Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Social Media Outlook for 2013 from Potomac Tech Wire; little concern shown about "do not track"


Today I attended the Social Media Outlook 2013 symposium at the Gannett headquarters at Tsyons Corner, VA.
  
I’ll list as dot points the points that were made. Generally, most attendees were more interested in practical monetization than policy debates (like “do not track”) or social issues.
    
The keynote speaker was Rohit  Bhargava author of “Likeonomics,”  (Wiley) teaches at Georgetown, “7 Social Media Trends for 2013”, first time announced before publication.
   
Social trend reports are self-serving and lack credibility.
    
Important trends are (1) efficient or optimized shopping, especially when in the store,, as with (1a) integrate devices with Dashlane  (1b) cross checking prescriptions(1c) flexible renting instead of buying (Zipcar); (2) Partnership publishing (or cooperative publishing, as compared to simplified print-on-demand), also called DIT “Do it together, examples such as (2a) Netminds (typically needs team members for an author) (2b) Domino Project (2c) Paper lantern; (3) Humanbanking or community banking, using plain language, with a new kind of credit card called “Founders Card”, tailored toward entrepreneurs; (4) Me Funding as a variation of Crowd Funding or Kickstarter;  one example is a girl raising money to go overseas for a charity trip;  (4a) another example is Indiegogo; (5) Very local commerce, such as the idea that “all news is local” (5a) Goodzer, local shopping (5b) Shopify; (6) Friend-Sourced travel; (7) Degree-free lending, like creatvieLIve (it’s not easy to teach music composition this way because “it takes a long term to become a good composer”).
  
The Full 15 Trends Report will be published at his site,  the report to be available Dec. 3. 
    
Someone asked about trends for “public relations practioners”, and “content as an aspect of marketing”.
The panel comprised Dan Berger (Social Tables) (replaced by Sashi Bellamkonda), Jodi Gersh (Gannett), Leigh George (R2Integrated).
  
Facebook and Twitter are losing their “cool” or mojo with youngest people, gaining with older adults. Sponsored ads as part of a timeline are seen as intrusive by visitors. Facebook’s tracking algorithm may be overly tuning a visitor’s newsfeed, excluding some things he or she actually would want to see.  Facebook is an “easy publishing platform” but it doesn’t reach everyone.  The single SignOn of Facebook still drives a lot of modern Web interaction experience.  Not many people keep track of all of their contact information off of Facebook (but I do!, in an off-line directory  -- am I still a 90’s person?). Lower income people use mobile apps related to Facebook because they don’t have desktops and laptops!  The mobile smartphone has become much more essential that even a traditional home “family” computer.
  
Twitter is locking down the ability of other sites to use their feeds (not sure on Facebook). Myspace may be coming back (to the horror of Dr.Phil) because it was highly visual(and had a robust blogging platform which I recall Ashton Kutcher using heavily).  Amazon will dominate retail because of convenience.  Google+ has mixed outlook (“ghost town”??) , but it enriches the notion of SEO (search engine optimization).  Local retail outlets need a Google+ page to get higher ranking for searches. There is also “Google Now”.
  
There was an Atlantic article on “dark social” that said that about half of the links we go to don’t come from original content (but goes to emails and reworked lists). I was “drafted” in 1968 bit escaped deployment because of “too much education”. 
  
Social media sharing of links, as well as the substance of original content, does help advertisers even without using tracking.  With the tracking that users will accept, tracking codes are important.
  
Online social media and e-commerce should reduce shopping rushes like “Black Friday”.
After break, the second panel was “Social Media Intelligence” by Wendy Moe (a statistician) at the University of Maryland, link. Companies have moved from typical broadcast media and public relations firms to social media (example, Cincinnati’s Procter and Gamble).  Can social media data replicate traditional market research? We need to measure what matters. She talked about the Twitter mentions of the GOP candidates, and the leader was Rick Santorum because of his controversial stands on social issues. Blogcasted opinions tend to be more positive than forum opinions.
  
Mark  Amtower spoke about “LinkedIn for GovCon: The Time Is Now!”  The government market is on LinkedIn but not Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Myths: government doesn’t use social media, LinkedIn is just for job hunters.  LI is for “business” (Trump), all the time. Post your skills, not your resume. Use targeted groups. Add value where you participate.
  
Another tip: carry business cards.  I have to start doing that.
  
Shashi Bellamkonda talked about SCNR (Society of New Media Communications and Research). He said that social media provides a better way to learn about a company than a company website (no matter how well it programs with XSL!)  Still, many CEO’s don’t consider social media much in making decisions. Companies have also been remiss in following their Wikipedia pages.
  
I asked the panel from the audience about the photography issue(yesterday’s post).  They felt that laws would change only very slowly, but that media photographers should start behaving with more care, courtesy(“ask”) and sensitivity than they have in the past, because the online reputation concerns of individuals are real.
  
During the breakfast networking, I asked about “do not track”.  The general feeling was that companies would program or find other clever strategies to work around it.  It really didn’t seem to have been thought through as a policy problem.
  
I have to say it was amusing to see a woman programming  (in the stadium row below) in Microsoft .NET (in Visual Basic or C#) on a laptop, as if pressured by a work deadline later that day!

(Note the spelling of the book title above: "o", not "a"; I picked up a copy and will review later). 

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