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New Feature: Most Popular Among Followers

We recently revamped some of our most widely used filters to include your followers’ most popular results on SocialRank. You’re now able to see your audience’s most popular locations, keywords, hashtags (for Instagram), interests (for Twitter), and companies (for Twitter).

All you have to do to view them is to click on a particular filter. The most popular results will appear in-line before you even search for anything.

Let’s see how this all actually looks.

Bio Keyword Filter
For Twitter and Instagram

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As one of the most popular filters on SocialRank, the Bio Keyword filter lets you query your followers by the words and phrases in their name, handle, and/or bio. Viewing the most popular keywords among your followers gives you a richer idea of how your audience tends to identify itself.

In my case, it’s mostly founders and marketers in the tech world.

Location Filter
For Twitter and Instagram

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 10.53.41 AM

The Location filter lets you search followers by where they are based. The application of Most Popular is pretty obvious here — you can now see the three most frequently-occurring locations among your followers. This could be particularly useful when planning local events.

Interests Filter
For Twitter only

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The Interests filter drills down into more finely-defined categorizations for your followers’ interests. (We pull this data thanks to Klout’s API).

My account’s Most Popular Interests align with the results from the Bio Keyword: technology entrepreneurship and marketing.

Company Filter
For Twitter only

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 10.54.00 AM

The Company Filter matches up your followers’ LinkedIn data with their Twitter data. This filter lets you look for organizations (i.e. Apple, Walgreens, etc) and functions (Director, CEO, etc).

So in this case, Most Popular doesn’t necessarily surface top companies, but rather a mix of companies, roles, and phrases that appear most commonly among my followers’ Linkedin accounts.

My audience again leans decidedly in the startup world (“ventures”, “capital”, “business development”, “founder”).

Hashtag Filter
For Instagram only

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This one is exciting and we will definitely be playing around with how to surface the most contextually relevant results here.

The Hashtag Filter is our newest and most popular filter that lets you see which hashtags your followers use. As you can see from my account’s results above, #tbt, #latergram, and #nofilter are no surprise. But we also see #nyc (represent!) and #sxsw, which gives you further clue as to who my people are.

Play around with this new functionality! You might be pleasantly surprised by what you learn about your audience.

If you have any product feedback or suggestions – please don’t hesitate to hit us up at hi@socialrank.com – we really do listen!

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Using SocialRank for Local Events

This past September, the American Red Cross and its supporters set a world record for simultaneous downloads of its Blood Donor App. This local event was part of a broader national grassroots campaign to get more people signed up to donate blood via this award-winning mobile app.

Getting people to show up for blood drives and other health-related initiatives is always a tall task, so we were very excited to hear that the Red Cross had used SocialRank to help market their event. Using SocialRank’s free tools, they discovered their biggest Twitter follower in Las Vegas (famous MMA fighter Wanderlei Silva) and partnered with him to get the word out:

Ultimately, over 40 supporters participated in the event and downloaded the mobile app (which significantly simplifies the registration process for donating blood). The Red Cross must collect 15,000 units of blood per day in order to meet the needs of accident victims and cancer patients, so grassroots events like these can make a significant impact on people’s lives. According to Curtis Midkiff, Red Cross Director of Social Engagement (now the Senior Advisor of Social Business Strategy at Southwest Airlines):

“Launching the mobile app for blood donors was a big step for the Red Cross in our ongoing efforts to leverage technology to fulfill our mission. SocialRank allowed us to quickly and easily connect with our influential Twitter followers in Las Vegas which included Wanderlei Silva and the local CBS Radio affiliate which featured us on a morning drive show. These connections, forged with the tool, were pivotal to our launch event.”

Social media is definitely in its first inning, and so there’s still no clear blueprint for how brands should leverage their online audiences. However, as the Red Cross has shown, there are many creative and out-of-the-box ways brands can engage with their followers. In this specific use case, local events can be very powerful. To give you some ideas on how you can use SocialRank for local events, we have included some examples below.

SocialRank for Local Events

Invite Your Biggest Supporters Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 12.33.35 AM

You can use SocialRank for Twitter or Instagram to run detailed searches on all your followers and organize them along a handful of powerful parameters. These include: Most Valuable Followers, Most Engaged Followers, bio keyword, location, interests (only on Twitter), hashtags (only on Instagram), verified accounts (only on Twitter), and more.

