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  • Gerrit Eicker 07:47 on 24. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Google Plus, , , Google Plus Pseudonyms, , , Google+ Pseudonyms, , , , , , , , , Nicknames, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus Pseudonyms? Not yet! 

    Google Plus updates its real name policy: allows nicknames if they areestablished; http://eicker.at/GooglePlusPseudonyms

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    • Gerrit Eicker 07:47 on 24. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Horowitz, Google: “Since launch we’ve listened closely to community feedback on our names policy, as well as reviewed our own data regarding signup completion. The vast majority of users sail through our signup process – in fact, only about 0.1% submit name appeals. … Today we’re pleased to be launching features that will address and remedy the majority of these issues. To be clear – our work here isn’t done, but I’m really pleased to be shipping a milestone on our journey. … Over the next week, we’ll be adding support for alternate names – be they nicknames, maiden names, or names in another script – alongside your common name. This name will show up on your Google+ profile and in the hovercards which appear over your name. … On Google+, we try to flag names which don’t represent individuals, such as businesses or abstract ideas which should be +Pages. Sometimes we get this wrong, so starting today we’re updating our policies and processes to broaden support for established pseudonyms, from +trenchcoat to +Madonna. – If we flag the name you intend to use, you can provide us with information to help confirm your established identity.

      Google: “Your name and Google+ Profiles – Google+ makes connecting with people on the web more like connecting with people in the real world. Because of this, it’s important to use your common name so that the people you want to connect with can find you. Your common name is the name your friends, family or coworkers usually call you. For example, if your legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, any of these would be acceptable. – If you are unable to complete the Google+ sign-up flow, or if your profile is or could be suspended for a name-related issue, review our guidelines below. If your profile name was already saved, and we find your name doesn’t adhere to our Names Policy, you will have a four day grace period to change your name or appeal our finding before we take further action. … If you’ve followed these guidelines but your name still isn’t being accepted by our system, please follow the on-screen instructions to submit your name for review. You can provide us with several different types of information to help confirm your established identity. These could include: Scanned official documentation, such as a driver’s license – Proof of an established identity online with a significant following – References to an established identity offline in print media, news articles, etc. – We’ll review the appeal and typically get back to you within a few days. We may also ask for further information, such as proof that you control a website you reference.”

      RWW: “Google’s initial handling of pseudonyms on Google+ was draconian. Critics argued that a real-names policy endangers politically active users, and that it’s not even how real peoples’ identities work. In response, Google’s Vic Gundotra said in October that Google+ pseudonym support was coming. Today’s addition of ‘alternate names’ at least allows users to display an identity of their choice, but Google will still actively patrol the network to establish users’ identities. … Kevin Marks has captured Google engineer Yonatan Zunger’s explanation of the policy, making clear that Google only cares that the names on Google+ sound real. According to Zunger, Google doesn’t care whether you use your own name, only that it looks like a name to Google’s algorithm. Short online handles are not allowed.

      VB: “However, Google+ accounts are increasingly being linked to other Google web product accounts, from Gmail to Blogger. Someday soon, Google+ accounts will likely be linked to products like Google Checkout, where only a ‘real world’ identity will do. As Horowitz mentioned in a recent long interview with VentureBeat, Google is well aware of the complexities and challenges of managing multiple personas and identities online, and the company is thinking carefully about how to let each one of us be who we are, whatever that means for us, on Google’s Internet. – Saying that there are three ways to use any web product, unidentified, identified or pseudonymous, Horowitz told us last year, ‘Certainly, some products like Google search will support ‘incognito’ mode… (but) something like Google Checkout is the highest bar, where financial processes are involved. And there’s a spectrum in between. Some products make sense to support in multiple modes, and it’s sort of a product-by-product decision.‘”

      TC: “Moving forward, Google says that when the Google+ team flags a user name, people can appeal the decision by showing that it’s an ‘established identity,’ either offline or online – though if it’s an online identity, it needs to have ‘a meaningful following.’ – In discussing the issue, Horowitz says that only 0.1 percent of users submit name appeals. Of those users, 60 percent want to add nicknames, 20 percent are businesses that accidentally created a personal Profile rather than a company Page, and 20 percent are people who would prefer to use pseudonyms. To address nicknames, Google+ is adding support for alternate names that display alongside your legal name.

