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The RAAKonteur #25 – the Rise of the iPad, Social Commerce & the value of a Facebook fan

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24 January 2011

Google's got a new CEO

We like Google and the news fresh in is that Larry Page, one of the original founders, will replace Eric Schmidt as CEO. Let's hope he invigorates the company like Steve Jobs did at Apple. Brin, the other founder, has already indicated that a key target for Google is social search.

iPads are not a fad

Apple has just announced stunning sales results. They have so much cash in the bank to could buy Facebook outright.

What's particularly interesting is the sales of its products on aggregate so far. Total iPods sold ever: 297m. Total iPhones: 89.2m. iPads: 14.8m so far. Macs: Around 60-70m. Notice how well iPads and mobiles are doing compared to Macs. The future is indeed mobile.

But why then are magazines on iPads not doing so well? If you remember correctly, in a previous RAAKonteur we expressed our doubts on whether magazine apps could compete with social apps to deliver good content. And now there's a sterling set of answers on Quora on exactly that question.

Social Commerce as done by ASOS

While everyone is talking about Social Commerce apps and services, (there's a good overview on the Social Commerce website), online fashion retailer ASOS are making a bold move. At the end of the month they will be launching a fully-functional online shop on Facebook.

Which is very interesting, we think. One, while there's a tendency to integrate social networks into your own website, ASOS has decided to fully integrate their service into the Facebook-Wide Web. And two, because it'll be curious to see how they deal with the usability challenges that Facebook-development throws up.


The value of a Facebook fan

Bringing those kind of businesses onto Facebook will help defining the 'value of a Facebook fan', which marketeers are so keen to put a number on.

But until then they'll have to do with ad hoc studies like this one from Syncapse. They surveyed 4,000 people and managed to extract the following stats:

  • The average fan spends $71.84 on products they Like.
  • On average, fans are 28% more likely to continue being a loyal user.
  • The average fan is 41% more likely to recommend the product/service to their friends.
  • 81% of fans reported some affinity with a brand they Like.
  • The average value of a fan is $136.38.
  • Great fodder to put in presentations, but as the study also points out: no two fans are alike and the numbers vary greatly depending on how active a given fan is.

    Was Tunisia a Twitter revolution?

    Barely was the dictator Ben Ali forced to flee Tunisia and the debate raged: to what extent was social media, and especially the social media darling Twitter, responsible? RAAKonteur Wessel went digging and came back with an answer. It wasn't a Twitter revolution really. It was a Facebook revolution. But while social media can undoubtedly help an uprising, what's not sure is that social media is conducive to governance.

    Hactivist Fabrice Epelboin writes an interesting anecdote on Quora.

    When Kasserine killings occurred, we made a big PR buzz about tunisia by uploading a very graphic scene on Youtube and having it censored (and writing about it).

    French press wasn't very eager to talk about tunisia, but they all were willing to trash Google, so it worked pretty well, although basicaly, the video was simply violating Google terms. It took Google 12 hours to change its moderation rules to accept everything coming from Tunisia. They even gave us instruction for better cooperation with their moderation services and tips for better SEO.

    Facebook growing at pace in developing world

    Facebook is big in Tunisia, and booming all over the globe. Its growth in the developing world is far outstripping that of the US and UK where it seems to have reached a plateau. Indonesia is now the second biggest single country. With the UK third and Turkey fourth.

    The battle for Influence goes on

    We like a nice bit of competition. This week the two main Influence Measurement tools (Klout & Peerindex) both released some charts showing off the power of their services.

    Klout compiled a list of the most influential American colleges on Twitter. While Peerindex did the British thing and put together a list of the most influential British comedians. Which shows that Graham Lineham is as influential on Twitter as Alan Carr (who has 10 times more followers).


    Agency hires with Twitter

    In the category 'Agencies that practice what they preach' comes Minneapolis agency Campbell Mithun. For their summer intern plan, they're asking interested candidates not to send a CV, but to send them 13 "Career-Launching Tweets". We like.

    The good guys are winning

    Clay Shirky wrote a brilliant piece on the 10th anniversary of Wikipedia in the Guardian:

    That shift, from product to activity, has involved the most amazing expansion of peer review ever: Wikipedia's editor-in-chief is a rotating quorum of whoever is paying attention. Many of Wikipedia's critics have focused on the fact that the software lets anyone edit anything; what they miss is that the social constraints of the committed editors keep that capability in check. As easy as the software makes it to do damage, it makes it even easier to undo damage.

    Imagine a wall where it was easier to remove graffiti than add it: the amount of graffiti on such a wall would depend on the commitment of its defenders. So with Wikipedia; if all its passionate participants were to stop caring, the whole thing would be gone by next Thursday, overrun by vandals and spammers. If you can see Wikipedia right now, it means that again, today, the good guys won.

    Creative of the week – Alex Valli – a Life in Snapshots

    You must know a few. People that are always snapping pictures, trying to document almost everything they're coming across. It's not really Photography with a capital P, but it can be interesting. Now Alex Valli has turned that kind of compulsive snapshot behaviour into an art form of life-logging. Read More >>


    Tech insight of the week – Pimp your iPad

    Release an awesome device and it will get hacked. To bits. Let's call it the law of hackability of awesomeness. A couple of weeks ago we wrote about all the weird and wonderful hacks out there for Microsoft's Kinect. Today I'm having a stab at the iPad. Read More >>

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