Monthly Archives: October 2012

Nice Guys Finish First in Social Media

See on Scoop.itEnterprise Social Media

The way people interact has changed dramatically ever since social media has been a part of business.

 

“We just met and it’s finally my turn to speak but you keep on nodding your head and saying “yup” over and over again while looking in every direction but mine. You have no idea what I’m saying because you’re not listening to me. You and your ego had a good run but the times are changing my friend…

 

2012 – The World Has Changed. Enter Social Media.

 

No longer can one spew nonsense and expect to build quality relationships. You can no longer be a self-promoter – social media simply doesn’t work that way. If you’re not engaging with people in a positive manner you will probably be unfollowed by many on a daily basis. People appreciate manners and common courtesy online. Here are a few things you could do to polish up your online manners:”

 

Wow! Can I ever relate to this article! Not only am I still contemplating writing a book called “Shut the f@#k Up: Dealing with People Who Dominate Every Conversation” but my book that should be published this week, “The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for B2B Sales Success” is all about how relationship selling via social media will beat messaging and other types of yacking.

See on www.steamfeed.com

What To Cut: A Content Cropping Checklist

See on Scoop.itEnterprise Social Media

Don’t let old, poor-quality content ruin your website. Create a content cropping checklist and start cutting.

 

“Some useful ideas in here from Rick Allen about how to refine your web content. Sadly it’s a job that no one wants to pay for until they have a good reason for a complete refresh. 

 

This article should act as a checklist not just for anyone looking to maintain old content, but for anyone wanting to create new content.”

 

If you tend to get a bit wordy, as I do, this article will help you communicate better by saying less.

See on meetcontent.com

Content Curation Is Speed Chess: Why Algorithms Lost The Content Curation War

See on Scoop.itEnterprise Social Media

Guillaume Decugis: “These are the slides of my talk at DataWeek 2012.

 

This is what is it was about: “We engineers love data and algorithms. They help create amazing things. But if and when we forget that people create data and that data can be improved by people, we will miss the promise of Big Data. It’s time we all thought of this not as social vs algorithm but as Humanrithm.”

 

And I also took the example of Content Curation as a case study.”

 

Marty Note
“I believe there are feeds in all of our futures (http://scenttrail.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-feeds-are-in-your-future.html ), but there is no math I know of that is half as good at curation as even an average human (lol). There is no way to adapt the artificial intelligence that happens in the moment of curation.

A million ideas are firing in seconds across a range of dimensions such as:

* Does the content fit into curation philosophy and themes?
* Is the source trusted?

* What needs to be added or emphasized to create a fit?
* How does this content relate to latest moves?
* What moves does this content imply?

Content marketing and curation is like Star Trek chess. You are playing a game in many dimensions simultaneously. Almost forgot to mention you are playing SPEED CHESS with a million or so players and about half are better than you (lol). Now go and survive, go and win.”

 

Take a look at this presentation. It asks some pretty important questions about the role of humans in making sense of all the information humans produce.

See on www.slideshare.net

The Death Of SEO, Failed Predictions Over The Years [Infographic ]

See on Scoop.itEnterprise Social Media

‘SEO has been declared “dead” almost from when it first began, as our post from a few years ago, Is SEO Dead?

 

1997 Prediction, Meet 2009 Reality, covers. Now, a new infographic is out looking at how SEO has been “dying” over the years.

 

The infographic is from SEO Book and is interesting in that rather than taking a timeline approach, it instead shows examples of various types of people who’ve declared that SEO is dead and why they are, as the infographic puts it, “deluded.”’

 

So the current smart money is on social media killing traditional SEO. What do you think? Is this prediction like all the rest?

 

 

 

See on searchengineland.com

Dealing with Trolls Part 2

Dealing with Trolls Part 2

In our previous post, Dealing with Trolls, we continued our series with a discussion on how to handle negative commenters in your communities. In this post, we take a look at how to handle trolls, who are persistently negative users.


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Do Not Confront and Out Trolls

There’s a school of thought that confronting and shaming trolls will be effective in discouraging them. For example, blogger Kirsten Sanford recounted[1] how she dealt with a troll who personally insulted her: She exposed his email address and his network address:

Everyone, say hi to Paul! [email address and IP address redacted] Paul left this wonderful comment for me recently. It left me feeling confused as to why someone / anyone would take the time to spew so much vitriol. It really makes no sense.

