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Old 30th October 2010, 10:12   #1
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Default My Personal Experiences with Social Media

It is monday morning 5:45 AM, i had completed the security check at BIAL. I was on my way to mumbai on a biz trip. My flight was at 7 AM.

Generally I prefer to reach airport early and spend the remaining time in the lounge observing people, checking out gadgets and books, reading the news paper while having a cup of coffee etc. Today was no diferent.

One book drew my attention with its very attractive cover page. Attention got converted to interest when i checked the backside cover page which carried some quotable quotes from few socalled reputed people or subject matter experts. Interest got converted to desire to own when i quickly glanced through 84 pages of the book. I made the purchase (in my mind) when i saw the price of RS 99/-

after 5 minutes i was the owner of this book
My Personal Experiences with Social Media-dentsu-social-media-handbook.jpg

The book is an easy read, brought back my memories of last 2+ years with the Social Media.
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I am not a very savvy social media guy. i started on the so-called social media some time in 2007 after i moved to the IT city of India. I moved into the world of social media more or less same time when Bangalore became Bengaluru.

While reading the book over the week during the breaks or while on flights, i could recall several memories of "social networking" over last 2-3 years.

This thread is to record some of those memories. This will take sometime to recollect and write the memories of last 2-3 years. I intend to write these over the next 2-3 long weekends with the Festival of Lights, Deepavali in between.

My family joins me in wishing all the readers a very Happy Deepavali. May the festival of lights bring in the health, wealth, peace, prosperity and progress in our and your lives.

My Personal Experiences with Social Media-rangoli.jpg
My Personal Experiences with Social Media-lamps.jpg
My Personal Experiences with Social Media-kandeels.jpg
My Personal Experiences with Social Media-come-home-diwali.jpg
My Personal Experiences with Social Media-come-home-deepavali.jpg

Stay tuned for more.. My Personal Experiences with Social Media.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 30th October 2010 at 10:23.
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Old 30th October 2010, 12:34   #2
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@star,

nice subject, waiting for more.

ye deepawali ke season me '' Thanda matalab coca-cola'' kaha se aa gaya?
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Old 30th October 2010, 22:20   #3
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The title of the thread could be a bit misleading. From the title, one could conclude that i might have tons of experiences with Social Media or Social Networking, which is not a right conclusion.

Unlike the Father of our Nation, who wrote about his experiments with truth & non-violence and still remembered for it as a role model, my experiences with Social Networking / Media are very limited.

I would at most say that this could be similar to the Initial Test Drive and Review section of this forum, My experience with Social Networking is just 2+ years old.

To be a bit more precise...

1. I am not a regular 24x7 social networking junkie, i am not even a 8 hours x 7 days a week guy who keeps logged on to his favourite social networking sites while he is at work.

2. I am not anywhere near being a "moderator" or "admin" or "subject matter expert" at any of these socalled social networking sites.

3. I do not even have a account at these social networking sites viz. Facebook, Tweeter, Youtube etc.

4. I am not a compulsive blogger, i do not have any own blogging website.

5. I am not a member of any special interest groups viz. photography, telecom, gadgets etc. the only forum i frequent is Team-BHP.com of which i am a member since last 25 months.

so one may ask, what i will write about "my experiences blah..blah"

What i am going to write about is

1. how did I learn about Social Networking, how i started, from where etc
2. some own understanding of how this social media world works.
3. some own perceptions about the advantages / dis-advantages of social media/networking.
4. Some of my thoughts about "persona on line" and do's and don'ts for myself or anyone like me who is a late starter in this virtual world.
5. Some thoughts on how much SOCIAL is social networking / media is in real world.
6. How i (could) have been benefitted as a Marketeer from this social media
7. How I (could) have been benefitted as a common man from this social media
8. Self appraisal about "how successful and responsible i am as a social networker ?"
9. Some thoughts on what could be the role of social networking in my future life / career / work
10. what i think as a roadmap for me in this virtual world.

there could be more..

