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  • Gerrit Eicker 17:14 on 23. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Viral, , Virality,   

    Virality? Not really… 

    AF: Virality? Only 2% of fans share Facebook Page posts; http://j.mp/GPjzUO #ViralMarketing http://eicker.at/ViralMarketing

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 21. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Peer Groups, , , , Shared Tastes, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Viral, ,   

    Peer Influence 

    Study: When it comes to taste, peer influence in social networks is virtually nonexistent; http://eicker.at/PeerInfluence

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 21. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      PNAS, Lewis, Gonzalez, Kaufman: “Social selection and peer influence in an online social network – Disentangling the effects of selection and influence is one of social science’s greatest unsolved puzzles: Do people befriend others who are similar to them, or do they become more similar to their friends over time? Recent advances in stochastic actor-based modeling, combined with self-reported data on a popular online social network site, allow us to address this question with a greater degree of precision than has heretofore been possible. Using data on the Facebook activity of a cohort of college students over 4 years, we find that students who share certain tastes in music and in movies, but not in books, are significantly likely to befriend one another. Meanwhile, we find little evidence for the diffusion of tastes among Facebook friends – except for tastes in classical/jazz music. These findings shed light on the mechanisms responsible for observed network homogeneity; provide a statistically rigorous assessment of the coevolution of cultural tastes and social relationships; and suggest important qualifications to our understanding of both homophily and contagion as generic social processes.”

      Wired: “Are We Immune To Viral Marketing? – When it comes to taste, ‘peer influence is virtually nonexistent,’ said Kevin Lewis, a Harvard sociology graduate student who co-authored the study. Lewis cautioned that the experiences of college students on Facebook may not apply to everyone in all circumstances, but the results offer a sobering counterpoint to the conventional wisdom on the ubiquity of taste diffusion. ‘The extent to which friends’ preferences actually rub off on each other is minimal,’ he said. … If we don’t influence each other, does that means viral marketing is a bogus concept? And what does it say about the business value of social media? … The study’s findings suggest that it would be much more worthwhile to invest in understanding how and when friendships are a conduit for preferences, rather than assuming that they are and planning marketing strategies accordingly. ‘They clearly are under some circumstances, but we still don’t know whether those circumstances are common or important enough to warrant the time and money of business strategies,’ said Lewis. … One of the most valuable aspects of social media is who you know. It’s easy to glean information about members of social networks. This focuses sales, marketing and product development efforts. Knowing something about one person gives you insights into the people that person knows. … The Harvard study affirmed that, as in other aspects of life, people’s social media relationships tend to be with people who are like them. … Who you know is arguably a more valuable aspect of social media than who you might be influenced by.

      AT: “Studying the factors that bring people together creates a serious challenge for researchers. Do friendships form because of shared interests, or do those interests develop due to the friendship? A research team has now tracked a set of college students across all four years, using Facebook to identify social ties. The study reveals that people are fundamentally a bit lazy, as proximity provided the strongest predictor of social ties. Once that was accounted for, however, shared tastes in music and film did promote friendships, while books had a minimal effect. … The authors recognize that a Facebook friend probably doesn’t represent the strong social bond that we typically view as a friendship, but it is probably similar to the sort of fluid links that many of us form at work and elsewhere. There’s also a risk that at least some of the choices revealed on Facebook are the product of social posing, rather than deep-seated preferences. Despite these limitations, the study is a rare look at how social dynamics and personal tastes influence each other over the course of some very formative years. It’ll be pretty difficult to arrange a study that provides a clearer picture.

      TC: “Here’s a bit of science that’s contrary to what a heavy utilizer of social networks might expect. Researchers at Harvard tracked the Facebook activity of hundreds of college students for four years, and came away with the rather unexpected result that the interests of friends don’t, in fact, tend to influence one another. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen at all, of course, but it’s clear that propagation and virality are subtler and more complex than some people (marketers and, I suspect, researchers) tend to think they are. … The central source of data for the study, in fact, doesn’t strike me as solid. Tracking the interests of college kids is a sketchy endeavor in and of itself, but tracking it via their Facebook favorites (i.e. what shows on your profile, not what you post about or share) seems unreliable. – After all, not only does everyone use the network in their own way, but the network itself has changed. … The study does establish something that I think we perhaps understand is true already: you befriend people because of your overlaps in taste, but it’s rare that your existing friends change the tastes you already have. This is as much true out in the ‘real’ world as it is online. … The Harvard study does indicate another thing, which is that social networks are, for now, ‘light’ social interaction. … That’s changing, but Facebook doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to make the change to ‘serious’ social interaction: the kind of trusted exchanges you have with friends in conversation or in repeated encounters over years…”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 21. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Unsharing, , , , Viral,   

    Unsharing 

    Is seamless sharing the end of sharing? Is Facebook malware? Are we afraid to click? Unsharing? http://eicker.at/Unsharing

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 21. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Facebook: “Early Results: The Open Graph and Music – Since f8, people have shared their listening activity more than 1.5 billion times with their friends using the music apps that have integrated the Open Graph. As a result, some of our biggest music developers have more than doubled their active users, while earlier-stage startups and services starting with a smaller base have seen anywhere between a 2-10x increase in active users. … Open Graph Best Practices – As you think about how to integrate with the Open Graph in music or any other category, here are some things many of these successful apps have in common: Socially connected users. With a base of users who are able to share your content with their friends from day one, you’re set up to double down on the social experience. – Experiences are social by design. Once you have connected users and have clearly set the expectation up front that they will be in a social experience, you benefit from an increased volume of sharing and virality for your app through News Feed, Ticker and Timeline. – Content being shared has lasting value. Beyond the immediate distribution benefits in channels like Ticker and News Feed, think about the aggregations and patterns your app can represent on Timeline to bring long-term value to a user and their friends who will revisit and reflect on it over the years.”

