Jeremiah Owyang VS Forrester Research or the reality of digital footprint divorces

21 08 2009

Jeremiah Owyang

Yesterday’s news about Jeremia Owyang leaving Forrester research is a very important day for social media and its use by businesses. I’ve been a fan of Jeremiah’s work for a long time now. He was best described as an “idea factory” by his boss and I totally agree with this. He’s made (and will continue) to make a huge impact on social technology adoption and best practice “crystallization”.

Now, what were they thinking at Forrester? I am fascinated by the unplanned and de facto mash-up that is occurring between personal and corporation / brand digital footprints, especially since social networks have exploded.

Here are some stats to explain what I am referring to:

Forrester Jeremiah Owyang
Joined Twitter 2007-07-25 2006-12-19
Number of Followers (as of today) 24,000 51,000
Joined Forrester N/A October 2007
Number of tweets (as of today) 877 16,500

Obviously, Jeremiah has blown away Forrester in terms of followers but also in mastering the different social media tools. It was one of his best career moves as he wrote yesterday. Yes, it was his job to master those tools, but obviously his digital footprint and influence is bigger than Forrester’s in some ways. Onto another data point, web-traffic: Jeremiah’s blog is pretty much on a par with Forrester.com as you can see on the Compete graph…
Bottom Line –Jeremiah leaving Forrester is a huge loss for Forrester and probably even bigger loss compared with a similar departure 3-4 years ago before the social media boom.

I think it’s also a great example on how companies should think about leveraging the personal digital footprints of their employees, while making sure that the brand’s digital footprint grows proportionally to the employees they empower. Related questions include…

– Should Jeremiah have actually been using Forrester’s twitter account or blog more?
– Would Jeremiah have been as successful if he hadn’t used his personal accounts for work? I also prefer talking to people than brands directly… there’s a human side that is inherent to our gregarious nature.
– Should Forrester have asked him to tweet a little bit more on @forrester ? (877 tweets for @forrester vs 16,500 for @jowyang)?
– Will the person they hire after Jeremiah be required to…?
– Will employees be able to negotiate the use of their personal digital footprint when joining a company?
– Will employers require a minimum digital footprint from their employees?

My point is that Jeremiah’s digital footprint is leaving with him when he leaves Forrester. The long tail effect of his personal blog will be massive as he has worked as a very thorough and systematic aggregator, and like when Robert Scoble left Seagate to go to Rackspace, there will be a serious impact that no company has measured before.

To me, it’s a wake up call for companies using or considering social media. The pioneers you empower to guide your company through those green fields will become very powerful. This is good for you but needs to be considered. The David & Goliath story we’ve seen with the Kutcher vs CNN challenge to pass 1,000,000 followers is another classic example of what’s possible.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you’ve considered this as part of your social media strategy.

Wishing good luck to Jeremiah’s new green fields,

@YannR

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Twitter Here, Twitter There, Twitter Everywhere!

27 03 2009

picture-11What’s the difference between Twitter and TV? These days, it’s hard to tell. If you have your television on for even an hour a day I’m sure that you have heard the word Twitter on just about every channel you surf.  There has been a huge increase of celebrity Twitter accounts lately, everything from musicians, to movie stars to newscasters.  Ellen DeGeneres started her own Twitter account this month, announced it on her show and overnight she had approximately 33,000 followers! (Check out her monologue about Twitter, it’s pretty funny.) Today she has some 397,534 followers.  For many of you, following celebrities may sound like a waste of time, but for those of you that already are fans of particular shows like Ellen or American Idol you can see the reactions of the hosts about a particular show, see pictures from back stage or in the green room of Leno and much more. It’s just like being there or maybe even better!

Twitter has also become a way to interact with your favorite television show. Bravo’s Top Chef started their own Twitter account manned by two popular cast-offs, Andrew and Spike from season four.  While Top Chef aired (the season is over now) Andrew and Spike would sit behind their computers and tweet away about the show.  They would make comments about the contestant’s food, what they were doing, their projections of the winner, or just plain heckling the contestants and even the judges from the safety of their own couch.  It was pretty entertaining.

