here an analysis of twitter tweets over the past year or so using some sort of algorithm + “sentiment analysis” . it is based on local political stuff, so may not make sense to those in the USA – and also i have to annonce the rider that, not being privy to what has been used to make the algorithm, and furthermore, being extremely skeptical of anything called “sentiment analysis” that is automatically compiled, i cannot say that some of the readouts will be of any actual authenticity or believability… however, my interest lies in the use of info-graphics for rendering lots of data. as the site says, “see more. read less”.
this guy, deb roy, is working in visualising interaction, and trying to create machines that will interact in a “human-like” way. well, good luck with that, but the graphic visualisation of language and group dynamic interactions has me thinking maybe i should give up… although there’s always room for the micro as well as the macro patterning….
The New York Times Sunday Magazine featured an article about Heather Armstrong, an extremely successful blogging mom.
She is one of the few bloggers who wield that kind of clout. Typically, there are 100,000 visitors daily to her site, Dooce.com, where she writes about her kids, her husband, her pets, her treatment for depression and her life as a liberal ex-Mormon living in Utah. As she points out, a sizable number also follow her on Twitter (in the year and a half since she threatened Maytag, she has added a half-million more). She is the only blogger on the latest Forbes list of the Most Influential Women in Media, coming in at No. 26, which is 25 slots behind Oprah, but just one slot behind Tina Brown. Her site brings in an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 a month or more — and that’s not even counting the revenue from her two books, healthy speaking fees and the contracts she signed to promote Verizon and appear on HGTV. She won’t confirm her income (“We’re a privately held company and don’t reveal our financials”). But the sales rep for Federated Media, the agency that sells ads for Dooce, calls Armstrong “one of our most successful bloggers,” then notes a few beats later in our conversation that “our most successful bloggers can gross $1 million.”
By talking about poop and spit up. And stomach viruses and washing-machine repairs. And home design, and high-strung dogs, and reality television, and sewer-line disasters, and chiropractor visits. And countless other banalities of one mother’s eclectic life that, for some reason, hundreds of thousands of strangers tune in, regularly, to read. Queen of the Mommy Bloggers by Lisa Belkin is a contributing writer and the author of the Motherlode blog.
Among women who blog, Drummond and Armstrong are at the top. There are almost as many ways to measure reader traffic as there are blogs right now, but Nielsen estimates that Dooce sometimes has as many as six million visitors a month, and Pioneer Woman is in the same range. Both bloggers have best-selling books: “It Sucked and Then I Cried” is Armstrong’s story of postpartum depression; “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” is Drummond’s first book, a cookbook illustrated with photos of food and cowboys, including rear views of her husband, clad in Wranglers and chaps as he bucks broncos and brands calves.
Having a tale to tell is only the first step, of course. Still evolving is the art of making a living from that tale. Heather and Jon both worked in online marketing, yet they were hesitant about adding advertising to Dooce early on. More specifically, it was Heather who hesitated. She feared “selling out” and the reaction from readers. But after her postpartum breakdown, her therapist prescribed that she hire a baby-sitter to come every day. Ads became a way to pay for child care.
The Armstrongs started small at the end of 2004, with Google ads (the kind that appear on registered sites and pay anywhere from a few pennies to a few dollars, depending on Web traffic). Before long they had contracted with an agency that actively sought display advertisers, making Dooce the first personal Web site to accept significant advertising. When monthly income from the blog exceeded Jon’s paycheck for the same period, he quit his job to manage the business.
Armstrong’s readers responded as she’d feared. “They screamed, ‘Who do you think you are?’ ” she remembers. “ ‘What made you important enough to make money on your Web site?’ ”
here’s a link to the first of two articles by Christopher Butler on internet tracking at PrintMag. in language we can all understand, it reprises an earlier article in the Wall St Journal about how sites that you navigate to, will download tracking devices to your computer – not just cookies, but sometimes those enhanced cookies which reveal pretty much all about what you do at your computer.
as he says, we may joke about how targetted ads on the internet means that big brother is watching us, but as a matter of fact…
We walk the corridors, searching the shelves and rearranging them, looking for lines of meaning amid leagues of cacophony and incoherence, reading the history of the past and of the future, collecting our thoughts and collecting the thoughts of others, and every so often glimpsing mirrors, in which we may recognize creatures of the information. Jorge Luis Borges The Library of Babel
[ResponseIS Tweeting Better Than Blogging?] I’ve had to think about the social ‘net as a marketing opportunity for my job. I approached this by going out and sifting through the resources about current best practices. Because I’ve long be a skimmer of the marketing world as it is situated by the internet, I have also long known the most basic, challenge is making it possible for your customers to both: find your content, and, spend a quality moment with ‘it.’
That said customer might proceed to a trial–marketing lingo for doing something that you the provider knows he or she is doing–is almost the frosting on the cake of nailing down steps one and two.
