Posts

Criminology and Law Enforcement Officials Using Social Media To Fight Crime

For years now, the world has become a very high-tech place, and just like with everyone else, criminals are also becoming more astute and coming up with more technological ways to break the law. Ever since the Internet started seeing widespread use, Criminology and law enforcement officials have been playing catch-up to try and monitor all of the offenders that are currently on the web. Now, as social media has taken hold, it seems that officials now have a new tool in fighting crime.

Social media has allowed the world to become interconnected and interface with one another through the digital format of social media. More and more of our connections are going through online forums, but it’s also having the side-effect of keeping track of everything we say. Law enforcement agencies around the country are beginning to realize the power of social media for their own purposes.

Police blogging has become relatively popular lately, and it’s beginning to allow police stations across the country to keep up on the events of the day. Many people are already familiar with the police sergeant sitting at the registry desk, but now a station can keep track of Twitter feeds, blogs, and updates. It offers officials and the public a real-time way to see the crimes that are being committed in their area. These blogs are publishing crimes and arrests and keeping track of the real-world activity through online avenues. This is becoming a very useful tool to keep an open dialogue and exchange of information between citizens and police. Average citizens can also post on these blogs to let police know about what’s going on and it’s quicker than a phone call.

There have been sites where people could go online and see the latest wanted criminals, but now different law agencies are beginning to use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to update and keep people aware of local criminals that are at large in their area. The great thing about social media is that it’s instantaneous, and officers can keep the public aware of what’s going on up to the minute. This has been done through fan pages as well as local and district specific pages. Their usage has become more fine-tuned over time, and it’s increasing in regularity. It’s another example of how much social media is changing our everyday lives.

Many aren’t aware of the term, but social media stakeouts are becoming a popular tool to find criminals in every background. Some social media advocates argue that this has become a sort of invasion of privacy but police and law enforcement officials aren’t hacking into anything, they’re merely listening in. Whether you agree with it or not, it’s given police the ability to track important information and search real-time for offenders and key words and phrases that are of particular interest. This social media monitoring is a preemptive measure that’s getting a lot of attention. There exists the possibility that these social forums could be abused by officials but there’s no doubt that it has helped them to keep up with the times.

It’s not clear as to how much control different offices of enforcement really have over our personal and social media accounts. There’s been a lot of speculation over Facebook’s complicity in working with companies and governments and sharing personal information. Currently, it’s only through accusations. People are worried about “big-brother,” but it’s essential that we give our law enforcement officials the tools they need, within reason, to combat crime in an evolving society. Otherwise, we could run the risk of giving criminals a better ability to curtail the law and hurt others.

This post is a guest post from the Davenport Institute.

Honesty – The ambient campaign driver that brings virtues back…?

Some years ago, Billy Joel sang his song “Honesty” and I always remember this one first line… “Honesty is such a lonely word. Everyone is so untrue.”. Apparently, it seems that Billy was not quite right with his statement (although he took a different approach to his somng argumentation). It is interesting to see that more and more campaigns seem to pitch with that virtue proof…

I wrote about the interesting HonestTea campaign. That campaign not only proved the value of Earned Media but more importantly how honest people in the world were. And it also pointed out that honesty as a virtue might become a wonderful topic for campaigns – a real ambient campaign driver.

The National Australia Bank (NAB Group) is another example how companies come up with that topic. Some while ago, the NAB was shaking up the financial services industry by encouraging the customers of other banks to “break up” with their bank. The campaigns continues now to a next level now…

The NAB is challenging the honesty of consumers with a series of social experiments on the virtue of honesty. The honesty project of the NAB proves that Australians are very well behaved and very honest.

The bank is publishing the results in little clips. Watch the results…

Spot On!
This modern ambient approach to make a change in the communication to consumers from banks I found quite refreshing, compared to the traditional annoying and boring print letters I still get today. If banks open up to customers with some clever ideas like these it will be a perfect way to get Earned Media which leads to Owned Media and puts a question mark behind the honest value of “Paid Media”. And that is a fact, that is my honest truth.

PS:: What is your view on the campaign? The honesty approach? The value of honesty from a bank’s perspective?

News Update – Best of the Day

The latest market outlook by Deloitte predicts that in 2011 social networks are likely to surpass one billion unique members and may deliver over 2 trillion advertisements. Although this sounds impressive, it is modest compared to other media, the CPM remains low and the market share remains at only 1% of the global online ad spend. The per member annual advertising revenue is approximately $4 which implies total 2011 advertising revenues of about $5 billion.

