It gives me immense pleasure to announce that Electrosocial is starting a six week internship program from the end of this month. The program is aimed at sharing the fundamentals of Social Media and imparting working knowledge with various tools and services of relevance. The internship would be completely online so that anyone from any part of the world can join it. The internship program would consist of (but not limited to) the following:
Emergence of Social Media
Social Media Fundamentals
Social Media Tools
Social Media Values/Ethics
Scope of Social Media in Marketing, Customer Service, Activism etc
Social Media Metrics
Legal Aspect of Social Media
The internship progam is completely free for all and the interns will also get certificates for the same at the end of internship. Since it’s an internship program, the interns will also get to work hands on Electrosocial’s and its clients projects. This experience will be crucial in understanding how Social Media campaigns work, how tools are used, how reporting is done and more.
Electrosocial is looking for interns(preferably freshers or college students). So if you are a web junkie and find the idea of doing an internship in Social Media exciting send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When we change the way we communicate, we change society – Clay Shirky
Amongst the things that’ve changed since the advent of social software/social media is Activism. The ease with which new groups can be formed and action coordinated among its members, has changed the face of Activism completely to Activism 2.0 as we call it. Except for starting and end points everything has changed and changed drastically. Here’s a really old news item about online protest. Consider these examples of Activism 2.0
Second Life Strike Against IBM: One month after a virtual protest staged in Second Life with almost 2’000 avatars demonstrating on IBM islands, a new contract with IBM Italy has been signed.The new agreement, which still needs to be approved by the IBM Italy workforce, reinstates the performance bonus that was cut unilaterally by IBM Italy management.
Mass Virtual Suicide in China to Protest Game Limitations:A group of World of Warcraft players in China committed mass suicide. They wanted to draw attention to the latest restriction on their liberty: The same government agency that censors newspapers and bans books had just mandated a system of disincentives to limit the number of hours per day they spent playing online games. In the aftermath of the public outcry (and virtual die-ins), the Chinese government announced that adults could play MMORPGs for as long as they like.
These are some of the cases of Activism 2.0 but they give you a sense of the scope of this sort of activism and the possibilities that it has. A few years who would have thought a virtual mass suicide would have got even noticed, let alone letting a goverment to change it’s policy ? or who would have thought you could arrange a real protest involving millions of people withouth ever meeting them in real life before ?
The activism isn’t just limited to serious/political stuff, a quick search of facebook or social network of your choice will lead you to lots of things like petition to get McDonalds to do deliveries, or petition to get K.F.C to do door deliveries.
The possibilities with social software are immense and the pace at which their usage is spreading, further increases their scope, but what is it about the tools that really puts Activism 2.0 way ahead of its predecessor ?
Ease of group formation: Getting people together hasn’t been easier. Thanks to social software people can get together a lot easily and faster. Unlike in real life where a lot of effort, time and resources are needed to spread the word and get people together, with web the cost(time, effort and resources) is minimal.
Critical Mass: Due to the popularity of social software(Flickr,Wikipedia,Blogs etc) the available audience is hugh. You just have to start doing the right things and in no time you can reach out to people who can relate to your cause.
Sans Frontiers: Notlimited by geography is another positive aspect of Activism 2.0 which makes it highly likely to spread to other areas where it would haven’t reached or took long to reach had it being an offline initiave.
Ease of coordination and collaboration: Because of really low transaction costs and real time updates it’s a lot easier to coordinate a large group of people. Since most of the popular tools are free and have inbuilt feature that support group activites, it’s really easy to share real time updates and collaborate.
Visibility: Unlike in it’s early days the disconnect between online and offline worlds is a lot less so a purely web phenomenon isn’t restricted to web only and starts spreading in offline world. The huge possibility of transition to real life is also an incentive to start with virtual protest.
Here are some the commonly used tools for Activism 2.0
You know what the problem with Social Media is ? Everyone thinks they know it…
Sad but true, this is the case when it comes to social media. Almost everyone who has accounts on two or more services(especially Twitter & FriendFeed) think they all know Social Media like the back of their hand and it’s evident by the confidence with which they tell you how they think Social Media is the coolest thing ever and that it can do wonders to your company/product without thinking twice . These are the people who will tell you your company needs a blog more than anything, ask them what’s the easiest way to get 10k followers on some microblogging site and they’ll quip “following 20k users”.
While tools are a critical ingredient of the whole Social Media cocktail they are not all that there is to it. What needs to be realized across the board is that tools are just a means to an end(relationships) and knowing how to operate a tool or two doesn’t imply anything. It’s not uncommon to assume that if blogs work for a particular product they should work for any other product too, nor is it uncommon to assume if one needs to spread word on Twitter/Kwippy they need to follow every user they can get my hands on(and put info about their product in the profile background).
Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do – Edgar Degas
Anyone can use colors to paint but it take an artist to come up with something that people really admire, same is the case with Social Media, anyone can read a few blogs daily or use some tools regularly but to get what Social Media means and what to do with it, needs an extra social sense(mostly common). A quick test to know if someone gets Social Media would be ask them about how to leverage Social Media without touching any of the commonly available tools or simply by seeing how they score on this checklist(a score of 20 should be a minimum).
Social Media >> Twitter + Kwippy + Plurk + FriendFeed + Facebook + Myspace + (other such sites)
The best part about using Social Media is that there’s no straight formula which one can use for various brands/products. What might work for Pepsi might not work for Coke and it shouldn’t work too for both are different products(though in same category) by different companies and have more dissimilarities than similarity. Also, another thing that I’ve realized is irrespective of the number of hours these people who apparently get social media have spent on the tools, their understanding of the tools as standalone products and their relevance in the bigger picture is pedestrian. I’d like to end this post by saying if you are thinking Social Media, think beyond tools because there’s a lot more to it then tools.
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:
Let there be Followers
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 .
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