Archives for category: Social Media

Who’s got the biggest social network per country? The BBC charted Nielsen’s figures from June 2010 and from a year ago. Facebook had the largest audience by far in both months, while MySpace has dropped quite a bit.

What’s more interesting is the change in the amount of time people are spending on Facebook every month. I’d really like to know the demographics of the surveyed population. Anyone have info?

BBC charts Nielsen social network audience numbers.

(via BBC News)

…but the customer reviews in the iTunes store make me think: “Not quite ready for prime time.”

If you’ve downloaded Flipboard already, what’s your experience been? Is the app working for you?

To learn more about Flipboard’s promise, visit the website.

Today marks the start of Privacy Week. It’s timely, given the reaction to Facebook’s Open Graph announcement a couple weeks ago.

As we become more dependent on digital interconnectedness to stay in the know, it’s important to consider the data trail we leave behind — and not just on social networks. Earlier this year, President Obama signed signed a one-year extension of the Patriot Act, a law that was written in response to the Sept. 11 attacks, but which critics say gives the federal government unprecedented surveillance authority over private citizens.

“Having information about other individuals is a very important way of having leverage over them,” says University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey R. Stone.

Watch the short film above. If you’re concerned about your privacy and want to take action, sign the Privacy Week petition to congress, and read the latest information from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). If you’re specifically concerned about Facebook, follow these instructions to opt-out of instant personalization or these instructions to permanently delete your account.

Ever wonder what the most popular links are within your circle of friends and trusted sources?

Web Trend Map, a new interactive site, let’s you do that. Created by designer Craig Mod and information architect iA Inc., the website maps selected Twitter users and displays the trending links among those users off to the side.

The site was sorely lacking in food-related maps, so in the spirit of my most recent post, I made one.

Are there any food bloggers/makers/photographers you love who are on Twitter? Let me know and I’ll consider them for inclusion.

Craig and iA write more about the thinking behing Web Trend Map on their site. And if the words “web trend map” sound familiar, it’s ’cause iA Inc. is the company behind the popular Web trends infographic, now available as a poster.

Poynter Online news editor Steve Myers pointed to a Big Money article that smartly and — despite broad strokes — for the most part correctly evaluates the potential value of Facebook’s purchase of FriendFeed.

I’m going to guess you’re intimately familiar with Facebook. FriendFeed, on the other hand, is an aggregation/interaction site that allows users to easily import RSS feeds, collect them in one place, present them anywhere, and comment and vote on posts in others’ feeds.

While Facebook has these features too, the FriendFeed interface makes it very simple to drop in all your social network accounts. And hey, who doesn’t like easy, right?

FriendFeed account import page

In the article, “Now Facebook Really Owns You,” Chadwick Matlin writes:

…[I]magine a social aggregator with the size and sway of Facebook. Users would love it because it would make their lives simpler and more streamlined. The other social media sites stand to gain as well, since Facebook would be pointing more users to content offsite. News sites will get more traffic because people will be clicking through on more links. Facebook, of course, would be the biggest victor: It would be able to get people to check in more often and stay longer. Ad rates can then go up, which helps the company’s bottom line.

He doesn’t explicitly mention one thing: user data. Facebook has a lot of information about you, your friends and your acquaintances: birthdays, addresses, phone numbers, relationships, things you like, games you play, who you pay attention to and who pays attention to you, and — if you didn’t delete your cookies before logging in — other sites you’ve visited.

This is valuable not just to Facebook, but to third-party developers and those who use FacebookConnect. It means companies can get a more accurate picture of who you are and who the people you’re connected to are, in other words, more accurate user targeting.

Businesses are interested in making sure you take a specific action. The more they know about you, your behaviors, and what influences you, the better they can tailor their message to get you to do something.

Yes, Facebook got some very sharp engineers, and yes, real-time search will probably make Facebook a bigger player amongst those who need to know what people are saying now, but for profitability, the game has always been about understanding the user through data. In my opinion, the technologies FriendFeed was built on will allow Facebook to fill in gaps.

As news organizations, watchdogs and voters prepare for the Super Bowl of politics, it seemed like a good idea to survey what will be online for Nov. 4.

Some sites will start their coverage early. Already, the massive, all-volunteer Twitter Vote Report has been logging and mapping voting problems and good experiences.

Most complaints so far have been about long wait times and registration confusion. To participate, send a tweet with the #votereport hashtag.

New to Twitter? Not on Twitter? There are other ways to send a report. Developer Nathan Freitas has come up with some additional ways to look through the data.

At 6 a.m. ET on Election Day, the Washington Post will begin tracking voter experiences and related national news on their Vote Monitor page. To participate and to send news tips, post a Twitter message to PostVoteMonitor.

In addition, WaPo has interactive maps, live discussions, blogging and articles peppered around its site and on their politics page. Be sure to have a look at the very cool TimeSpace map and timeline mashup.

The New York Times just announced a slew of goodies for election coverage. A very handy tool for those who want to jockey returns is the pop-up dashboard, which will include live election returns beginning at 6 p.m. ET, as well as electoral vote tallies from network news, CNN and the Associated Press.

The Grey Lady is also trying to create the largest online archive of polling place photographs taken by voters. Add your photo to the mix under a Creative Commons license on the Polling Places page.

Addicted to Flickr? Editors at Yahoo News will be culling election-related photos from the site and posting them on and Put the word “election” somewhere in the title, comment or tag to be part of the search.

