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The Social Media Clarity Podcast
24 minutes | 4 years ago
Ban the Banhammer
Ban the Banhammer - Episode 28 Scott and Randy discuss the (mis)use of the various forms of the "ban" tool, and provide alternative techniques. Show Links It's Almost Impossible to Rehabilitate an Online Troll, Steve Brock Director of Moderation Services at Mzinga Building Web Reputation Systems SMC Epsiode 14: LinkedIn's Scarlet Letter #CMAD presents: Modern Moderation: Moving Beyond Trolls and Ban Hammers (stream)Streamed live on Jan 26, 2016 - Join us to talk tech with Justin Isaf, to ramble about reputations with F. Randall Farmer, to ponder proactive tasks with Sarah Hawk, to advocate for automation with Darren Gough, and to learn the legal aspects with Aurelia Butler-Ball. Transcript Randy: Ban the ban hammer. Scott: What? Randy: Ban the ban hammer. Scott: Wait a minute. We gotta talk about this. Randy: Welcome to the Social Media Clarity Podcast. 15 minutes of concentrated analysis and advice about social media and platform and product design. Scott: So in this episode we're going to focus on what seems to be the moderator's tool of choice, the ban. Randy: And how it is, most often in our experience, the wrong tool. Scott: Yeah, it could be the right tool in the right circumstance, but it's mostly misapplied. Randy: Yeah, if you're reaching for it first, it's probably the wrong tool, but we'll talk about that in detail. We could set this up by talking a little bit about our experiences encountering other people talking about the ban hammer. Scott, you find a wonderful reference post. Do you want to tell us a little bit about it? Scott: Sure. So, this is just an example. Steve Brock who's the director of moderation services at Mzinga that talked about the difficulties of rehabilitating online trolls. But in it he's talking a lot about bans. How to identify trolls, how to ban, what different bans are, and how to apply them, and whether or not they are effective. So this is a good example of how a lot people tend to think about dealing with misbehavior in online communities. Randy: Although, we're going to be picking a little bit on Mr. Brock, by no means is he unique in most of these positions. In fact, were going to talk a little bit about how each point has its own challenges and each point carries forward the error of the previous one, and it leads you to a place this is both undesirable and expensive. Scott: So what are the steps, Randy Randy: The steps are first you identify the troll, figure out who it is you're wanting to take action on. Someone who is doing harm to your site. You perma-ban them. We'll explain the different bans in a few minutes. The idea is to kick them off the site and make their identity no longer accessible. He also suggests removing all content, doesn't mean they're all bad. And if they return with a new account, immediately ban that as soon as you detect that. You could try hell-banning. This is number five, he says, "But they'll find out." He's actually right about that, and then he says, "Well, the abuse will get worse once they figure out you're pulling tricks on them." It turns out, number six, you have to assume that they can't be reformed, so you've got to stay vigilant. You have to stay on it all the time. And for his final step he says, "Therefore, you need 24 7 coverage and so you need to hire enough moderators to cover your site." It's our contention that this entire list that leads to outsourced 24 7 coverage of your site and a constant battle with removing people follows from errors starting at the very beginning of the list. Scott: But before we get into that, let's actually define a few of the terms that have come up already. Perma-ban, it's a ban that is based on the identity, banning the account. There's no fixed time out. That's it. You ban them, they're gone. You can ban based on their account. You can hit their IP address. You could try to ban them based on credit card so they can't start a new account if you're a paid account. Also, there's kind of this nuclear option of removing all of the content. Regardless of whether some of the content was actually good, you ban the person, therefore, their content must also go too. So, that's the perma-ban. Randy: I'll talk a little bit about hell-banning, which I mentioned earlier. This is also known as shadow-banning, stealth-banning, or ghost-banning. It's strange. It's hiding content from the community except for the creator of the content, the person you're hell-banning. The idea is, you'll see that you posted, but no one else will see the post. Meant to be discouraging, or meant to just let you burn out your energy. It goes all the way back to The Well. The Well had a method for doing this where people would actually selectively stop reading content from other people, and this led to destroyed threads that no one what was going on in the thread because you could never tell who was actually reading what. I want to quickly, even though I know were just making a list, I want to go ahead and shoot hell-banning in the head- Scott: Yup. Randy: So we don't have to talk about it much more. Because this involves a bunch of complicated technology, which is trivially defeated by anyone who is malicious and confusing to those who aren't. Scott: Yup. Randy: The community doesn't know what they're missing, and when someone knows someone and talks about it and they find out they're hell-banned, you end up with the community talking about hell-banning, not whatever your content is. Scott: Right. Randy: Scott and I are both unified. There's a lot of moderators like us. Do not waste any time on technology to hide from your user that their behavior is unacceptable. Scott: It wastes a lot of time because it leads inevitably to two results. Steve Brock calls it out perfectly. They'll find out, and then they just abuse even more and even harder because they feel like they've been cheated in some way. And then the other one is anyone else who isn't hell-banned or ghost-banned gets paranoid about whether or not they've been ghost-banned. If any technical glitch occurs, then they suddenly think that some action has been taken against them. This is not healthy for your community. You'll spend time assuaging people of their paranoia then you will building the actual community and trust. It destroys trust. So those are two types of bans. There's another type of ban, if you will, and it's the time out. It's a temporary suspension from being able to contribute in some particular way. This breaks up into a couple of ways. You can limit somebody's permission where they can't post, or they can't reply. You can even limit their ability to log into the system, but the idea is that it's a time out, so that you can communicate with the person. Or you can degrade their service. Randy, you have some good stories about degrading service. Randy: There are often reputations systems for detecting egregious behaviors, and I'm talking about is specifically, the spamming behavior. I worked for Yahoo for five years. When they would detect either a mail spamming bot, or a bot hitting the search engine to get results to use to make SCO, what they didn't do is ban IP addresses. What they did instead was build a reputation database and degraded service. What that meant was, when a request would come in from a highly suspected spamming robot, they would serve it, they would just serve it very slowly. This is kind of a low level taxing. What happens if you ban them all, we've seen one of the few days yahoo was actually down, they made a change to their interface for search, and all the spamming robots in the world that were hitting yahoo started failing instantly. They were getting instant errors back from the web servers. This was creating a denial of service attack, as a result of all the robots who were never used to failing now retrying instantaneously. So hundreds of thousands of robots were now sending hundreds of requests per minute. Scott: Yeah, that's bad. Randy: They put back the interface because there was this kind of detante in degraded service design. Scott: So that's not the same thing as ghost-banning, that's just degrading somebody's service because it's targeted. Spammers want to be able to spread their spam as quickly as possible and move on to the next target, and if you slow them down, you're actually costing them money. Randy: Spamming behavior is different from whatever trolling behavior is. The reason we say ban the banhammer is because cases like we've outlined here are missing the key point. The category error is the difference between troll and trolling. The difference between being a spammer, a person, and spamming. We really have a problem with online social contributions. It isn't people, it's behaviors. The only thing you can really evaluate is the content. It's trolling that's the problem, not trolls. Scott: Right. It's really important, and we've talked about his in the past, and I talk about this when I give workshops, you focus on the behavior, not on the person. In Sociology, there's a thing called the fundamental attribution error, and that's basically when you take a behavior and you ascribe that as a personality trait to a person. So if somebody does something that is a violation of your terms of service, they post something that is borderline racist, they are not necessarily a racist. They are not necessarily a troll. They've done something and then that's a specific behavior that can be addressed as opposed to simply assuming this is who they are and they'll never ever be different. You do wind up in the exactly that idea of trolls can never be reformed if you make certain assumptions that their behavior is tied intrinsically to their personality. We just know that's not true. Randy: We even know that ID's aren't people. Back to the post, the person comes back over and over with multiple ID's. So an ID banning solution is no solution at all. But sometimes, it's the reverse. Sometimes there's no person. When we star
