Start Me Up: a profile of Bothsider

Love for debate and disagreement could be described as one of the factors contributing to the success of social media.

Looking to harness this love for reasoned discussion, Bothsider is a nascent network that allows users to ask questions, agree or disagree with other users and explain why.

Starting a social network and getting ‘traction’ must be difficult with so many players having come and gone, and big hitters still dominating audiences.

So I caught up with Mark Gavagan, Founder, to ask him a few questions.

Twitter network analysis: identifying influencers and innovators

In my last post I introduced the Econsultancy network, a map of the follower relationships between 3,930 users talking about the brand, sharing links, and tweeting at the official @econsultancy account.

I pointed out that it was pretty remarkable that all these users talking about Econsultancy are bound together in a web of follow relationships, despite not necessarily sharing anything else in common. 

But how can we use this network data we’ve gathered to give us some more concrete insights we can use in our campaigns?

For example, to identify influencers, segment audiences, and understand what content is interesting to them. 

How network analysis can make us better digital marketers

Social ‘networks’, computer ‘networks’, ‘networking’ events, agency ‘networks’ – even the ‘Internet’. ‘Networks’ of one form or another are everywhere, but what do all these things have in common? And how can an understanding of networks help us become better digital marketers?

I want to go beyond our often unthinking use of the word network, and explore how a deeper understanding of networks can help us identify influencers and communities online, creating content that really resonates and is more likely to be shared.

I’ll use an example of a network generated from Twitter, showing the follow relationships between people talking about Econsultancy, and sharing links from the site, over an eight day period in October 2013.

Coming soon: paid YouTube channels?

When Google purchased YouTube for $1.65bn in late 2006, some wondered whether the acquisition would be the Web 2.0 equivalent of Yahoo’s ill-fated billion-dollar purchase of during the first .com boom.

It was hard not to be somewhat skeptical: YouTube was an expensive operation to run and was facing the same type of legal assault from Hollywood that basically killed Napster 1.0 years earlier.

Television networks adopt Rovio’s Angry Birds merchandising strategy today’s multi-channel, multi-platform world, it’s increasingly difficult for television networks to lure viewers to their shows. To succeed and build an audience, on-network promotions just won’t cut it.

So a growing number of networks are turning to a strategy that has done quite well for a very different type of media company, Rovio, the maker of the hit gaming franchise Angry Birds.

Nielsen looks at social media and television

Television and social media are a match made in Hollywood. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are virtual watercoolers, and when something happens on television, you’ll increasingly find that the conversation is taking place online.

This, for obvious reasons, creates numerous opportunities for the creators and distributors of television programming, and many television networks, producers and personalities are actively tapping into social media.

Ten horrifying display ad placements

At a recent roundtable event I attended, a topic that came up briefly was that of the danger of using blind networks to advertise, as this can result in display ads appearing alongside content that can be contradictory – or even damaging – to the brand or product.

Although this wasn’t the topic of the table, which was focused primarily upon the convergence and optimisation of online advertising, it got me thinking about the examples I’ve seen floating around the internet where poor placement has resulted in a cringeworthy visual. (Judging by where the majority of these ads have been seen, advertising on news sites can be a risky business…)

By my own admission, some of the examples I’ve pulled out have been around for a bit, and all are terribly tongue-in-cheek. So consider this a warning: If easily offended, don’t read any further. For those who can appreciate a bit of black humour and can understand the importance of carefully planned and placed media, read on.

Eight cool social media infographics

Yesterday I noticed quite cool infographic being passed around online. Made by the guys at Trendstream, it maps social media access and involvement around the world. 

I love infographics. I think they’re a smart, creative way of displaying data in a way that’s easy to understand and is engaging. I’ve also noticed that they seem to be becoming more common, permeating not only technical subjects, where they seem to have originated from, but other areas, such as mainstream media, design and of course, the internet. 

So, inspired by the newest of social media infographics, I thought it might be useful to collect some of the better examples in one place as a source of inspiration and information. Links to the actual graphics are in the headline titles. 

Q&A: Jay Stevens of the Rubicon Project on display advertising


The Rubicon Project helps publishers make more money from their display advertising inventory by optimising their use of ad networks. Founded two years ago, the company already has more than 1,500 premium customers, optimises more than 40 billion ads each month and reaches more than 500 million unique internet users.

The company’s International Vice-President, Jay Stevens, (formerly MySpace’s VP of European operations), shared his thoughts about trends in display advertising, the growth of ad networks and what this means for publishers.