Posts tagged "Social Media"

Webtrends Analytics 10: Analytics for Mobile, Social and Web

The Future of Social Media Marketing is Here

A number of organizations today struggle with the division of expertise over digital channels, web analytics included. These solutions work, but require a lot meetings and charts and graphs. Webtrends Analytics 10 aims to do away with all of that via an all-in-one analytics package. 

In addition to out-of-the-box capabilities for mobile, social and site marketers, Analytics 10 also features two primary perks:

  • Data Beyond the Tag: Analytics 10 enables marketers to visualize data from 3rd party data sources available through feeds, APIs, and public sources. Data from Facebook API, iTunes Connect, PostRank and bit.ly are integrated into Webtrends Analytics 10 dashboards.
  • Intelligent Campaign Discovery: Analytics 10 uses discovery techniques to auto-detect campaign conversion and landing pages and provide out-of-the-box campaign reports and dashboards.

“With Analytics 10, we put the focus on truly empowering digital marketers and finally breaking down the silos they too often operate within,” said Alex Yoder, CEO of the company. “Today marketers need to look across digital channels, including mobile and social, to get a holistic view of brand performance and customer engagement. We designed Analytics 10 for this purpose and are extremely pleased with the response from our customers and the market."

Still Partying with Facebook

The analytics company is making a particularly big deal about its Facebook-related capabilities, as per usual. Webtrends Analytics 10 pulls data from your Facebook pages and apps using Facebook API. Additional conversion data is available with the Webtrends tag.

 

 

 

If Looks Could Kill… 

Bonus: It's pretty. The intuitive user interface mixes up nicely with the enhanced capabilities for data insight across digital channels, presenting them over a fairly straightforward dashboard:

“Analytics 10 goes much further in carving out a unique position for Webtrends in the Digital Analytics space. The interface is lovely…and distinctive. They are the first enterprise vendor to break away from and go beyond the basic Google Analytics paradigm,” said Gary Angel, President, Semphonic.

You may try out Analytics 10 by yourself here.

Facebook Chat Now Available in Hotmail Inboxes Everywhere

When it was first announced that Hotmail would offer Facebook chat access from within the inbox, it was only available to six different regions.This week the Hotmail team has expanded the feature to reach customers worldwide.

Dick Craddock, Group Program Manager for Windows Live Hotmail, fully admits that Gmail beat them to bringing chat to the inbox, but Hotmail hopes to earn some kudos back by offering the integration of Facebook chat as well.

If you're a Hotmail user and you want to try it out, first connect your Facebook account to Windows Live and confirm that the “Chat with my Facebook friends in Messenger” box is checked. Once the two accounts have been linked you can start a chat from Hotmail by clicking on the name of a Facebook contact.

Says Hotmail's official announcement

Since announcing the availability of Facebook chat in Messenger worldwide two weeks ago, nearly 2.5 million more people connected their Facebook accounts to Windows Live, bringing the total to over 20 million customers. And with three out of four Hotmail customers using Facebook, we expect that many more people will want to take advantage of this feature, now that it’s available from your Hotmail inbox.

Google's Soft Spots

It's a fairly clever move on Hotmail's part. Consider the alleged battle between Google and Facebook, which was most recently highlighted when the social network nabbed the Internet giant's place as the most-visited website in the United States.

Spokespersons from both sides of the fence will tell you that there's no real competition here, as the companies are inherently different. These claims haven't quelled speculation in the slightest, of course, and we would personally be scratching our heads in wonder if the Facebook chat functionality suddenly appeared in Gmail.

Hotmail's addition further supports the idea that Google might want to watch its back when it comes to Zuck's kingdom, as well as the social media movement as a whole (something Google seems continually unable to latch onto). 

At the same time, it's also a feature that could bring some life back to both Hotmail and Messenger if it's successful. If Facebook chat within Hotmail is something you plan on trying, let us know in the comments below how it turns out, and whether or not you think it has a lot of pull.