@Ashish bhau, the picture is taken last weekend at the Mantri Mall, Malleshwaram, Bangalore. i could not edit the Coke bottle / name from the picture. i had liked the structure of home there and the message. I do not endorse Coke or for that matter any other brand. Some of these brands are omnipresent, hence i can not avoid them.

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Old 31st October 2010, 10:13   #4
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I think the members of this forum or the guest readers need not be told what the social media or social networking means. The fact that you are reading this log, itself is an indication that you are a Social Media Consumer.

Still just to round it off, i will mention the book..

My Personal Experiences with Social Media-social-media-definition.jpg

Quote:
Social Media provide a hangout for people where they informally and anonymously, if they so wish, share everything about their lives.

They talk about their tastes and preferences for various products, they rave, they rant, they divulge private information (which could be used to understand the consumer behaviour by a keen marketeer), they seek audience, they are the actors, they build their personal homepage, they market themselves, they direct movies, they become age experts...the list is endless.

Social Media provide a base for businesses to pick up on-line conversations and turn them into leads
The place we hangout www.team-bhp.com is also a very popular social media among the automobile community in India. We all love the conversations here, we have converted some of our on-line friendships into the real ones, we share information about our car purchases, our travels, our gadgets, our problems..list is endless

I would like to thank the founders of this forum for their vision to have such a community several years ago

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Old 31st October 2010, 19:39   #5
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Before i jump into the world of Social Media, i would like to write about how i landed in the world of computers and internet. I evolved into the computers just like any other human if one takes into reference the two cartoons (again proudly found on the internet) shown below.

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I believe that, currently i am somewhere in between this evolution chain.

First time i heard about computers was while i was in 10th standard, during the later part of the 80s. But my first hands on exposure to PC came when i moved to Pune after my 10th standard. I still think, my parents moving to Pune was one of the best things to happen to us as it paved way for our (mine & that ofmy brother) education there, both of us becoming qualified engineers with some reasonably good honours.

I still remember, in my engineering college, the access to PC labs was restricted only one hour per week, the courses like PC orientation, basic, cobol, fortran etc were being considered very advanced. In second year engineering we had some good time in the PC labs to practice writing the C language programs. The next exposure of PCs was only during the final year, where during the projects we used some assemblers, compilers, debuggers etc to make our project work.

I still fondly remember, we going to CDAC pune to just see the super computers. In those days, knowing someone at CDAC was considered to be "being connected at high places". First time we had spent the entire day at the University campus to have a glimpse of the super computer for 5 minutes. Such was the craze.

Still the computers were no where part of our life till 1995, after my one year of working, i bought an assembled PC (assembled by my friend and junior at college staying in my neighbourhood) for RS 41000/- It was the first Pentium I PC with colour CRT monitor in my circle of friends, and my mother for next 6 months spent lot many weekends (tuesday was off day at work) cooking for my friends, colleagues who came home to experience the PC.

At work place, there used to be one PC (to be operated by the secretory of the GM) and one PC for us 15 engineers (used to be hogged mostly by the seniors). Till 1998, i had not experienced the internet, e-mails, mobile phones etc despite they being available at premium prices.

I first time experienced internet and e-mailing when i moved to Mumbai end of 1998 due to my job change. But we had to use a common e-mail ID and that was supposed to be used only for communicating with customers or our foreign colleagues. I bought my first mobile phone in 2000 (Nokia, who else, 3310 bought for RS6000) from the gray market (official ones costed RS 9000+). I got my official e-mail ID in year 2001 when i got promoted as assistant manager. In those days official e-mail IDs were suppose to be given only to the certain level of hierarchy and above.

My personal computer remained at Pune (being used by brother), with me busy with my career, marriage, home set-up, child birth, home re-locations and work in Mumbai, buying a new PC remained a dream. I first enrolled for my personal e-mail (with then famous YAHOO) in 2004, when i was given a laptop at work. So at last had an ID on the internet. With internet connection being available only at offices, the use of internet was very limited in personal life except for some e-mails that too with some friends, relatives etc.

