Tag Archives: social media

How I wasted two years on Twitter, all because I wasn’t tracking

Between 2007 and 2009 I spent a ton of time in Twitter before it finally hit me that 1) the net improvement to my life was zilch, and 2) had I thought of it going in as an experiment, I would have quit a long time ago and freed up energy for more effective efforts. Of course social media tools can provide plenty of value, but, as Alex said, Social media is an addictive time suck.

How do we go about measuring the value of Twitter? Business calls it ROI, but I think of it as simply what you hope to get out of it. The key is deciding why you’re using it. In my case I was dabbling, which is a fine motivation, as long as it’s done experimentally. After all, how many discoveries came from just getting curious and trying out something new? But here I should have set a time limit, and I’d still want to have something quantified, even it it’s as soft as “perceived value.”

But for more specific uses, coming up with measures is important. Are you trying to get more customers? Do you want to hear from people who can give you ideas for your product or book? Or maybe it’s more of a social pulse use – keeping in touch. Some metrics are straightforward, such as # inquiries about your business, or number of tweets from others that made you smile. However, I think a major challenge is latency – the time delay between action on your part and resulting effects seen in your life. For example, it might be months before you hear from someone who’s been silently reading your tweets. Maybe in those cases we could make the measure more direct by asking them explicitly what the impact is. I’m not sure.

While I didn’t treat using Twitter as an experiment per se, I managed a few times to use Twitter itself as a platform for experimentation. Continue reading

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NodeXL maps of tweets about Quantified Self

This is a guest post from Marc Smith, an expert on analyzing social media networks. Thanks Marc!

I am very interested in the Quantified Self conference to be held in Mountain View, California, May 28 and 29.  While I have attended just a few of the in-person meet-ups, which were engaging and intriguing events, I have followed the blog and tweet stream closely.  These events feature short presentations about practices, prototypes, and products that record information about our own behavior and activity.  It is great to hear that, as the meet-ups grew to become very large, a conference has been scheduled to accommodate the demand and growing interest in the intersection of sensors and other devices with medical and personal self-monitoring.  I plan to attend.  Using a variety of devices, our lives can now create detailed inscriptions that illuminate our behavior and patterns with novel clarity and detail.  (See: http://quantifiedself.com/conference/)

Quantifying the “Quantified Self” discussion in Twitter: Here is a map of the connections among the people who recently tweeted the string “quantified self“.

20110120-NodeXL-Twitter-Quantified Self Graph Highlighted Most Between User with tooltip

This is the list of the most “between” users in this network:
20110120-NodeXL-Twitter-Quantified Self Graph Top Between List

The most between participants in this graph are: @quantifiedself, @egadenne, @harscoat, @genomera, @neufit, @jxa, @agaricus, @emergentorder, @bulletproofexec, @2healthguru.

The topics discussed in the quantifiedself tweet stream can be rendered as a network graph based on words that co-occur:
20110120-NodeXL-Twitter-Quantified Self High Between Keyword Co-occurance Network Graph

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7 Secrets to Maximize Social Media with Minimal Time

Social media is an addictive time suck. We know that, but we still spend almost a quarter of our time on social networking sites. Can this be optimized? Can we get most of the benefits of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn without such a time cost?
People have increasingly been asking me these questions, so I decided to put together a list of my top secrets to social media savvy.
If you have a message to spread about your project and you want to reach a big audience without twittering yourself into a stupor, this list is for you. #7 is the most important one, so make sure to read all the way to the end.

Continue reading

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