B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Archive for the ‘social_media’ tag

Instagram Purge Hits Brands Who Artificially Built Up Follower Numbers

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Stop Following

Stop Following!

I am no self-described expert in social media, just a sometime user of it, but from I sit, obsessing about follower counts is stupid, and a waste of everyone’s time. I guess certain digital agencies sold the concept to their clients, and then cut corners in building up follower counts by utilizing sleazy tactics and spam-bots.  Follower counts are a nearly meaningless number to be used on a PowerPoint presentation to clueless executives. As the poet sang, numbers add up to nothing.

Instagram in recent days has revealed “corrections” in the number of people following many users, after announcing last week it had removed a significant number of fake accounts from the Facebook owned photo-sharing service.

Celebrities including Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez each lost more than a million followers, according to Zach Allia, a Boston photographer and Web developer who tallied the losses in this chart. Each of those celebrities still counts more than 18 million followers. Allia estimated that the average Instagram user lost 7.7% of his followers from the purge.

The purge reflects a persistent problem for social networks: separating real users from computer-generated “bots.” Instagram conducted a similar purge in May. Twitter says fewer than 5% of its 284 million monthly active users are fake, though outside researchers think the number is higher.

In an interview last week, Instagram founder and CEO Kevin Systrom declined to say how many accounts the service deleted. Systrom said fake users are most often created “for commercial reasons.” Users are either “paying to buy followers” he said, or “trying to get attention for some product they’re selling or some email subscription.”

(click here to continue reading Instagram Users Finding They’re Less Popular Than Thought – Digits – WSJ.)

from Adweek:

National Geographic, Nike, Adidas and Forever 21 were among the top 100 Instagram accounts that saw their follower counts pummeled after the spam hunt. The photo- and video-sharing app said last week that it would cull fake and inactive accounts, and it did its best to prepare brands and fans for the worst. Today, Instagram users were lamenting their fallen following with memes and jokes to cover the hurt. The shock of a diminished audience is just a short-term hit for marketers, who ultimately want to know if their fans are fake, said Eric Brown, head of communications for social influence measurement tool Klout and its parent company, Lithium.

(click here to continue reading Instagram Purge Hits Brands Like National Geographic, Nike, Forever 21 the Hardest | Adweek.)

Numbers Add Up to Nothing
Numbers Add Up to Nothing

For myself, I stopped caring long ago how many Twitter followers1 I have, how many people2 follow my Tumblr feed, or my Instagram account3. It  means nothing, it isn’t as if I get a financial incentive to have more followers. Neither does Nike, or any other brand. It is nearly meaningless number to be used on a PowerPoint presentation to executives basically.

Defunct Tweets
Defunct Tweets

Adweek reports that these are the brands that should fire their digital agencies, or at least ask a few hard questions to their digital team at the next social media meeting.

  • National Geographic: 229,000 followers lost. New count: 9.75 million
  • Nike: 257,000 followers lost. New count: 8.75 million
  • 9Gag: 120,000 followers lost. New count: 8.38 million
  • Victoria’s Secret: 215,000 followers lost. New count: 7.7 million
  • The Ellen Show: 270,000 followers lost. New count: 7.47 million
  • Forever 21: 245,000 followers lost. New count: 5.33 million
  • Real Madrid Club de Fútbol: 159,000 followers lost. New count: 5.36 million
  • FC Barcelona: 133,000 followers lost. New count: 5.33 million
  • NBA: 196,000 followers lost. New count: 4.15 million
  • GoPro: 94,000 followers lost. New count: 3.64 million
  • Adidas: 101,000 followers lost. New count: 3.6 million
  • Louis Vuitton: 107,000 followers lost. New count: 3.55 million

Amusingly, I noted the problem with Instagram followers being spammy right away:

As a side effect of this growth, there are a lot of spammers who take advantage of Instagram’s audience, and offer to sell you “likes” or other sleazy tactic

(click here to continue reading Notes on Instagram after Using It for A Month or So at B12 Solipsism.)

Footnotes:
  1. currently 1,015 []
  2. currently 589 []
  3. currently 144 []

Written by Seth Anderson

December 22nd, 2014 at 11:21 am

Posted in Advertising

Tagged with , ,

Google Invades Privacy With Buzz

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The Google Buzz seems a little half-baked, if you ask me. Perhaps there should have been a public beta first before Google just turned Buzz on for all of its customers.

