Category Archives: social media

DARPA red balloons and network incentives

darpa-red-balloon

In 2009 the U.S. Department of Defense’s research arm DARPA issued a seemingly impossible challenge: To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Internet, it would station 10 huge, red weather balloons at random, undisclosed locations around the United States and offer a $40,000 prize to first team of people to find them all. The challenge was daunting by traditional intelligence-gathering standards. A roaming team of 10,000 people might take a year to find all the red balloons. DARPA built the puzzle to see if modern social-media networks might solve what government spies could not, and also to generate ideas on how social networks might help during natural disasters when mass communications or even 911 systems might fail.

The winning MIT team found all the balloons in less than 9 hours. How?

In his remarkable book “Social Physics,” MIT professor Alex Pentland explains he used theories of how ideas flow through people to create action to solve the puzzle. A traditional marketer might have realized the $40k prize wasn’t enough to get millions of people looking, so would have spent $4 million in national advertising with the $40k prize as an offer. Others would have tried PR, or pleas for a common good, or hiring thousands of students to work for pennies. Or maybe hacked weather satellites.

Pentland instead came up with a brilliant team-building idea — where he motivated individuals to influence others to search, and not just to win a prize. He divided the $40,000 prize into 10 prizes of $4,000 for each found balloon … but further split each individual balloon prize into the referring networks of all who found it. The actual person who found a balloon would get $2,000. The person who invited him or her to play would get $1,000. The person who invited that person to search would get $500. And the person above them $250 … etc. The chain looked like this:

balloon search pattern

Why did people then suddenly participate on the MIT team? In post-contest interviews, MIT found people thought if they invited others, they were doing their friends a favor … similar to sharing a lottery ticket. In other words, they weren’t incentivized to win a prize, but instead, to build a bigger network of participants.

The moored balloons were set up at 10 a.m. on Dec. 5, 2009, randomly located across the 3.8 million square miles of the United States. More than 4,000 search teams had signed up. But within hours, Pentland’s MIT group had enlisted 5,000 core volunteers who shared the network incentives to an average of 400 friends each, creating a network of 2 million people who … found all the balloons in 8 hours, 52 minutes and 41 seconds.

The underlying strategy is networks of peers are extremely influential; so to move people, marketers must learn to move the network connections. (Consider: If you play golf, you may wear a golf jacket you purchased after seeing an ad. But the reason you play golf is that you grew up with a father or college buddies surrounding you with the idea that golf is a fun game. The network of peers around you is what inspired you at the core.)

Pentland suggests that if you find ways to motivate people to share ideas across network connections, and not just respond, you are more likely to make an impact.

 

 

 

Deconstructing the canned Pepsi Facebook feed

Social media promised a new ability for brands to engage with and build relationships with their customers. So why does Pepsi have such a simple Facebook feed?

If you “Like” Pepsi in Facebook, here’s what you get: A series of Pepsi cans in your Facebook feed. Cans. And more cans. Blue cans with the Pepsi logo, blue cans in front of walls, blue cans on blue cans sitting in the sand at the beach. Anyone savvy in marketing might wonder, Pepsi, can’t you do better than cans? Why aren’t you engaging with your Facebook customers?

We suggest there are three reasons Pepsi is spraying its Facebook fans with little more than images of its blue cans:

1. Engagement doesn’t work for everyone. Two decades ago, the one-to-one guru Don Peppers posited that engagement (he called it personalization) only made sense for companies whose customers had wide variances in terms of what they need from you and the financial value they provide to you. Book readers and movie renters have wide ranges in needs, so it makes sense that Amazon and Netflix became experts in personalizing recommendations. Personal investors have wide ranges in financial value, so of course financial advisors treat Jane different from Jim when they call. The more diverse the needs and values, the more critical engagement — and its corresponding personal feedback — is to persuade customers to do business with you.

But if all of a brand’s customers simply want the same commodity, it makes little sense to personalize communications or engage in meaningful two-way conversations. Gasoline, laundry detergent, kitchen ovens and sodas are all simple commodities. Customers of such products have little range in value, so treating me differently than you won’t really drive more sales. So Pepsi is doing the right thing — it’s ignoring the expense of engagement and simply spraying everyone with one simple message. We have pretty blue cans.