Will the publishing industry see a revival of print again? Everybody says social media is challening the print publishing industry. All of a sudden, the Content Marketing Institute has launched a media that is in some way a spin-off of the modern social web development, Chief Content Officer. The circulation is 20,000 marketers, with additional digital distribution. Yes, obviously there is a “digital spin” off as well…

Nike signed a big sponsoring agreement with the national football association of France (FFF). After years with Adidas, France signed a contract with Nike for their national football dress. And then they did this fantastic commercial with reference to my most admired work and poem from “Cyrano de Bergerac”, ending with the famous words “J’ai touche!”. Let’s wait and see what the French team will touch us in EURO 2012

PS: At Starbucks mobile payment becomes reality. At least in the US where you can swipe your phone in front of a scanner that is checking your Starbucks account.

The funny truth about PR embargoes

Embargoes have become very popular in the PR industry with the rise of personal blog publishing. This video made me laugh as it shows the funny side-effects of embargoes…

Cost per User – the next digital currency?

The discussion about the best advertising currency is long-lasting. It may never be ending. Still the discussion needs to be continued. The web publishing space had all the options on the table: cpm, cpi, cpc, cpl, cps and so on. And each and everyone of those failed in a way that makes all sides of the publishing and web value chain happy. The only currency that did not seriously come up as a currency ratio in media is cost per user (cpu) although every company follows this metric to evaluate their website costs.

Advertisers love to purchase ‘cheap’ quality space of extraordinary target groups. Platform owners need premium-price compensation models in order to provide high-quality content to their users. The users don’t care. Although they are the stumbling block, the center of attention, in this issue between platform providers and advertising clients. Now that web 2.0 and social media comes into the ‘cpx-game’, everyone gets a chance to rethink digital currency models. What is missing in this discussion is the cost per user model.

A Retrospect on Controlled Circulation
If we go way back to the beginning of this century, there was an interesting discussion about controlled circulation going on in the publishing industry. This discussion indicated that the best value of a medium is the registered or qualified user. Someone who gives away a lot of personal data in order to receive a medium for free. And there were numerous print magazines in the market that do and did controlled circulation. And today? There are hundreds of community-based business models on the web – all of these are to a huge degree controlled circulation orientated. Only a few of these businesses know about it, or see the premium value of controlled circulation media in this advertising space.

Now, what exactly is controlled circulation?
In a lot of meetings with clients, the question came up a thousand times when we explained our old community model. Controlled circulation is a distribution model, usually free of charge, for newspapers and magazines that wanted to have a deeper control of their target group. Thus, controlled circulation magazines offered the ideal targeting of the best quality audience for their advertisers. The benefit was quite obvious if we read the articles here and there. Advertisers spend more money for an ad in the controlled circulation arena than for the classical news-stand magazine. In booking controlled circulation media advertisers know in details what target group get for their money. This premium model could have been applicable to business models on the web. But only a few saw this option and took advantage of the ‘closed’ access door idea.

Why is controlled circulation a winner?
The big benefit of controlled circulation is that non-profit organizations audit the reader database of magazines or web platforms in terms of database quality and quality reach: for print BPA and for web platforms ABC Electronic. Both independent ‘controllers’ double-check in the means of the advertisers what kind of target group quality content providers ‘pretend’ to offer to the advertisers. Advertisers love the audits as there is some reliable data that marketers could show to their bosses or the management team after the sales people had captured the marketing-office for their sales pitches. It needs to be said that the audits were based on projections – only 10-20% of the total database really was tested, but still the quality check was much appreciated by the advertisers.

Controlled circulation and the modern web communities
The question is: Why did the controlled circulation discussion ‘die’? Why was it not carried on as an idea for a premium-priced advertising currency in the web world? Why did the focus on the high-profile individual user registration get lost when there was such a huge benefit for the advertising industry? Did it get killed alongside the top-valued personalization idea which got stepped down by the advertising cpm valuation? Maybe…

Nevertheless, in days where social media, social networking and community-building is exploding, is it not the right time to focus on the value of the registered user in terms of digital currency and critically scrutinize the ‘odd’ cpm valuation? Does not the individual need to be in the center of attention of the modern web 2.0 world? The modern web individual that communicates with companies. The one that reads, comments, blogs, publishes, networks, rates or reviews?

A vision
Just imagine there was a kind of database that all magazines and platform owner have to use who want to earn advertisign dollars. That database is held by a non-profit organization or the government. A system where all users unite, active and inactive web users. Every user could define their most interesting platforms and status of activity which would lead to a cost per user index for each online magazine or web platform, based on consumption intensity of the average user, social networking value of the active user and staying-time frequency of each individual. In the end, the combined data of the website generates a platform coefficient which leads to a cost per user. This is the cost that advertisers want to book, right?