If you host tech events in New York, you can filter your followers by your Most Engaged Followers who live in New York City (location filter) and have an interest in Technology (interests filter on Twitter or #technology on Instagram via the hashtag filter). Now you have a robust list of people to invite and reach out to for location-based activation. Or you can save this list for future reference (just click on the green “Save & Export” button).

Partner with Your Biggest Followers Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 12.31.36 AM

Another way to use SocialRank for local events is to target individuals who themselves have large audiences. People usually call these people “influencers” (although we don’t love the word, we think everyone is a snowflake). The “Most Followed” or “Most Valuable” sort options and the “Verification” filter are probably the easiest ways you can compile a list of these influencers. You can combine these with a location filter if you want to narrow your search to a specific city. As discussed above, the Red Cross used this method to find their most followed follower in Las Vegas and partnered with him to market a local event.

Find Reporters to Cover Your Story Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 12.30.03 AM

A third way we have seen SocialRank used for local events is for local media coverage– specifically, to find reporters and journalists. This is where filtering by bio keyword, interests, or organization comes in. Setting up a Bio Keyword filter for “Writer” or “Reporter” or a related term will populate a list of people you could contact for a story. Running similar filters under Interests (ex. “Journalism”) or Organization (ex. “Editor” or “Producer”) would work just as well.

Other Use Cases People have been using SocialRank in ways we hadn’t imagined, and so we’ll be sharing many of these use cases with you all as we learn of them.

If you are using SocialRank in an unexpected fashion, please get in touch with us at hi@SocialRank.com! We’d love to chat.  

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New Bio Keyword Filter

New Bio Keyword Filter
New Bio Keyword Filter

We’ve pushed an update to the Bio Keyword Filter (for both SocialRank for Twitter and Instagram) to give it a new look and better functionality.

What’s different about it now?

1. Unbundling Search Results

Previously, we bundled the bios, names, and handles of your followers together whenever you used the Bio Keyword filter. But what if you only wanted to search for a specific handle, or a specific keyword? In this old version of the filter, you might have gotten some irrelevant search results.

So we unbundled this filter to let you choose specifically whether you want to search just for bios, just for names/handles, or if you want to search through all of them at once. This becomes useful when trying to filter down for everyone with the name “George” or for everyone who has “journalist” in their bio.

2. Similar v. Exact Words

The new functionality also gives you the option to search for “exact words” and “similar words.”

So let’s say you are searching through your Twitter followers list for anyone with the name “Mike.” Keeping the “search for similar words” box checked surfaces accounts with not just Mike, but also Michael, Micha, Mitch. etc. If you only want to see search results for Mike, simply uncheck the box.

Our Latest Update

We have one final change, which is going to be its own blog post, but you’ll also notice “Popular Among Your Followers” under a handful of filters. This includes the most popular words in your followers’ bios. We’ll share more about this soon – stay tuned.

If you have any product feedback or suggestions – please don’t hesitate to hit us up at hi@socialrank.com – we really do listen!

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donut-bribe

A Revamped Account Refresh

This may not be very obvious, but your SocialRank account doesn’t update automatically.

Actually, this hasn’t been obvious at all (our bad).

Up until now, the Refresh button had been tucked away in the side navbar. But you guys continued to give us feedback wondering why your stats weren’t up to date.

So we’ve gone ahead and done two things:

1. If you haven’t refreshed your account in the past 3 days, you’ll get a pop-up message:

 

refresh-popup

 

2. We’ve moved the “Refresh List” option to the top of the page, where it’s easier to find:

 

refresh-option

 

Eventually we’ll have an automatic refresh. But for now, these changes should make it more obvious when your SocialRank account needs to be updated.

If you have any product feedback or suggestions – please don’t hesitate to hit us up at hi@socialrank.com – we really do listen!

 

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How Sesame Street Revolutionized Product Development

In 2009, Sesame Street aired a short segment that starred buttoned-up muppets in grey suits and spread collars.

The first words kids hear in this piece are from the group’s fearless leader:

“So where are we with the Happy Honey Bear account?”

Over the next couple minutes, the muppets review some designs, trying to find the one that will make them feel happy about honey. One illustration enrages them, while another reduces them to tears. Finally, the last image elicits broad smiles.

This scene is gold for educational programming. Young children learning how to express their emotions see muppets getting angry, sad, and happy just like they do. The vocabulary for these expressions gets repeated over and over so that it sticks.