      ZDNet: “Pseudonyms on Google Plus? Wrong. – Google Plus is now only supporting ‘nicknames’ and names in another script in addition to the ‘real name’ users are require to register with the service. – Users’ birth names (or names on ID) are still rooted to the account and displayed with the added name. – The change they made on this explosive issue is minor. The implementation makes it clear that this is ‘nickname’ support and not true pseudonym support. – Clarification: The very limited pseudonym option to be offered in Plus is not tied to a user’s ‘real name’ only if the user signs up for a new account using a pseudonym (and the ‘nym is considered ‘established’ and gets approved by Google’s hazy ‘appeal’ process – or you are famous, like Horowitz’s example, Madonna). … A pseudonym is a different name that is used in place of someone’s real name, for a wide variety of legitimate reasons. … Google Plus and its truly problematic pseudonym policy encompasses issues of online harassment, personal safety, political speech, sexual minorities, women and gender identity, privacy, the collection and use of personal information by corporations, identity verification, and online deception. – So if you left Google Plus because you couldn’t safely use a pseudonym – don’t come back just yet.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:11 on 21. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Data Management, , GMC, , , , Google Message Continuity, Google Plus, , Google Sky Map, Google Social Graph API, , , , , Needlebase, , Photo Editors, , Picnik, , , , , , ,   

    Google’s Graveyard 2012 

    More Google shut downs: Urchin, Social Graph API, Picnik, Needlebase, Sky Map, GMC; http://eicker.at/GooglesGraveyard2012

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:11 on 21. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Here’s an update on some products that will be merged, open-sourced, or phased out in the coming months: Google Message Continuity (GMC) … Current GMC customers will be able to use GMC for the duration of their contract and are encouraged to consider using Google Apps as their primary messaging and collaboration platform. – Google Sky Map … We will be open-sourcing Sky Map and are collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University in a partnership that will see further development of Sky Map as a series of student projects. – Needlebase: We are retiring this data management platform, which we acquired from ITA Software, on June 1, 2012. The technology is being evaluated for integration into Google’s other data-related initiatives. – Picnik: We acquired this online photo editor in 2010. We’re retiring the service on April 19, 2012 so the Picnik team can continue creating photo-editing magic across Google products. … Social Graph API – This API makes information about the public connections between people on the web available for developers. The API isn’t experiencing the kind of adoption we’d like, and is being deprecated as of today. It will be fully retired on April 20, 2012. – Urchin: In 2005 we acquired Urchin, whose online web analytics product became the foundation for Google Analytics, helping businesses of all sizes measure their websites and online marketing. We’re fully committed to building an industry-leading online analytics product, so we’re saying goodbye to the client-hosted version, known as Urchin Software. New Urchin Software licenses will no longer be available after March 2012.

      Google: “The success of Google Analytics has been incredibly rewarding and humbling, and we are very thankful for the support of our early Urchin customers and investors. The Urchin Software product has now been completely overshadowed by its tremendously popular offspring. And so, it is time that we now complete the cycle by officially retiring the Urchin Software product and focus exclusively on online analytics. On behalf of the original Urchin crew and Google, we thank you and hope that we can continue to serve you with amazing products. – Urchin has only been available during the past several years through Certified Urchin Resellers, and new sales will officially discontinue at the end of March 2012. We are encouraging Urchin users to migrate to Google Analytics, although expect that current installations of the software will continue to work fine on most systems for years to come. You can learn more about the retirement of this product on the Urchin Website.

      RWW: “As Larry Page said in yesterday’s earnings call, Google’s current focus is on speeding up its execution. To make way for its main teams, Google has been closing down and open-sourcing its less-used projects over the past year. – Many interesting projects have moved on to bigger and better things as open-source initiatives. The Android App Inventor found a home at MIT. Knol, once Google’s effort at a Wikipedia-like knowledge database, has become Annotum, a WordPress-based system. Google Body became Zygote Body, and now it, and even the 3D viewer software behind it, is open-source. Today, Google Sky Map goes open-source, and it will live on as a student-run project.”

      VB: “Looks like the picnic is officially over. Google announced today on its blog that it will be retiring the picnic-themed photo editing service Picnik in April of this year. – The news comes about a week after Flickr announced it will be dumping Picnik, which now seems like foreshadowing of the news that was released today. – If you use Picnik for your editing needs, you can download your images as a zip file with Picnik Takeout for the time being. You can also move your photos over to your Google+ page until the service shuts down on April 19.”

      TC: “Today’s culling follows this summer’s shut downs of Google Labs and most of the products internally developed by former acquisition Slide. While Google has long encouraged experimentation, its found itself overextended. The company needs all hands on deck fighting the wars for social, mobile, and the cloud. – Google typically reassigns employees from scrapped projects rather than fire them. The teams from Picnik and Sky Map could increase the concentration of product leaders working on Google+. With any luck they can give Google’s social network a more human feel.

