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Thanks Dennis - I think you're spot on in your analysis of infographics in general, but I take a more nuanced position on its relevance to the greater good.
Nearly every statistic online is wrong. Some people are massaging data (as you point out in this piece), sometimes people are making broad-based assumptions that don't show correlation, but mostly people just don't have a representative sample set to draw a broad conclusion from. So, you can sharpshoot nearly every data-based infographic that's out there if you choose to. It's a pretty fruitless pursuit, though: infographics are hugely popular (otherwise I wouldn't bother with them).
I think it's important that you mention Ann Handley and Joe Pulizzi,too. Because while I agree that they are both extraordinary subject matter experts I think they are self-aware enough to know their data isn't absolute. Their expertise comes from understanding trends and best practices and being able to communicate these tactics to businesses that want to market themselves better. And that's my aspiration as well.
So, if you get bogged down by the specific data that goes into the 90% - you may miss the bigger picture which is that content marketing is widespread, that large chunks of budget are being spent on it and the different ways that people are creating content. That should be the takeaway from a piece like that.
I agree with your point on data to a point, but 90% of something nebulous is no different than 110% of something nebulous or 0%. It's incumbent on the reader to judge the reliability of the data to their situation and respond appropriately.
My two cents. Cheers!
1 week, 2 days ago on Social media infographics: fight data fudge!
Boat rocker. :) It's a really good point given the demographics of social media users both domestically and internationally, Margie. I don't mean to diminish these lists but I tend to concur with Malcolm Gladwell when he wrote about our silly obsession with lists. In one example, a Michigan judge asked lawyers to rank law schools by esteem. Penn State was ranked around the middle despite the fact that there is no law school at Penn State. You're high on my list, and that matters.... to me. :)
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Is Social Media Really Homogeneous White Milk?
@ErinMFeldman You need to migrate to Feedly. It will transfer all of your feeds from Reader. Don't worry about bookmarking this though, it was so well received I'm going to make a habit of posting love letters to you for all of my guest posts! :)
1 month, 1 week ago on Things I Learned From Erin Feldman
@bdorman264 37? I feel like someone should acknowledge your persistence, Bill. :)
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Things I Learned From Erin Feldman
Erin Feldman is the unattainable ideal of writing excellence. Whoever wrote this piece got it spot on. Great piece.
Is there any way for me to reconcile the fact that I love your point about generic LinkedIn requests, but am a closeted fan of drum circles?
2 months, 2 weeks ago on The Bitch Slap: Stop Being a Jackass With Your LinkedIn Requests
@profkrg "Don't be subtle" is my new mantra.... @mssackstein @shonali
2 months, 3 weeks ago on What Compels People to Share Your Content?
@LaceyLuxx Thanks Oly! Loved your piece on the Harlem Shake. It does seem everyone's gone a bit mad...
@waterloobikes Chris, about your expectations for this post: My opinion (influenced by different research) is that you have to pay to build a community, pay to reduce barriers, you must understand Facebook's EdgeRank and Twitter filtering as the standard for social monetization, build an email list as fast as you possibly can to diminish those costs, understand that 99-9-1 is probably more like 85% of the community didn't see a post because the social network didn't show it to them, 14% may have seen it and taken no action, and less that 1% took some action. I don't really know off the top of my head of any research on community values. The biggest takeaway that I can offer for a business of your size would be the importance of an email list - it is opened more often, and is the most effective digital means of getting repeat business (incidentally AdWords is one of the most effective means to get new business). If any of that is helpful or if I can provide you more detail about any of that, contact me off site and I'm happy to share what I can.
@waterloobikes No worries about snark and I appreciate you taking the time to share find and post those articles. There are many different opinions and I respect yours, but I'll also point out to that I run a site that had 100K visitors last year and will likely have a quarter of a million this year, so while my observations are limited to that (relatively small) audience I don't consider them platitudes (A platitude is a trite, meaningless, biased, or prosaic statement often presented as if it were significant and original). Again, no hard feelings here and hope you don't feel that I diminished your point of view.
@waterloobikes I've read all of Chris Anderson and Seth Godin's books and I don't think the conclusions of this research are incongruent. What I'm discussing is virality in a general sense. Sure, if you're an active part of a community with similar interests you may share more within the community at the expense of sharing somewhere else - but you also won't share content that isn't acceptable within that community. And you may be able to talk politics and religion within a certain group but the likelihood that your conversation will significantly grow from your tribe is low. I don't mean this disrespectfully at all, but "The internet is the death knoll for mass marketing" is a platitude with no basis in reality. There's good evidence that Dunbar's number is valid for social ties as well, so common interest in a "tribe" is much different than your capability to influence that tribe. Just because you are one of thousands doesn't mean that you have the capability to influence them. What social networks have given mass marketers a capability to do is to segment better, but saying that mass marketing is dead is like saying that an Etsy store and a mass-manufactured jeweler have an equal playing field. They do not. When Chris Anderson described the long tail of the internet, his point was that it made niche things accessible and not that it was going to make niche products mainstream. Some people like to share anecdotal stories of individual success to controvert evidence-based findings and to tell people to "join a vibrant community," and from my point of view that is fine so long as it isn't intended to advise others on a course of action. For me, research and data are important, but I respect your experience and appreciate your comment! (post-script, I reposted this comment after noticing I wrote virility instead of virality, which of course is an entirely different post)
@ariana fernandez I have heard that 96.5% of the time you can't go wrong agreeing with @Shonali, but I don't recall the source of that research... :D Thanks for reading and for your comment!
@Kristen Hicks Well now we know each other and I appreciate your note!
@Shonali Agreed. There should be a better word for this kind of selfishness. If I spent more time studying for the fifth grade spelling bee I might be able to suggest one!
@jennimacdonald Thanks Jenni - appreciate the support from one former Seattleite to another!
@3HatsComm Thanks Davina, I think that viewpoint is worth a lot. Everyone may not be able to go "viral" but they can at least maximize the impact of their message for their audience. Great comment - thank you!
@Wittlake Thanks Eric, I tried to follow the same line of thought as you did. My expectation is that in aggregate behavior would scale more or less. Bear in mind that the research I pointed out was of advertising content only. However, I assume sharing behavior is agnostic of message and would remain static as well. I suspect YouTube is probably mature enough as a platform that something seismic would have to happen to increase time on site or sharing behavior - so my best guess is that the percentage of content that goes viral. But my best guess and five bucks might get you a bacon topped maple bar at Voodoo Donuts....
Thanks @HowieG - this is one of those social media topics where people have very different expectations than capabilities. A social media lottery of sorts! :D Thanks for the great comment and for your nice words.
Nice to see you Carrie - let me just chime in to say that I don't think you have to like Vine! :)
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Video: Practicing What I Preach
Great post, Frederic. My experience with Graph Search was very similar to yours - robust results for broad subjects but very disappointing results for anything so specific as a restaurant recommendation. It shows a huge gap between Facebook users and social signals. I'm glad you brought up Foursquare, because I think they are the huge winners in Graph Search. They are probably going to sell this year because they can't raise any more money, but they do have a much more robust set of social signals than Facebook does. So would Facebook buy these to amp up Graph Search and would Google try to prevent Facebook from that data? I like that we are able to talk about these possibilities, despite the fact that Graph Search is unrealized a this point. Cheers!
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Is Facebook’s Graph Search A Foursquare-Killer?