2. Frequency is important. U.S. consumers are exposed to thousands of advertising messages each day: more than 160 television spots, scores of web pages, and hundreds of social-media updates. The typical Facebook user makes 3.5 “Likes” or comments daily, and with the average user having 234 friends, he or she (Facebook Edgerank filters notwithstanding) could be exposed to 820 messages bouncing back to them daily. Brands must break through this clutter, and the best way to influence consumers is to focus on frequency — the idea that it takes 3 or 4 outbound messages per week for a brand to penetrate a consumer’s mind. By peppering you with blue Pepsi can images, Pepsi is building a frequency of advertising impressions that might influence you next time you’re shopping in the soda aisle.

3. Social media is not “social” most of the time — because if one-way communications are a worthy goal, the “social” is gone and all that is left is broadcast media. This sounds cold, but most of social media has turned into broadcast as users spray other users with their wit, links and thoughts much more than they engage in two-way conversations. If you don’t really listen to the 1,000 people you connect with on Twitter, what chance does a non-corporeal brand have to really engage with you?

Pepsi is doing the right thing by turning social media into a spray-and-pray advertising platform. That’s the hard logic of a world where there are more commodity brands who want to engage with you than you have attention to give back in return. Pepsi may seem annoying in your Facebook stream, but look again, people: All Pepsi is doing is making its soda pop.

AmEx encourages consumers to tweet for cash


Or coupons, anyway. American Express has launched a promotion encouraging its cardholders to “sync” their card with Twitter. Then, if you want to load coupon-type discounts onto your AmEx card from merchants, you simply have to tweet a #hashtagpromotionoftheday to your Twitter followers, and AmEx will automatically reward you with a discount on your card.

At first glance this may seem cool, until you consider the user experience. Say you and I are friends via Twitter and #heysave$10onMobilgas! we’re having a conversation online and #dontmiss10%offpantiesatVS our conversation seems somewhat #$1friesatMcDs! different perhaps. Better yet, as you scan the broader stream from all the people you follow on Twitter #paperonsaleatStaples! the overall ecosystem seems somehow #morefreefriesatBurgerKing changed.

From a marketing standpoint, this is brilliant, because it costs merchants almost nothing (discounts are a form of price framing in which prices can be jacked up and down for a perceptual benefit only) and could spur demand for both incremental sales and AmEx usage. French-fry sellers and American Express both get upticks.

But for social media users, an intrusion of paid, unexpected marketing messages could diminish their experience. MySpace went south after becoming too crassly commercial. Facebook grew to immense popularity by being careful not to overload users with advertising (Zuckerberg famously rejected banner advertising in his initial launch years, and eventually created a more subtle ad format off to the side). Now, Twitter is trying to catch up in advertising revenue with in-stream intrusions. The question is whether the blurring of the traditional hard line between paid advertising and unpaid human/editorial content, by asking participants themselves to spray marketing messages, is damaging to a network in a way that will eventually reduce usage, audience, and viability.

We could be wrong. Maybe tweeting #thisoffermeansmoretomethanyou will make us all more popular.

Ben Kunz is vice president of strategic planning at Mediassociates, an advertising media planning and buying agency, and co-founder of its digital trading desk eEffective.

(Archive) The technology of love

Sarah Jamieson is a metro office worker who aspires to be a writer. She’s 24, slightly overweight, but knows she’s attractive because John at the front desk keeps ogling her chest. Sarah isn’t dating, though, because work is stressful and the hours are long and it’s just too damned hard to find time to go out. The last guy Brian was a jerk focused on unbuttoning her blouse, and Match.com is for losers — so a break is in order. Each evening after taking the G train home she cooks a microwave dinner in her apartment over a Brooklyn grocery, pours a glass of white wine, and retires to a wooden desk, a gift from her grandmother, to write a post for her blog AGirlWithoutAHammock.com. While Sarah types, her Mac’s TweetDeck program flashes updates from online friends every 15 seconds or so — tidbits such as “RT @johnhenry57 Do you remember the first time you fell in love?” — and she feels the warmth of human connection, of belonging to a tribe, of knowing others who know her needs. John Henry lives in Britain, she thinks, unsure and too tired to click to his bio. She pecks out a final sentence, hits Publish Post, tells herself she’ll call her mother tomorrow, and goes to bed.

That story is fiction.