      RWW: “Google announced today that it is closing a number of services that it wasn’t able to attract millions of users to without making any effort. The worst of the lot to lose are two: the Social Graph API and DIY data extraction service Needlebase. Following on the heels of the kitten-stomping-bad sunsetting of Postrank, these latest closures are really meaningful, even if the adoption of the services never was. … The worst loss to humanity at the hands of Google’s startup eating monster of late remains PostRank, which Google acquired this Summer. … It was captured by Google and refashioned as a mirror for the fairy’s hideous ogre sister Naked Self Interest, which the ogre (a publisher using Google Analytics) thought made her more beautiful and rich with pageviews, but which really only made her uglier and more vacuous every day. – I can’t believe they are killing Needlebase and the Social Graph API. I can believe it, of course, but I’m thankful that my cynicism is still thin enough that it hurts every time something like this happens again. There are only so many more tools like this on the web left to kill, though.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:50 on 12. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Department of Justice, , , , Google Plus, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Search Plus 

    Constine: There’s blood in the water surrounding Google Search Plus; http://eicker.at/SearchPlus

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    • Gerrit Eicker 08:50 on 12. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Constine, TC: “Sharks Circle Around Google Search+: EPIC Cries Antitrust, Twitter Provides Evidence – There’s blood in the water surrounding Google Search+… EPIC believes that by surfacing in search results the private content shared with a user by their friends, Search+ may violate privacy. I personally don’t buy that argument. Yes, it’s a bit shocking to see private content in Google Search results where we’ve come to expect only public content. However, private content isn’t exposed to anyone that couldn’t already see it, so I think EPIC is fear mongering around privacy. … The issue is that Google has the data to surface its competitors in People and Pages, but doesn’t. Hey, maybe this is all a clever ploy to bring antitrust scrutiny to Facebook’s deal with Microsoft’s Bing to sour its IPO.

      Eldon, TC: “Google+ Search = A Way To Call The Feds In On IPO-Bound Facebook (?) – Like everyone else, I’ve been trying to get my head around why Google has force-integrated its Google+ social network into its main search feed at the expense of leading social services like Facebook and Twitter. The situation seems like an antitrust case waiting to happen, because Google could easily choose to feature the publicly available content from its social rivals in the same way it is showing its own product within its market-dominating search engine. It just hasn’t. … There could be a grand strategy for provoking the US government to investigate the market shares of search and social products as a single issue, in a way that puts Facebook on the defensive, especially as it looks to go public. … The big catch to this idea, at least for now, is that when you consider Bing’s relatively weak market share, and the lack of effect Facebook has had on it, it’s unclear if the Justice Department will take this sort of issue seriously. Facebook may be the Google of the future, but Google is the Google of the present. And maybe Google is just trying to see what it can get away with ahead of what we can expect to be habitually slow federal interest in whatever moves it makes.

      Coldewey, TC: “There has been a great quantity of vitriol corroding the social web over the last few days, a reaction to Google’s decision to optionally integrate Google+ features into their search. … Google is a datavore. All it wants to do is collect data, organize it, and then deliver it to people, peppered with ads and the occasional sales commission. Viewed from this perspective, the new social search is simple – innocuous. The biggest crime Google has committed is giving it such a cumbrous name. … A search that is ostensibly social-focused should be pulling information primarily from Facebook and Twitter, right? I agree. Yet it doesn’t. And people’s accusing fingers jumped up to point at Google, though the problem isn’t Google’s. … What rich data does Facebook share? What deep search does Twitter permit? Google can’t produce something it doesn’t have, and what it does produce isn’t destructive to search – and if it were so, it can be turned off with a click. … There’s nothing controversial about competition. Google has started a new service that gives social data prominent placement. Ironically, the fact that people are complaining that it is not integrative enough (as opposed to Twitter and Facebook initiatives, which are often not integrative at all, and sometimes deliberately exclusive) testifies to Google’s adherence to their promise of even-handedness. … I think it falls outside that area, which to me begs the question, but no doubt the discussion will continue, and Google’s actions will have repercussions further down the line.

      SEL: “Real-Life Examples Of How Google’s ‘Search Plus’ Pushes Google+ Over RelevancyBy having a dominant position in search, Google might ultimately be responsible for going above-and-beyond to include competitors. That’s part of what the current anti-trust investigations into Google are all about. One complaint over today’s move – though likely mostly about privacy – is already being readied. – Google’s job as a search engine is to direct searchers to the most relevant information on the web, not just to information that Google may have an interest in. – These suggestions would be better if they included other services, and that’s the standard Google’s search results should aim for, returning the best. … If You’re Not On Google+, You’re Not A Suggestion… Why Google+ Is A Must-Have For Marketers… Is there anyone out there who still wants to say that being on Google+ doesn’t matter? Anyone? Because when being on Google+ means that you potentially can have your Google+ page leap to the top in those sidebar results, Google+ matters. It matters more than ever before. … It’s not Google’s job to be sticking it to anyone with its search results. Those results are supposed to be showing what are the most relevant things for searchers out there. That’s how Google wins. That’s how Google sticks it to competitors, by not trying to play favorites in those results, nor by trying to punish people through them.

