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Posts Tagged ‘ORM’

Google Needs to Offer a Social Media Monitoring Service

July 9, 2013 3 comments

Google's Index of the Web vs. Social Media Monitoring Tools

Radian6, Cision, Wildfire, SocialRadar, Trackur, Alterian SM2, Sysomos, Lithium, Viralheat, Brandwatch, UberVU, Trendrr, Trackur …  all good tools with rich featuresets and analytical capabilities.  They all have one problem, however.

They’re not Google.

No matter which tool you go with for social media monitoring, it inevitably cannot index as much of the web as Google, which currently has over 3.65 billion pages.  Some do an admirable job attempting to keep up by buying access to other indexes of web and social content – but that still isn’t complete and worse, it adds a delay to the process of merging the two databases.  As any social media manager will tell you – delays are something they can ill afford.

This missing data causes three major problems:

First, important mentions can be missed (or not accessed in a timely fashion).

Second, the archives are incomplete – looking at the present is a primary concern but historical data can be important as well.

Third, the analytics generated by the expensive social media monitoring platforms aren’t accurate; worse, they seem to get progressively less accurate as the size of the brand decreases.  If you’re Coca-Cola you’re okay, but this is a huge problem for most of the brands my colleagues and I work with which are primarily local in nature (which means they have a far smaller footprint online).

Despite their best efforts, none of these tools will ever be able to match Google’s prowess for indexing the increasing vastness of the web in real-time.  So Google needs to offer a social media monitoring service – and I would welcome one even if it had a pricetag as hefty as the aforementioned tools (some of which have a BASE price of $500/month).

Tapping Google’s enormous reserves of indexed content is even more difficult now that the search giant has eliminated RSS feeds for Google Alerts when it discontinued Google Reader, and now limits them only to searches of Google News.  All of the conversation about the “death of Google Reader” and subsequent scramble for alternatives has so far almost completely missed this critical detail which is, for my money, far more important.

I just went through the arduous process of reformatting a hundred or so RSS feeds I had built using Google Alerts because they’re no longer active.  Transitioning them to Google News RSS feeds is okay, but my understanding is that it won’t capture nearly as many mentions as a general Google Search.  Google even says as much here in outlining its standards for being included in the Google News index.

I completely understand the need to eliminate content that is not worthy of being considered “news” from the index, but the problem is that social media managers need to be aware of ALL mentions of their company/clients – not just the high-quality ones.

Google is well-positioned to offer this sort of service; they already have the data, they’re excellent at building easy-to-use interfaces, they’re excellent at providing analytics, and they’re well trusted.  I doubt we’ll ever see this service, but I’ll continue to dream anyway.

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George Zimmerman is the Latest Case Study of Radical Transparency – the MySpace Page

May 2, 2012 Leave a comment

George Zimmerman's MySpace Page

Online nothing goes away, and anything can come to light if enough time and pressure are applied.

George Zimmerman is about to find that out because the Miami Herald found his MySpace page.  I’m kind of surprised this didn’t come to light sooner.  In a bit of dark humor, he was just awarded the “In the Spotlight” badge because people are flocking to pore over his updates for clues.

We can’t undo the advances into the era of Radical Transparency, we can only adjust to it.  That isn’t a bad thing.

Just as social media can have a negative impact on someone’s life, it can also have a positive impact.  It depends on how much of a person is positive or negative.

Social media is only a tool – it has no inherent qualities.  It can only reflect those who use it.  The same social media platforms that are providing fodder to back up the allegation that the shooting of Trayvon Martin was a hate crime motivated by mistrust of a race are ALSO raising funds for Zimmerman’s defense fund and spreading the message of his fervent right-leaning defenders.  Con artists on both sides of the case have faked content to support their side – and virtually all have been caught and debunked.

Right now the big headlines are the racist missives against Hispanics that the MySpace profile contains, as well as some allusions to criminal behavior.

That won’t be the only headline, and a fuller picture of Zimmerman is already being illustrated in the news media as we all endeavor to learn more about him and his motivations.  The Herald noted that he has a racially-diverse group of friends (as depicted by his photos).  Likely there are other positive features of Zimmerman which will come to light.

I tend to think anything that helps make us more aware that the world is a complex, gray place with few (if any) absolutes is a benefit to us all.

Why Would You Hire a Social Media Strategy Company That Isn’t Social?

December 2, 2011 2 comments

The answer is you wouldn’t.

