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The Library of Congress now has the entire twitter archive from 2006-2010.

The Library of Congress now has the entire Twitter archive from 2006-2010.

I just finished reading an update on the Twitter archive at the Library of Congress.

The LOC now has the full archive from 2006-2010 which is approximately 170 billion tweets. That’s more than 133.2 terabytes of data. The update includes details about how the data was acquired and the ongoing process of receiving such massive amounts of data on a daily basis. The Library of Congress has always archived large amounts of data but the fact that Twitter  content is produced by the minute, and has no end –  is new. I’ll admit that it was a fascinating read and i now know a lot more about how the LOC operates. I could probably get through a round in Jeopardy on the topic.

But what intrigued me the most was all of the inquiries they’ve received from researchers, chomping at the bit for access to the archives.As a journalist, I certainly appreciate the release of information, and once it is released we will be in for some good stories, studies and research reports. So, if you’re wondering what some of those requests are, read on.

Here are two types of requests the LOC has received from researchers. This is directly from the update:

  • A master’s student is interested in understanding the role of citizens in disruptive events. The student is focusing on real-time micro-blogging of terrorist attacks. The
    questions focus on the timeliness and accuracy of tweets during specified events.
  • A post-doctoral researcher is looking at the language used to spread information about charities’ activities and solicitations via social media during and immediately following

The Library of Congress has received 400 such inquiries from researchers all over the world spanning topics from those above to tracking flu pandemic, citizen responses to candidates’
stances on various issues and tracking public access to court systems. There are also inquiries associated with specific hashtags.

And some people actually think Twitter has no purpose. Go figure.

I hope these researchers gain access ASAP, because I can’t wait to see what they deliver.

If you want to read the update for yourself, you can find it here.

 

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Looks like President Obama has a great deal of company when it comes to using Twitter to engage citizens.

According to a report issued today by The Digital Policy Council, (an international, non-partisan “think tank” on 21st Century Governance) three out of four World Leaders are using Twitter, with accounts set up in their personal name or through an official government office. That’s A total of 123 world leaders out of 164 countries – a 78% increase in the number of heads of state and national governments on Twitter from the third quarter of 2011.

President Obama does hold the top spot of all world leaders, however – with 24 million followers. He added 15 million followers in one year and exceeds his closest rival President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela by 20 million followers,.

Along with Chavez, Latin American leaders make up 50% of the Top 10 including newcomers President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and President Enrique Pena Nietoin of Mexico.

Other notables in the Top 10 include include Queen Rania of Jordan, President Dilma Rouseff of Brazil and Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez De Kirchner with a combined 5.5 million followers.

The sole European on the list is Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a fresh entrant into the top ten in 2012 likes to tweet in both Russian and English.

The Digital Policy Council’s most up-to-date research recorded a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 93%  in world leaders joining Twitter since it began recording the data in early 2010 reflecting a near doubling every year of Heads of State on Twitter as they aggressively pursue new ways to build influence with their citizens and the international community.
SOURCE  The Digital Policy Council

Web Site: http://www.digitaldaya.com

In its fourth annual study of online community performance, member engagement and social media integration, ComBlu has delivered a stellar report that should serve as an eye-opener for brands and those advising brands on their overall social strategies heading into 2013 and beyond.

The 2012 State of Online Branded Communities report provides insights on the inner-workings of more than 200 online communities across 92 corporations and 15 industries and is a must-read for community managers, social media managers and brand managers, period!
I’ll go into a few of the key takeaways in a minute, but what stood out most to me was the acceptance of an “All-Facebook and Twitter” community ecosystem, mentioned on page 4. The authors go into detail about how this approach truncates engagement and prevents the formation of deeper affinity, on which I certainly agree.

I’ve long held the belief that Twitter and Facebook aren’t necessarily communities, and I can say this because I managed a branded “owned” community for three years and know with 100% certainty that it is an entirely different animal.

(See my post Community Manager vs. Social Media Manager from 2010 for more on my thoughts…)

In the report, the All-Facebook and Twitter” approach is referenced as a “social experience with a brand” which is a great way to explain it. It isn’t the highest level of engagement. There’s a difference.

