Is Technology and Data Spooky?!

Let’s be real. Technology is getting creepy. It’s the scary teacher from grade school that somehow always knows what you’re doing even when she isn’t even looking at you. It seems to be watching our every click spanning the vast universe of the Internet. Companies are focusing on developing technology that processes all of our data to make inferences that could help them turn us into customers, or more importantly, into advocates for their brand. Recently, a brand we’re all familiar with, Netflix, held a competition that rewarded a million dollars (no one we knew won to note) to the group that could create an algorithm that could create better movie suggestions for their members.

It is becoming more and more noticeable to all of us we know; the advertisements on Facebook are generated by endless data based on your profile and pictures posted. Did you notice if you’re wearing a certain brand or piece of clothing that you’ll somehow get an ad with that same information in it? It’s all about targeting, but that’s almost scary targeting! (They’re watching you)!

We have now a developed generation that focuses on individuality, and this evolution inspires us to publicize ourselves on social platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, among others. The science behind this data as stated above is rapidly growing due to the high demand of how to use it despite how complicated it is. Going back to the Netflix competition, out of the thousands that entered their competition, only two teams were actually able to create algorithms that improved movie suggestions by ten percent. Acquiring data is easy, but making successful inferences from all of that data is the hard part. But even the smallest improvement can make a large difference by using data properly, which is why companies aren’t afraid to invest.

We’ve been thinking about that a lot on our end here at B Culture Media. How can we help the industry understand what to extract, or more importantly, what to put in place to make that extraction of data all the more usable from the get-go? And, how can we help them understand to the ‘T’ what their target audiences’ want so that all those ad monies are spent wisely. We feel it’s a bit like being Beauty from “Beauty and the Beast” and you have all of this amazing food enticing you to “be their guest”, but instead of that cute dancing cake, now it happens to be advertisements for billions of things you can put into practice to give you lots and lots of data…but, at the end of the day, what does that all translate into? Sales? Growth? Advocacy? What are you Mr./Mrs. X Brand actually searching for?

That’s what makes us understand that we’re circling around back to the technology/data days that existed before the Internet craze started. We need to fully understand the depth of a business, what they need to accomplish, and put into place strategies and metrics to ensure that the “cool” marketing recommendations using innovative technology will actually help an entire organization meet their business goals. Big data is useful, spooky targeted ads are useful, but you have to understand first as to why it’s useful and what you want out of it. I mean, of course besides tracking traffic to a website and the numbers of fans on social channels… those are easy!

@natbdold

@claudiavon

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How Klout Calculates Their Score

Klout’s Vision

To enable everyone to discover and be recognized for how they influence the world. With the rise of social media, the ability to impact others has been democratized. Klout measures your influence based on your ability to drive action on social networks.

The Klout Score is a single number that represents the aggregation of multiple pieces of data about your social media activity. They compute the Klout Score by applying our score model to these signals.

Klout Score Signals

The Klout Score incorporates more than 400 signals from seven different networks. They process this data on a daily basis to generate updates to your Klout Score.

Here are some of the top signals they measure by network:

  • Facebook
    • Mentions: A mention of your name in a post indicates an effort to engage with you directly.
    • Likes: The simplest action that shows engagement with the content you create.
    • Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
    • Subscribers: Subscriber count is a more persistent measure of influence that grows over time.
    • Wall Posts: Posts to your wall indicate both influence and engagement.
    • Friends: Friend count measures the reach of your network but is less important than how your network engages with your content.
  • Twitter
    • Retweets: Retweets increase your influence by exposing your content to extended follower networks.
    • Mentions: People seeking your attention by mentioning you is a strong signal of influence. Klout also take into account the differences in types of mentions, including “via” and “cc.”
    • List Memberships: Being included on lists curated by other users demonstrates your areas of influence.
    • Followers: Follower count is one factor in your Score, but they heavily favor engagement over size of audience.
    • Replies: Replies show that you are consistently engaging your network with quality content.
  • Google+
    • Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
    • +1’s: The simplest action that shows engagement with the content you create.
    • Reshares: Reshares increase your influence by exposing your content to extended networks on Google+.
  • LinkedIn
    • Title: Your reported title on LinkedIn is a signal of your real-world influence and is persistent.
    • Connections: Your connection graph helps validate your real-world influence.
    • Recommenders: The recommenders in your network add additional signals to the contribution LinkedIn makes to your Score.
    • Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
  • Klout
    • +K received: Receiving +K increases your Klout Score by an amount that is capped in every 90-day measurement cycle to protect the integrity of the Score.
  • foursquare
    • Tips Done: The number of suggestions you’ve left that have been completed indicate your ability to influence others on foursquare.
  • Wikipedia
    • Inlinks: Measures the total number of inbound links to a page.
    • Ratio of Inlinks to Outlinks: Compares the number of inbound links to a page to the number of outbound links.
    • Page Importance (as measured by PageRank): Measured by applying a PageRank algorithm against the Wikipedia page graph.

Source: Klout.com

@BCulture_Britt

Visual Enhancements for Twitter

Twitter just announced it’s latest update to a users profile. This one is another visual enhancement, allowing a user to add a custom header, much like Facebook’s timeline “cover” image.