“Mad, mad mad … Sad, sad, sad … Happy, happy, happy!!”

While this educational framing is definitely important, it isn’t the true genius of Sesame Street.

The real genius is that the producers wrote the scene for two audiences — not just kids, but also their parents. The scene described above is a parody of the popular Matthew Weiner drama Mad Men:

Yes, this entire sketch aims to entertain and educate its primary audience (young children). But it also keeps its secondary audience (parents and caregivers) firmly in mind. All of the small details, from the dramatic intro music to the snappy dialogue (“Good work, sycophants!”), are winks at the adults watching Sesame Street with their children.

Executive producer Carol-Lyn Parente described this phenomenon when she spoke with Fast Company:

“The show has to be furry, heartfelt, educational, funny, and clever for both adults and children.”

This practice stems from the important insight that the needs of all key decision makers need to be considered during product development.

So while a show for young children absolutely needs to be furry and funny for the kids, it also needs to consider the parent looking after them and possibly recommending things to other parents. The show’s head writer Joseph Mazzarino put it this way:

“As a parent myself, I can say that if you’re sitting down for a lot of kids’ shows, you kind of tune it out a little bit or get bored, but if all of a sudden there’s a Sookie muppet up there [from True Blood], you might think, ‘Oh, that’s pretty cool. That looks just like her.'”

Over the 40+ years that the show’s been on air, the slapstick humor that kids love has been sprinkled with a healthy dose of subtle jokes and references that the adults in the room would also enjoy. The result is a show widely held as the gold standard for children’s television.

Two-Level Product Development

This type of development is very similar to the type seen across many successful products in the tech world. Companies like Mixpanel and RelateIQ have baked things into their platforms that serve the needs of not just the daily users, but also the people that they report to and work with.

Wiki-by-Balsamiq
Source: Illuminant Partners

For example, Balsamiq, a mockup tool, serves the purposes of two “users.” The primary user is the designer, who needs to build quick prototypes. The secondary user is the executive, the potential customer, or the product team that will approve or nix potential designs. Balsamiq’s product allows the designer to convey ideas very quickly and clearly to other stakeholders. Without investing weeks upon weeks of time into a version one that might get shot down immediately.

It appears that developing for the needs of multiple decision makers is a key component of the most popular tech products used today (not just Balsamiq).

A few months ago, we dug through StackShare’s publicly-available data to see which tools were being used most frequently, and why. From the 9,000+ votes filed for over 30 of the most widely-used products, we noticed specific types of feedback appearing over and over again.

Almost 55% of all reasons why people used a particular tool were because of either its 1) simple, intuitive design; 2) plentiful free allowances; or 3) third-party integrations:

stackshare-graph In terms of two-level development, these top three reasons make a lot of sense.

First, the primary user often requires an intuitive, well-designed tool — people are busy and need to be able to understand how to use it quickly, right out of the box.

Second, most startups and small businesses are cash-strapped and can’t liberally throw money at new tools, so free allowances provide the runway to try things out without upsetting the COO (a potential secondary “user”).

Third, a product that handles third-party integrations well means that a primary user can seamlessly integrate the product into the suite of tools being used by everyone else in the company.

This all culminates in a happy harmony between the needs of the primary and secondary users.

The Effects of Considering Key Decision Makers

The result of building in close alignment with the needs of vital stakeholders (and not just the primary user) is a product that spreads like wildfire through word-of-mouth — via mailing lists, Quora reviews, water cooler talk, and everything else in between.

In the case of Sesame Street, this meant being called by TIME Magazine “not only the best children’s show in history, but also one of the best parent’s shows ever.” This accolade came after the show’s very first year on air.

But there’s another great side effect to this two-level style of product development. Sesame Street’s Mazzarino had a great script pitched to him a couple years ago. It was a parody of those goofy Old Spice “The Man That You Could Smell Like” commercials. Mazzarino knew the script didn’t fit into the schema of the actual show, but thought it was great and that it would be a hit.

“So I started calling around and interactive scraped together some money somehow with the help of PR, and they shot it and put it up and that was maybe three weeks altogether. That was way different than anything we’ve ever done … I said that maybe it could be a promo. […] And that’s what happened, it became a thing to try to drive people to the show.”

The “Smell Like a Monster” clip got posted up on YouTube and proceeded to go viral. It worked because, after doing two-level product development for years, the Sesame Street team had built a keen eye for what works and what doesn’t. This freed them to take risks that other shows and products probably can’t take.