Other key findings include:

  • Activity levels are generally healthy but fairly static across the board.
    While 43 percent of communities are enjoying high-levels of activity, that’s a mere one percent jump from last year.
  • Optimizing the member experience remains an aspirational goal.
  •  Telecommunications is the sole industry with high activity levels across all brands; pharmaceutical industry exhibited the lowest activity
  • Top performing industries include telecommunications, gaming, technology and consumer electronics, entertainment, and consumer products-beverage.
  • Brands that are “community superstars” include Verizon, SAP, Sony PlayStation, EA, AT&T, Bravo, IBM, Cisco, Kraft, Microsoft, Sprint, Xbox, Sears, T-Mobile and Whole Foods.

Too busy to read it today? Take a look at the infographic.  ComBlu is releasing the report and additional information this morning at the WOMMA Summit.
I’m sure there will be some great tweets during the announcement, so be sure to follow the twitter hashtag #WOMMASummit for updates.

  1. Talk to me about something other than Facebook and Twitter.
  2. Tell me that you read more than Mashable. What about news? Read any of that lately?
  3. Bring some knowledge about user behavior and tell me about a few studies you’ve recently read.
  4. Have an opinion about the future. Heck, make a prediction. That shows me you’re a thinker.
  5. Be sure you understand that posting tweets does not equal, Twitter campaign.
  6. Don’t tell me about the celebrities you tweet with unless you’ve turned that into a conversion or generated new business as a result.
  7. Know a little something about social communications.
  8. Refrain from telling me how you’ve helped anyone “push” their messages. You say “push,” I tune out.
  9. Know that rapid growth in fans and followers is unimpressive if you don’t have a smart, strategic story that supports that growth.
  10. Don’t say you’re a pro at monitoring if you’ve only done it through Google Alerts.
  11. Be honest about your skill set.
  12. Tell me about a mistake you’ve made related to your own participation in social media and what it taught you.
  13. Be ready to write or discuss a response to an irate customer on the spot – when given a scenario.
  14. Know what it takes to be a successful community manager.
  15. Have some general knowledge about social advertising.

I am going to stop there.

My point is this: So many people want jobs with “social media” in the title. They believe they’re qualified because they think it’s easy. It isn’t. You must be an active, motivated learner.

The expert of today becomes the idiot of tomorrow if they don’t stay on top of industry trends and strive to learn something new all the time.

If you’re actively looking for these types of positions, go in knowing that your personal use of social tools does not translate to business use. It is not an apples-to-apples comparison.

If you want it, do the work. And when you do get that interview, bring your A game. Anything less is a disservice to you and the person taking the time out of their day to give you a chance.

 

Author’s note: If you’re new here or a subscriber who hasn’t been around in a while, check out my new newsletter, New Media Minutes.

On this blog, I’ve always discussed all things community.

For those who have been with me for a long time, you know that I spent three years hard at work building a community at WRAL.com  because I shared so much about it and even wrote a book chronicling some of the experiences.  This blog was therapeutic for me during that time and I’ve certainly shared a whole lot about that experience.  I will write about community, engagement and social media for years to come.

But I do have interests beyond social media alone, most of which I shared through my Twitter account because I don’t want to alienate my readers here, who expect me to focus on a few particular areas.

I’m particularly interested in the intersection of paid, earned and owned media, an initiative I head as an SVP and Group Director at my day job.

SO, I want to share with those of you who are interested that I’ve launched a new newsletter called “New Media Minutes” which focuses on just that. Now, keep in mind that social media falls into all three:

  1. Your blog, and social platforms are “owned.”
  2. Tweets, blogs, Facebook posts,  forum mentions, etc… are “earned.”
  3. Facebook ads, Twitter promoted posts , LinkedIn and even sponsored blog posts are “paid.”

So. there is a great chance that you will be interested in the content I plan to share in the newsletter.  You’ve already missed the welcome newsletter, but that’s okay. A new one is coming out next week.  So, if you’re remotely interested, or you’ve followed some of the thought leaders in this space, like Jeremiah Owyang and Rebecca Lieb..click on the ling and consider signing up. If you don’t like what you see, you can just as easily unsubscribe.