We do not recommend this approach. Sanford is not likely to change Paul’s mind, and also not likely to convince him to stop harassing her. What is more likely is that Paul will change identities and network addresses, and step up his harassment.

But even more important, confronting Paul as Kirsten did runs the risk of making her look petty and vindictive. As Abraham Lincoln said, it’s better to say nothing and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Ban Trolls and Troll Posts

If you’re in charge of your community, you may have the power to delete troll posts and to ban members who are trolls. In fact, there are probably lots of things you can do about trolls:

  • Delete the post — This can be a controversial move, and could harm the trust you have build with your community members. We recommend that before you delete troll posts, you ask your community to weigh in on the move. Of course, you should only take this step after ignoring the troll has not worked, or if you’re unwilling to try that approach.
  • Ban the troll — This can also be controversial. If you have control over the membership of your community, you may have the ability to ban a troll for a period of time, or to remove them from the community altogether. If your community requires new registrations to be approved, you may even be able to prevent the troll from coming back. Be sure you have community support before taking this action.
  • Moderate all posts — Once again, if you have control, you may be able to require that all posts and comments in the community be approved before being published. This affects your entire community, and puts a big burden on your community manager. We recommend that this be a temporary solution at most. Requiring moderation for all posts will definitely affect community trust, and may cause defections.
  • First post moderation — Moderate every member’s first post. Once approved, the member is free to post anywhere. Depending on the level of control you have on your community software, you may be able to require moderation for the first post in each forum the user posts in. This technique can help blunt the effect of trollbots, and it probably won’t bother your community members as long as they understand its intent. But it will do nothing to prevent the chronic troll.
  • Let trolls become part of the conversation — If your community can handle it, then let them handle it. It’s probably the next best solution if ignoring doesn’t work.

No matter how you want to deal with trolls, you need to create a troll policy as part of your community guidelines and make sure all community members understand it.

OK, here’s a bit of troll humor:

  • How many trolls does it take to change a light bulb?
    Three. One to change the bulb; one to severely criticize the bulb for going out; and one to insult your parentage for complaining about the dark.

Dealing with Trolls Part 2 is the 69th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 215. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

See the previous posts What is Social Media?Social Sites DefinedWhy Social Media? How is Social Media Relevant to Business? First Steps Toward a Social Media Strategy, and Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 1

Next up: Social Media Optimization


[1] Sanford’s Dealing with Trolls: bit.ly/aOgy9L

The Real SEO Value of URLs: Keywords, Clickthrough, & Social

See on Scoop.itEnterprise Social Media

“Social Sharing is one of the indicators that the search engines use to determine value of a page.

 

Creating short, concise URLs that are easily copied and shared, and which show up in the social networks in an optimal way is important for branding and click through.”

 

SEO is still important, even in this age of social search. Check out this article for more.

 

 

See on www.linchpinseo.com

Dealing with Trolls

Dealing with Trolls

In our previous post, Techniques for Handling Negatives, we continued our series with a discussion on how to handle negative commenters in your communities. In this post, we take a look at how to handle trolls, who are persistently negative users.


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Dealing with Trolls

Trolls can wreck your community. And pretty much every community eventually has its trolls. Trolls exhibit negative, hostile, antisocial, and deliberately provocative behavior. They may have an axe to grind, or they may just be people who thrive on discord, on getting a rise out of people, and who may not really value the community. We say may not because there are some trolls who just can’t help themselves. They may actually be the most committed members of your community. They just have the type of personality that produces antisocial behavior.

Offline, the troll might be the person in your book club who never shuts up. Or the busybody that, while often productive, needs to poke her nose into everything. Or the guy who always offers off-the-wall solutions during meetings and insists on bringing them up repeatedly, long after the decision has been made.

Online, trolls are empowered. If there are no policies and procedures in place to check them, they can dominate every conversation and sidetrack every productive dialog.

Types of Trolls

The Communities Online site[1] categorizes trolls into four types, which we adapt below, adding our own fifth category:

  • Mischievous
    Mischievous trolls have a humorous intent. Often, they might be a regular community member playing a good-natured prank. They are not abusive and rarely create trouble. Generally there is no harm in responding to them. Some members may find mischievous trolls annoying, particularly if their presence leads to lengthy threads that distract the community from its true intent. Other members find that the troll’s humor and light-hearted antics provide the community with an opportunity to laugh together.
  • Mindless/Attention Seeking
    Mindless trolls have a tendency to post lengthy stories of questionable veracity, or commenting on every post with off-topic or provocative statements. Mindless trolls are generally harmless, although their activities can rise to the level of extreme annoyance. On rare occasion, the fictitious posts of a mindless troll may lead to insightful debate and discussion. There is generally no harm in you responding, but it is often best to simply ignore them. If response is necessary, let the community respond.
  • Malicious
    A malicious troll is blatantly abusive to the group and/or specific individuals within the group. One of their characteristics is that within a very short time of gaining access they begin targeting and harassing members. In some cases, the troll has a prior history with the group or someone within the group. In other scenarios, the troll is simply looking for a fresh meat market. As a community manager, respond to such trolls carefully. Generally, community members will step up and enforce community norms themselves.
  • Destructive
    Around 1999, destructive trolls began to appear in mail groups and online communities. The primary purpose of this type of troll is to completely destroy the group it has infiltrated. Destructive trolls may work on their own, or possibly in teams or gangs. As a community manager, you may need to directly confront this type of troll, and eventually may need to ban them. Be sure to enlist the support of the community to take any enforcement action. If the troll does actual damage to the community forums or software, feel free to immediately ban them, assuming you are supported in doing so by your published community policies.
  • Trollbots
    Sometimes a troll is not actually a person, but an automated program called a trollbot. Generally, these bots are not interactive, and usually just post canned text as comments to other posts. An example of a recent trollbot was the Ron Paul trollbot from the 2008 presidential campaign. Such bots are an annoyance, but if you run an open community — one that doesn’t require registration and approval — you will get visited by trollbots. Enlist the community in identifying their posts and feel free to delete them.

General Approaches to Trolls

So how do you deal with trolls? Well, first you need to determine that the person is really a troll, not just a clueless newbie uninitiated in the norms of your community. This can be a difficult process, and so you should refrain from taking any action until the troll has established a body of work that has annoyed your community. Of course, that means letting a potential troll stir things up a bit first.

In the following we consider various strategies for dealing with trolls.

Ignore Trolls

Many online pundits recommend ignoring trolls. This, however, is easier said than done, although it can be a very effective approach. The problem is, everyone has to ignore the troll. If even one community member engages the troll, the chase is on. However, the community manager should respond to trollish posts with a gentle reminder of the community guidelines for behavior. You may want to repeat this a few times, after which you should counsel the community to ignore the troll.

Ignoring trolls works because the main need a troll has is to be recognized, and responded to. If the troll’s posts are ignored, their behavior is not reinforced, and they may go elsewhere or fall silent.

But universally ignoring a troll is very hard to do. While long-time community members may recognize the troll’s posts for what they are — cries for attention — new members may respond to the outrageous or off-topic troll posts and give the troll the recognition they crave.

Others recommend responding to troll posts with love and understanding. We think that any response is likely to reinforce the behavior. While it may be effective to take the discussion offline, where possible, and try to convince the troll that their behavior is self-defeating, this is an approach with a low likelihood of success. Remember, the troll is probably a troll in real life as well. You’re not likely to be able to change a troll’s personality (at least, without years of psychotherapy).


Dealing with Trolls is the 68th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 213. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

See the previous posts What is Social Media?Social Sites DefinedWhy Social Media? How is Social Media Relevant to Business? First Steps Toward a Social Media Strategy, and Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 1

Next up: Dealing with Trolls Part 2


[1] Community Online’s Communities Online: Trolling and Harassmentbit.ly/cuCoEG

Techniques for Handling Negatives

Techniques for Handling Negatives

In our previous post, Dealing With Negatives, we continued our series with a look at how to deal with negative comments. In this post, we examine some specific techniques for what to do when monitoring for negative comments.

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Techniques for Handling Negatives

If Nestlé had truly understood social media, the outcome might have been different. We recommend a few techniques for dealing with negatives below. However, we have different advice for dealing with the chronic negative poster, called a troll. We will cover this subject in the next post.

Monitor for Negatives

If your enterprise does nothing else with social media, you need to start monitoring for negatives. People are talking about you. You’ll never know what they’re saying unless you listen. We’ve got a whole section on monitoring in our book, “Be A Person.”

Forgive Negative Behavior

People are more likely to post when angry, and often a negative post is out of character for a community member. Consider ignoring the random negative post completely. In fact, our advice is, when in doubt, do nothing. An ill-considered response can set off an echo chamber of negative responses. If the negative behavior is persistent, but doesn’t rise to the level of troll behavior — a repetitive, mindless, attention-getting pattern — you may want to address it. But in general, the best course of action is often to ignore the behavior.

Engage and Clarify

People can seem more negative online due to the lack of visual cues. If you feel you must respond to a post, try starting out with a clarifying question. This not only ensures you understand the intent of the poster, engaging with them may get them to moderate their negativity.

Here’s a personal example. I responded to a tweet about a software package called Ektron:

@PROsocialmedia  re Ektron > Joomla — IMHO Ektron’s a toy and severely limited. We use Tridion and couldn’t be happ[ier]. And I like Joomla 2

Relatively soon after, within less than two hours, a guy from Ektron responded. He didn’t say, “You’re a jerk; we’re great.” He said, “I’d like to know more about your experience with our product.”

Now I was stuck. I hadn’t actually used the product, although I had evaluated it as part of a purchasing decision my organization was making. My brother had, however, sold and implemented the product, and that’s where I got the “toy” part of my post from. So, @ektronmatt had nicely called me out, and was interested in hearing what I had to say.

Great move. I felt I had to explain:

@ektronmatt  Most of my info is from my brother’s experience as a VAR. You guys had a serious MS-related bug that went unfixed for some time.

By engaging me, ektronmatt got me to be more specific about my post. In the meantime, a typo in my first post — “couldn’t be happy” instead of “couldn’t be happier” — attracted the attention of supporters of a competitive product, Tridion, the one we had actually selected. They retweeted — repeated to their followers — my post and said they assumed I meant “happier.”

Now I felt I needed to clarify that matter as well:

@puf  Heh! You’re right — happier, not happy. Praise, not a dig. In defense of Ektron, I have no direct experience. My brother was a VAR.

But I was still bugged about passing on a secondhand opinion — something that I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about if @ektronmatt had not engaged me. So I emailed my brother and asked him what he thought of Ektron’s latest release. He said it was very much better. Now I felt really bad at having made a snarky comment with old, secondhand information. Once again, this is all due to a single question @ektronmatt asked me, which took him all of 30 seconds to post.

@ektronmatt  re Ektron opinion — I asked my brother and he actually likes your new release; said the improvements look good. So, good on ya.

And that’s one way you can turn around negatives. Don’t attack. Clarify and probe. It won’t always turn out as positively as this incident did, but if you try to censor, quash, or attack negative posts, you’ll never have this kind of outcome.

Delete/Ban Only as a Last Resort

It’s hard to give you any hard and fast rules about when it’s OK to delete an offending post, or, for that matter, kick a member out of your community. All we can say is, this is really the last resort.

If you must take this type of action, we suggest you discuss the matter with your community. Try to enlist support for the action — and be sure your community governance rules have spelled out your ability to take the action beforehand.

We suggest starting by merely deleting an offending post. Document your action to the community. If a pattern of behavior requires another deletion, do that in the open, too. Show a pattern of behavior that supports the ultimate step: banning the individual from posting, or removing them from the community. This last step is best reserved only for trolls, which we discuss in the next post.

When managing a community, always remember what founding father Benjamin Franklin said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”


Techniques for Handling Negatives is the 67th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 211. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

See the previous posts What is Social Media?Social Sites DefinedWhy Social Media? How is Social Media Relevant to Business? First Steps Toward a Social Media Strategy, and Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 1

Next up: Dealing with Trolls