Overuse of Social Networking?

The editors of The New York Times, ask, “Is there such a thing as overuse of social networking tools? In the online world, is the notion of a public/private divide simply not applicable?”

Throughout the post, the editors consulted the following experts in the online social media field:

Clay Shirky, Interactive Telecommunications Program at N.Y.U
Timothy B. Lee, Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy
Susan Mernit, former AOL vice president and blogger
David E. Meyer psychology professor, University of Michigan

Clay Shirky, “Society has always carved out space for young people to misbehave. We used to do this by making a distinction between behavior we couldn’t’t see, because it was hidden, and behavior we could see, because it was public. That bargain is now broken, because social life increasingly includes a gray area that is publicly available, but not for public consumption.”

Timothy B. Lee, “Many users find these tools inconvenient or hard to use, and some are careless about posting information that could become embarrassing in the future. But we shouldn’t be too impatient; the offline world has a centuries-long head start in developing privacy-preserving tools and social conventions.”

Susan Merit, “One of the truths of social media that is hard to face is that micro information can be both embarrassing and boring, leading to a terminal case of twittering too hard and to the need to get over yourself. Wondering if you’ve crossed the line? If you have to ask, you probably have.”

David E. Meyer, “Excessive multitasking can lead to chronic stress, with potential damage to the cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems. Fatal accidents are more likely too. Nobody, not even the inveterate multitasker, is completely invulnerable to these effects. “

After reviewing the comments of these experts, what do you think warrants an overuse of social networking?

Updated TMRE Speaker Profile: Jim Dator

Jim Dator will be a keynote speaker at this year’s The Market Research Event. The Market Research Event will be taking place from October 18-21, 2009, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He will be presenting “How do you Research a Tsunami? A New Era For Market Research.”

Dator founded Alternative Futures in 1977, and is currently a professor at the University of Hawaii. He is also the Head of Futures Graduate Option. A collection of the papers he has written is available here. A podcast titles “Four Generic Images of the Futures ‘ Continued Growth, Collapse of Economic Stuctures, Disciplined Sustainable Society, Transformation” is available here.

His major areas of specialization include:

–Political futures studies (especially the forecasting and design of new political institutions, and the futures of law, education, and technology)

–Space and society, especially the design of governance systems for space settlements

–The political-economic futures of North America, the Pacific Island region, and East Asia, especially Japan and South Korea

–Media production and the politics of media– video, radio, and multimedia production and the effects of these media on political and other human relations and consciousness

He is also: Co-Director, Space & Society Department International Space University, Strasbourg, France.

Fellow and member of the Executive Council of the World Academy of Art & Science,

Secretary General/President of the World Futures Studies Federation, 1983-93.

He was an advisor to the Hawaii State Commission for the Year 2000, and has consulted with state futures commissions for Florida, Oregon, and Illinois. He has been a planning consultant to the state judiciaries of Hawaii, Virginia, Arizona, Massachusetts, Illinois and Kansas, and the Federated States of Micronesia as well as several law firms in Hawaii and on the US mainland.

He has lectured to several thousand general, professional, governmental, business, as well as futurist, audiences in Hawaii and throughout the United States and Canada, and in Costa Rica, Italy, Egypt, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Sweden, Holland, England, North and South Korea, Japan, China, Yugoslavia, Spain, Hungary, Australia, Romania, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Finland, New Zealand and Pakistan.

References: Wikipedia and Muratopia

Target: Using Facebook for good

At Slate, this week they look at the good Target is doing by contributing to the community.

They have two rules:
Rule 1: A corporation should do good.
Rule 2: It should tell everybody that it’s doing Rule 1.

To do this, they’ve created a Facebook Fan Page to let Facebook users choose which charity their money goes to by creating a polling. Watch the video for more info:

Customer service in the airport

At the Jaunted Blog, they recently posted about superior customer service from the airline industry. A rarity in today’s day and age, Omri tells about how by circumstance, he missed his flight. After dealing with the front desk and receiving less than satisfactory results when it came to getting on another flight, they entered the terminal, and the United Customer Service professionals exceeded their expectations.

At this point we were desperate and – figuring that the already-mentioned vodka would wash away any latent distaste from begging – decided to try our luck. What happened next was surreal: the woman who helped us turned out to be cheerful, competent, and helpful. In an airport, of all places.

She managed to confirm us on a flight that left before 10am. She managed to charge us half of the ostensibly mandatory $150 fee. And she managed to do it all in under five minutes. And then as we were leaving, she even asked if we still wanted to wait standby on the next flight.

The end of the article points out that if a customer find the right people to help you with their customer service needs, they will receive the service they are looking for. Now the question is, are you providing enough of these people for your customers?

