Social Media and IPOs

Have you ever wondered why many IT social media outlets lately have gone from privately owned companies to companies that are going public (via IPO). Then if that wasn’t enough, they are actually trying to buy other social media outlets? I don’t think anyone from Facebook or Twitter have looked at history of what’s happened before – remember when there were IT firms all over and all of a sudden the dot-com bubble burst? The way its going, the recent deals Facebook and Twitter have done or have talked about doing will lead to the same thing.

Facebook

Surely, everyone has heard of this IPO since it was filed in February 2012, which was 8 years after it was created. I know when I heard about it, it was doomed. It started to trade in late May 2012 and the company was valued at $5 Billion dollars. As of May 2013, its sales alone are now over $5 Billion dollars and listed as #118 in Market Value as listed by Forbes.

As we know, it did not go well for Facebook and some even questioned why Mark Zuckerberg did this to the company. As we know, Facebook shares were driven to $45 before the IPO, even though the company’s initial valuation was much lower. However, once the marketing of the IPO was done, I believe this caused people to be eager to want stock in the company and this pushed the price upwards as demand usually does for limited products. It was a game of supply and demand and this time out the demand won.

It took awhile, but now things have leveled out with Facebook’s share prices. However, those of us who use the networking site, have been annoyed by more marketing and changes that are almost constant. I like, and in some situations love change, however they are pushing changes to the maximum.

In some cases Zuckerberg, I think, let the power go to his head. He’s been trying to buy Snapchat like Facebook had with Instagram. However, for the moment, Snapchat rejected his offer and it makes you wonder why? Snapchat is growing – 350 million messages per day, up from 200 million in June – however is it because they want to keep the company to themselves (as its only 3 years old) or are they waiting for it to grow up (as the others have done) and/or hit a magical number on the Social Networking scale? That’s to be seen, but for now its interesting that the company wants to just keep going along as its been.

Pinterest & Getty Images

Have you noticed lately on Pinterest, some images give you much more information? This is due to an agreement they have just started. You will see things such as the metadata that Getty has on file for that image — including the description, photographer and date taken will appear with the photo. This is due to marketing and the way to get images that are seen also marketed from the place that’s put them out there. Good idea or bad do you think?

Of course in doing this, has increased the company’s value – the company’s valuation as high as $4 billion its been written. This deal was close on Friday 25th October 2013, so the information should be out there or shortly. I do have to ask, as in 2013 its been ranked as the 3rd most popular Social Network site, I wonder how much longer until it too, goes the IPO way?

Twitter 

On 8 November 2013, Twitter started its IPO or initial public offering and was given the figure of $US14.2 billion the day before it started trading as TWTR on the stock exchange. Its value as a 6-year-old social network had been due to it’s an advertising business and increased its ranking to 2 in the social media rankings for 2013, which is just behind Facebook.

However, since the IPO, there has been some talk the day after the IPO that Twitter’s IPO has been a failure due to it opening at one set price, rising (as what happens when the IPO had been marketed, like in the case with Twitter), only to fall to below the opening set price. Why didn’t it do the price do the usual thing of holding its value? It could be that it was overvalued (due to the marketing beforehand) or it could be the people who valued it thought more people would support the company due to its popularity.

Look at it this way, Chris Messina could have patent the hashtag (#) concept and didn’t. Good choice or bad do you think? He states:

“…claiming a government-granted monopoly on the use of hashtags would have likely inhibited their adoption…” and  “I had no interest in making money (directly) off hashtags.”

Could it be that someone out there didn’t want to make money? Hmm I think it was more that he wanted his overall company (Twitter) to increase in size and this was a great way to go about it. However, behind closed doors I bet he’s swearing due to everyone getting in to using the hashtag idea! Then again, he has just made a bucket load of money by doing the IPO.

In conclusion, we can see what’s been done and what is in the works in Social Media, but we have to keep asking ourselves by using these sites – do we keep wanting to put our information out th

Social Media bubble?

ere for these companies to be made public or not? I know we all love using them because they are free, but does that freedom mean that our information, and in some cases our money (if we choose to invest with these companies), need to be tested? By using these sites, we are agreeing these companies can use our information, so just keep that in mind.

However, also keep in mind these companies as they are hitting either an age (it seems like people want to buy these companies from the age of 3 years and up) or a ranking on the social network list and then either selling or going for IPO. When there are enough, this could be another bubble that bursts like dot-com bubble in the years 1997-2000. I do know Social Media is here to stay. In what format I don’t know, but I do know if these companies are not careful, we are headed for a Social Networking bubble bursting – can you imagine what you can tweet in 140 characters if this happens?