13 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 27 - Responsibility.com
Responsibility.com - Episode 27 Social Responsibility and Social Platform Providers Description Marc, Scott, and Randy talk about recent changes at social platform companies as they wrestle with the ethics of their customers causing conflict, such as racism/sexism in AirBNB and Nextdoor. Links Airbnb, a Silicon Valley Titan, Breaks Ranks in Admitting Its Power, New Your Times, By Anad Giridharadas, 9/12/16 Nextdoor Breaks a Sacred Design Rule to End Racial Profiling, Wired Magazine, Margaret Rhodes, 8/31/16 What YouTube Stars Are Going to Do Now That They Can’t Swear and Get Paid, Motherboard, by Kaleigh Rogers, 9/2/16 Transcript Scott: This week, we’re going to talk about a trend that we’re seeing and is being reported in the media about large scale internet companies stepping up and taking some responsibility for the power that they are creating with their networks. Randy: Specifically the social power. Welcome to the Social Media Clarity podcast. 15 minutes of concentrated analysis and advice about social media in platform and product design. Marc: A lot of platforms have tried to be a common carrier. They don’t want to interfere with what goes on, on their platforms but in some ways those days are over in part because what went on, on some of those platforms turned out to be so bad that it could no longer be tolerated. Randy: On Airbnb, people were refusing guests because of their race. Scott: For a long time, Airbnb was essentially turning a blind eye to it saying we’re just providing the platform, but at some point there was enough response from the community, from people who were reporting on discrimination that was occurring within the given platform that Airbnb made a decision that we don’t really want this discrimination to be a feature of our platform so now we have to design something to eliminate or reduce the kinds of discrimination that are going on. Randy: When designing systems, I had to do this a few times at Yahoo that when a channel behavior and specifically say some behavior that some people participate in, is not acceptable when people interact with each other on our network, you will lose some customers. If you say, you cannot use race or gender in most cases, to limit who you rent your Airbnb room to, you’re going to lose some customers. You’re making a conscious decision of the type you didn’t make up until now generally which is you wanted all customers. In the early days of the internet, all that mattered was the number of … First there was eyes and then when they start to have communities like a number of transactions that occurred. That’s all you cared about. Now, we’re saying actually there’s a quality of transaction that is important to us and since it’s between individuals who do not work for the company, we’re now in this middle man position. We actually have some responsibility we walked away from before to actually say, “No, there are some kinds of transactions that are allowed here and not others. Marc: Platforms have been a wild west, anything goes and the values were more about not interfering with the operation of the platform rather than the way in which users engage with one another and that is shifting. We’re seeing a maturation of the market. Very large players are recognizing that they have to or need to or want to step in and they are now going to say, “We’re going to ban racism from the platform. We’re going to ban sexism from the platform. We’re going to ban certain kinds of abusive practices from the platform.” Many would say this is long overdue but it is interesting to see that companies are now stepping up and changing the design of their platforms as well as the terms of service that govern their platforms. Scott: This is being reported in the media and there’s a couple of articles that we’re going to be riffing off. One of them is the New York Times article talking about where Airbnb as breaking ranks in admitting the power that we’ve just been talking about. It also talks about Nextdoor. It also pokes a little at Twitter who hasn’t quite come to the table of admitting power. We’re also talking about some detail design on Wired that reported on Nextdoor and talking about frictionless markets. Marc: What’s common in many of the design changes is the imposition of additional steps. The addition of friction as a design philosophy seems to run counter to the prevalent one which is to remove as much friction, to create "one click solutions" to problems. Nextdoor’s design actually imposes a few additional steps to try to guide the claim about people’s observations about others maybe doing bad things in their neighborhoods. Randy: Wired magazine doing an article called "Nextdoor Breaks a Sarcred Design Rule to End Racial Profiling" by Margaret Rhodes which details the walkthroughs. You don’t actually have to join Nextdoor to see the changes they made but they literally do detection and handholding as you write something. The example they give is when you’re reporting a crime. People often use racial language to describe suspected perpetrator of something and this walks you through the same process the police would go through if you called them to help you tease out the real details of what was going on and not ley you slip into potentially racial profiling. Scott: The n New York Times talks about Airbnb and how they’re taking steps to diminish and hopefully eliminate racial profiling and gender profiling when people are renting. Previously they were getting reports of, and then did their own investigation of race bias in people trying to rent from other folks in Airbnb. They’re taking active steps both in guidelines and classes for their hosts and in what they’re going to be doing about reducing racial profiling in terms of hosts renting to guests. Another aspect that goes beyond racial profiling or some kind of negative aspect that corporations/organizations with large networks are realizing they have an influence over is the fact that YouTube us starting to deny revenue, ad revenue to content producers to channel owners if they’re swearing during their videos. Motherboard has an article that talks about the details on what’s going on. Marc: What’s new here is platforms are directly changing the acceptable used cases that they’re going to tolerate on their platforms and in some cases their values may not agree with all their users and their decisions may not always … It may drive people into an exodus into other platforms that will impose slightly different values and standards. The YouTube example is one that I think is interesting because that one directly addresses the kind of content you’re allowed to create in YouTube and still have the right to monetize through advertising. That one might be one where we disagree most over what constitutes a legitimate imposition from the platform. My understanding is that there is a ban on the use of profanity if you want to have advertising. This is an example where a corporation is shaping the nature of discourse and commerce on its platform on a way that the older vision of common carriers of open platforms that users decide how they’re going to use has ended and this is a big shift given the power of these platforms because could conceivably really, really change our behavior. Randy: Specifically YouTube is interesting because it’s focused on their revenue model. They are getting better at targeting advertising and they’re finding that the people who click through the most on advertising like certain kinds of videos that they are now getting better and better at categorizing. The advertisers are less interested in reaching out to people who have smaller audiences who are less likely to be interested in their products. Normally if you leave the social out of it, this is how Google has evolved a lot of different sites are based on advertising including Facebook have evolved. The difference here is that YouTube was different. It was kind of distributing all the advertising evenly across everything. Some people who’s content is less lucrative from an advertising point of view were generating more personal revenue through their rev shares, through their videos than other people. This is not YouTube necessarily acting socially but they’re acting commercially at least in part. They have the power. Sometimes they’re trying to resolve a social issue. Sometimes they’re trying to resolve revenue and it’s not always clear that those two match up. Marc: Where’s this all going? Is this the end of the nation state and the rise of the corporation as the organizing principal for all of our societies or is this something more specific in which platforms recognize they have enormous social power and understand that they are in fact communities -- which is to say that they have norms and that they therefore have boundaries ad that if you follow the norms, you’re inside the boundary and if you don’t follow the norm, you’re on the outside of the boundary. The interesting thing to me is who gets to define what the norms are. Scott: Regardless of who thinks they have the power, organizations who control the platform do have certain powers and one of the key powers they have in terms of helping communities actually form is the power of context -- providing the context around how people are interacting -- and making the tradeoffs between trying to be something for everyone and clarifying who they are and what those groups of people are trying to accomplish. Randy: Everyone on this podcast has helped people build online communities of one form or another. We’ve been facing these problems for decades. They just keep coming in news waves. Before this, back in the Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and Quantum Link and those guys, those services all had to deal with it on an extra-legal basis. When state attorneys came and would try to deal w
22 minutes | 5 years ago
Why Comments Suck
