Big Memes and Big Data

Wordle: Memes and Data
Internet memes are one form of Internet phenomena that I haven’t exactly gravitated towards.

What about you?  Do you have any favorites?

If you want to see some Internet memes recently highlighted as best of breed, check out these “best of” lists:

The Best Memes of the Last 15 Years
The 25 Best Internet Memes of All Time
The 100 Greatest Internet Memes of All Time

If you’d like to create your own meme, there are many sites that you can access to do so, such as Imgflip or Makeameme.

Working for a business analytics software provider, the topic of data and data analytics is always top of mind for me. However, all you have to do is browse the Internet, turn on the TV or open a newspaper or magazine to see how the word, “data,” is dominating the collective mindset today.

Without doubt, more and more companies across a variety of industries and locations are recognizing the tremendous business value that they can realize from better managing and analyzing their organizations’ “Big Data.” Yes, it seems that more and more eyes inside organizations are focused on examining data to gain insights for enhanced business decision-making that yields increased efficiencies, customer satisfaction and profits.

Recognizing this new data-centered world that we’re all living in, I was inspired to create my own Internet meme.  Check it out:

ShowMeTheDataMeme

 

 

 

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Social Media Videos – True or False?

play.google.com True or False image

play.google.com True or False image

In today’s world of social media and content marketing, authenticity may be hard to find.

So often, marketers today are encouraged to help their brands develop and share content across social media channels that best represents “the authentic voice of the brand.”  Is that really happening, however?

For example, consider this “73 Questions with Sarah Jessica Parker” Vogue interview that was recently shared on social media channels, including Facebook.

Maybe I’m jaded or too familiar with the inner workings of social media marketing, but I felt the whole episode had an inauthentic, contrived tone.

Don’t get wrong.  I like Sarah Jessica Parker as much as any other gal who came of age in sync with the successful Sex In the City series, but I was disappointed after viewing her recent social media video interview with Vogue.  Something just didn’t feel right about it to me.  I questioned Parker’s motives for being interviewed and wondered:  does she really want to share aspects of her life and home, or is she primarily concerned with promoting her personal brand and new shoe line, SJP?

What do you think?  Do you think that most social media videos being shared today by brands – Sarah Jessica Parker, Vogue, or otherwise – are misleading or inauthentic?  And, if yes, do you think these messages seem any more or less authentic, because these messages are being delivered in new digital formats rather than in traditional advertising formats, such as mainstream TV spots?

Do you think video promotions today, in new social media form, are different from the TV ads of yesterday, or, is everything old simply new again?  I wish I could ask some Mad men the same question.

Trend Lines and Valentine’s

heart art

art with a heart

Many marketers today are using Google Trends to conduct simple, “at a glance” market research.

Even if you’re not working in marketing, though, you may still find the SEO-related online research tool fun and easy to use.

For example, this month is February, a month often associated with Valentine’s Day here in the U.S. as well as the color red. So, I just visited the Explore Trends portion of the Google Trends site and added the search term, “red,” to see how well that term has been trending lately.

The results page provided some interesting stats related to “red” searches:

  • Interest Over Time – the trend line showed the number of global searches with “red” since 2005, and I was able to discover that the most searches occurred during the month of May, not February, during the year 2010.
  • Regional Interest – Broken out by region and by city, this section of the results showed that the most users searching “red,” were found in the region of Croatia and the city of Boston.
  • Related searches – Broken out by topics and queries, I learned that Google visitors were also interested in the related topic, “red – color” and were also searching with the related queries, “red hot,” “red bull,” and “red sox.”

Considering these results, you can probably understand how marketers could use the Google Trends tool to conduct a quick assessment of how well the names of their products and services are resonating in the market.

What about you? Have you ever wanted to gauge the interests of those around you in a particular topic?

I’ve wondered whether Google may use the tool to see how its own services are trending. I just revisited the Google Trends site and submitted the search term, “google.” Glancing at the trend line on the results page, I think Google would be pleased.

And back to what’s trending during the month of February every year, though the search term, “red,” seems to be lackluster, the search term, “Valentine’s,” seems to continue to rule. Don’t just take my word for it, check out the trend line.

