The Blog of Babel

This site sits on the crossroads of Languages, Linguistics, Social Media Market Engagement, Marketing Strategy, Innovation Strategy, Creativity Theory, Ancient Mythology & Egyptology. Its a very small crossroads in the middle of cyberspace - so stay for a while - pull up a chair and coffee. 

Global Social Media Directors Gather in San Francisco to Discuss the Evolution of Social Media in Business - MarketWatch

Speakers scheduled to present at the event include some of the world's most recognized social media savvy brands, such as American Airlines, Dell, U-Haul International, Southwest Airlines, QVC, GoDaddy, Intel, Wells Fargo, Airbnb, KLM,, Bank of West, Clorox, Qualcomm, Western Union, Thomson Reuters and many more.

I enjoy that this article hails social media as the new way "to get closer to customers" and to increase transparency. You mean social media should be used simply as a communication tool - how innovative!?

From this article, I really want to follow those companies listed above that apparently have been recognized as social media savvy brands. What are they up to that is so game changing? I am also puzzled why some brands didn't make the cut - like coke (which in my opinion has a very strong online social media presence).


Virology Series - Economics of Digital Content

Welcome to the second installment of my virology series - studying how digital content goes viral. In this post we are going to look at the economics of online media. 

Supply & Demand 2.0

Economics is simply the study of human behavior given a limited amount of inputs.  We know that on the internet there is almost an unlimited amount of possibilities. With unlimited supply we also know that price enters a free fall and hovers right around $0.00. Therefore we find that most content on the internet is free and demand for individual content is low. 


However these two concepts can be brought together into the study of digital economics - the supply and demand of digital content. It is possible to harness the behavioral concepts of economics to create artificial scenarios of supply and demand. 

By creating artificial scarcity, demand will rise - leading to more viral characteristics.  

Examples of Scarcity

Sites like Groupon and are great examples of this phenomena. These sites offer daily deals in a limited quantity. The scarcity exists in amount and time, as the deal ends at a certain time and can sell out. This creates limited supply and more demand, as users have more of an impetus to check their websites and check deals. Simple rules of economics apply. 

Possible Social Media Implications 

How would you react if the internet phenomenon Gangnam Style was limited to 5 million views? This means that after the video reaches this number it would no longer be available on youtube.  How would this effect viewing behavior?

What if we could develop "decaying links"? These links could be put on Twitter or Facebook by social entities in social media promotion campaigns and would shut down after a certain amount of clicks. Now just imagine how that might effect viewership behavior. What if Apple released daily a brief 5 second clip of their upcoming products on a 2 click decaying link? Although the media itself will not be able to go viral, the message and awareness will go viral. 

The law of supply and demand also explains Snapchat - a mobile app that allows you to send very short video clips to friends. However there is a twist, individually sent videos can only be seen once and they then disappear - they cannot be replayed. The app's recent popularity can be explained by their extremely small supply. Videos are viewed once and deleted. By doing this demand rises and so does perceived value. 

How else can supply and demand be used to create viral content? Stay tuned.



The Pre-crime Department: Social Media

I found this very interesting article which argues that social media engagement is not itself a strategy but a tactic - and that institutions should focus on the long term with social media.  

The article gives the example of the Dutch Bank ABN AMRO, which used social media as a digital CRM platform to maintain customer satisfaction. What peaked my interest was the firm's use of "pre-customer support" - truly being able to anticipate what customers need before the need has fully developed. This idea reminded me of the hit 2002 summer blockbuster Minority Report where a fictions enforcement agency arrested individuals before a crime was committed. in the movie, the Precrime department was able to predict individuals intentions and arrest individuals for future crimes. This is a very interesting idea that can be applied to social media. 


No, not arresting people for a future crime based on a tweet. In the article's example, there was a special embedded section in customer management department that would scour social networks to find customer's having problems in order to provide them with trustworthy and accurate financial solutions. This idea of "pre-customer support" is extremely powerful in that you can address developing problems before they ever arise. In practice, individuals need not be customer's of ABN AMRO or have even mentioned the financial institutions they use - a powerful tool to poach customers. I think this would lead to a stronger conversion rate and higher retention rate of customers. 

The Power of Social Video

I totally agree - videos are some of the strongest engagement pieces and should always be incorporated into a good social marketing campaign. Here's a video about videos and it proves my point - very attention grabbing (and has doubled views since I first saw it yesterday - currently as of this posting it is at - 43,929). Not to mention producing your own video really forces you to create your own unique content. Learn how to edit a little - couldn't hurt your social media abilities (look at the videos I've made)