Business partners tell IBM they want social media education – DMNews

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of IBM’s business partners told the company they realize the number of social media outlets is growing, precipitating the need for them to increase their educational scope in that area.

The companies told IBM they are seeking training on specific social media tools, like RSS, Facebook, Twitter, wikis, videos and setting up networking communities to engage with partners and customers, according to an IBM social media survey.

So, I’m still sealed in my bunker getting through work, but I just spotted this gem courtesy of @wiredprworks. Last year I really did think social media would start to decline but that might have just been my perspective having been ‘in’ social media for a while already. I was wrong, but happily so. This year things really do seem to be taking off. This is anecdotal I know, but I have a lot of people banging on my door for social media of all sorts – consultancy, training, advice – whereas last year it was extremely quiet. And it does seem that my anecdotal evidence is being replicated by just about every curve I see. They’re all up. Everyone wants a piece of it. Including, it seems, most of IBM’s business partners.


TouchGraph | Products: Google Browser

Products: TouchGraph Google Browser

Use this free Java application to explore the connections between related websites.

Try it now! Enter keywords or a URL, and click ‘Graph it!’ See
Getting Started below for more details.

This could be a gloriously irrelevant toy or a hugely useful tool. I’ve only just come across it so I’m not sure. If it works, it could be creating influence maps on the fly for any given topic. I just tried it with ‘social media’ and whereas it mosly listed social media sites (eg YouTube, Twitter etc) it did throw up some interesting results. Definitely worth a look, even if you just want to look at the pretty graphics or impress clients with them in Powerpoint presentations.

PR? Essential? Blogs? From a Ragan tweet to a Cooper post via good old-fashioned email.

Today I saw an interesting tweet from Mark Ragan of Ragan Communications. He pointed to a list of ’25 Essential PR Blogs’.

This piqued my interest for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I have a bit of form when it comes to lists of PR blogs. I used to curate the PR Friendly Index, in which I attempted an evolving, transparent methodology in which to rank the PR blogs that I read. I learned a lot from doing this and, incidentally and completely honestly, got a lot more attention for doing this than I ever anticipated.

Moreover, I was interested in two critical words: essential, and PR. Because what I learned through the PR Friendly Index was that, while my list tried to remove the subjectivity as much as possible – given that, accepted, it was my own reading list to begin with – I keep coming across other lists that have little or no objectivity at all. So ‘essential’ interested me.

PR was also an interesting term. I found out through the index that people who used to write about PR had largely turned to talking about social media.

So I retweeted and responded: RT @MarkRaganCEO: 25 essential PR blogs: << Essential in what sense? PR in what sense? Sorry, don’t buy it.

Mark responded, asking why. So I emailed him back, and we had a nice email chat about it.

This is the gist of my argument, which Mark has kindly given consent to be republished bearing in mind it was an email convo:

Regarding the ‘I don’t buy it’ comment, it’s just that I’ve seen a lot of lists, mainly in my PR Friendly Index travels (see for the backstory there).

I just have a problem with:

  • Essential – without any metrics used to qualify this. About six months ago I popped up on Smarter Social Media’s list of 100 Smartest People in Social Media (see… – although I just noticed the link is broken so I’ve asked them where that’s gone). I did point out to them at the time that there were no metrics accompanying this, so it really was just their take on it and it would have been nice to see a real, objective way of compiling such a list (I even had a chat about it with their CEO later that day). This is what I was trying to do with the PR Friendly Index. So, I don’t buy ‘essential’ without a way of saying what that means. Essential for what, to whom, why?
  • PR – I noticed some blogs on the list that were about social media. Now, I know it’s all about communication, and social media and PR fit together hand-in-glove, but that was another issue that my PR Friendly Index brought up: namely, that everyone seems to be jumping on the social media bandwagon. I posted about it here:…. So, as well as not really getting the ‘essential’, I don’t get the ‘PR’ here either. I guess this is just definitions, but they’re important.

And basically I was probably just trying to cause a stir with my tweet, but it got your attention! 😉

At least I was open and transparent with the last point there…

So, very interesting. I like the way Mark asked me for more feedback, and how we were able to have a chat about it away from Twitter (I almost said ‘offline’ there but that’s almost how I view email these days).

We’re still all learning from each other and, on a day in which Facebook makes a move to dominate the location-based space and in the UK we find we’re spending half our time with online media, perhaps we need to start accelerating our understanding, now.