Social Media – My View on – Social TV

What is Social TV?

This is a social media type that has only just started within the last few years here in Australia.  I define it as when you are watching TV and you are following talk about it using an online connection to “talk” (IM, hashtags, etc) to other people who are watching the same television program as  you are. Wikipedia defines it as “a general term for technology that supports communication and social interaction in either the context of watching television, or related to TV content.” Here in Australia, we’ve only been experiencing this for about 3 years now, to my knowledge.

Televisions (and devices attached to)

TV with social TV addons

Our TV with social TV add ons

I know back in the 1970’s some of the US stations tried to get people to use various types of devices to get feedback while people were watching, but it never took off. Qube was one of the types mentioned in a blog that I recently read. You could only get information to go into the devices and never back to you unless it was over the TV. There were also times where TV makers tried to get people to use the remote as a speaker to get people to talk about what they were watching. Again it failed due to popularity and complexity in its use. However, once the internet was starting to get more user friendly and people were accepting of it, then it seemed, that this type of feedback was destined to succeed. People were already talking about TV shows online – what they liked, didn’t like, etc so by 2000, AOL tried again to get feedback online working in the US. It failed there, but in Europe it started to become accepted and used.

Then in 2006, TV stations started to put part or full episodes of TV programs on the internet. People started to talk about it online and use it. Further technology was catching up – everything was within the TV sets when you bought them starting in 2010. In fact, Social TV was one of the top 10 emerging technologies in 2010.  I know we bought one of our LCD TV’s then and it still works. Its very clumsy to use, but once you know how to use it, you can get around fairly well. With that TV, we had to actually buy a wireless antenna in order to use it online. Every now and then, the antenna doesn’t quite work and we have to go in and look at the settings and reset them, but otherwise it works fine. By the time 2012 came along, we bought a new TV for the living room of the house. This one has the antenna within it and is much easier to use. In late 2012 I believe the first LED Internet live TVs were introduced and many people are using them today.

Applications

First came the TV’s and then when smart phones and tablets really started to become popular, the applications for Social TV started. I have to say when Twitter started in 2006, it didn’t take long to catch on. When people finally started figure out how to use the # or hashtag, then people to talk about common TV shows. Today this is still very common. Then marketing departments for TV shows figured out how they could get feedback and they created their own apps or applications. This also has been complimented with TV channels also having both websites and applications to get feedback.

Some examples of these types of applications are:

PlayAlong, by Visiware (the first to allow synchronization between TV and mobile devices as TV shows are broadcasting)

Power Bar by BBC  (Twitter based – agree or disagree with what is on TV or being said)

ZDF’s Rette die Million! (people at home can answer and play the same questions that are on TV)

Yahoo!7’s Fango mobile app (people can “check in” to various shows, talk via IM about the show, take quizzes, and various other interactive items)

Fango tv social type

My Fango App

Australian Open (has an app where people can ask sports anchors questions or have them ask different athletes questions from viewers at home)

CSC Media Group‘s BuzMuzik (is a social music channel which the online users direct which songs to play on the air)

As I’ve stated, here in Australia, it started with the Fango app (channel 7) and in the last year many of the others have apps now. Channel 9 has online viewing via their website to past shows. Channel 10 has Zeebox.  The ABC channel has iView.  SBS has On Demand. And these are only the mainstream channels! I’m not talking about the cable or satellite services you can get as well.

In December 2012, there were 2 types of rating systems being worked on – Nielsen bought SocialGuide, Nielsen and Twitter announced they were working on creating something called the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating. This is slated to begin in the fall of 2013 (so keep your eyes open!). This is what was done back in the TV days when everyone talked about the Nielsen ratings. Now, Nielsen is collaborating with Twitter for new and more updated TV Ratings.

My History

As you can tell by reading above, we have had the TV experiences. We have also moved onto using some of the apps. These are sometimes a great experience and sometimes very frustrating. Why you wonder?

Well with Fango, both myself and my husband were both using the app on either our smartphones or tablets. However, my husband’s kept crashing over and over again. Finally he just gave up on it. Myself, I was doing the quizzes on it and some of the tying, but the way people were almost bullying others and name calling made me stop using it. The experience of it is supposed to be enjoyable, and it was more uncomfortable rather than enjoyable. The way I figure it is that if its not enjoyable why do it.

xfactor tv social type

My X Factor Poll

However, on the other hand, I have downloaded both the X Factor and the 7 News app and they are great. The X factor used to allow you to talk to others. Now they’ve slimmed it down to only voting and that costs money, so I’ve stopped using that one. However, the 7 News App is great because as you are watching news programs, you can give feedback on what you think about a story. It was really interesting  when the Federal Election was on here because people could tell others what was more important and what you thought  was complete crap and

My 7News App

My 7News App

what was truthful. Although I have to say, all some people that were using the app had to hear that it was one persons turn to speak and before they could even say a word,the worm thing took nosedives – and the poor guy hadn’t even said a word yet! So just beware that some of the voting can be just hogwash too.

