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Product Thoughts

Making Social Media Matter

By April 5, 2010 No Comments
Jump on the social media bandwagon
Image by Matt Hamm via Flickr

As it turns out, quite the percentage of people who happen to find this blog via search, are coming here because of this post where I ask if social media matters…

So let’s suppose that social does matter, for a minute. What would make it matter?

Social Media = People

People make social media. People spread social media around the internets. There is no getting around the fact that social media would not be possible, were it not for people. However, what’s great about social media is the social aspect of it. Social media also provides a channel to meet and interact with the people behind the media. For example, when an sweet infographic gets your attention, social media gives you the chance to look up the person who made it AND reach out to them for a 15 minute conversation, or a pitch on a project you have up your sleeve, or what have you.

Social Media = Data

A status update is a data point. A geographic check-in is a data point. A tweet is a data point. By themselves they may or may not be very useful, but in aggregate (related to an individual or to a group) they can be extremely useful. Let’s imagine that we have a product that is coming out soon and we want to look to social media to find out where and when people are talking about the concepts that this product is being built to solve. Plenty of tools can tell you who is talking the most / loudest about your topic of interest.

Putting It Together

If we can agree that social media is data made by people who may be of interest to meet. And that, at the same time, social networking provides us with an infrastructure to meet and build relationships with these people who create social media that we appreciate. Then we now must look for tools that allow us to rapidly find the people we want to meet and build relationships with…

myTPSreport.com Update

It’s been a while since there was a myTPSreport.com update. And if you’re not familiar with myTPSreport.com, it is a Twitter Search tool that allows you to find the who, what, when and where around any Twitter search. The site recently underwent a minor back-end redesign that I’m pretty excited to talk about here:

more tweets The concept of geo-coding tweets is a great one. The problem is that there aren’t many people fully utilizing the capability on Twitter to make it some sort of killer application. So we changed which tweets myTPSreport.com shows from Twitter, meaning there will be more tweets returned in your searches on myTPSreport.com, not just the ones that can be plotted onto a Google Map.

faster The Tweet Positioning System (TPS) was initially set up to wait to display results on the page after a massive amount of calculations. The team has since designed myTPSreport.com to return all of the tweets and related information as fast as possible by giving you your tweet results almost instantaneously, cleaning up the calculations around the rest of the stuff it returns and displaying them accordingly.

so what? Being able to find people talking about things on Twitter as fast as possible is the first step toward building a relationship with them. Today, Twitter Search only really tells you what people are saying about something “right now.” But what if you wanted to know where these people were, when they talk about your topic of interest, and what else they’re saying? That’s where myTPSreport.com comes in to the picture.

myTPSreport.com allows you those types of insights, and what I’m letting you know is that now it does those things faster.

(Disclosure: I work for Humana, and co-created myTPSreport.com with a colleague within Humana’s Innovation Center…)

An opening screenshot of myTPSreport.com