I have no time for metrics based on follower numbers and facebook fan page numbers and friend counts.
In my experience, the social objects created solely with the goal of “going viral” will consistently underperform and reduce the likelihood for earning relevance and resonance. Those objects incentivized by thoughtfulness, value, and perhaps even empathy, will gain traction and encourage response and sharing, transitioning from relevance to resonance. And, the ingredients for resonance are readily available for those businesses that pay close attention to the recurring themes in customer conversations, actions, and reactions.
In the random things I learned this week file, the oddest thing that has stuck with me came from a Time article on animal intelligence and communication.
It seems there are only a few species that point to draw attention to things. Dogs inherently know how to point from hunting in packs and humans are big pointers. Great apes, although one of the most communicative species, don't naturally get pointing but those raised in captivity by humans soon figure it out.
By learning how to point, Kanzi the 'talking ape' now has hundreds of words in his vocab he can use to make sentences based on a chart of symbols. My favourite is his word for cabbage: 'lettuce' symbol + 'slow' symbol. 'Slow lettuce' because it takes him longer to chew. Genius!
It's a bizarre concept that we take take for granted and yet it's probably one of the most powerful tools in human communication.
People often get very confused when I try to explain the practical side of the social web and the difference between hosting and sharing information.
For example, if you film a little video, you can upload it to somewhere like YouTube where it will be hosted. You then share the link to the YouTube video out across other networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or your company website.
Sharing is pointing.
Pointing is getting attention.
You are pointing people back to your information and saying 'look at this'.
Picture yourself for a moment as an African Wild Dog out hunting in the Sahara. If you pointed out a dude with a gun to your pack so they didn't get shot then that would be useful pointing and people would want to listen to you more. If you keep pointing out inane stuff like 'wow look sand!' then the other African Wild Dogs would think you were stupid and irritating and stop listening to you.
You also need to make room for other people to point out their stuff and get attention. They also want you to listen and look at their stuff like videos, blogs, websites or boring holiday photos.
I love this earlier quote from Kanzi's human friend Bill Fields:
“Kanzi was raised among humans, he has a powerful desire to communicate with the humans in his world He wants to share, he wants to do things with people. He wants people to know how smart he is. He wants people to know what he can do. And occasionally he'd like to be able to tell people to do things for him that he can't do for himself, like go down to the Dairy Queen and get him an ice cream with chocolate on it."
Seems we're all pretty much the same.
More fun then untangling iPod headphones, company social media account lock outs are hours of fun for all the family.
"Giving laws, wanting improvements, making things easier, has all become wrong and evil. May each one seek out his own way, the way leads to mutual love in community. Men will come to see and feel the similarity and communality of their ways." – Carl Jung in The Red Book.
I went to a party of 'normal' people on Saturday which quickly turned into a focus group about why I’m so weird.
I am very weird. Very insecure, probably didn't get enough attention as a child and have daddy issues. I fear rejection, seek performance based affirmation, have abandonment concerns and don’t eat five plus a day fruit and vegetables in palm-sized portions. All of which I’ve self-diagnosed from my Frasier box set series seasons 1-11.
To be fair they didn’t actually say "why are you weird?" they said "I just don’t get what you get out of all this blogging and tweeting and vlogging and stuff. I guess you make money out of it."
Many people give me far too much credit for strategically doing things online for financial reasons. I wish I was that clever. Most of the social media work that I do now is for global brands briefed overseas and you won’t see it here or know that I worked on it. It sits in big ugly two hundred page media reports that I use to prop up my monitor and is activated by in house teams. The companies I work with have no idea about my personal activity online (I think?).
The reason I clatter away so much on my personal accounts is that it gives me a voice and it make me feel important. Also, I work by myself a lot and online is my virtual workplace where I chat to Dennis in accounts. Whether anybody is listening or not doesn’t really matter, it’s cathartic for me and it’s cheaper than therapy. I feel involved and part of something. Online communities self-regulate, it’s opt-in or out by your choice and you can connect with people across ideas. Sometimes when I spend the day talking to real-world people about breastfeeding and the new tiles they got in their kitchen and their wheat allergies (interest level zero) I need to go and look at Jake and Amir dot com and Failblog to wash all the boring off. Some people say hyperconnection is a bad thing. I say it is awesome.
I read a New Yorker article on the weekend (yes I read the New Yorker…bite me) about a 16 year old girl who escaped from North Korea into China. She had had never heard of the Internet and was terrified abut talking to the American reporter Barbara Demick because “Americans are evil and our enemies.” All the press is government controlled and little things I take for granted like asking John Key on Twitter what time he’s going to drop my new panda around would have me in front of a firing squad. The freedom for people to express ideas freely sounds all a bit sop but it made me feel quite grateful to be around at this time in history and not have to listen to Newstalk ZB anymore for Joe Punter drunken 3am opinions. And not get shot for being a smart-arse.
