The thing is about internet traffic is that it is there to be taken, to be garnered. It won’t come to you easily mind you, you have to create regular content. It’s about being dedicated to creating content regularly, it always has been and it always will be.
Here is a chance for some link juice. – no really, all links are NOT no-follow here.
Go ahead and use HTML and add your links in your comment. I want to know where you advertise your site, and what it is you are advertising. By all means go ahead and include how successful it is also, including conversion rates etc.
Thanks a ton in advance.
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Let’s have some fun with this.
This job is actually for a real salaried position, so think hard for me, let’s pull our heads together and see what we can come up with.
I’m quite happy to witness a discussion take place around what you suggest, while at the end of the comments I will make a summary, which will form the basis (or not, depends what you come up with) for the job description.
Remember on this site you can reply to my post, or reply to anyone else’s post very easily, this may help you focus and get the others talking a little.
The job is multi-faceted, typically for a new graduate in the media/computer/digital field, and requires a few “branches” of expertise not all of which I am listing here.
No here, I am just interested in the “social” bit and what you feel a Social Media Jedi knight might engage in, what activities, where, how and why?
So I would like to hand this over to you now, and I am very interested to hear about what you think someone that has to operate in this space ought to be doing, and also perhaps how. Please try to backup any of your suggestions with a “why”.
Thanks, let’s crack on eh?
Humans are innately biased, fact is we cannot help it, we simply prefer to be in situations where we do not feel like the odd one out, we seem programmed to flock to like-minded groups. This is not anything ground-breaking or new, it’s a basic human trait.
Some typical examples of like-minded groups include:
- any religion
- football fan
- the mafia
- social media evangelists
I used that list in a presentation/session I led at MediaCampLondon and I’m sure you’ll agree, before we dig deeper, that most “specialised” groups or niches do exhibit similar personalities, or group thinking. For a rugby team to excel there needs to be a team mission, a team work-ethic, a cluster of similarity, or a company philosophy, policy. For the police force to work the individual soldiers much share a common belief of law enforcement.
So what can we call the glue in these “packs”, “tribes” “groups”, “fan bases”? What term describes this commonality of behaviour, the mind-fuck of similarity? What is it then that Chris Brogan the Pied Piper of social media evangelises, what is it that Lloyd Davis the Tart of Tuttle encourages you to love, what is it that Will McInnes the Madman of Metrics and Measurement propagates, and what is it Chris Hambly the Don of the Social Media Mafia challenges you with? – Ideological Amplification is what.
Ideological Amplification is when a belief within a tribe (niche) becomes the “norm” or “accepted” and often “expected” and is then exponentially amplified among its members. – chris hambly
If you think for a moment, all tribes have leaders, this is age-old theory, and from that a vision or a broad ideology born. When loyal members join a particular tribe it is that vision that is then perpetuated, amplified and encouraged to the expense of a nearby tribe – to an extent. Chelsea fans are not in any way waving the ideology flag of Liverpool, for example. Or David Cameron’s flock will always seek ammunition to unbalance the arguments of Gordon Brown. These frictional moments and engagements may be unstated, may even take place unwittingly as part of the ideology but they DO occur.
Many years ago merchants would tout their business wares in the village market, typically to small groups, small tribes, the merchants could operate a very specific marketing message to a known demographic. When scaling was made possible through technological developments such as printed materials, and more recently radio and television, marketing moved into a more broad-based model where above the line blanket-bombing tactics become the norm, and still are, shear numbers became the model.
The Internet now affords the rapid establishment of tribal theories once again, marketing droids (I include myself in that definition) are once again taking an interest in niche tribes, the “power” of a niche ideology, or they SHOULD be.
You see, for a marketing person we want our products to be discussed, we want the goodness, the buzz, the positive aspects to be ideologically amplified by the tribe. Steve Jobs’s gang do this for him daily. Steve’s long-term brand (generational) has a fiercely loyal pack of dogs, whom will enthuse and die at the gates of computer heaven before switching brands.
But even new brands to the game can now take advantage of ideological amplification, because The Internet facilitates rapid tribal community building. Never before have we been able to seek and find like-minded people, never before have we been able to run shoulders with vast amounts of people who bolster own own perception of an ideology.
Let’s look at more theory.
1971, he published a widely cited article dealing with racial dynamics called “Dynamic Models of Segregation”. In this paper he showed that a small preference for one’s neighbours to be of the same colour could lead to total segregation. He used coins on graph paper to demonstrate his theory by placing pennies and nickels in different patterns on the “board” and then moving them one by one if they were in an “unhappy” situation.
The positive feedback cycle of segregation – prejudice – in-group preference can be found in most human populations, with great variation in what are regarded as meaningful differences — gender, age, race, ethnicity, language, sexual preference, religion, etc. Once a cycle of separation-prejudice-discrimination-separation has begun, it has a self-sustaining momentum.
