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

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) | Week in Review


How Is Windows 8 Going To Do? Microsoft Doesn’t Want To Talk About It

What’s The Best Time Of Day To Send Emails? [Infographic] | ReadWriteWeb / Enterprise

Email blasts may seem like the out-of-touch old fogey of online marketing, but there’s a reason they keep hanging around: They still work. But that doesn’t mean most businesses understand how to get the most out of them. One of the biggest, hardest-to-answer questions has always been: When is the best time to send out messages? Finally, we have some hard information.

As an editor at a number of publications over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to maximize the effectiveness of email newsletters. And I’ve ended up in endless discussions of what time would be best to send them out. And there are literally millions of articles on the Web trying to answer that question. Seguir leyendo “What’s The Best Time Of Day To Send Emails? [Infographic] | ReadWriteWeb / Enterprise”

Everybody is Lying to Me and I Don’t Care

privacy_150_erase.jpgWhy do I feel like everybody is lying to me all the time? I cannot get around the idea that every technology company with a major platform is doing everything it possibly can to get as much data from me as it possibly can through any means necessary. No barriers go un-trampled in the quest to track me, cookie me and use my personal information to obtain the greatest level of profit … from me.

Google gets a lot of blame for its tracking behaviors in relation to advertising and cookies. I stopped trying to hide data from Google a long time ago because I am not sure it is even feasible anymore. I am a denizen of the Internet, therefore Google knows everything about me. The undisputed king of tech, Apple, often gets a pass on privacy concerns because we all love our damned iPhone and iPads so much. Apple should get no such pass. It wants your data as badly as all the other tech companies and it does not want to share. Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon? Yeah, you are in this discussion too. At some point I just throw up my hands and say, “you know what? Screw all of you.”


Thumbnail image for shutterstock_smartphone_privacy.jpgI am not generally opposed to tech companies tracking my activities and data. Most of the time I believe that the general purpose is to provide me a better experience. I do not set any of my browsers for private browsing by default and only use “safe browsing” techniques on mobile devices to keep me away from spam and botnets. I use an HTTPS connection whenever possible to make sure my user name and passwords are not being intercepted by nefarious third-party entities.

What I am sick of is that every time one of these privacy stories breaks, it is nobody’s fault. The script is the same: “we’re sorry, we didn’t mean to do it, we will shut it down right away.” You know what? It is everybody’s fault.

For instance, the most recent blow up is that Google and three other advertising networks were violating Apple’s Safari guidelines for third party cookies. Google issued a statement to Ars Technicasaying that the tracking was completely unintentional and was a product of tying the “+1” button to Safari to determine if a user was signed into his/her Google account. Apparently, the third-party advertising cookie running through also accidentally made it through too.



Apple allows cookies in Safari across all of its devices. That can be first-party cookies from the homepage of a domain or certain social third-party cookies, like the ability to like something through Safari on Facebook. Cookies are used for important things, like remembering logins and password credentials. They are also used for delivering important outside information, like location-aware messages and advertising.

Apple wants this information as much as Google does. The more Apple knows about you, the more it can tailor your experience and keep you coming back to Apple for devices and services. Blocking third-party cookies in Safari is not some altruistic motive by Apple. It is a marketing gimmick and a way to shut out other services from accessing data that would be available elsewhere on the Web without Apple’s intervention.

Google wants the Web to be as open as possible to serve its purposes. Apple wants the Web to be as controlled as possible, providing a funnel about everything you do and everywhere you go back to Apple and/or its developer partners. To many, this has become a war against the “open” Web. Facebook has also been accused of this very same practice with its closed platform. Microsoft has long known everything you do through its Windows and Internet Explorer platform. Amazon wants to track you so it can provide better shopping data.

Thumbnail image for shutterstock_online_privacy.jpgJohn Battelle sums up the nature of Safari in regards to his iPhone nicely when reacting to the Google tracking story:

Or perhaps it’s because Apple considers anyone using iOS, even if they’re browsing the web, as “Apple’s customer,” and wants to throttle potential competitors, insuring that it’s impossible to access to “Apple’s” audiences using iOS in any sophisticated fashion? Might it be possible that Apple is using data as its weapon, dressed up in the PR friendly clothing of “privacy protection” for users?That’s at least a credible idea, I’d argue.

This is why I throw my hands up and say, “you know, screw it.” Every one of the tech companies has an agenda and each of them wants your personal data. Whether that is Path, Twitter, Foursquare or others uploading your contacts list without your consent or Google tracking your cookies or Apple tracking your location. Each is going to push the boundaries of what is perceived to be acceptable and when they get caught they are going to say “sorry, we’ll stop now.”

