Live blogging at Media Camp London – part 1

Here is a post with the my first set of notes posted via – I’ve made a very few changes (enclosed in brackets):

Session 1: Networks and not-works. A taxonomy of social media platforms and how they help and hinder communication.
Benjamin Ellis of

The way Social Media Platforms (SMPs) are constructed is important

SMPs are at the stage the telephone was in 1880s

Corporates say that SMPs are less efficient than email conversations

Remember that Facebook is the face of SMPs

Media = content in general: photos/videos (not TV/Press/Radio)

Different people use the same tools in different ways. Twitter for my friends, my job, my career, my hobby

Twitter. Started as status. @ use by community changed it. DM changed it again

SMPs engage two senses: vision, audio

Add time to media makes it linear

Whereas text can be skipped and scanned it is counted as non-linear

Linear media requires bigger investment in time for community

If an SMP only allows links, people have the option whether to access additional media

Initially, the quality of the community you adopt is more important than the quality of the SMP you create to support it. (That may be so, but watch out that a better SMP may come along and take the community away from you)

Twitter followers are fans. You don’t want the star to know about you, so you follow them, not friend them. (A distinction from Facebook)

Following: Publish and subscribe. Subscribers can choose how much they get. Much better than contacts pushing their content via email.

In SMPs, a brand broadcasting to people is OK – a back channel can be available rarely in special cases for people to chat back

Small brands may not be able to scale their property of remaining in a conversation with customers. SMPs might be able to help

SMPs make money when they give brands access to individual private conversations (But some don’t dare to do this or they will lose their community very quickly)

SMP taxonomy comes from the kinds of links between people. Friending vs. Following.

SMPs don’t yet support the polite decay of relationships

Technology representation of social network may be inaccurate because we don’t want to face up to stopping relationships (in offline relationships we guess when they are over, it’s OK. There may lots of inaccurate parts of people’s social maps that show relationships that are dead – SMP long tail)

Inverse power law – famous people become more famous because they are famous (i.e. we follow people who have lots of followers, which gives them more followers etc.)

SMPs give us insights into our contacts’ social networks – unlike in the real world

(A more evolved marketing policy:) sell to those with the right contacts, not the most contacts (People with few links who bridge between large groups of people)

Facebook want to help app developers connect the discrete social networks we are connected to – not via us

Dunbar says that the size of the neocortex in your brain determines the size of the group you can handle being part of

He says people can generally handle being in communities of 100-250 people.

(With modern technology) People have tiers of relationships. We use friends of friends for outer tier – for up to 1000 members of our community

SMPs need to maintain constructive feedback and not break links between tiers

Session 2: Will PR inherit the social media earth?
– A discussion amongst attendees moderated by @JanetParkinson

@blogtillyoudrop and @sylwiapresley do Word-of-Mouth marketing: engagement with potential ambassadors to maintain long-term relationship with brands

PR usually try star bloggers to create content on SMPs.

Gemma: it is difficult to get our PR clients to give us approval to go beyond star bloggers

@JanetParkinson Brandseye: an online reputation management tool

PR clients don’t know enough about SMP

Clients will buy SMP expertise from those who already do it for themselves.

Not all brands should be in Social Media – some aren’t conversational

Bigger PR agencies need to be careful. A Twitter policy was needed. Personal comments seen as official. (By agency clients)

Clients find it difficult to deal with the idea of people external to their organisations trusting that Tweets are personal

@blogtillyoudrop a freelancer felt less free when she realised that some blog entries would be in conflict with clients

Start with firefighting, risk management. There is bad PR out there in SMP, so you need to be there to deal with it. Go to a new client and show them what people are saying on SM, here’s what we can do to manage it.

PR are trying to hire SM experts. How can you measure that expertise?

An SM danger: Don’t listen to a very vocal minority. Dell lost money by listening to Linux activists

Don’t forget that huge numbers of people aren’t part of SM

Session 3: A DIY approach to online monitoring
– A discussion amongst attendees moderated by @rachelclarke

What tools are we using at the moment?

Distilled have a reputation monitoring tool – gives you a single score for reputation – searches each hour – includes sentiment and context.

Attendee uses Google alerts and Yahoo inbound links twitter search – Google alerts for Twitter

How do you set up a instant response chain of command?

Kneejerk responses can cause problems. If you respond wanting to know more, you engage without committing, which is safer.

Clients want their Reputation Managed on SM first while being educated, they want to take the task on themselves after a while

Clients know they should us RM, but don’t know why.

If a PR agency uses a paid service to do Reputation Management, they can pass on the agency (their supplier) case studies to their clients

Free tools can’t deal with 400,000 mentions a day.

Brand discussions happen in ‘private networks’ – not catalogued by search engines.

RM tools make correct guesses about comment sentiment 70-80% of the time

Surveys are about attitude. (Give them what they need not what they want.)

RM terminology: SM = Sentiment Monitoring

SM tools can send specific ‘important messages’ to PRs – from ‘high-reputation’ posters

If you work for a large brand, monitor the effects of what other agencies (working for that brand) are doing – you can get kudos for RM if bad things happen (e.g. If a press ad is causing uproar on SM)

(Individuals) can do your own RM – do you try and influence people’s opinion – actively or reactively

On twitter recently, if you mention a brand their competitors follow you.

When doing your own RM, wait a little for followers to manage your reputation. (You many have people in your network who will go to bat for you)

Sometimes it is good to respond during RM by stating errors in fact – and that’s all

(In Telegraph newspaper) Innocent accused of Greenwashing. SM sprung to their defence

(As RM tools don’t search) forums, be careful – get to know the social scene too.

PR clients may not care about negative comments on Digg and YouTube – they like the traffic (if all they count is traffic)

You need to check the quality of traffic from Digg and YouTube – unless you are ad-supported

In pitches companies promise ‘10,000 positive comments in the blogosphere’

Agencies set up thousands of blogs with fake cross-references to generate ‘positive comments’

‘If our crap business has lots of SM traffic, all will be well’ – the KoolAid for the next five years

@alex4d – (People seem to be saying, for RM) Forum handling: Lurk, groom, bribe

i.e. forums of fans of a brand

Online people forget that many brands are predominately offline. Imagine if they got in touch with you when you aren’t in brand mode.

Out of hours RM – respond quickly to say that you are sorry, but you cannot respond until later

Apple seed support forums so the community will support itself, then leave them to do all the work

Be honest during RM – (A carefully worded response):


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