Archive for January, 2009


Rate the Superbowl Ads: How To Participate

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Last year, I kicked off a twitter game that let folks rate superbowl ads, and we collected the results from the tweets and found that the popular favorites on twitter weren’t too different than what media analysts were predicting.

We found that many enjoyed making the game interactive, by watching and critiquing the ads (more fun that just consuming) and many non-football fans were able to get into the spirit of it, (some were dragged to the superbowl parties)

I’ll be on a plane flying from Maui to SF during the superbowl (not really a loss for me) so I won’t be there to enjoy the festivities, so this year, it’s going to be bit different, as it’s being kicked off by Brian Solis (who was with me last year), Louis Gray (his post here), Guy Kawasaki, Jesse Stay, Chris Heuer, and others.

Rate the Superbowl Ads: How To Participate

1) If you want to participate, you can discuss the ads on twitter, (feel free to say why you love/hate it) and be sure to tag it: #superbowlads. Dont’ have a twitter account? start here.

2) Then when you’re done, be sure to rate your favorite ad using this survey. (notice this page will show all the tweets tagged #superbowlads.

3) Throw back a few cold ones, clown on your friends, and talk some smack on twitter and in real life! Have fun!

The results will be published later, and I’ll link to it from this post.

Jobs in a Recession Survey Results 2: Most Recent Hires Got Jobs in Less Than Three Months

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Those that were recently hired were able to find a job within a short period of time

This is part 2 of an ongoing community project to help people understand how to get jobs during a recession.

This data is slightly skewed towards those that are already active in social media as the survey went to those within my network on my blog and the highly connected Twitter community. There were 214 respondents to the survey although this graphic only represents those who got jobs since Sept 2008 (71 respondents) that represent those that were hired during the announcement of the recession. This sample set is smaller than one would expect out of a formal research project, after multiple promotions, it was capping out at 200 respondents, and I don’t have other resources to deploy against email lists, or affiliate programs. This is a personal research project, and is not tied to my employer, clients, or anyone else for that matter.


Finding 2: Most Recent Hires Got Jobs in Less Than 3 Months
This is just the data from the 71 respondents that got hired since Sept 2008 (since the recession started).

  • 39% of the respondents who recently got a job were able to get a job within one of actively looking
  • 33% of the respondents that recently got a job were able to do so within 1-3 months
  • 12% shows a quick drop of respondents that recently were hired got a job 4-6 months of actively looking
  • 11% of the respondents that recently got a job took 7-9 months of actively looking
  • This means that 72% of respondents were able to get a job within 3 months of actively starting to look.


    Recommendations for Job Seekers in a Recession

  • Getting a job (for those who were hired from Sept 2008 to Jan 2009) haven’t had that much of a problem doing so
  • For those that are concerned about layoffs, should have some ‘irons in the fire’ and keep conversations going with prospective empoyers
  • Haven’t started a conversation? Be active by reaching out to your immediate network with your new skills, or projects, as shown by data from finding 1
  • Families and individuals should at least have 3 months (preferably 6 months, I’m told) of reserve capital for living expenses if someone gets laid off

  • To find the other results from this survey, I’ll be tagging the post “Job Survey” and you can click that category to learn more. I forgot to thank some folks with their ideas for questions for the survey such as Peter Kim, Bryan Person, Chris Kenton, and Charlene Li.

    Coming soon I’ll be posting results for: top industries hired, compensation rates, and some other interesting data cuts.

    Resources: See my Web Strategy Job Board

    Jobs in a Recession Survey Results 1: Recent Hires Got Jobs Via Referral from Friends, Colleagues, Alumni, or Family

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    Most Got Jobs from Referrals from Friends, Colleagues, Alumni, or Family

    This is part 1 of an ongoing community project to help people understand how to get jobs during a recession.

    This data is slightly skewed towards those that are already active in social media as the survey went to those within my network on my blog and the highly connected Twitter community. There were 214 respondents to the survey although this graphic only represents those who got jobs since Sept 2008 (71 respondents) that represent those that were hired during the announcement of the recession. This is a personal research project, and is not tied to my employer, clients, or anyone else for that matter.


