Monthly Archives: August 2010

Is email passé for the over 50’s

So social media is just for the young is it?  Most of the conversations I have about social media and social networking are with the over 40’s.  But look at the graph below from the Pew internet report  showing the jump in usage of social networking sites by the over 50’s.. Half of all internet users ages between 50 – 64 use social networking sites.  And look at how the curve flattens off for the under 30’s.  I think we’re at saturation here. Anyone under who isn’t using social media right now is probably not going to use it in the near future. 

Whilst the Pew report remarks that the older generation still like to share funny stories on email, propagating messages in this way, and doing their email.  Young people don’t tend to use email as a communication mechanism at all preferring status updates on Facebook to keep in touch with their friends.  As the New York Times reports, keeping in touch is really important for older people who live a long way from their friends and families

“Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users,” explains Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and author of the report. “Email is still the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications.”

But with almost 90% of the under 30’s using social networking sites, and 4% of folks reaching the board, it’s a sure bet that as these young people get older social media will become ubiquitous in every company.

Which is why you need an effective policy and great set of guidelines in your company.  ‘Nuff said…


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Changes in Facebook’s default privacy settings

Useful infographic.  Scary stuff though.  Something to watch out for too…


I think the main thing is to re check your Facebook privacy settings on a regular basis – just in case they slip something in that you haven’t noticed.  Like Facebook Places for example…

Thanks to Wordstream for the post

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Live Writer plug in for Posterous

I’ve been blogging for a while now, and I’d use Live Writer.  I’d also like to use Posterous regularly for odds and sods that aren’t really relevant to my blog here.

Posterous will publish to your blog, Twitter, Facebook and the like and it works by email.  All you need to do is email Posterous and it does the rest.   Its great idea but it disrupts my workflow.  Here’s what I mean.

  • I use Live Writer to create posts.  When I hit publish the post goes to my blog
  • I use the Twitter Notifier add in for Live Writer to tell Twitter about each new post.
  • Twitter is linked to Facebook so my tweets appear in the live feed
  • Twitter is connected to LinkedIn so my tweets appear there
  • I use Facebook notes to publish the text of my blog

Hmm.  There doesn’t seem to be any room for Posterous in this flow. 

I still want Twitter to publish to Facebook as my Facebook friends get my non blog related tweets.  I don’t want to duplicate any entries and I want to keep Facebook for more personal stuff.

So I noticed that there’s a Live Writer Plug in for Posterous on Codeplex written by Scott Lovegrove who also wrote the Delicious and Tweetmeme plugins for Live Writer.   There’s a bit of configuring to do, like any add in but it works like a dream.

So I posted the draft post I’ve been meaning to post today.  It went to Posterous and nowhere else.  Yay! Then I switched to another profile and posted to my blog which notified Twitter which notified Facebook 


Now I can keep the trivia and the irrelevant stuff that I stumble across totally separate from my work persona.  Nothing weird will go to Twitter and LinkedIn.  All the daft stuff and whimsy will go to Posterous and Facebook.

All sorted.  All down to one plugin.  Scott, you’re not a fool, you’re a genius.  Thank you! 🙂

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Tweet me!

Barrie has published a great post talking about Twitter statistics.  unfortunately 45% of all Twitter messages are either pointless babble or spam messages.

The sad part of his list is that only 20% of Twitter users actually add value to others by sharing information and responding to others.  The rest of Tweeters are just broadcasting

That’s a shame,  With only 4% of Tweets being actual news, that means that the other 96% or so is either pointless babble, spam or conversation.  Yikes. 