Why Comments Suck - Episode 26 Scott and Randy tear into the history and problems of comments on "news" sites, and identify the most overlooked problem. They then talk about current and future solutions (well, other than just giving up an shutting down.) Show Notes Links Popular Science -"Why We're Shutting Off Our Comments" -Sept 23, 2013 Shadow of the future: "The shadow of the future promotes cooperation in a repeated prisoner's dilemma for children" Original paper: Bargaining, Enforcement, and International Cooperation by James D. Fearon How others are addressing comment quality Shutting down onsite comments: a comprehensive list of all news organisations How the Huffington Post handles 70+ million comments a year We discussed the history of HuffPo comments with Justin Isaf in Jan 2015 Tablet Magazine: A Jewish magazine is testing an unusual solution for toxic internet comments After deciding to charge for comments, Tablet's conversation moves to Facebook Improvements along the roads! Civil Comments: Reforming the Trollosphere: Creating Conversation in the Comments Section The Coral Project: "We need to change how people are submitting their content and we need to make sure that we're giving them good reasons to behave well." The Coral Project unveils its first product to make comments better New York Times: Quora: How does the NYT determine which articles have comments? Model & Enforce the context New York Times: A Community Manager Walks Into A Bar:My AMA with Bassey Etim, Community Desk Editor at The New York Times The Engaging News Project: Journalist Involvement in Comment Sections Comments Are Terrible (But They Don't Have To Be) - SXSW PanelPicker submission for The Coral Project and the Engaging News Project. Additional links Hey reporters: An alternative to #DontReadtheComments: Jump in Case Study: Yahoo! Answers Community Content Moderation from Building Web Repuation Systems The Washington Post is using Slack to create a reader community focused on the gender pay gap Transcript Scott: Hi listeners, in this episode we ask why do comments on sites suck so much, and what can we do about it? Randy: They're sucking because they lack context, and we'll tell you what that means. Scott: Now, this isn't a new problem, and many are trying to address it. We'll share their approaches ... Randy: ... And give our recommendations based on our personal experiences. Welcome to the Social Media Clarity podcast, 15 minutes of concentrated analysis and advice about social media and platform and product design. Scott: I'm Scott Moore. Randy: I'm Randy Farmer. Scott: We're discussing the problem with comment sections. You may have heard that a number of news sites have been shutting down comment sections in the last couple of years, or generally complaining about the poor quality of comments they receive on their articles, and we think that there's a real simple problem here, and it's the model in that people are presented with just a blank text box with no context about what to say or how to behave. Randy: Part of that is because we don't know who the audience is. It's not clear from a plain text box who you have in mind when you're writing a comment, and what you're actually writing about. Are you writing to the publisher of the article? The reader? The commenter? The author? It's not at all clear, and I don't think the publishers were even sure. I think they assumed that the post, the content it self, would be a sufficient context for commenting, if they thought about context at all. One way I like to put it is, there's no "to:", expressed or implied, when a visitor creates their own context. Is it to the author? The publisher? The topic? Or a reply to another commenter? There is one context that I like to refer to all the time, which is when you post a public content, it's actually to God, Google and everyone. Scott: This creates an attractive nuisance. The vicious circle goes like this. Publishers are not creating a clear context to their commenters, and without that clear context, people don't have enough context to care about each other, so they don't really focus on developing relationships. They tend to focus on being an audience to the rest of the world, and they have their own axes to grind or they ignore the content of the article, and post anyway, and these low-quality comments tend to wind up drawing more bad comments than good comments, and the circle starts all over again. Randy: In contrast, there are communities with blank text boxes that have strong context and therefore have less difficulty with comment quality, because they're constructed around either topical content, or group goals, and they tend to be smaller and more intimate. Scott: These tighter contexts provide what's known as "the shadow of the future," and that is, that's the probability of future interaction. If you expect to interact with other people in the future, you treat them differently. If you don't expect to interact with somebody in the future, then your cooperation is going to be lesser than. It's like comparing a small town diner where you expect to see the same people over and over, you're going to be nice to them, verses a bus station where everyone's passing through, and bus stations aren't really known for their friendliness. Randy: Now it's time to discuss how others are trying to address poor quality comments on their sites. Scott: For too long, folks have been treating the symptoms. There's a long list of sites that have closed their comments absolutely, completely, but there's a cost to that. You lose your SEO from comments. You lose potential ad revenue from people participating on the page where you're selling ads. Some sites exert editorial control over which content can have comments enabled, and for how long. For example, the Philadelphia Enquirer, the Guardian, Fox News, all pick and choose which pieces of content are going to allow comments at all. This can increase your editorial costs and you can also suffer from a dip in your SEO and ad revenue from people commenting. Randy: Some, like Ars Technica and Boing Boing have put comments behind a click. This is an editorial speed bump. It's complex and it's all about context, and bad comments can cost you significant revenue. When I worked at Yahoo, Yahoo Health had comments related to articles about drugs and treatments, and when the drug companies were advertising, they were paying the highest ad rates on the internet, and they didn't like the detracting and often medically dangerous comments that were showing up on the same page as the article about their treatment or drug. They moved the comments off of that page in order to recover that revenue. The critical context turns out to be the advertisers for many of these applications, not the users. Scott: Then we can't forget the ever popular increasing your moderation. Whether moderation happens before or after publication, these systems wind up being expensive, mostly because they don't scale well, and definitely don't respond quickly. Randy: Some are pushing moderation tasks to Facebook comments, and for me, this is completely baffling, because now you have confused the context one more time, because now, instead of just the other people reading and the other people commenting, you now have brought in the entire user's social graph. Anyway, who gets notified when you post on a site using remote Facebook comments? Who are you talking to? Are you writing for your Facebook friends or are you writing for the author of an article? Scott: We've come across a really novel approach. Make your commenters pay before they can view or comment. Tablet magazine is a magazine for a non-profit organization, and they actually charge for commenting. They have a daily rate of 2 dollars, or a monthly rate of 18 dollars, or a yearly rate of 180 dollars, and you might think, "Who would pay to comment?" Randy: Nobody. Scott: Well the answer is no one. They killed the comments on their site. All of their commenting happens on their Facebook page where they repost the articles anyway. According to them, this is exactly what they wanted. They are very happy with it exactly happening this way. If somebody wants to comment from the wild web, then pay for it, and they'll be happy to moderate your comment. That works out well for them, but it might not work out well for you if you're relying on things like advertising revenue and SEO. Randy: This has been a problem for quite a while. It's well known. The grousing about it is everywhere, and we now join that group, but there have been several efforts to standardize and platformize. One of them is Civil Comments. Civil comments is a platform launched by Aja Bogdanoff who is involved with Ted Talks Communities, and Krista Morgan. Aja told Tech Crunch in October, "We need to change how people are submitting their content. We need to make sure that we're giving them good reasons to behave well," so when you write your comment, in order to post it, you actually have to review 2 other comments on the site for quality and civility. This gives you a chance to edit your comment before submitting. Then comments may go live or be held for review based on whoever is using the platform. This approach is a definite improvement, and it starts to set the context, but it's only after the user has invested in writing a potentially context-less comment. We think this approach might be able to be improved by changing the order, getting people to read comments from others before composing a new one. Scott: Another tool for publishers to facilitate curation in moderation comes out of the Coral Project. They have one tool called Trust. It's actually part of 3 planned modules, Trust, Ask and Talk. The Trust module is largely so that journalists can find new sources, reveal potential troublemakers and identify useful contributions within all the contributions that are going on. It's
19 minutes | 5 years ago
