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Archive for the ‘search engines’ Category

Via the Thinkhammer blog and the I’m Not Really A Geek blog, this great little cautionary tale / wake-up call for people who don’t quite grasp that EVERYTHING they post on the internet is 100% public.

If you aren’t familiar with this story yet, let me set it up for you:

1. Dude gets job with Cisco.

2. Dude posts less than enthused opinion about the Cisco job on Twitter (actually naming Cisco as his new employer).

3. Cisco employee on Twitter spots the post and promptly responds.

4. Dude blocks his Twitter updates (hides them from public view)… but it’s too late. The damage is done, and he probably spends most of the day wondering if Cisco will now rethink its job offer.

Check this out:

theconnor_ciscofatty2

And the response by the Cisco guy:

fatty_answer

Ouch. @theconnor probably didn’t expect that, did he?

But the question is… What did he expect? That a comment posted on a public stream in the fastest growing social media “channel” on the planet, one currently used by 2,000,000 people and feeding into other services like Facebook and MySpace would go unnoticed?

Just because your boss, coworker, spouse or neighbor doesn’t know about Twitter, doesn’t read blogs and refuses to join FaceBook doesn’t mean your comments on the web won’t get back to him/her.

What you post on the internet today may not come back to haunt you tomorrow, but it definitely will someday. Everything on the web is archivable, which means it is also searchable. Comments you make today will be popping up in searches ten years from now.

What does this all mean? Simple: Everything you say/write can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion someday, somehow. Your behavior on the web can cost you a new job, a promotion, your career, your marriage, your friendships, endorsements, and even take you out of contention for college scholarships, military/law enforcement service, or public office.

So please, please, PLEASE, for your own sake THINK about what you are about to post to the web (especially blogs, social networking sites and Twitter). Before you click “send,” “publish” or “update,” assume that everyone you know will read your comment. And by everyone, I mean your boss, coworkers, parents, grandparents, exes, recruiters, future employers, and yes, even your kids (even if you don’t have any yet).

Use your brains. The internet is a very public place. More so even than the water cooler. Exercise the same common sense and decorum you would in “real life” social situations.

Have a great Thursday. 🙂

Update: Based on the comments I have received over the weekend, it seems that @theconnor may have actually been a woman, not a “dude.” That information was not available to me when I published this post.  Thanks for letting me know.

Update #2: I am not sure that this is actually written by the real @theconnor or pointed to by the real Tim Levad, but it’s a good post and a nice way to continue the conversation on this topic. Click here.

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Roger Waters crowd

Pete Quily just saved me a few hours of work by publishing a fantastic Presidential Election/social media scorecard that outlines how the Obama campaign took advantage of social media and the internet to supercharge his grassroots movement all the way to victory. Remember the jokes about his having been a “community organizer?” It appears that the ability to create, organize and engage communities is a pretty useful skill after all. Combine it with social media, and you can work some serious magic – both in the political world AND the business world. If the Obama campaign’s success with social media strategies don’t convince CEOs and CMOs across the US that this “search”, Facebook and Twitter stuff is serious business, I don’t know what will.

Here are the numbers:

Barack Obama Vs. John McCain Search Engine and Social Media Showdown

Internet Presence
Barack Obama
John McCain
% Difference
Leading
Google Pagerank
8
8
0
Pages in Google’s Index
1,820,000
30,700
5828
Obama
Links to Website
in Yahoo – Pages
643,416
513,665
25
Obama
Links to Website
in Yahoo – Inlinks
255,334
165,296
54
Obama

Search Engine Results for Candidates Names in Quotes & Social Media Presence

Google
56,200,000
42,800,000
31
Obama
Google News
136,000
371,620
173
McCain
Google Blog
4,633,997
3,094,453
50
Obama
Technorati
412,219
313,497
31
Obama
WordPress.com
19,692
14,468
36
Obama
Google Image
24,200,000
8,620,000
181
Obama
Flickr
73,076
15,168
382
Obama
Flickr Photostream* 50,218 No Profile 50,218
Obama
Flickr Contacts* 7,148 No Profile 7,148
Obama
Google Video
136,000
89,800
51
Obama
Youtube
358,000
191,000
87
Obama
Youtube Videos Posted*
1,819
330
451
Obama
Youtube Subscribers*
117,873
none listed
117,873
Obama
Youtube Friends*
25,226
none listed
25,226
Obama
Facebook
567,000
18,700
2932
Obama
Facebook Supporters*
2,444,384
627,459
290
Obama
Facebook Wall Posts*
495,320
132,802
273
Obama
Facebook Notes*
1,669
125
1235
Obama
MySpace
859,000
319,000
169
Obama
MySpace Friends*
844,781
219,463
285
Obama
MySpace Comments*
147,630
none listed
147,630
Obama
Twitter
506,000
44,800
1129
Obama
Twitter Followers*
121,314
4,911
2470
Obama
Twitter Updates*
262
25
1048
Obama
Friend Feed
34,300
27,400
25
Obama

The statistic that should sum it all up: John McCain’s social network page has only 3 suggested sites, Obama’s suggests 16. One side understood how to seed social media channels to foster grass roots movements while the other had absolutely no idea what to do with social media beyond the obvious (using YouTube as a broadcast channel, and probing the value of Facebook/MySpace communities).

