Archive | Social media

Marketing executive survey, on social media trends in 2010

Recently MENG, and Anderson Analytics released a report highlighting the importance of social media in the marketing world. MENG is a national network of top-level marketing executives.

A few point, which grabbed my attention were: (full presentation available below):

  • Social Media usage. Most large companies have presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter but obviously not using Myspace as much. 92% of executives had a LinkedIn presence, but only 13% maintained a personal blog.
  • Internal or external resources. More and more companies are looking to hire internal employees to strategies and implement social media, followed by social media consultants.
  • Online or offline. 45% of the spend will be online as oppose to 55% offline spend. Smaller companies are more likely to spend higher online, 48% of them as oppose to 30% (2000+ employees).
  • Relevant and Importance. Marketing ROI, customer retention, brand loyalty, branding, customer service etc are still the most important topics for marketing heads. Mobile, social media, word of mouth, blogging etc are channels they are using increasingly to achieve these objectives.

Anderson Analytics MENG 2010 Trend Report Final


Twitter spammed by company in China

Over the last few days Twitter has been spammed by direct messages (DMs), such as:

hhey, i've been having better sex and longer with this here <link>
haha. This you? <link>

The messages seem to come from users we might know in real life and at first look fairly innocent.

Account compromised

Firstly, it wouldn’t be fair to blame the users we are getting the message from. Unfortunately knowingly or unknowingly their account has been hacked. This is how it typically happens. On clicking the link, it takes a user to a page which looks like a Twitter page but hosted on owned by Xin Net Technology Corporation in Shanghai China.

Once a user enters their Twitter username and password, the company has access to their details and starts spamming their followers on their behalf. This has hence spread like wildfire, people expecting messages from their friends and opening it to find nothing. The scam continues on where the home page has been disguised into a Myspace, grrr.

Xin Net Technology Corporation

The company is renowned for it’s spamming activity and has a whole wiki page talking about their malicious activities. Xin Net Technology sites make a user agree to a set of terms and conditions, which include:

Users need to strictly abide “the People’s Republic of China Computer Information Network and the Internet Interim Provisions on the Management” “China’s Internet Internet Management.” “China’s Internet domain name registration interim management approach,” and other relevant laws and administrative regulations;

In essence these spam sites expect you to follow Chinese law, which unfortunately are not as severe as Western laws for hackers and spammers.

What you should do

Firstly, if your account is compromised change your password. If your login details are different they won’t be able to enter your account and spam your contacts. If you are really upset with the company, here is Xin Net Technology’s contact details (public information available on whois site):





Lastly, as social networking gets popular, more and more spammers will start using it. We have already experienced it on the emails, brace yourself for social networking spam. As a community we need to be aware and not click on any suspicious links, be careful especially when a site asks for your username and password.


How to build useful niche social media communities

For the last four years I have been building social media platforms almost exclusively. I have reviewed and worked on some high profile social networking projects. What interests me is what works and what is a total waste of time. Prior to social media I have been working on mobile game, medical software, augmented reality systems etc. LinkedIn profile

Although Social media is different, its’ all about Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS), innovation, common-sense and not reinventing the wheel. Over the last few years the projects which have hit the  limelight are the ones which do one task well and then make it available to various audience in an easy to consume format. Examples:

  • WordPress Blogging (powers roughly 202 million blogs)
  • YouTube Embeddable videos on the web (average 12bn videos watched a month)
  • Foursquare Clocking in and out (More than 1 million check ins per month)

Decision making

The above platforms are social media superstars from yesterday, today and tomorrow. A lot of hard work has gone in launching these platforms and making them as popular as they are, although they just do one things really well. This is what any social media site should do, one thing but extremely well.

So if you are building a social network and want to blow everyone’s socks off, I would say don’t just get a whole range of blogging, forum, mobile apps together, instead take a stand. Ask yourself: Who are we? What do our members want? What is the one (or maybe two) feature which is a must. Then just build that, for the rest link it to their existing social media properties.

For instance as a knitting networking group, we will allow users to upload knitting patterns and organise coffee morning events. For everything  else we will use member’s existing social media platforms, like Facebook.


