Ok, before I start. I am not sure about you but I love the title of this post
Despite beind sold err reminded weekly by @Mashable
I never really got FollowFriday and I don’t think I will. As Damien Basile puts it nicely
Let’s relate follow friday into offline terms. You’re at a party (I know, because social media is one big party) and someone walks in saying that everyone there MUST know Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane. Now that’s not exactly social is it? The person literally just disrupted the party to tell everyone who they SHOULD know. It doesn’t matter if you know the disrupter or not. What matters is that the disrupter decided that their opinion was worth more than yours. They didn’t think of you first.
this is, what it is. A real life equivalent of #FollowFriday and what follows would be(in a party)
1) Person ‘A’ announces/broadcasts to their set of friends to know a guy(actually a bunch of guys). Mind you it’s a generic broadcast message thrown out blindly and you can’t avoid it.
2) Person ‘B’ (who has a seperate set of friends) broadcasts to their set of friends to know a guy(actually a bunch of guys). Mind you it’s a generic broadcast message thrown out blindly and you can’t avoid it.
3) Person ‘C’ on receiving the broadcast from Person ‘A’ makes another broadcast to his/her set of friends to know a guy(actually a bunch of guys). Mind you it’s a generic broadcast message thrown out blindly to everyone and you can’t avoid it.
A ripple effect sets in where everyone in party forgets what they were talking and start making these broadcasts but that’s not it
4) Person ‘D’ thinks of this as a nice way to gain attention from someone they’ve been following(a bit better than @repling) so they make a generic broadcast to their set of friends to know this guy.
5) Person ‘E’ feels they need to return favor to Person ‘B’ who recommended them so he/she makes a obligatory broadcast to his/her set of friends to know Person ‘E’.
6) Person ‘F’ starts feeling leftout as everyone else is busy recommending people but nobody is recommending him so he makes a couple broadcasts to know x,y,z hoping to catch someone’s attention and get a ego massage err recommendation in return.
These are some of the things that happen when everyone in party starts recommending everyone else and in no time the party is a mess with loads of noisy reommendations doing rounds.
Coming back to the T-World, not everyone is happy with #followfriday
some people start taking #followfriday too seriously
and for some it’s added pressure/responsibility/obligation
A few questions for #FollowFriday junkies
1) Aren’t you following people you are for a reason? Aren’t they all interesting, useful or helpful ?
2) Why wait for a day to recommend people ?
3) Why recommend even a day after ? Or is there a deadline for recommendations ?
Love #FollowFriday or Hate it ? Tell us why
June 22, 2009 3 Comments
The invention of a tool doesn’t create change; it has to have been around long enough that most society is using it. It’s when a technology becomes normal, then ubiquitous, and finally so pervasive as to be invisible, that the really profound changes happen.
Social Software has been around for quite a long time for us to ask the question “how has its use changed us” or rather “how is excessive use of social software changing us”. To crowdsource views , I asked this question on the social networks I use i.e LinkedIn,Kwippy, Twitter and Facebook. While a lot of people took the question in a different light and shared how is social media helping them etc, here are some of the interesting replies(network wise)
“While I was a very private and secretive person before, I’ve found that opening up on social media via non-threatening means has given me the ability to be more open in my real world relationships” - Shamoz Shah
” With increasing interaction over social media my faculty for thinking and rationalizing has increased. Because of my writings, discussions, posts I have a ready audience who interact. As a result of it I get motivated and write/discuss/post more and it’s a cycle. It has definitely improved my writing skills, thinking skills, rationalizing faculty (being open to various thought processes).
In negatives, I have become more reclusive because I am glued to my computer for more number of hours. Impacted on eye-sights (natural I suppose).
Thirdly, the anonymity provided by cyber-media and through certain Social Media sites, such as ‘fropper’ you tend to fantasies or possibility of personality distortion.” -Devasis Chattopadhyay
“I communicate more. Like now. It is good that this communication is non-intrusive and you have more choices to connect personally or professionally.” – Bama Ramesh
“The thing I noticed I started doing more and more, is to double check if I am not offending anyone with my replies / posts. I’ve learned that there are some quite sensitive topics, where it is not appreciated if you express yourself in a frank way, even if there is no purpose in attacking a certain group” – Ives De Busser
Sushaantu Mathur repeated the same thing – “Living an online life just makes you more accountable in public eyes”.
