Remember Sandi Thom? She was the punk rocker with flowers in her hair who virally launched with some bedroom concerts via her home broadband that seemed able to support 30,000 instantaneous connections.Well, the soft viral launch myth was back with a bang on my Guardian app this morning.
Remember how in 24 things would often get kick started by “chatter”? Yeah, chatter – mutterings on the Internet that something is afoot. In espionage drama (and heck, probably real life spying too) the ‘net is monitored for tidbits of this and that which might fall into a sort of a pattern that tells you there’s a problem.
I’m getting worried about social media listening strategies. Not in a paranoid, surveillance society way. I’m worried about social media listening strategies because corporations reward me every time I moan; whinges are the new currency, and companies are incentivising me to be grumpy.
Discounting spammers who @ me on twitter every time I mention Apple, iPad, or x-factor I’ve had three moments where I’ve had a corporate interaction as a result of social media listening and each one has come off the back of a moan.
- When I moaned that Coffee Lounge’s wifi was unreliable and their coffee pretty poor, Urban Coffee Co tweeted me, luring me over with a free croissant.
- When I tweeted a whinge that a Virgin Wines / uSwitch freebie case of wine I’d received was pretty poor, Naked Wines contacted me with an offer on a case of much better wine that was pretty hard to refuse.
- When I fired off a 140 character rant about a shitty coffee in Pret, they @ replied me back asking for an address. On Friday I got a £5 gift card and a handwritten note of apology.
“is this meme a fake?”
No. If an idea is out in the wild, being reproduced by folk then it’s not a fake meme – it is actually a meme. The given basis for starting the meme could be a total crock, but the meme itself is real. You know that because you can see it: look, there it is!For a meme to be fake, we’d have to be talking about an activity or idea that wasn’t real, e.g. if we were all tweeting something like
LOL the #fizzwhizzcheesewhizz meme where you make a video of someone snorting spray cheese & popping candy ROFLCOPTER
and there was no shared practice of making those videos, then we’d be talking about a fake meme. Of course, if lots of us started tweeting and blogging and chatting about #fizzwhizzcheeswhizz then referring to the fictional video phenomenon would actually be a meme in it’s own right.
That’s pretty meta right there. I need to lie down.
BCU MA Events and Exhibition Management student Sammy Williams is working on a project to encourage Birmingham’s councillors to engage more readily with citizens through social media; the Gareth Compton case is another huge hurdle for her to get over.
I’d actually suggested to Sammy that she invite Cllr Compton to speak at an event she’s planning to launch her idea. As he’s had problems before with his Twitter persona, I thought he might have some valuable perspective to add to a conversation about social media in local politics. He could have provided a useful dollop of realism in a conversation which all too quickly drifts towards utopian idealism of openness and accountability.
Who are the social media capitalists?
If we have such a thing as social capital, is there such a thing as social capitalism? Who would we consider as “social media capitalists”? How useful is social capital to understanding what happens online? Does it change the way we look at online activity?
Last week JJ & I stumbled across the Hamburg leg of the Kinect Tour – a Roadshow to promote the new Xbox motion control games system “Kinect” (formerly Project Natal). We impressed by the tech, but less impressed by Microsoft’s attempt to add social media to the experience.
Folk I know, particularly I’m thinking here of folk best described as “social media types”, are a bit sniffy about LinkedIn (direct link to my profile).