November 29, 2013
Ever since Google left a void by discontinuing Google Reader, other RSS feeds programs have attempted to fill it. Pulse is one of the top replacements and now “LinkedIn Integrates With Pulse For Professional News Aggregation. Social Sharing.” LinkedIn purchased Pulse earlier this year and now they are offering their users professional news for both desktop and mobile platforms. LinkedIn and Pulse are now synced and sharing articles and social media interactions are as simple as a few mouse clicks.
There have been some changes made to how LinkedIn works and improvements to Pulse:
“This means that LinkedIn Today, which gathered top news related to your profession—one of the cool, little-known features in LinkedIn—has now been made defunct. Instead, even if you visit the web app, you will be taken to LinkedIn Pulse. Under the hood, the search feature has been enhanced and Pulse will now offer better autocomplete suggestions.”
It is a great idea to have all of your professional content and social interactions in one place. It makes it easier to stay on top of current events and network, but as any new venture starts this question must be asked: will the news be relevant to the individual users, advertisers, and LinkedIn’s professional standards? LinkedIn probably does not want “News of the Weird” or the latest prescription drug advertised on their Web site. Pulse already has high standards, so doubt is low but who knows.
Whitney Grace, November 29, 2013
November 26, 2013
Last month, Facebook admitted that users, particularly teens, are using the site less these days. The Guardian reports, “Teenagers Say Goodbye to Facebook and Hello to Messenger Apps.” (Messenger apps function much like text messaging, but without the extra charges on the phone bill.) Writer Parmy Olson blames the shift on the wider audience Facebook has successfully attracted over the years.
“Their gradual exodus to messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat and KakaoTalk boils down to Facebook becoming a victim of its own success. The road to gaining nearly 1.2 billion monthly active users has seen the mums, dads, aunts and uncles of the generation who pioneered Facebook join it too, spamming their walls with inspirational quotes and images of cute animals, and (shock, horror) commenting on their kids’ photos. No surprise, then, that Facebook is no longer a place for uninhibited status updates about pub antics, but an obligatory communication tool that younger people maintain because everyone else does.”
I’m sure that is a factor, but the Reference Heap provides another perspective. It isn’t so much that Facebook’s user base has changed, but that changes to the site have made it less useful. At the same time that its algorithm presents us with pointless information, it often fails to deliver truly relevant missives from friends and family. In a note beginning “Dear Facebook, You Suck,” the angry pastebin writer charges:
“One of my best friend’s mother lost her battle with cancer the other day, my friend wrote a beautiful status update commemorating her mother, it got 297 likes and tons of comments before I noticed it… You know how I noticed it? My mother called me and told me about her mother dying and I went to her actual page to see for myself. But you know what I did notice? Becky hates Mondays. My 3rd cousin whom I haven’t seen since a family reunion 10 years ago started playing his umpteenth game on Facebook.”
I can relate. I know I have missed important news on Facebook in a similar fashion, and messages I really wanted folks to see got little traction. Is this a deliberate attempt to get us to pay Facebook the seven bucks (well, $6.99) to “promote” posts we actually want others to view? Perhaps I’m being too cynical.
Cynthia Murrell, November 26, 2013
November 19, 2013
While SharePoint is the original enterprise solution for most organizations, many also know that SharePoint is struggling to identify itself in the fast changing world. Its newest iteration as a part of Office 365 has many people talking. Business Management Daily has more in “3 Cool Things about SharePoint in Office 365 Enterprise Editions.”
One particular area of interest is SharePoint’s attempt at social functionality:
“With SharePoint 2010, you could follow sites and tag colleagues. In the 2013 flavor, you can have a newsfeed where you can use social features like hashtags (#) and at tags (@) to track ideas and topics and mention people in your posts. In a news feed for a particular team, you might put hashtags on customer names, industry publication names, or create a tag for a particular issue. Then someone can just click the active tag to see all posts relative to that topic. Use the @tag to give shout-outs to co-workers or to alert someone in a discussion, who might be the best person to contact on a particular subject.”
Arnold IT has followed SharePoint for years, noting SharePoint’s many attempts at social functionality and customers response. (Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime search expert, chronicling his efforts at ArnoldIT.com.) His recent findings point to disappointing social results, despite Microsoft’s best efforts. And still others argue that Microsoft should keep the main mission central, leaving social functions to others, as SharePoint is struggling to even stay relevant as an enterprise search platform.
Emily Rae Aldridge, November 19, 2013
November 2, 2013
Simon Creasey from Computer Weekly recently reported on the outcome of the latest Twitter firestorm in the article “Failure to Invest in Sentiment Analytics Could Lead to Brand Damage.”
