How a New “Influencer” App Could be Your Most Powerful Content Marketing Weapon


By JOE CHERNOV
Content Marketing Institute

Last week, a member of a private Facebook group comprised of social media professionals asked if anyone could supply a list of influential event marketers. So far, only two names have been suggested. Yet in the past 90 seconds, I identified 297. Or, more accurately, Little Bird, a newly launched start-up founded by former ReadWriteWeb editor Marshall Kirkpatrick, did.

Little Bird is essentially a search engine for influencers, but unlike services such as Klout that assign a “reputation score” to people, Kirkpatrick’s tool starts with a topic and, based on Byzantine connections throughout the social graph surrounding the issue, works backward to the “insiders” who are most influential about that particular subject. 

Take “content marketing,” for example. Little Bird tells me Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi tops the list of influencers, followed by Michael BrennerLee OddenC.C. Chapman and myself. Of course, naming the “known” people is the easy part. After all, Pulizzi runs this blog, Brenner and I were up for content marketer of the year, and Odden and Chapman have both written books on the subject. But Little Bird’s algorithm does more than surface the obvious. For example, it tells me that since making a move to OpenView Labs, Kevin Cain has begun making a name for himself in content marketing; that Deana Goldasich and Robert Rose have risen to prominence by listening to the right voices; and that nearly everything Cheryl Burgess tweets gets shared broadly.

In other words, Little Bird might just become a content marketer’s most powerful weapon, because it addresses the practitioner’s three most pressing needs: more content, better content, and wider distribution.

More content 

There is only so much you can write about your product or to your ideal customer persona before you begin repeating yourself. At some point, effective content marketers need to publish about topics adjacent to their product and buyer. They need to cast a wider net, so to speak. This is where Little Bird comes in.

Let’s say your company retrofits big offices with cables and locks to prevent laptops from being stolen. While most of your content will address the needs of IT and security personnel, you may also wish to capture the attention of facilities leaders and interior designers. You may even want office furniture manufacturers to consider integrating your attachment system into the industrial designs for future desks.

Chances are, you don’t know who these people are, what blogs they read, or what they care about. Little Bird can tell you not only who these insiders are, but also what topics they are talking about and what articles they are sharing. Imagine all of the real-time content ideas this information could inspire.

Better content (full story)

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Google CEO: The Next Great Stage of Search is Automatic

That sounds pretty interesting, as long as you can turn it off and exercise some control over what’s being sent. “What’s that ping notification you just received,” your mother in law might ask as you travel through town together. “Oh nothing,” you might reply, “just Google telling me there is a business establishment nearby related to some of my recent search queries.”

Seriously though, my long-term mobile search dream is this: dear phone, please tell me about the history, ownership, news coverage and other information about the building I am looking at in front of me. Make that automatic and ambient and I’m going to be one happy Google Mobile Search user.


Typing a search query into Google.com is such old news. Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave a much-hyped keynote talk at Berlin‘s IFA home electronics event today and said that his vision for the future of search looks very, very different.

Schmidt says he believes that in the future, your mobile phone will quickly and automatically deliver personalized information to you based on your physical location and interests. “Since you are in location X right now, and have interest Y, Google thinks you’d like to know information Z,” the search giant will effectively say to your phone.

Here’s the key quote, as captured by web industry publication PaidContent:
shmidtpic

“Ultimately, search is not just the web but literally all of your information – your email, the things you care about, with your permission – this is personal search, for you and only for you.”The next step of search is doing this automatically. When I walk down the street, I want my smartphone to be doing searches constantly – ‘did you know?’, ‘did you know?’, ‘did you know?’, ‘did you know?’.

This notion of autonomous search – to tell me things I didn’t know but am probably interested in, is the next great stage – in my view – of search.” Leer más “Google CEO: The Next Great Stage of Search is Automatic”

Google CEO Schmidt: “People Aren’t Ready for the Technology Revolution”

Eric Schmidt spoke at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe today and dropped some serious rhetorical bombs. “There was 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003,” Schmidt said, “but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing…People aren’t ready for the technology revolution that’s going to happen to them.”

The Techonomy conference is a gathering of people from around the globe seeking to use technology to solve the world’s big problems. Schmidt spoke there today and said that people need to get ready for major technology disruption, fast.

