Tag Archives forOnline Communities

Twitter’s growth flatlines

Mashable is reporting the sudden flatline of Twitter’s phenomenal growth.

Image from Mashable.com

Image from Mashable.com

Even though I use Twitter, I do so reluctantly.  My life and thoughts are not, quite honestly, so exciting nor profound that I need to broadcast every action and thought to my followers.  I find Twitter beneficial for following some thought leaders or a general monitoring of the Twitter stream for information.

This Harvard study reports on what I’ve suspected yet lacked the background data: 10% of Twitter users create the vast majority of the content.  And when you look at the content created by these uber Tweeters, there is so much crap and self-aggrandizement, many followers drop off out of frustration.  In essence, Twitter has become a communication/broadcast medium for a community of followers rather than a conversational medium.

Maybe I’m being too harsh.  Part of Twitter’s huge growth may be attributed to a voyeuristic satisfaction of peering into a person’s daily activities via Tweets.  Perhaps the majority of followers have realized that in the end,  their own lives are more interesting than those they follow.

Author of Harvard Study

Where have all the revolutionaries gone?

I was thinking this morning that I haven’t heard about anyone being “revolutionary” in a while as it relates to a leader of a movement.  That applies to technology, biology, etc… It could be that I’ve been living under a rock (not likely, but I’ll accept that as a possible explanation) or that I don’t travel/read in the right circles.

We don’t hear about the monumental characters who are so persuasive in their words, so committed to their actions, by their presence and determination, they shake the foundation of society and redefine a new water line.  I wonder, has the Internet made the need for one unifying voice obsolete?

In days of Jesus Christ, Oliver Cromwell, Tomas Jefferson, Bill Buckley, Emma Goldman (fill in the name of your favorite revolution here______________), persuasiveness was reflected not only upon what they wrote (or preached) but how they implemented their vision.  In the modern era, say since 1997, the tools of vision communication have become pedestrian: available to many and therefore the message must be that much more compelling to rise above the noise.  The vision and voice of the individual leader has largely been replaced by the revolutionary masses (or hordes, depending on your perspective).

Where have all the revolutionaries gone?

Has technology made them obsolete? Or has technology amplified yet distributed the common voices so that coalescence now occurs at an individual level?

Community feedback may predict a company’s financial performance

Just finished an article on the Kellogg Insight web site discussing research findings on mavens, community, and influence.

Using key work semantic analysis on the community postings, the Kellogg researchers determined those knighted as “influencers” are able to disproportionately sway opinion vs. the average community member.  And more often than not, influencers took positions on a product’s performance and whether or not to buy the product.

This could be a great tool for those in the financial services industry.  More specifically for analyst who follow and analyze earnings of product based companies.  By using an online community and deploying a systematic research focus, it may be theoretically possible to determine how well a new product might perform in the market place.  And, if it is a highly visible product (from a company’s revenue generation perspective) the community’s response could be a leading indicator on the impact the company’s bottom line.

The Bamboo Borg

I love this picture, quite the juxtaposition of organic and inorganic designs and material.

The photo was taken in Hong Kong.  The scaffolding is made out of bamboo which is tied together to build the superstructure used outside of the building under construction.

The Bamboo Borg

In some ways this makes me think of the interactions that online and social community software companies try to capture.

Some companies like Jive, Mzinga, and of course HiveLive (where I work), take the organic predisposition of humans to interconnect and bind.  In turn, the software provides the structure and meta-framework that allows for the maximization of discovery and interactions, both human and information centric.

Of course I’m greatly biased as to which company does it the best, cough, HiveLive.

Facebook = Sellout

Despite a crazy valuation based on eyeballs, Facebook has always struggled to monetize their user base on the growing social platform.

So how does the poster child for online communities decide to make a buck?  Sell your profile data.

To their credit, Fb did try advertising, but too many of its users focused on friending rather than paying attention to Fb version of lame ass banner ads.

We’ll see how much intrusion the FB audience will handle.  A decent amount of information is already available for Fb users.  A key point will be to what degree market researchers methods intrude and ratchet up the creep factor.  Then again, Facebook users aren’t exactly known for being, er, discrete.