According to the article, a disgruntled British Airways passenger decided use a paid-for promoted tweet to blast his complaints to thousands of Twitter followers. As you can imagine, the tweet went viral and was shared and re-shared until it received global coverage. While PR disasters are often unavoidable, businesses are developing social media sentiment analysis software to contain them.
The article concludes:
““Monitoring what people are saying about your products and industry can help you design your products and propositions for the future and in that sense Twitter acts as a great market research tool as well as a lead-generation tool,” says Sinclair.
“Similarly, if you monitor what people are saying about your brand it can also help you with customer service and PR. There are many examples of companies who have found themselves under social media attack. Failure to invest in these kinds of tools could easily result in significant damage to a company’s reputation and brand.”
These days, social media is ever expanding and it is impossible to keep track of everything being said about your company’s brand, products, and employees. In order to avoid PR disasters like the one that happened to British Airways, companies should invest in the latest sentiment analysis technologies.
Jasmine Ashton, November 02, 2013
November 1, 2013
Silicon Angle recently reported on a new free solution for processing streaming data in the article “Bottlenose Visualizes Twitter Firehouse Trends with Sonar Solo”.
According to the article, the startup, among other things, uses technology from Lexalytics and Nerve Center to help users unwrap social data by offering the visibility in personal data expected by a growing number of today’s customers.
The article states:
“Nova Spivack, the co-founder and CEO of Bottlenose, noted that ‘we wanted everyone to experience the power of Sonar’s real-time trend intelligence visualization, without restricting it to our large enterprise customers. Now, anyone with internet access can search for anything from their favorite celebrities to breaking news and current events, and everything in between, for a real-time view of what’s trending in the collective consciousness.’”
The Bottlenose offers its customers a customizable product that engages their audience. This is something that is very necessary for startups to succeed in today’s competitive market.
Jasmine Ashton, November 01, 2013
October 14, 2013
Facebook has assembled a new team to build a “deep learning” approach for the site’s AI, MIT Technology Review reveals in, “Facebook Launches Advanced AI Effort to Find Meaning in your Posts.” The method promises to greatly speed data analysis by simulating our own neural networks.
Google and Microsoft have both recently made strides in this area. Google is using the approach to help its algorithm recognize objects in photos (beginning with cats, of course) and to improve its voice recognition services. Microsoft employed the technique to create its real-time English-to-Mandarin translation software. For its part, Facebook hopes deep learning will improve its news feed, which must pick up the pace to keep up with changing user habits. Both the compulsion to check our feeds with our mobile devices and ballooning friends lists require Facebook’s AI to better and more quickly decide what to show each user.
So, how is deep learning different from older AI models? Reporter Tom Simonite explains:
“Conventional forms of machine learning are slower because before data can be fed into learning software, experts must manually choose which features of it the software should pay attention to, and they must label the data to signify, for example, that certain images contain cars. Deep learning systems can learn with much less human intervention because they can figure out for themselves which features of the raw data are most significant. They can even work on data that hasn’t been labeled, as Google’s cat-recognizing software did. Systems able to do that typically use software that simulates networks of brain cells, known as neural nets, to process data. They require more powerful collections of computers to run.”
Facebook engineering manager Srinivas Narayanan, who is helping assemble the deep-learning team, says some of their more general research will be shared with the public. He also notes that the project will be informed by work Facebook has done on integrating hardware and software to process large data sets.
Cynthia Murrell, October 14, 2013
October 12, 2013
Face it, when it comes to social networks Google+ is not everyone’s favorite. User adoptions have been less than hefty and Google is not happy. What does the search giant do? Force people to sign up. ReadWrite reports that if you “Want To Comment On YouTube? You’ll Need A Google+ Account First.” In an attempt to cut back on haters’ comments on videos, Google will make anyone who wants to comment on YouTube videos sign up on its social network.
The goal is to clean up content and improve overall quality in the YouTube content section.
How many times have you watched a video on a video with serious content, i.e. animal cruelty, nuclear bombings, child abuse, or the 9/11 attacks, and someone posts a lewd comment or totally off base? As they say haters got to hate, but Matt McLernon, a YouTube spokesperson, wants the comment section to contain meaningful conversations.
Google never does something without a hidden agenda. It forces users to join the Google+ network. All Google users have been forced into this ploy one way or another and have said account, but that does not mean they use them. Google wants to drive its numbers up and may have a problem on its hands:
“The company is risking a user revolt by mandating all commenter’s be Google+ users, as many people are already unhappy that the service is being forced on them. YouTube will begin rolling out the changes on channel pages today, with the exclusive Google+ commenting and linking system due globally later this year.”