The bulk of what’s contributing to this explosion of data, Schmidt says, is user generated content. From that content, far more prediction than we’ve seen today is possible and will be a factor in the future.


By Marshall Kirkpatrick <!– –>

Eric Schmidt spoke at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe today and dropped some serious rhetorical bombs. “There was 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003,” Schmidt said, “but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing…People aren’t ready for the technology revolution that’s going to happen to them.”

The Techonomy conference is a gathering of people from around the globe seeking to use technology to solve the world’s big problems. Schmidt spoke there today and said that people need to get ready for major technology disruption, fast.

The bulk of what’s contributing to this explosion of data, Schmidt says, is user generated content. From that content, far more prediction than we’ve seen today is possible and will be a factor in the future. Leer más “Google CEO Schmidt: “People Aren’t Ready for the Technology Revolution””

The Most Popular Payment Solutions for Freelancers (Charts)

What’s the best way to do one-time or recurring billing for your online business? That’s an important question for the growing legion of independent service providers transitioning countless business transactions onto the web.

That which is most popular may not be the best, but it’s a good place to start looking. Popular online invoicing service FreshBooks posted today two pie charts (below) quantifying the most popular services used by FreshBooks customers to bill their clients, both inside and outside the US. PayPal may be the winner in one-time billings, but not by much. In recurring billings, it’s not even close to number one.


freshbookschartlogoWhat’s the best way to do one-time or recurring billing for your online business? That’s an important question for the growing legion of independent service providers transitioning countless business transactions onto the web.

That which is most popular may not be the best, but it’s a good place to start looking. Popular online invoicing service FreshBooks posted today two pie charts (below) quantifying the most popular services used by FreshBooks customers to bill their clients, both inside and outside the US. PayPal may be the winner in one-time billings, but not by much. In recurring billings, it’s not even close to number one. Leer más “The Most Popular Payment Solutions for Freelancers (Charts)”

MySpace Preparing to Go Beyond Friends in Your News Feed

Written by Marshall Kirkpatrick

Things aren’t looking up for MySpace these days, but the site remains one of the most popular online (50m people in the US visit it every month) and the people behind it are ready to experiment. Tonight we were sent a link to one experiment that looks great – a photo-heavy, curated celebrity and news portal to drive subscriptions to topic streams and liven up your MySpace news feed.

The project is clearly unfinished and it hasn’t been discussed anywhere we can find, but it’s publicly accessible at MySpace.com/Everything and it looks quite good. The code underneath says it’s powered by CrowdFusion, the dream-CMS (content management system) built by Brian Alvey, Jason Calacanis’s co-founder of the Weblogs Inc. network bought by AOL.

Above: A partial screen capture of MySpace/Everything

Crowd Fusion offers a feature-rich and intelligent content curation back-end that we first wrote about just under two years ago. It was built by a dream-team of early successful bloggers who decided to build their own blogging engine just the way they thought it ought to be done.

The company raised $3 million from investors including Netscape co-founder Marc Andreeson and Ross Levinsohn, one of the key players in the old Fox acquisition of MySpace.

The way the feature appears to work is that a MySpace editorial team, along with algorithms and business partnerships with trusted 3rd party content sources, will curate a stream of photos, videos and highlighted quotes. MySpace users can vote those bits of content up or down, comment on them, click through to the destination site (after an annoying interstitial page) to see the full content or most importantly subscribe to news topics (like Britney Spears) and get future updates delivered into the same news stream that their friends’ updates appear in.


Things aren’t looking up for MySpace these days, but the site remains one of the most popular online (50m people in the US visit it every month) and the people behind it are ready to experiment. Tonight we were sent a link to one experiment that looks great – a photo-heavy, curated celebrity and news portal to drive subscriptions to topic streams and liven up your MySpace news feed.

The project is clearly unfinished and it hasn’t been discussed anywhere we can find, but it’s publicly accessible at MySpace.com/Everything and it looks quite good. The code underneath says it’s powered by CrowdFusion, the dream-CMS (content management system) built by Brian Alvey, Jason Calacanis‘s co-founder of the Weblogs Inc. network bought by AOL.

Above: A partial screen capture of MySpace/Everything

Crowd Fusion offers a feature-rich and intelligent content curation back-end that we first wrote about just under two years ago. It was built by a dream-team of early successful bloggers who decided to build their own blogging engine just the way they thought it ought to be done.