      RWW: “Will Bing Get A Boost Thanks To Google’s Your Way? – All of this could play well for Bing. Since 2009, the number three search engine has had a partnership with Twitter similar to the one that lapsed with Google last summer. Since the Google agreement expired, it is now easier to find tweets in Bing via realtime searches than it is in Google. At the time of the breakup in July, it was unclear which side walked away, but Bing was quick to renew its ties with Twitter and strike a similar deal with Facebook. … The fallout from search isn’t the only reason why Bing may get a boost this year. The company has improved integration of Bing with Xbox and Kinect, which helps Microsoft grab a younger demographic when gamers move their search activity online from their consoles. Bing has also been working to improve its mobile offerings, releasing a much-imtpoved Bing app for Android and iOS5. – But perhaps the biggest indication that Bing is worth paying attention to came from Google itself, when it paid $900 million to Mozilla to be the default search engine in Firefox for the next three years.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 11. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Google Plus, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Search Plus 

    Google Search goes Plus Your World: personal search adds Google Plus, global doesn’t; http://eicker.at/GoogleSearchPlus

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    • Gerrit Eicker 08:54 on 11. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Search, plus Your World – Google Search has always been about finding the best results for you. Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes it means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about. … We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features: Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts-both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page; Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and, People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community. – Together, these features combine to create Search plus Your World. Search is simply better with your world in it, and we’re just getting started. … When it comes to security and privacy, we set a high bar for Search plus Your World. Since some of the information you’ll now find in search results, including Google+ posts and private photos, is already secured by SSL encryption on Google+, we have decided that the results page should also have the same level of security and privacy protection. That’s part of why we were the first major search engine to turn on search via SSL by default for signed-in users last year. … We named our company after the mathematical number googol as an aspiration toward indexing the countless answers on webpages, but that’s only part of the picture. The other part is people, and that’s what Search plus Your World is all about.

      SEL: “Google’s search results are undergoing their most radical transformation ever, as a new ‘Search Plus Your World’ format begins rolling out today. It finds both content that’s been shared with you privately along with matches from the public web, all mixed into a single set of listings. … The new system will perhaps make life much easier for some people, allowing them to find both privately shared content from friends and family plus material from across the web through a single search, rather than having to search twice using two different systems. – However, Search Plus Your World may cause some privacy worries, as private content may appear as if it is exposed publicly [it is not]. It might also cause concern by making private content more visible to friends and family than those sharing may have initially intended. … ‘The social search algorithm, and the personal search algorithm, and the personalized search algorithm are actually one algorithm now, and we are merging it in a way that is very pleasant and useful,’ said Amit Singhal, who oversees Google’s ranking algorithms, when I talked with him about the new features. … Search Plus Your World doesn’t cover content on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Flickr. Or any social network or place where content might be shared to a more limited audience. Currently, ‘Search Plus Your World’ would be better described as ‘Search Plus Google+’ … As said, the ability to search for private content on Google+ isn’t new. However, I wonder if having it integrated into Google’s search results itself might cause some surprises and issues for both Google and its users. … Don’t like the idea of personalized search? Disappointingly, Google didn’t go the opt-in route. Instead, you have to deliberately opt-out. … Personalized Is The New ‘Normal’ … Overall, I like the integration that allows for searching through private and public material. As I’ve said, I think many people will find it useful. – I do think there are some additional privacy controls that could be added, in particular, the ability for people to opt their content out of being found through search, if they want. … Yes, there are things that Facebook or Twitter might not allow, not without Google cutting deals or agreeing to terms it may not want to.

