads. The more that FB can do to understand you, the longer it can keep you engaged and using the site, the more it can learn about you. And the more it knows about you the more about you it can package and sell to GM and Clorox and Microsoft. You get angry at FB for this little experiment because you have not yet made the leap to seeing them for what they are - a giant, publicly traded corporation that has to make its numbers every quarter. 

    3. You (probably) care too much about Facebook for this to matter to you. If this emotion study and the dozen other times FB has played fast and loose with privacy in the last few years really bothered you that much, you would simply opt out. But I bet 99% of the people that are reading this post have an active FB account. I do too. It doesn't mean that I agree with what they like to do with our data, but it also means that for whatever reason we keep giving them the benefit of the doubt, while silently acceding to their experiments and whims. We have allowed FB to become so important to our family lives or our businesses that we simply keep taking (and giving) whatever new change/experiment they care to dish out. I read 10 articles today expressing various levels of outrage over these 2012 experiments. I have not yet heard of anyone I know deleting their FB account.

    If you don't like the rules, then you have to start your own game, in your own sandbox. Until then... 

    Ok, I'm out. Be sure to 'like' this on Facebook. Maybe Marky Z. will make sure other happy people see that you did.

    Tuesday
    Apr082014

    Reactions to notifications from various social networking sites 

    In no particular order of importance (and likely no overall importance whatsoever)

    "Person you don't know wants to be your friend on Facebook"

    "Who?" followed shortly by "Why?" followed shortly by "I really dislike Facebook already, I can't see how this will make it better." (Aside - Facebook is one of the few services that gets worse the more you use it. )

    "Person you don't know has just followed you on Twitter"

    "   "

    "Person you know has sent you a Direct Message on Twitter"

    "Please send me an email. I don't need another 'Inbox' to have to ignore."

    "Person ABC has mentioned you in their 'Follow Friday' tweet"

    "I remember 2008 too."

    "Person you don't know would like to add you to their professional network on LinkedIn"

    "Yes" followed shortly by "Please don't send me any LinkedIn messages. I don't need another 'Inbox' I have to ignore."

    "Person ABC is now following you on Quora."

    "Oh yeah, Quora. I should really try and attempt to answer a question on there someday.... Nah."

    "Person ABC has added you to their Google+ Circles."

    "People are still doing that? Huh."

    "Steve - here are some Pinterest boards we think you will like!"

    "Pinterest - it is pretty clear you don't know a thing about me."

    "Person ABC started following you on Instagram."

    "Be prepared to be consistently bored."

    "Person ABC wants to be your friend on Foursquare."

    "There are about three people that need to know where I am at any given time. You are not one of them." also "You will come to learn that I go to bagel shops a lot."

    "Person ABC favorited you page on About.me"

    "Now come on. About.me? Really? I am embarrassed to even have an About.me page."

    It does all seem a little silly sometimes, doesn't it?

    Happy Tuesday.