I'm no Che Guevara but I’m not so hot on hierarchy or authority or people creating industry associations and making themselves the Chairperson of them to be important. Someone suggested we need an association like WOMMA in New Zealand- the whole idea makes my skin crawl and is anti the grass roots democracy concept that makes two-way communications an exciting area. Maybe I’m just a stereotypical Gen-Y who expects respect to be earned because I really don’t care if you’re the CEO or the Grand Poobah of anything (but I don’t believe in that ‘generational’ theory, lazy market researching).
I think I lost the ‘normal’ people at the party around the ‘Frasier box set series 1-11 part’. They just blinked at me and walked away and said ‘you’re probably going to blog this crap aren’t you?”
News Ltd reveals readership details of newspaper sections
News Ltd has today released details of its study into how readers consume various sections of its publications.
The Sectional Reader Study was based on an online questionnaire of 14,108 respondents across Australia. It was conducted by Newspoll, which is co-owned by News Ltd, late last year.
The study covers News Ltd’s five metro groups – Sydney’s Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Melbourne’s Herald Sun; Adelaide’s Advertiser and Sunday Mail; Brisbane’s Courier Mail and Sunday Mail and Perth’s Sunday Times – plus The Australian.
According to the study, the section most likely to be read are news pages on a Sunday, with more than 90% of readers saying they always or mostly read them. Least read are Sunday business pages with less than 30% of readers saying they always or mostly read them – the weekday figure is fractionally higher.
Among the metro highlights according to the study:
- Average time readers perceive that they spend reading the metro papers: Weekday – 42.8mins; Saturdays 57.1 mins; Sundays 62.3 mins;
- 39.5% say they read or leaf through all or most pages on a weekday; 25.8% about three-quarters; 19.5% about half; 8.9% about a quarter; 5.1% less than a quarter;
- Around 90% always or mostly read the news pages;
- Just under 50% always or mostly read the sports pages;
- 55.3% say they always or mostly read the Escape travel section; 24% occasionally;
- 54.8% say they always or mostly read the Body + Soul section; 22.4% occasionally;
- Around 40% say they always or mostly read the Confidential showbiz section; about 30% say they do so occasionally and 30% rarely or never;
- 71.4% say the always or mostly use the TV guide;
- About 30% say they always or mostly look at the metro papers’ business sections; a further 30% or so do so occasionally; 40% say they do so rarely or never;
- 36.1% say they always or mostly read the personal finance pages;
Highlights of The Australian:
- 33.1% say they read most pages; 25.5% read “about three-quarters”; 21.7% read about half; 11.7% read about a quarter; 6.4% read less than a quarter;
- Readers say they spend an average of 44.7 minutes with the weekday edition of The Australian and 61.9 minutes with the Saturday edition;
- The most read weekday section of the Australian is the news section, which more than 80% say they always or mostly read. More than 40% say they always read the business section, sports section, IT section and wealth section. About 37% say they always or mostly read the higher education section.
- If it was surveyed, The Australian has not revealed the readership of its media section.
Tony Kendall, director of sales for News Ltd said: “Some of the results of the study were a surprise.” He claimed: “More women read Confidential than the leading weekly women’s magazines. We also found that health and beauty is important to male readers who spend over ten minutes on average each week reading Body+ Soul.”
The move by News Ltd comes as debate continues to rage of readership metrics.
Newspaper Works – which is funded by newspaper publishers – has beenattempting to set up a rival readership study
Kendall said: “The market place asked for accountability and we’ve invested heavily in this national study.”
If there’s two groups of people that love to moan it’s doctors and farmers.
Farmers complain that it rains, that it’s sunny, that the government needs to interfere, that the government is too interfering, that can only replace their Commodore every three years now instead of every two years.
Doctors and med students are again moaning that their student loans are too big and they feel undervalued. Boo hoo. I came out of uni with a fair whack of a loan that I’m still paying off. I run a business and have no guaranteed income (unlike most doctors that are paid by the government through taxation). That’s my decision. I’ve got nothing against doctors or farmers but I know plenty of people that have struggled over the last couple of years, been made redundant and worked in hard conditions through restructures and felt undervalued. Many are tertiary qualified but they don’t seem to share the same sense of entitlement and bang on about their student loans.
If you want to play with cows or broken people for a job that’s your decision and you knew that when you signed up. That is all.