The following provides a roundup of some of the articles and thought pieces which have got me thinking recently.
Pratik Dholakiya profiles different scientific studies into social media, highlighting some important findings. Among the conclusions are the following: consumer to consumer interactions on Facebook assets that are particularly important in influencing sales; the development of viral content should be framed in terms of retaining as well as expanding your audience; and community activities (eg forums) have a crucial role in contributing to sales when compared to traditional media.
GlobalWebIndex have produced a short report looking at the global penetration of different social networks, which are growing fastest, with regional and age breakdowns.
Epidemiological methods are used to predict the future decline of Facebook (apparently significant between 2015 and 2017) by researchers from Princeton University. More information on the research over at AllFacebook although there are some dissenting views.
David Meyer points to over eager social marketers as handicapping the newly launched social network Jelly before its even had a chance to build up a decent audience.
Joy of Tech provides a wry take on Google’s recent acquisition of the Nest Labs home automation company.
Matt Cutts looks at the demise of guest blogging as it becomes more and more associated with spammy SEO.
Marc Andreessen wrote an essay in the New York Times which gives a welcome introduction into the wider potential of Bitcoins particularly in terms of payments. Glenn Fleishman who has already written an article on Bitcoins for the Economist, wrote a response in Medium to Andreessen’s essay calling out various inaccuracies and/0r inconsistencies. Both are well worth a read.
Whilst there’s been a lot of attention on the monetisation strategies of Line, WeChat and other mobile messaging platforms, WhatsApp continues to grow at a rapid rate according to the latest Mashable report.
GigaOm looks at the case of a business person who was outed as transgender in a investigative report in Grantland which may have contributed to her committing suicide. Aside from the ethics of disclosing someone’s gender, it also points to the ability for stories published online to have a much greater reach and impact than the print equivalent. Christina Kahrl has written a follow on piece in Grantland looking at the mistakes made in the publication of the piece vis-a-vis which is similarly worth a read.
Chris McKinlay took an extraordinarily analytical approach to finding a match on OkCupid. The Wired story makes for an interesting analysis of how big data can be used in a more personal setting.
For those of you who have caught Spike Jonze’s new film Her (which I thoroughly recommend), New York magazine has had a look at how far off we are from having a Samantha like virtual assistant.