With the busy career and being located in Mumbai, i had no time for anything else till 2006. I moved to Bangalore in 2006 while family remained in Mumbai. At that time i had moved into my own home in Navi Mumbai, had got an internet connection + personal laptop for home use. With my 20+ days of travel per month, keeping in touch with family was only through e-mails and mobile phone calls.

Some time in feb 2007, one of my 25 year young colleague who was sharing my service appartment in Bangalore used to chat with his friends in Mumbai via "ORKUT", i found it very interesting and asked him how this ORKUT works.

"Scraping is fun" said my colleague. He used to chat with his sister back home everyday evening to brief how he is doing in Bangalore. It was a regular 2 hours in the night (after dinner) for him to engage in "scraping" with his friends, family, business associates etc. After an hour long discussion + demo, i found it a great way to keep in touch with your friends and family. Next was to ask my wife whether she knows about this ORKUT, She had no clue about it.

My colleague helped me with the ORKUT registration as it required some one to invite me to join. So eventually on 25th feb 2007, i became a member of ORKUT. I am at last on the world of Social Media or Social Networking.

I was re-born in the virtual (on-line) world on 25th feb 2007 almost 35 years after i was born in the real world.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 31st October 2010 at 19:51.
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Old 1st November 2010, 10:21   #6
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Several years ago, i had read a novel by Jeffrey Archer. The Fourth Estate depicts a story of two people who wants to control "what people should read ?" i.e. the news paper market in England.

I take help of wikipedia to share the essence of The Fourth Estate

Quote:
The concept of the fourth estate that the press (=print media) acting as a watchdog on other powerful institutions or "estates", being the Lords Spiritual (of the Church of England), the Lords Temporal, and the commons. The fourth estate is charged with keeping an honest watch on activities of the other states and itself. These duties would help democratic societies function properly, openly, and honestly. Debate still flourishes as to whether or not this ever operated (or operates) as it was intended.
Now i feel the number of estates have increased, with Radio/Television and Internet redefining how we consume the information. With Print media there was zero or near zero interactivity between the common man and the media. With Radio/Television, the quality experience increased with Audio/visual and live broadcasts, the news became faster, still with very limited interactivity. More over these mediums were still controlled by the press and the broadcasters.

With Internet (or social) media, one great value addition was done, the consumers were put in the controlling position. It is the consumers who generate, contribute, share, discuss, debate, slam, build consensus etc etc on the social media. The medium is highly interactive and extreemly fast.

Below table highlights the difference between different media we consume today.

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With information age, the speed with which we consume information, entertainment and services will increase many folds. Social media is at the heart of this information age.

The Fourth Estate is a story where the lead actors wanted to control what general people read, it is an immense power when rightly (or mis) used can change the way we live our lives. In the traditional media, the number of people with such ambitions were few. In Social media, every participant (or consumer) can use or mis-use the medium.

Imagine a world, where the citizens control what citizens read or how they act or how they live. It will be a truely democratic society. Being democratic also means loosing speed of decision making due to not having enough consensus due to diverse interests of the stakeholders.

More about this aspect later in the thread.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 1st November 2010 at 10:28.
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Old 1st November 2010, 12:34   #7
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Default My experience being a member on ORKUT

Immediately after becoming a member on ORKUT, several of my younger colleagues who were already members flooded me with invites, soon my connection list had most of the people whom i already knew, was interacting on a day today basis in the real world. In other words, i just replicated my real world connections onto the virtual world.

My probelm of being able to chat with my wife and daughter got solved when my wife also became a member, This was of immense help when i was travelling abroad (where phone calls were expensive). We would both log in at a pre-agreed time, scrap each other, delete the scraps at the end and log off. Deleting personal exchange was necessary as we did not want the world to know what we were chatting. I remember at a later date, ORKUT improved thier scrapping client to ensure that we only see our own scraps and not that of others.

