Top Social Media Experts

By Erik Qualman

I had some fun this week by highlighting the best in brightest in the social media field.

As the title showcases I selected 10 Social Media All-Stars for each team.  You can see these All-Stars in the list is below:

American League All-Star Team:

  • Gary Vaynerchuk: @garyvee
  • Brian Solis: @briansolis
  • Mari Smith:  @MariSmith
  • Shiv Singh: @shivsingh
  • Clay Shirky: @cshirky
  • Peter Shankman: @skydiver
  • David Meerman Scott: @dmscott
  • Jeremiah Owyang: @jowyang
  • Lee Odden: @LeeOdden
  • Dave Morin: @davemorin

National League All-Star Team

  • Scott Monty: @scottmonty
  • Valeria Maltoni: @ConversationAge
  • Charlene Li: @charleneli
  • Guy Kawasaki: @GuyKawasaki
  • Mitch Joel:  @MitchJoel
  • Brian Halligan: @bhalligan
  • Seth Godin
  • Paul Gillin: @pgillin
  • Chris Brogan: @chrisbrogan
  • Josh Bernoff: @jbernoff

Honorable Mention
Corey Perlman, Dan Zarella, Louis Gray, Richard Binhammer, Frank Eliason, Richard Binhammer, Robert Scoble, Lee Aase, Eric Bradlow, Sally Falkow, Don Steele, Julien Smith, David Grebow, Michael Lazerow, Sarah Hofstetter, Mack Collier, Mike Barbeau, Todd Defren, Tom Gerace, Elizabeth Pigg, Richard MacManus, Jon Gibs, Chris Cunningham, Paul Beck, Matt Goddard, Chris Heuer, CC Chapman, Chris Penn, Shel Israel, Tamar Weinberg, Larry Weber, Morgan Johnston, Tim Washer, Pete Cashmore, David Armano, Nick O’Neil, Mike Stelzner, Jason Falls, Dave Kerpen,  Sonia Simone,  Adam Singer, Michael Brito, Geoff Livingston, Wayne Sutton.


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The Next BIG Step for Social Media

I always said that we are in the Incunabula Phase for Social Media and Social Networking. This is one of the newest – and I think brightest – creations I’ve seen in awhile.

It’s a veritable mashup of streaming video and Social Media that interacts with the user and connects users into a community that surrounds the streaming video that is attached to a blog that hooks you up with your Facebook Friends who tell you what to look at and what they think … whew!

Somewhat like the PowerWeb™ we saw last week from KnowledgeStar only more … entertaining.

It’s a wonderful idea and shows off the possibilities when Social Media and Social Networking are viewed as a whole instead of focusing on the pieces. And that my friends is the next step …

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What’s Behind Mustafa’s Towel???

I apologize for neglecting this blog for several months. If you go to Social Medias and Social Networking conferences you probably heard me speak or be on a panel or conduct a breakout session.

He’s back ….

And if you needed any proof that Social Media and Social Networking is important to marketing and learning, here’s a piece you do not want to miss. It was written for Fast Company as part of their brilliant Influence Project and starts like this …

“One of the modern Holy Grails of advertising is to translate a successful TV campaign into a monster viral Internet phenom. Working with their client Procter and Gamble, the advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy opened the ark with its online work for Old Spice. The campaign is simple: The manly star from the TV spots responds to queries on Twitter via humorous 30-second YouTube videos that are being watched and re-tweeted with abandon. I spoke to Wieden’s global interactive creative director Iain Tait about how they choose which tweets actor Isaiah Mustafa replies to, why they are using YouTube, and what it’s like to produce nearly 100 spots a day.”

You should read the rest here

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The Power of the Retweet

An unprecedented analysis reveals that the micro-blogging service is remarkably effective at spreading “important” information.
By Christopher Mims

It’s basically impossible for a journalist who relies on Twitter to find stories, stalk editors, rack up “whuffie” and beef with rap stars to be objective about the service.

Fortunately, I don’t have to be, because four researchers from the Department of Computer Science at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have performed a multi-part analysis of Twitter. They conclude that it’s a surprisingly interconnected network and an effective way to filter quality information.