Amplifying Influencers - Episode 25Who is the mayor of your topic? Description Part 4 of our Social Network Analysis Series. In this episiode, Marc details how seeking out specific influential people, or mayors, in your topic areas can lead to better engagement with new networks of people. We discuss how to find, connect, and engage with these mayors to have conversations that they amplify to their connections. Show Notes Previous shows in the Social Network Analysis Series Ep 1 - Social Networks 101 - Introduction to the imporance of thinking about social media in terms of networks. Ep 4 - Influence is a Graph - Marc defines influence and how our influence is different depending on the context we are in. Three kinds of centrality are described and what they mean in our networks. Ep 17 - What does your hashtag look like? Lee Rainie from Pew Internet Research - We discusse a report from Pew Internet Research describing 6 types of social network shapes and how each behaves. Learning these 6 will help you better understand how people are interacting and passing information when you see a social network map Additional Introduction to Social Network Analysis Next in Nonprofits 23 – NodeXL with Marc Smith - The first 15 minutes of this interview will also be helpful if you are new to social network analysis thinking and terminology. Tools for finding influencers based on centrality Gephi - The Open Graph Viz Platform NodeXL with Smart Tweets Request a graph for your hashtag or topic Start finding the mayors you should connect with by requesting a custom network map. You can search Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, various Wikis and more using a keyword, hashtag, URL, username, fan page, or group name. Be sure to let us know you are part of the Social Media Clarity audience! Request a sample network map Episode icon photo CC BY-SA 2.0 taylar @ Flickr Transcript Randy: Welcome to the Social Media Clarity podcast, 15 minutes of concentrated analysis and advice about social media, in platform and product design. Scott: Thanks for listening everyone. This episode is about finding new influencers, connecting with these influencers and getting your message amplified by them. It will be the fourth episode in our new Social Network Analysis Series. What are the other episodes, Marc? Marc: Right, we have three episodes already out. Episode 1, the Social Networks 101 podcast. Episode 4, Influence is a Graph, and episode 17, What does your hashtag look like? with our guest Lee Rainie from Pew Internet Research. You might want to listen to any of those if this theme of using network analysis of social media is of interest to you. Scott:Additionally, Marc was interviewed in episode 23 of the Next in Nonprofits podcast. The first 15 minutes of that interview may also be helpful if you're new to social network analysis thinking and terminology. Today we're talking about influencers and what kind of influencers are we looking for, Marc? Marc: Well, many people are interested in finding the people in a conversation stream who seem to have a lot more power to get their messages heard than others. Indeed, it's often the case that there are only a few of the mayors, if you will, of a topic or a hashtag. In many cases, we are interested in finding not the most prominent of these people, what you might think of as the A listers. In many cases we're finding that it's more useful to engage with the B-list. The B-list are the not quite as prominent but still quite influential people who might be a little less jaded, might be a little less busy, might be a little bit more interested in the fact that you notice them. They still play an out-sized role in most of the conversations in which they participate. If you calculate a few network metrics about how all of the connections among a group of people in a discussion come together, some of these people really jump out. They're very visible as being very in the center of the conversation, so we rank those people and then we try to focus our users on engaging these very, very central people. Scott: How do we find these B-list influencers? Marc: Right, it is a multi-step process. We'd start with a few topics, we will build a snowball sample if you will. We start with a few words that we know are of interest to the people we want to communicate with and we might discover words or hashtags related to those key words. Then we're going to collect messages from each of those topic streams in order to build an analysis of the connections within them. We're going to go from each topic to it's near neighbors. You might start with a brand and then move towards a sporting event and then it might be an athlete, then it might be a big game or another team. We're looking for the very few people who are very much at the center of these conversations. We sometimes talk about these people as the mayors of the hashtag. We know that there are people who are more influential than others. The question is what are the indicators, the numbers or the measurements that tell us that somebody is influential. Many systems focus on the follower count or the reply count. Those are interesting numbers but for any particular topic they may not be very predictive. We focus instead on a network metric, the measurement known as centrality. We argue that people who have this attribute known as betweenness centrality who are ranked highly on this metric are the people that other people react to the most. They sit in a position within the larger web of connections that put them in a strategic position. We consider those people to be the mayors. If we could only identify the mayors for every topic we would have a list of influential voices, influential people who we might want to try to engage. These are the people who already have an audience, they're already demonstrating a certain amount of communications power and they're demonstrating that power on a particular topic. They are the mayor of the topic you care about, the hashtag that you are interested in. Scott: What would be a good example of, say, I'm a brand and, say, I'm a clothing brand and I'm looking into a new network and I'm looking for a mayor of a particular network. Can you give me an example of, are they talking about my brand, are they talking about my topic or are they talking about related or a totally different topic? Marc: All of those are very good seed terms for these network map efforts. You certainly would like to know who is actually using the name of your company or your brand or your product or your clothing line. If somebody is actually saying that, if they are the mayor of talking about you by name, that would be interesting but there may not be that person. Even if there is there may be other people talking about other topics that are relevant to your brand. It may be the case that you sell something that protects you from sunburn but people don't really talk about sunburn but they might talk about camping or being marathon runners. Connecting with people who are having a conversation in which your product is relevant is a way of finding the mayor of a topic that might actually talk about you in a positive way because you have something meaningful and relevant to talk about with them. Scott: Okay. Great. Now that we've found, say, a mayor or maybe two mayors in particular topic areas, what's the next step that we should take? Marc: Right. Identifying a mayor is only the first step. We do want to identify them. We want to know who to follow. After all, it's unlikely that somebody will engage with you if you are not following them. Once you've followed them then the question is how would you start a conversation with them? We are interested in using some analysis of people's content to come up with words that are likely to be, or hashtags that are likely to be, salient, relevant, meaningful to that person. We do this by analyzing their content and finding out what words they use at a rate far higher than the rest of the community might use those words. Those words tend to be the salient or relevant terms for that person. Scott: Can we have an example of determining saliency for a particular person? Marc: Everybody in the data set is tweeting or writing some set of messages. You could argue that everybody is using a collection of words with a certain rate. In fact, if we took the words and messages from everybody we could put them all together in one pot and average them and we could come up with a number for every word which is the average rate that this word is used. Then we can compare each person to that average. Of course, no individual is likely to be average. Some people are above and below that average. Maybe you say the word carburetor a lot, maybe I don't say it much at all. In the context of automobiles maybe people talk more about performance rather than the price or in some cases people care about safety. Different words are going to be relevant to different people even though they're still talking about the same brand. Scott: In this example if I'm, say, Ford, I wouldn't necessarily look for people talking about Ford. I'm looking for people talking about carburetors or mileage or handling and I'll find those particular people who are talking about that particular aspect of cars more than the other people around them. Marc: Yes and we want to know that when they talk about it other people care. We want them not only to use a word but to use a word and be central. Scott: Being central, how does that look in terms of behavior? Marc: A person who's central not only gets retweeted but gets retweeted by a more diverse group of people than anyone else. It's not enough that a lot of people thought your stuff was great but people from groups that would otherwise never connect connected through you. You're essentially the bridge. If you can be the bridge then that's a sign, in network theory, of your power or your influence. We us
11 minutes | 5 years ago
Two Recipies for Stone Soup