Facebook To Automatically Share User Data with External Sites?

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Surprise, surprise! Facebook's making changes to its privacy policy yet again. This time it looks like they foreshadow some of the features and changes to be announced at the f8 Developer Conference in April. Among the most notable—and jarring—is sharing your personal data with select Facebook Connect partners without your consent. 

Say What?

What it sounds like in the proposed policy change outline is that third-party sites will be able to use a person's browser cookies to automatically sign them into Facebook Connect:

Today, when you use applications such as games on Facebook.com or choose to connect to Facebook on sites across the web, you are able to find and interact with your friends. These applications require a small set of basic information about you in order to provide a relevant experience. After feedback from many of you, we announced in August that we were moving toward a model that gives you clearer controls over what data is shared with applications and websites when you choose to use them.

"In the proposed privacy policy, we’ve also explained the possibility of working with some partner websites that we pre-approve to offer a more personalized experience at the moment you visit the site."

 

This move feels a bit similar to when Facebook quietly made their 'Everyone' setting a default toward the end of last year. The setting made user content available to not just everyone on Facebook, but everyone on the entire Internet—including search engines and third-party sites. 

And though Facebook proudly told the Federal Trade Commission that 35% of their users had noticed the popup indicating a policy change and adjusted their personal settings accordingly, that still left 65% in the dark. Social Media researcher Danah Boyd made the following observation during her keynote at this year's SXSW conference: 

…I started asking non-techy users about their privacy settings on Facebook. I ask them what they think their settings are and then ask them to look at their settings with me. I have yet to find someone whose belief matched up with their reality. That is not good news. Facebook built its name and reputation on being a closed network that enabled privacy in new ways, something that its users deeply value and STILL believe is the case.

Absolutely Positively Connected

We admit, it's nice to have one-click access to third-party sites. Proof can be found in the popularity surrounding Facebook Connect, as well as the big names that've followed suit with the technology, such as Twitter and their upcoming @anywhere feature. 

“The right way to think about this is not like a new experience but as making the [Facebook] Connect experience even better and more seamless," said Barry Schnitt, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Policy at Facebook in an e-mail to ReadWriteWeb. "People love personalized and social experiences and that’s why Facebook and Facebook Connect have been so successful. We think there are some instances where people would benefit from this experience as soon as they arrive on a small number of trusted websites that we pre-approve.”

Then again, Boyd's talk on privacy struck a chord in a lot of people. Sure, we all appreciate one-click action, but that doesn't mean we want zero-click action. 

Additional rumors about upcoming stuff from Facebook include the infamous "Like" function being spread out to sites outside of the social networking platform. Imagine everything you enjoy on the Web, no matter what site it's on, feeding back into your Facebook stream. The benefits for all sides are obvious. 

Though details aren't rock solid, it's obvious that Facebook is working on spreading its tentacles out to the far reaches of the Web and everywhere in between with as little permission from its users as possible. Which side of the fence are you on? Read through the latest privacy change proposal and let us know.

Zite Goes Beyond RSS: Combines News Aggregation and Social Media

In the world of search and discovery, there aren’t many viable examples that give users the information they didn’t know. For every Pandora, Netflix and Amazon, there is a Google and Facebook. But Worio (site) has other plans.

Zeitgeist

Worio has created Zite, a new site that combines news aggregation with social media. Representing the spirit of the times, Zite generates recommendations based on the content, hashtags and links shared via Twitter and Delicious.

Generated from social media sites, blogs and a combination of methods, the recommended sites are presented to the user in a format that shows them the latest news as well as older items of relevance.

Zite goes beyond your typical RSS feed.

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Worio prioritizes information based on conversations and personalization. You can indicate which links you like and what you want more of. You can also combine follow terms or add and delete others.

A Special Invitation to Our Readers

Currently in private beta, Zite invites a limited number of users to test drive. Starting at midnight (PT) tonight, CMSWire readers can use this code to receive direct access into Zite and will not have to be part of the wait list process.

