January 27, 2017

Social media updates: Trump vs Obama, Vine closes, global social media use survey

The parting and first social interactions of US Presidents


You are judged by the first impression that you create and remembered for the parting words that you uttered, isn't it?

In his inauguration speech, the 45th US President, Donald Trump, talked of the mess his predecessor had left the country in and talked of 'America first'. If some said the speech was the most patriotic since ages, aspirational and direct to the people, others dubbed it as deeply divisive, dark, hollow and playing to the base sentiments of Americans. Overall he got less cheers, more criticism. His detractors compared it with the positive and statesmanlike speech of Obama eight years ago.

The  outgoing  President, Barack Obama, in his farewell speech and the parting post on Facebook were pluralistic, graceful, brief. 

Their postings on the social media show what they stand for:

Trump's first few official tweets:

You can watch a farewell speech of Obama at this link.  

When social media is not liked by top democracies!


It is a well-known fact that in the name of assistance, armed forces use low-rank soldiers in household chores. This is rampant in countries that have not outgrown the feudal mindset of their earlier colonial masters. India is one of them. 

When a number of Indian soldiers started posting on social media their feelings of disgust at the treatment they got from superiors, the new Army chief chose to give them the stern warning that such conduct would invite disciplinary action. 
TV grab of a report on YouTube use by soldiers


The YouTube videos from soldiers and FB/ Twitter support from their sympathizers have disappeared!

There are press reports that the Trump administration has asked employees of EPA (Environment Protection Agency) and Department of Agriculture not to post updates on the social media or talk to reporters. It is felt that the gag order is meant to check unauthorized statements on climate change.
 

How have you been affected by Vine closure?


So, finally Vine has closed down. 

The popular 6-second video sharing app, Vine, could not withstand the intense competition from Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, and has gone dead. If you are one whose life veered round this app, you must have downloaded the videos, but you'd miss the snappy videos you used to post and see, with emojis,  and of course its own lingo.

Vine is dead; long live Vine Camera.

Wait. Vine is not dead. One, the site will for quite some time keep the archives, so even if you have not saved your Vine loops, you need not worry. Two, Twitter (who owns Vine) has announced that Vine app has turned into Vine Camera. It allows you to capture 6.5 second videos and post them on your Twitter account. [It is hardly a big deal, as Twitter allows any short video of this length to play in loop.]

Nationals of which country uses social media the most?


A recent internet and social media use survey by WeAreSocial and HootSuite finds that among all nationals on the earth, Filipinos spend the highest time on social media. On an average, Filipinos spend over 4 hours a day. Compare it with even advance countries: Japanese spend an average of 40 minutes a day only!

The survey also says, while North Americas have about 66% social media penetration while it is mere 7% in the Central Asia. Among countries, India and Nigeria come at the lowest end of the list. At global level, about 37% population is connected with social media.

January 18, 2017

Are you a techie blogger? This post is for you!

Many bloggers start their blog because (i) they want to make quick bucks or (ii) they are full of energy and ideas and think they will do what all other bloggers have failed to do.

We have seen numerous blogs go down because the blogger did not realize that
blogging is a long-term business. Also because
they are not able to sustain the momentum and energy level. 

Interestingly, in most cases such bloggers are those who should be succeeding in blogging better than others; they are tech enthusiasts!

Many blogs by techies are of the third type.
A number of techies, especially those who have enrolled in computer engineering or passed out the degree, often feel that blogging is their natural cup of tea because they know the technology behind the blog and they can tweak the blog like no other can.

Beware, if you are one of them!

Make the best use of your tech knowledge but don't be its slave


You know HTML, Java and other computing languages, all right. You can design web pages with the most modern features, all right. You can even hack others' website codes and steal their traffic, so bad but OK. You have been able to  get to the top of search pages for paying keywords in a very short time by tweaking codes to fool Google, great!

All right, you are a genius. But that does not necessarily guarantee you success as a blogger in the long run. 