A Thank You for RTP

thank you note addressed to RTP

thank you note addressed to RTP

I feel fortunate to be a beneficiary of the Research Triangle Park.

In total, I’ve worked with three companies (IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, Cardinal Health) that have facilities in RTP and have worked with one company (SAS) that has its headquarters close by the park.

Why do I consider myself to be a beneficiary of RTP?

I could list my exposure to some of the world’s greatest technologies and corporate infrastructures, but I won’t.  Instead, I’ll tell you that I have benefitted the most from the relationships that I’ve formed through working in RTP with individuals from all over the world.

If I close my eyes, I can think back over my working years and instantly see IBM coworkers from India, Mexico, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Scotland, Ireland, Egypt, France, Spain, Australia, Russia, China, Japan, and Canada.  I can also easily recall my coworker friends from England and Venezuela who I had the pleasure of working with at GlaxoSmithKline’s RTP facilities.  I can see all of their faces, and I can remember many of their accent-laden words.

Through my acquaintance with all of these individuals, I’ve been exposed to the many different cultures of the world.  For example, my former Scottish coworkers at IBM got me to taste-test haggis, while a British director at GlaxoSmithKline educated me about “real football,” or soccer, that is.  Ironically, I was first shown the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi by a Japanese coworker at IBM, and I learned how fresh fruit is often served as dessert in El Salvador by a dynamo global customer services manager at IBM who hailed from there.

More important than learning about the foods and sports games that were popular in the native countries of my RTP coworkers, over the years, I’ve also learned about my global coworkers’ beliefs and world views, many of which have been alternative to mine.  Yes, through my interactions with my non-U.S. native colleagues, I’ve broadened my knowledge of the world, and I could not have done so without the existence of RTP.

Those who know me from my childhood might ask: how could a girl like you, from a small eastern N.C. town, end up married to a Spaniard who grew up in South America?  On the other hand, those who know me from my working days in RTP probably won’t question the likelihood of such a pairing.

This post is my small thank you to RTP.  Thank you, RTP, for broadening my outlook.  Thank you for introducing me to the different peoples of the world.  And, most of all, thank you for allowing me to experience so much of the world without having to leave the Tarheel state that I love.

Knowing For Sure in 2014

Happy New Year tiara

Happy New Year tiara

2014 in the Chinese Zodiac is the Year of the Horse, and, as we all get back into the saddle and confront the headwinds of a new year, many of us are focused ahead, not back.

Yes, the occasion of a new year often sends our thinking toward new personal goals, resolutions and challenges.

Maybe it’s a reflection of my age, but, during 2014, besides trying to achieve new goals, meet new challenges and increase my personal knowledge, I’d also like to take time to reflect on my previous achievements, previous failures and the related lessons that I’ve learned from those life experiences so far.

In 2014, I plan to continue defining my own version of this “What I Know For Sure” Top 10 list that Oprah Winfrey created a few years back and shared in one of her O magazine issues:

    1. What you put out comes back all the time, no matter what.
    2. You define your own life.  Don’t let other people write your script.
    3. Whatever someone did to you in the past has no power over the present. Only you give it power.
    4. When people show you who they are, believe them the first time. (A lesson from Maya Angelou.)
    5. Worrying is a wasted time. Use the same energy for doing something about whatever worries you.
    6. What you believe has more power than what you dream, wish, or hope for.  You become what you believe.
    7. If the only prayer you ever say is “thank you,” that will be enough. (From the German theologian and humanist Meister Eckhart.)
    8. The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give.
    9. Failure is a signpost to turn you in another direction.
    10. If you make a choice that goes against what everyone else thinks, the world will not fall apart.

Several of the above words of wisdom are meaningful to me, but the list is Oprah’s list.  Those are Oprah’s life truths. Not to sound self-centered, but, I think it’s important to define one’s own list of lessons in life.

What about you?  Do you already have a personal list of life truths that you live by?  If so, would you be willing to share some of your wisdom?

