Mark Higginson

How people's attention flows on the web

The web is a social artifact.
Here is a selected collection of related items:


25 March 2011

Pepsi Refresh was an online social media initiative in which Pepsi gave out 20 million dollars. They also spent many millions more in support of this initiative. The results are now in. It has been a disaster.

Social Media’s Massive Failure

The social media boosters in the marketing industry have been in complete denial that no-one actually wants ‘a conversation’ with a brand. I also enjoyed the skewering of the tenets of The Cluetrian Manifesto in the post. Championed by many of these same marketers there is little compelling evidence of their self-aggrandising notions.

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24 March 2011

If you just take a pile of data that shares one common element (the thing you are interested in), you will likely find some other common elements purely by chance. Until you prove otherwise, these are associations, not necessarily correlations.

Social Media Data Dredging

Well worth reading the full post. It highlights the reason I’m cautious about the general body of ‘research’ that comprises conjecture about what people are up to on the web. These facts are very much of the “and if you laid them all end-to-end they would stretch from here to the moon” type of analysis, hence not useful for formulating genuinely useful strategy.

The author rightly emphasises that ‘best practice’ is what is best for you. Unfortunately this tends to be time-consuming to discover and is based on what you can see and understand through the microscope of your own analytics and not what you might surmise from general observations.

Research is key, understanding the limits of this research is even more important and extensively testing your hypotheses is more important still.

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21 March 2011

Netflix has confirmed that they intend to pay for House of Cards a new show being produced by David Fincher (yes, he of Fight Club, The Social Network, etc) and starring Kevin Spacey (yes, he of The Usual Suspects, American Beauty, etc).

Netflix Original Content Is Much More Than A Strategy Shift — It Could Shift An Industry

There are so many series this would work for, e.g. AMC’s The Walking Dead would have translated to being delivered this way no problem, the forthcoming Game of Thrones from HBO would work too.

Netflix is well-known; people are becoming more familiar with the web as a primary distribution channel for video content, such as the BBC’s iPlayer. So much of TV is just filling space but the stuff that is good is the stuff that really gets talked about. Must see TV is still a must see.

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20 March 2011

Startups in Silicon Valley are like old generals. They don’t die anymore, buoyed on life-rafts of lingering venture capital and modest revenues. It’s pretty clear that Digg is on that path.

RIP Digg

Ignoring the self-aggrandising of the author, this is worth marking as the lessons we learn from the start-ups that fade away are valuable. Points to consider are why reddit is beating Digg and how both compare to similar sites like MetaFilter and the recently deceased

Does anyone remember Pownce?

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