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The RAAKonteur #43 – Twitter grows like weed, Intel's brandvertising & much more

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6 June 2011

Twitter is growing "like a weed"

But how fast exactly is “like a weed”? Back in March, Twitter mentioned the fact that they had an average of 140 million tweets submitted per day. That number has since risen to a billion tweets every six days, or 167 million tweets per day. That is a growth of 19.3% in just two months! Twitter might just outperform our growth predictions.

And in the week that Facebook is adding member number 700 million, a survey done by the Bank of America said that 96 percent of Americans under 50 is on Facebook. A similar survey found that 13 percent of online adult Americans are on Twitter. All quite mindblowing stats.

Intel's Museum of Me

Intel keeps on developing its brand personality with great content. Back in January they launched Visual Life with a film by fashion blogger The Sartorialist; this week they hit us with Museum Of Me, a rather amazing piece of brandvertising.

Museum of Me is an app that makes a personalised film based on your Facebook data; it creates a walk through your museum incorporating your status updates, images,…. It managed to get 70,000 Likes after day 1, 222,000 after day 2 and there's a reason why: it's an incredible piece of content.



What makes a Tweet resonate? A few weeks ago we saw how one Twitter user with a 1000 followers caused a global storm: that Osama bin Laden had been killed. This week Urban Outfitters found themselves at the wrong end of a social media storm. And the Twitter user that initiated it all once again only had about 1000 followers.

A combination of factors conspired to make Amber Karnes' Tweet have this devastating impact. Urban Outfitters' reputation for ripping off other's design and the fact that they did it in such a egregious way to a young independent designer set the context. The fact that the instigator was very much part of a close knit small scale design Etsy Community, provided for the network effects and the authenticity. And the call to do something collectively provided the spark. See this great analysis by Amber herself.

It also makes us wonder. There are a whole raft of brands whose whole discounted business model is predicated on the copying of the design of others. Can this model service our new age where even small producers can cry foul and the global village pays mind?


Twitter is what makes TV Social

We've said it before: Twitter really is the killer app for Social TV. Just look at how Alan Sugar uses it to make snide comments during the Apprentice.

At the end of last week American network HBO launched HBO Connect, a platform that enables people to augment the social conversation around some of its shows. Early days and Mashable called it a 'soft launch', but for now it seems heavily focused on accumulating & visualising Tweets, as a second screen experience. One to watch; and it looks very nice.

And here's an ingenious little social tv app. Snappy TV lets you 'snap' the last 20 seconds from a tv show and share that clip on Twitter or Facebook. What caught our eye: after the show it defines highlights based on what people 'snapped' most. Cool, but what if you could define the most relevant parts of a tv show purely based on Twitter spikes?


The earth moved for me

More Twitter-related predictions. Scientists say tests show that Twitter outpaces traditional seismometer networks for determining earth quakes. Not only that, but patterns of Tweets can determine where the epicenter of the quakes are.

Help me publish

A crowdfunding platform has been launched in the UK. It's called Unbound and its for authors looking to fund their books only. At this stage they are only allowing previously published authors and newbies with agents. Perhaps not a bad way to start. Kickstarter, the service that defines this genre is going from strength to strength, with it's VC's claiming it the most disruptive investment of late. Quite a claim.


Your place or mine?

One other contender in the disruption stakes is AirBnB – the peer-to-peer apartment rental site just got funding to the tune of $100 million. The company is on track for sales of in excess of $500 million this year. And it's already the single biggest provider of accommodation in New York.

Creative of the Week – Moby

You can say about the music industry what you want, but when it comes to individual spikes of creativity, it does rate rather high. This week we were inspired by Moby's Destroyed project.

To promote his new album of the same name, he created a mash-up of Polymaps and Instagram. Because the album is conceived as a soundtrack to empty cities at night, Moby asked his fans to take Instagram images of their cities at 2AM and tag them as #destroyed. The images then get shown on the Destroyed-map, together with some eerie tour shots from Moby himself.


Tech Insight of the week – Buttons, buttons, everywhere!

This week is international button week. At least, it seems to be the case if you look at the big guns of social.

First off, Twitter released a follow button. It allows any Twitter user on your site to, without leaving your site, follow you. Very nice! Head over to our blog to see it in action.

Then Google released the +1 button. This mirrors functionality they've had on search results on google.com for quite a while now, but implemented right on your site. If you would like to recommend a web page to your Google friends, you can “+1” it on the page itself. This will then show up in searches your friends do on google.com. This, too, can be seen in action on our blog, with a howto on how to add it to your own site.

It's yet another roll of the social dice for Google, especially since Eric Schmidt finally came out and admitted that he screwed up social for Google. Will they hit the Jackpot this time? We're not overly optimistic.

Over in the Influence corner, Klout released a button. It's called +K, and you use it to vouch for someone's influence on a specific topic – basically allowing Klout to crowdsource people's topic influence. It's not portable, and it's well hidden away inside the UI – only available on other people's Klout profiles, but hey – it's there, and we like its purpose.

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