Two Recipes for Stone Soup [A Fable of Pre-Funding Startups] - Episode 24 I'm Randy Farmer, and this is another episode from the vault... This time: Two Recipes for Stone Soup [A Fable of Pre-Funding Startups] This is group reading of a post from Habitat Chronicles originally published in 2008, it was then lost in a drive crash and recovered in 2014. Two Recipes for Stone Soup [A Fable of Pre-Funding Startups] There once was a young Zen master, who had earned a decent name for himself throughout the land. He was not famous, but many of his peers knew of his reputation for being wise and fair. During his career, he was renowned for his loyalty to whatever dojo he was attached to, usually for many years at a time. One year his patronage decided to merge with another, larger dojo, and the young master found himself unexpectedly looking for a new livelihood. But he was not desperate, as he’d heeded the words of his mentor and had kept close contact with many other Zen masters over the years and considered many options. As word spread about the young master’s availability, he began to receive more interest than he could possibly ever fulfill. It took all of his Zen training and long nights just to keep up with the correspondence and meetings. He was getting queries from well-established cooperatives, various governments, charitable groups, many recently formed houses, and even more people who had a grand idea around which to form a whole-new kind of dojo. This latter category was intriguing, but the most fraught with peril. There were too many people with too many ideas for the young master to sort between. So he decided to consult with his mentor. At least one more time, he would be the apprentice and ventured forth to the dojo of his youth, a half-day’s journey away. “Master, the road ahead is filled with many choices, some are well traveled roads and others are merely slight indentations in the grass that may some day become paths. How can I choose?” asked the apprentice. The mentor replied, “Have you considered the wide roads and the state-maintained roads?” “Yes, I know them well and have many reasons to continue on one of them, but these untrodden paths still call to me. It is as if there is a man with his hands at his mouth standing at each one shouting to follow his new path to riches and glory. How do I sort out the truth of their words?” The young master was genuinely perplexed. “You are wise, my son, to seek council on this matter — as sweet smelling words are enticing indeed and could lead you down a path of ruin or great fortune. Recount to me now two of the recruiting stories that you have heard and I will advise you.” The mentor’s face relaxed and his eyes closed as he dropped into thought, which was exactly what the young master needed to calm himself sufficiently to relate the stories. After the mentor had heard the stories, he continued meditating for several minutes before speaking again: “Former apprentice, do you recall the story and lesson of Stone Soup?” “Yes, master. We learned it as young adepts. It is the story of a man who pretended that he had a magic stone for making the world’s best soup, which he then used to convince others to contribute ingredients to the broth until a delicious brew was made. This story was about how leadership and an idea can ease people into cooperating to create great things for the good of them all.” recounted the student. “I can see the similarity between the callers standing on the new paths and the man with the magic stone. Also it is clear that that the ingredients are symbolic of the skills of the potential recruits. But, I don’t see how that helps me.” The apprentice had many years of experience with the mentor, and knew that this challenge would get the answer he was looking for. “The stories you told me are two different recipes for Stone Soup,” the master started. “The first caller was a man with a certain and impressive voice that said to you ‘You should join my dojo! It is like none other and it is a good and easy path that will lead to great riches. Many people that you know, such as Haruko and Jin, have tested this path and others who have great reputations including Master Po and Teacher Win are going to walk upon it as well. Your reputation would be invaluable to our venture. Join us now!'” “The second caller was a humble and uncertain man who spoke softly as he said ‘You should join my dojo. It is like none other and the path, though potentially fraught with peril, could lead to riches if the right combination of people were to take to it. Your reputation is well known, and if you were to join the party, the chance of success would increase greatly. Would you consider meeting here in two days time to talk to others to discuss our goals and to see if a suitable party could be formed? Even if you don’t join us, any advice you have would be invaluable.” The mentor paused to see if his former student understood. The young master said “I don’t see much difference, other than the second man seems the weaker.” The mentor suppressed a sigh. Clearly this visit would not have been necessary if the young master were able to see this himself. Besides, it was good to see his student again and to be discussing such a wealth of opportunities. He resumed, “Remember the parable of Stone Soup. The first man did not. He recited many names as if those names carried the weight of the reputations of their owners. He has forgotten the objective of the parable: The Soup. It is not the names or reputations of the people who placed the ingredients into the soup that mattered. It was that the soup needed the ingredients and the people added them anonymously, in exchange for a bowl of the broth. The first man merely suggested that important people were committed to the journey. I am quite certain that, were you to ask Haruko and Jin what names they have heard as being associated with the proposed dojo, you would find that your name was provided as a reference without your knowledge or consent.” The student clearly became agitated as the truth of his mentor’s words sunk in. There was work to do before the day was done in order to repair any damage to his reputation that speaking with the first man may have caused. The mentor continued, “The first recipe for Stone Soup is The Braggarts Brew. It tastes just like hot water because when everyone finds out that the founder is a liar, they all recover whatever ingredients they can to take them home and try to dry them out.” The mentor took a quick drink, but gave a quelling glance that told the apprentice to remain silent until the lesson was over. “You called the second man weaker, but his weakness is like that of the man with the Stone from the parable. He keeps his eyes on the goal — creating the Soup or staffing his dojo. Without excellent ingredients, there will be no success; and the best way to get them is to appeal to the better nature of those who possess them. He, by listening to them, transforms the dojo into a community project — which many contribute to, even if only a little bit.” “Your skills, young master, are impressive on their own. You need not compare yourself with others, nor should you be impressed with one who would so trivially invoke the reputation of others, as if they were magic words in some charm.” “The second recipe for Stone Soup is Humble Chowder, seasoned with a healthy dash of realism. This is the tempting broth.” And the mentor was finished. The apprentice jumped up — “Master! I am so thankful! I knew that coming to you would help me see the truth. And now, I see a greater truth — you are also the man with a Stone. Please tell me what I can contribute to your Soup.” “Choose your next course wisely, and return to me with the story so that I may share it with the next class of students.” “I will!” And with that, the young master ran as quickly as he could to catch up with the group meeting about the second man’s dojo. He wasn’t certain if he’d join them, but the honor of being able to contribute to its foundation would enough payment for now. When he approached the seated group, he was delighted to see several people whose reputation he respected around the fire, discussing amazing possibilities. One of them was Jin, who was shocked to learn that the first man had given his name to the young master… I'd like to thank our readers: The Narrator was read by Amy Bruckman, Professor and Associate Chair, School of Interactive Computing @ Georgia Institute of Technology http://www.cc.gatech.edu/fac/Amy.Bruckman/ and part of the Young Master was read by Lane Lawley, software developer at Google. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lane-lawley-76026b16 The Tea Garden background sountrack was used by permission of Plate Mail Games http://platemailgames.com/ Thanks guys! And, oh yes, I was inspired to write this story based on real-life events. You can ask me about it sometime. Fir more episodes visit http://socialmediaclarity.net
20 minutes | 5 years ago