The Academy Awards were also very interactive this year on Twitter as was the Super Bowl.  If you go to “Search” on your Twitter account (at the very bottom of your screen), you will see different “Trending Topics”. During the live broadcast of the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl these events quickly became trending topics.  People were tweeting about the fashion and their own thoughts on who would win which awards at the Oscars. For the Super Bowl, people were tweeting about not only the Super Bowl game itself but even more so about all of the commercials.

Still all this opinion sharing can get dangerous……Twitter has caused some problems for some television shows. Greg Grunberg who is an actor on the popular show, Heroes, tweeted “Tough to say goodbye to crew not knowing if any or all of us will return next year”.  This caused quite a stir for Heroes fans thinking that the show was going to be canceled. Note to self: remember who’s watching/listening!

For those of us who like a more newsworthy Twitter and to keep up to date with headlines and breaking news, you can follow The Today Show, CNN, NY Times and many more all on Twitter.  More than likely you can even follow your own local newspaper!

If you are still wondering if Twitter is something for you and you are fan of any TV show whether it be a reality show, a drama, a soap opera or a news show, chances are that show and even it’s actors/hosts are on Twitter waiting for you to interact.  Take a look and give your two cents! I wonder what would happen if they could change the show based on commentary in the Twitterverse….. now that could get interesting!

In the meantime, here is a list of celebrities you might be interested in following:

LanceArmstrong

Britney Spears

President Obama

Ashton Kutcher

Demi Moore

Shaq

Martha Stewart

Who are your favorite celebrities that you follow? Let us know!

Cheers,

Lauren (aka @Laniha82)

Thanks for the CNN picture RichieC





I read your twit, therefore I [and you] exist.

8 10 2008

Earlier this year, we wrote about whether to twit or not to twit and what that decision meant. As Twitter and the whole concept of nano 🙂 blogging has started to take off, more questions have been raised about the particular ‘social media order’ to which all these kinds of activities, like blogging, vlogging,  twitting etc belong.

TweetDeck helps you manage your tweet stream

TweetDeck helps you manage your twitter streams

An acquaintance passed comment to us recently that ‘blogging is the mothership’. This is indeed, an interesting way of putting it. In our own practice, often we use twits to connect others to a larger blog post (cos let’s face it, 140 characters does not provide much of a summary!). In this respect, we can think that Twitter is to blogging what a headline is to a newspaper article or what a title is to an essay. The twit, as it were, acts as an attention getter, an opening statement, an entree to another conversation.

But twitting is also an indicator of passionate users, an indicator of how connected and committed they are to different topics, communities, groups and others. Yann was at a marketing dinner lately and people were making comments about twitter like “I signed up for twitter and nothing happened. Then in the space of 3-4 hours, multiple people were following me arrgghhhhh!!” But this is the beauty of Twitter. In the real world, we exchange business cards to start a business relationship. Twitter does the same by following people. Someone follows you, you follow them back. It’s built on reciprocity. There’s nothing creepy about it. Ok, well maybe something a little creepy… Or should we say creeping…..it’s about rankings, people…

For example, Yann (not that he can vote) recently started following Barack Obama (just for kicks) and he followed right back! Barack Obama has 92,000 people following him and he follows 96,000 people. You just can’t do that with a blog where it is less fluid. Now, here is the gravy, on the first page of google organic when you search for Barack Obama, the 6th ranked URL link is Twitter, above CNN and everything else. The first and second are his own sites, the 3rd is Wikipedia, the 4th is ggoogle news, 5th is his .gov official senator site and then Reuters and then Twitter.  Get it?! Twits matter in the eyes of Google! The social media sphere is increasingly more important than traditional media. Note to self. Our friend Steve Outing recently had a quick post on the same subject.  So perhaps those analogies between twits, blogs, headlines and newspapers are not doing us justice after all…..

Finally, information is coming of age – Twitter, micro-blogging, blogging, and social media is giving

total power to the reader. I read your twit, therefore I [& you] exist. Brand managers, this should matter to you. If not, your competition will reach out to your customer and their digital footprint will be larger and faster than yours. You have a chance to own the distribution of the message, if you take it.

Next up….coming to a blog (and several twits too) near you – digital footprints (or is that feetprint) and the social graph (the mighty XFN)……

Thanks Vu Bui for the cool pic!

Kirsti