Still, this form of communication did not communicate the emotions, but just words. I could not use Skype as it was not legal to use (in India) and my enterprise IT team advised me not to use it on official laptop.

Initially i was very skeptical about posting the pictures onto ORKUT. But eventually my colleague (who invited me onto ORKUT), convinced me that i should upload a picture of mine (= similar to Avtar on Team BHP). Soon i was flooded with more scraps, invitations for connections etc as people could place a face to the name. Soon i found some long lost friends and relatives on the ORKUT and we got in touch again.

My association with ORKUT went into hibernation when my family moved to Bangalore during April 2008. I am no longer an active user on ORKUT. Occationally some people who leave scraps make me log on and respond. Still my network of friends remain, record of my last conversation with them remains. I can anytime get in touch with them again (or vice versa).

But, with the primary reason (for being on ORKUT) for me being no longer relevant, the presense on ORKUT remains in hibernation as of now.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 1st November 2010 at 12:52.
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Old 1st November 2010, 22:11   #8
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Default Different types of Social Media

ORKUT is an example of Social Networks, which allows people to build personal webpages and then connect with friends to share content and communicate. ORKUT is said have more than 100 million active users, but very much behind its bigger cousin Facebook which has over 400 million active users across the world.

Among Social Networks, Linkedin and Myspace focus on special types of audience. Linked in targets to reach a skilled audience as it allows networking among professionals. Linkedin has over 53 million users. Myspace focuses on music services and is said to have 250 million members.

Other than Social networks, Blogs (=web logs), Wikis, Content communities (flicker, You tube), Microblogging (twitter), Podcasts, Forums/Groups (e.g. Team BHP) form popular categories of Social Media.

Need for people to use the Social Media
-------------------------------------------
For me, the driving factor to join ORKUT was my need to communicate with my family in a cost effective way. There are several other key factors that drive people to embrace the social media.

I will the use the book to quote some of these reasons

1. Emotional need/desire to be heard
2. Need to create and make change around us.
3. Quest for Authenticity

Apart from these 3 major driving forces, i also visualise following which attracts people to social media

1. To build one's network and influence
2. To promote oneself, one's business or one's work
3. To gether information about like minded people, skilled associates etc and use them in the field of work (e.g. to recruit etc).
4. To get the latest and most authentic information, content or utilities or solutions to the technical probelms from the special interest groups e.g. Automobile forums, photography forum etc.
5. Probably lower cost per eye ball or per second or per page of promotion content.

there could be more.

Becoming well known, famous, influencial is one of the main desires of the human being. Social media provides a low cost and interactive medium to the common man to enable him to give a shot towards being famous.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 1st November 2010 at 22:14.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 09:14   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Becoming well known, famous, influencial is one of the main desires of the human being. Social media provides a low cost and interactive medium to the common man to enable him to give a shot towards being famous.
Star, though I am away on my vacation, reading your views have become compulsive. This is yet another issue with social networking - you never tend to switch off from being in contact. How much is how much is always a question which bothers me.

And the above comment I agree 100%.

My association with Social networking sites is even younger than yours. I become a member of ORKUT, TBHP by end 2008. ORKUT is in dormant state now, the only good thing was I got my old school mates and friends back in touch. I was forced by many to be in FACEBOOK. So now I am a member from later half of 2009. I am getting invites from my colleagues, many TBHP friends etc.. on facebook. The question again to me is Do I know them enough to be connected, or is it just to make the number in your friends list bigger to show that you are someone very sociable?

Recently I had to switch off from FACEBOOK and TBHP for a while due to a lot of compulsions - official and personal. Several of my travelogues are lying incomplete. And I have realised one serious fact, my time in the virtual world socialising was a tad too much.

And the question again is How much is how much??


Star, a wonderful topic, and as always me and your fans back home are enjoying your comments.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 09:36   #10
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Nice article SVB. Keep it coming, I hope you'll address the negative side of social media too.

