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On Kickstarter you’re standing on the shoulders of your friends – The RAAKonteur #94

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20 July 2012

Marissa Mayer is smart, so we were a bit surprised that she took the Yahoo! gig. But if she could only do one thing, as the internet asks here http://dearmarissamayer.com, it would be worth it. And it seems Flickr’s up for it.

Oh – I get by with a little help from my friends

kickstarter odds of success
According to a study – all else being equal, the amount of Facebook friends you have correlate with your chances of successful Kickstarter funding. If you have 10 Facebook friends, you have a 9% chance of succeeding. If you have 100 Facebook friends, your chance jumps to 20%. And if you have 1,000 Facebook friends? Your chance of succeeding is 40%. So get building those networks. As Seth Godin says, Kickstarter should be your last step, not the first one. Which makes us wonder if there will be a new kind of executive producer. The guy with the big audience.

Newspapers are dying, what is taking its place?

Most journalists are not only on Twitter, they get their news ideas from it. And more than 85% of Twitter’s trending topics are now headline news topics. Yet a new study shows that amongst the non Twitter using public, Twitter is not seen as a credible news source compared to newspapers. This might be due to stories in the main stream media about celebrity antics on Twitter. Isn’t that ironic! But this week a fatal shooting at a party in Toronto, and a subsequent Reddit post about what had transpired (that linked heavily to Tweets before and after the incident) again illustrated why and how Twitter and Reddit can be a superior source of news.
Youtube news social
Also this week Pew hailed YouTube as a major new source of ‘visual journalism’. This journalism has some peculiar characteristics different from TV news: It is user produced, far less celebrity driven, longer and more varied. This confounds the current wisdom that social media is ensconcing us into ‘filter bubbles’ where we see the same stuff over again.

Ad Tweets go local

So you’re Tweeting in anger about the Bloc festival that got cancelled in London (like we did). Now imagine this: Up pops a promoted Tweet advertising Fabric, the popular Farringdon based club. Yes, now advertisers can not only target keywords like ‘Bloc’, but also locations like London, and even restrict their Tweets to only appear on the iPhone Twitter app. In other words Time Out Magazine could promote their iPhone app only to Londoners that have iPhones. More about that here.

Google Plus Pages now properly open for business

It took them forever, but at last Google has opened up their API to let developers build tools that post to Google Plus Pages. Hootsuite has already included the ability to post to Google Plus to all its users, and we expect our favourite scheduling tool Buffer to follow shortly. Now if only Google will allow posting to personal profiles as well…

Facebook fake accounts and sinking customer happiness

An experiment by the BBC highlighted the fact that 5-6% of Facebook’s 900 million users, are likely to be fake accounts. This represents 50+ million profiles set up more or less specifically to manipulate friend and ‘like’ numbers. Not an insignificant amount and it inevitably casts some doubt on the value of Facebook brand ‘likes’ and advertising spend (if you don’t buy performance based) on the platform. At the same time, a report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index revealed that Facebook’s user satisfaction has dropped 8% over the last year. This made Facebook the lowest-scoring social network, while Google+ scored the highest with 78 out of 100. Did we mention Google +’s iPhone and Android Apps are things of beauty?

Sugar and spice and all things nice

Shell social media spoof
Greenpeace and the Yes Men’s powerful campaign against Shell’s planned drilling in the Arctic has had people’s attention for weeks now. The spoof site Arctic Ready continues to dupe new visitors and this week the fake Shell Twitter account @ShellisPrepared entered the fray in a truely cringeworthy but believable way.

According to researcher Duncan Watts information spread like forest fires: If the context is right it’s easy to go viral. This campaign’s savvy use of known corporate foot-in-mouth-tropes & Shell’s branding makes it difficult to spot it as fake.

And our prejudice re multi-national oil companies provides a bone dry forest. People continue to retweet schadenfreude heavy comments on the disastrous Shell PR/social media efforts. But what to do if you were Shell?

On the other end of the spectrum, riding the positive social media wave is John Lewis, who came out on top in a consumer satisfaction study this week. The cooperative ethos of the brand is playing out well in social media which tells us again – and not surprisingly – if you are made of sugar and spice and all things nice, you will have a friendly reception on social media.

Git who?

This week one John Norman wrote an interesting blog post about Github, claiming that it is one of the most significant social networks. Github only has one million members, but it is what they do that is so significant. Git is a distributed source code management system. The “distributed” part means that it can work without any central “master” place where the code is stored. What GitHub does is layer on top of Git a central place for code sharing and discussion of the code. The advent of open source excellerated software development, but the social layer that Github has brought to open source has poured fuel on the fire.

Creatives of the Week – Aaron Koblin & Chris Milk

Exquisite Forest
Yes, them again. But then again, everything Koblin & Milk do is worth your attention. Their latest project is called Exquisite Forest and it’s a 21st century animation take on the collaborative writing technique Exquisite Corpse. How does it work? I create a little simple animation with the built-in drawing tool & I set a theme. You can then build on that film by adding your own contribution.
Result: a forest of co-created animated narrative trees.

Nice bonus: in collaboration with Tate the piece will also get a physical component at Tate Modern. And there are several trees started and curated by top artists like Julian Opie and Olafur Eliasson.

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