What’s next for this blog?

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed these series of articles. This was the last blog about the different types of social media. Now I’ll be taking a look at how to set up successful strategies for using it.

Social Media Type: Social Networks

Most people recognize the term Social Networking, but do you actually know how long they’ve been around? The answer might shock you – since the late 1990’s! They first appeared with Geocities and Tripod; however, they were never very interactive which is why people don’t actually recognize them as being social networks. I know I had an account with each and never recognized it until after I stopped using them.

Types of Social Networks

MySpace & Facebook

Then in the early 2000’s we had the beginning of what everyone termed Social Networking with the creation of MySpace. I do still have a MySpace account; however, I never use it, so don’t try and get me on there. Anyhow, then Facebook was created in 2004 and it took a while for people to realize what it was. However, people like me, created an account as soon as we could. For me, that was in 2006, but I didn’t like it very much, so I mainly used MySpace until 2007 when the major push happened for Facebook. Since then, it’s my main way to communicate with others. I do have a personal Facebook account, but I do not have a professional one.

Twitter

With Twitter, I resisted it because I couldn’t see the reasoning with it. I created this back in 2011 in response to work wanting me to have an account to use for communication. I have to say, in the past 2 years, I can see the need to follow people to have information forwarded to you. However, that being said, I still cannot see it for those of us who only use it to tell everyone what’s going on. Isn’t that way Facebook does and you can add pictures if you really want to. Besides, Facebook doesn’t limit you to a certain amount of characters. I know others love this type of communication, but unless you are a star (TV, stage, screen, music, singer, etc), promoter, endorse or produce products (like a writer or inventor), I honestly cannot see what the use is for Twitter I’m sorry to say.popular social networking 2013

LinkedIn

I could have sworn I had a LinkedIn account in 2007 and stopped using it; however, when I went to look last year, I found that I didn’t have one after all. However, since then, I’ve created a LinkedIn account and have connections made. It seems to be a great little area if you are looking for other professionals to talk about general areas and to reconnect with other professionals you used to work with in past positions. When I lost my job, in early 2013, we were told that this would be a great place to put our information for other professionals to reference when looking for people for positions. I don’t know anyone who has obtained a position this way, but there’s always hope!

Pinterest

It’s only been in the last year that I’ve heard about Pinterest. That being said, it’s only been around since 2010. Again, I couldn’t see the sense in it other than doing things in pictures rather than words. However, I figured this would be a great way to spice up my area of the website, so I created an account in the last month. I can see the marketing potential, but usage as a personal user; I cannot see the use for it but I am willing to try.

Google Plus+

Would you believe I have 2 Google+ or G+ accounts? This is due to being a Learn Local Practitioner (or in layman’s words – I teach pre accredited training to people) and when I started my Certificate IV in Web Based Technologies, the teacher recommended that we start an Google+ account. One account is used for when I am teaching, to access online docs as well as emails and the other is my professional account. I can see it’s a great resource for talking and collaboration on topics.

Ning

I do have a Ning account, again for teaching, but I haven’t gotten around to actually accessing it.

There are many other Social Networks out there; however, I have touched on the more popular ones and ones that I have used. Want more? There is a longer list of social networking sites.

Why People don’t want to join Networks

Some people haven’t joined Social Networking sites. Others have joined, used them for a bit and then cancelled their accounts. Why? Well, there’s a range of reasons why. I have asked people that I know either why they haven’t joined or why they stopped. Below is a few reasons I’ve been told:question with stickman

  • Don’t have the time
  • Don’t see the point, I can get more out of a phone call
  • Too many game & people requests
  • Jokes are all I see
  • I can get all of the news by someone else’s account that I live with, why should I have one?

I’ve had a range of ages, but I have to admit that these are usually people, men and women, over the age of 35. These include workmates, my family, and associates. I have to admit; sometimes I just step away, especially if we’re on vacation or holidays, from social media for a few days. My husband has less social networks, but intends to be more addicted than I am. Do you step away or are you online most of the day?

What do you think? Did I do Social Networks justice or did I get it completely wrong? Do you agree with my assessments for Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+? Leave a comment and let me know.

Social Media – What’s my connection to it?