There are 3 ways to communicate using social media tools:

  • Broadcast
  • Rebroadcast (retweet or share links)
  • Engage

Many companies start their social media campaigns by broadcasting.  They receive messages from the community but don’t interact with their customers. They treat social media like another marketing campaign, outbound only. And they repeat themselves.  Did I tell you I’d written a book?  Have you noticed I’ve written a book?  Did I send you the link to my Facebook page for my book? 😀   Repeating the same messages will not work in the new age of conversation.  It’s the new spam.  No I DON’T want an iPad on Twitter.  People believe that by rebroadcasting other messages they will gain more credibility and reputation.  Wrong.  Only with reguslar and genuine engagement with your audience will you get the quality of relationship that you value so much.

So I thought about what I actually use Twitter for.  Here’s my list:

  1. I follow interesting people on Twitter.  Technologists, Journalists, social media experts and local connections
  2. I keep up with people who I wouldn’t normally contact on a regular basis.  These are my weak ties. I might have worked with them in the past, or met them at a networking event, but I like what they post and I interact with them regularly
  3. Retweeters.  I follow some people who I’ve never met, or interacted with at all, but they retweet interesting snippets if information that I wouldn’t have found from  my main Twitter feed
  4. Discovering the buzz.  I find out what others in my feed have been talking about and what they are talking about.  I get to hear about things outside of my normal field of vision and focus areas
  5. I can chat and share amusing things with my informal friends.  Email is so passé now 🙂
  6. Syndication.  I can save time by propagating the same message to Facebook and LinkedIn.  My different circles of connections can then see what I’m up to without any effort.  Any extra personal stuff I’ll post to Facebook alone, and pure business updates will go onto LinkedIn
  7. I can watch trends which takes me into new areas to blog about or write about.  Tools like tweetgrid – a memory hog but very useful when you want to watch several trending topics and the content of the feeds at the same time
  8. I watch the dynamics of people interacting with each other from my different networks.  for example how the heck does one of my techy friends from the midlands know a craft maker from Essex.  I’ve interacted with both of them.  Was I the connector?  Did something I say spark a new set of conversations?  Or was it the 6 degrees of separation (sorry 4.1)
  9. I lurk.  I see who my friends are following, the conversations that are going on and I follow them myself if they are interesting folks.  This method is much more interesting than Twitters suggested list of folks to follow
  10. I use the DM feature to have private chats to folks who NEVER talk to me on an ordinary @ message.  Surprising folks who I’d never chat to often.

So that me.  What do you use Twitter for?  Apart from chatting to me of course 🙂

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Value or Rubbish? Implode or Explode? You decide

I’ve seen a few interesting posts on blogs and on Twitter complaining about how social media and especially Twitter is filled with rubbish and is stupid, that the whole social media storm is going to implode on itself (it won’t.  It will just settle into a set of normalised patterns).  There are also some who complain that the aggregators I talked about yesterday are just spam or just a waste of time

image But for those of us who like to consume news in bite sized, or should it be byte sized chunks, feel Twitter is ideal for them.  The sheer volume of social media messages, and the ability to cause an incredible impact.

Jon’s post today has a staggering set of statistics about the number of Google searches, YouTube views and news articles about the woman who callously put a cat in a wheelie bin.  An explosion of indignation about this dreadful act of cruelty to a friendly animal.

This story exploded within a few hours and is another example of the incredible outreach of a media story.  Remember the buzz that was created the other week by the girl who “quit her job” – and who now finds herself very much in the spotlight and the subject of a lot of attention.

With so much information flying around, and more and more companies wanting to know how to properly engage on Twitter and other social networking sites, being part of the conversation is more and more important.

Managing your time, managing your feeds and managing your information will become more and more important as we use more mechanisms to communicate with our connections without becoming addicted.

Like it or not, Twitter and Facebook have become part of the fabric of our lives.  We now need to learn how to manage them effectively so that they complement and not consume our lives.

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Visual dandruff campaign

ick.  Clever and effective.  What a great face to face campaign.  They are salt shakers in case you’re wondering what on earth they contained…


As a direct campaign, they work and with folks blogging about the idea and chatting on the Facebook page, it’s also a social media campaign

hat tip to reflection of me blog for the image..

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