 

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birdman-float

Floating Header

We hate it when we scroll down in an Excel file or Google spreadsheet and the column titles disappear. (There’s a simple solution for this, by the way).

Our SocialRank product used to have this problem, too — whenever you scrolled down, the titles of the sorts and filters would also scroll out of sight.

So we pushed a fix for this– the floating header. Scroll to your heart’s desire, because those filter, sort, and export headers will always be visible.

traveling-header-socialrank

This should make your user experience better when using SocialRank.

If you have any product feedback or suggestions – please don’t hesitate to hit us up at hi@socialrank.com – we really do listen!

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redbull-ad

Four Concepts from 150 Years of Marketing

Back in 2013, Thomas Piketty published a controversial tome of a book called Capital in the 21st Century (if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it). Early on in Capital, Piketty makes a provocative claim that goes as follows:

“To put it bluntly, the discipline of economics has yet to get over its childish passion for mathematics and for purely theoretical and often highly ideological speculation, at the expense of historical research and collaboration with the other social sciences. Economists are all too often preoccupied with petty mathematical problems of interest only to themselves.”

While reading this quote, I wondered if all words related to “economics” could be replaced with words associated with other disciplines known for having wonky practitioners. Would the conclusion still apply? Maybe this could be a litmus test for bullshit.

Because our day-to-day work at SocialRank revolves around marketing, my Piketty Mad Lib looks like this:

“To put it bluntly, the discipline of marketing has yet to get over its childish passion for brand-building and for purely theoretical and often highly ideological speculation, at the expense of historical research and collaboration with the other social sciences. Marketers are all too often preoccupied with petty “brand equity” problems of interest only to themselves.”

With this re-imagining of the Piketty quote, economics doesn’t appear to be the only “dismal science.” Through our work with brands and our observations on the marketing industry (not to mention our own missteps and delusions), we’ve noticed a couple things.

  1. There are a lot of smart people doing hard work.
  2. No one fully knows what’s working and what isn’t.
  3. In the desperation to figure out what works, the entire industry chases trends. Great ideas become misused, ubiquitous memes.

Racing for Answers to the Wrong Questions

There’s a great work of graphic art by Kosta Kiriakakis that spells out the incredibly important difference between seeking out questions and seeking out answers.

 

kiarkakis

 

Marketers, much like economists, are often sprinting to find answers.

They want answers to questions like: How can we increase engagement across all our social media channels? What’s the lifetime value of customers acquired through TV ads? What stunt can we pull to get our brand in front of as many people as possible?

But what if these questions themselves are half-hashed or not fully thought-through? There is a natural tendency for ambitious organizations and individuals to be “solutions-oriented,” the side effect of which is perhaps to jump into problem-solving before having a solid understanding of the problem itself.

We make these mistakes at SocialRank almost every day. Our product, marketing, and organizational decisions frequently veer away from constantly asking “Why are we doing this, really?” or “What is our desired effect, and how does that actually help us?” or “Are we only doing this because everyone else seems to be?”

Four Timeless Concepts for Marketers

So we figured we needed something to look back on to ground us. We scoured through a lot of literature written over the past 150 years by playwrights, copywriters, creative directors, marketers, and designers. Through this process, four concepts emerged that appear worthy of inking for posterity.

Hopefully some of you will find them useful in your line of work.

 

  1. The Madness of the Crowd
  2. The Strange Lust for Innovation
  3. The Horrible Inconvenience of Results
  4. The Problem of Thoughtless Rigor

 

1. The Madness of the Crowd

From Charles Mackay (Scottish journalist), Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, 1841:

“We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.”

From Ryan Holiday (former marketing director at American Apparel), Trust Me, I’m Lying, 2012:

“Blogs criticize companies, politicians, and personalities for being artificial but mock them ruthlessly for engaging in media stunts, and blame them for even the slightest mistake. Nuance is a weakness. As a result, politicians must stick even more closely to their prepared remarks. Companies bury their essence in even more convoluted marketing-speak […] Everyone limits their exposure to risk by being fake.”

Takeaway: If trying to game or “hack” a system, realize that its gaze is probably fixated in a particular direction; make sure you’re positioned noticeably within that gaze. In the right hands, this strategy can lead to huge, important changes in the way society is arranged. At a smaller scale, this strategy could lead to big bucks for you and your company.

