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social media - MarketingRev - Tech News for Marketers

Archive for the 'social media' Category


October 28th

Nuconomy: Site Analytics for the Social Web?

Alex

Measuring the Social Web has long been a royal pain, what with Flash, AJAX, RSS feeds, and other slivers of content mashed and remixed into a trail that even Sherlock Holmes might have trouble parsing. NuConomy, an ambitious Site Analytics startup launched in 2006, aims to restore some analytical rigor to the Social Web. TechCrunch and others have blogged it already but it merits a look.  The company opened up for public use today a suite of free analytics tools. If they can deliver on what they promise, then Nuconomy could set a new standard in Web analytics and offer a killer challenge for Google Analytics, not to mention Omniture and others. Here’s a rundown of what it promises, which is a lot. (P.S. – typo on the F.A.Q.. page, marketing team)

-proactive analytics automates the tedious chores of slicing and dicing data and building customized reports.
-promises an “intelligent” data mining engine to continually monitor every aspect of site traffic and user behaviors and automatically highlight the most important things to make businesses better. (data can be retrieved onsite or via email/RSS feed)
-promises to catch formerly elusive but critical data like changes in commenting trends for a particular segment of viewers, etc
-says that companies without dedicated site analyst geeks can now fire its analyst geeks and be unfraid (sorry, analysts)
-claims its metrics measure the social elements of digital media, including Flash, AJAX, and Silverlight applications, along with page views, uniques, and other traditional analytics
-combines and packages multiple flavors of insights into real world behavior on the web (comments, ratings, video plays, sharing links, purchases)
-allows “publishers, advertisers, and business executives to finally see the people behind the numbers (???) and measure the engagement, or lack thereof, in order to cultivate relationships and brand interactions, optimize social media programs, and better monetize ads and e-commerce offerings.” A mouthful but it means mo’ money.
-Builds rich behavioral profiles, or interest maps, for each user by tracking site-level activity for individuals (would be interested in hearing more about how they plan to do this)– such as who is posting comments on bikes or sharing music recommendations with friends.
-This level of detail gives publishers a deeper understanding of user behavior so they can optimize their sites and marketing messages for different audience segments, even different individuals (I find this hard to believe – I regularly move between four computers – how would it work?)
-“features a two-way API that dynamically changes sites based on current metrics and insights, including the ability to show ads or push specific content relevant to a user’s interests.”
-easy to use with plug-ins for tracking users and traffic in WordPress, Movable Type, Community Server, and dasBlog
-partners include Technorati, Microsoft, Six Apart, Pioneer, Kaltura, and Federated Media. (heckuva partner list).
-register for free.

Video analytics and actions spurred by ineractions with widgets are other things NuConomy is offering. It’s a whole lotta package for free. If anyone out there is using it and already has an opinion, feel free to post.

Category: Analytics, Optimization, Personalization, Syndication, social media | 3 Comments »

October 27th

Acquia’s Friendlier Version of Drupal: Early Reviews Coming Mixed

Alex

Open-source project Drupal has long been praised as an extremely flexible, robust and extensible CMS. Big organizations such as Federal Express have built their entire Web presence on top of Drupal (note; a company I work for, SproutBuilder, has tightly integrated Drupal with its Web application software). Drupal has had a reputation, alas, as also being very complex and better suited for organizations with serious tech chops. As a CMS noob, I was intrigued to read that a company launched by key Drupal visionary Dries Buytaert would be launching a new company called Acquia that aimed to make Drupal out-of-the-box easy like WordPress and Moveable Type, among others. Early reviews are starting to come in. No one says its not easy to use. InfoWorld gave it solid reviews, with reviewer saying he was able to launch a very professional looking site with full Drupal functionality in 1.5 days (that’s kinda scary for people used to having WP up and running in  like an hour). Blogger and heavy Drupal user Hugh Durkin said it was kind slow and unwieldy in the Acquia version.  What’s your take on Acquia? Let us know. We’re watching it very closely.

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Category: social media | 30 Comments »

April 17th

Web 2.0 Expo, On the Exhibit Floor

Christopher Kenton

I went to O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Expo at San Francisco’s Moscone Center today to check out one of the most important hubs of the whole social media phenomena. It was interesting, in some ways tremendously exciting, but also a little disappointing. A really mixed bag, for reasons I’ll explain. First, let me lay down the disclaimer that although I’ve spent a lot of time on the technology side, my frame of reference today is really more about marketing- -or, more precisely, bridging the gap between marketing and technology. The things that excited me today were seeing a lot of companies developing cool applications and services to leverage the power of technology to solve marketing problems. I’m going to profile a few of these companies during the remainder of the week, but I’ll quickly call out Baynote, CoreSpeed, Userplane and Unisfair.

 

The classic “Here. You Want My Card?” sales approach.

Baynote provides a content optimizing tool that watches how users access content on your site, and dynamically tweaks search engine results and navigation to serve up the most relevant content. Simple concept, great results. CoreSpeed provides a platform of modular applications that enable companies to build customer communities and optimize company-to-customer relationships around marketing, sales and support. Straightforward concepts, lots of power and flexibility. Userplane provides a platform for live communities, with video, audio and chat interaction. Unisfair provides a virtual reality for conferences, seminars and exhibits. Think of a SecondLife business universe without the gambling and porn. Sorry.

