Posts Tagged ‘facebook application’

Are Bloggers Really Influencers? More Thoughts

May 4, 2008

A few more thoughts on the influence issue, part one is here. Once again, I’m exploring this from the consumer’s point of view based on how I surf and am affected (or not) by what the blogs I read say.

Case Study 4: Podfire Soft Launch

The Podfire soft launch got pretty good coverage on I think that night and the day following, easily 3-4 of the top then most read posts were on blog coverage of the Podfire launch. One thing about influence and popularity is network effects.

One person talking about it positively on is very different from five people talking positively about it. Again pulling in the “people like me vs bloggers” debate into the picture, I’m thinking someone who knows some or all of the five people talking about it (or any other topic) will probably feel a compelling reason to at least check it out.

Will it lead to the complete viewing of a video? Will they be repeat viewers? I don’t know, but by that stage, the product has to speak for itself. But leading them to click is the first step.

It’s Not About Reach Or Circulation

I read a comment somewhere ridiculing the buzz of the Podfire launch saying some people didn’t hear about it. Completely missing the point. I’m always asked in school whether I saw an article in the newspapers, or a good/bad advertisement on tv last night, and the answer is usually no. So…. people didn’t hear about it via print or tv either and therefore it’s useless?

The important thing for Podfire (and how blogs should be approached), is to try to reach the immediate community (small as they may be) and work from there. It’s targeted as opposed to the shotgun approach.

Get Help!

Su Yuen has a Facebook application called Get Help. It allows users to post out a question and get replies back from friends, acquaintances or maybe strangers. Again, the idea of influence seems relative. Anyone can help on the app, to varying degrees of influence. Would you discount a brilliant idea via Get Help just because a person who replied is a stranger?

Even “Weak” Links/Influencers Play A part

Case Study 1: Camera Buying
When I was deciding which dslr to get, Ingrid recommended a friend to of hers to help me out. I didn’t have any idea who that friend was prior to this, but I did continually go back and ask her what she thought of product A over product B, and bought the final camera based on that advice. Could I have made my decision by reading a professional photographer’s review? Sure. But the fact that I could interact with this person and listen to firsthand experiences made a difference to me. It just happens in this case she isn’t a blogger. But… what if she was?

Case Study 2: Iron Man
Twitter has been alight with raving, positive Iron Man reviews. I’m reading about people from all over the world (majority of whom I’ve never even met) saying how good it is. The Straits Times gave it three stars. After watching the show, I’m glad I didn’t listen to an “expert” reviewer, because anyone who’s watched the show will know it’s not deserving of three stars. Would you like to listen to an “expert” reviewer and forgo the show? (Assuming three stars is your threshold for “not watching”)

Ultimately this issue is still a tough one to tackle. My point here is not to say bloggers are the influencers, but that pointing to the various research without considering the intricacies of it is probably a bad idea. We know about the Long Tail (The ants have megaphones) and about the Wisdom of Crowds and crowdsourcing, and blogging fits squarely into the realm of these phenomena.


Facebook App: Connection Cloud

March 4, 2008

In yesterday’s Podcast of the month post, I mentioned that Marketing Over Coffee was picked because of the Facebook application introduced during the show.

The application in question (if you haven’t already guessed) is Connection Cloud, and what it does is show you a cloud network of your friends and who’s linked to who. Here’s mine (click for larger image):

Facebook Connection Cloud

What’s amazing is that you actually can see little groups of people formed in here. If you click to see a bigger image, you can see 5 distinct groups of people:

  1. The SJI group in the bottom left
  2. My TA group somewhere in the centre (ie people who I have TA-ed for in the last few years)
  3. The MTV group to the right
  4. Family on the top right
  5. The mass of SMU and SMU Broadcast & Entertainment people are right smack in the middle

How does this help?

If you listened to Marketing Over Coffee, this really helps identify who the connectors are in various circles of people you know. And this can be really useful in getting your message, question, brand out to whoever is is you want. Given that I don’t own a business right now, I don’t have business uses for this application, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it can be an extremely powerful tool if used correctly.

The only thing I don’t like is the mass in the centre. I think there should be some way to decipher the huge scribbly-ball there instead of just leaving it as a cloud. Perhaps in future versions?

Have you seen your cloud? How does it look? Can you identify important sub-groups within your network? Let me know.