My social media participation started in 1993 with Usenet forums. Discussion quality (good/bad/ugly) was pretty much similar to most forums these days, except everything was text. We even had spammers, the greatest of them all was an Indian called Jai Maharaj. People started new forums just to discuss him.

Html based forums became available only 1995 onwards.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 14:03   #11
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Nice article SVB. Keep it coming, I hope you'll address the negative side of social media too.

My social media participation started in 1993 with Usenet forums. Discussion quality (good/bad/ugly) was pretty much similar to most forums these days, except everything was text. We even had spammers, the greatest of them all was an Indian called Jai Maharaj. People started new forums just to discuss him.

Html based forums became available only 1995 onwards.
Hi Samurai san,

it is interesting to know when all it was started. You seems to be an early adapter of social media. I think, you being in US might have exposed you early to these trends.

Yes i will also try to cover the negative aspects of social networking. but a bit later in the story line

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Star, though I am away on my vacation, reading your views have become compulsive. This is yet another issue with social networking - you never tend to switch off from being in contact. How much is how much is always a question which bothers me.
...
...
The question again to me is Do I know them enough to be connected, or is it just to make the number in your friends list bigger to show that you are someone very sociable?
...
...
And the question again is How much is how much??
Hi Lalu,

thanks for your generous comments. The questions you have in your mind are absolutely valid. probably when you read this reply, you would be back home from your trip.

Yesterday, i was trying to simulate the economic value (or cost) of our social media engagements.

This will give you some answers to how much is too much ?

My Personal Experiences with Social Media-cost-engaging-social-media-common-man.jpg

I have tried to put in place a calculation sheet which assumes certain income levels for different hierarchy of employees/people

Assumptions :

1. Income brackets as shown
2. as one grows senior, the amount of hours one need to put in increases
3. 2 hours per day engagement on social media
4. Nominal other costs of social media (i.e. internet, electricity, PC etc)

the bottom two lines show the cost of productivity for those 2 hours spent on the social media in pure financial terms.

The last line shows the loss to the person in relation with his income
one can easily conclude the loss in relative terms is high for juniors and low for senior level of employees.
For an high income entreprenuer, the cost of productvity is just 0.2% of his income and for a new employee it could be as high as 26% (ofcourse based on these assumptions).

I have not considered the advantages like relaxation, information, knowledge etc in these calculations. I have also not considered the distractions, loss of focus on career/life etc due to social media engagement.

One need to think, how much is too much for him/her and balances it against his/her economic Vs other priorities.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 2nd November 2010 at 14:13.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 21:27   #12
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Default Then came Linkedin !!

During end 2006, someone (i do not remember who) sent me an invite to join LinkedIn.

When i visited Linkedin i was very much facinated by the profile template being used. I also recognized the power of business networking Linkedin offered to a marketing guy like me. I immediately accepted the invite and set up my profile and started to build my business network.

Soon most of my already known colleagues (both Indian and foreign), customers, partners were in my network. My network membership swelled beyond 500 people and it became difficult to remember everyone.

Soon came the recession and i started receiving the recommendation requests and referrals for new job positions. I provided my true recommendations to most of the requests which also helped them to move on to the new roles.

I learnt the power of getting endorsements and soon, i too had several endorsments from my colleagues, customers, managers which helped me to build the credible profile and persona.

then came the flood of connection requests from unknown people, several of them claiming to be my friends or colleagues or being my customer/partners.

I had difficulty to recognize many of these people as i could not place the name or their profiles did not had any pictures or i had never dealt with the companies they worked for. I had to decline such requests as people had claimed wrongfully that they know me. I felt sorry for people whom i had to decline.