The Twitter Factor

Take a look at the Twitter numbers (in blue): Only 25 updates for @JohnMcCain vs. 262 updates for @BarackObama.

Less than 5,000 followers for John McCain vs. 121,300 followers for Barack Obama.

Boiled down to the basics: 10x more updates for Obama = almost 25x more followers for Obama.

Note: John McCain’s social networking site sadly makes zero reference to Twitter. Missed opportunity? Probably: One of the most notable effects of the McCain campaigns lack of focus on Twitter was obvious during the final few weeks of the campaign: A significant pro-Obama bias which left many McCain supporters alienated on the exploding live micro-blogging service. Instead of feeding John McCain’s social-media savvy army of supporters on Twitter, his campaign left them with little to do but huddle together and stand fast against a deluge of pro-Obama chatter. Imagine what YOU could do with 5,000 organized followers/customer/fans rooting for you on Twitter. Not understanding the value of these channels most certainly cost the McCain campaign dearly in the final weeks of leading to the Nov. 4 elections.

Why should anyone care about Twitter? One word: Numbers. According to stats provided by compete.com last month, Twitter’s year-over-year growth clocked at 573% in September 2008 vs. Facebook’s very respectable 84% YoY growth and MySpace’s negative 15% YoY growth. (Yep, MySpace’s unique visits are apparently shrinking.) Twitter’s growth is staggering.

At this rate, it may take less than 3 years for Twitter’s estimated 2.5 million* visitors to reach Facebook’s current 100 million* mark. When you consider that presidential elections can be won or lost by just a few thousand votes, it doesn’t take a social media expert to understand the extent to which Twitter WILL play a vital role in the 2012 presidential race.

* Worldwide numbers. Not US numbers. It is estimated that approximately 40% of Twitter users are in the United States.

Below: Twitter demographics (usage by age and gender). If you’re a student looking for a cool project involving social media, overlay this data with voter demographics and see what you find out.

2510539719_6e0af78a8a

To understand the full extent of the Obama campaign’s digital and social media strategies in these historic elections click here: Blue State Digital’s case study on the Obama online campaign is pretty comprehensive. (Political science, communications and marketing students will be studying this for years to come.)

Read Pete’s full post here. Great stuff.

Have a great Friday, everyone! 🙂

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Gorgeous search app. if you’re looking for something a little more stylish than Google or Yahoo. Nothing cooler than functional eye candy. Searchme looks and feels like a cross between Minority Report and Flickr. I like. Above: playing with a BrandBuilder search.

Also, check out Trendpedia, which helps you search and compare trends in blogs. Below: A comparison between Apple, Whole Foods and Starbucks.

Hat tip to the very sharp Andy Woolard.

Bonus link (also from Andy): Muxtape. The coolest/geekiest way to spend a Friday evening cutting good old fashioned mix tapes for the object of your desire (like you used to in High School)… except in an mp3 world. Not at all branding or or business-related (aside from the throwback page design), but check it out anyway. You’ll be glad you did.

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Way to go, Canada and UK. Making daddy proud! Since I am not exactly growing my readership, all I am doing is spreading the same amount of love to more countries, which is fine with me.

Interesting data on internet users’ adoption of Google Images as a search tool. Be careful Googlemonster: You’ve lost some share (negligeable as it may be) since this time last year.

I don’t have data on February 2007 vs. February 2008 browser and OS changes, but I am glad to see that Firefox, IE7 and IE6 are so close together. I use Firfox at home and IE7 at work… which may be pretty typical of most people who access this blog from a non-Apple machine.

As far as the OS thing… I’m a little sad that Mac’s OS (which only accounts for 6% of the OS market) is still beating the crap out of Vista, but whatever. The masses will come around sooner or later.

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Every once in a while, I browse what search engine keywords lead people to the brandbuilder blog. It’s always interesting because I can track how people who aren’t necessarily regulars find their way to our little conversations. The highest keyword returns tend to be along the lines of functions of marketing department, advertising, buzz metrics, WOMM, business practices and brand strategy. Most keywords are indeed related to the topics commonly found here.

Some searches however, make me wonder about the randomness of search engines when it comes to establishing affinities between a keyword and the menu of pages that gets generated from it. Case in point, a selection of random keywords that have led people here so far in December:



sexy robot
robert birge
bruce lee
coca cola consumption
batman cell phone cake
egyptian riverboat
common paradox
conclusion builder
hot asian naked
how to be cunning#
how hot is boiling
is marketing fun
sexy ass
sitting on toilet
small vs. big
most zald
“dead or alive”
“elephant tricks”
“the cure” 1024 768
anti cheer cheers
apes rude
bingo 2x3x5
black hole digital blasphemy
bumping into someone lawsuit
sexy wake up call
who is the bionic woman’s employer

… and my personal favorite: wipe yourself.

Yep, evidently, typing “wipe yourself” in a search engine box somewhere (it could be Google or Yahoo or any million other ones) will occasionally send you here. Proof at last that a) A small but significant amount of search engine traffic on the internets is a complete clusterf%^k, and b) people are spending their web-searching time wisely.



Have a great Holiday weekend, everyone. 😉

PS: Don’t try to leave a comment from the permalink. Go to the main page and comment from there. (The glitch is still there. Sorry.)

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