If you’re going to be out and about, bookmark the Online NewsHour’s mobile site. In addition to updates on the election, there’s a handy list of poll closing times and electoral votes.

NPR political analyst Ken Rudin has predicted Obama will win the race, but as we know, it ain’t over till it’s over. Want to map your own hypothetical outcome? Check out the You Predict map. The NewsHour will begin its TV broadcast at 9 p.m. ET, but you can follow developing coverage online now.

The Star-News may create the longest CoverItLive transcript ever with its Election Day live blog, which begins at 6:30 a.m. ET. The Wilmington, N.C., news organization reports record early voting returns in several counties. Thousands more are expected at the polls tomorrow., the website of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, will have their reporters and photographers out in force, documenting any polling problems that may occur. In addition, they’ll be streaming Qik video from separate Democratic and Republican election parties, blogging and posting staff and reader photos. The content will go live Tuesday afternoon. Keep tabs on the coverage at

On the West Coast, the popular L.A. Times blogs Top of the Ticket and L.A. Now will be posting updates throughout the day. Around 4 p.m. PT, the homepage will flip from the usual center art surrounded by story links to an electoral map that will track returns for the presidential race as well as 12 hotly contested propositions. Sometime after, the site will launch a separate section on California.

MSNBC will be revamping its homepage for elections coverage. Before then, you can embed a customizable live results widget like the one below on your site.

Photo by Hilary McHone/Flickr

Almost 10 years ago, four guys watching the way business was being done on the Web posted a 95-point proclamation of what worked and didn’t online. They called it “The Cluetrain Manifesto.” Its key tenets: Conversation is essential for business to thrive. Silence kills.

Conversation by eye2eye on Flickr

In the least year or so, I’ve heard more marketers like Ian Schafer of Deep Focus and Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester Research refer to it.

As news organizations scramble to engage its readers, it may be time to study the manifesto once more. And this time, it may pay off to read how market researchers are changing their engagement strategies. A good place to start is Cluetrain at 10.

For those who like slideshows, here are the 95 theses of the original Cluetrain Manifesto:

Cluetrain Review

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: web 2.0 cluetrain)

Photo by eye2eye/Flickr

ONA08 Logo - Online News Association 2008 conference Washington DC

ONA08, the Online News Association’s national conference, has launched several sites online, where you can connect with others who will be in Washington, in person or in avatar, next week.


  • A Twitter feed that’s the “control tower” for all things ONA08 online

My team, the ONA08 Social Media Subcommittee, wants to make ONA08 as much about community as it is about industry. I hope you’ll join the conference online and in person. And if you want to get a hold of me, send me a message or reach me on Twitter.

The Subcommittee members are Mary Ann Chick Whiteside, who will be among those liveblogging the conference; Paul Hyland, who’s been a creative sounding board and instrumental in gathering volunteers for on-site help; and Steven Lubetkin, who’s putting in a tremendous effort producing the podcasts. This conference is made possible in no small part because of them.

Once again, has been the go-to resource for those in New Orleans wanting local information about the progress and aftermath of Hurricane Gustav.

Currently, the site reports floodwater has spilled over the Plaquemines Parish levee and officials have ordered everyone out.

Winds from Hurricane Gustav topple a tree in New Orleans. Photo by mystarla

Thomas Broadus of Mississippi Public Broadcasting has been tweeting rapid-fire updates, the Houston Chronicle has set up a special section for storm coverage, and KDFM-TV in Beaumont, Texas, has been keeping local residents up-to-date.

Thanks to lessons learned after Hurricane Katrina, no one messed around in preparing for and reporting news of Hurricane Gustav. Some have even said the round-the-clock coverage and days of high alert have been a little too much.

The reaction might have been different had the hurricane made a direct hit.

As it is, the Gulf region is still not in the clear. NOAA reports there will be storm surge flooding of 10 to 14 feet in southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi, and as much as 17 inches of accumulated rain in northwestern Louisiana in the next three days.

Instead of watching helplessly, people have been aggregating online information useful to those seeking shelter, looking for loved ones, and wanting to know if their homes have been damaged. The Hurricane Information Center Wiki (formerly known as GustavWiki), Hurricane Gustav on You C It and Hurricane Gustav Resources are three of the bigger efforts.

It will be interesting to see how many of those directly affected by the storm have made use of these sites. There have been numerous reports of local power outages and lack of cell phone service. Is there a real-time map of active and inactive cell towers? So far I’ve not been able to find one.

Photo by mystarla/Flickr

Faithful Poynter Online readers may have seen last Thursday’s article describing how Twitter buzz helped the Chicago Tribune break a story.

The Trib’s made a concerted, focused effort to incorporate social media as part of its news gathering and audience building. Perhaps the most brilliant part of the strategy has been to create Colonel Tribune, a persona that represents the company in on Digg, Twitter and elsewhere.

Since introducing the Colonel six months ago, the Tribune has reportedly seen an eight percent increase in pageviews. Not bad. (Make of the Alexa graph what you will.)

Chicago Tribune - Alexa Pageviews Chart

In this interview by marketing specialist Andy Sernovitz, Daniel Honigman and Bill Adee of the Tribune describe how they made Colonel Tribune a media star. Heck, he’s even going to SXSW 2009 as an invited panelist.

Want to know what the local audience thinks of the Colonel? Read on.