“Once a cycle of separation-prejudice-discrimination-separation has begun, it has a self-sustaining momentum.”
This is what some theorists might call “going viral”, I actually prefer to call this pathological, I find it dangerous, sure for a marketing person it can be golden, but and what expense?
So what are we supporting here with social media adoption?
- Increase of niche gangs
– as I’ve stated, never before have we been able to seek out such vast extremes of ideology in one place. On the Internet there are no mechanical forces preventing us to segregate, we have no house to sell, we are free to indulge in our extremism.
- Disdain for “mainstream”which actually forces us to segregate, isn’t that good? – mainstream channels DO force us to listen, watch and be presented with multiple view points. Newspapers cover a variety of themes which may draw you, something which your niche may not, ever.
- Adoption of tribal mentalities, actually enthused, embraced, encouraged. – Leaders will evangelise, as the Don of Social Media Mafia I do want the members to critically analysis social media, rip it up, question it, find proof, examine it, uncover theory. Chris Brogan doesn’t ask this of you, he enjoys the “magic” of it. Will McInnes will want you to find metrics, he wants an industry model, he wants something to bolster and give credibility to his products. Lloyd Davis want you to socialise in public spaces and sing his anthem of Tuttle. Makes no difference what the niche is, we are all selfish and pimping our own ideologies, and if you do not roughly come into line with that, you are marginally ostracised. Debatable, but I challenge you.
- Polarisation, amazon, knows what you like every time, you are profiled. – for each click we make on the internet we are then profiled into a category one step further, for each and every cookie and derivative of YOUR choices are made narrower. You will not be displayed products which you are never likely to buy.
- Additional views which support your views add to your perception of correct, or right. – If you sing hallelujah to the ideology of the group, the remaining participants will praise you, pat you on the back, thus further entrenching the ideology, thus further amplifying it.
Critical analysis skills are taught at 3rd year in the UK University system, and even then it is only the beginning, critical analysis and stepping out of your tribe takes balls, courage and a willingness to argue. This skill is not something we are born with, it takes practise and lots of it.
And that is where the problem lies for me, a serious lacking in critical skills within social media, a fundamental flaw in the system, cult-like blind faith is fucking dangerous, and there will be ferocious venomous spitting when opposing extremes come together.
Look at any war, it is no different… treat your tribe with caution, tread carefully before you preach for you may be amplifying an ideology which is in fact marginalising and segregating.
I will talk about “bridges” at a later date.
UPDATE: 13.07.08 – So what do YOU think, am I being harsh, do you not agree, or do you sense some of this in yourself, what’s on your mind after reading this?
Some of you already know some of this but not all of it, and some of you do not know this but may have had some clues, I have been excited at times and have been dropping hints. It’s time to “spill the beans” and share exactly what’s going on.
I received an unsolicited approach in the last quarter of 07 for a possible partnership/merger between my established distance learning portal Audiocourses.com and the global face-to-face educational provider SAE Institute.
After various negotiations we have now struck a deal and I have signed on the dotted the line, so to speak.
SAE was established in 1976 and now operates over 50 institutions in 21 countries around the globe. SAE has an exceptionally strong brand name in the field of sound engineering and music production, and also more recently, film making, games, and other media related disciplines. If you are a musician or budding sound engineer/studio technologist etc, this is unquestionably “the” brand, SAE is in fact also the world’s largest media education provider, fact.
Audiocourses.com is a pioneering distance learning portal working at the cutting-edge of educational technology since 2000. The portal has graduated students from most corners of the English speaking world, it is a specialist e-learning internet school, with vast experience and proven results. Considerable credibility has been established and the site is dominant in most areas of its core business.
Putting these two cultures together then and you can imagine the possibilities, exciting times ahead with enormous potentials.
Personally I am very excited by this deal, it is the coming of age of my company, something I started on the kitchen table and have shed pints of sweat over, uncountable sleepless nights and all the rest of that stuff you need to get your baby going. I’m chuffed!
So what will I be doing?
Primarily I will continue managing Audiocourses.com and with that comes the integration of the SAE Graduate College. I will also be engaged in helping restructure the SAE network of websites and market the online presence of the SAE brand worldwide.
These are huge projects requiring heaps of project management along with various milestones and launches and exciting strategies. Naturally I hope to share some of this with you as I work through it.
All of this will be carried out by my new-media web marketing consultancy company Audana, which some of you may recall carried out work for Crayon and Coca-Cola as well as other great clients through 07. Audana will grow steadily and aggressively extend its client base through 08.
Watch out for the official press releases soon.
Can’t wait to get stuck in, wish me luck!
Ronna turned me on to this idea of posting some tips about how to be successful without launching a marketing blog. I twittered these really quickly and it seems they were popular, which means I should blog that and share it with you too.