TMRE March LinkedIn Update

If you haven’t had a chance to join our TMRE group at LinkedIn, please do! With over 1,500 members, it’s a great place to gain insight from others with Market Research backgrounds. This month we focused on how to build brands using insight. Hop on over to the forums and tell us what you think!

Here are a few articles looking at using insights to build brands:
How-To: Build & Manage Your Brand Identity with Social Media

Storytelling: Using narrative to build your brand

We invite you to jump in and share your insights in the discussion section:
What great brands were born from consumer insights?

How can consumer insights be leveraged to save brands that are declining in today’s recession?

Fast Food Customer Service Scores

Nanette Byrnes of BusinessWeek reports that The University of Michigan’s American Customer Service Index is out and Fast Food has scored high marks. According to Byrnes’ article, “Fast food, which has been climbing steadily since the mid 1990s, tied last year’s record high customer satisfaction figures ‘Overall they’ve done quite well in matching what they have, including price, to what a growing percentage of the population want,’ says Claes Fornell, head of the index.”

With the recession sweeping across the United States, many individuals are turning to fast food as a dinner out instead of traditional quick-serve restaurants like Applebee’s, Chili’s and Friday’s. The new influx of customers may make customer service even more important to gain and retain the new fast food customers.

Byrnes reports that, “McDonald’s, with simple innovations like better coffee, does well by that measure these days. The burger giant was rewarded with a 1.4% climb last year to a score of 70. That’s better than both Kentucky Fried Chicken, which dropped 1.4%, and Burger King, which fell 2.8%, the biggest drop in the group. Burger King was late to recognize the consumer’s value focus. “

Fast Food Customer Service Scores

Social Media: A Marketing Fail?

Today on MediaPost.com, reporter Joe Mandese covers the new report from Knowledge Networks called “How People Use Social Media.” The report claims that now with over 83% of internet users utilizing social networks, less than 5% of these individuals turn to social media for advice on specific products. The Knowledge Network’s report says that people are turning to social media to connect with individuals and finding a rich experience when joining a social networking site; however, these individuals are not finding it to be a “meaningful” way to connect with brands and products.

Mandese reports, “Obviously, a lot of people are using social media, but they are not explicitly turning to it for marketing purposes, or for finding out what products to buy. It’s really about connecting with friends, or connecting with other people,” says Dave Tice, vice president and group account director at Knowledge Networks, and the top analyst behind the report. “What we’re seeing is that word-of-mouth is still the No. 1 most influential source, followed by TV. The influence of social media isn’t at the bottom of the list, but it is somewhere in the long tail of marketing – about the same as print ads, or online [display] ads.”

As a social media professional, we encourage you to read Mandese’s article in its entirety.

Social Media Fails To Manifest As Marketing Medium, Report Likens Twitter To TiVo: More Hype Than Reality

Has social media worked for marketing? Will it ever be a valuable vehicle for marketers to connect with their audience on a more personal level?

Using Google Insights For Niche/Market Research?

Are you using Google Insights for Market Research? Blogger Ben Johnson has a great post on how exactly Google Insights may be used for Market Research. Johnson writes, “So what is Google Insights? Basically it’s a tool which allows you to compare and analyse search volume and patterns for your specified search terms over a given period of time, area of the world or a specific category.”

Not only does Google Insights allow real-time data, but the clear charts really make it worthwhile for market researchers.

What other free software is available for market researchers? What tips can you share for analyzing the market for a particular product or service?

Netflix: Getting Customer Service Right

PC World recently wrote a post about how NetFlix is doing an excellent job responding to its customers and giving them great service. According to Edward Albro, he recently had problems with his streaming services on Netflix. He assumed it was issues on his end, such as his internet connection. But when he opened his email one morning recently, he had received and email discount for 2% on his current NetFlix bill. The company took responsibility for it’s technology error, and let their customers know if the issue. There was no mess when dealing with the company. Do you know any other compnies who have stepped up and taken responsibility when an error was caused by their systems?

Daily Beauty adds experts to team of professional bloggers

Daily Beauty, the popular website that offers beauty information has added Beauty Bloggerati. This new group of bloggers features a team of experts who focus on make up, skin care, hair styles, hair care, green beauty, weddings, travel and mom beauty.

Jeannette McClennan, CEO, Daily Makeover commented:
‘The Beauty Bloggerati will expand our beauty knowledge base, enrich the online dialogue and offer our community members the latest trends and advice from experts across the country. This isn’t simply another beauty network. We’ve hand selected 13 beauty and fashion bloggers to join after conducting an extensive search, which included their content, traffic and online ratings from various outlets. Not only will the Daily Makeover Beauty Bloggerati enhance our members online experience, but it offers a channel for these experts to extend their exposure and stand-out in the blogosphere.’

Source: Business Wire