Friday, 24 April 2009

Pre War Twittering

An article from the Times archives reveals that Twitter has a remarkably similar analog predecessor called the Notificator. The company which was set up in 1931 went bankrupt 6 years later...


Thursday, 23 April 2009

Looking At The Data

Very nice visualisation of the current financial mess we find ourselves in. This from Good magazine's recent contest to make sense of it all.

2008 Financial Crisis by Carolyn Aler and Sam Conway.

(Click to see the original)

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Pharma & Social

Forrester released a report today on how Pharma and Healthcare companies can use social media for their consumers. The key problem in the health related arena - more so than finance at the moment - is the amount of regulation from the FDA that terrifies the companies into complete inactivity in the space. Forrester estimates that this puts the healthcare sector 18 months behind the competition (an eternity in the space). They also propose paths that would allow healthcare marketers lower risk points of entry:

"Options include a private community, an application with limits on customer-generated content, or a fuller application with appropriate safeguards built in. As social networks become a bigger and bigger part of the healthcare ecosystem, pharma companies will need to become adept in dealing with them, even if they don't create them."

Once again, the conversations will happen, it is the role of responsible marketers to be a part of them...

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The Database of Attentions Growing in Stature

Interesting article in today's NYT on using Twitter posts to glean customer insights about products and brands.

"Companies like Starbucks, Whole Foods and Dell can see what their customers are thinking as they use a product, and the companies can adapt their marketing accordingly."

Beyond the more established practice of simple monitoring, Microsoft, is trying to figure out a way to gauge influence based on an analysis of the content of the individual tweets and the make up of that person's followers. Microsoft would then be able to contact the most influential twitterers to engender buzz arouund new products and services. This has often been done in the blogosphere where influence may be easier to establish based on links, comments etc, the analysis of 140-character tweets and a loose collection of followers may prove more difficult. The network effect can be extremely powerful in looking at influence but followers do not a network make...

Friday, 3 April 2009

Googling Twitter or Twittering Google....

The rumours of intense discussions between Google and Twitter concerning an eventual takeover gathered speed earlier this week. According to TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, indications came from two separate and unnamed sources that claim talks between Google and Twitter are in the late stages. Clearly, the real time search opportunity that Twitter represents is the attraction here and Google would not want to see a search rival adding this potentially game changing piece of the puzzle.

Coincidentally this week, AdAge also published a story about how Google is using Twitter to sell ads by offering marketers ad units that stream their five most recent "tweets" across the entire Google AdSense network. An early advertiser - TurboTax is using the vehicle to start conversations with Twitter users and they are starting to work out what a Twitter follower is worth from a marketing perspective. Another path to monetisation...?