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The RAAKonteur #3 – Death to the web

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10 August 2010

Social Media spend is set to double

So says Brian Solis quoting a study of marketing spend in the US this year. If anybody has seen similar figures for the UK, let us know.

“Social Media offers tremendous growth potential and as such, budgets are multiplying. As reported in the research, social media budgets will spring from 5.6% to 9.9% this year. However, over the next five years, social media budgets will swell to 17.7% of the total marketing spend.”

Newspapers show further decline as source of info

A further study (again in the US) showed that newspapers have declined further as both a source of information and entertainment.

“Only 56 percent of Internet users surveyed agreed with the statement that newspapers were an important or very important source of information, while 68 percent said that television was, and 78 percent said that the Internet was.”

Pay with a Tweet

The value of Word Of Mouth in the online world is enormous. A recent UK survey stated that 70% of people trust online recommendations from strangers. And a visitor coming from a Social Media site is 10 times more like to make a purchase.

This simple tool taps brilliantly into that distribution potential. It’s called Pay With A Tweet and does exactly that. In exchange for downloading a bit of content for free, you have to tweet about it.

Zed is dead & flip-flopping Anderson?

Remember Chris Anderson? He of Wired Magazine, ‘The Long Tail’ & ‘Free – The Future Of A Revolutionary Price’ fame? Rumour has it that he is preparing a Wired magazine front page declaring the open Web dead. It’s been killed by apps and platforms like the iPad.

“Anderson is much less glowing about the web and Wired’s place on it in particular. In June local newspaper, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, reported a talk that Anderson gave around Wired’s $4.99 iPad app, which sold 80,000 copies in 10 days.

He said that reading Wired on a tablet is fundamentally different than going to Wired.com, which he said looks like many media websites and “carries little content from the magazine”.

He added that while reading any magazine is supposed to be an immersive experience, with the design and long pieces keeping readers’ attentions for prolonged sittings, none of those aspects translates well to the web.”

It looks like the web is under assault from all sides. Just this week another post appeared about how Facebook is killing web sites. A lot of the content on Facebook is not readable by Google. And even the bits that are, are ‘social objects’. Little bits of text and video, and not pages – the unit that Google likes (see RAAKonteur 2).

But at RAAK we’ve never seen content, social objects or pages as the epicenter of the web. People are. People have never been more easy to connect to. Flipbook, the social iPad magazine which we wrote about last week refutes Anderson’s new ideological trajectory. SEO research shows that long form web content is most successful as so called ‘Linkbait’. And open API’s, which enable apps like Flipbook, have never been more ubiquitous.

Collaborating for Social Good

We’ve been thinking a lot about creative collaboration platforms and crowdsourcing (see what we did with Guided Collective). So we were intrigued when innovation agency IDEO this week launched OpenIDEO, a platform that enables people to collaboratively design solutions for social good.

They’ve made a nice video that explains how it all works. You can get involved on different levels (important), but what struck us most is how they developed a ‘Digital Quotient’, a badge of honour that is defined by your activity on the platform. Glory plays a major part in Social Media (as it does in real life), so we’ll definitely keep a close eye on how this creative reputation score pans out.

Respect my Authority!

Speaking of reputation. Last week Robert Scoble broke the story of Flipbook. This week he interviewed (video) Azeem Azhar of PeerIndex, an authority system similar to Klout (see RAAKonteur 1). But PeerIndex claims to be different from Klout in some ways.

Firstly it only tracks people and not brands. And it differentiates on topics. This means that you can have a high score for the topic of Sustainability, but score low on Cloud Computing.

Do check out the video, they touch on a number of important issues, including how smart people who don’t use social media will eventually lose out.

I Tweet therefor I am

“I came late to Twitter. I might have skipped the phenomenon altogether, but I have a book coming out this winter, and publishers, scrambling to promote 360,000-character tomes in a 140-character world, push authors to rally their “tweeps” to the cause. Leaving aside the question of whether that actually boosts sales, I felt pressure to produce. I quickly mastered the Twitterati’s unnatural self-consciousness: processing my experience instantaneously, packaging life as I lived it.”

The New York Times had an fascinating piece this week by author Peggy Orenstein on how Twitter changes who we are and how we express ourselves (note: NYT sign up required).

Another cool tool – you dork

The other day we saw a Social Media course that sold social media as an alternative to email. No kidding. Email is social too! Social Media isn’t an alternative!

Which brings us to Rapportive, a service that pulls in data from your contacts’ social profiles into your Gmail. Outlook already has a similar service in Xobni, all making the inbox more social.

Creative of the week – Meet Saga

Our pick of the week is Icelandic photographer Saga Sigurdardottir, who’s an example that proves that Social Media allows talent to shine.

East London Blogger Suzie Bubble is one of the UK’s most influential fashionistas. Her blog is so big that she regularly ranks higher in Google Trends than Dazed & Confused, the magazine she once helped edit.

So when Suzie started enthusing about Saga Sigurdardottir’s photography, we took notice. This young Icelandic creative – now resident in East London herself – does not only take other-worldly fashion pictures, she paints and makes haunting films, collaborating with fashion illustrator Hildur Yeoman.

Follow Saga on Twitter.

Tech insight of the week

Ever since Facebook’s implementation of the Open Graph Protocol, the Facebook Like button has been spreading like wildfire.

In this week’s tech column we write about the downside of the Like Button for users, and the upside for thrifty Marketeers.

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