These were a few standout companies for me in a small sea dominated by ubiquitous fish like Google and Yahoo, who really gave off the impression that they were just there to be there. Yawn. Amazon at least showed some very interesting insights into how they envision the future of Web services and their impact on Web commerce. Much of the rest of the field was overwhelmed by far too many “me too” applications companies and social networking sites obviously chasing venture funds. That was the disappointing part. I can’t count the number of “online collaboration” companies, or “user generated content advertising networks”. It was shades of 1999, with eye-popping brands dressing up flimsy business models. For all the loud play that Web 2.0 is getting, I had hoped to see a lot more robust imagineering.

One side note that was interesting to me was seeing how much geeky engineering has embraced the business mindset. This is, after all, an O’Reilly show, primarily targeting the geek audience. But the focus on business applications and objectives–even the predominance of well dressed engineers, really brings home how much IT has integrated with the general business audience. But it also highlights how little ground marketing has covered in addressing and embracing that audience. Less than a third of the show’s exhibitors were really addressing a marketing audience, despite the dominant implications of Web 2.0 technologies for corporate marketing.

I came home with a stack of data sheets that I’m pouring through to try and find the gold nuggets. Unisfair is making an announcement tomorrow that I’ll cover here. It looks like there are at least a few standouts that will be worth it for marketers to get to know.

Category: social media | 6 Comments »

March 19th

HubSpot Develops Business Blogging Platform

Christopher Kenton

If you’ve ever tried tuning a blog for business, you know how hard it can be to accomplish some of the basic requirements businesses take for granted. Blogging platforms are primarily focused on content delivery, and not on building, cultivating and understanding customers. If you want to customize your blog to match your branding, you have to get down and dirty with template coding. If you want to monitor your performance, you’re limited to traffic and subscription stats with a package like FeedBurner, or you have to aggregate a number of seperate point solution tools.

[tag]HubSpot[/tag] is developing a platform designed to make the management and tracking of business blogging a lot easier. The platform promises to bring together simple blog management for non-technical users with a suite of built-in business tools, including “automatic” Search Engine optimization, surveys and questionnaires for customer research, integrated Web analytics, and basic CRM tracking to follow customers through engagement on the site.

The HubSpot product is currently in beta, and appears to be privately funded by its founders, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, who met at MIT’s Sloan Fellows Program, and who share extensive backgrounds in enterprise software and technology.

I’ve signed up for the beta to get a closer look at the platform, and if it lives up to its billing, I would strongly consider it for my agency, MotiveLab. I’m currently running a heavily customized version of WordPress, which honestly does all of the site management functions HubSpot offers, but at the cost of a lot of hard work and coding. But the real attraction is the integrated customer engagement tools and analytics, which still feel like a big blindspot on most blogging platforms. If Hubspot is truly built for business, then it will be a great step forward.

Category: social media | 14 Comments »

February 2nd

Pew Internet Study on Tagging

Christopher Kenton

The Pew Internet and American Life Project has just released a study (PDF) that looks at the use and implications of tagging. The study also includes an interview with David Weinberger, who discusses why tagging matters, and puts it into a broader social and business context.

The study finds that 28% of Internet users have used tags to classify content suchs as photos, blog postings or news stories. They primarily represent the “classic early adopters of technology”, meaning they’re young, wealthy and well wired. However, the study also suggests that adoption of tagging by the mainstream is likely, as popular sites like Amazon, Yahoo!, and Google are providing tools that make it easy to tag content.

Tagging has broad and significant implications for business and marketing, especially as tags become a more prominent mechanism for people to search and find content. As Weinberger points out in the Interview, tagging represents an opportunity for trusted sharing of useful information.

By searching for a tag we can find material others have discovered ahead of us… Tagging also allows social grous to form around similarities of interests and points view. If you’re using the same tags as I do, we probably share some deep commonalities.

What marketers need to understand about tagging is that it makes it easier for consumers to find public content about your company, products and competitors from their peers, and it’s a universally distributed system that is not trivial to game. While companies have gotten used to spending on SEO/SEM, this is one more trend that will force marketers to invest more time and effort considering their holistic presence in a world of social media.

Tip of the hat to Stowe Boyd.

Category: social media | No Comments »

January 29th

Media 2.0 Working Group Launched

Christopher Kenton

Chris Saad, Co-Founder and CEO of [tag]Faraday Media[/tag] , the company behind the Touchstone Attention Management Engine, launched the Media 2.0 Working Group today. The group includes a growing spectrum of influential developers, marketers, media representatives and commentators, organized to discuss, debate–and ultimately to help shape–the accelerating transformation of the media industry and the growth of social media.

“The Media 2.0 Workgroup is a group of industry commentators, agitators and innovators who believe that the phenomena of democratic participation will change the face of Media Creation, Distribution and Consumption. Join the conversation…”

Currently, the working group’s web site provides an aggregated feed of articles and postings from more than a dozen industry vocies–a list that is apparently growing rapidly after the buzz from its launch today. Given the growing excitement around social media and its impact on marketing, this promises to be an important listening post for emerging trends.

Category: social media | 1 Comment »