Social Media has been around for years. Most people don’t realize just how long it has been around, but it’s been around since the 1950’s and continued into the 1970’s with phone phreaking. This was when you would use a box (sePhone Phreaking Boxe picture) which would trick the computer, which controlled the phone calls, with tones and would make the calls free. Once you knew which tones were used for which number and such, you could make international calls for free even though it was against the law. This included calling into corporations answering machines and leaving messages there for others.  In “The Lost Interview with Steve Jobs”, Steve explains how he actually did this.  Further, by this point the US Military and, later, education systems were using emails though mainframes to exchange information.

Then in the late 1970’s until the mid-1990’s, Bulletin Board Systems or BBS’ came on the scene.  These were when you could use your computer system to dial into another system and chat, play games and exchange informational messages.  This was when I was starting to understand about getting connected and exchanging information with others – the year was 1991. Everything seemed to hit the accelerate button – all of a sudden my computer went from producing reports and collecting information to communication with others and quick exchange of ideas. My family always thought that I was strange because I would sit in the room for hours looking and trying different things with the computer that they bought because I was always talking about them. Now I was going out to meet others and talk about what was going on and what more we could do with the information and ideas. By this time, I was heading towards college and starting to look forward to it. However, the colleges hadn’t worked their way to using BBS’ yet but they had mentionJo during OCCC Daysed to the programming classes, which I was in, about emails. A few of us quickly went in and looked at how we could make that happen and by the end of the year, we had most of the class in on sending them.

Social Media starting to crawl

By the middle of the 1990’s we also had people starting to talk about emails and dialing in and the use of looking up things for information. I know by talking to others some thought that it was crazy and would never go any place and others didn’t quite understand it. I had just started to go to a State University after completing my Associates Degree in Computer Information Systems. It was here that my life radically changed. Within a month, I had:

So my “social” education started to overtake my life I have to say. I would stay up all hours and sometimes days’ discovering what was out there. I had email pen pals via the newsgroups, made friends and chatted to them via the internet, looked information up on the web and downloaded things. In fact, I found friends on the net, found a boyfriend which became my fiancée after he proposed over Mirc and moved countries after exchanging tons of emails. We married in 1997 when meeting and marrying over the internet just wasn’t heard of.  In fact, over half of our attendants in our wedding were friends online!  As long as we’ve been together, there have b1997 our weddingeen a website which is still going as well. When people find out how we’ve met and our history, they are still shocked especially as we are still going strong as ever.

Social Media Expanding at the speed of light

Since 1997, things have just exploded in Social Media. In fact, one thing was there was actually a term for it eventually. Social Media was once only considered something that was done for geeks and people with a technology background because of what was involved. However, since 1998, accessing and using the internet has gotten very easy for everyone, so now everyone can use it. This is when businesses sat up and thought about the web and how to get productivity out of it. I know in my experience, the company I used to work for brought someone in to work on the website and everyone thought that it was weird. I explained why it wasn’t weird to have someone to work on the internet and intranet. Eventually, people realized my experience and I helped the person maintain and update the sites.

Once 2000, hit an explosion of Social Media hit. It seemed like you needed to be on it or else you were looked at weird. I just sat back and watched as by this point I had a MySpace and Facebook account but hadn’t really used them. I had these mainly because of family in the US being able to contact me easier, which means everything was still, for me, personal. I had many different forums and nicknames on Irc to use but started to feel as it wasn’t doing much for me.

In 2001, I lost my job because of part of the company being sold, and had a chance to sit back and look at the changes in the internet. I learned quite a bit – from blogging (I have 2

accounts – this one and a personal concepts blog) in different forms to the new coding on websites.

Once I was employed again, I was in charge of the website, email accounts and later was in the steering committee for Social Media for the regional government department I was in. In the past 2 years, I was in charge of the Social Media at our last Conference.  People don’t seem to realize how many different ways Social Media is out there and used today. In fact, I’ve actually come up with categories to fit most of the types today. These are:

Over the years it’s been interesting to see how different people and departments viewed Social Media – some viewed it as an annoying little bug and wished it away, others wanted it to grow and then tried to stop it or have maximum control over it once it got going. However, I believe that everyone has to accept that no matter how you look at it, Social Media is here to stay.

I’m going to look at each of these types in the upcoming blogs featured here.

What do you think? Are my Social Media types right on the mark or did I miss a type?

The Conversation Prism

Social Media Management Systems – What it is and how it can help you!

How many of us today are time poor and looking to do things better? Remember when you just had one online account and you spent all day tending to that? Fond memories some of us say, since the inception of Social Media into the world has us working longer and harder.  I hate to tell you this, but according to Matt McGee at Marketing Land, you haven’t seen anything yet. Social Media is supposed to grow even faster in the future. How would you feel if I could tell you a way around having this type of overload and help with your productivity?