However, playing this game is risky business if you want to build something truly valuable and sustainable. The things that attract buzz and hype are often the first things to be abused and tossed aside (mostly because the things themselves become reliant on their own hype).

Example: Product launches at SXSW (Foursquare, Twitter, Meerkat).

 

2. The Strange Lust for Innovation

From G.K. Chesterton (English poet and dramatist), The Thing, 1929:

“In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”

From Bob Hoffman (The Ad Contrarian), Quantum Advertising, 2014:

“Digital has changed delivery systems pipes but it hasn’t changed what’s going through the pipes. Digital advertising looks very much like it did when it was analog.”

Takeaway: Innovation isn’t innovation if you’re just changing the outer appearance of things. Before adding a new feature, or revamping your marketing, or “streamlining” a process, try to understand why the current solution came to be.

Example: The diminishing effectiveness of banner ads.

 

3. The Horrible Inconvenience of Results

From Rosser Reeves (Don Draper’s inspiration), Reality in Advertising, 1961:

“(Of a new commercial starring a stunning actress) Men noticed her beauty. Women noticed her clothes. Only in the back room of a Copy Laboratory did a fact emerge which must be as old as Ur of the Chaldees. Most people could not remember what the lady had to say.”

From Jonathan Salem Baskin (brand strategist), Branding Only Works on Cattle, 2008:

“Branding is based on an outdated and invalid desire to manipulate and control consumers’ unconscious. It looks good and feels good to the people who produce it, but it has little to no effect on the consumer behavior.”

Takeaway: It really does suck when our most clever work ends up not leading to any real results. It sucks even more when we convince ourselves that our work’s positive results are intangible and immeasurable. Sure, that may be true. But it’s probably not.

Example: DirecTV’s new commercial with the bikini-clad woman and the talking horse.

 

4. The Problem of Thoughtless Rigor

From Claude Hopkins (pioneering advertiser), My Life in Advertising, 1923:

“We must never judge humanity by ourselves. The things we want, the things we like, may appeal to a small minority. The losses occasioned in advertising by venturing on personal preference would easily pay the national debt.”

From David Kadavy (hacker, designer), A/A Testing: How I Increased Conversions 300% By Doing Absolutely Nothing, 2015:

“Our world needs entrepreneurs with vision, and if they’re busy second-guessing and testing everything (and often making the incorrect decisions based upon these tests), that’s a sad thing for humanity.”

Takeaway: Creative industries often need more rigor and reason in their approaches to solving business problems. However, that doesn’t mean imagination goes out the window or that we begin over-relying on data instead of training our intuitions to become stronger. Leaning on data while not understanding what the numbers are actually saying is more dangerous than not using data at all.

Example: Evony’s sexist display ads for its video game.

These four concepts are by no means conclusive, but together they appear to cover most of the pitfalls of marketing and selling product. We’d like to keep this list updated, so if you have any suggestions on anything else worth adding, please let us know.

 

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Explaining Sorting Options

We frequently get emails and messages on Twitter asking us what in the hell our sorting options mean. We then respond individually and share a link to our FAQ page.

But that’s just a bad user experience on our part. People shouldn’t have to contact us to figure out what they’re looking at.

So we’ve included an inline description of what each of the sorts mean (Most Valuable Follower; Most Engaged Follower; Best Follower; Most Followed Follower; Alphabetized). This should contribute to a better experience for new SocialRank users. All you have to do is hover over the question marks:

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For your convenience, here are the definitions for each of these sorts:

Most Valuable Followers: this surfaces your most influential followers; when they post, people pay attention. Algorithmically-speaking, “value” is based on an account’s demand (ratio of followers to following) as well as a host of other factors.

Most Engaged Followers: this surfaces the followers who have engaged with you the most over the past 7 days on Twitter and 45 days on Instagram.

Best Followers: this surfaces influential followers of yours who have actually engaged with you over the past 7 days on Twitter and 45 days on Instagram.

Most Followed Followers: this surfaces followers who have the most accounts following them.

Alphabetized: this simply alphabetizes your followers list, turning it into an address book.

Sorting your followers is just another of letting you rearrange the order they show up. Let us know if this helps in understanding what each one means.

If you have any product feedback or suggestions – please don’t hesitate to hit us up at hi@socialrank.com – we really do listen!