The reality is closer: Many people live two lives, one with a lover or cat at home and another far away in a fictitious corporate environment, a battle of spreadsheets for entities that exist only in legal documents with surnames such as Inc. or LLC, in small rooms under fluorescent tubes far from the sun. Hours there are traded for numbers, no more than ones and zeros, that flow like blood into electronic scoring tables called bank accounts, and then can be transferred for goods, food and shelter. Perhaps stunned by the fake ambience of math, these people take recess in online games that pretend to connect to other people, with scoring mechanisms telling them they are growing more popular.

This story is real.

How did our world splinter in two — a home life with flesh and blood, and a corporate matrix populated by artificial-numbered social reality? If veal is disdained by some who would never eat a calf kept in a small bin, not allowed to roam free, trapped indoors for life; then who would eat you? In the United States, 9 in 10 people commute to work by car, spending a collective 3.7 billion hours a year stuck in traffic, only to arrive at job sites that require 9 hours or more of input into devices that lead to numbers in banks. If humans are social creatures, driven by sexual urges to procreate and parental desires to protect our young, how did we mortgage our lust-and-love connections to spend so much time in artificial environs?

Why is that which is closest to our bodies now furthest from our souls?

Social scientist Geoffrey Miller posed in Spent that the world did not have to end up like this; rather, it was series of unforeseen inventions, some helpful — such as trading markets or artificial currency — that allowed us to build and buy self-pleasuring items such as tickets to Tori Amos concerts or Hummers with poor turning radiuses. Unfortunately, Miller suggested, these inventions pushed us away from the bucolic values that once kept tribes cohesive and love close at hand.

Yes, you own a shiny iPod that can pump emotional music into your brain to bathe you in warmth, but you can’t hug your wife or kids at 3 p.m. while flying to Dallas or typing downtown. Technology has expanded our need set; we can fill our lives with near-perfect entertainment tools, the equivalent of 300 plays running concurrently in any hour on our TVs, pre-cooked meals of any flavor, voice transmissions around the globe … and yet most of this time is disconnected from the children who make us laugh or lover who brings us pleasure.

Is this too negative? Look around on the highway in the morning, at the cars crowding you, each with only one person inside its steel box. We have mortgaged our lives, and the answer lies in our drive for loyalty, for the stability of people or places or things that we can count on that will do us no harm. We crave predictability, because it helped our ancestors survive. The best way to predict the future is to find environments that have repeatable events driven by loyal people we trust. As environments have become more artificial, they’ve also improved in stability — and we find that loyalty pleasing.

Consider what loyalty is. Psychology has defined three aspects of faithfulness: emotional attachment (affective), perceived switching costs (continuance), and feelings of obligation (normative). Fear of switching and feelings of obligation are two potential motives for our inertia in staying in jobs, in living the same commute, in not fleeing the business world to go build sea-shell necklaces on a beach in Mexico. The false thrill of numbers in a bank have given us 2 of the 3 loyalty mechanisms we need to stay put in evolving society — we fear switching, and we’re obligated to go on.

But what of the other: emotional attachment? The affective aspect of loyalty is harder to fulfill, because it resorts to such funny stuff as novelty, humor, friendship, compassion and love. You felt this as a child with your mother, and perhaps when dating as a teen or falling for your spouse, the incredible drive to stay forever with another being who is filling your emotional needs. Emotion is the strongest impulse for loyalty, for going on one path and neglecting all others.

About 15 years ago, technology began filling our loyalty gap.

Technology today has accelerated our fake relationships, the reinforcement of stability, of loyal beings who will give us what we need. Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, email (yes), texting, video-sharing, or Flickr all allow us to connect with others who seem to love us. Of course, they don’t, because love requires commitment and true understanding, but technology appeases those flaws by allowing each user to set up self-filters to screen the content most likely to simulate affection. Twitter brilliantly imposed a gaming-psychology device, a number of “followers” at the upper right that each user can track to see how many connections he or she has, a proxy for requited emotion. Facebook has taken another approach, installing an EdgeRank algorithm that pushes only updates from friends it deems interesting into your stream (based on how often you communicate with them, how many others have commented on the post, and how recent it was). The result is a warm flow of material that seems addressed to you by others who care, each item surrounded by popular comments showing a community of interest.

You are embraced by others who love the concept of you.