1. create an infinite responder series of tips.. as a means of capturing a prospects email address.
2. Visit on topic forums in your niche(s) and become an authority in that channel.
3. actively take part in helping people find job through networks like LinkedIn, especially in your field.
4. publish a few ebooks which a price of zero attached, and encourage them to be distributed.
5. email is still THE method for the masses and will be in future. Run a newsletter, targetting your prospects as tightly as possible
6. pay close attention to SEO, and sift through your site access logs, build content around what people are searching you for.
7. say NO a lot to link exchanges, out-bound links to bad neighborhoods will cripple you
8. invest in a dedicated server with 24/7 live support
9. have tiered products and prices, and up-sale all the way from the free ebooks to the crown jewels.. slow buy in.
10. don’t become a snob or fool yourself into thinking you are an expert, you are not. Influence doesn’t carry far.. google does
So when Android, the open source mobile phone platform becomes the “normal”, you know, widely distributed, and of course I imagine it will, we will soon be carrying a cute little personalised Google spy in our pockets!
Hang on a minute, you what?
Ok think about this for a sec. Google Android is open source, it is an operating system, the thing which will make your phone work. Currently there are a variety of operating systems in use for mobile phones and depending on which provider you are signed up with will depend on how much access you have to “tweak” the that operating system.
Yes Android is open source meaning the code is available for anyone to look at, therefore anyone can develop applications for. You know, all these widgets will appear, widgets like you see in your Facebook account? Well not exactly I predict many more useful applications will be available.
Already your phone is capable of sending a signal back to HQ (where ever the HQ application is) stating “hey I am currently here at these coordinates”. Of course where this becomes particularly interesting is when your shopping habits and destinations are “learnt” by these new “lifestyle widgets”, yes folks when the crafty marketing peeps dip their toes in this, it will be game on.
Let’s say you often enjoy a morning pastry at the local Starbucks. Starbucks sign up with the application data service which sends the application server new information about offers they may have on at any point. You walk close to Starbucks and the suddenly “beep beep” you receive a text stating “Starbucks special offer half-price pastries today”.
Life Style Widgets
I’m going to go out on a limb and name these cute data mining packages Life Style Widgets. Do I mind this, will it bother me I can be profiled and offered various different products based on my geographic reference AND passed buying habits? Not at all, I’m really looking forward to the messages I’ll get when I walk passed a lap-dancing bar!
Seriously though folks it is coming, are you going to embrace that, or develop for it?
You Android you!
Are you between 16 and 24 living in UK?
Well I’ve long since passed that threshold but I’m not complaining.
I wanted to point out what seems a pretty neat service which goes by the name of BLYK. A pal of mine send me a message this morning about this service which really does look super neato.
Seems to me that if indeed you are between the age of 16 and 24 and living in UK you can sign-up, be sent a spanking new sim card for your phone on ANY network containing 217 free texts and 43 mins of free calls!
Um yes free, no strings!
Well actually I lied there are some strings, but entertaining strings it seems.
As the website states:
“Blyk goes out and finds brands that want to talk to people like you. Blyk charges them for sending you messages, and gives you money back in the form of free texts and minutes.
But Blyk doesn’t just open the door to anyone that wants to message you. Each day you’ll get up to 6 brand messages. They’ll only ever come from Blyk and brands Blyk thinks you’ll be interested in.”
Now, personally I’d find that quite an enjoyable experience of sorts, I mean it is free.
Sadly I wont be signing up (unless they would like me to), I simply cannot prove I am so young, but if you are in that demographic I’d love to have a look and invite you to guest blog about it here on my blog.
We are living in a changing dynamic, probably the rate of change is faster than ever, we can experience and witness mass convergence regularly. We can find ourselves exposed to more and more content from a variety of channels and mediums.
Some of us enjoy being part of a “tight-knit” community defended with furious passion, some of us enjoy only obtaining independent music, some of us only enjoying watching web TV, some of us only enjoy open source software and many of us stick to one vendor with impressive loyalty.
In all of this choice and preference this very weekend we saw Apple release their new operating system Leopard, and I’ve personally seen a frenzy take place, a buzz, a rush to the store.
Now what I find interesting in this (and I’m struggling with the conflict so need your thoughts), is that I’d call Apple a MAINSTREAM provider, nothing independent, and in fact they mostly choose mainstream channels for advertising for their product, nothing particularly social going on, from what I can see, I may be wrong.
But I’m digressing slightly this post is not about Apple it is an attempt to get to the core reasons about why YOU choose your music, where do you hear about new music, what makes you buy it, what makes you purchase a new game, a new download, what media or advertising works for you?
I want total honesty here from you, does the TV work for you, does the weekly magazine work for you, does the X-Factor, do you buy a new single cause you hear it on mainstream radio, do you buy a film because it is in the box office charts, the billboard charts, what penetrates your buying decision?
How do you choose your media?