Shawn is right when he says “Social networks have lessened my patience a bit . Think about how fast information flies around the web and the speed at which we receive breaking news. When we’re plugged in, we’re able to get what we want almost instantaneously. I have to sit back at times and remind myself that many things in life don’t work that way”
“Bigger bags under my eyes!” – Mark Porter
“The evidence we do have from reliable studies is that social networking software is helping people become more social. The most active people on Facebook, for instance, are the most active socially in the “real world”. And as some of the answers on this page suggest, people who have social fears or difficulties are finding that online social networking is helping them overcome such issues.
Overall, it is clear to me that social networking software is a substantial help to people. It deepens existing relationships, makes people more social (not less) and helps individuals with social anxiety come to terms with their condition.
So, I’d encourage people to use it even more.” – Graham Jones
“My friends don’t tell me anything directly anymore. I constantly hear “Oh, you didn’t see my post about it on myspace?” and “Well, I invited you on facebook!” I can’t keep up, frankly.” - Tarasa
It definitely has. Soon there will be internet/social media rehabs! – Riputapan Singh
The virtual world has made me more real. I was in an island before, now i know of the ocean. – Harish Iyer
“Its ensured my ‘breaking news’ sources are not the newspapers or the websites anymore. Also, I am more clued into ur life” – Asfaq
To each according to their own, while for someone it’s about opening up more, for someone it’s about being more visible and ultimately more accountable. Here are a few inter related ways in which I think Excessive/Continued use of social software is changing us.
1) Increased thirst for knowledge:
The use of social software has not just helped us meet new people easily and regularly or stay in touch with old friends. It has made us more hungry for knowledge/information. Thanks to the exposure(over ?) of information on most social sites(think no of hyperlinks/update in your twitter/friendfeed stream) and various social pressures of sorts, most of us have become addicted to know more and more.
2) Increased Voyeurism:
Facebook Feeds and Twitter Streams are best examples of the increasing levels of voyeurism as a side effect of our increased usage of Social Software. People who replied to my question on various social networks, directly or indirectly touched upon this facet. It’s a lot easier to keep an eye on what’s going not just in one’s personal life but in their overall/complete life. The underlying principle of social networks is to keep people in your network updated about what you are doing. So not only your actions but those of your friends that invole you(for ex: you being tagged by someone) will be broadcasted to your entire network. Such things further fuel people’s voyeuristic tendencies. Whose single or whose relationship status just went to “It’s complicated” was never more visible or sought after.
3) Increased Sharing:
We might not realize this but due to easy of sharing and the culture(s) of most social sites, we are increasingly sharing more stuff with people in our online circles. Hyperlinks, songs, videos, pictures,news we now share pretty much everything that we get our hands on and like(dislike too in some cases). “Sharing anchors community”, while most of us don’t realize this consciously, we have a sense that sharing adds value(or gets you attention) and thus you’ll find more people over sharing than under.
4) Increased Transparency:
It is one of the interesting ways in which social software is transforming us. What started of as a small change with people starting to share more about themselves and other people, things they know has gradually raised our expectations to the level that we now demand more and more transparency/openness from our friends and others on the network as if it’s our right to know what they are upto. Not only this we now expect much more transparency from public organizations and governments.
5) Compulsive Broadcasting/Life Streaming: Everyone’s an exhibitionist
If you are active user of facebook, kwippy and twitter like me chances are you too might have those moments when you are out somewhere doing something and you think in terms of what should be a relevant status update for it. For ex: While watching a movie, I tend to think and come up with the most relevant update for this experience, which in a sense distracts me(as I divert my attention from the movie to say updating my Facebook Status that my friends can see) from the experience. That’s not it, this habbit of continously throwing up on the web what ever comes to your mind is a really addictive habit but not without any side effects.
6) More Social:
If man was a social animal before than he’s now become a social beast. There will be very few people who would feel/say that they’ve become less social after using social software because the whole set up is geared to make you socialize. You get social objects which act as ice breakers, you get automated updates on people’s activites and a lot more. It is really difficult for someone to not make new friends or to not get more involved with one’s existing friends.Friends of Friends are now a lot more discoverable and accessible thus adding more links to your network.
7) Bloated Egos:
“Social Media is all about your ego” casually remarks a friend and I won’t say he’s completely wrong. Being in the space for about four years now and you sorta know what works for Social Software and what doesn’t. It’s not just Twitter or Facebook ,every social site that you use or have used has some inbuilt features to let the system massage your ego(think featured users) or let other members of the system massage you(think testimonials by friends). Be it the follower count, number of retweets, number of comments and likes your posted items receive, it’s all a big boost to one’s ego. It’s human, whether you like it or not most people prefer sites/networks/people/lifestlye(online or offline) that massage their egos to those who don’t. I believe if there’s something called a threshold or default level for bloated ego then we’ve left it miles away as a result of excessive usage of social software.