In a move unprecedented in the history of academic research on Demi Moore’s chosen medium for feuding with Kim Kardashian, Kwak et al. built an array of 20 PCs to slurp down the entire contents of Twitter over the course of a month. If you were on Twitter in July 2009, you participated in their experiment.

This “retweet tree analysis” shows instances of retweeting. When a message is retweeted just a few times it reaches a huge number of users. Credit: Kwak et al.

Four Degrees of Separation

The ideas behind Stanley Milgram’s original “six degrees of separation” experiment, which suggested that any two people on earth could be connected by at most six hops from one acquaintance to the next, have been widely applied to online social networks.

On the MSN messenger network of 180 million users, for example, the median degree of separation is 6. On Twitter, Kwak et al. hypothesized that because only 22.1% of links are reciprocal (that is, I follow you, and you follow me as well) the number of degrees separating users would be longer. In fact, the average path length on Twitter is 4.12.

What’s more, because 94% of the users on Twitter are fewer than five degrees of separation from one another, it’s likely that the distance between any random Joe or Jane and say, Bill Gates, is even shorter on Twitter than in real life.

Information as Outbreak

“…No matter how many followers a user has, the tweet is likely to reach [an audience of a certain size] once the user’s tweet starts spreading via retweets,” says Kwak et al. “That is, the mechanism of retweet has given every user the power to spread information broadly […] Individual users have the power to dictate which information is important and should spread by the form of retweet […] In a way we are witnessing the emergence of collective intelligence.”

If this reminds of you early 90’s hyperbole about the then-new world wide web, it should! Back then the web was a raucous, disorganized, largely volunteer-led effort full of surprisingly informative Geocities pages and equally uninformative corporate websites.

These days we have to contend with the creeping power of what can only notionally be defined as media “content”–produced purely to appear at the top of search results. But it appears that the (so far) still entirely human-filtered paradise of Twitter may come to the rescue. Owing to the short path length between any two users, news travels fast in the tweet-o-sphere.

Earlier work suggested that the best way to get noticed on Twitter was to tweet at certain times of day, and Kwak et al.’s paper sheds some light on why this is the case: “Half of retweeting occurs within an hour, and 75% under a day.” And it’s those initial re-tweets that make all the difference: “What is interesting is from the second hop and on is that the retweets two hops or more away from the source are much more responsive and basically occur back to back up to 5 hops away.”

There Are a Lot of Lonely People on Twitter

Clashing with the service’s interconnectivity, Kwak et al.’s analysis also suggests that there are a lot of lonely people on Twitter, and not just the ones who are tweeting angry political screeds at 8 pm on a Saturday night. “67.6% of users are not followed by any of their followings in Twitter,” they report. “We conjecture that for these users Twitter is rather a source of information than a social networking site.”

Another possibility, left unexplored by Kwak and his colleagues, is simply that on Twitter, like real life, some people are much more popular than others.

Aside from its monkey + keyboard simplicity, the fact that links on Twitter do not have to be reciprocal may be its ultimate genius. To that end, I urge all of you to follow Technology Review on Twitter. I must warn you that, as an enormously influential inanimate object, it has no empathy or conscience, so don’t take it personally when it doesn’t follow you back.

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Pulling Your Foot Out of Your Social Media Chocolate

This is a lesson learned the hard way by Nestle, a big Facebook fan. It’s instructive for any corporation who wants to play with Social Media … it can be like playing with fire if you’re not really careful …

Last week, Nestle got itself into a bit of a situation on its Facebook page. Following accusations by Greenpeace that the confectionery company was using palm oil sourced from deforested areas in Indonesia, the company’s Facebook page was overrun by disgruntled campaigners urging a boycott of its products, and the firm was forced to put out a statement on its corporate Web site.

Nestle had, at first, been trying to firefight the situation on its Facebook page, without much success. Caustic responses to the angry brigade, and attempts to delete unwanted comments merely fanned the flamewar, and the company ended up by posting the comment, “Social media: as you can see, we’re learning as we go. Thanks for the comments.”

