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The RAAKonteur #71 – Pinterest is bourgeois and why celebrities matter

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7 February 2012

Pinterest – the middleclass, personal, profiled, curated, storefront network

Growing like a weed: Pinterest is a wildly popular social network, that we know. But what is it exactly, and why could it be so significant? Well, this post argues that it can enable hyper-optimised supply chain management, how it has created a new particular interest graph (like Twitter) and why bricks and mortar shops have another existencial threat to cope with. All of which rings true. To top that, news just in that at present Pinterest drives more traffic than Google Plus (but less than Twitter). We know that the majority of Pinterest users are female, but what is it's ethos? Well, a huge spat on the network over a rather mild picture, is rather revealing.

The rising importance of the audience with an audience

Twitter has just switched on the ability to see exactly how many Retweets a tweet has received, via their API (the website still only shows up to 50). This of course, is facinating for marketers, social scientists and anybody interested in the new ways information travels. We did a few quick tests via the API on momentous tweets from the last year. Interestingly the tweet that first ignited speculation that Osama Bin Laden had been killed was 'only' retweeted 1776 times, while this Lady Gaga tweet sent yesterday got 8550.

Some tweets are more equal than others

Lady Gaga is about to become the first Twitter user that breaks through the 20 million follower mark. A new top 20 Twitter user list is out and it is dominated by female celebrities. Keith Urbahn who sent the Osama Tweet, on the other hand had just less than a thousand followers (at the time). Voila: Banal tweets by popular celebrities travel further than the hottest news on the planet. Brian Solis identified marketing to users with influence as one the major trends for 2012. But there are pitfalls. Was last week's Jordon and Rio Fernand Tweets not only poorly executed but illegal?

When will I, I be famous?

So you're an ordinary mortal like most of us. How do you build a Twitter following? New data driven research is actually rather spot on. People want to be informed and entertained. The best Tweets do both simultaneously. And a study on what posts work on Facebook for journalists have found much the same.

Did Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest kill the blogging star?

Tired of studies yet? Hope not. Another new study shows that corportate blogging is down – by quite a margin – all over the Fortune 500 list of companies. Blogging is notoriously hard and time-consuming to do well. Curation of other's content on the other hand can drive as much traffic and takes less time. Our take: For professional services, tech and other companies with complex products it's still a must. But make sure your blog is easy to update.

Brands struggle to get people to engage with them

Psst pssst… we have a err… another new study that shows that most brands only average a 1% 'Engagement' rate on their Facebook pages (you get that simply by deviding the Likes by the Talking about figure). Fashion and Lifestyle brands, and brands that have hired tallented content creators, tend to do much better than that.

Two steps backward, three steps forward?  

Last week we were in a bit of a tiz about Twitter's new censorship policy. Zeynep Tufekci has however made an excellent argument that we were misguided. Says Tufekci: "Twitter has done everything it can do to help free-speech advocates around the world except deliver coffee and bagels in the morning." Importantly, in the past when Twitter did receive take down notices, the impact was universal. Now it will be only in the territory in which the request was made.

Creative of the Week – Scott Garner  

Simple, but cute. That's how we would describe Scott Garner's Still Life project. Referring to the noble art of still life painting, Garner developed an interactive image fit in a motion-sensitive frame, which gives a tongue-in-cheek new meaning to the term 'still life'. In short, a not so still life.

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