Author Archive

“Social dominance”: a Research Magazine debate

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I was invited to take part in a debate for Research Magazine recently. The question posed was whether social media research can ever be a replacement for traditional methodologies. My opinion is that social… Continue reading

Punishing the unfollowers

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Riding the tube this morning, I overheard a conversation between two young women about how they use different social networks (which was fortuitous because I haven’t laid down a social marker longer than… Continue reading

The appeal of inclusivity vs. exclusivity in social media

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Two articles caught my attention this week. One of which you may have already read and the other, you probably haven’t. They both examined the individual appeal of different social networks. The in-crowd… Continue reading

Put it in context

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“A work of art is something produced by a person, but is not that person – it is of her, but is not her. It’s a reach, really – the artist is trying… Continue reading

“There are enough Instagram photos of the beach”

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The Huffington Post recently published an article headlined, ‘Why You Shouldn’t Bother Instagramming At The Beach‘. It revealed there were more than 19 million uses of the #beach hashtag on Instragram. Apparently this… Continue reading

Free to forget

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Snapchat published a fascinating blog post on their site last week, written by their new researcher, Nathan Jurgenson. In it, Jurgenson examined how we’ve built a “particular, and peculiar, orientation to time: an… Continue reading

Laying down a social marker

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BrainJuicer’s Tom Ewing wrote a blog post today about how the way we listen to music could change. He envisioned people will soon have “attention regimes, in the way they follow dietary regimes… Continue reading

Structured and unstructured data

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The Guardian recently used a useful analogy to explain the difference between content and metadata. Content being the letter and metadata the envelope. So, for example, in an email the “to”, “from” and… Continue reading

A few tips on ‘social media analysis’

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I find a lot of presentations and articles about how to do any type of social media analysis read like a series of abstractions designed to create the appearance of knowledge. The only… Continue reading

The value of qualitative research

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“All polls of opinion must be superficial. They reveal the top of what people think organized into common sense. What people really think is always partly hidden” – Susan Sontag Terrence Malick’s The Tree… Continue reading

Homage to the Following

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I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the past year-and-a-half sitting next to an incredibly talented researcher. During those 18 months, we frequently shared articles and exchanged ideas; often discussing them at length. I… Continue reading

Look at me, I’m a true Belieber!

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(this article has since been featured on The Huffington Post) I see u all. Trust me — Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) February 25, 2013 #5yearsJustinSigned was trending throughout the world on Twitter on Saturday,… Continue reading

When the playground extends to Twitter

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An in-depth study of Facebook users by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that “regrettable postings are not unusual“, with 23% of those surveyed regretting something they’ve recently shared. Respondents, who came from a wide… Continue reading

What does Pew’s Twitter analysis mean for social media research?

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It’s all too easy to use your blog or Twitter account to only draw attention to studies that back up what you’re selling. Among those working in social media in some form, it… Continue reading

The theoretical & theatrical side of the web

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I spent part of this weekend in (virtual) attendance at an academic conference in New York. ‘Theorizing the Web’ brought together scholars, journalists, artists, and commentators to examine the impact new digital technologies are having on… Continue reading

Risk and reward in social media: why trending is the ultimate goal for teenagers

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(this article has since been featured on The Huffington Post) If you live outside the UK, or don’t have a passing interest in football, you may have missed the recent ‘ball boy scandal’ which… Continue reading

Vine, sound bites and our obsession with brevity

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“If you couldn’t say it in less than 10 seconds, it wasn’t heard because it wasn’t aired” – Michael Dukakis, 1988 Presidential candidate By the time you’ve finished reading this sentence, almost six… Continue reading

The Pope critiques digital dualism

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As regular readers of the blog will know, we’re strong critics of those who separate the online and offline into distinct and independent realities (something Nathan Jurgenson coined as ‘digital dualism’ back in… Continue reading

“Creating a conversation” and corporate blogging

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“The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of… Continue reading

Facebook’s other fear

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Away from the talk of how useful Facebook’s new Graph Search will eventually prove to be, this rather dream-like video promoting the service also caught my eye. It suggests Facebook is as much… Continue reading

Is outrage the only mode of online discourse?

