Social Media and Communities

On the average weekday, I spend hours sorting through my social media feeds-mostly Facebook and Twitter. I fire up HootSuite to make this task a little easier and dutifully retweet, share, and schedule posts. For many of us, managing social media has gone from a way to kill time to an integral part of our jobs. But by Friday night, I'm ready to hang up my social media hat (except for Pinterest because I need it to make new, exciting meals). On Saturday and Sunday, I need a break from the endless streams of news, opinions, and baby pictures-but giving up social networks all together seems unfeasible.

Posted Apr 22, 2014

Prognosticating is always a risky endeavor. It's even more precarious in social media. Any prediction about the future must rely on the available evidence, which is usually historical data. In an area such as social media-in which the dynamics are constantly changing and the players come and go like the changing tides-historical data is often only useful for short-term forecasting. As such, this column is an attempt to tread the fine line between obvious platitude and wild prophesy. The following are my top three predictions for social media in 2014.

Posted Apr 08, 2014

Surprise! Facebook is about to change the use of its platform for marketers. Ever hear this before? "A source professionally familiar with Facebook's marketing strategy, who requested to remain anonymous, ... [states] that the social network is ‘in the process of slashing organic page reach' down to 1 or 2 percent," according to Valleywag. What could prompt yet another change for Facebook?

Posted Apr 02, 2014

Spredfast, an independent social relationship platform, announced the launch of the Spredfast Partner Program, which is designed to give enterprise brands unfettered access to the industry's best-of-breed tools and technologies. Spredfast already partners with many of the industry's social technologies such as Kenshoo, Brandwatch, and Bazaarvoice, and has announced new partnerships with social business governance company Actiance, and content planning and management company Opal Labs, among others.

Posted Mar 27, 2014

According to a new study, many UK companies are still struggling to deliver adequate customer service through the web, email, social media, and web chat channels, with Twitter performance particularly patchy. Only 39% of companies were able to answer customer service questions asked through Twitter, despite 76% of organizations now being contactable through this channel.

Posted Mar 27, 2014

I dedicate this column to Reese Bobby and his everlasting wisdom. I am, of course, not a semi-professional race car driver (sorry for the disappointment, but the tattoo thing is true), but I am a semi-professional social media expert. So, I am here today to give the neophytes a little lesson in how and where to share your content on social media. In this month's edition we will be covering two social media platforms with four more to follow next month.

Posted Mar 27, 2014

Join Jose Castillo, Jeff Cutler, and Steve Garfield for a discussion about creating great video content on the EContent Google+ page. The live discussion will begin at 11 a.m. EST on Friday, March 28.

Posted Mar 21, 2014

There was a very important birthday this week that you probably forgot. Don't worry, you don't need to run out and get a card to apologize. The World Wide Web doesn't mind that you forgot its 25th birthday. But you should probably feel guilty about letting this milestone pass unnoticed because, according to Pew, the World Wide Web has made your life better.

Posted Mar 14, 2014

According to HubSpot's 2013 State of Inbound Marketing report, 23% of marketers invested in blogs and social media last year. That number seems shockingly low, and could indicate that some decision-making executives are still wary of social media. EContent talked to Thomas White, co-founder and CEO of the C-Suite Network-a company designed to enable c-suite professionals to maximize the potential of peer networks and social media-to better understand the C-Suite's hesitance to embrace social media.

Posted Mar 12, 2014

DNN, a provider of marketing solutions, released the latest version of Evoq Social, an online community solution that fosters and enhances conversations among customers, employees, partners, and prospects. The new version ships with an enhanced set of features and options for deploying social groups, encouraging conversations, and enhancing collaboration.

Posted Mar 06, 2014

A few weeks back, a good friend sent me an article that appeared on one of my favorite websites, ThoughtCatalog. It had me at the headline: "This Is How Social Media Is Ruining Your Life." See, last summer I wrote a column pointing out that many people use social media as nothing more than means to promote themselves, not to engage in honest communication with friends. For a while I believed that maybe I was the only one who thought this, but, thanks to ThoughtCatalog, I know now I am not alone.

Posted Mar 06, 2014

OverDrive announced that it has acquired TeachersNotebook.com, an online marketplace for teacher-created curriculum materials for K-12 education. TeachersNotebook enables teachers to browse free and low-cost instructional resources, and to create their own shop where others may purchase original materials. The website operates with a "teachers helping teachers" mentality of engaging and educating students of all ages and optimizing the classroom experience.