  • Enter your Twitter handle. Zite will create a personalized topic list based on your tweets. 
  • Customize your Follow List. You can add and remove topics and sources (e.g., CNN.com) from your Follow List as well as group them by clicking on Edit and dragging and dropping them together.
  • Find semantically related topics. Uncover a broad range of semantically related topics by clicking on topics in your Follow List or by searching new ones.

Zite's ability to learn from your behavior makes it unique. So go ahead, give Zite a try for yourself. We think you’ll be pleasantly engaged and discover things that you might not have found otherwise.

#SXSW: Don't Worry, Privacy is Alive! (But Tech is Stupid)

We’ve certainly heard plenty from CEOs about privacy being dead and all, but considering the heat coming from related debates, perhaps it’s time to hear from the opposing team.

Danah Boyd, social media researcher for Microsoft, took the stage at this year’s SXSW conference, and with her 10+ years in the social realm, claimed privacy is alive (but not well), and schooled us on the intricacies of screw-ups from some of the biggest names out there: Google and Facebook.

Where Google Went Wrong

It was such huge news that even if you’re not big on Internet life, chances are you’re aware that the blogosphere virtually bitch-slapped Google Buzz back to the laboratory. The arguments mainly revolved around privacy flaws—even Google has admitted to releasing the tool much too early—but Boyd made an interesting point: Nothing the Buzz team did was technologically wrong—it was just stupid.

What does that mean? It means Google tripped up on a personal expectation level. After all, regardless of how difficult it was to find them, the options to opt out of all the things that sent users into conniption fits were available since day one.

Here’s a look at Google’s non-technical mistakes, according to Boyd:

Google launched a public-facing service within a very private one. That is, the outspoken Buzz set up shop within Gmail. For many tech geeks it was a logical move on Google’s part simply because Gmail is used regularly by a ton of people. But the integration of opposing natures confused a lot of non-tech users, and caused them to believe their e-mails were being made publicly accessible

Google assumed that people would opt-out of Buzz if they didn't want to participate. “I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one because a more insidious framing would be to say that they wanted to force people into opting-in because this makes the service more viral and more monetizable,” said Boyd. “While I'm trying not to let conspiracy theories cloud my analysis, I can't help but notice that more and more companies are opting people in and waiting until they flip out to adjust privacy settings.”

Where Facebook Went Wrong

Perhaps you remember Facebook's changes in December? The world's favorite social network asked users to reconsider their privacy settings via popup. Unfortunately, tons of users bypassed the popup as if it were an ad because they just wanted to get to Facebook itself. Problem is, if the popup wasn’t addressed, Facebook automatically changed all of the "negligent" user’s settings to public.

This from a platform  that built its reputation on being a closed network—something users have always valued in a big way. 

“By continuously arguing that Privacy is Dead, technologists justify their efforts to make publicly available data more public,” continued Boyd. “But there's a big difference between something being publicly available and being publicized. I worry about how others are going to publicize this publicly available Facebook data and, more importantly, who will get hurt in the cross-fire.”

Ass [Out of] U [and] Me

Do you see a pattern here? It looks like networks are assuming what users want rather than asking them. Unfortunately, that logic would only work if everyone thought like a technologist and loved the idea of optimizing absolutely everything.

"What's at stake here is often not about whether or not something is public or private, but how public or private it is,” explained Boyd. “People are not used to having the paparazzi trail after them every time they leave their house. Yet, when we argue that there's nothing wrong with making something that happens in public more public, we are basically arguing that we have the right to sick the paparazzi on everyone, to turn anyone into a public figure."

The point? We’re a fickle bunch. Just because we put material in public places doesn’t mean we want it aggregated. And just because something is publically accessible doesn’t mean we want it publicized. And using information in unexpected ways is a recipe for disastrous media coverage.

What Hath We Wrought?