    Finding 1: Most Recent Hires Got Jobs from Referrals from Friends, Colleagues, Alumni, or Family
    This is just the data from the 71 respondents that got hired since Sept 2008 (since the recession started).

  • Most (43%) get their jobs through their immediate online network of friends, colleagues, alumni, or family.
  • Although a big gap the second (12%) most used method was through online job boards or websites.
  • Some suggested on Twitter that in Europe or Asia this is the primary method of job seeking –unlike the highly wired online job market in US, I did not ask location question to verify.
  • This could also be due to the fact that my network are people already using social media and are hyper-connected to each other.
  • I had no idea this method would have been so high, if it were, I would have asked separate questions to break that out into different referral methods.


    Recommendations for Job Seekers in a Recession

  • First of all, considering the massive layoffs, almost everyone should be exploring a backup plan
  • Job seekers should nurture their relationships with their peers first.
  • Job seekers should continually keep their network educated about their new projects, skills, and work they are taking on, consider using LinkedIn, Facebook, professional website or a blog
  • They should reach out and connect with their network before they need them.
  • Interact with them in email, social networks, phone and good ol fashioned lunch meetings

  • To find the other results from this survey, I’ll be tagging the post “Job Survey” and you can click that category to learn more. Thanks to my wife who helped cut, cleansed, and graphed the data it in 1/10th the time it would take me. (and during our vacation in Hawaii!)

    Coming soon I’ll be posting results for: top industries hired, compensation rates, and duration spent looking for a job in a recession

    Resources: See my Web Strategy Job Board

    Community Managers Must Deliver ROI: Commandments For Surviving a Recession

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    I’m a former community manager, and many of my friends are currently in this role, and I want to make sure they are armed with the right knowledge to succeed during hard times –I know some of them may get laid off.

    Community Managers are at risk of being let go
    During a recession, we know that marketing, sometimes new media and unknown expenses get cut. Unfortunately, to some, the Community Manager role may sit in all three of those areas of scrutiny. Although I’ve been tracking quite a few Community Managers working at enterprise class companies, they must quickly learn to measure, and demonstrate ROI or risk getting cut.

    Community Managers must educate stakeholders and management.
    Measurement depends on which objective they are trying to solve, so I’ll break it down into specific objectives and tasks. During incidents the community manager should report in real-time to key stakeholders. Secondly, they should provide weekly updates that can be quickly scanned in 30 seconds to community managers. Each month, they should provide a detailed report, and initiate a 30-60 minute meeting with key stakeholders to discuss changes.

    Among these changes they should measure:

    Improvement in marketing efficiency
    Community Managers should measure increased speed from word of mouth or marketing awareness, the best way to measure this is time from awareness to close –or spread of WOM. This could also include increase understanding of customers (listening) for marketing research, or warning stakeholders about potential detractors before they become real issues. Unfortunately, these metrics aren’t valued as much as the next two, so focus accordingly.

    Reduction in support costs
    The bottom line is always important to business, so if you can measure a decrese in customers going to physical stores, emailing account reps, or calling the support center as they instead rely on community to help self-support themselves, you can start to put dollar costs on this actual community savings.

    Actual improvement to sales
    This matters most. Community Managers should start to measure how clicks from community directly impact ecommerce, go to product pages (perhaps if you’re B2B) or to affiliate marketing to demonstrate how community interaction increases revenue. If you can demonstrate this (like Dell’s million dollar sales in Twitter) tout this loudly to management.

    Conduct additional research
    If you’re like most companies, layoffs are coming, therefore Community Managers must educate the powers that be the value that they offer when it comes to customer service and support. Rather than focus purely on the role that they have, they should demonstrate the overall of the community –then discusss why a role is needed (like a physical store manager) in order to keep it running smoothly. Consider running quarterly surveys that measure Net Ratings or customer satisfaction, and don’t forget to quote qualitative responses from community members themselves, there’s nothing like a pure customer testimonial about why they are customers.