      RWW: “If you’re like me, you’ve dreaded this day. Just last week, I wrote that Google+ was going to mess up the Internet by turning Web search into a popularity contest. But the new Google unveiled today leaves the user in control. ‘Search, plus Your World,’ Google has called it. It’s two kinds of search, and they’re separate. If you don’t want Google+-flavored results, just switch to global mode. You can even turn off personalized search altogether. … Even when you search in personal mode, Google wants to show you the most relevant result at the top, even if its not from Google+. Prior to today’s update, this wasn’t happening reliably. The source of my concerns about Google+ was the prominence of Google+ results in search when outside Web results were more relevant. … Of course, this mode will still privilege content posted to Google+ ahead of other social networks.But today’s ‘Search, plus Your World’ update actually softens the impact of Google+ on search. Google+ content is better integrated with outside stuff now, and, of course, it’s optional, even for logged-in users. There are still problems with the state of Google search, but none of them are as dire as they were a week ago. – Now that Google users have control over the level of personalization, I don’t think Google+ will mess up the Internet anymore. Social SEO will not take over, because natural search results still matter. My fear last week was that anyone who wanted to use Google would be forced to use Google+. Today’s update shows good faith. Google has given its users control.

      GigaOM: “Google+ just got a new killer app: search – Google has begun to integrate Google+ posts, pages and profiles into its Google.com search results. The move is meant to personalize search, and offers some interesting opportunities for content discovery – but first and foremost, it’s gonna be a big boost for Google+ itself. … The new Google+ search integration comes with a kind of on-off switch, making it possible to switch back and forth between the classic Google view of the world and a more personalized version. Users who opt for the personal approach will get to see relevant posts from the people they have added to their circles as well as pages from brands and celebrities relevant to their search results. … I’ve long argued that Hangouts are a kind of killer app for Google+. With the launch of personalized search, the service just got a new killer app.

      TC: “What most alarms me about today’s ‘Google Search Plus Your World’ announcement is how it will distort name searches. When I Google someone’s name, I’m typically looking for a Wikipedia entry, their Twitter account, a personal website, or an author page on their blog. … I know getting people to sign up for Google+ is crucial to tying people’s behavior across Google products to their identity to power ad targeting. But seriously Google, best-in-class search is why we love you. Is it really worth sacrificing your integrity to drive signups?

      VB: “Twitter is not happy with Google’s new social search features. So unhappy, in fact, that the company is calling it a ‘bad day for the Internet’ and media overall. ‘We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone,’ the company said in a statement. ‘We think that’s bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users.’ … One Google spokesperson told VentureBeat: ‘For years now we’ve been working with our social search features to help you find the most relevant information from your friends and social connections, no matter what site that content is on. However, Google does not have access to crawl all the information on some sites, so it’s not possible for us to surface all that content. Google also doesn’t have access to the social graph information from some sites, so it’s not possible to help you find information from those people you’re connected to.'”

      GigaOM: “Is adding Google+ to search a red flag for regulators? – Neither side has said why the arrangement with Twitter came to an end (sources say the company wanted a lot more money in return for its data), but today’s note about unfair competition suggests the two won’t be working together any time soon – and the odds of Facebook suddenly wanting to make its data available seem equally remote. But as others have pointed out, Google is being somewhat disingenuous when it says it can’t get information from Twitter, since all tweets and profile info (unless explicitly hidden by a user) is available to be crawled and indexed by anyone, including Google.

      TC: “But Twitter does have a point: people trust Google to serve up the most timely, relevant information possible. And without Twitter’s data, it’s going to have a hard time doing that. Of course, Google probably already has its own answer to this drafted, and I suspect it reads something like, ‘if Twitter wants people to find tweets in Google, they can open up their API.’ I’m reaching out to them for their official response now. – Update: Google just posted this response to its official Google+ Page: ‘We are a bit surprised by Twitter’s comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer, and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions.’

      RWW: “Sure they’re concerned. Is it true, though? It’s not like Twitter’s own search tools are that helpful; Google is still the best Twitter search tool there is. It recently acquired Julpan, a social search company, so maybe Twitter has a better idea. But if you search for content that’s on Twitter, Google will find it. If Twitter wants full-featured integration into Google search, that’s up to them. I’m sure Google would be delighted to oblige. – Nothing about today’s update makes things worse for Google’s competitors in Google results. If anything, it just means they have more work to do.

    • webwerkstatt 21:30 on 11. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Google ist still no.1 and they will keep their position for years. Twitter is only a short message service and an integration would be great for them

      • Gerrit Eicker 07:01 on 12. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Well, I suppose Twitter wouldn’t be Twitter if it’d be “only a short message service”, but that’s just my 2 cents. – But I’m with you regarding the question who’s got to deliver: it’s Twitter, not Google. Twitter will have to decide if they want money or attention…

  • Gerrit Eicker 11:19 on 31. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Plus, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    2012 

    Reviewing 2011 and welcoming 2012: What’s been news and what’ll be news in the year ahead? http://eicker.at/2012

    2012

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  • Gerrit Eicker 07:18 on 30. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Plus, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Predictions for 2012 

