Tag Archives: Web 2.0 Summit

“The Social Graph is PEEEEOPLE!”

As the dust settles on last week’s latest installment of the social network showdown between MSFT/Facebook and GOOG/Everyone Else, the idea of a universal social graph looks a little clearer. But what is it and how does it affect PR and Marketing folks?

Supposedly computer science peeps have been talking about the social graph as a concept for a while. To be honest, I hadn’t heard anything about it until May when Mark Zuckerberg enlisted application developers to tap into the social graph. Then, in August, LiveJournal creator Brad Fitzpatrick wrote a well formulated, high level discussion of the social graph. It, to me, really addressed several problems and concerns that would lead to the development of–or maybe it was already in the works–Google’s OpenSocial platform, announced last week.

I almost wrote about all things that graph social after attending Dave McClure’s “Graphing Social Patterns” conference, and then again after the Web 2.0 Summit. Both times, I felt like the idea of the social graph was not quite there.

So, before I discuss what it is, I have to disclose that I am neither a computer scientist nor am I a mathematician. I am, however, a PR/Marketing/Tech geek with a Bachelor’s in Social Anthropology. Therefore, this type of stuff gets me pretty excited.

A social graph is loosely defined, according to Brad Fitzpatrick, as “the global mapping of everybody and how they’re related.” You may ask, “Isn’t that the definition of a social network?” My answer: Close, but not entirely.

For me (and Robert Scoble), a social network is a collection or a list of all my “friends” without the context. A social graph, on the other hand, explains why these people are relevant to you. On it’s lowest level, a social graph can be represented like an org-chart or a family tree.

When you add someone as a friend, Facebook asks the question: “How do you know this person?” This helps an outsider see that Audrey is a co-worker at SHIFT; Natalie is my cousin; Bekah is my housemate; Kathryn and I met through a friend while living in Berlin; etc. It’s almost like tagging, but, instead of a webpage or a bookmark, you are tagging people. This relationship information explains the social value that each person has.

Very quickly, social value is an important aspect of our lives. It let’s me know that I need to tuck in my shirt around the CEO, stopping looking at porn when my supervisor walks near my cubicle (JK!), and to respect cops. (Check out this essay on social value from 1908 by economist Joseph Schumpeter or look at Wikipedia.) For a marketer, being able to map that information is priceless.

But wait, there’s more…

When you fill out your profile, you enter in your interests. If you look at my profile, you can see that I like music, travel and photography. In terms of the social graph, I’m tagged (or plotted on the social graph) as someone who has an interest in boxing and chocolate. Paired with my demographics, Facebook now can show me as a married male in San Francisco in the (oh-so-old) 25+ demographic who likes camping. Great info for market research…or targeted ads.

On top of all that you also get… THIS INCREDIBLE JUICER!!!

Just kidding…kind of. The graph can get a little deeper than that. Take Amazon, for example. It’s constantly recommending items to me. I can evaluate these items on a scale of 1-5 or tell it “not interested.” After a while, it starts to know my behavior. All of these are tiny little tags graphing the bigger story: I like electronic music but am totally not interested in trance. You can also see that I’ve sent my grandmother a book on prayer for her birthday. Once again, more tags; more plots on the social graph.

What about digg or del.icio.us and the type of articles I like? How bout when I answer those surveys to get more points to buy caviar on the Facebook App FoodFight? Think about all that information you could mash-up to create highly-targeted marketing strategies or community outreach plans (eg hitting all the female members that live in Chicago and liked Spiderman).

Google and Facebook in the ring?

Once upon a time, the web was a mess. You sat at your computer and clicked around endlessly. One day, a beautiful search engine appeared to index everything on the web. Now users could find content quickly and easily, while advertisers could target people searching for a particular term. Then one day, social networks started appearing and the magic search engine could no longer get that information; all their users were in a wall…

Ok, I’ll spare the fairy tale and get to the point: Facebook keeps Google from accessing that information contained in the social graph.

One of Brad Fitzpatrick’s ideas was that there would be no one social graph, because every site kept the information to themselves. That was true until OpenSocial. Details on OpenSocial are still a little sketchy (to me at least), but it’s probably best described as an open API led by Google that allows cross-platform interoperability and integration (partners include Orkut, MySpace, Bebo, LiveJournal, Plaxo, and others). Basically: Where Google once created a table of content or index of everything on the web, OpenSocial will allow all of your interests, relationships, etc. to be indexed.

Of course, there are already talks of security concerns, but for a marketer (or anthropologist) there is a lot of really cool data out there that can now be harnessed.

What are your thoughts on the social graph? Is it useful or just another catch phrase?