We’ve already seen how the big guys are using blogs to fight back against their critics, but Nestle’s attempt to manage its social media sites is an epic example of misunderstanding the medium. The company uses Twitter extensively–its CSV (Creating Shared Value) account, unsurprisingly, has more followers than any of its corporate accounts–and has over 200,000 fans on its Facebook page, an increase of 125,000 over the weekend. Bet on most of the newbies not actually being “fans.”

Jeremiah Owyang has been following the crisis and has come up with some useful guidelines for large companies who are getting into social media.Here are two of the most important.

  1. Use an experienced community manager rather than an intern to manage your social media.
  2. Create a community strategy. Have an established plan for those times when your site is overrun by brand-jackers, and practice it regularly.

I might add one more to the list. There is no point in deleting every negative comment received on your social media pages, as your brand will just end up looking like you handed over management of it to “this guy”.

Just remember, control and management

are not the same thing.

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New Medicine = Social Medicine

From Our Friends @ Fast Company

The Great Idea Lost and Found Department:

Forecasts and projections are mainly useful for gaining insights into the belief system of the prognosticator. So okay no surprises here,  I’m a big believer in the power of social media for good.

Since healthcare is in the air right now, I thought it would be useful to pass along some of the down-in-the-weeds details that nobody has yet focused upon and everyone for the most part is not talking about.

They are the “how-to” bring the healthcare reforms into your everyday life. Where the healthcare money meets the future and those Billions of dollars will in fact be saved.

The Luddites who have focused on throwing Tea Parties and fretting over imaginary Death Panels are clueless (or worse). The less change for them the better. They still pay doctors with chickens and peach cobblers in the most remote and unchanging parts of their self proscribed battle zones.

Truth be told, they wouldn’t even be able to define social media let alone turn on the Presidents smartphone.

But part of his Great Healthcare Reform vision is social media, since that’s basic to his understanding of the future. It’s here to stay. It’s in his DNA. It will employed in new and amazing ways – ways that save time and money. He knows it and so should you. Unless you’re into Tea or jamming a Republican monkey wrench into the works.

The use of social media to improve healthcare AND lower costs is the future. And it will happen. Perhaps not exactly as it is detailed in this whitepaper. That’s one of the problems with determining future scenarios – the devil is all ways in the details.

But the general brush strokes are on the canvas. There’s no other way this can go. If the reforms that have just been enacted take place, the only way they can take place is outlined in this whitepaper.

So download and look into the looking glass … some of you are already halfway there! Most of you will need to get with the program … or healthcare app as the case may be …

PS Vastly improving the wireless bandwidth accessibility and speed in the country, from New York to Google, Kansas to Silicon Valley, suddenly starts to make sense with regard to healthcare reform.  There’s a BIG plan here for the future if you know where to look!


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This is so RIGHT … gotta read today!

From our friends over at SmartBrief

Social Media is the Next Search

We’re not in the habit of introducing articles and stories using a bold red typeface, but if you find a magic lantern you owe it to the Genie to rub it … This story, as ‘they’ say on the streets is da bomb.

If you read nothing else today, this will give you a clue to a new direction that is so BIG we’re just impressed beyond words. So we’ll shut up and let you link to and upload the report.

Use it to learn how to make social networks a larger source of traffic for your site than SEO or SEM.You know those magical and mysterious Google and other search engine “optimizers” that we never have understood yet paid people a lot of money to make happen (or not). SEO? SEM? Forget about it! Just click on the link, download and learn Grasshopper …

Social Media is the Next Search

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Stick Me Up Please!

Okay … when I come across a GREAT piece of work that  can share, I do since that’s what a social media blog does …

The Chief Marketing Officer’s (CMO) guide to the social landscape, created for by client 97th Floor, takes all the major current social media sites in the US and analyzes their capabilities in four sectors:

  • customer communication
  • brand exposure
  • driving traffic to your site
  • SEO.

(For the full-sized version, click HERE )

It will tell you at a glance what and where to go depending upon the outcome for which you are looking.

btw If you don’t print out the chart and place it on your wall or somewhere near you desk then shame on you … It’s a real example of a graph being worth ten thousand words.

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