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The Guardian recently published an opinion piece by writer and comedian Viv Groskop in which she claimed that “outrage has become the lingua franca of a generation”. She bemoaned the fact “words and opinions are… Continue reading

What we learnt about social media in 2012

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With the end of the year fast approaching, we thought we’d look back at some of the ideas we’ve explored on our blog during the past year and demonstrate how our approach to understanding social… Continue reading

The imperceptible impact of social media on our everyday lives

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“The essence of ultimate decision remains impenetrable to the observer – often, indeed, to the decider himself” – John F. Kennedy In her last blog post, Gaelle wrote about the impact our friends… Continue reading

Clustering, Tolstoy and the “real world”

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“At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal force in the heart of man: one very reasonably tells the man to consider the nature of the danger… Continue reading

Which newspaper is the real social media success story?

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A recent report in Press Gazette revealed that The Economist had the most Facebook likes amongst UK publications and, back in March, The Wall used it as an example of a social media success story within the… Continue reading

Finding the story within: why size doesn’t always matter

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In a recent column in the Evening Standard, Rosamund Urwin commented on the findings of a Which? survey which discovered that 11% of the public trusted bankers. She made the slightly tongue-in-cheek point… Continue reading

Is the emotional realism of the internet the dramatic expression of the power structure of our age?

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A recent Adam Curtis lecture explored the idea that, since the advent of the internet, all we have is our own experiences and our circle of friends and we don’t believe in the… Continue reading

Digital accountability and the increasingly demanding consumer

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Have you had a bad experience with a company recently and your first instinct was to use social media to convey how angry you were? In the past, we’d write a letter of… Continue reading

Taking social media research beyond brand tracking

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I’ve written in the past about how social media offers researchers the opportunity to do more than just track brand mentions and I thought it would be useful to follow this up with… Continue reading

Teenage kicks right through the web

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I recently wrote about ‘digistalgia’ and the idea that the hyper-documentation of our lives through social media is ushering in accelerated nostalgia amongst teenagers. I thought it would be interesting to build on… Continue reading

‘Digistalgia’: has social media shaped teen attitudes to brands?

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I think, or at least imagine, it has always been the case that a shorter passage of time need pass before nostalgic tendencies develop in younger people. To a teenage girl, a few… Continue reading

It’s just another brick in the (research) wall

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Two criticisms that we often face when discussing the effectiveness of social media research with clients are: i)  People only post in very particular situations (so we’re effectively only capturing opinions expressed in… Continue reading

Could a ‘social media poll’ prove to be dangerous?

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With the London Mayoral election just around the corner, and, on the other side of the Atlantic, the race for the Presidency fast approaching, I have no doubt we’ll see even more agencies… Continue reading

People don’t really know why they do what they do

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According to Nielsen’s latest ‘Global Trust in Advertising’ report word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews, either from someone they know or a stranger’s opinions online, are the most trusted sources of information for buying decisions. In… Continue reading

The silent brand

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“People don’t want to talk about brands, they want to talk about their lives” – Global Head of Social, OgilvyAction If you’re interested in social media, I imagine at some point you’ve read… Continue reading

Miley takes a bite out of Apple

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Can Miley Cyrus damage Apple’s reputation with a single tweet about dropping her iPhone? Absolutely. Can I prove this? Absolutely not. What I won’t attempt to do here is to draw any crude correlation with… Continue reading

The perception of brand momentum is increasingly becoming a reality

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In a lot of the research we’ve undertaken recently, we’ve noticed some big differences in how consumers perceive a brand to be doing as opposed to how well it actually is doing. The… Continue reading

Who’s afraid of the big Other? The interpassivity of social media

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A (slightly irreverent) look at the ‘professional’ Twitter user Following on from Claire Moon’s fascinating take on how we present ourselves online, I think it’s important to reiterate the point that any insights… Continue reading

When mobile tribes go to war

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This is the first in a series of monthly posts tracking social media conversations about five of the leading global mobile handset brands (iPhone, Samsung, HTC, BlackBerry and Nokia). We will track and identify the key… Continue reading

Twitter and the parasitic press

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We did some research at Precise recently which looked at when and why the media reported news as a ‘Twitter storm’. We discovered that, in many cases, the media was including the public’s response to… Continue reading