    Thoughtful new year’s predictions on media, social media, analytics, S/CRM, big data; http://eicker.at/PredictionsFor2012

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:19 on 30. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Guardian: “Media predictions for 2012: press and digitalPress[W]ith print sales continuing to fall and advertising revenue stubbornly refusing to grow, publishers will axe more regional and local titles. … National titles will suffer print declines too, just as they have done for five and more years. It is doubtful that any will close in 2012, but the tabloids will rue the day they brought Leveson down on their heads. … – Digital – It is one of the most hotly anticipated flotations in US corporate history; on track to be the biggest internet public offering since Google. For Mark Zuckerberg and his seven-year-old social network, 2012 will be the year when Facebook goes public. … In the digital world, 2011 will always be remembered for one thing: the untimely passing of Steve Jobs.Having transformed digital music, smartphones and tablet computers in recent years, Apple’s next big bet looks set to be TV. Apple is reported to have fast forwarded its planned assault on the living room since Jobs’s death, with ideas focusing on software that recognises viewers’ tastes across a number of devices without the hinderance of a remote control. Expect more on this in 2012.”

      Forbes: “Social Media Predictions For 2012Companies sometimes gripe that social media is useless as a branding tool. – For marketers, converting messages into transactions is the Holy Grail, but if they don’t quickly materialize through new media outlets, that’s no reason to throw in the towel. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other outlets are constantly evolving and experimentation is necessary to find success. – Once we accept that ‘social’ does not equal ‘transactional’ we’ll all be a lot more adept at using it in 2012.Geo-location has been an important marketing tool for a few years, but in 2012 it will become more personal and more transactional, especially in social-media marketing. … How will that work? Look for marketers to motivate and change behavior through geo-location tools and social gaming. … There’s a reciprocal relationship between the check-in and the reward, which is what game dynamics are about-rewarding behavior through real and virtual currency. … These are ways for brands to say, ‘Believe in us, be part of our community, and when you engage with us, we notice.’ It’s that acknowledgement that creates loyalty, advocacy and drives earned-media value. … Would it surprise anyone to think Facebook will become the overlay of the Internet experience? It may not happen in 2012 but it certainly will in our lifetimes. … As marketers build the bridge to commerce through online communities, it is imperative that they do not cannibalize them for the sake of transactions. … Imagine being at a party with people you know and feel comfortable with, and then suddenly, an outside group of revelers crashes your bash. It’s not the same party anymore. You don’t want to be there. You aren’t going to stick around. … Brands in 2012 must create a social world of personalization. – Facebook has built a model for this. Its ‘pages’ function enables brands to engage customers on a virtual island and have a theme party of their choosing. … The Facebook triad of Pages-Ads-Stories is one example of how to create a loop using paid media dollars to drive earned media. … The best kind of media is organic earned media. In 2012, social media as a bridge to commerce may seem obvious, but the journey will be much more interesting-and lucrative.

      HBR: “Six Social Media Trends for 2012Social media continues to move forward toward business integration, a trend that I identified last year. … I was also partially accurate in predicting that Google would ‘strike back’ in 2011. They did, with Google Plus, a formidable initiative that acts as Google’s ‘social layer’ to the Web. … So what can we expect in 2012 in a world that seems to grow ever connected by the hour? Here are six predictions to ponder, in no particular order: Convergence Emergence. For a glimpse into how social will further integrate with ‘real life,’ we can look at what Coca Cola experimented with all the way back in 2010. … These types of ‘trans-media’ experiences are likely to define ‘social’ in the year to come. … The Cult of Influence. In much the same way that Google has defined a system that rewards those who produce findable content, there is a race on to develop a system that will reward those who wield the most social influence. … Gamification Nation. No we’re not taking about video games. Rather, game-like qualities are emerging within a number of social apps in your browser or mobile device. From levels, to leaderboards, to badges or points, rewards for participation abound. … Social Sharing. Ideas, opinions, media, status updates are all part of what makes social media a powerful and often disruptive force. The media industry was one of the first to understand this, adding sharing options to content, which led to more page views and better status in search results. What comes next in social sharing is more closely aligned with e-commerce or web transactions. … Social Television. For many of us, watching television is already a social act, whether it’s talking to the person next to you, or texting, tweeting, and calling friends about what you’re watching. But television is about to become a social experience in a bigger and broader sense. … The Micro Economy. Lastly as we roll into 2012, watch for a more social approach to solving business problems through a sort of micro-economy… a new future reality where economic value is directly negotiated and exchanged between individuals over institutions.”