8.) Rise of the Marketers:
You are a marketer deal with it. That’s indeed the case, with the tools we use and how we use them we all are much better positioned to spread the word about ourselves or our products. Though the scale at which we all do things may vary we all atleast are better equipped than what we were before social software.
These are some of the ways in which social software has changed us. How do you think has social software changed you ?
June 10, 2009 5 Comments
Disclaimer: This post is just to stroke my ego
I often do Google ego searches about my name and key words that should point to some post(s) that I wrote. The results tend to range from Awesome to WTF, depending on where my entry stands in the search engine results page.
I did a Google search for some keywords/phrases and was happy to find links to my post among top 15 results. Find the keywords and the screenshots below
1) Keyphrase: “LK advani marketing” , # 11
Rank #11 in about 155,000 results. Read the post here
Rank #3 in about 322,000 results, Read the post here
2) Keyphrase: “Marketing Ghajini” , # 1
Rank #1 in about 10900 results , Read the post here
Here’s a bonus video of SRK proclaiming he’s the God of Marketing
April 15, 2009 3 Comments
Warning: The content below might hurt your sensibilities as a Twitter Addict.
Twitter is the most popular microblogging service out there and saying its users swear by it would be an understatement. There are undoubtedly very few services in this space(or any other) that are this high on customer love and even fewer services which have an entire industry surrounding themselves.
There was a time when Twitter was experiencing major issues staying up/running and there was a spurt of other alternatives with some offering new features all together or some simply adding features that some Twitter users always felt should have been a part of the system, but none of them really caused a mass exodus and Twitter is now back with a bang and is growing like crazy.
Being a Twitter user myself and a passionate social media enthusiast I’ve always wondered what really makes Twitter click. Being the first kid on the block, being simple and neatly designed, getting attention from early adopters is all critical to get a service started but to keep it going is another ball game. Many other services in this space or other have most or all of these pre-requisites but Twitter offers something at which others aren’t any where close. Yes, I am talking about the “Ego-Massage”. Nothing works in web 2.0 like the Ego-Massage(EM). The more you offer(or happen to offer) it the more you’ll find your users going head over heels for your service.
While it cannot be said with certainty if the emphasis on EM was their right from the start or it picked up some time later or its all due to various 3rd party tools but its for sure one of the unconscious reasons that makes people stick to twitter, talk and care about it a lot. Lets see how it works.
1) Follow not Subscribe:
In Twitter if you have subscribed to someone’s updates you are following them and in the same way if someone has subscribed to your updates they are following you. Functionally they might mean the same but both words have way different associations, while subscriber is a neutral word a follower is certainly isn’t. 100 followers is not quite equal to 100 subscribers or 100 friends for that matter. Who cares about friends if you have followers ?
2) Follower Count does Matter:
Don’t believe anyone(leaving maybe Louis Gray) who tells you they are not bothered by their follower count or they are just interested in people they follow not the one’s who follow them.
This is the reason why there are numerous articles like this telling you how to have more followers on Twitter but hardly any on how to have more friends on Facebook or articles like this which highlight the pressure one feels to follow back their followers which basically is derived from the pressure to keep them pleased and ultimately keep them chained. While there were people loosing sleep over a drop in follower count(organic or courtesy twitter) some one saw an opportunity and thus there was Qwitter . A service that informs you every time some one un-follows you and the last tweet you posted before they un-followed . So now you can question people who unfollow you, seek reasons, introspect your tweeting and a hell lot more. The stage is set for an endless game.
Having lots of followers is one thing but what’s the point if you cannot carry the follower count as a crown and show rest of the world ? That’s what folks at twittercounter were smart enough to realize and their usage stats confirm this (In total we generated 171,281,809 counters since we started tracking). Hundreds of thousands of blogs now sport these.
3) Tools that Further Inflate your ego:
As if having a huge(and portable) “follower” count was not sufficient for one’s ego, somebody came up with Twitter Ratio. So now its not just about how many followers you have its also about your Twitter Ratio i.e follower/following ratio. Those who need constant ego massages can be found tirelessly indulging in maintaining( or should I say increasing) their Twitter Ratio .
Then there’s Twitter Grader
Since more is always merrier especially when it comes to ego boosting we also have twitterholic . So what if you can’t be a topper when it comes to follower count or twitter ratio. You just might be a topper or a top Twitter user from your region, which most certainly adds to the ego.
Want to know you Twitter Influence ? You can apparently do that too, here
I would really love to hear what works for you and to what extent are you affected by the above mentioned factors, it at all you are that is
Here’s a fun “Twitter Whore” video:
December 22, 2008 8 Comments