And if community is all you want, stay here and forget I ever mentioned it. No harm, no foul. Have a great weekend!

Sign up to receive Angela Connor’s “New Media Minutes Newsletter.”


Pic of the bricks that fell from the wall during my dinner at a local restaurant.

The PR team at a local restaurant and those in their corporate office have a lot to smile about right now. They could be in the midst of a social media crisis.  But because I help clients work through such crises as part of my job, and they were pretty responsive to the situation, I decided to cut them a break.

Creating such a crisis and working to maintain its momentum takes a lot of work, and in my opinion requires strong emotions, of which I don’t have.

Yes, two bricks fell off the wall and hit me in the leg, while I was enjoying an appetizer with my daughters but I wasn’t seriously injured. I was more grateful that my daughters weren’t sitting in that spot, particularly my 7-year-old who could have really gotten hurt. Had that happened, there would have been a great deal of emotion and this story would be much different. But because I wasn’t overly-angry and felt that they were genuinely concerned, I opted to count my blessings and not cause much of a stir.

I did take a picture of the bricks and the area from which they’d fallen, and shared it on Facebook and Twitter. I did not tag the restaurant, nor did I insert its Twitter handle in the tweet, two critical elements when you want to get noticed and wreak a little havoc, which I’ve stated, was not my intent.

But here’s the problem. I was told by the Restaurant Manager and the General Manager that someone from the corporate office would follow up with me today. As of 11:29 p.m., that has not happened. This is a full 17 hours after it happened!

So, it makes me wonder if I should have handled this publicly. Had I done that, perhaps I would have gotten that phone call today. Both the shift manager and general manager said that someone would call and I was expecting that to happen. I was hit by two bricks unexpectedly, and I wanted to know that that meant something to the corporate office and that they cared. Sure they covered my meal, but it wasn’t about that. I went in prepared to pay for it and expected as much.

What I didn’t expect was the direct hit from the decorative bricks. Read the rest of this entry »

While everyone is seemingly on Facebook and Twitter, don’t think for a second that there is no room for smaller niche communities that cater to specific areas of interest. New online communities are launching all the time and those that don’t subscribe to the “if you build it they will come” fallacy can be quite successful despite the dominance of the big two.

I learned of two new online communities just this week: MultiUnitLiving.com and TeamRunSmart.com. Both cater to a very distinct audience. MultiUnitLiving.com is a community for owner operators and property managers of multi-family housing. It allows them to connect with their peers and discuss industry issues.

TeamRunSmart.com is a new community created by Freightliner Trucks, aimed at educating professional drivers on how to improve their profitability. Features include educational articles, blogs, operational tips and insight from professional drivers and “coaches” on how to be more successful.  Freightliner’s director of product marketing, TJ Reed says the Team Run Smart community is the “definitive guide to help business-minded drivers succeed,”

I think online communities are a fine choice and sometimes the best solution. Facebook and Twitter can be everything to everyone. Sometimes you need a closed, owned environment that doesn’t change every week, requiring you to adapt.

Doesn’t everyone know this by now? There is probably a 30-45 second window of safety for deleting a post from Facebook without fearing that it has been or will be seen by others. Once you’ve passed that time frame, you may as well keep it up because if you’re anyone of interest, chances are someone got a screenshot.

Just ask KQDS News Director Jason Vincent who posted this gem as a Facebook status update while on vacation:

“Add drunk, homeless, native American man to the list of animals that have wandered into my yard.”

I am not making this up, though I really wish I was. (Go back and read it a second time if you must. I will wait…..)

The result: protestors outside the station, an apology, and coverage on Lost Remote and TV Spy.

There has been some mention of the fact that Vincent was on “personal time” when he posted the update, but I fail to see the relevance. It’s not quite clear to me at all why that kind of comment would be justified whether you’re on personal or professional time.