      WMG: “Social Media Analytics – A lot of the platforms I deal with in Social Media Analytics were in the process of being acquired and as I am the most connected with this space than any other, I’ll start with it… by the end of 2012, most of them will have been acquired. … Google, as I covered, will enter the space as a collection system and PR type dashboard… Google will become the market leader, forcing standards in Social Media Measurement that industry needs but lacked the consensus to enact. … As a result of the imminent appearance of Google in 2012 as the emerging market leader in SMM, the remaining independent firms will face choices of consolidation (mergers of disparate platforms) or will hurry off to sell themselves to advertising, marketing, market research or PR agencies that haven’t been able to scale social listening, successfully. … Analytics platforms will improve or incorporate mobile Analytics, which, to a large extent, has been lacking in the first and second generation platforms. … It’s not much of a stretch that as more and more people are using mobile devices, and the mobile devices are becoming more powerful, that more time will be spent generating social media, and that by the end of 2012, social media data will, for all it’s limitations, be a must have for most businesses to capture. … I think there’s a good bet that Web Analytics and Social Media Analytics will merge in 2012…

      ZDNet: “CRM 2012 Forecast – The Era of Customer Engagement – Part IWhat customer engagement does mean (so there is no nebulosity here) is the company’s and the customer’s relationship is defined by the customer’s ongoing involvement with the company for their own specific reasons. The company doesn’t have to know all of them. – It does mean that it is an era where the engagement the customer has with the company is controlled by the customer – and it can be at any level. … It does mean that the company model is to provide the customer with the products, services, tools and experiences that the customer needs to make an intelligent decision on how they want to be (selectively) engaged with the company. … It does mean the provision of a measurable result when it comes to that engagement via direct or indirect impact on revenue or some other key performance indicators that show the value of the engagement to the company – and the customer. … It does mean the use of systems of engagement … which are systems that foster the interaction of the company with the customer. … The Era of the Social Customer Ends…CRM began to morph into Social CRM, business into social business, and internal collaboration became more than just an advanced idea and was put into practice at many of the Global 2000 companies and some even smaller than that. … For the first time, we began seeing leading academicians and consultants, like Dr. V. Kumar, create a quantifiable metric for the revenue impact that social customers were having on a company that was designed to work with the traditional measure of customer lifetime value (CLV). …The Era of Customer Engagement Begins – The social customer is no longer a customer to gawk out, just a customer to deal with – like any other customer, with one explicit difference. … What defines the Era of Customer Engagement more than anything is that so-called social channel strategy is now a normal part of multichannel strategy for the company. To be clear, customer engagement means that customers are part of the company’s collaborative value chain. The customer selects how they want to interact with you, and hopefully uses your products, services, tools and consumable experiences to make that decision.

      PG: “CRM 2012 Forecast-The Era of Customer Engagement Begins- Part IIGamification, while often over hyped and misunderstood, is a concept that has increasingly important business value.Insight Solutions will emerge as a technology category of its own – One thing that we can’t ignore (okay, that I can’t ignore) is that if customer engagement is to work, then insights into how customers want it to work are becoming increasingly necessary. The current generation of social media monitoring tools with a few exceptions – Radian6 and Attensity come immediately to mind… There are a number of emerging players in this space which I’m calling ‘insight solutions’ who have been misplaced in or evolved from other market categories. … This is not to say that more ‘traditional’ analytics such as text and sentiment analysis, business intelligence, etc are going to be replaced or suffering. In 2012, they will be even more important than they are now. … Analytics as a whole is becoming fundamental to all business strategy. 2012 brings more of that than ever and the rise of a new category customer-focused solution that provides a combination the surfacing of dynamic information and the analysis of that behavior as dynamically as it is surfaced. … In 2011, we saw a significant shift away from the pure left-brained messaging of CRM toward a much stronger focus on customer interactions, engagement and behaviors. … Social marketing becomes an integral part of an explosive marketing automation sector – In other words, there is a recognition that social channels are now part of the mainstream and that they are additions to the channels that we’ve reached customers on traditionally. … 2012 will bring us continued explosive growth in marketing, especially social marketing because we have reached ubiquity when it comes to utilizing social channels as part of campaign planning.