For what it’s worth and for your consideration, I’ll conclude this post by sharing one bit of life knowledge that I know for sure:

Planning is important, but the universe ultimately rewards action.

Here’s to taking action in 2014!

Peering into Digital Windows

 

A Rear Window View

A Rear Window View

Craig Smith’s November 2013 tally of how many people are using some of the top social media, services and mobile apps reveals many individuals are “active users” of the 300 or so new digital media channels.

But, how active is “active”?  In his post, “Definition of Active Users,” Nigel Brookson took a stab at defining the term, “active user,” in relation to Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

What about all of the registered, less active users of these new digital channels?  Why would all of those people take time out of their lives to join and create new profile accounts on new digital channels, only to seldom use the services?

No doubt there are countless reasons why, however, I’d venture to guess that Alfred Hitchcock, if he were alive today, might offer one theoretical reason.

What explanation for inactive digital channel users might the famed author and moviemaker offer?

Think Rear Window.  Are you there yet?

I think Hitchcock might throw out the concept of voyeurism as a reason for less-than-active participants on digital media channels.

Would you agree?  Several friends of mine have admitted to me that that they participate in Facebook and Twitter only “to watch what other people are doing.”

Do you know anyone who has similarly admitted to inactive usage and “watching” on some of the newer digital channels?  Have you ever heard the comment, “I’m on Facebook, but I’m not really on Facebook”?

American football and baseball are often referred to as spectator sports.  More and more, it seems that the same can be said about today’s game of social and digital media.

A Broad Metrics Reveal

small globe image

small desk globe

Well, I’m sure that Cissy Houston would be proud.

After glancing through WordPress metrics for MySheCave.com, I’ve discovered that, out of 115 available prior posts, the blog that I wrote following Whitney Houston’s death in February 2012 has garnered the most views.

Want to know the other topics that have been the most popular among MySheCave.com readers? Check out the below list. From Whitney, to peanut butter, to prosecco, to crybabies, one of these 10 posts should catch your interest, if you missed reading the first time:

Top 10 Most Viewed MySheCave Posts: 
Play Whit Again, Sam.
Find your golden mind
Peanut butter, poetry and sticky things
When Love Means Nothing
Forget Grey, We’re Talkin’ Shades of Green!
Are You Hooked?
Bubble gum and Prosecco
Calling All Crybabies…
Jacks in Boxes, Surprises and You
Do You Know Any Reverse Snobs?

On a personal note, I was surprised and pleased to see the below Country Views metrics table that reveals the location of 2013 MySheCave.com readers.  Like I’m guessing Cissy might be about the Most Viewed stat I referenced above, I’m also a bit proud to have a global MySheCave.com audience.

I want to thank each of you who are MySheCave.com readers, from those of you here in the U.S. to those of you in lands abroad.  And, if you enjoy reading MySheCave.com posts, please pass them along.

Country Views
United States 2,124
Canada 109
United Kingdom 89
Australia 33
India 26
Germany 19
Italy 18
France 18
Russian Federation 16
Republic of Korea 16
Netherlands 15
Spain 14
Philippines 13
Portugal 12
Hong Kong 11
New Zealand 10
Egypt 8
Mexico 8
Croatia 7
Denmark 7
Finland 6
Greece 6
Japan 6
Brazil 6
South Africa 6
Indonesia 6
Norway 5
Singapore 5
Belgium 5
Switzerland 5
United Arab Emirates 4
Latvia 4
Nigeria 4
Viet Nam 4
Poland 3
Bahrain 3
Bulgaria 3
Qatar 3
Pakistan 3
Taiwan 3
Malaysia 3
Ireland 3
Thailand 3
Sweden 3
Saudi Arabia 2
Aruba 2
Romania 2
Estonia 2
Turkey 2
Ghana 2
Iraq 2
Tunisia 2
Israel 2
Gibraltar 2
Bolivia 2
Venezuela 2
Guatemala 2
Cambodia 2
Colombia 2
El Salvador 2
Zimbabwe 1
Myanmar 1
Kuwait 1
Sri Lanka 1
Morocco 1
Argentina 1
Austria 1
Guernsey 1
Paraguay 1
Jamaica 1
Ukraine 1
Mauritius 1
Palau 1
Bangladesh 1
Mozambique 1
Maldives 1
Serbia 1
Algeria 1
Cyprus 1
Kenya 1

What Kind of Model (Data) Are You?

abstract model image

abstract model image

As a marketer, I pay attention to how corporations are leveraging the latest digital marketing channels to promote their brands.  For example, I recently enjoyed reading this post, “Five examples of brands that are nailing Pinterest.”