Most people haven’t head of Social Media Management Systems, or SMMS, but these types of systems can and will help you. I can see people not believing me or say that there’s no way something can help that much. Social Media Management Systems help you manage your Social media accounts in various ways. It can be keeping all different types of it together or just looking at different parts of it, but it will help you.In trying to get the best system to monitor my different types of Social Media, I tried many different types of systems. Then I narrowed my choices down to important aspects for both a home and business user. The aspects I was looking for were:

  • Free evaluation software which was only one software package that was web browser based
  • An advantage would be if it also included adaptability for mobile usage for accessibility
  • Easy to configure for a wide range of Social Media Tools (including Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums, Photo Sharing, LinkedIn)
  • Easy to update one or all of the wide range of Social Media Tools at the same time
  • An advantage would be if it also included a scheduler for periods when messages, tweets and status updates needed to be accounted but someone wasn’t available to do them
  • Reporting and narrowing of priority target groups can be done
  • Transferring of questions and referrals can be done within the software so the person asking questions or needing further information can talk directly to a knowledgeable person rather than someone with less knowledge.

I took this list of desirable features and searched to see what was on the market to meet these needs and wants

. Some of these features would be ideal for personal use and, I believe, all of them would be ideal for businesses to meet specific business targets. For over 4 weeks, I searched and trialled several systems including BuzzBundle, Kred, Sprout Social, and HootSuite. I ran or tried to run these systems concurrently, to truly test out the features in each.

However, a week into the research, there was a clear frontrunner out of all the systems – HootSuite. It did take a bit of time to understand how the software worked, but upon watching the online video of Hoot100 course, which is free to anyone, I was confident on using the software.

The video, below, directs you to the location, the look and the use of the software. You will see the system’s interface, the ease of setting up different types of Social Media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Flickr just to show you the different types of accounts you can access with this software. Further, writing status updates to one or all of these and the inclusion of a delay function are easy to use as well.

As you can see, the thought processes that have gone into this software are amazing. The screens are pretty straight forward, allow for much adaptation for personalization. I didn’t go into the help areas, but they have many areas for you to get help. These areas range from: videos that are step by step, to a blog which is updated, to feedback in different areas for improvement and that’s only a few areas.

To go along with the advantages, there are always disadvantages as well. Some disadvantages can be horrific and some are just a small blimp that it’s a user’s own preference as to if it’s a disadvantage or not.  I believe that I am being a very fussy user and these can be easily overlooked. HootSuite uses their own system for shortening the web address or URL in posts and this is known as Ow.ly. Not all social media tools accept the Ow.ly system and you can have problems. I found it irritating I had an added worry of making sure all links and pictures I posted over this time. Because I found it easy to miss these types of posts not posting to your sites. However, I don’t use this function enough to be really concerned at this point, but it is a concern if someone uses the software and the task doesn’t work properly.

The other concern I had was with the reporting. Remember, I was using the free plan of the software and it really didn’t give much functionality of reports. I did sit and work with the reports section for a while, but I found it was only reporting Twitter information only and I could only get a tiny bit of that information in a report. However, from the demos I saw, if you were on any of the paying plans, you would get that functionality with narrowing searches and groups to meeting business goals.

Lastly, as more of a warning, I want to reference the instance of HootSuite’s data center hosting failing for 15 hours. HootSuite knew this was something that could harm their business due to people needing a reliable system. They offered a credit to paying users to be used and took steps in preventing further mishaps. Shea Bennett from Media Bistro wrote an article concerning the outage and credit, besides she was one of the affected users, and continues to be confident with using HootSuite. It is important to note the instance of this event; however, I did not experience this so I must leave this out of my evaluation.

In conclusion, after all of my testing of the different software, I’d recommend HootSuite for those who use many different types of Social Media. It will make you and your business happier and more productive. This will help with the increasing nature of Social Media on both your well being as well as the company’s profit margin. This is one way we can decrease our overload of some of the work that we all do, while doing our best to maintain an open and clear line of communication with people who demand it.

Your comments and/or experiences concerning Social Media Management Systems and HootSuite are welcome below. HootSuite is the system we recommend and is our choice of a Social Media Management System.

Jo Ann J. Fitzgerald has worked in the IT Department for P&O Maritime Services in Melbourne, Australia and has worked for the Victorian State Government  in the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Pathways and Participation Division, as a Project Support Officer. She has used the internet and has had a webpage for over 15 years. In fact, she met her husband online!

To hear Jo Ann say this paragraph, please click on the play button below.