And so, what to do? Boyd says there's no magical formula for understanding privacy and publicity (rats). But she left us with some valuable words to chew on:

Wanting privacy is not about needing something to hide. It’s about wanting to maintain control. Often, privacy isn't about hiding; it's about creating space to open up. If you remember that privacy is about maintaining a sense of control, you can understand why Privacy is Not Dead. There are good reasons to engage in public; there always have been. But wanting to be in public doesn’t mean wanting to lose control.

And finally, for all the techies out there:

You are shaping the future. How you handle these challenging issues will affect a generation. Make sure you're creating the future you want to live in.

#SXSW: Getting Streamy With Chris Messina and ActivityStrea.ms

Unless you’re living off the grid, or a paranoid rendition of Tony Soprano operating on a cash basis and only taking in-person meetings — your life is full of streams of data that track what you are doing

If Tony Has a Data Stream…

Heck, come to think of it — Tony probably has a pile of phony receipts he uses for taxes both personal and for the waste management company he runs, so he also has a stream of data about his activities (albeit a fabricated one), and I’ll bet Meadow Soprano talks about him indirectly via her MySpace and Facebook status updates.

The feds probably have files and photos — and although they are not on Flickr. They are stored and tagged in a secure database somewhere. So, scratch that. Tony Soprano has a definite data stream circulating that will be measurable at some point in the future.

If Tony has a data stream out there you should assume most of us do. Especially those of us that are here at SXSWi.

Streaming Data by Choice

We’re all over the place and many of us have our data set out for public consumption by choice. And that’s where Chris Messina (@Chrismessina) comes into play. He’s taking this baseline reality that we all have data streams out there and building on some great foundational elements and theories all of which culminate into the notion of an activity stream.

In his talk today — Activitystrea.ms (#gettingstreamy) — Chris explained the history of activity streams, and what they are. Hopefully I’ll be able to do him justice…

The Evolution of Activity Streams

For the folks that process information in equations, this is what I understood:

  • First (circa 1999) there was RSS defined as RSS = title + link + description.
  • Then, after six years (2005) of progress there was ATOM defined as ATOM=RSS + author + unique id + when updated. Six years of progress got us three new elements.
  • Today, we’re talking about activity streams defined as Activity Stream = ATOM + actor + verb + object. Three is the magic number (De La Soul anyone) of new elements apparently.

Historical equations representing how we got here aside, there is a reason that Chris is spending his time on this. Mostly it comes down to solving a problem for many (how thoughtful) by setting open standards.

The idea being that with a small incremental change in the variables tracked, we should be able to improve the story that can be told through the contributions people are making without asking anyone to significantly change how or what they are doing.

Endless Possibilities in the Future

Looking to future applications of the data being collected, there are endless possibilities. For example, taking all the data from Flickr, iLike, Twitter, Facebook and aggregating the data to create a story telling depiction of what you were experiencing, feeling, and projecting to the outside world during a specific life event like meeting your future wife, or when your child entered your life, or when you got that big promotion, or finished rebuilding a home for a Katrina victim’s family.

This story is told by the music you were listening to, the pictures you were taking, the comments you were posting the people you were befriending. That’s some pretty cool stuff right there and from what I can tell it sounds like we are headed in the right direction with activity streams. Interested in learning more? You can do so at http://activitystrea.ms.

 

About the Author

Jason was a Product Manager at AOL for 10 years before joining Siteworx, an Interactive Agency with deep Web content management (WCM) roots as GM, Atlanta. Interactive marketers, Web strategists and technology leaders turn to Siteworx for our unique combination of design and technology expertise.

Open Graph API Extends Facebook's Tentacles

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It's hard to absorb the rest of the web experience if all you have to offer is a walled garden. Facebook's (site) solution? Spread itself out onto the web like vines (or is it weeds?) over the wall through a new API.

The Open Graph API

Part of Facebook's proposed mechanism for integrating itself into the rest of the Web is the Open Graph API. Through this API, page creators can embed various Facebook widgets and API calls into their own sites.

