How much online influence do you have?

A number of years back, I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point which presents his thesis on why things “go viral”. Its a very powerful book, even if it has received some interesting criticism. Bells started ringing for me as soon as I started reading a recent publication from a group of students at Oxford University titled The Dynamics of Protest Recruitment through an Online Network. The paper is a bold attempt to monitor the spread of information about a protest on Twitter, and it draws some interesting conclusions based on the results.

Perhaps most importantly, these sorts of studies will help the marketing army to re-evaluate how they carry out their campaigns, but I also hope that it convinces some people that they should just give up tweeting because nobody is really that interested.

The researchers behind the paper focussed on the surge of protest mobilization that took place in Spain in May 2011 and resulted in a fairly large camped protest in the centers of many of the major cities in Spain, including the Plaza del Sol in Madrid. During the period of a month, starting on the 25th April 2011 (20 days before the mass mobilisations started) and finishing on 25 May 2011 (3 days after the national elections), over 87 000 Twitter users were tracked for nearly 600,000 protest messages. Through the Twitter API, it was possible for the researchers to determine who each user follows and who in turn follows that user. By following how messages spread through this network of relationships, they determined which nodes were most effective at user ‘activation’.


http://memeburn.com/2012/03/how-much-online-influence-do-you-have/

A number of years back, I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point which presents his thesis on why things “go viral”. Its a very powerful book, even if it has received some interesting criticism. Bells started ringing for me as soon as I started reading a recent publication from a group of students at Oxford University titled The Dynamics of Protest Recruitment through an Online Network. The paper is a bold attempt to monitor the spread of information about a protest on Twitter, and it draws some interesting conclusions based on the results.

Perhaps most importantly, these sorts of studies will help the marketing army to re-evaluate how they carry out their campaigns, but I also hope that it convinces some people that they should just give up tweeting because nobody is really that interested.

The researchers behind the paper focussed on the surge of protest mobilization that took place in Spain in May 2011 and resulted in a fairly large camped protest in the centers of many of the major cities in Spain, including the Plaza del Sol in Madrid. During the period of a month, starting on the 25th April 2011 (20 days before the mass mobilisations started) and finishing on 25 May 2011 (3 days after the national elections), over 87 000 Twitter users were tracked for nearly 600,000 protest messages. Through the Twitter API, it was possible for the researchers to determine who each user follows and who in turn follows that user. By following how messages spread through this network of relationships, they determined which nodes were most effective at user ‘activation’. Leer más “How much online influence do you have?”

5 Tips for taking your tech startup from big idea to business success

3. Do your homework
More often than not, real success comes from doing your homework. There’s no use in launching a revolutionary product if your market simply isn’t ready for it. So do your analysis, beta test your product, see who bites, and don’t ever be afraid to put out a free tester. Once the thumbs go up and the market says “yes please”, then you can start selling, and make a very strong case to potential financiers, who can help you to take your business to the next level.

4. Manage your cash-flow
Potential venture capitalist partners are looking for a solid sales track record. This doesn’t just mean more money; it means giving your prospective venture capital investors something to measure ROI against. If you can manage a solid growing flow of sales, then your prospective VC partners are able to feel a lot more secure about your ability to manage and nurture their seed capital.

Professional VC companies have a very strict litmus test on profitability. Most will not accept a loss-to-win ratio of less than 50%, so you really need to be able to show them that your idea has the capacity to go all the way, and that you are the one to take it there.

5. Change your mind-set
In spite of increasing opportunities, going it alone continues to be a frightening prospect, particularly in developing economies.

However, armed with the correct mind-set, and the right amount of hard work, research and planning, there’s nothing stopping you from turning your big idea into big business success.


 

Dave Blakey

 By  | http://memeburn.com

 

Throughout the world, and particularly in emerging market countries, the entrepreneurial landscape remains notoriously difficult to navigate, with an estimated 80% of small businesses failing to sustain themselves for a period of longer than five years.

However, with an increasing percentage of jobs now being directly attributable to small business ventures, financial backers in both private and public sectors are slowly starting to acknowledge the substantial impact of entrepreneurial activity on a nation’s economy.

Yet, in spite the rising global trend towards venture capitalist backing of tech startups, there remain very few such initiatives present in emerging markets. Can this be accredited to unsustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems, or is success simply a mind-set shift away?

Conservative investors
A venture capital investor once told me that, out of ten investments, he expected seven to fail, two to return his investment and one to make a fortune. Those are fairly frightening odds for someone investing large amounts of capital, but even more terrifying for someone looking to leave the security of the job market to launch a start-up business.