How does this help your brand page? It allows you to get creative with your messages!

Take a look at the new design. Update yours by going to your Settings –> Design.

Brittany Mills

 

@BCulture_Britt

 

30 Ways in 30 Days: Sseko Designs

 

How often have you heard the old phrase “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”? Be it that this popular phrase is totally true, Uganda-based company, Sseko Designs has put a whole new spin on the saying. According to their August campaign, 30 Ways in 30 Days, obviously there’s more than one way to style your sandals.

30 Ways in 30 Days encouraged Sseko sandal owners to share their personal sandal style and learn a few new tricks from others along the way. Women were asked to upload a photo showing off their sandal fashion and share it with the Sseko community. The campaign also featured a contest: each week, one lucky winner won an Exclusive Sseko Style Pack, including a $100 gift card and a mystery gift. Everyone who submitted a picture was rewarded with a 15% discount code, redeemable on the online store. This ‘mystery gift’, an accessories line, was finally revealed after the contest end date and will definitely continue to foster and promote the creative spirit of the brand.

The sandal’s simple design paired with beautiful patterns, shades trendy pedicures guaranteed all entries were unique and original, and now with the launch of an accessories collection, the possibilities are endless. Dubbed by the company as the “ultimate styling competition”, the style campaign put user-generated content at the forefront, allowing individual style to remain the center focus. The sandals are gorgeous but with some creativity and ingenuity – the sandals become an eye-catching fashion statement. Never run out of style inspiration with Sseko Designs’ 30 Ways in 30 Days.

 

@BCulture_CourtB

Police Scanners & Twitter: Makes Sense, Right?

After reading an article about a Venice-based (California) Twitter account that live-tweets crime, accidents, fires, etc., I will admit, my curiosity was piqued.  It turns out there are plenty of accounts playing similar roles. The account mentioned is @Venice311. Over 23,000 tweets, with over 8,000 followers. Here’s a good tweet from yesterday:

In the age of accountability, these live-tweeters are doing some good for the community (list at end of article). They are making the community more aware of the crime in their neighborhood. They are making sure the forces in charge do their job and don’t overdo it – police brutality, etc. And who knows? Maybe some crimes can be prevented or solved this way. Maybe a missing person is a little bit more likely to be found.

The city of Seattle even attempted an experiment in which their Police Department tweeted every one of their 911 calls in one day, in 140 characters, of course. They sent an average of 40 tweets per hour, totaling 478 by day’s end. An interesting social media experiment, especially considering the Department did not inform their followers of what they were doing. Some were worried. And some wanted them to shut up. The gem was a “suspicious person possibly armed with a sword.”

If you feel like getting in on the action, you can download several police scanner apps. I splurged and purchased the $0.99 5-0 Radio Police Scanner. The Lite version is available for free. Pretty fun to listen in – so far, I’ve heard a few accidents, a bomb threat, a loose dog, expired tags, a parking ticket, a burglary, and a fire in metro Atlanta.

  • @Venice311 (Venice/LA)
  • @NYRadio (NYC)
  • @LAPDscanner (LA)
  • @ScannerFeeds (collective)
  • @DFWScanner (Dallas/Ft. Worth)
  • @SeattlePD (Seattle)

BONUS:

@sheboyganscan – As in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, here are some gems from their feed. Follow them for humorous crimes.


@BCulture_Matt

The Olympics Total Twitter Stats

The 2012 London Olympics are over. Let’s all hum the theme one more time in our heads, as I’ve been doing daily. Go ahead. Dum-dum-da-da-dum-da-dum-dum… We saw a lot of drama, competition, and of course, the Spice Girls. Lots of the Olympics-related buzz was hosted on Twitter. Lots.

According to Twitter, the 2012 Olympics generated 150 million tweets. The most discussed athlete? You can probably guess: Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. According to Twitter’s assessment of the 16-day event, Bolt’s 200m and 100m races generated around 154,000 tweets per minute (TPM). Last night’s closing ceremony, ousted Bolt’s short-lived record, with over 116,000 TPM, especially the Spice Girls’ performance, which accounted for a good amount of the attention.

Some other notable events:

  • Andy Murray’s gold medal in the men’s tennis singles: 57,000+ TPM
  • Jamaica’s world record and gold in the 4×100 men’s relay: 52,000+ TPM
  • Team USA defeats Spain for gold in men’s basketball: 41,000+ TPM
  • Kobe Bryant’s slam dunk near the end of the gold medal game versus Spain
  • Hope Solo’s save in the women’s soccer final versus Japan

Soccer proved to be the most popular sport overall, generating more than 5 million tweets throughout the Twittersphere. Swimming, gymnastics, track and field, and volleyball also did very well.

Can you name all ten athletes who prompted at least 1 million tweets?

In alphabetical order:

  1. Yohan Blake
  2. Usain Bolt
  3. Kobe Bryant
  4. Tom Daley
  5. Gabby Douglas
  6. LeBron James
  7. Ryan Lochte
  8. Andy Murray
  9. Michael Phelps
  10. Lee Chong Wei

Side note: I attended the University of Florida and am proud to report the Gators came out of the Swamp alive with 19 medals of their own. What did you think of the 2012 London Olympic games? See y’all in Rio!

@BCulture_Matt