Someone put way too much stock in Facebook’s privacy settings and not enough in the importance of common sense. Who knows what will happen next? I can’t imagine that the newsroom staff will be very supportive. However, stranger things have happened.

There’s one thing I am sure of in this case though:  This will not be the end.

So you want a job in social media? Great.

You obviously have what it takes to represent brands in the social space, right? Oh, and you’re an excellent communicator with fantastic verbal and written skills too aren’t you?

You know how to deal with conflict, handle crises and respond to irate customers publicly without digging a deeper hole and creating more trouble, I assume.

You care about brand awareness, lead generation and organic growth and you know exactly how to engage an online audience, right?

You measure everything and make changes in real-time when the results you are seeking aren’t coming to pass, and you have big ideas. You follow brands, test new social networks and read about interesting campaigns.

You take calculated risks. You read a lot more than Mashable and stay on top of emerging media trends and consumer habits.

You pay attention to the industry, download white papers and depend on your content aggregator for quick updates when you’re pressed for time.

What?

I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you.

You don’t do any of this?

You thought that growing Facebook fans and amassing likes were the requirements for the position?

I see. Thanks for your time.

Have a great afternoon.

I’m in the process of finishing a short ebook called “Crafting Community Guidelines,” which I started a while back to help first-time community managers with the tall task of community governance. As I went back to make updates and prepare the layout I found a few of my old blog posts that were written when I was deeply involved in managing a community. In the post: “Guidelines are important, but interpretation is key,” I wrote a lot about not being a robot and having the ability to act on your emotions. This is not to say that you shouldn’t adhere to guidelines, but that there are sometimes exceptions to the rule. 

Here it is, as written on July 5, 2009:

It is important to have community guidelines. They are imperative for any online community. Members need to know what is expected of them and what types of behaviors are frowned upon or prohibited within the community.

I remember creating the guidelines for the community I manage. It was laborious but imperative.  I scoured the internet for guidelines from other communities and then thought a lot about what kind of community I’d like to see take shape.

Writing such guidelines can make you feel as though you’re building an environment where all will be well. You think that people will refer to these guidelines and perhaps even follow them.

But having those guidelines in place does not make every call I make as a community manager, an easy one.  In fact, I rarely go back to them when making tough decisions. Guidelines are a starting point. Interpreting those guidelines is how you become an effective community manager. The way you do that interpreting can make or break you.

This job is not about being a robot. It’s emotional and we are human.You can stare at the guidelines all day long and never get the answers you need when things get complicated. I know that many of my peers will argue the point and say that guidelines are guidelines. You follow them or you go.  But it’s not that easy with me.

Let me illustrate why I feel this way:  A few months ago a long-time member had posted several comments and even a blog or two that were directed at another member. The comments were mean and degrading. It was really out of character for her. Were those comments abusive according to the guidelines? Yes. I could have stopped right there, marked her comments and blogs as abuse and she would have lost her posting privileges, community profile, the works. In most cases, that should probably be the outcome.

BUT…I knew that her dog had just been hit by a car and died because she’d been blogging about it since the day it happened  and it looked like she was responding to someone who had been taunting her about that.  His comments, however,  had NOT been reported as abuse so it all looked very one-sided.

I sent her an email letting her know that I was not going to dock her for the comments because I knew she was in an emotional state. But I also warned her that she must take control of her emotions because I would not do it again.

She responded with great gratitude and apologized profusely for allowing herself to get sucked in by someone else and for resorting to such antics. She said that she just couldn’t take it because she was feeling guilty about letting her dog run out into the street and his comments about her negligence pushed her over the cyber-edge. She did not want to lose her privileges.

For me, that was time well spent. I know it doesn’t scale, and that’s a real issue for me as the community grows, but that’s the kind of community manager I like to be. One who can empathize and know enough about the members to make a difference.

Guidelines don’t empathize.

You can.

This post was inspired by #CmtyChat, (created by Sonny Gill and Bryan Person) a weekly meeting of the minds where community enthusiasts chat via Twitter about all that ails us and then some.

Note: You can expect to see the ebook referenced earlier: “Crafting Community Guidelines” in a few weeks.

 

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.

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