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Bonzi Buddy: Riding the Hype Cycle of Targeted Advertising

Back in 2000, right around when a slew of fancy-pants startups followed each other off the dot-com cliff, an endearing purple gorilla began making his way onto the desktops of countless Internet users.

If you’re old enough to remember Bonzi Buddy, you’ll recall that he was one of the Internet’s early virtual assistants (think Microsoft’s Clippy, except for browsing around the web). Upon logging in to your computer, Bonzi would swing onto the screen. For the time, his interaction capabilities were pretty impressive, especially from a free piece of software. He was part-search engine, part-email client, part-encyclopedia, part-downloads manager, part-deals finder (sound familiar?).

Bonzi was your loyal guide to the confusing jungle that was the World Wide Web. Or that was the thought, at least.

bonzi-buddy
Source: Youtube

Today, if you search for “Bonzi Buddy” on Google, just from the first page of results, you get: “trojan adware,” “stupid spyware program,” and “not as cuddly as he seems.” Starting from its humble beginnings in 1999, the BonziBuddy software promised us a better Web experience. But its memory-intensive arrival onto our desktops slowed our computers down. What more, it tracked browsing activity, awkwardly recommended other sites to check out, and threw pop-up ads that mimicked actual Windows alerts. Bonzi was in cahoots with the world of online advertising. By 2003, media backlash and a class action lawsuit relegated Bonzi to the fringes of KnowYourMeme.com.

Adware from the Early Aughts

The early 2000s saw a significant rise in these types of “trojan adware” apps. It became a relatively common practice at the time for “free” apps like Kazaa or Limewire to nonchalantly bundle their installation with adware that tracked your browsing behavior and fed you ads. The idea of tracking user behavior online and using that data for targeted ads was still in relative infancy back then, which can partially explain the awkwardness (and creepiness) of the software that tried to do it.

Remember that this was right at the turn of the century. Monetizing attention and eyeballs online just as the Internet started to go mainstream got advertisers, brands, and the media industry pretty pumped up.

But as Bonzi Buddy and his merry band of friends began pissing users off with pop-ups and other unwanted nuisances, the idea of “adware” disappeared from the public eye. According to Google Trends, it looks like this term hit its peak around 2004 and only recently has started its slow climb back to relevance. Meanwhile, adtech’s been rebranded as the sexier-sounding “targeted advertising” :

Adware-Google-Trends
Source: Google Trends

Of course, these days you don’t have to go too far to experience or hear about targeted ads. A single visit to Harrys.com might yield a relative barrage of grooming-related ads on Twitter. Facebook itself plans on drawing from a wider range of user data to make its targeted advertising more effective. These all seem to be doing what BonziBuddy so clumsily tried to do back in the early 2000s.

What’s Hype?

A few months ago, entrepreneur and investor Hiten Shah wrote a brief post on the technology hype cycle. In it, he touches upon how quickly things gain steam, lose steam, then begin their slow climb back to relevance. “Agile development, lean startup, SaaS and so many more are the norm now,” he wrote, “In just a few short years each of these ideas went from concept to becoming the norm.” To illustrate this concept, Hiten shared a Gartner graph that has become pretty popular in some circles:

gartner-hype-cycle
Source: Gartner

Through this lens, some splashy new technologies might inevitably march into the mainstream — from early promise to ugly adolescence and to eventual quiet, tacit acceptance. Every new tech startup (sure, we can call BonziBuddy a startup) is merely a small player in the larger narrative surrounding the underlying technology trying to make it big.

This reality is difficult to sense on the day-to-day, but when viewing new ideas with this historical perspective, you can’t help but think BonziBuddy was a case of the baby being thrown out with the bathwater. Its targeted advertising product was just too early and too primitive. But it paved the way for the AdSense, cookies-tracking, social data mining world of today. The very technologies that users hated 15 years ago are now common practice.

Whether or not this is at all a good thing is an entirely different discussion.

 

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Hashtag-Comic

Hashtag Filter (on Instagram)

Last month, we released SocialRank for Instagram. One of the most popular new features has been the ability to filter your followers by the hashtags they have used in their posts.

The Hashtag filter also shows you your followers most popular hashtags. As the saying goes, you are who you’re friends are. So if you’re a marketer, the most popular hashtags may give you some insight on what your brand is all about.

Or if you’re like us, perhaps this looks more like a personality test (we love New York, SXSW, and the beach):

hashtag-filter

Either way, popular hashtags gives context to your social graph. Go ahead and check out the new feature here.

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