LinkedIn for recruitment #trulondon

A good debate last week hosted by @Mr_LinkedIn (Mark) and @jaccov (Jacco) on how LinkedIn is changing recruiters mindset in the industry. Apologies for the poor sound quality, although worth turning up your volume to hear what the gentlemen are saying. I must also warn you that there are bit where I am speaking and the volume is extremely loud.

Mark and Jacco had a very open mind to recruitment and how LinkedIn is changing the perception of recruiters, which was fantastic. They openly shared their thoughts on how recruiters are using LinkedIn. I personally was interested in how LinkedIn API (Application Programming Interface) could allow companies to bring some of the discussions into their ATS (Application Tracking System). @Andyheadworth felt that recruiters needed to change their perspective to LinkedIn before any of the APIs could make their way into the recruitment systems.

I believe as futurologist and technologist we need to predict the changes now and start developing the systems. So when the recruitment world is ready we can serve our customers


Debate Part 1

Debate Part 2


Job boards on the GO! Augmented Reality for Recruitment.

iPhone and Google’s Android have opened a whole heap of opportunities for organisations of all sizes. Many web applications now already exist on iPhone for instance Facebook and Twitter are leading the race in grabbing as many mobile Internet users as possible. The recruitment market is not far behind with job board apps on The iPhone like The IT Job Board, UK based IT job-board. Many recruiters are actively using email and now twitter as a way of communication with their customers. Although more and more so recruitment organisations are looking at innovative ways of serving their customers. One such opportunity is Augmented Reality.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality refers to mixing real world environment with the virtual world in real time. So for instance if you were walking through a museum with a headphone and screen educating you about various artifacts, perhaps with some engaging audio/video, that would be an example of Augmented reality. Below is an example of how this can be used for London Underground:

Augmented reality has made it’s way into Android and iPhone 3Gs, which provide an easy way to navigate areas and get rich data associated with it. There are quiet a few examples of augmented reality applications, from house searching to information on monuments and buildings, to amenities around an area. In all the examples augmented reality apps, show multimedia information related to the area, so users can get a better understanding.

In fact augmented reality apps combine map functionality with compass and camera to understand user’s position and orientation. In the future we will see more applications, which will make better use of the augmented reality technology. Some apps to look at in the augmented reality space are Layar, Augmented Reality browser, which enriches data from other applications like Foursquare, Flickr etc.

Recruitment Industry

Recruitment industry has the added advantage of working with various verticals. Most sectors use recruitment professionals for hiring staff, many of whom place positions on job boards to advertise the vacancy. Job boards are great to get information to users, especially when looking for high value jobs. Although in the case of individuals looking for temporary or retail jobs, it often makes sense to just walk on the High Street looking for job availabilities on doors.

Augmented reality can make this process even easier by allowing users to find jobs on their screens as they walk around the High Street. This opportunity is not limited to retailers, other industries can also utilise this feature. For instance if a management consultant is looking for a job in the city, instead of going to a job board, where only some of the jobs are available, they can get access to all the jobs, based in a certain radius, each of which pointing to the company’s headquarter.


Augmented reality has the advantage of connecting real life with social media insight. Augmented reality is fast, convenient and natural to us. It provides us with the opportunity to connect physical space with relevant information. A bit like, how tourist get a handheld device with running commentary when touring a city.

The possibilities are endless. We just have to wait for a major player to now integrate this with their job board!


Buzz, an extension of Orkut, Google’s social network

Google Buzz which lauched yesterday on Google Mail (UK) or Gmail (other counties) has been in press on various sites Techcrunch, Mashable etc.

Many are calling it Facebook + Twitter = Friendfeed = Google Buzz. At first I agreed with general reaction of social media pundits, although on thinking further, it occured to me that Google has been used to doing it on their own social network, Orkut.

Google Buzz / Orkut

Above: (blurry) Screenshots of Google Buzz and Orkut respectively

Orkut is one of the biggest social networks in countries like India, Brazil etc. Orkut already offers social media aggregation to it’s users, mainly for Google owned services like Picasa (images), YouTube (video) etc. Time and again Google has attempted to integrate Google Fetures into Orkut, although on this occasion it has bought an Orkut feature to a major Google product. We will see more of this in the coming months/ Google Mail will become more social and users will consume social media without realising it.