TWEEFIND – Twitter Search By User Rank

I’ve been using this quite a lot recently. It’s not a problem looking for people who are talking about an issue on Twitter, but it is a problem that Twitter is so fast moving, and the people you find today might not be there tomorrow. Likewise, it’s not a problem finding people who major on a certain issue (WeFollow, anyone?), but they might not be talking about it right now. Enter Tweefind. Type in your search terms and it gives you the people talking about that, now, ranked. As with all these tools you need to supplement it with real work, like you would supplement a MacDonalds and Special Brew with some freshly crushed orange juice and vitamin pills, but it’s a reasonable place to start.

RowFeeder “Excels” at Social Media Keyword Monitoring

RowFeeder is designed to bring social media analysis into the familiar spreadsheet workflow. It tracks keywords on Twitter and Facebook, aggregating the matching posts and related data. Results are then made available for the user to download in raw format, as a rich Excel report with pre-populated graphs, or in real-time using Google docs spreadsheets.

What-what-what-what-what? Social media monitoring with Excel capability? I’d like some of that, but it seems you have to pay. Darn it. Even a free or limited demo would have been nice. Still, it’s (yet) another option for the Excel-heads among you. Us, sorry. All three of us.

5 not-so-easy steps to managing your brand online | VentureBeat

Social media is deceptive. It appears easy, free and yours to own simply for the price of admission and engagement. If this post were to live up to an alternate headline, say the “5 Easy Steps to Managing Your Brand Online,” the list might look a bit like this:

  • Monitor and listen to conversations related to your brand and competitors
  • Start a blog, create a Twitter profile, set up a Facebook brand page and broadcast a YouTube channel
  • Draft social media guidelines
  • Be transparent and authentic
  • Ask questions, introduce polls, curate interesting content and have fun

This is another nice post from Brian Solis. He does cover the really tough stuff, but then he’s good at covering the basics. Not that any of these steps are particularly basic – for example, you need to put in quite a lot of work to monitor effectively (believe me, I know), or to make sure your channels work together in a strategic manner (ditto). Btw, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m stalking Brian – I didn’t even realise he’d written this until I’d decided to share it!

HP Blogs – What makes a tweet influential? New HP Labs social… – The HP Blog Hub

How is it that certain topics manage to get more attention than others, thus “bubbling to the top” and changing the agenda of an online community?


Today, Dr. Bernardo A. Huberman, the director of HP Labs’ Social Computing Lab, released research on the nature of user influence on social media networks such as Twitter. After analyzing 22 million tweets, Dr. Huberman and his co-authors calculated a novel measure of influence for individual users and developed a corresponding algorithm that automatically identifies particularly influential users.

Research, research, research. You can’t get enough of it. OK, well, maybe you can, but this is important research. It does tell us things we already know, that popularity is not necessarily influence, but when someone’s analysed 22 million tweets rather than speaking from experience or gut feeling, you should listen to what they have to say.

Twinfluence – Twitter Influence Analyzer

twInfluence is a simple tool for measuring the combined influence of twitterers and their followers, with a few social network statistics thrown in as bonus.

We know that “A-List” Twitterers like Scoble, LeoLaporte, and BarackObama have a lot of influence on Twitter, because they have tens of thousands of followers. However, social network analysis teaches us that there is a “horizon of communication” that extends beyond your own direct contacts, and this is demonstrated whenever somebody “retweets” a message. The significance is that not all followers are equal.

I’ve come across Twinfluence before and generally I don’t like this kind of approach. I find it hard to understand, therefore my clients would find it hard to understand, and therefore even harder to take appropriate action. I also don’t think you can boil everyone on Twitter down to ‘a score’. HOWEVER, despite myself, I find their explanation page fascinating, especially the charts showing typical profiles and how they change over time. I’m still not sure this is something comms people would go for especially, but it’s a ‘nice to know’.

15 Excellent Corporate Blogs to Learn From : Technology :: American Express OPEN Forum

Although the act of creating blog posts can be quite simple, forethought and planning must first go into the creation of a corporate blog in order to keep the processes running smoothly, especially if multiple bloggers are involved.

We recently outlined 10 tips for corporate blogging for businesses hoping to focus on key elements of creating a blog in the corporate world. Now, we’re taking it a step further, presenting 15 excellent corporate blogs that you and your fellow employees can learn from.

I’ve been scratching around looking for case studies for quite some time and this post is a good one for breaking down what is good in each case. I would have liked to see more about how they each fulfilled business objectives – that is, are/were they actually successful in their own terms, did they contribute to what the organisation wanted to do – but it’s still a nice place to start if you want to investigate corporate blogging further.