Yes, this sounds dark. Grave. Abysmal. But consider the deeper question: if we have lived for 500 or so years trading fictitious currency as a sign for the value of goods, instead of swapping real grain and furs, has the new set of follower numbers and social content that emulate real relationships provided an even more compelling fiction, which will further remove us from the real world in our lives? Perhaps that view is wrong. Perhaps you, reading this, think you have your reality under control, that the emerging smart phones and tablets and social network apps are simple extensions of your communication, just as eyeglasses help you see and sneakers ease the pain of your run.

Maybe there is no seismic shift away from physical, flesh-touching, semen-and-tear-and-Band-Aid- stained reality at all. The glowing screens around us are only tools, not encroaching windows ensnaring us in false worlds. We’ll think of that as we turn off this computer and go kiss our kids in bed.

Originally posted at Sundayed in November 2010. Image: cambiodefractal

Ben Kunz is vice president of strategic planning at Mediassociates, an advertising media planning and buying agency, and co-founder of its digital trading desk eEffective.

The path to social media consolidation


When you plug your new iPad 2 into the wall you don’t worry the electrical system may use the wrong voltage, frying the gadget. When you fly on an airplane you don’t fret the pilot won’t be able to communicate with air-traffic control due to different radio systems, sending you into a mountain. Why? Because both use common standards.

Standards win in networked systems because they make sense. Like gravity pulling pre-planetary material into orbit around birthing stars, network consolidation is an unstoppable force … and one that will soon shrink social media to a series of winning platforms. The law of network effects decrees that large, interconnected systems consolidate power, pushing others aside. For marketers, this means the recent period of hyper-innovation in social media will soon subside into a few commodity platforms … good news for those who must listen and push memes through the emerged media channels, but bad news for the social upstarts (Foursquare, we’re looking at you) who may have difficulty breaking through.

How wide is your chariot?

To understand network consolidation, consider the railroad gauge — that is, how far to place wheel tracks from each other, a puzzle dating prior to the Roman Empire. If you make the distance between wheels too narrow, a chariot, car or train will tip over; too wide, and you incur higher costs for building roads or rail systems. Today about 60 percent of the world’s railroads have a standard gauge (distance between tracks) of 4 feet 8 1/2 inches, but this wasn’t always so. That distance was invented by British engineer George Stephenson, who wanted a “just about right” approach neither too wide nor narrow, but George had numerous competitors, including the Great Western Railway which went as far as 7 feet 1/4 inches between tracks to support heavier loads and faster speeds. Eventually, one standard won out in most countries, because it makes economic sense to allow train systems to be able to link to each other.

Any interlinked system eventually pulls users into common behavior to amplify its power. Consider these examples:

1. Entertainment and news communications are vastly centralized in our world. Geoffrey Miller noted in his 2009 book “Spent” that six global conglomerates dominate most of what consumers see in the media. TimeWarner owns HBO and CNN; Disney owns ABC and ESPN; Vivendi Universal, Bertelsmann and Viacom consolidate most other media; and NewsCorp, of course, gives us Fox News and more than 170 newspapers. If you see Time magazine promoting a new Warner Bros. movie, the fact both are owned by TimeWarner may have something to do with it.

2. The advertising world also has been consolidated into four massive power brokers controlling about $38 billion in communications influence — Omnicon, WPP, Interpublic and Publicis. See this handy chart for a history of the takeovers.

3. Computer operating systems — the software that makes your device talk to applications — have consolidated into Windows and Mac OS. But Unix, BSD, Plan 9, Google Chrome and others have all fought to get masses to adopt them, with limited success.
Networks connect things, which is useful, and connections require stability. So one or two networks always win.
Social media consolidation
So let’s turn to the newest network tools, social media. Xanga, Jaiku, Vox, Gowalla, Open Diary, Diaspora, Ning, Plaxo, Yammer, Twine, Kickstarter, Wetpaint, Trapster, Plone … what’s that? You don’t use those systems?
Of course you don’t, because winners are emerging. Facebook has more than 600 million users today; Twitter has become the de facto speed network for sharing news; YouTube has competition from Netflix and Hulu but seems to have sucked most user-generated video, the democratic future of our communications world, into its platform. The consolidation will continue until only a few platforms remain, and Facebook, with its vast ad revenue, potential to expand into commercial payments and mobile, and Like links embedded in websites the world over, seems the winner.
Want more evidence? Google Wave — with the vast billions of Google’s power and brains behind it — couldn’t crack open social media because the momentum of network consolidation was against it. (Pop quiz: What’s the difference between Google Wave and Google Buzz? Don’t know? Exactly.)