Quantifying Empathy - Episode 23 Twitter Hearts and Facebook Reactions TL;DR - You KNOW Marc, Randy, and Scott couldn't let Twitter messing with Favorites and Facebook Reactions go without some spirited discussion. Facebook is testing emoji reactions - this is the ‘dislike button’ by Owen Williams @ TNW Hearts on Twitter on the Twitter Blog. RECLAIMING CONVERSATION : The Power of Talk in a Digital Age is Sherry Terkle's new book which influenced some of Randy's thinking. Kaliya Hamlin (@identitywoman) was mentioned during the episode. Transcript Intro: Welcome to the Social Media Clarity Podcast. Fifteen minutes of concentrated analysis and advice about social media in platform and product design. Randy: I'm Randy Farmer Scott: I'm Scott Moore. Marc: I'm Marc Smith. Randy: Really, Twitter, hearts? Scott: Really, Facebook? Reactions. Randy: Oh, my gosh, guys. We have a lot to talk about since the last time we've had a session. The big social guys have gone nuts for emoticons as a way to express yourself with a single click. Scott: We already had ways of expressing ourselves, they were just very generic. Now we're trying to be specific about it. Randy: Twitter changes from stars to hearts ... Scott: ... and Favorites to Likes. Randy: Yeah, and Favorites to Likes. [as if] they're exactly the same. If you think they're the same, people out there, just think what if they changed it back to a pile of crap. Is that the same as a heart, or a star? When I think of Twitter's problems, I don't think this is one of the ones that was very high on the list. Scott: No, but it's one of the ones that helps them get attention. It helps generate notifications. They practically said, 'we're not getting enough people using the Favorite, so now we're going to change it to something that more people will use.' That generates notifications, and that brings people back to the app. Randy: So, something that was meaningful, now means less. Marc: Is it the case that you are more likely to love something than like it? Randy: Well, that's not the test on the table in this case. It's Like versus Favorite. Marc: Yeah, but the like generates this heart, which suggests love, and it used to be a star. So, we're moving from star to heart. Admittedly, we're going from Favorite to Like, but is there really that much more like than favorite in the world? Scott: I think that the context was really different. From what I gauged from the reactions, other than people just hating change, was that Favorite de-noted a bookmark, and then expanded from there. A lot of people were using it as, "I'm saving this link for later", or, "I'm saving this Tweet for later". Some people were using it as, as you would for any signaling system, some people were using it as, "I like what you said". Now, they've actually tightened up the context while at the same time, loosen it, by saying, it's a like, which can mean anything. Anything that's positive. It's a positive mark on it. Randy: Right, and they retroactively marked every Favorite a Like. How many gillions of those they have, I don't know. At least one person I was talking to yesterday when I first saw this in practice, and was shocked by it, was Kaliya [Hamlin], otherwise known as Identity Woman, and she says, "Oh my God, now I've got to go fix all my Favorites on Twitter, because I don't love most of those things." Scott: Yeah. Some people were tweeting out "Liking your tweet is not consent." Randy: That's awesome. When we first thought of doing this episode, that hadn't even happened yet. That's just the freshest thing, that happened yesterday. Before that, Facebook was going to start testing the emoticon variants, or they call Reactions, as a response to the demand for dislikes. Marc: Right. So, we don't get Dislike, but we get Reactions. Randy: Well, and if you look at the reactions, the icons are ambiguous. I don't know if that's a feature or a bug. They do, in fact, include a dislike one, called Angry, it's angry face. It's like, what's this about? I think this is what we wanted to talk about, is we wanted to take some of these seemingly crazy, and capricious ideas, and talk about what it is maybe they're trying to do. We've been calling this, amongst the three of us - " Quantifying Empathy." So, we are going to have a conversation about that today. Marc: Right. It seems that what we're seeing is a feature that allows people to have a very light weight way to author some higher level of attention. I mean, after all, the system knows who "saw" each piece of content, and it even reports that for some pieces of content on some platforms. It'll say some number of people have been exposed to, or have seen the piece of content, but that's sort of the lowest level of content measurement. How many people might have seen it. Now with the Like, or the Love, or the Favorite, or the reaction, we're trying to get people to click, and just click, but to click from a field of choices to give us a higher resolution sense of, what did that click mean? The Like was too ambiguous. So, now we have angry, and happy, and sad. What are the other ones? Grumpy. Randy: You can make up as many as you want. Scott: Great. Randy: No, there's just a few. There's a Yay one supposedly. Scott: Yay. There's Wow, there's Sad, there's Angry ... Scott: ... and there's one other. Randy: So, when you use ambiguous faces, in the case of Facebook, it actually lacks all subtlety. Does it mean what the face expresses to you? Or, does it mean the words that are written underneath it? Scott: Yeah. Am I angry at you because of something you said? Or, am I angry about the same thing you're angry? Am I expressing actual empathy, or am I reacting against you? Marc: So, this is a great piece of ambiguity that the interface has yet to resolve. You pointed this out earlier, that people are splitting their reaction to what this story means _for the author_ of the story, and their reaction _to_ the story. So, there's this ambiguous reference that must be clarified, and these additional features do not clarify it. If anything they add more ambiguity. Randy: Interesting in Facebook, is you've always been able to use these exact same icons, you've always been able to add them to a message. You did it by posting a reply to post. You would then explain - so, you could put in a sad face, and say, "I feel sorry for you. If I can help you in any way, let me know." Right? So, you have this rich interaction that would be going on between humans. So, what do the humans actually want? What are good for humans? Probably saying more, not saying less. What really kind of drives it home for me, is when you *count* them. I say, when you click on an angry icon, there's object missing. There's a famous expression; "This sentence no verb". Right? Well, now with the reactions we have; "I'm angry with..." or "I'm mad at..." Marc: That's great. That's great. Randy: I'm sad at ... Right? In the same kind of construction, with that missing by pulling them out. Then you count them, and you say, "Lots of us are mad at..." We don't even know if those people are mixed and matched on what they're mad at. Scott: Right. A lot of people are mad, but we don't know if they're mad at, or mad with. Randy: Yeah, and I've got to tell you, that's going to drive people off. Just the mad icon alone is going to drive people away from posting, because they can't figure out, you know, if you have any social anxiety, any feedback, other than "we love you, it's okay" is going to be harmful. So, it surprised me that they said Dislike is too negative, we get that, and then put an angry face. In counting them they're already finding out in Spain and Ireland, where they're testing it, messages are coming back with a mixture of counted face types. Want to talk about no way to interpret data - What the heck does that mean? Facebook's excited, because they got a lot of clicks they probably wouldn't have got before. That they can use to route messages to your email box. Scott: Yeah, so the cynical side of me says - so one thing in developing, and choosing what they were going to choose as far as what icons to go for - they looked at all the one word, and sticker-only posts, and they just kind of aggregated all that together, and said, okay, these are the things that people most likely say in those replies, when they're posting an emoticon or sticker or something like that. So, they're just making it easier for them now to count and quantify that for other purposes. Either to send notifications, or more likely a lot of the brand pages, the blogs, and other folks out there who are into Facebook marketing, are saying this could be useful, because now you can get more detailed information about what your brand reaction is. So, it's just another thing that someone's going to measure in order to sub-divide targeted marketing. Randy: Yeah, but that ends up, it's true, and diluting. We all recall the experiments people have been doing just with Like and Share, if you think X: Like this thing. If you think Y: Share this thing. Right, because they're trying to manipulate these various counters. So, it occurred to me, they could have just put in a polling mechanism. So ... Scott: Twitter did put in a polling mechanism recently. Randy: Good. Scott: Yeah, Facebook used to have polls. A long, long time ago, Facebook used to have polls, and they took them out. Marc: So, this is an interesting point. If we're going to be critical of the reaction system, we ought to suggest an alternative: One alternative is to allow the poster to list the reactions that they are interested in having people choose from. So, a little bit of a hybrid between a poll, and these emotion icons. Maybe you could react to me with sympathy, empathy, or cash, or other. Scott: Well, you could even take the system that they have now, and say, which one of these would you like to focus on, or how many of these would you like people to, you know, is this
21 minutes | 6 years ago
Best Practices - Starting Enthusiast Communities
Best Practices: Starting Enthusiast Communities - Episode 22 Photo taken at OCTribe With this episode we embark on a series of "Best Practices" looking at the entire online community lifecycle - from ideation to creation though early growth to maturation|transition|transformation and even on to end-of-life. It's a big, hairy, ambitious goal - so let us know what you think by leaving feedback at SocialMediaClarity.net - This episode is for people starting an online community based on an existing group, family, friends, team, club, fans, church, guild, or hobby enthusiast - We are going to help you establish your online community’ purpose, goals and initial members. - When we are done, you’ll be in a better position to launch and keep the momentum of your new online community. Lucy Bartlett, organizer of ForumCon (summarized in earlier podcasts.) The Five Questions for Selecting an Online Community Platform is available from the Cultivating Community Blog. Stop! Don’t Launch a New Community Before You’ve Answered These 7 Questions Planning and Cultivating Online Communities The Grind 11 Tips For Recruiting Your First 100 Members To Your Online Community TT;DR - The Questions you need to answer before starting your community are: What is your community's purpose? What are you and your members' goals? Who are your potential members and how will you reach them? Transcript Hi I’m Lucy Bartlet the co-organizer of San Francisco Community Manager Group and the girl behind ForumCon another VIGLink marketing things and I love the Social Media Clarity podcast. Randy: The vast majority of new online communities die in their first days, weeks or months. It's not because of a lack of initial enthusiasm but because the creators didn't stop and consider the nature of the work they were about to undertake. It is a lot of work that falls in the shoulders of the group founder, who usually creates a group page on a social media site by just filling in some fields and then thinks, "What's next?" Randy: Welcome to the Social Media Clarity Podcast. 