Monthly Archives: August 2011

Crowdsourcing works: Producing the mobile 3G map of the UK

Rory Cellan Jones at the BBC has done an interesting experiment using crowdsourcing to discover the true coverage of 2G and 3G in the UK.

They produced a mobile app for Android, and asked users to download it to their phones.  They then collected usage data about mobile data coverage.

The results appeared to show differences from published coverage of data.  Here’s the map of the data showing coverage in my area… Unfortunately my coverage veers from 2G to no coverage.  Damn you purple square!

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But even so, I’m in a good area compared with the rest of the UK.  What makes this survey interesting is:

Crowdsourcing works even without monetary reward. The community wanted to contribute to the test and 44,600 volunteers downloaded the app and voluntarily used it to collect data to upload the the BBC

Crowdsourcing works if there is media involvement in the campaign.  I heard about this on the radio, the website and the blog.  Announcements across several social channels spread the word

Crowdsourcing works if there is value in the end goal.  The map of 3G coverage in the UK was the result.  You can now say you contributed to the sum of this knowledge (if you downloaded the app)

Other companies use crowdsourcing too – The Geeks are sexy blog has a visual explanation of crowdsourcing showing several other companies that have benefitted from crowdsourcing. 

Perhaps it would work for your business too?

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Facebook friends: Ready to migrate to Google + Yet?

When I started using Google + I was underwhelmed at the interaction I was having – because none of my friends were in there.  All my friends and close colleagues – the people I wanted to interact with were on Facebook.  But I’ve worked out a way to export my friends to Google +

Its a simple but 2 step process.

First, you need to create a Yahoo! email account account.   Log in to Yahoo mail and Click on Contact | Import Contacts

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Choose the Facebook icon and move your contents into Yahoo!

Then Switch to Google +

Click on the Circles tab, click Find people and connect your Yahoo! account to Google +  (I needed to minimise the browser window as the authorisation pop up was behind my main screen…)

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Your Facebook friends now appear in your list with the Yahoo icon ready to be placed into circles.

now I can start to properly connect over on Google + too..

If you don’t have an invite – get one here

 

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

Internet Addictive Disorder: Can you bear to disconnect?

Look around you.  Are you in a public place?  If you’re reading this and there are folks around you, what are they doing?  Are they chatting to their friends, are they reading a book?  or are they hunched over their digital device being ‘productive’ on their way to work?

Chances are, if you’re on a train, bus, or other communal place, able to receive 3G or Wi-Fi, then folks will be connected to their devices like a drowning man hangs on to a lifebelt. We depend on our connectivity, and heck we miss it when it’s not available whenever we want it to be.  Are we all addicted to the Internet, to being connected, to being online?

You might be addicted to the internet, but don’t worry, you’re not alone.  Between 5% and 10% of Web surfers suffer a Web dependency and it can alter the way your brain is wired.  It has been also  theorised that these changes reflect learning-type cognitive optimizations for using computers more efficiently, but also impaired short-term memory and decision-making abilities.  Does all of this IT make you happy?

The Advanced workplace blog speculates we’re addicted to, and in fact enslaved by our mobile devices

But it’s possible to take a break from your PC, a holiday without your phone.  It’s possible to manage without connectivity for a few days.  Try to step away from your computer.  The Internet will still be here when you return Smile

 

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Image credit: Xkcd

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Wiffiti: Are you brave enough to screen your brand feed?

There are lots of tools that allow you to capture a Twitter feed, or set of keywords and have them updated in real time but I particularly like this one for its ease of use.  It’s called Wiffiti and it updates your screen in real time. 

You choose which words you’d like it to search for.  This can be names, hashtags, people, whatever.  Then you

 

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Here’s the wiffiti screen  i created above, updating in real time from Twitter

Add up to 5 tags, customise the background with your logo, preview and publish your screen.  Then sit back and watch the screen refresh…

It’s great for conferences when you want to get interaction from the audience, questions and commentary.  Its great for confident brands to display brand sentiment.  You can get interaction via text, or via hash tag.Imagine a screen like this in the reception area of your favourite brand?  Would they dare to do it?…

Are you confident enough about your brand to show it in your office reception??

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Facebook: Get more control over your privacy

It’s about time this happened.  Facebook is giving you a lot more control over your privacy settings and who sees what about you.  Here’s a roundup of the upcoming changes which are being rolled out across the Facebook world:

 

You can pre- approve tagged photos.  If someone has tagged you in a post – you can decide whether you want to have your tag included – before it appears on your profile feed

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Change privacy settings even after you have posted – you can change the setting at any time after the post has been sent

You can view your profile as others see it – right from the home page – not deep down in the configuration options

Status updates can be customised per post.  It’s much easier to decide who gets to see the update.  This was always there – but hidden behind a custom view behind the padlock that you see now on your status update

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Tag locations whenever you post – not just from a mobile phone

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Facebook have made it much easier to customise your privacy settings, and made them much more visible on the main page.  However, remember how slack Facebook’s default privacy settings are..

There are more images showing where these Facebook privacy settings are currently displayed on the Business insider blog.  These images are from the Facebook blog and profile controls page  – as the chances haven’t reached my part of the countryside yet Smile 

 

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

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Bullies: ugly on the inside, pretty on the outside

I stumbled upon a great post by a photographer, Jen McKen who lives in Pennsylvania.  She’s taken quite a stand against bullies and is to be applauded for her actions on her Facebook page.  Here’s the screenshot of her post:

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She sent out emails to the girls and their parents, and returned their deposits.  As she says If you are ugly on the inside, I’m sorry but I won’t take your photos to make you look pretty on the outside!

It’s a really brave thing for a small business owner to do.  Taking a stand and risking losing revenue is a big risk.  Its also wonderful that Jen runs an ethical business, and stands up for what she believes in. 

May her business reap the rewards for her stand on bullying.  So many children’s lives are ruined by bullies that it’s heartening to find someone who is committed to changing this behaviour in schools. 

Inspirational…

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

150 billion: That’s how much we value the Internet

There’s some interesting data from Mckinsey about the value of the Internet and the activities we use the web for.  Have a look at the graphic below which depicts services that we’d pay for that are currently free to use.

Image source: Ross Dawson

We pay 30 billion for online services and to avoid pop ups and web clutter – McKinsey estimates that we’d pay another 20billion 

So that leaves about 100 billion ‘surplus’ value which is categorised across the different channels.  Many consumers couldn’t live without email – and it’s the lifeblood of some companies that haven’t fully embraced collaborative solutions internally.

We’d be miserable without the internet and spend far too much time on there… but with a mind boggling value of 100billion as a surplus, these channels will be incredibly attractive to advertisers and others who would like a piece of that projected revenue…

Lets see what they come up with… Google + perhaps? Smile

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.