Posted Mar 04, 2014

Trover, a community-driven visual guide serving travelers and local culture enthusiasts, announced three free photo widgets that provide any website the opportunity to showcase high quality location-based photos created and curated by Trover's community. Available immediately, the Trover widgets make it possible to quickly publish geo-tagged images, stories, and insider tips documented by the Trover community to help bloggers and websites deliver unique visual photo guides.

Posted Feb 27, 2014

John Wiley & Sons, Inc., announced a new partnership with Kudos, a start-up service designed to help academics and learned societies measure, monitor, and maximize the visibility and impact of their published articles. From April 2014, the Kudos platform will be freely available across a representative trial of articles from the Global Research portfolio.

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Stephanie Moritz, head of PR and social media at ConAgra Foods and an instructor with the Digital Professional Institute (DPI), says that many social media features will evolve to meet the needs of both companies and consumers. In fact, Moritz has seven specific predictions.

Posted Feb 25, 2014

In a February 19 blog post, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook intends to buy Whats App. For a total of $16 billion in cash and stock (yes...billion). There's another $3 billion in stock for Whats App employees but that will vest over four years. Whats App is a cross-platform messaging system that, according to the post, has over 450 million people using the service each month with 70% of them active on a given day.

Posted Feb 20, 2014

What does it mean to be online today? Increasingly, it means being part of the "now" and interactively tapping into the communal and cultural zeitgeist. And that, of course, means being connected to some form of social media. From aNobii to Zooppa, social networking sites are dominating cyberspace and becoming impossible for digital publishers and electronic content providers to ignore, and for good reason. People everywhere want to be part of an electronic conversation that is happening at this very moment via popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and Yelp. They want to chime in with opinions; share ideas, photos, and videos with family, friends, and followers; stay updated with favorite movers, shakers, and brands; and remain engaged in a dynamic digital dialogue, whether at home, at work, or on-the-go.

Posted Feb 19, 2014

While some stats suggest that Google+ usage rivals Facebook, skeptics point out that anyone with a Google Mail account is, by default, a Google+ user whether they actually "use" the tool or not. On top of that, Google recently created an online uproar through its requirement that users of its other property, YouTube, have a Google+ account in order to access the site. And, those who use Google+'s most popular feature-Hangouts-are also considered Google+ users, whether they actively use other features of not. Still, while the site's statistics may involve a lot of smoke and mirrors, most believe that it's an option that can't be ignored, primarily because of its impact on SEO.

Posted Feb 10, 2014

It wasn't so long ago that I was writing about Facebook Stories as the social media giant's first steps into the content marketing game. Now Facebook is putting an even bigger emphasis on content, with Facebook Paper (check out this video to see what some experts think about the new app). The Flipboard-esque app is, in essence, just a sleeker way to get and share the same content you see in your normal Facebook feed-combined with a news reader.

Posted Feb 04, 2014

Interacting Technology, the Israeli born social vertical building platform, announced the worldwide launch of Moovz.com, a social networking platform and mobile application for the gay community. Since its Beta launch in October 2013, Moovz has been available online and on mobile devices worldwide. The platform currently operates in eight different languages and launched with over 25 million interactions by users worldwide.

Posted Jan 23, 2014

Love motivates us to create things that share that story with the world. And tapping into that desire with your customers forms a bond that will last a lifetime. Do your customers love you? Do they love your products and services? Do they love you enough to post a picture of you, sing a song about you, or write a eulogy for you? The cold, calculating world of business comes down to customer choice between something they love and something they don't. But why is love such a big deal?

Posted Jan 23, 2014

Facebook wants your eyeballs, and isn't about to let any competitor go unchallenged. This time around, the social media powerhouse has Flipboard in its sights as reports of the impending release of Facebook Paper filter out. According to re/code, Paper could be out sometime this month and will aggregate your news into a Flipboard-like app for mobile users.

Posted Jan 16, 2014

Memorease and Milestones introduced its own approach to social networking by providing platform to upload and share any type of digital content with a personally selected list of family and friends. Serving as an alternative to social networks that actually sell and never delete uploaded content, Memorease and Milestones guarantees a private place to share, manage, and edit any kind of digital content.

Posted Jan 16, 2014

Josh Miller, co-founder and CEO of Branch and Potluck, announced on January 14, 2014, that the company has been acquired by Facebook and will be joining the Facebook Conversations group in New York City. Miller says that Facebook has asked the Branch team to build their product at "Facebook scale."

Posted Jan 13, 2014

VisualGraph announced on its site that it is now part of Pinterest. VisualGraph is a machine-driven search platform that specializes in visual content. According to the post from founder Kevin Jing, "Our approach is to combine the state-of-the-art machine vision tools, such as object recognition (e.g. shoes, faces), with large-scale distributed search and machine learning infrastructures."

Posted Jan 09, 2014

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