Blogging is not a short-term game of playing tricks. It is a serious business. And if your blog is just for social networking, it is a serious pastime, not just 'like'ing a post, posting an emoji or sharing jokes on the go. 

Blogging is either a profession or a creative work (or both); it is not basically a technical activity. Yes, technology helps. For being a great businessman or successful writer, you need to put the best product before people. In blogging, the product is your content.

What happens when you do not keep balance between the creative aspects, technology and promotion is visualized in the graphic above. We have seen most tech bloggers very high on technology (of course, they would be) as well as promotion (because they are in a hurry to make money) but ignoring the most important part -  content.

If you are a tech blogger or one who writes about other things but is still too much into technical tweaking of the blog, take notice.

If you are a personal blogger who feels that not knowing tech is hurting your blog, that might not be the case. We have talked of some special blogs here; none of them are high on tech. Look at some of the top blogs mentioned here; hardly any of them have used most modern technology tools or overly optimized the blogs. Look at the best blogs' directory that we compile every year: not even 10 blogs have technology as their forte. 

Do concentrate on content. Yes, if you feel you need to design the blog in a better way or you need to promote it but do not have the skills to do so, take help of free advice, use stuff on the web, or buy the services. Invest on services (e.g. web-designer, SEO expert, advertisement or affiliation firms, content marketing experts) or products (e.g. themes, commercial features) if you feel not having these is really hurting your blog. But still, concentrate on content more than anything else.

We'd like to listen to comments from techie bloggers now that we have re-started accepting comments on posts.

January 12, 2017

How relevant is blogging in 2017? Should brands adopt it or forget it?

Blogs are not important for big brands, isn't it?


If blogs are so important for people wanting to express themselves on a regular basis using the web, blogs are also an important part of big websites or portals. Believe it, it's a fact.

Most big producers, sellers and service providers have their blogs where they update customers about their new products. The more savvy ones go beyond that; they discuss new technological or marketing developments in their area of work and also give tips on how to make the best of the product/ service. Big brands know the value of blogs. And of course they know that for more direct and instant communications, there are better options. They use social networks or chats or more traditional methods (email, phone). So, different platforms supplement each other and create synergy.

Even platforms that seem to compete with blogging also have blogs!


Have you been keeping updated about what your favorite networking platform is offering? If not, look for its blog and you might find valuable insight. In fact, most social networks have more than one blogs to talk about technology, media, business offerings and so on.

Similar is the case with the top web companies in the world.

Twitter announces its latest tech developments on the Twitter blog. Twitter has other thematic blogs and also country-specific blogs.

This Facebook blog talks about its tech offerings. It has blogs on media, news and other aspects too.  

Pinterest blogInstagram blog, Snapchat blog, Whatsapp blog, Telegram blog ... When these social biggies have to announce things and explain them, they use their blogs!

Yahoo has its blogs on Tumblr. One of its blogs is this: Yahoo search blog. And this is Google's own blog. Bing has a blog too.

Interestingly, Blogger has its own blog and so has Wordpress! 

Two major webmaster tools, provided by Google and Bing, have their functional blogs where they discuss new tech developments in aid to website analytics, optimization, etc:

When blogs themselves are brands


Some of the most influential sites on the web, especially in the field of IT, are either the evolved versions of erstwhile blogs or are websites run in the form of blogs (regularly updated and interactive).

Hope you know them already. If not, just have a look at these: Huffington Post, Mashable, Gizmodo, Life Hacker, Tech Crunch 

But brands are not creative and responsive enough to have blogs!


Many big brands of today used to have a blog as part of their outreach. That function is now fully taken over by social networking. However, what some of them do not appreciate is that blogs serve a purpose that social networks, static webpages and news pages together can't serve. 

We would deal with this aspect sometime later in detail. For now, let's show you some blogs of big companies and organizations and see for yourself how blogs serve the brands/ organizations by beautifully adding a social/ consumer perspective: