Danny Brown, VP of social CRM vendor, Jugnoo, writes one of the most useful social media focused blogs on the planet. He regularly takes on the hard topics and delves deep into the underlying behaviours to reveal the context in ways that we mere mortals can understand. So when he starts talking about visualising social media, my ears prick up.
Releasing their Tweet Visualyzer into free beta, it allows you to impose visual order on the chaos of Tweetstream. You can divide up your reporting across seven functions:
What – is everyone talking about
When – did they say it
Who – is involved and who started it all
Word – how did they say it
How – did they send their message (client, web, platform)
Group – are there self-forming conversations and who is in them
Tag cloud – what are the keywords around your topic or brand
I thought I’d take it for a quick spin – and run the #fastBREAK hashtag through. fastBREAK is the regular monthly innovators event run by Vibewire and the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney – and we get quite a strong tweetstream running thanks to a connected and passionate audience. Last month’s topic was “lies” (read a review here) which clustered a lot of conversation according to the graph above.
But my favourite view of the data comes with the Group tab. Here you get to see the people/accounts who are conversing on the same topic. It lets you see some of the social dimension of the conversation – to see what is common, what is retweeted and from this, what is resonating.
Of course, this is just a reporting tool – it lets you listen and watch. The analysis and thinking you will have to do yourself. But just wait until it’s integrated into Jugnoo’s social CRM platform. That’s when it could all get interesting.
The web is a highly visual medium. It is also very text heavy, especially in the social media domain. And while there is a great deal of effort spent on delivering text and stories that resonate with audiences and help drive search results, I often wonder how much attention is paid to the imagery placed into our blog posts, articles and so on.
More interestingly, you can also run this analysis across your own websites. Simply enter your web address and Face.com’s facial recognition API will give you a sense of the audience impact all those pearly whites will have on your readers.
And given that this “social web” phenomenon is all about people and not technology, you’d think this is a no-brainer for your web design team, right? But I wonder, will we see A/B testing on images in the near future? Will this help the web be more friendly, or just add another layer of weirdness on top?
I am always on the lookout for cool alternatives to the standard resume. Most, unfortunately, require a great deal of effort and creativity. And while the best of these really do showcase the skills of particular people (especially designers), what about non-designers? What about the design-challenged?
After signing up for the beta test and receiving your invitation code, you can connect with LinkedIn and turn your resume into a funky infographic.
Interestingly for me, I realised quickly that my LinkedIn profile was not telling the whole story. There was an over balancing in some skills and an under-representation of others. At some stage I will need to go into LinkedIn to remedy this (vizualize.me doesn’t update your LinkedIn profile – it just uses it as a source) – but it is amazing to get a new perspective on your experience and skill base. Check it out. Here’s mine – what do you think? How would you feel if someone sent this through to you as part of a job application?
We all love a pretty picture, right? Well, here is a nice application of network data from LinkedIn Labs (they have a labs group – who knew?). Basically, you login to LinkedIn and the tool processes your network information and turns it into a stunning network map. Then it is up to you to label the groupings of colour that represent your connection bases. Here’s mine.
And while this is cool in and of itself, the other thing that I like is that it is interactive. So not only can you click on each of these points of connection to see the person you are connected to, you can also see where your points of connection overlap. This gives you some sense of who you know, who you both know – and therefore some context for conversation – especially where your connection is purely virtual.
This can also yield insight. For example, I didn’t realise that David Alston from Radian6 is connected to Venessa Paech, the community manager at Lonely Planet until it was revealed here. But it makes sense. Especially if Lonely Planet use Radian6 for their social network monitoring.
So now I have (at least) five reasons to visualise my LinkedIn network:
Surfacing connections: A little quick thinking can yield real value. Think through the reasons WHY people know each other and you will generate some real insight.
Recommendation: Next time I speak with Venessa, I can ask for her opinion or recommendation on Radian6 (should I be considering it)
Relationship and context is enhanced: knowing who and knowing what adds depth to online relationships. This is essential in a world where business relationships can be carried out across geographic boundaries
Demonstrating the value of the network: Building out your personal network can take a great deal of time. Sometimes you won’t know when you will get a return on your investment. This sort of tool makes a network of business connections far more fascinating.
Firing-up your creativity: Maybe this is just me, but there is something slightly addictive in this. Being able to click and connect is allowing me to see possibilities I simply had not realised. The power of visualisation feels like it is making sense of the underlying network data for me, and freeing me to think about action (what to do) rather than figuring out where to go.
Prompted by a message from Sean Howard, asking about brand visualisation tools, I revisited a post from 2009. Titled Brands are the Stories We Tell, it looks at a personal profiling tool from MIT that lets you map out the characteristics that describe “you”. While the end sequence is useful from a persona mapping point of view, I particularly like the way that the persona building process is visualised.
Here is what I saw when building out a profile on gavin heaton. Click the image below for the full view. It’s like watching the Google web spiders in action – collating what the web thinks of you.
Of course, when you profile a brand or a product, then you also end up with an interesting sequence that describes how and where your brand lives online. But I think it’s most important to watch HOW the profile is built. Here’s why:
The repetition of keywords and their proximity to other keywords will create a centre of gravity for your brand. Ensure that the stories you tell about your brand connect with your desired brand experience keywords
Increasingly, social media content is creating the online context for your brand. This means that your content marketing needs to be strong – make sure that you have well-planned social content that help optimise your story across the social web
Your brand is the stories that other people tell – if there are an overwhelming number of negative stories, it’s going to make your brand a centre of gravity for all the wrong reasons. Get the experience right!
You will see trends and themes in the data. Use these to tactically build your presence in places that there are already conversations taking place. Don’t hijack the conversation. Add to it.
Social content wins … content from blogs and social networking sites outperforms all other content on the web. This means that your brand is the story told by others in a social context.
So what does the web tell you about your brand? Check out the MIT personas tool to find out.