An example of how this new API might be used involves a site's developer embedding a Facebook Fan Box into their main site page. Then, when a user clicks the "Become a Fan" button, this action is sent to Facebook, which records the change (a feature that of course already exists). The difference is that from that point on, content from the site can be pushed to the user's stream. 

Where Is This Going?

The Open Graph API is still under discussion and isn't available for use yet. According to the roadmap, the initial versions are expected in the second quarter of 2010.

More importantly, the Open Graph API is just one prong in a broader movement. As Nick O'Neill at All Facebook discussed in mid-2009, "Mark Zuckerberg has said on a number of instances that the future of Facebook does not exist on Facebook.com."

Instead, says O'Neill, the folks at Facebook are working toward seeing their brand as an "identity platform" that focuses around an ever-expanding Facebook Connect. For businesses, he sees the extension of Facebook Pages out onto the web as another step in the evolution of customer relations.

"One thing that’s changing is the way that customers communicate with businesses," he says. "On Twitter we now regularly see people complain about their Comcast cable experience because they have learned that Comcast will respond. It gives them an outlet for their frustration and a platform for immediate satisfaction. This is a fundamental shift in consumer behavior."

As consumers get used to this level of interaction, his theory is that people will come to demand it. Right now, people complain through whatever social media platform the company appears to listen to. So providing companies with better ways to integrate their presence with Facebook increases the chances that people will use Facebook to complain about the product — and so, to be heard.

And if your platform is the one where people get heard, your platform is the one with the power. It also gives them yet more data for delivering targeted ads and services, just as Google (site) has all of its data from its many properties to do the same. 

So Who Really Wins Here?

Well, if sites adopt the new APIs, companies can win if they use the platform to genuinely interact with their customers and build brand interest, buzz, and loyalty. Consumers might win if they manage to be heard and get results.

But ultimately it's Facebook who needs the rest of the web in order to remain relevant, let alone generate revenue. In the fickle world of social networking, it's all too easy to become a "might have been." Given the drive to evolve through projects such as these, they might yet avoid becoming the Internet version of a ghost town.

MediaFunnel Consolidates Social Media Marketing Activities

MediaFunnel, the “Team Tool for Social Media” previously known as TweetFunnel, has rebranded to reflect the company’s focus on providing a single interface from which businesses can manage all of their social media channels.  

All Together, Now

Imagine a funnel. Toss all of the social media outlets you utilize into that funnel. Watch the combination of information flow out the other end in a kind of supreme social concentrate. This is MedaFunnel.

Simply put, it’s a tool for managing corporate or social media network workflow. The company’s streamlined dashboard houses team-generated posts from across the social realm, and allows them to be reviewed before publishing to multiple feeds. 

When in Doubt, Add Facebook

You can probably tell by the  tool's original name that Twitter support has been covered, but with re-branding comes new and exciting functionality, and this time that means—surprise, surprise!—Facebook.

MediaFunnel now allows multiple users to post text and attachments to their company's Facebook Wall, and features that same handy editorial control previously offered (cross platform messages can be posted immediately, scheduled or released in pre-defined intervals).

Businesses can respond quickly to both queries and complaints using MediaFunnel’s nifty assignment feature, set alerts for brand monitoring, submit posts by email/SMS, use co-tags to personalize posts, or review analytics to gain market knowledge. 

“Social media marketing has gone mainstream,” said Andreas Wilkens, MediaFunnel Co-Founder. “What’s important are conversations, real-time engagement and meaningful content, not so much the application it streams on. We’ve seen networks fade and new ones emerge. That’s why we’ve built MediaFunnel—so businesses can concentrate on creating genuine dialogue from one familiar dashboard while we connect the platform to their social networking channel, whatever it might be.”

Social Media Marketing

Yeah, it's kind of a big deal right now. We've seen a good number of solutions crop up this year alone, including TweetShare, a Twitter-based marketing application, Seesmic Look (also for Twitter), and Facebook analytics tools from both Webtrends and Omniture. 