Like electricity or railroads or planetary systems, eventually users learn to plug in, ride along and rotate around only one or two major winners. Every new network invention begins with a period of rapid innovation, followed by consolidation, commercialization, and standardization. The upshot for marketers is yes, social media is an important channel … and one that will soon turn into a line item like TV, radio, and print, with simple standards for execution that don’t require reinventing the wheel with each campaign.

The irony of such a democratizing force as social media becoming a monopoly/commodity may seem depressing, but it has to happen. If you don’t believe us, feel free to debate the issue over at Friendster.

Ben Kunz is vice president of strategic planning at Mediassociates, an advertising media planning and buying agency, and co-founder of its digital trading desk eEffective.

Why not everything is social


If you haven’t seen our debates with Edward Boches, chief innovation officer at Mullen, know that we hold him and his team in highest esteem. Mullen has been on fire lately landing accounts such as Zappos and they have an interesting take on social. Yet, sometimes, we must disagree … as with Edward’s latest post “Everything is Social So Now What?” Edward suggests TV has been tied to Twitter, ads now run on YouTube, and retail is connected to Facebook, so social has become the foundation of communications. Hmm.

If I may disagree, I must. Not everything is social for a simple reason — there is more demand for marketers to push messages out than there is corresponding demand for consumers willing to have relationships.

Here’s some quick math, as an example. The typical U.S. consumer watches 5 hours and 9 minutes of TV a day (yes, less for younger demos, they’re only at 3 hours 30 minutes). Internet, mobile and social pales in comparison, at less than 1 hour a day. (Source: Nielsen in-home studies tracking eye movements of consumers in 5 cities.) So, let’s think about that — at 30 seconds a TV spot, and about 16-18 minutes of commercials an hour, the typical person is exposed to 166 television commercials a day. Now add in the scores of billboards, banner ads, print ads, social media push-out tweets, and you see a person is awash in thousands of outbound marketing messages.

Who wants to connect with all those brands? Impossible.

Of course, you could argue this means old-school advertising doesn’t work, but that is a fallacy — advertising has always been a game of what you catch, not what you spill. A TV ad unabsorbed by most of the audience can still drive financial results if a fraction respond.

The truth is relatively simple: Consumers like to spend hours being entertained; the price they pay is unwanted ad messages (with a small portion that work); and the supply of marketing fueling those ads greatly outweighs any desire by the consumer to connect with all of those brands.

I know a guy who is the voice of Hello Mello, and his consumers are passionate, reconnecting back. But the sad fact is the world of product supply is out of sync with the consumer relationship need. Not everything is social, because the laws of supply and demand decree it must be so.

Ben Kunz is vice president of strategic planning at Mediassociates, an advertising media planning and buying agency, and co-founder of its digital trading desk eEffective.

The unROI of inaction


Beth Harte makes a strong case that ROI often can’t be calculated for any marketing campaigns, because isolating the financial data for ROI = (net profit / sales) * (sales / investment) is usually difficult — and thus it is unfair to hold social media to a “prove the ROI” standard. We responded over at the Brandflakes blog:
Mathematically this is the same formula as ROI = net profit / investment, but I quibble. The real purpose of ROI calculations is to make choices between alternatives. If you can make 8% by investing a million in the bank, and only 6% with a marketing campaign, pure math would tell you to keep the money in the bank.

However, this is why ROI logic often fails. Marketing is a living, breathing function to keep businesses alive, so even if ROI were below the alternative “park it in the bank” rate, if you shut off marketing, you’d damage the future business. Advertising falls under marketing and social media falls under advertising (or PR, quibble), but the logic of those internal functions is the same.

It is healthy to try to determine ROI to make choices among best possible paths, but businesses must also consider:

a – is the function necessary for basic competition?
b – what is the risk if we turn off the function, and failure to perform damages other parts of the business operating system?

So it’s not just what you do, or if what you do beats the other action. It’s what could happen if you don’t do it at all. This may be the best argument for social media.

Image: JobotDaRobot

Ben Kunz is vice president of strategic planning at Mediassociates, an advertising media planning and buying agency, and co-founder of its digital trading desk eEffective.

