Social Media Twitter

Shift in Twitter Trends Between 2009 and 2010

Shift in Twitter Trends Between 2009 and 2010

The above two pie charts are a compilation of the rank and duration of every single topic that pops up on Twitter’s global Trending Topics chart throughout the year. That means, by definition, that smaller topics which, if taken in aggregate might actually turn out to be significant, aren’t given their due. No matter. It’s still fascinating information.

What interests me is how hashtags have pretty much replaced entertainment (although entertainment is still rather large in the overall scheme of things) as a major player. Holidays and politics both got less important. Social Media started to show up as a player. Sports and business tech were both diminished.

What the heck does it all mean?

Well, I’d be lying if I said I absolutely, positively knew for sure. But I suspect that the trending may have to do with (a) more people “discovering” Twitter and (b) more people understanding it and engaging with it. That is, instead of people just following celebrities and reading (and potentially also just retweeting) their tweets, it appears that people may be actually — huzzah! — making their own content.

And — the content they’re making seems to be a bit more meaningful than just “Merry Christmas” or “Let’s go Patriots!” (no disparagement to the Patriots or the Christmas season intended, of course). It looks like it might actually be the promotion of offsite material (e. g. blogging hashtags), attempts to use Twitter to update other social media sites (e. g. you can set up your LinkedIn account so that, if you use the #in hashtag, it updates your LinkedIn status) or just an effort to bring certain information to the attention of other people. After all, whenever I write about robots for Neuron Robotics, I use a #robots or #robotics hashtag.

Hence people seem to be using Twitter more to its potential, as both an ad hoc type of community and a means of cross-pollinating other social media sites. Let’s see what happens this year.

For more information, see the January 12, 2011 blog post on Social Media Today.

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Career changing

Yet Another Reason Why I No Longer Practice Law

Now, I have not practiced law for over twenty years.

I recognize that many people have had very satisfying legal careers, and that’s great for them.

I was just never adversarial enough, I suppose. But it’s better to know yourself, than to continue slogging through a thoroughly inappropriate career. And, let’s face it, if I were still practicing, not only would I be making myself (and probably also my family) miserable, I’d also, potentially, be jeopardizing my clients’ livelihoods (I practiced civil, not criminal law, so at least my misery wouldn’t have translated into jail time for anyone).

Oh yeah, civil. Or, rather, civility and the lack thereof. While that was not, specifically, the reason I quit the practice of law, eventually going into IT and then, much more recently into social media, it was one of the many straws on that poor, overloaded camel’s back. And that lack of civility has recently come back up to the fore.

The ABA Journal recently reported on an email exchange between attorneys that was so egregious that it resulted in sanctions. Essentially what happened is, two Florida attorneys got into a heated exchange which included such juvenalia as calling each other “retard” and “scum-sucking loser”.

This bit of charm was perpetrated by this guy and this other guy. Now, call me silly, but the two are, at least, way over twenty-one years of age. At some point, as they say, you put away childish things. And you stop acting like an idiot, because it’s undignified, it turns off your clients, it makes you look bad and it’s just plain stupid.

People ask me, on occasion, why I would ever want to leave the exciting world of practicing law.

This is one of the reasons why.

Facebook SEO Social Media

Stumbleupon Surpasses Facebook as the top source for Social Media traffic around the US

Well, well, well.

Perhaps there is something that the mighty Facebook doesn’t do quite so perfectly.

Not so fast. Stumbleupon’s raison d’etre is the passing of traffic. Facebook’s is not. And Stumbleupon is wonderfully designed to fill its one niche, and fill it admirably — to get traffic moving.

Facebook, on the other hand, continues to evolve as much more of a social site. Probably Facebook’s best and most important feature is one not even found, specifically, on the site. Rather, it’s your ability to log into other sites using your Facebook login. In this brilliant conception, the data from Facebook ends up applying to job search websites, blogs, ecommerce, etc. All those other sites have to do is partner with Facebook to use that login. And Facebook garners even more data. It’s a powerful combination.

Is it a violation of anti-trust laws? My guess is no, because you can log in through other means. Just because Facebook is providing a more convenient means of logging in does not mean that it’s monopolizing logins. Using the same logic, well, if a product captures 99% of any given market, it’s not a violation of anti-trust laws just because that product is better, cheaper, more efficient or can be purchased in a more convenient manner, so long as its existence as being a cheaper, better, etc. product does not come about through unfair/illegal means. The spirit and purpose of anti-trust legislation is, certainly, not intended to squelch good and proper competition. Success is not illegal.

So Facebook, despite being the huge elephant in the room, doesn’t necessarily capture and control every tidbit of the Social Media universe. And I think that’s how it should be. After all, a world only seen through a Facebook filter — much like a Friend Feed when you’ve only got one friend — would be rather dull indeed.

For more information, see the January 3, 2011 post on Soshable.