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The RAAKonteur #17 – Facebook Newsfeed, Social Media Management Tools & Silence Please!

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14 November 2010

Focus on the news feed

A study mining Facebook API data found that 99.5% of all comments on status updates come from within the News Feed, rather than the Wall of their Facebook page. But at the same time, less than 0.5% of Facebook Status updates show up in user's news feeds. In other words if you have 200 Followers only one of them on average will see your updates.

In an excellent post Jae Baer explains why businesses should not focus too much on building their Facebook pages, but rather put their energy into getting seen in the Facebook News stream.

How your fans interact with your status updates, and their historical propensity to do so, is what determines whether your missives are seen in “Top News,” or relegated to the scrap heap of “Most Recent,” left to fight it out with inane and dubious Farmville and Mafia Wars updates for scraps of attention.

The commodification of news and citizen involvement

Clay Shirky once again trained his brilliant analysis on the newspaper industry this week. On the Times paywall and newsletter economics he states:

The “paywall problem” isn’t particularly complex, either in economic or technological terms. General-interest papers struggle to make paywalls work because it’s hard to raise prices in a commodity market. That’s the problem. Everything else is a detail.

Even if The Times manages to make the paywall work, it will utterly change the paper into a newsletter. In another piece for the PoynterOnline Shirky opinions:

What's going away, …, isn't the importance of news, or the importance of dedicated professionals. What's going away is the linearity of the process, and the passivity of the audience. What's going away is a world where the news was only made by professionals, and consumed by amateurs who couldn't do much to produce news on their own, or to distribute it, or to act on it en masse.

This a change so varied and robust that we need to consider retiring the word "consumer" altogether, and treat consumption as simply one behavior of many that citizens can now engage in. The kinds of changes that are coming will dwarf those we've already seen, as citizen involvement stops being a set of special cases, and becomes a core to our conception of how news can be, and should be, part of the fabric of society.


Silence please!

Here's a nice campaign that shows a good understanding of all kinds of media. To raise awareness and funds for ex-serving troops, the British Legion have released an iTunes single. But not just any tune, no, it's actually 2 minutes of silence, featuring the likes of Thom Yorke and Mark Ronson. And they're trying to get it to number 1 in the charts for this Sunday, which is Remembrance Sunday.

Lovely idea. Even if it is just to annoy Take That.


Getting swamped by social media?

There are now several social media management tools. Jeremiah Owyang, former head analyst at Forrester, has made a great summary of them here. We prefer to use Hootsuite.

Jeremiah adds a caveat, these tools should only be used after you have a social strategy.

Enough said

Impressive number of the week. Facebook now owns a healthy 23.1 per cent share of display ad impressions in the US, up from 17.7 per cent in the last quarter of 2010. Read more.

And don't forget to read our post on how Facebook display ads are different. Hint – it's social.

"McRib is back and it's as bad as you remember"

McDonalds reportedly spent $80,000 to advertise on Twitter in the US. Ignoring the sage advice that if your product is a lemon, the crowd might say it's sour.

"The national Promoted Trend ad points to a Twitter search result page for the phrase "McRib is back," and tweets and re-tweets have poured in today at the rate of about nine per minute.

ClickZ eye-balled tweets appearing on the ad's landing page over the course of five hours and concluded that while there was some positive buzz, a majority of the comments were negative in sentiment."

In praise of WordPress

RAAK is huge fans of WordPress, in fact our site runs on it. This eulogy to WordPress is a good read.

…much like the printing press transformed publishing, the true cultural significance of blogging — which is only incipient at present — will be a consequence of its production process. … Similarly, it's likely that the future of blogging — and the future spread of knowledge — will reflect the characteristics of whatever blog platform achieves dominance. Increasingly it appears that the winner will be WordPress. It first appeared seven years ago as a successor to software typically used for online diaries. Thus, it was originally text-based, but has since evolved to also encompass audio, video, and animation. It has even become a popular platform for entire websites as well as important components of prominent sites such as The New York Times.

Creatives of the week – OK Go

A new video from OK Go is always something to look forward to. But since they've left their record company, they're also finding new ways to get their art out there. Cue Samsung. Read more >>


Tech insight of the week – Facebook Integration: User Experience considerations

Facebook is permanently in the hot seat about either usability or security. It's not that they're doing it blatantly wrong, it's just that they've set up an extremely complex playing field for themselves. Read more >>

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