15 minutes of concentrated analysis and advice about social media in platform and product design. Randy: Welcome to the Social Media Clarity Podcast. I'm Randy Farmer. Scott: I'm Scott Moore. Scott: Today we're starting a series of best practices for establishing and curating a new virtual home for an online community. Scott: For our first chapter of this series, we'll focus on smaller online communities. We're talking about an online place for your family, friends, team, club, church, guild, clan or your neighborhood. The main idea is that the community provides value primarily to its members not to a company, brand or an institution. Randy: The vast majority of new online communities die in their first days, weeks, or months. It's not because of a lack of initial enthusiasm but because the creators didn't stop and consider the nature of the work they were about to undertake. It is a lot of work that falls in the shoulders of the group founder, who usually creates a group page on a social media site by just filling in some fields and then thinks, "What's next?" Scott: We're going to talk about identifying and establishing your communities purpose: why people gather will gather in your community, your communities goals, what you're trying to achieve as a group and how do you know your community is successful and your initial members, who's going to help you seed your community and make it a vibrant place to gather and how do you grow a membership from there. These are the critical success factors to get your community started and keep the momentum going so you can increase its chance of success online. Randy: As we go through these three big questions, we'll be using a specific example to show how they are applied. Let's consider our example: Drone photography of miniature terrain. This combines two hobbies, drone photography and miniature terrain building. This could mean everything, from drones taking impossible to get pictures of Legoland, to building remote booms to go inside small-scale model buildings. Our founder, Kasey, is an amateur, skilled at building miniature terrain of all types and is a gadget freak and is excited about the possibilities of remote cameras with her main hobby. You should state your communities purpose clearly For example, mainstream drone photography doesn't pay enough attention to alternate uses such as: smaller scale, indoor flight, and even non-flying drones. Scott: The first thing to establish is your community purpose–your central theme. What is it all about? The reason we do this is, a share tense of purpose helps people build relationships which makes stronger communities and that makes the work easier. The other reason is that, people are busy and so are your future members. Adding another source of social input had better provide more benefits than it cost. That is, your theme has to be compelling enough to overcome handling invitations, registering the overhead of demand on your members' time to read and to post. Randy: So Kasey wants to describe her community as the home for model builders, photographers and drone aficionados, to share about terrain and drones, building hacking and photography. Oh and did I say photos? Lots of photos. Scott: Once you've stated your community purpose, you will need goals to understand if you're accomplishing that purpose. Goals break up into several types. There are goals for the whole community; there's goals for the members of your community; there's goals for yourself; and there's goals for people who are visiting the community but haven't quite joined yet. We'll start with group goals. And these are what the entire community contributes to, as a whole, to help the community achieve its purpose. The way to think about goals for the group is to imagine what the community success would look like; that you have enough members who are helping each other; that your members are improving on some skill set; and that your members are solving their problems whether they're small of huge. Once you identified these goals, you need to measure your progress and accomplishing them and some might be easy to measure. Many platforms have traffic or participation stats built right in. Some are harder to measure and so simply asking your member, by surveys, or encouraging them to give feedback about the kind of successes they're having from your community can be helpful; and some are really hard or they're too big to be able to measure, and so, you might use proxies or break them down to smaller pieces. So how are we going to pick out success for Kasey? Let's pick out photos- lots of photos. So one goal can be, to appear on the first page on the google image search if somebody types in drone or miniature terrain. Another to goal to measure can be the number of uploads to photographs to Kasey's site as compared to uploads of some other site related to drone or miniature photography. Randy: After the community goals, it's important to remember that every individual member comes with their own goals. How they interact with you really depends on how you want to specify the community. Do you want your community to be a friendly, welcoming, place? Helpful, collaborative, argumentative or spirited or even downright competitive. Communities can display a whole range of behaviors and you can influence the overall character of the community by determining which member goals are important. For example, if your community is about mutual support, consider that you have experts analysis and you might need technology to support questions and answers. Think early about what motivates your potential experts and you will support them. Some members want recognition for their contributions from other members or from staff. Make sure the contributions that support the community purpose are the ones you recognize. Considering our example, the member goals are not perfectly aligned with the community goals but support them nonetheless. We're going to support social feedback, in the form of likes, so that community members can provide feedback to each other about the content that they think is best, for we're not likely to create a point system or leaderboard to compare them to each other. We like to support expert's analysis in the form of a moderator-granted helpful badge, as a way to recognize long term contributors. Scott: Let's take a moment to talk about you as the community creator and why you're doing this and knowing what you want out of it is really important when considering how much effort is going to be required. Managing a community is a job in itself and it can take time away from the thing you're actually interested in and why you started the community, and if you're not happy, then nobody can be happy. At first, it will feel as if you're doing everything- posting, welcoming, all of the moderation- and you are doing everything. And don't be disheartened; it can take months, even a year, for a community to gel. And we'll give you some tips on how to make it easier little bit later in the show. The reason it's so important to think about what you need out of the community is because there are three broad outcomes that can happen if you don't think about this. That is the bad, which means that you focus on the community so much that you become resentful about losing time you're spending on the topic. Then there's worse, and that's focusing on the topic but then the community is suffering because you're not paying much attention to them. The way to reconcile this and get the good outcome is to accept your role in the community and get help from other people who are in your community. I have a few tips on how to do that: First of all, be honest with yourself and your community about the your role and your goals. At first it's all about you to get it started, but as time goes on it will be more and more about them. Ultimately,
15 minutes | 6 years ago
The Rise and Fall of a Comment Empire - Justin Isaf
The Rise and Fall of a Comment Empire - Episode 21 This is the third in our series of episodes critiquing Huffing Posts changes in commenting policies and technology. This time, we interview an insider: Justin Isaf who was in charge of community at HuffPo in 2011 and 2012. Links Amy Jo Kim, (@amyjokim) from Shufflebrain provides today's opener. Our guest is Justin Isaf is from Communl. CMAD: Comunnity Manager Appreciation Day is January 26th and they are hosting a pile of online panels. Randy will be at Modern Moderation: Moving Beyond Trolls and Ban Hammers Scott will be at Change Management: Migrations, Redesigns and Upgrades, Oh my! Here's the other Social Media Clarity Podcast episodes about the HuffPo changes: HuffPo, Identity, and Abuse (see post for older press links) Save Our Pseudonyms! (see post for older press links) Turning the Page on Anonymity: The Future of HuffPost Comments Moving the Conversation to Where You Want to Have It For links, transcripts, and more episodes, go to SocialMediaClarity.net. Thanks for listening!
13 minutes | 6 years ago
ForumCon 2014 Musings, Continued - Episode 20
Forumcon 2014 Musings, Part 2 - Episode 20 We're back after a long hiatus. We missed you! Scott and Randy contunue sharing thoughts and observations inspired by ForumCon 2014, held in June. This time focusing on the transformation of the industry driven by mobile (keyboardless) devices. Episode Summary: Greetings from Susan Tenby from Caravan Studios. ForumCon Organizer Lucy Bartlett rocked it. Mentioned: Daniel Ha Mentioned: Courtney Couch For links, transcripts, and more episodes, go to socialmediaclarity.net. Thanks for listening.
