Archive for March, 2009

Response #9 – Wikipedia (Part Dos)

Posted in Social Media Course with tags , , on March 31, 2009 by Dave T

(Sigh).  As I mentioned in my last Wikipedia post, the website is an interesting addition to the Internet.  As I’ve attempted to navigate throughout the website and add my own edits, I’ve come to realize that there really is a “team of natzi’s” as I refer to them, scouring every edit every minute of the day.  I tried – unsuccessfully – to add edits to the  Toyota Venza page, the all-new vehicle introduced by Toyota in late 2008.   

When I started out, I was fairly certain that I had a clear understanding of the website’s “rules and regulations,” of Wikipedia, including NPOV and such.  Apparently not.  I attempted to make two different edits, to no avail.  I was quite simply stating the facts of the new Venza, including statistics easily referenced from the Toyota website. 

I can NOT emphasize this enough. There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of random speculative ‘I heard it somewhere’ pseudo information is to be tagged with a ‘needs a cite’ tag. Wrong. It should be removed, aggressively, unless it can be sourced. This is true of all information, but it is particularly true of negative information about living persons.

Jimmy Wales

As Jimmy stated, all unsubstantiated information shall be aggressively removed from the website.  That’s an understatement.  I found it very frustrating to edit any information on Wikipedia – even when conforming to the website’s rules.   Apparently Wikipedia’s webmasters took it personally when the validity of Wikipedia came into question. 

But, given my experience currently with Wikipedia, I assume the validity of the information set forth in Wikipedia is accurate.  Afterall, when they deny factual information that has accurate citations, it must be truthful.  I truly think that quickly perusing Wikipedia for a general idea of topic or person would prove useful, but for in-depth reserach?  I plan on doing it myself! 

But I’m not bitter… 🙂 




Response #8 – Post

Posted in Social Media Course with tags , , , on March 24, 2009 by Dave T

mmm…Delicious.  I’ve always loved the name of that website…and now love it for more than its name since I actually began using it and realizing all of its capabilities!  This week, I will be commenting on one of the class articles posted, “Marketers Moving to Social Media.”

This article is very indicative of the times we’re in – not only technologically, but also economically.  If the new generational obsession with social media wasn’t enough, companies across the globe are scrutinizing every facet of their marketing budgets trying to cut any discretionary expenses due to plummeting revenue.  The combination of economy/consumer shift seems to be the catalyst for most companies’ trend toward social media. 

According to the Aberdeen Group, 21% of Best-in-Class companies plan on increasing their social media spending 25% or more in 2009, and at the low end – 26% of companies plan on increasing their social media spending by 1- 10%.  According to the article, 2008 social media spending was $2B (up 46% from prior year), and 2009 is estimated to be $2.35B, capping out at $3.5B in 2013- a whopping 43% increase over a 5-year period. 

However, the marketing ambiguity still exists.  One of the largest obstacles in marketing is measuring a campaign’s effectiveness, or Return on Investment (ROI).  The social media funnel does not erase that obstacle, but it does offer much more customer information to the company – i.e. names/pages of Twitter or Facebook followers, for example.  In the instance of Twitter, a company can use its search function to find all of the “tweets” on their firm, and enable them to see what’s being said about the company – an advantage mainstream marketing does not offer.  In my opinion with social media, it’s much easier for a company to measure its brand health than with typical marketing, by engaging customers in dialogue. 

If you search the class Delicious page, you will see that the term “marketing” has 20 tags – not far from social networking’s 25.  There is a huge correlation between the two, and also social media.  Social Media has become integrated in a large portion of the population’s life (as the above video suggests), and companies are beginning to realize this – or, maybe they’re still trying to trim those marketing budgets….

Response #7 – Wikipedia

Posted in Social Media Course with tags , , on March 24, 2009 by Dave T


The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, plainly stated the concept of an encyclopdia is that it should be radical…let’s just stop and think…do you consider reading Encyclopedia Britannica radical?  I think not…

Enter Wikipedia.  In layman terms, wikipedia is a freely-licensed encyclopedia, using wiki software to give anyone the ability to edit its text.  All edits and posts are managed by a volunteer staff who monitors very closely.  Wikipedia is owned by Wikimedia foundation (owned by Wales) whose mission is to get free encyclopedia’s to all – thus combating poverty worldwide, giving people empowerment commercially and non-commercially.  Wikipedia has about 600k articles in English, and over 2M total articles.  The other popular languages include German, Japanese, and French.  An interesting note – only 1/3 of all traffic goes to the English version.  The website is global in popularity, ranking in the Top 50 –  above the New York Times.

When I first encountered Wikipedia, I thought – “wow…this doesn’t sound like a reliable source.”  But, there is literally a team of of workers constantly editing new posts by users.  In favor of Wikipedia, just read Nature’s assertion that Wikipedia is just as reliable at Britannica.  

The service and its community are built around a self-policing and self-cleaning nature that is supposed to ensure its articles are accurate.   – Jimmy Wales

One, like Jimmy Wales, could argue that the vast majority of users on Wikipedia is vested in the information posted on the site.  Users, as well as the team of editors, constantly ensure Wikipedia information’s accuracy.  

However, as with any new concept, there are growing pains – such as the article about journalist John Seigenthaler.  The post was on Wikipedia for some time, until Seigenthaler himself edited the text.  But, that’s the beauty of the resource – than anyone can edit its text.  You take that ability away – and you inherently have something called Britannica again.  Possibly some new avenues to ensure accuracy?  Possibly.  How about the “Team” review every post – if that’s possible?  But, they cannot take away the foundation that made Wikipedia successful – that is the authority of the entire population to post.  Just think of the creative juices that would be removed if that were to happen? 

I love using Wikipedia, as do so many others…and I believe its founders recognize that fact.  We don’t want to see a Britannica 2.0.

Response #6 – “Second Life”

Posted in Social Media Course on March 3, 2009 by Dave T
Christian Catronis

Christian Catronis

I just have to say…WTF…to the picture above.

This week, I had the pleasure of playing with Second Life.  My avatar is Christian Catronis.  I have to say, I’ve always secretly wanted my birth name to be Christian, so I was ecstatic to find the name as one of the options for the virtual ‘game.’  But, that could be a separate blog post in itself.

Onto ‘Second Life.’  After 2 hours of playing with it – from figuring out how to navigate the game, to learning how to move and position my character, to changing Christian’s nose, chin, clothing and skin color, I’m still at a loss for the point of the game.  According to the BusinessWeek article, virtual gaming is quite the craze now.  It allows users to escape their normal lives and companies to utilize social networking to reach their consumers. 

Before I render overall judgment on the game in its entirety, I plan on spending more time with it to try and realize its full capabilities.   I have yet to create animations or establish stock exchanges within the game – like those in the BusinessWeek article, but I feel like I’ve made a few strides as I’ve gotten the physical appearance that I want 🙂

But, there’s something much bigger going on inside the Second Life.  Users spend hours and hours creating, designing, coining and developing different facets of the game – for free.  Although, the residents retain full ownership of their creations, it adds different elements to the game.  So, while I may not fully understand (yet) the game, or may not be amused with the game, it’s much more powerful than one’s first impression. 

“It’s becoming apparent that virtual worlds, most of all this one, tap into something more powerful:  the talent and hard work of everyone inside”  – My Virtual Life”, BusinessWeek

This is a big industry, and I believe this will become even bigger in the years to come with the explosion of social networking.  This is just yet another tool along the Long Tail for the population to use for their never-ending pursuit of self-expression.  I can’t wait to continue exploring how this allows businesses to flourish.

Until then, I will continue using my much-easier virtual Wii game.