Don't disappear in your own life

But what Google viewed as an obvious shortcut stirred up a beehive of angry critics. Many users bristled at what they considered an invasion of privacy, and they faulted the company for failing to ask permission before sharing a person’s Buzz contacts with a broad audience. For the last three days, Google has faced a firestorm of criticism on blogs and Web sites, and it has already been forced to alter some features of the service.

E-mail, it turns out, can hold many secrets, from the names of personal physicians and illicit lovers to the identities of whistle-blowers and antigovernment activists. And Google, so recently a hero to many people for threatening to leave China after hacking attempts against the Gmail accounts of human rights activists, now finds itself being pilloried as a clumsy violator of privacy.

As Evgeny Morozov wrote in a blog post for Foreign Policy, “If I were working for the Iranian or the Chinese government, I would immediately dispatch my Internet geek squads to check on Google Buzz accounts for political activists and see if they have any connections that were previously unknown to the government.”

[Click to continue reading Critics Say Google Invades Privacy With New Service – NYTimes.com]

And The Grey Lady is too delicate to link directly to Harriet Jacobs complaint:

In an expletive-laden article that was widely cited on the Web, a blogger who writes about issues related to violence against women complained that Google had made her fearful. She said that she had unexpectedly discovered a list of people, which may have included her abusive ex-husband or people who sent hostile comments to her blog, following her and her comments on Google Reader, a service for reading blogs and automated news feeds.

In a further effort to contain the fallout, Google reached out to her and made changes to enhance the privacy of shared comments on Google Reader.

But Gizmodo isn’t:

Oh, yes, I suppose I could opt out of Buzz – which I did when it was introduced, though that apparently has no effect on whether or not I am now using Buzz – but as soon as I did that, all sorts of new people were following me on my Reader! People I couldn’t block, because I am not on Buzz!

Fuck you, Google. My privacy concerns are not trite. They are linked to my actual physical safety, and I will now have to spend the next few days maintaining that safety by continually knocking down followers as they pop up. A few days is how long I expect it will take before you either knock this shit off, or I delete every Google account I have ever had and use Bing out of fucking spite.

Fuck you, Google. You have destroyed over ten years of my goodwill and adoration, just so you could try and out-MySpace MySpace.

Harriet Jacobs is the nom de plume of the author of Fugitivus. She’s a mid-twenties white girl living in the Midwest, working at a non-profit that assists families and deals with a lot of racial politics. Harriet has had a fucked-up life, and Fugitivus —fugitive—is her space to talk, where the fucked-up people who did the fucked-up things couldn’t find her and be creepy.

Ms. Jacobs has now hidden her blog from the public, at least for a while, and who could blame her?

No Admittance

For me, I’m less concerned with embarrassing details leaking to a salacious public as I’ve always tried to keep a so-called Chinese Wall separating public and private sphere. Of course occasionally I blab too much, but then I’m happy to remain low profile enough so it doesn’t really matter anyway.

As far as Google Buzz, not really sure what the point of it is, but hey, I’m no stock-holder in Google, so if they want to dip their corporate toes in social networking, that is their decision to make. I’m much more interested in having access to super-fast network provided by a less obnoxious telecom, as Google also mentioned this week.

Written by Seth Anderson

February 13th, 2010 at 2:21 pm

You Should Sign Up for the B12 Daily Email

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Taking a cue from Kottke1, I am reminding you that you should sign up for my daily email. Signing up should only take a minute or less if you are a fast typer, I absolutely promise to never send you unsolicited email2. Feedburner/Google has enabled the email to include items that don’t necessarily make it to my weblog, but that I still think are interesting, or are otherwise topics of note. Like news stories that I Digg, YouTube video I “favorite, Flickr photos I upload, etc.

Plus you should subscribe to my daily email3 so that you have something fun to read as you drink your morning beverage. A dose of B12’s Solipsism can only enhance your day!

Hotel Visitor

Oh, and you should follow me on Twitter too, if you are so inclined. I have other social media accounts, but I don’t care if you friend me on Facebook, or subscribe to my Tumblr blog, for instance.

Footnotes:
  1. I hope Jason Kottke doesn’t mind being referred to by simply his last name, I’ve been reading his weblog for so long now, to me he is the blogosphere equivalent of single-named celebrities like Bono or Nenê []
  2. unless you want me to, of course. Ahem []
  3. usually gets released around 1 AM CST []

Written by Seth Anderson

July 16th, 2009 at 8:32 am

Posted in blog,Narcipost

Tagged with , ,