Finding a Social Media “Guru”

May 24th, 2010 |

Social media isn’t just a “place for friends;” it’s a place for business. In fact, solid proof exists that social media campaigns grow more than leads or traffic, but increase sales as well.  (I recently wrote an article documenting increased sales as a direct result of social media campaigns.)

As more success stories are published, companies that haven’t already gravitated toward social media will begin to do so. This will increase the need for social media managers

There’s only one university of which I’m aware that offers a social media degree. The one-year, full-time, $6,500 program will get you a Master’s degree. However, some online sources doubt the program’s depth. A smattering of online colleges offer social media degrees (i.e., University of San Francisco), but I wasn’t able to find any data on the programs’ success (or lack-thereof).

The problem is multi-layered, the first hurdle being a shortage of  social media “masters” capable of teaching social media engagement in-depth; according to Traffickd, there are at least 475 active social media sites (ironically, two sites that I use regularly aren’t on the list…). Complicating matters further, social media is like shifting sand; a course curriculum in February is obsolete as soon as it’s printed.  These are endemic issues with tech companies, and until there’s a standard, companies that wish to increase their social media prowess will struggle to find knowledgeable social media managers who can not only drive results, but also add value to the organization. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Louis

Chatroulette for Social Networking? The Verdict

March 1st, 2010 |

When we think of social networking tools, the obvious choices that come to mind are Facebook, Twitter, and (perhaps) MySpace. They  follow a somewhat similar format; you can add your own media (music, pictures, links, etc.), there’s a place for you to give everyone the 411 on what you’re up to or who you are, but more importantly, you can socially network. Your friends or people you awkwardly added to your friends list can interact with you and vice versa. You can even follow people or have them follow you, despite how unbelievably creepy that sounds. So when I first heard Chatroulette being mentioned in this arena, I really began to wonder…is this really a social networking tool?

Here are some things you should know about Chatroulette.  First, unlike Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, there is an age restriction to Chatroulette -  you must be 16 and over to enter. Secondly, anything goes for the most part. Despite the weak warning from the site, anything you do is really all good unless someone reports it. You can see an Al Gore masked man, followed by boobs, followed by some American troops stationed overseas who are just as curious about Chatroulette as you are. Thirdly, this was invented by a 17-year old boy in Moscow, yet the servers for the company are in Germany. Why Germany? Because it’s halfway between the United States and Russia (there’s something oddly politically poetic in that precise planning).

But, I digress. As much as I wanted to shun Chatroulette from the realm of social networking and put it in the category of short term novelty/failed speed dating site, I have to admit, there is some social networking going on there. I don’t just get a link to a rockers music – she can play it for me live. I don’t need to look for the latest pictures; there’s a live feed of your face. And I don’t need to add a comment on a wall and wait for a response. I can tell that strange Asian guy in a bra “Dude, that bra is working for you.” In a way, I am social networking.

It is nowhere near as organized as one of the other major social networking sites, but it works, and maybe it’s better. Socially interacting with total strangers seems to be a bold move, but it’s strangely making the world a smaller place which seems to be the overall goal for social networking sites. In the end, Chatroulette might not be the prettiest person at the party, but it’s the one you’ll have the most fun with.

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Sunil Ramsamooj

A Twitter Runs Through It: A MySpace Reduction?

October 19th, 2009 |

If a tree harboring a bird’s nest fell on MySpace, would anyone be around to hear the tweets?

That is the question the release of the Twitter Sync Official App a month ago on September 21st sought to override in the coming weeks. According to Complete.com statistics via Mashable, MySpace lost over five million unique visitors to the site between August and September. Oddly enough, I’ve recently seen some “friends” add new photos to their albums albeit visiting the site with minimal regularity, as if dressing up their profiles in preparation for digital burial. While these statistics may hold little surprise for the many who’ve expatriated to Facebook, it begs the question of what the much hyped Twitter sync app actually accomplished for the site over the last few weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lauren Cannon