But you need to remember who these users are: YouTube commenters. No one takes them seriously in the first place, so staging a revolt probably will not do much. Good luck, though! Those snarky comments give you all the power in the world.
Whitney Grace, October 12, 2013
October 11, 2013
Who uses what social network? Younger kids say Facebook is old school and have moved onto younger pastures and older folks tend to stick with the social media they become accustomed to. These are just general trends that I hear in passing, but for cold hard facts I turned to a Business Insider article entitled, “A Primer On Social Media Demographics.”
BI Intelligence conducted a report that broke down the various demographics about who uses what social network. The main purpose of the report was to provide companies with data for them to target consumers:
“Being able to identify the demographics of social media audiences at a granular level is the basis for all targeted marketing and messaging. The report also spotlights the opportunities that lie ahead for each social network, how demographics affect usage patterns, and why some platforms are better for brands than others.”
The numbers are quite interesting. Facebook still remains the standard for most users, especially with a surprising 86% outside the US. Instagram and Pinterest are female driven networks, while men prefer LinkedIn and Google+. Twitter remains mostly for the younger folks, as does Tumblr. Then there are these people from Marketing Land: “Who Are The 15 Percent Of Adults Who Do Not Use The Internet?” The numbers dwindle down to 38 million people who do not use the Internet and they are people in the over 65 range with less education and money. The reasons are that many people in this age group claim not to need it or find it difficult to learn. Also they are paranoid about hackers and rely on friends and family to do the surfing for them. Such thoughts are relics of the past and are annoying to marketers. I will say, though, I will not sign up for paperless billing, so maybe I am a relic.
Whitney Grace, October 11, 2013
October 7, 2013
SharePoint and Yammer are going to work together to bring social networking features as well as mobile to the collaborative content management program. CMS Wire has a recap on a webinar that details how the relationship is progressing: “Webinar Recap: Yammer + SharePoint + Mobile – Oh My!” During the webinar, Keith Long of ICF Interactive said that workers spend 61% of their time collaborating, but Yammer might not be the ideal solution because it is not as customizable as SharePoint. This is one the reasons why SharePoint’s Yammer deployment has been slowed.
Another topic was mobile and another interesting statistic is that 95% of workers bring their own device to work, which means it is a big business need. Cloud is taking control of IT budgets by over 70% said Long again, and it is shifting resources. SharePoint is a helpful tool for mobile management, but it is not ideal for smaller companies.
Gasification came up in the Q&A:
“Long noted many of the staples of gasification are available in SharePoint like badges and earning the rank of expert in a given field, for example. Besides onboarding people, gamification can help workers bond a bit more, Long said, something that can actually go a long way in retaining people. In a similar vein, a question came up about overall adoption trends, and Long pointed out that the companies who made the most effort in getting people to use SharePoint were the ones that were successful.”
Getting people to deploy SharePoint sounds like it is taking a bit of bribing. Steve Arnold of Arnold IT, leading expert in search and content management, would suggest forming a team who would issue deadlines and keep companies on task.
Whitney Grace, October 7, 2013
September 29, 2013
Writer Rachel King at ZDNet shares some of LinkedIn’s strategy for the future in, “LinkedIn’s Long-Term Plan? Build the ‘World’s First Economic Graph,’ Says CEO.” The article describes this vision, which does sound interesting. We here at Beyond Search, though, could wish for more emphasis on search functionality, which seems to be a secondary issue for the professional networking site. Well, maybe tertiary.
“Weiner described that LinkedIn’s current value lies its ‘professional graph,’ which explained maps the world’s professional connections through profiles and job listings. The long-term vision for the next decade, he continued, is to develop the world’s first ‘economic graph,’ or mapping the global economy digitally. ‘Increasingly, jobs are fragmented. They’re not always about full-time,’ Weiner reflected. ‘We’d like there to be a profile for every company in the world.’ . . .
“When asked by TechCrunch’s Eric Eldon about potential competitors (notably Facebook, Salesforce.com and Google) in regards to this economic graph, Weiner avoided dropping any names. But he responded that there is ‘no company right now that has the professional focus that we do.’”
Yes, LinkedIn’s focus on the professional realm is indeed what sets it apart. It is also moving into a pre-professional space, if you will, with its new university pages. The project, combined with an age limit that has been lowered to 13, aims to help students find a college that is right for them. The hope is that students who use that feature will stick with LinkedIn throughout their career. Some may complain that lowering the age limit diminishes the professionalism of the site. However, this tactic could help ensure LinkedIn’s relevance well into the future.
Cynthia Murrell, September 29, 2013