      CNET: “How Facebook is ruining sharing – I’m afraid to click any links on Facebook these days. … [I]t’s because the slow spread of Facebook’s Open Graph scheme is totally ruining sharing. … If your friends are using an app like The Guardian or The Washington Post’s new Social Reader, you’ll get an intercept asking you to authorize the original site’s app so that you can read the story. And, of course, so that every story you read will start being shared automatically on Facebook, thanks to the magic of Open Graph! … So, publishers and Facebook in particular really, really want you to click those little Add to Facebook buttons so that everything you read, watch, listen to, or buy will get shared to friends who also authorize the app and share to friends who also authorize the app and so on and so on into eternity and hopefully riches. It’s all just part of the plan. … [H]urting sharing is a disaster for a social network. Sharing is the key to social networking. It’s the underlying religion that makes the whole thing work. ‘Viral’ is the magic that every marketing exec is trying to replicate, and Facebook is seriously messing with that formula. Plus, it’s killing the possibility of viral hits by generating such an overwhelming flood of mundane shares. … Sharing and recommendation shouldn’t be passive. It should be conscious, thoughtful, and amusing… I hope publishers will see that conscious sharing is better than passive sharing, and that content delivery is better than app delivery. I also hope that you, sweet social networker, will do your part to keep Facebook pure of trickster links, intercepts, and passive floods of sharing. … Hopefully, if enough of us demonstrate that we don’t want our lives to be Open Graph open books, this will all just go away.

      RWW, Kirkpatrick: “Why Facebook’s Seamless Sharing is Wrong – Facebook recently instituted a new program that makes it easy for 3rd party websites and services to automatically post links about your activity elsewhere back into Facebook and the newsfeeds of your friends. It’s called Seamless Sharing (a.k.a. frictionless sharing) and there’s a big backlash growing about it, reminiscent of the best-known time Facebook tried to do something like this with a program called Beacon. The company has done things like this time and time again. – Critics say that Seamless Sharing is causing over-sharing, violations of privacy, self-censorship with regard to what people read, dilution of value in the Facebook experience and more. CNet’s Molly Wood says it is ruining sharing. I think there’s something more fundamental going on than this – I think this is a violation of the relationship between the web and its users. Facebook is acting like malware. … Violation of reasonable user expectations is a big part of the problem. When you click on a link – you expect to be taken to where the link says it’s going to take you. There’s something about the way that Facebook’s Seamless Sharing is implemented that violates a fundamental contract between web publishers and their users. … ‘I’m afraid to click any links on Facebook these days,’ says CNet’s Molly Wood. That’s one of the world’s top technology journalists talking; even she seems unclear on how the system works and would rather just avoid the entire thing. … I don’t know why the world’s leading designers on social media user experience would have made something as creepy feeling as the way this new seamless sharing was instituted, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s because behind the scenes Facebook is built by arrogant young people living charmed lives and sure they know what’s best for the rest of us. … I think Facebook ought to put a greater emphasis on acting in good faith and helping its users make informed decisions, in line with their reasonable expectations, as the company seeks to experiment with building the future of media.

      TC: “Facebook and the Age of Curation Through Unsharing – Facebook’s Open Graph is ushering in a monumental shift in how we curate what we share. Curation used to mean opting in to sharing. … Facebook’s Open Graph is ushering in a monumental shift in how we curate what we share. Curation used to mean opting in to sharing. … Users still expect to have to actively share something in order for it to reach their audience. That’s no longer true. Instead we’ll need to learn to filter out the noise in reverse, opting out when we don’t want to share instead of opting in when we do. That’s a huge behavioral realignment that will take time and won’t come easy. … Until we have both learned to unshare and have the capability to do so, this will indeed be the dark age of curation. But we have the power to set the norms. Go read a ton of articles using a responsible app, unshare from the Ticker each one you wouldn’t recommend, and explicitly post links to the news feed to those you think are must-reads. If you see low-quality content shared to the Ticker, tell your friends to utilize the unshare button. – This isn’t natural. Often the best product design is translating existing behavior patterns to new mediums. But the proliferation of content, in both volume and access, requires a brand new conception of sharing and curation. Together we can bring about a golden age.

      RWW, MacManus: “Facebook Hasn’t Ruined Sharing, It’s Just Re-Defined It – Facebook’s new frictionless sharing features are ‘ruining sharing,’ according to a thought provoking article by CNET’s Molly Wood. In response, our own Marshall Kirkpatrick argued that Facebook’s seamless sharing is badly implemented and flat out ‘wrong.’ – Both made great points, but ultimately I don’t believe that frictionless sharing is a bad concept. What’s more, I disagree that it has ruined sharing. What Facebook has done is re-define sharing. I think it was an ingenious move and I predict that soon Facebook’s seamless sharing will be the norm. … It’s really up to Facebook to make sure that I, and millions of others, do get used to it. Especially, since this form of sharing is about to go viral. Let’s look at Instapaper, as an example of an app that may soon have frictionless sharing. … That’s not to belittle the very real concerns about over-sharing and privacy, as stated eloquently by Molly and Marshall. But Facebook has identified the immense value in tapping into media consumption patterns and, in frictionless sharing, it has found an ingenious way to capture that data. – Now Facebook’s challenge is to convince its users that some of that value is for the end user. Frictionless sharing is scary, there’s no doubt about it. It’s also not ideally implemented right now. So Facebook has work to do, both on the implementation and to show people the benefits of this new form of sharing.

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