14 minutes | 7 years ago
ForumCon 2014 Musings - Episode 19
Forumcon 2014 Musings - Episode 19 Scott and Randy share thoughts and observations inspired by ForumCon 2014, held in June. Episode Summary: Greetings from @themaria Maria Ogneva from SideCar Upcoming Conference: FeverBee's Sprint October 29-30, 2014 Upcoming Conference: CMX Summit November 13, 2014 ForumCon Organizer Lucy Bartlett rocked it. The paper not presented, Randy's Five Questions for Selecting an Online Community Platform The twitter stream for the event. A NodeXL map for the event Downvoting Considered Harmful doesn't return the results Randy thought (something for a future blog post!), but read this: I Love My Chicken Wire, Mommy by Ben Brown, and of course, Don't Display Negative Karma, Redux: Unvarnished by Randy. Richard Millington on the Science of Addictive Communities Courtney Couch on Purposful Design David Spinks' slides Crista Bailey gave hard data and deep insights from the Curly Hair community For a transcript or to comment, please visit SocialMediaClarity.net
14 minutes | 7 years ago
Social is Big Data: Get Scala! - Alexy Khrabrov - Episode 18
Social is Big Data: Get Scala! - Alexy Khrabrov - Episode 18 After a greeting from @David Spinks and updating our previous episodes about Huffington Post comments and Facebook reach, Scott and Marc speak with Alexy Khrabrov from By The Bay (http://bythebay.io) introducing the Scala programming language for large social datasets. Facebook responds to organic reach claims Organic Reach on Facebook: Your Questions Answered Related Episode: Episode 16 - Five Stages of Grief - Facebook Likes are not Community HuffPo switches Commenting System to Facebook Moving the Conversation to Where You Want to Have It Want to comment on a Huffington Post article? You'll need to use Facebook now Facebook Developers - Comment Plug-in Related Episode: Episode 2 - HuffPo, Identity, and Abuse Related Episode: Episode 9 - Ratings, Reputation, and Incentive Design (w/Dr. Paul Resnick) Interview Links Alexy Khrabrov @Khrabrov Video: How Twitter Scales with Scala By The Bay training and Scala conference http://bythebay.io Scala Documentation Scala in 5 Steps A Scala Tutorial for Java Programmers Scalabythebay.org conference Aug 8-9, 2104, San Francisco, CA SF Scala Meetup Transcript is available at socialmediaclarity.net.
15 minutes | 7 years ago
What does your hashtag look like? Lee Rainie from Pew Internet Research
What does your hashtag look like - Lee Rainie from Pew Internet Research - Episode 17 Scott and Marc speak with Lee Rainie from Pew Internet Research about the new report Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters and how its findings can be used to better understand and grow online communities. Lee Rainie - Director, Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project The six types of Twitter conversations by Lee Rainie Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters By Marc A. Smith, Lee Rainie, Ben Shneiderman and Itai Himelboim Conversational Archetypes: Six Conversation and Group Network Structures in Twitte By Marc A. Smith, Lee Rainie, Ben Shneiderman and Itai Himelboim NodeXL Tools for Transparency: A How-to Guide for Social Network Analysis with NodeXL Transcript available at Social Media Clarity.net
18 minutes | 7 years ago
Five Stages of Grief - Facebook Likes are not Community
Your hosts - Scott, Randy, and Marc discuss recent very public changes to Facebook reach as an indicator that companies may be looking in all the wrong places to connect with their community. Or is it audience and what's the difference anyway? See SocialMediaClarity.net for a full transcript of this episode. Crystal Coleman (@thatgirlcrystal), from Ning.com started the episode off, and was the editor and graphic layout artist for the white paper mentioned in today's episode. The Five Questions for Selecting an Online Community Platform is available from the Cultivating Community Blog. Sponsor your Page posts (April 23, 2012) What if Everything You Know About Social Media Marketing is Wrong? Ducking Responsibility: Marketers and Agencies Playing a Shameful Facebook Blame Game A Brand and Person Offer the Same Post with Very Different Results White Paper: 5 Questions for Selecting an Online Community Platform, by co-host Randy Farmer Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters by co-host Marc A. Smith along with Lee Rainie, Ben Shneiderman, and Itai Himelboim Part 2: Conversational Archetypes: Six Conversation and Group Network Structures in Twitter ibid.
14 minutes | 7 years ago
Pandemic! UX meets Game Design with Matt Leacock - Episode 15
Bryce Glass returns to the show to join Scott and Randy interviewing Matt Leacock: A mild mannered UX designer by day ... but after hours he uses his super-powers to design award-winning boardgames. You may have played one of his most popular games; Pandemic!, Roll Through the Ages, or Forbidden Island... Matt talks about how he takes the lessons and techniques from each discipline to improve the other.
16 minutes | 7 years ago
LinkedIn's Scarlet Letter - Episode 14
Marc, Scott, and Randy discuss LinkIn's so-called SWAM (Site Wide Automatic Moderation) policy and Scott provides some tips on moderation system design... [There is no news this week in order to dig a little deeper into the nature of moderating the commons (aka groups).] Additional Links: John Mark Troyer, Social Media Evangelist at VMware shares his passion for the podcast. Forbes: LinkedIn Ruckus Continues As Victims Of Site-Wide Moderation Defect Has LinkedIn changed its SWAM policy - And not told anyone? at Brainstorm Digital LinkedIn Help: Removing Spam from Your Group Block & Delete takes the member out of the group and places them on the Blocked tab, which prevents them from requesting to join again. It also deletes all past contributions. Please be aware that when you select Block & Delete for a group member, this will result in automatic moderation of all their future posts in any group site-wide. Read more about removing spam from your group. (emphasis ed.) LinkedIn Help: Why are my posts going through moderation in all of my groups? 3/11/14: Note: The mechanism that changes a member's posting permissions is automated and cannot be reversed by LinkedIn Customer Support. We cannot provide a list of which groups blocked a member due to privacy restrictions. (emphasis ed.) Elinor Ostrom's Nobel Prize winning work in Governing the Commons is must-read material for anyone building groups software. Elinor Ostrom's 8 Principles for Managing A Commons We also suggest Order without Law: How Neighbors Settle Disputes by Robert Ellickson and Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches - The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris Transcript is available at SocialMediaClarity.net
13 minutes | 7 years ago
Thriving Online with Howard Rheingold - Episode 13
Thriving Online with Howard Rheingold - Episode 13 Marc, Scott, and Randy interview Howard Rheingold - critic, writer, and teacher; his specialties are on the cultural, social and political implications of modern communication media such as the Internet, mobile telephony and virtual communities. Links and transcript are available at http://socialmediaclarity.net
13 minutes | 7 years ago
Q&A: Social Media Resources - Episode 12
In this, our first Q&A episode, we answer a question from Ryan Crowe @doctorcrowe of Twilio, who asked us about what resources we use to keep up with our social media related areas of expertise. Randy, Scott, and Marc provide some tips, tricks, and a brief resource list. Transcript available at http://socialmediaclarity.net
13 minutes | 7 years ago
Teens and Social Media - S01E11
Scott and Randy interview danah boyd about her book It's Complicated: the social lives of networked teens, coming out February 25th and available for preorder now.
14 minutes | 7 years ago
Social Sharing - Snapchat and the NSA - S01E10
Marc, Randy and Scott discuss the inherent weaknesses of social sharing on the internet, and how recent NSA revelations have pushed privacy issues into the mainstream.
14 minutes | 7 years ago
Ratings, Reputation and Incentive Design - S01E09
We take a short, but deep, dive with Dr. Paul Resnick - a leading researcher (papers) in incentive based design, recommender, and reputation systems. For our tip, Scott describes concrete steps for effectively using his book Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design, which is a MUST READ for all online social product designers.
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