As a boy growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, I had dreams. Dreams of scoring the winning goal in the Stanley Cup finals, dreams of one day walking on the moon, dreams of starring alongside Goldie Hawn in a badly produced romantic comedy, and dreams of one day winning the @deanshaw Twitter Madness Tourney. But alas those dreams were derailed by poor skating skills, a moth-balled space program, a shortcoming in Hollywood good-looks, and ineligibility to participate in my own Twitter Tourney. Just as the stars aligned against me, they shot beacons of hope to 64 competitors in this year’s tournament. One by one those stars dimmed until there were just two remaining challengers for this year’s crown.
The last Tweeters standing are @jowyang and @jimsterne. They both showed the mettle, endurance, and acumen over each of their opponents to meet here in the Twitter Madness Final. As legends in their respective fields this promised to be a rock ‘em sock ‘em final. Let’s go to the action shall we?
Tale of the Tape
Color Commentary: @jowyang
Jeremiah showed his usual consistency during the final, bringing the noise AND the funk. He appeared to say “This is who I am, take me or leave me” This was a surprisingly courageous strategy given that this was likely the most important two days of tweeting in his life. But he showed amazing poise as he offered up some great tweets including:
Which revealed some amazingly funny (and real) corporate URLs like:
* Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at http://www.expertsexchange.com
* Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at http://www.penisland.net
* Then of course, there’s the Italian Power Generator company… http://www.powergenitalia.com
The snarky but insightful:
And alerting us to a new search engine that no one will ever use:
He was really focused and effective until…
In a jaw-dropping twitter meltdown, Jeremiah became distracted by an iPhone glitch that derailed the intense focus that had become his hallmark. By the time the issue was resolved, the buzzer had sounded on his Twitter Madness Championship. But did he do enough to win?
Color Commentary: @jimsterne
Unlike Jeremiah, Jim took an opposite tact for the final, and in chameleon-like fashion departed from his normal web/social media measurement focus to go “all in” on the Twitter Madness Tourney. At much risk to his legion of Twitter followers, who undoubtedly thought Jim had fallen off the Tweet wagon, Jim mixed in a heavy dose of content targeting the championship that he knew was needed to win the competition and gain true social media credibility.
So in addition to his normal tweet programming, Jim surgically addressed my blog post “The Complete List of 25 Tweet Types” posting examples of each type of tweet douchebaggery with amazing accuracy.
So it would seem obvious that this would cement a victory for the metrics man right? Well, actually not really. How’s that for suspense?
Ok, ya see folks, the thing with this Twitter stuff is that it’s all really just an endless stream of blather with a shelf life of about 10 sec. before it evaporates into the digital ether. You can talk about “influence” and “engagement”, and God forbid, “Klout” all you want, but in the end all that stuff is just bullshit. “Real” engagement doesn’t happen here in the digital world – it happens at your work, on your campus, on the field, in the grocery store, and at home. That’s were real connections are made. So put down your laptop, your phone, your Twitter, your Facebook, and go talk to someone, you know, someone non-digital, and go have a real conversation.
And without further ado (drum roll please…or rim shot….your choice) the winner of the 2012 @deanshaw Twitter Madness Tournament is:
Listen, I think all of the people I follow on Twitter are great, especially those who made it in this year’s tourney. You keep me informed, make me laugh, often ruin my productivity, and make life a little more interesting. For that, I thank you all!
But what separated Jim this year was the fact that the tournament started with me being an absolute unknown in his world. As the tournament progressed and Jim moved along in it, we interacted (digitally) about the tournament. At some point we inspired each other to create blog posts. Me in a post called ‘Social Media; Influence, Engagement and the Elusive ROI’ (For what it’s worth Jim told me I was wrong and threw a pox on my house) and Jim in a post entitled ‘Social Intercourse: How to Score Online’
Eventually, however, the “digital” became “human” and ended on the patio of a Starbucks in North Carolina, where Jim and I traded wild and woolly stories from the world of analytics. The vapor of Twitter had turned into the caramel macchiato of real conversation. And that, my friend, is “engagement”.