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Filed under Future of Media, Marketing, New Media, New Media Masters., Public Relations 2.0, Social Graph, Social Networking

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: The Mid-Season Clip Show”

Without fail, you’ll tune in to watch your favorite show mid-season only to find it’s a clip show. Although sometimes annoying, clip shows help those behind in the season catch-up while helping new viewers get a feel for the show by just seeing the “greatest-hits.” All of our guests have given amazing insight, but–in case you’ve been short on time–today’s “3Q’s in 3 Min” highlights socialTNT’s top 3 answers.

For those of you not familiar with our regular Thursday feature, “3Q’s in 3 Min” follows in the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

Our first clip features Forrester Research Senior Analyst Charlene Li. Charlene researches social media/web 2.0 technology and relates its uses to the marketing professional. In this clip, Charlene explains that by interacting with a brand–on even the most minute level–the consumer starts to build a relationship with the brand. See the full post and 3 minute interview here.

At last month’s Web 2.0 Summit, socialTNT was lucky enough to meet with Business Week Media Columnist Jon Fine. In his column, Jon focuses on the convergence of media and advertising. Check out the clip below to hear Jon’s opinion about social media and PR. For the full post and 3 minute interview with Jon, click here.

Our final clip for the day features Silicon Valley Watcher’s Tom Foremski. Tom has played a crucial part in PR’s evolution by declaring “Die Press Release! Die! Die! Die!” Below, Tom shares his ideas on the future of PR and stresses the importance of change. To see the full post and 3 minute interview with Tom, click here.

That was just a sampling of a few of the great interviews we’ve had on socialTNT’s “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min.” To see all of the interviews to date, please check out this page. We’ve got some great interviews lined up, so stick around. 🙂

Once again, thank you Charlene, Jon, Tom and all of our guests for sharing your insight.

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Citizen Reporter, Future of Media, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Video Interview

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Jon Fine, BusinessWeek”

[Due to technical difficulties, this post is going up a day late. Sorry.]

Live from the Web 2.0 Summit, it’s another installment of our regular Thursday feature, “3Q’s in 3 Min.” In the spirit of citizen journalism, SocialTNT puts bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters and communications practitioners on the future of media

This Thursday, socialTNT met with Jon Fine, Media Columnist from BusinessWeek. Not just covering big conglomerates, Jon’s column also focuses on the convergence of media and advertising. In today’s “3Q’s in 3 Min,” Jon tells us a little more about his beat, opines on the decline of traditional media and very honestly explains his view of PR.

After the jump, see the video and learn more about Jon…

I love reading Jon’s column. While other Media columnists at traditional pubs only cover, well, other tradtional outlets, Jon is always willing to hear what’s going on in the emerging media and music, especially if there might be an ad/marketing angle involved. Not a big surprise, since he used to write for Advertising Age.

I met Jon in the lobby of the Palace Hotel, the venue for the 2007 Web 2.0 Summit. Total New York (read: adult Williamsburg), he was rocking a pair of neon blue Nike SB Dunks, a pair of Gucci framed-glasses and some skinny jeans–not too surprising considering his blog post bashing Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s “Adidas man-sandals.” Jon would later tell me in our warm up interview that he was even technologically very New York; he doesn’t jump to the latest and greatest trend-tech and is too private to use Twitter. After my emphatic explanation of the applications beyond the “What are you doing?” aspects, he may quickly become a member of the Twitterati. 😉 He’s also been putting off incorporating RSS feeds into his reading habits.

Facts about Jon:

  • He’s married to MediaBistro founder, Laurel Touby
  • So deep into punk rock, he has his own band
  • HUGE politics fan (religiously reads The Kaus Files)
  • Typical daily media consumption
    • MediaBistro, BuzzMachine, Kaus Files, NYT (print version) , WSJ (print version), New Yorker, New York Mag, Advertising Age, Drudge, and Fortune (never Forbes)
  • He, too, is a member of the Jeff Jarvis fan club
  • He is on Facebook and LinkedIn
  • In addition to his column in BusinessWeek, Jon has a blog

When watching the video, keep in mind that Jon says he’s more of a traditional media reader. I don’t completely believe it, but it is nice to hear an East Coast perspective on Media. Pay close attention to Jon’s last couple of statements, he offers a completely candid opinion of PR industry and its future.

To me, Jon is absolutely right. There are more tools in the toolbox with less attention to go around. By utilizing these tools effectively, we can gain more attention. Isn’t that what our clients pay us for? The idea of attention economy is something I’d like to explore in a future post. Charlene brought it up in last week’s interview.

What do you think? Is the media slowly declining, or will it be a fast death? Is PR headed for the same doom?

Thanks for a great interview, Jon!

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Citizen Reporter, Future of Media, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Video Interview