I also sent out several connection requests, the most important one being Michel Dell. I am not sure whether Mr. Dell himself operates his linked in account, Within couple of days i received a confirmation that Mr. Dell has accpeted me as a connection. In this process i learnt that writing an honest and truthful request will get entertained even by un-known people.

soon my connection list was beyond any recollection. Now it stands over 1000 connections. There are different people in my connection list

* CEO/CXOs of Customers/Partners
* My current, former colleagues, managers
* My customers, partners operational level people
* People whom i have interviewed over the years
* Recruiters who had approched me offering me some openings (ofcourse i have not moved from my current employer)
* a few people who have sent mentoring requests asking for help
* a few people who have sent employment requests (whom i have found to be promising and worth having in the network)
* couple of media guys who have interviewed me over the years
* couple people from the market research companies who have sought my inputs when needed
* some academic people (professors) asking me to conduct lectures in their B-School
* few MBA students asking for summer projects
* couple of friends, relatives
* couple of Team BHPians who know me, have met me and found me on linkedin.

I have been benefitted from several aspects of LinkedIn

1. Developing networks, even though people have left their employers they still remain in the network
2. Endorsements for my work from people in my network. Peer recognition is one of the best form of recogntion. Having it in public domain helps a lot.
3. I use the Inmail system of Linkedin a lot to send and receive short messges to the people in my network. Many times to make appointments etc. it is difficult to go through the secretaries for the appointment. it is easier to go through LinkedIn as CXOs themselves operate their accounts.
4. When i wanted to recruit, i sent our mass messages and i got several resumes/profiles
5. I could become members of several special interest groups on linkedin and participate/know the technical/business/market discussions.
6. I found several of my engineering class mates on Linkedin. now i have over 20 of my classmates in my network after 16 years of completing the engineering course.
7. There could be more...

I have also found some dis-advantages

1. permium services are not free, i am not sure about how secure is the payment mechanism is.
2. there is lot of spamming among the special interest groups
3. un-solicitated connection requests.
4. Sometimes un-solicitated job offers
5. possibility of the profile becoming overexposed as anyone (e.g recruiter) in my network can download my profile and send it to any of their clients without my knowledge. This could result in a perception that i am very actively looking for the job even though i am actually not.

but still with proper use, Linkedin is a good business networking tool.
I intend to continue using it.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 2nd November 2010 at 21:45.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 22:04   #13
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How do one understand how successful one is in becoming famous or influencial on social media ?

This was the question in my mind over last so many quarters.
Even though i could figure out some answers by myself, the book provided a some sort of answer.

Traffic : Visitors to your profile/blogs/website, page views, RSS subscriptions etc

Inbound links : contextual links from well ranked sites/blogs to your site/blog

Engagement : Time spent on site, Impressions or comments left by the visitors, number of youtube views,

Connections : Number of friends, followers, connections on-line

Endorsements/recommendations: Re-tweets, bookmarks, subscriptions, tagging/sharing of content, Ratings to the blogs, stories, logs.
Social mention you receive in other's blogs, profile etc

Positive word of mouth among your network of friends about your profile/log etc

Press (print, radio, TV) coverage of your blog, profile etc

Number of in-mails, scraps etc received

Above information combined or in isolation can give some guidance as to how successful one is on social media.
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Old 4th November 2010, 13:18   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
How do one understand how successful one is in becoming famous or influencial on social media ?

This was the question in my mind over last so many quarters.
Even though i could figure out some answers by myself, the book provided a some sort of answer.

Traffic : Visitors to your profile/blogs/website, page views, RSS subscriptions etc

Inbound links : contextual links from well ranked sites/blogs to your site/blog

Engagement : Time spent on site, Impressions or comments left by the visitors, number of youtube views,

Connections : Number of friends, followers, connections on-line

Endorsements/recommendations: Re-tweets, bookmarks, subscriptions, tagging/sharing of content, Ratings to the blogs, stories, logs.
Social mention you receive in other's blogs, profile etc

Positive word of mouth among your network of friends about your profile/log etc

Press (print, radio, TV) coverage of your blog, profile etc

Number of in-mails, scraps etc received

Above information combined or in isolation can give some guidance as to how successful one is on social media.
. I guess most of us would have faced similar situations in our life. Social Media have become a part of our lives and I think the lure is impossible to resist for a majority of the population
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