What’s more, bankers and financiers are generally not intent on funding ideas that might be perceived as “pie in the sky”, particularly when it comes to the technical and creative industries.

As a result, it’s no wonder that many start-ups end before they even crank up the proverbial engine, the main reason being they couldn’t raise the venture capital financing required to start, or were simply too afraid to try.

1. Reduce your risksLeer más “5 Tips for taking your tech startup from big idea to business success”

Social is not defensible

This brings me to the social aspect of my core idea; social is not defensible.

Friendster thought it had it in the bag with social. Then MySpace thought it had in the bag with social. Now Facebook thinks that it has it in the bag with social (and a few other tricks up its sleeve).

At each point the three previously mentioned social networking companies had critical mass, reached a tipping point and grew exponentially. Two of the three were, in the eyes of the public that matter, were virtually wiped off the face of the Internet by the next big social thing. (To be fair, Friendster has over 100m registered users and is now a gaming site and MySpace was recently bought by some people including Justin Timberlake who want to do some things with it, or something).

Google+ has reared it’s behemoth head recently and become the fastest growing social network in the history of the Internet. That’s quite impressive.

If social is inherent and everyone has it, then what is defensible?

I think Facebook has two key things that make its business defensible: An overwhelming number of active users and an ecosystem.

There is a sense of chance that one gets from the success of Facebook and Twitter, an element of serendipity if you will. Right place, right time, right mix of things. Once that was in place then the market took off and grew Facebook and Twitter’s defensibility.

Now I am definitely oversimplifying (before I get roasted in the comments) and I am aware of the immense volume of cash injected into both Facebook and Twitter, but lets be honest, MySpace had NewsCorp behind it and it tanked. Anything is possible.

The point of this particular article is to emphasize that if you are building a business, a technology, a campaign or anything else for that matter, saying that you are “social” does not set you apart, it puts you firmly in the category of appropriately average.


Nicholas Haralambous
By  | http://memeburn.com/


The concept of being social is inherent and should be a part of everything that a company does, in any industry.Social is just the nature of things and people. When you’re in the grocery store and you bump in to someone you know, that’s social. When you ask for directions: social. When you talk to a petrol attendant: social. When you get advice from a friend on a dinner venue: social.

Everything is social.

Therefore nothing that claims to be social as a unique selling proposition is defensible or, in fact, unique.

What do I mean by defensible? It’s quite simple. As a startup in the technology space (in any industry really) you need to be able to defend your business. You need it to be defensible against competitors. A simple test of this is as follows: If someone had US$20-million of investment and wanted to do what you do, could they easily be better than you at it and take you out of the market? Could they take contracts and staff away from you and crush your business? If your answer is “Yes”. Then your company, idea, brand, or niche is not very defensible. Leer más “Social is not defensible”

Online reputation management, now with crowdsource sauce

humour… or rage. People are. Based on their peer-reviewed accuracy, the BrandsEye Crowd are paid for their effort.

“The global online reputation management industry has always been plagued with poor data quality. Through the creation of BrandsEye Crowd, we have solved this problem, allowing for the data and insights we gather for clients to be trusted as a far more central component of strategic decision making — throughout businesses,” says Tim Shier, MD of BrandsEye.

Shier reckons his system is a “radical innovation in the online reputation management space”.

“We know of crowdsourced rating in academia, especially economics, but not for commercial brands. We’re very proud of the system, which is already showing incredible accuracy, and we believe can get to between 95-100% perfect with a bit more refinement. In this space accuracy is all-important — accurate data quality gives you quality insights, which helps you make better business decisions.”


By  | http://memeburn.com


This is interesting. Take the field of online reputation management, the practice of managing a person’s or company’s brand across the web and social networks, then add a bit of crowd source sauce using ranking techniques better known in chess grandmaster circles… and what do you get?

Well, you should get improved accuracy in measuring what people are saying (and thinking) about you or your company online — and you get to pay a whole lot of people to help you do it.

This is what the latest iteration of BrandsEye claims to do. BrandsEye is one of many online reputation management tools out there, but is only one of about 10 that has caught the world’s attention. Operating in more than 100 countries, it’s a creation of a Cape Town-based digital agency called Quirk.

In the digital era, where everyone is tweeting, publishing and sharing — keeping an eye on what people are saying about your brand is important, especially if its negative. Leer más “Online reputation management, now with crowdsource sauce”