So there you have it. The 2102 @deanshaw Twitter Madness Tourney.
Congratulation to the runner-up @jowyang who will assume the crown should @jimsterne be unable to fulfill the requirements of champion. Odds are 50/50 on that.
Finally, congratulations to all tourney participants, who all bring value to my twitterstream every day.
See you all again in 2013.
Now back to my regularly scheduled and woefully backlogged blog posts
“They trust me — dumb fucks” – Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook
Online privacy is becoming a huge issue these days and the emergence of social networks has only put a spotlight on just how much companies know about our online activities . What’s just as disturbing is the cavalier attitude taken by those very companies collecting your personal data. It would seem that privacy is truly becoming a thing of the past and that we’re slowly being put at the mercy of organizations whose goals are not to protect privacy as much as they are to monetize it.
“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” – Eric Schmidt, CEO Google
“all these concerns about privacy tend to be old people issues” – Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Founder
So never fear! As a service to you, my loyal readers, I have taken it upon myself to read through the privacy policies of the most popular social networks and summarized them below in an easy to understand chart. Your welcome!
‘It’s funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they’ll do practically anything you want them to’. ~ Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye
So this tweet from John Lovett (@johnlovett) caught my attention last week:
Having been flooded with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales figures, my first thought was how small that $7M sounded compared to the $1.25B that was spent online that day. How small? Well .56% small. I thought it was curious that John would trumpet a number that frankly was about equal to the Cyber Monday sales that were influenced by my Mom’s bridge league. Being the sumbitch I am I responded:
The rest of the conversation went something like this…
The response this seemingly benign tweet started, prompted this blog post from John: Counting ROI in Pennies with Social Media, which deferred to the tired explanation that has always been given regarding social media and revenue – “It’s a method to engage with people on a meaningful level and to allow them to engage with one another.” Swear to God if I hear another “It’s not about the money. It’s about engagement”, I’m gonna stab myself in the ear with a fork. To me this explanation roughly translates to “Revenue? Oh this social media shit doesn’t drive revenue, but it’s a lot more fun than that other Marketing bullshit we do, and it’s the best explanation we got to keep doing it.”
Listen, I get it, social media is about connecting and engaging “on a meaningful level” (whatever the Hell that means). I’ve been at the Marketing rodeo long enough to understand and appreciate that there are many arrows in the Marketing quiver and each serves its own purpose, but I take you back to the tweet that started this whole thing…
It didn’t start with a debate about the role of social media; it started with a statement about its contribution to sales, I.E. $$$$. My less than enthusiastic response spoke to a fairly pitiful contribution.
But here’s my point (and it echoes John’s when he speaks about outcomes). If social media is going to be accepted as a legitimate business tool, it will eventually have to measure its value to the organization. If it’s not through revenue (assisted or direct) then it has to be by some other measurable criteria. Give me something a little more concrete that “It’s about engagement”, you know, something I can put on an excel spreadsheet.
It was John’s own colleague, Jim Sterne (@JimSterne), who wrote in ‘Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment’ that there are only three true business goals: Increasing revenue, lowering costs, and increasing customer satisfaction. At the risk of putting words in Jim’s mouth, everything else is bullshit. Interestingly, each one of those business goals can be measured and some of those metrics have nothing to do with dollars.
So Social Media folks, what’s it gonna be? Are you gonna hang on to this ‘engagement’ rouse you been feeding the boss, or are you going to put your analytic mouth where your engagement money is and identify some measurable outcomes that deliver true (and measurable) value to the organization.
I’d suggest the latter, because as a marketing guy with a few miles on his tires, I can tell you that when times get tough, the people shown the door first are the ones delivering ‘engagement’ not the ones delivering Benjamins. Be brave, identify some outcomes for your Social Media efforts, and measure the crap out of it. You might find that you can deliver more than just engagement.
There, I said it, I’m glad.
Social Media Guy and Social Media Maven Make a Connection at the TweetUp
In this episode Social Media Guy celebrates his rising Klout score.
Be sure to check out all Social Media Guy’s adventures here!