      ORR: “Five big data predictions for 2012 – This year has seen consolidation and engineering around improving the basic storage and data processing engines of NoSQL and Hadoop. That will doubtless continue, as we see the unruly menagerie of the Hadoop universe increasingly packaged into distributions, appliances and on-demand cloud services. … Hadoop’s batch-oriented processing is sufficient for many use cases, especially where the frequency of data reporting doesn’t need to be up-to-the-minute. However, batch processing isn’t always adequate, particularly when serving online needs such as mobile and web clients, or markets with real-time changing conditions such as finance and advertising. … Your own data can become that much more potent when mixed with other datasets. For instance, add in weather conditions to your customer data, and discover if there are weather related patterns to your customers’ purchasing patterns. … As data science teams become a recognized part of companies, we’ll see a more regularized expectation of their roles and processes. One of the driving attributes of a successful data science team is its level of integration into a company’s business operations, as opposed to being a sidecar analysis team. … [I]sualization fulfills two purposes in a data workflow: explanation and exploration. While business people might think of a visualization as the end result, data scientists also use visualization as a way of looking for questions to ask and discovering new features of a dataset. – If becoming a data-driven organization is about fostering a better feel for data among all employees, visualization plays a vital role in delivering data manipulation abilities to those without direct programming or statistical skills.

  • Gerrit Eicker 10:28 on 28. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: +Identities, , , , , , , Google Plus, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Social Media Adoption, , , , ,   

    Google Plus Stats 

    Allen: Google Plus passes 62 million users, adds 625K new per day. 400M by end of 2012; http://eicker.at/GooglePlusStats

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 10:28 on 28. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Allen: “Google+ Growth Accelerating. Passes 62 million users. Adding 625,000 new users per day. Prediction: 400 million users by end of 2012. – Google+ is adding new users at a very rapid pace. It may be the holidays, the TV commercials, the Android 4 signups, celebrity and brand appeal, or positive word of mouth, or a combination of all these factors, but there is no question that the number of new users signing up for Google+ each day has accelerated markedly in the past several weeks. – Each week my team from elance runs hundreds of queries on various surnames which we have been tracking since July. We revised our model based on the actual user announcements made by Google on July 13th and Oct 13th. … If this rate of new signups (625k daily) continues then Google+ will reach 100 million users on Feb. 25th and 200 million users on August 3. They will finish 2012 with 293 million users. – I expect the growth to continue to accelerate however. Google can continue to integrate Google+ into its other products and word of mouth will continue to build. … Based on the accelerated growth I’m seeing and all the dials and levers Google can still utilize, and the developer ecosystem that will be developed, I predict that 2012 is going to be a breakout year for Google+ and that it will end next year with more than 400 million users.

      TC: “Google+ now has more than 62 million users, according to Paul Allen, Ancestry.com founder and unofficial traffic analyst for Google’s social network. That’s not 62 million active users, though – a point that everyone covering these numbers seems to have missed. It’s just the number of total users. And specifically, it’s the number of new surnames that Allen’s team has tracked being created on the service. – Because Google has aggressively integrated G+ into many other properties, including its top navigation bar and the OneBox, one would expect a certain baseline amount of sign-ups from among the hundreds of millions of people using other Google products. … But there’s support out there for Allen’s latest numbers, from someone trying to answer the usage question. Last week, comScore told us that G+ had grown to 67 million monthly unique visitors in November, up 2 million from October. That’s significantly more than the 50 million total users that Allen reported at the end of the month. … Allen’s big conclusion, based on the most recent growth increases, is that the service could reach 400 million users by the end of 2012. If that turns out to be the case, I’m sure active usage will also be increasing. But the question remains the same: how many G+ users stay active?

      VB: “For a social network that was invite-only until July 2011, those numbers are not bad. However, Google+ has a long way to go if it wants to catch up to Facebook’s 800 million users. … A Google spokesperson told VentureBeat that the company does not ‘have any additional metrics to provide based on Paul Allen’s estimates,’ but that more than 40 million people have signed up for the social network. That number comes from Google’s latest earnings call which took place on October 13. … In an attempt to garner more attention, Google+ rolled out a new ad campaign over the holiday season. The ads featured NBA annoucers and the Muppets to highlight Hangouts and other cool features of the social network. Perhaps the ads were enough to remind people that yes, Google+ does still exist and help it nab those 12 million extra users for December.

      TC: “For Google+, User Count Is A Journey Not A Race – That’s a good thing because Google+ missed the starting gun. And its ‘invite only’ launch strategy saw all its disconnect users flailing independently. But in the long run that might not matter much, because Google+ doesn’t need a critical mass or tons of engagement. It needs signups so it can get its identity layer under users of its other products. That way it can turn everyone’s searches, mapping, email, and more into fuel for its ad targeting engine. … With enough cajoling, users are registering even if their social network needs are already being met by Facebook and Twitter. – Google may never beat those services in terms of engagement with a content stream. … If it takes Google 4 years to start catching up to Facebook in terms of user count, so be it. The company has plenty of money to burn so it can take this long-term approach. What matters isn’t when, but if if it can eventually grow its registration base large enough for Google+ to produce ROI.

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