I am also a firm believer that the technology and the Web is not free. The foundation of the Web was built off of user data. User data keeps the Web gassed up and moving down the information super highway (as we used to call it in the 1990s). I do not mind giving up my cookies and a certain bit of my privacy for a better experience. Take Path for instance. After Path allegedly deleted all of the contacts it had automatically uploaded, it prompted me if I wanted to upload my contacts. I said yes. Because without doing that, Path would be a barren place to me and I would have no way of finding my friends on the platform.

privacyicons1.jpgWhat I am really trying to figure out when it comes to privacy decisions by technology companies is whether or not harm is being done. Is this going to hurt me now? Will it in the future? Will it hurt my friends and family? My greatest fear is that I am framed for a crime and all of my data on the Internet will be used against me. Or that someone will cause harm to me or my family financially or physically. Will the government take my data and make my life difficult? These are all legitimate fears.

I then ask myself when these “scandals” take place, who is being harmed? The media loves a big “my god, they did what?!” story. If we put it in perspective, this Google tracking Safari story is no big deal. They then shame the offending company until it apologizes and gets on with its life. The fact of the matter is that it does not really matter to the user to share in this shame and outrage because in the long run nothing is going to fundamentally change. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, Amazon, Path and all the rest are going to use our personal data however they want. We may cry privacy violations and they may apologize again. And againAnd again.

That is why I say screw it. Screw the companies for setting up the system that perpetuates this mess, screw the media for making it a scandal every time, screw the users who let it happen. Everybody is to blame.

Use my data. I wash my hands of you and it. Just make for damn sure that no harm comes of it.

Because then, we would really have problems.

5 Signs of a Great User Experience


If you’ve used the mobile social network Path recently, it’s likely that you enjoyed the experience. Path has a sophisticated design, yet it’s easy to use. It sports an attractive red color scheme and the navigation is smooth as silk. It’s a social app and finding friends is easy thanks to Path’s suggestions and its connection to Facebook.

In short, Path has a great user experience. That isn’t the deciding factor on whether a tech product takes off. Ultimately it comes down to how many people use it and that’s particularly important for a social app like Path. Indeed it’s where Path may yet fail, but the point is they have given themselves a chance by creating a great user experience. In this post, we outline 5 signs that the tech product or app you’re using has a great UX – and therefore has a shot at being the Next Big Thing. Seguir leyendo “5 Signs of a Great User Experience”

Las claves de las redes sociales para el 2011

Si 2010 fue el año de las redes sociales, 2011 –lejos de revertir esta tendencia– ejercerá un efecto multiplicador en cuanto a interacción, negocios e innovaciones. Enterate cuáles son los cambios que se vienen

El sitio especializado ReadWriteWeb publicó las que, de acuerdo a sus pronósticos, serán las claves de Social Media para el año próximo. Los cambios en la experiencia online involucrarán no solo al usuario promedio, también a las empresas que explotarán aún más las bondades del universo 2.0. Seguir leyendo “Las claves de las redes sociales para el 2011”

10 Tech Blogs Web Designers Should Be Reading

Henry Jones |

In the past, we’ve recommended various design blogs for you to read. From learning new techniques to free resources and tools, design blogs can be a great asset. But there’s more to a web designer’s job than just designing. Web designers work in a field that is immersed in technology, and since technology is ever changing, it’s important to stay up-to-date on what’s going on.

For this post, we’re recommending 10 Tech Blogs Web Designers Should Be Reading. From emerging technologies that will change the web, to the best hardware for getting your work done, these blogs will keep you informed.


tech blogs

Techi is an exciting platform that serves fresh daily technology news, funky new design stuff, in-depth editorial articles, and reviews. It’s maintained by a passionate collective of geeks from different backgrounds and as such we bring diversity and insight to our articles. Seguir leyendo “10 Tech Blogs Web Designers Should Be Reading”

Recap of the Technology

At the recent ReadWriteWeb Mobile Summit, I convened a session about emerging mobile applications for sensors and other Internet of Things technologies. It ended up being a lively discussion on the possibilities for new types of mobile apps that will take advantage of sensor and RFID data. The raw notes of the session are here, thanks to Pat Dash. In this post I’ll flesh out some of the ideas.

This will be a 2-part post. In Part 1, we’ll cover food and supply chain apps, social networking, and retail. In Part 2, we’ll look at future apps for environment, buildings, and health.

Recap of the Technology

First, let’s quickly re-visit the technology. Sensors, barcodes and RFID tags are all emerging methods of connecting real-world objects to the Internet. As I explained in my keynote presentation at the Mobile Summit, modern smart phones are increasingly being used to read and write this data.

Smart phones can be used as both readers (e.g. barcode scanning) and writers (e.g. swiping your phone over an RFID Reader to purchase a subway ticket).

Sensor technology is one of the most intriguing areas of innovation currently in smart phones. Firstly, the phone may read and act on sensor data from real world objects; data like temperature, noise and activity. Secondly, the phone may be used as a sensor itself; for example enabling other phone-toting people to sense your proximity to them. Seguir leyendo “Recap of the Technology”

Twitter’s Translation Problem

Written by Mike Melanson

For all the hype and all the discussion, the thousands of apps surrounding the service and our constant amazement at how fast or slow it grows, one point noted in a Twitter blog last night might bring us all back down to Earth for a moment – Twitter just became multilingual less than six months ago.