I’m just as, and maybe more so, interested in how individuals are using digital channels, like Pinterest, to promote their individual selves today.  In some cases, individuals on Pinterest are giving corporate brands a run for the money in terms of their number of account Followers – for example, one individual, Joy Cho, has more than 15 million people who follow her Pinterest account.

The majority of digital channels today make it easy for individuals to convey and share their preferences related to a multitude of subjects.  For example, Pinterest provides almost a literal picture of the interests and preferences of its users.

Other digital channels, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, also make it easy for individuals to indicate and share their preferences (on Facebook and on LinkedIn, you can hit the “Like” button to indicate that you like certain content, while on Google+, you can hit the +1 button to indicate your preferences).

Have you ever asked yourself why the latest digital channels include functionality that so strongly promotes individual preference sharing?  As I’ve stated in a prior post, online behavior is being tracked more and more often by companies who want to identify and target more individuals as potential buyers of their products. New digital channels providers are capturing and making the preference data of their individual subscribers available to those companies, usually at a some cost.

Also, many companies today are using software solutions to collect online data, mine the data, model the data, and then create visual representations of that data – all in an effort to gain new insights and knowledge that their organizations can use to propel their businesses forward.

Speaking of data visualization, I enjoy seeing different data visualization examples on the Information is Beautiful site.  What about you?  Have you ever stopped to think about what kind of model all of your personal, historical online data would create if summarily captured?

Would your online behavioral data present a Kate MossKurt Cobain-waif-like image, or would it reveal a more robust Kate Upton-like visualization?  What trends or secrets of your life would be revealed? Which of your data points would surface as uniquely beautiful, like the mole over Cindy Crawford’s lip or the gap in Lauren Hutton’s front teeth?

When I was a young girl, I dreamt of being a model.  I had no idea that I would actually fulfill that dream to the extent that I, like you no doubt, have become a data point in someone else’s data model.

Sharing Old News

Old News newspaper image - urbantimes.co

Old News newspaper image – urbantimes.co

What I’m about to share is old news.  Literally.

To what exactly am I referring?  I’m referring to the fact that this post is a “scheduled post,” i.e. I drafted this post in advance of today and used an automated scheduling feature within my WordPress application to publish this content to you on today’s date (Monday, August 19, 2013) and at a specific time.

Have you ever considered the age of the content within the individual blog posts that you read?

Since blogs and other social media channels have surfaced as news vehicles, these new digital channels have been touted as ideal platforms for sharing “late-breaking,” real-time news information.

But, is this age of instantaneous news a reality when a good majority of the social content being shared today has been prescheduled?

As a holder of a journalism degree, I’m comfortable with the concept of an editorial calendar, and the fact that social media content creators today may be using content scheduling applications doesn’t surprise me, but, what about you?  At this time when digital news channels are so dominant, do you think the news information that you receive is really new?

Though this is my first scheduled MySheCave.com post, I can understand how other bloggers could appreciate the flexibility of prescheduling their posts from a blog management and administrative perspective.  Can you think of reasons why a blogger might want or need to schedule posts in advance?

Already, there’s some evidence that prescheduled posts yield poorer engagement results than manual postings by digital markers, however, I think it’s more important to consider whether or not scheduled online news postings could pose harm to readers.  For example, are readers being deceived in any way if they read a post on a certain day that was written months before?

As long as online news channel subscribers are aware that today’s social media channel content, including its timing, may not be exactly as it seems, I think readers will be ok.

And, with this post, I’m doing my part to inform and share this news, which as I mentioned before, is not new.

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