“The ability to have concrete measurement on investments within Facebook and compare them apples to apples with other digital channels is critical to marketers,” said Webtrends' vice president of Marketing, Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, when his company's solution was announced earlier this month. 

We imagine that means good things for solutions like MediaFunnel—especially considering the fact that it's not limited to one network. Ready to try it for free? Off with you.

Enterprise 2.0 Conference: How New Tools, Processes Are Creating Value

The growing importance of Enterprise 2.0 tools and processes to a broader range of businesses is reflected in this year’s Enterprise 2.0 UBM TechWeb conference. This year’s action zooms in on the use of social computing, collaborative tools and Web 2.0 technologies, and how they are creating business value.

 

As one of the major events in social computing on the calendar, it gives companies who are interested in transforming their business through the use of Enterprise 2.0 technologies a chance to see what’s what and what to expect over the course of the following 12 months.

Read related article: Social Networking in the Enterprise: What’s the ROI?

Enterprise 2.0 Driving Business

The list of speakers and themes is growing, and this year conference organizers say they are focused on providing practical steps and case studies on deployment and use of these technologies.

Last year in Boston, the key message we identified coming out of the conference was that that enterprise 2.0 was not about the deployment of technology, but about adoption. And adoption will be one of the focuses this year.

While the list of main tracks is still being developed, some of those already scheduled include:

  • Setting Enterprise 2.0 strategies without the hype
  • Social business applications and platforms
  • Search as a means of developing new business
  • Enterprise collaboration using video
  • Integrating social media and business communities
  • Deploying and mobilizing
  • Adoption in the enterprise for practitioners

Keynote speakers come from across the industry and include:

  • Eugene Lee, CEO, Socialtext
  • Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist, Center for Digital Business, MIT Sloan School of Management
  • JP Rangaswami, CIO and Chief Scientist, BT Design
  • Murali Sitaram, Vice President and General Manager, Cisco's Enterprise Collaboration Platform
  • Gentry Underwood, IDEO

Enterprise 2.0 Conference takes place at the Westin Boston Waterfront, June 14-17, 2010. Head over here for registration.  

Jeremiah Owyang, Dan Rasmus to Keynote #GilbaneSF

The registration for Gilbane San Francisco Conference is in full swing. For those of you coming out to the event, don’t miss the keynote sessions presented by visionaries Jeremiah Owyang and Dan Rasmus.

 

Keynote Sessions

If you’re not following Owyang on Twitter (@jowyang), drop everything right this minute and go follow the guy. At Gilbane SF, Owyang will talk about customer engagement and collaboration in the workplace.

As an analyst at Altimeter Group (and formerly at Forrester), Owyang brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. “If you want to know how companies are actually using social and web tools to engage with customers, Jeremiah is the go-to guy,” promises Gilbane SF.

Dan Rasmus (@DanielWRasmus), a known strategist (self-proclaimed futurist) and author, really knows the knowledge worker in and out based on his experience as an analyst, consultant and a former director of business insights for Microsoft.

Rasmus is scheduled to shed light on how collaboration in the workplace is evolving in cross-border, cross-culture environments and how to design efficient and comfortable workplace experiences.

Industry Analyst Debate: What's Real, What's Hype and What's Coming

Yes again, expect a debate by industry analysts from different walks of web content management life about critical content and information technologies or strategies. This session’s panelists include Frank Gilbane, president, Gilbane Group; Rob Koplowitz, principal analyst, Forrester; Hadley Reynolds, research director, Search & Digital Marketplace Technologies, IDC; Tony Byrne, founder, The Real Story Group & CMS Watch; Scott Liewehr, senior consultant, Web Content Management, Gilbane Group.

Reminders

  • What: Gilbane SF with 4 tracks and more than 40 sessions
  • When: May 18-20, 2010
  • Where: The Westin Market Hotel in San Francisco
  • Why: ‘Cos it rocks
  • Registration
  • Conference schedule
  • Pre-conference workshops
  • Twitter: @gilbanesf and hashtag #gilbanesf