    If you’ve other tips for Community Managers during a recession, leave a comment below.

    Update: Bill Johnston has some additional tips you should read, he also left a comment below.

    Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Jan 27, 2009

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    I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly digest on the Social Networking space, which I cover as an industry analyst. By creating this digest (I started this over a year ago) it really helps me to stay on top of the space I cover.

    I’ve created a new category called Digest (view archives). Start with the Web Strategy Summary, then quickly scan the succinct and categorized headlines, read text for my take, and click link to dive in for more.

    Subscribe to this blog in your feedreader, or use the email subscription box in the right column. Or you can subscribe to this digest tag only and not receive my other posts.

    Web Strategy Summary
    More growth shown in Facebook’s worldwide unique visitors, Leverage Software launches upgrade, and more twists on social networking in our culture from crime, religion, and parenting.


    Release: Leverage Software upgrades to version 6.5
    Leverage has made some improvements with it’s geo social maps, groups, and calendar functions, and has provided some detailed release notes.

    Data: Social Networks overtake adult websites
    Hitwise has collected data on UK social networking activity, and has found that social networking sites has overtaken one of the greatest triggers of internet innovation, the adult industry.

    Data: Adults bulk of social networkers, but still leans young
    eMarketer gives data on how “But younger online adults were much more likely than their older counterparts to use social networks, with three-quarters of those ages 18 to 24 using the sites, compared with just 7% of Internet users ages 65 and older”.

    Culture: Woman killed for Facebook Status
    This bizarre case shows how much social networking has infiltrated our culture. Obviously, this has little to do with social networks as this enraged husband rampages after wife turns her status to single on Facebook, and more about human psychology.

    Usage: Facebook unique visitors twice as large as MySpace
    More growth in Facebook’s arena as Techcrunch reports that unique worldwide visitors has overtaken MySpace.

    Culture: Pope welcomes Facebook –yet cautions
    Here’s a sign that social networks are bleeding into many areas of culture, when religion starts to comment on “gifts” such as these online tools.

    Parenting: Friends of children’s friends
    Linda Furrier poses some questions about parents monitoring the friends of friends (FoaF) within social networks, should advance parenting features be setup in social networks? Last time I checked, there was a minimum age required for some social networks.


    If you’re a social network, or widget company, I want to know of your news, send me an email, or leave a comment below. Help me stay up to date.

    Hungry For Social Networking Stats? Then you should see my collection of Social Networks Stats for 2008 and 2009. Bookmark them, then share it with others as I continue to update it.

    Twitter’s Valuation, $73.52 an Active User?

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    This is just an educated guess, as we don’t have confirmation from Twitter, nor has the funding closed.

    Rumors are coming in that Twitter may raise another round of capital at valuation of $250mm, quick calculations from my archive of social networking stats show many sources indicate they range from 4-6mm registered users.

    Last week, when I visited the smooth Twitter offices in SF, I asked them about official registered users and they commented “they don’t give out those numbers”, as it would benefit others more than them. So, I’ll average it around 5mm total registered users. I trust the HP labs research on Twitter (met with Bernardo two weeks ago) and their data from a significant sample size shows that only 68% of users return.

    This would suggest that 3,400,000 actual users, which if you diveded into the supposed valuation of $250mm would result in the active (people who actually return) users actual worth $73.52. Scobleizer suggests it’s $42 but I think it’s near double that –as you have to take into account those that won’t participate.

    Could a Twitter user generate this type of value for it’s users over it’s lifetime? Perhaps if they went the consumer route with eCommerce, advertising, or some type of location based marketing. Or, they could supplement this with revenues from the corporate side by supplying brands with services to ethically, delivering services to them that wouldn’t shy away consumers.

    This isn’t even close to being correct, as if we truly wanted to be analysts over the valuation, we would have to factor in future growth, market conditions, and whichever monetization routes they intend to go, since we don’t have that data, we’ll leave it at current size of an estimated 3.5mm active users.