If you’re wondering, there are as many, if not more, Spanish speakers in the world as English. While Twitter is bragging about its expanding international audience, the next time you find yourself wondering why the service hasn’t absolutely exploded on the worldwide stage, look at its translation issues.

Now, this wasn’t the main point of Twitter’s blog post, which tells us that more than 60% of Twitter accounts come from outside the U.S. But, it didn’t seem like a rather noteworthy point.

twitter-international-growthjpg.jpgAccording to the company, the addition of a Spanish-language Twitter website saw an “immediate 50% boost in signups from Spanish-speaking countries.” After the earthquake in Chile, signups “spiked 1200% and nearly all of those were using Spanish as their language.”

The reason we make this comparison is to remind ourselves of how infantile Twitter really is. We compare it to Facebook all too often, and that much-repeated statistic of 400 million users, but we don’t bother to note that Facebook is also translated into more than 60 languages.

So, while Twitter is not only striving to reach mainstream America, it is still only offered in two languages and it’s a bit of a surprise that it’s become as international a service as it has. While the blog brags that Indian politicians have spurned a recent growth in India, the country is also host the second largest number of English speakers worldwide.

Jack Dorsey on Translation Seguir leyendo “Twitter’s Translation Problem”

Huge Growth Projected for Web Tech, Software, Systems Job Market

Written by Abraham Hyatt

blue employee signLooking for a job? You’re probably about to find one. By the year 2018 there will be 1.4 million job openings for so-called “computer specialists” – that’s everyone from developers to database administrators – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The non-hardware-related job market is expected to grow faster than almost any other sector in the country. For instance, jobs for systems and application software developers are expected to grow 30%-34%. The number of network systems and data communications jobs will explode by 53%.

The BLS’ analysis, which measures from 2008 to 2018, found that only a few other job sectors are expanding as fast as tech. Health care is also at the top of the list – which makes sense considering the growing needs of the aging Baby Boomer generation. But many “computer specialist” jobs are unique in that they have some of the lowest replacement rates in the nation. That means those double-digit growth figures represent almost entirely new jobs.

Editors Note: This post is part of a series ReadWriteWeb is producing in partnership with Tableau Software, where we examine interesting data sets relevant to technology trends today. You can use Tableau Public to create interactive visualizations like this and publish them to your own blog or website or anywhere online. This is the last week to enter Tableau‘s User Generated Graph Contest. Winner will receive a free trip to Web 2.0 and $500. Sign up before March 26. Seguir leyendo “Huge Growth Projected for Web Tech, Software, Systems Job Market”

Weekly Wrapup: Google vs. China, And More…

Written by Richard MacManus


The big news of the week was Google‘s efforts to remove censorship from its search results in China – read on for our coverage and analysis of this news. We also continued our exploration of the significant Internet trends of 2010, including Real-Time Web, Mobile Web and Internet of Things.

Note: We’ve refreshed the format for our longest running feature, the Weekly Wrapup. It now focuses more explicitly on the key trends that ReadWriteWeb is tracking in 2010, as well as giving you the highlights from the leading story of the week. Let us know your thoughts on the new format.

Story of the Week: Google vs. China

More China coverage and analysis

Historic Conversation in NYC: Ai Weiwei, Jack Dorsey & Richard MacManus

On March 15, at the prestigious Paley Center in New York City, a conversation will take place between Chinese digital activist and artist Ai Weiwei, Twitter co-founder and chairman Jack Dorsey, and yours truly, Richard MacManus, ReadWriteWeb founder and editor in chief. The moderator will be Orville Schell, the director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York.

The topic of the event is the emergence of digital activism for fostering positive social change. The onsite event is invitation only, but it will be live streamed exclusively on ReadWriteWeb on Monday, March 15, at 6:30 PM EST (-5 GMT), from the Paley Center for Media, New York City.

Mobile Web

More Mobile Web coverage

Check Out The ReadWriteWeb iPhone App

We recently launched the official ReadWriteWeb iPhone app. As well as enabling you to read ReadWriteWeb while on the go or lying on the couch, we’ve made it easy to share ReadWriteWeb posts directly from your iPhone, on Twitter and Facebook. You can also follow the RWW team on Twitter, directly from the app. We invite you to download it now from iTunes.
Internet of Things

More Internet of Things coverage

Real-Time Web

More Real-Time Web coverage. Don’t miss the next wave of opportunity on the Web supported by real-time technology! Get ReadWriteWeb’s report, The Real-Time Web and its Future.


ReadWriteStartOur channel ReadWriteStart, sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, is dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs.


ReadWriteEnterpriseOur channel ReadWriteEnterprise is devoted to ‘enterprise 2.0’ and using social software inside organizations.


ReadWriteCloudOur channel ReadWriteCloud, sponsored by VMware and Intel, IS dedicated to Virtualization and Cloud Computing.

That’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.

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