Yesterday I received a spam email from “Paul” at “Social Brand Online” in my Linkedin inbox.  Here’s the text in it’s mass-produced, cut-and-paste glory: Read more…

How Not to do Social Media Case Study – Southern Illinois University Carbondale Facebook Page

November 9, 2011 1 comment

"The Net Interprets Censorship as Damage and Routes Around it" - John Gilmore

Right now, the Southern Illinois University Carbondale is in the middle of a contract negotiation dispute which has resulted in a strike by the tenured faculty.  As one would expect in a situation such as this, the faculty has urged its supporters to be vocal on the union’s behalf and some students took to the SIU Carbondale Facebook Fan Page to urge a resolution to the contract dispute.

Unfortunately, the SIU Carbondale administrators of the page began deleting those messages.  One report noted that they began by deleting only the messages of support for the faculty, but later began deleting all messages related to the dispute – and even went so far as to ban some users. Read more…

The Grand Rapids Shootings and the Social Media Future for First Responders

July 11, 2011 1 comment

First Responders and Social Media

As the horrible events of July 7, 2011 unfolded in Grand Rapids and a troubled Roderick Dantzler murdered seven people including two children, people around the world skipped the news media altogether and watched/listened live (via live streams of the police scanner – at one point 14,000 people were logged in).  It was a tragic example of the amazing technological power the average person wields, which [to paraphrase FDR/Spiderman’s Uncle Ben] “comes with great responsibility.”

What I observed made me think about the role social media will play in the future of society when events like these occur.  Here’s how my night went: Read more…

What Does the Filter Bubble Mean for Measurement and Search Engine Optimization?

May 27, 2011 6 comments

Dotcom vs Dotorg

In my past post, I talked about the societal ramifications of the “Filter Bubble” as described by Eli Pariser.  Essentially Google and other web platforms (including social networking sites like Facebook) have been quietly manipulating what each of us sees so that everything is personally-tailored to us.  I tend to think that this pushes us further toward an unsettling future where we live in our own insular cocoons, distanced more starkly from those who aren’t like us.

The Filter Bubble also has serious ramifications for measurement and search engine optimization (SEO), practices of dire concern to anyone in public relations, marketing, or advertising.  If Google looks different to every single person searching it, what does that mean for PageRank? Read more…

Two Great Examples of the Age of Radical Transparency: iPhone 5 Leak and Gary Dell’Abate Smear Email

February 28, 2011 Leave a comment
Stamford Advocate Gary Dell'Abate Articles Compared

Stamford Advocate Gary Dell'Abate Articles Compared

I try to warn people I consult with about public relations and online reputation management to behave and do business as though their conduct could end up on Wikileaks … because it could.

Two great examples highlight how porous the walls of any organization now are as a result of the Internet and social media:

Apple iPhone 5 / iPad 2 Design Leaks

Apparent iPhone 5 Faceplate From iDealsChina

There are so many ways information can find its way through the walls that organizations work hard to keep impenetrable.  This photo of the iPhone 5 faceplate went public after it was published on the website iDealsChina after it was apparently leaked from a manufacturer of the component.

Similar revelations were disclosed by another Chinese source for Apple’s proposed iPad 2.

Elsewhere many other details (including specifications) have gone public, and who can forget Apple having police break the door of Gizmodo employee Jason Chen’s residence to retrieve a prototype of the 4G iPhone after it was inadvertently left at a bar by an employee.

Smear Campaign Against Gary Dell’Abate of the Howard Stern Show

Listeners to the Howard Stern Show are likely aware that Producer Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate is currently embroiled in a conflict over his appointment to a local advisory role for his local Greenwich, Connecticut Board of Parks and Recreation Board.  His employer has become a point of criticism for one of the members of the Appointment Committee, who has resorted to increasingly bizarre tactics (like carrying around a bag of feces ostensibly left on her porch by an apparent Stern Show fan).

Local newspaper the Stamford Advocate received an email from someone calling himself “Michael Obrien” who lobbed a number of libelous accusations at Dell’Abate, including that he hired prostitutes for the show.  In spite of being unable to verify Obrien’s identity, the newspaper printed the accusations.  Now they’ve retracted the original version of the story and republished a new version sanitized of the defamatory content.  The problem for the Stamford Advocate is that Google’s cache has preserved the original version, so you can view it in its libel-filled entirety here.

Even if the article hadn’t been cached by Google, anyone subscribed to the Stamford Advocate’s RSS feed would have an intact copy of the original article saved in their feed reader.

It gets worse for the Greenwich Town Government: according to Dell’Abate, a tech-savvy listener was able to track the email account (which was created 20 minutes before the email was sent) back to its original IP address which originated from the Greenwich Town Government offices.

That means an employee of the Township is behind the smear, and the “Howard 100 News” team is likely going to root out more details that won’t play well for the local government entity.  It should be easy to track the email back to the node on the Township’s network and identify the employee workstation from which it was sent (information that can be obtained via a Freedom of Information Act by the Stern Show’s news team).