The company raised $3 million from investors including Netscape co-founder Marc Andreeson and Ross Levinsohn, one of the key players in the old Fox acquisition of MySpace.

The way the feature appears to work is that a MySpace editorial team, along with algorithms and business partnerships with trusted 3rd party content sources, will curate a stream of photos, videos and highlighted quotes. MySpace users can vote those bits of content up or down, comment on them, click through to the destination site (after an annoying interstitial page) to see the full content or most importantly subscribe to news topics (like Britney Spears) and get future updates delivered into the same news stream that their friends’ updates appear in. Leer más “MySpace Preparing to Go Beyond Friends in Your News Feed”

The New Hotmail Looks Great – And It’s 3X as Popular as Twitter

Written by Marshall Kirkpatrick

As of tonight, every one of Microsoft Hotmail’s 350 million users now has access to the newest version of the webmail service. And you know what? It looks great. Early adopter snobs have long mocked anyone still using Hotmail, but the service has three times as many people using it as Twitter does (100m+). Why does that matter? Because Hotmail deserves some more respect when it innovates and does things well.

It looks really good these days, too. It’s fast, it’s really clean looking, it has cool features that Gmail doesn’t have. It’s worth a look. Your friends might make fun of you if they find out you’re using Hotmail, but who really needs friends like that, anyway? [Más…]

What does the new Hotmail offer? According to an announcement tonight by Mike Schackwitz on the Inside Windows Live blog, the biggest changes in the new version are speed, performance, one-click filtering and “active views” (inline display of multimedia like photos and videos).

I’m impressed by the inbox links to view emails that contain documents or links to documents, a filter for just messages from your trusted content and a filter that automatically pulls aside maintenance messages from social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The integration of Microsoft’s online document creation and collaboration tools are really nice too. It’s more tightly integrated that Gmail and Google Docs are.


As of tonight, every one of Microsoft Hotmail’s 350 million users now has access to the newest version of the webmail service. And you know what? It looks great. Early adopter snobs have long mocked anyone still using Hotmail, but the service has three times as many people using it as Twitter does (100m+). Why does that matter? Because Hotmail deserves some more respect when it innovates and does things well.

It looks really good these days, too. It’s fast, it’s really clean looking, it has cool features that Gmail doesn’t have. It’s worth a look. Your friends might make fun of you if they find out you’re using Hotmail, but who really needs friends like that, anyway? Leer más “The New Hotmail Looks Great – And It’s 3X as Popular as Twitter”

10 ReadWriteWeb Readers Explain What Our Internet is Turning Into

How do we explain the Web and what it means? With so many innovations changing our lives, that’s a complex explanation. Now what if you had to do it in only a few words?

Marshall Kirkpatrick recently asked some of our readers that very question. We then picked 10 responses most worth sharing. Congratulations to those who made the list. And if you’d like to add more ideas to this ongoing discussion, please do so in the comments section below.

1.
Filtering is The Future

“I feel the next great advancements in the Web will not be centered around publishing, but filtering all the information so you can find more relevant content and people.” – Eric Wortman
2.
A Way to Have a Voice That Matters

“For non-techies like myself, the Internet is empowering. I can have a voice and it matters to some. I can consume, create, share, participate, lurk, connect with others, etc. It’s up to me, and I love that.” – Robin Ashford


Written by Deane Rimerman

question_mark.jpgHow do we explain the Web and what it means? With so many innovations changing our lives, that’s a complex explanation. Now what if you had to do it in only a few words?

Marshall Kirkpatrick recently asked some of our readers that very question. We then picked 10 responses most worth sharing. Congratulations to those who made the list. And if you’d like to add more ideas to this ongoing discussion, please do so in the comments section below.

  1. Filtering is The Future

  2. “I feel the next great advancements in the Web will not be centered around publishing, but filtering all the information so you can find more relevant content and people.” – Eric Wortman

  3. A Way to Have a Voice That Matters

  4. “For non-techies like myself, the Internet is empowering. I can have a voice and it matters to some. I can consume, create, share, participate, lurk, connect with others, etc. It’s up to me, and I love that.” – Robin Ashford Leer más “10 ReadWriteWeb Readers Explain What Our Internet is Turning Into”