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[DONE] Action-91 Write summary of Ros's talk

From: Phil Archer <phil@philarcher.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 16:03:47 +0100
Message-ID: <4ABA38D3.3060406@philarcher.org>
To: public-xg-socialweb@w3.org
Following today's meting I've written up a pre็is of the talk given by 
Ros Lawler of Random House and the ensuing discussion. See 
or, if you prefer, here's the text:

Invited Speaker: Ros Lawler, Head of eCommerce, Random House Group

A highly successful and dynamic marketeer, Ros Lawler spoke to the group 
about Random House's use of social media as a marketing tool.

Ros explained that the simplest use of social networks is that fans of 
given publishers self-organise so you can meet them and engage directly. 
For example, Dave Gorman had a fan site who they, Random House, 
approached. They were able to offer video content and more to the group 
so that they were able to join the conversation. Members of that group 
were invited to a pre-launch event and met Dave Gorman etc. so that 
works well.

Where no fan group exists Random House can create one. For example, they 
did this for Terry Pratchet by working with Bebo – which has a younger 
age profile and is generally more creative than Facebook. They ran a 
competition where people dressed up as their favourite Discworld 
character and submitted videos etc.

At the end of the day it's about return on investment. The highest ROI 
is achieved by e-mail so one activity of social media usage is data 
capture so they can do e-mail marketing. but this is time consuming work 
and they constantly have to balance the effort with the return.

Initial usage of social media was done from people's personal Twitter 
feeds and SN pages but this quickly becomes unmanageable so they created 
corporate accounts. Colleagues go through digital training in how to 
use, say Tweetdeck – and then the problem hist because corporate IT 
departments won't allow such software to be installed and run. This lead 
to a discussion of corporate culture – backed up by other big companies 
represented in the meeting. The conservative IT culture goes against the 
social media culture. People being paid to spend time on Facebook, 
uploading and watching video causes more queries internally than just 
the (high) bandwidth use.

This lead to a suggestion of corporate IT Best Practice guidance?

We also discussed the problems of maintaining multiple accounts on 
multiple platforms – clearly a standardised approach for all SNs would 
make life easier and allow, for example, the ability to manage multiple 
accounts through a single interface. The existence of W3C widgets is a 
step in this direction.

There was a discussion about the Habitat (ab)use of the #iranelections 
tag on Twitter and the case of moonfruit (who provide white label 
websites). They asked people to include the #moonfruit tag to get a fee 
something and this lead to twitter eventually banning the tag – with all 
sorts of implications for editorial control and ownership. Similarly, 
Ning's terms and conditions say that anything posted on their network is 
their copyright – which prevents random House including any of their 
book content since, of course, that's their copyright.

Overall, this was an interesting discussion coming at social media from 
a different perspective then the group normally has.

Thanks to Ros for her time and insight.


Phil Archer

i-sieve technologies                   |      W3C Mobile Web Initiative
Sentiment Analysis Beyond Impressions  |      www.w3.org/Mobile
Received on Wednesday, 23 September 2009 15:04:38 UTC

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