Find and capture (attention.)
When I peruse the google analytics for ND2.0 or any of my own productions, I am impressed and dismayed in equal parts by their suggestive qualification of user behavior. They found us, and they spent an average of 2:02 minutes with us. (The realization of a trial here would be a comment.)
Awash in information, yet, somewhere in this ocean is content which may be found if time is invested. Stepping back from this opaque generality, is a slightly more refined generality: an individual invests time in a manner distinctive to him or her, is motivated by an overt or tacit goal, and, his or her’s success requires a successful act of retrieval and selection.
To give this description a finer grain, we would need to know something more detailed about the conjunction of: goals, time, tool, manner/regimen, medium, media, (and more.)
In this there would arise the positive question. For example, what characterizes the user most likely to read content of some specific length? There could be all sorts of ways to break down the previously mentioned descriptive elements.
Of course I am in possession of my own subject, myself. (Netdynamics was partly rooted in reflexive accounts.) I have a good idea about that which comprises the array of my own goals, what kinds of content focus both my time and attention, and, I also have a fairly rich terminology for establishing the baseline description concerned with characterizing what kind/type/disposition I possess.
If I integrate a rough and approximate sense of goal directed search-and-retrieval with this kind of baseline description, and, I then scale this conceptually to include all persons who could be differentiated in this way, I can then blast this downward to questions about Twitter and blogosphere. I reckon the devil would be in the details betwixt, for example, two extremes. One extreme is the person who meets their goals by exclusively spending not more than two minutes with any section of content, and, another person who only uses the internet to retrieve long-form content.
Following through with this sketch it seems we land in the interdisciplinary flux of psychology, anthropology, sociology, and, information science.
From this, there could be a folksy supposition: there are those users who are tend to express attention deficit disorder. This user’s time is easily waylaid. What would a causal hypothesis be once we establish that some users operate like this?
ND2.0’s two-to-four hundred visits per month are somewhere on the continuum of quantifiable responsive agency and activity. Our blog is more active than all the dead and lesser blogs. We haven’t invested the time to elevate its activity, yet the default is not completely shabby at all. Yet, we’re not aiming to address the complex problem of how to make our content retrievable, vital, and, incidentally, formulate its distribution in ways which match the various ways users deploy to meet their goals.
In three different feedreaders I have subscribed to a total of over 2,000 blogs. I keyword search through the blogs using the RSS client. Another way to look at this is that I have created a subset of blogs and severely limited the base data set. This would be contrasted with searching via Google. In the case of using Google, I am looking through a humongous data set, but, I also have to invest the time in wading through the false positives. My experience is that there’s lots of gold deep in the pages of a Google search, yet the time investment is often too much.
I don’t know what the actual figures are, however, for argument’s sake, say I spend 25% of my time ‘after retrieval,’ on average, using up 5 minutes per retrieved item. This is a somewhat complicated vector, right? This includes the twenty to sixty minutes–or so–I might spend reading a journal article or long magazine article. The other side of this measure is that I spend 25% of my time using time at the rate of less than five minutes per retrieved item. Leaving the 50% I require to search and retrieve.
(No matter what the actual distribution of time is, it shifts were I to drop out, so-to-speak, “off screen,” dealing with content I print out, or listen to.)
One last observation; when I look at my Twitter stream (twitter.com/kamelmauz and twitter.com/sq1learning) or at blogs, I’m impressed by the implicit time investment of other users. And, I can make distinctions, such as the difference between Twitter users who are mostly scattering links, and, Twitter users who mostly are interacting with each other. Likewise, on blogs, I’m fascinated by comment threads. Not for their content, but because of their group relations and social-psychological context.
I’m very impressed by the blog Crooked Timber, where something like three dozen people are expressing (day in and day out,) deeply thought responses to sophisticated thinking.
There are many extremely successful blogs produced by a single person. Take for example Brazen Careeristfrom Penelope Trunk. It gets hundreds of thousands of hits per month.
A blog requires users who possess the right combination of traits, motivation, goals–as long as the blog is oriented to users. Obviously, there is the other side of the equation: those who develop and produce and distribute content for users.
As for Twitter, comments will follow. I will say this: it’s not well matched with my disposition. I prefer to manage serendipity rather than simply be subjected to it!
a guardian article on the idea of “astro-turfing” the internet – by notable leftie sceptic, george monbiot (whose articles i admit to liking in the past).
so what does astro-turfing the internet mean?
seems as if software and big companies can get together and make it seem as if their opinion is being held by more involved identities/personas than might otherwise be the case.
a whole history, complete with identity ‘furniture’, can now be suplied so that one person can seem to be many, and maybe get paid for their time spreading their disinterested views of a reactionary nature to various sites…
my suspicious nature is ready to believe it in spades.