Twitter finally unveils ads in the stream

It’s a sign of the times how cautious Twitter has been about pushing ads into its network, but starting sometime this March, the ads will come. “Promoted tweets” will begin flowing into the stream of comments from each person you follow, putting ad messages front, center, and in a place you can’t ignore — sort of like most traditional advertising.

Twitter says the promoted tweets will provide four types of customer response, which it calls “engagement”: clicks on a link, similar to web banner ads; retweets, in which other users mention the tweet; “@” replies, in which a user replies to the company tweeting; and “favorites,” where a user bookmarks the tweet for later reference. Twitter also provides an analytics dashboard to help marketers optimize how their messages are promoted inside Twitter. The service has been tested since Nov. 1 on the HootSuite social media dashboard, and Twitter says adverse reaction from users there was minimal.

The video above is worth a view not just to see how the advertising works, but also for Twitter’s recommendations on how to be a compelling voice inside the tweetstream. Be humanly funny. Be an active participant in the community. Let others see a real legitimate two-way presence. In other words, try not to sound like an ad.

Ben Kunz is vice president of strategic planning at Mediassociates, an advertising media planning and buying agency, and co-founder of its digital trading desk eEffective.

Is it advertising vs. social, or advertising plus social?


Edward Boches, the chief social media revolutionary in residence at agency Mullen, has once again posted slides suggesting consumers have radically changed the power structure of advertising since now they want to create and share, not listen. The concepts are intelligent yet we think Edward takes his logic too far, so we disagreed via this response.

Provoking. I couldn’t hear your voiceover (wish I could), so I do have one quibble: Is advertising communication vs. customer engagement really an either-or proposition? You say in these slides that customers don’t want to receive ads, instead they want to engage, yet Mullen’s own successful Brand Bowl forums show how much customers do enjoy receiving ads… and then a fraction of them talk about them.

Put another way, communications should fit the ecosystem reflecting how consumers behave. As Wired co-author Kevin Kelly recently noted, the vast majority of media consumption today remains television, with wired/mobile/social media usage only a fraction of that time. This is not to suggest that social networking or consumer co-creation isn’t powerful and potentially more effective … but marketers sipping this Kool-Aid should remember that all media channels work together.

My belief is humans have three fields of personal space that drive our communication, dating back to cave men. Distance fields 10 feet+ (camp fires, TV, movies); work fields 2-3 feet (hammers, saws, laptop screens, tablets), and intimate fields (whispers in your ear, mobile). Social fits very well into our personal fields No. 2 and 3, but we have an innate need to lean back and listen to stories from afar as well. Advertising and social work together to fit both needs. It is a mistake, however, to assume that one need has supplanted the other.

Image: Tueksta

The math behind influence and fame


Advertising exists to seed memes, ideas that spread through society like viruses in your head on a cold winter’s day. The fundamental hope is that a product or service concept becomes so desirable that, like Razor Scooters in the late 1990s or glass-tablet gadgets today, suddenly everyone will want one and share the news with their neighbors, with no incremental marketing cost. This is why the lure of social media is powerful with its promise of free, scalable connections …

Yet a new whitepaper by Cornell and HP Labs suggests building fame in social media is tougher than you think. Daniel M. Romero and colleagues processed more than 22 million tweets from 12 days in September 2009, looked at how often people clicked on web links inside the tweets, and then compared how those people were connected — and found that pure number of followers does not equal influence. Instead, as you might guess, there are some entities in social media with many followers whom no one listens to, and conversely some with few connections who tend to have their ideas shared everywhere. It’s an important dynamic to understand if you try to spread messages in Twitter, because only 1 in 318 tweets with URLs is ever retweeted, meaning the vast majority of Twitter missives trying lure people to click links hit a brick wall.

The Cornell/HP report found four types of entities on Twitter:

1. The superbly influential — users whose posted links are likely to be passed along (“A-listers” such as @mashable, @aplusk).

2. The passive — users who follow many, but rarely share things (“lurkers” or “automatons” such as @redscarebot).

3. Those not influential with many followers (“all show, no go,” alas, like @newsweek).

4. The highly influential with comparatively few followers (“beacons” such as @twitdraw).

The Economist suggests new analytics services such as Gnip will profit from helping marketers identify the human nodes inside social media that fall in buckets 1 or 4 above. Not everyone is an influencer; in new media, the money may flow to those who act most like old broadcasters.