Spot On!
In the modern social media world registration processes become daily business for users. If it was one database as described above, the users would be held responsible. They would be more careful on how to define access and care about their data. From day to day, users get more open minded about showing their data on other media including registering their preferences, interests and hobbies. And platform owners benefit from that. In the future, it will become a state of the art for publishing houses and digital platform owners to have their own web community visible on the side-bar for new visitors. This is a huge success for web platform owners. What could be a better reference if you can show your audience, visual and accessible for everyone with avatar picture that the users upload themselves? Bloggers already use this option to attract more interest. The single user will become the reference for each platform.

So, what if the best targeting measurement of a platform becomes the cost per user (cpu)? If we think about how connected (via Google, Facebook or Yahoo) these platforms are becoming and see all the website and social media metrics we could monitor, the question rises: Is there an option to standardize registration on web platforms and communities plus integrating all the generated data of these platforms into one non-profit system or organization which calculates a cost per user index based on targeting criteria like b2b or b2c and different demographic data? Is Cost per User the next digital currency? The discussion is yours…

News Update – Best of the Day

– Auch wenn die Experten mit ihren Prognosen 2009 in Richtung Web TV und Video on Demand mit ihren Marketinggeldern gehen sollen. Ein konstanter Internetwert bleibt bestehen: Text! Steve Rubel bricht eine Lanze für den Wert des Wortes und warum dieser auch zukünftig der ‘King of the Web’ bleibt. Er macht es an 5 Gründen fest…: Text kann gescannt werden, SEO: Ergebnisse sind (noch) textorientiert, Arbeitsplatz: Videos während der Arbeitszeit, Mobile Endgeräte: Text ist viel einfacher hochzuladen sowie Verbreitung: cut-paste-send-clip Faktor – Syndizieren, RSS-Feeds und Social Networks.

– Endlich kommt sinnvolle Hilfe von Google für alle Abwanderer von bisherigen Blogservices: Google Blog Converters bietet denen Hilfe, die ihre Publishing Struktur verändern wollen und an den Hürden der Migration zu scheitern drohen.

– Billboard Präsentationen sind anregend, dynamisch und wirkt irgendwie interaktiv – zur Erklärung komplexer Begriffe immer wieder hilfreich. Das gewählte Beispiel zwar nicht mehr ‘jungfäulich’, aber immernoch sehenswert: Web 2.0 mal ganz anders dargestellt anhand eines Billboards – von Michael Wesch.

Traditional Media: Embrace new modes of communication

One-on-One Interview with Julian Desborough
Publishing Operations Director and Webstrategist, Times Online


Julian Desborough is the content web strategist at Times Online. He helped run the development of the current iteration of Times Online and facilitated the content migration from Vignette to Escenic, after which he became the Publishing Operations Director of Times Online.

The Strategy Web interviewed Julian to get his idea on the ideal web strategy for a traditional media company.

Q: Please tell us in one sentence what webstrategy means to you?
Julian Desborough For me, Webstrategy is defining and maintaining your presence in the appropriate sectors of the digital marketplace.

Q: What makes a great web strategist and why does he become more and more important for a company?
Julian Desborough A great web strategist should spot emerging technologies and opportunities in the digital sphere while advising on corporate exposure and effort on existing channels. The web strategist also has a crucial role in evangelizing the digital space to more traditional areas of the business and leading the call for change within the organisation.

Q: What are the departments in your company that need you most and why?
Julian Desborough There is not one single department that does not need a web strategist. Commercial needs someone to spot the opportunities; Editorial needs someone to maximize the value of the content they produce; Technical needs someone to constantly challenge existing technologies, architectures and workflows to maintain standards of service and ability to future-proof investment.

Q: Did you face any kind of problems and issues when collaborating with departments (reporting structure or hierarchy)?
Julian Desborough Departments that are not “online facing” have a natural resistance to change. Most issues were around new work flows and integration issues with existing technology and workforces.

Q: What are the 3 biggest challenges you are ‘fighting’ against in your daily business?
Julian Desborough (a) Rate of change within the organisation, (b) Ability to keep the company in line with trends within the industry, (c) Technical stability and usability.

Q: Publishing houses are said to be ‘inflexible and not really Web 2.0 focused’? Is this something you can underline?
Julian Desborough The biggest problem for traditional media companies is their inability to embrace new modes of communication and content delivery and provide investment in a manner that does not fly in the face of normal business opportunity planning (there was a time when too much money was thrown at online ideas without sound business cases).

Q: Talking about Social Media und Web 2.0 @ Times Online, did you implement any web 2.0 projects already? Examples like blogs, wikis, youtube, etc.)
Julian Desborough We have been running more than 50 blogs over the past three years (a challenge has been integrating them within our existing content infrastructure). We invite readers to comment on articles that they read (these are displayed within the article) and we embed youtube video clips, google maps and other items into articles to encourage reader interaction. We also have created online communities around small niche collections of content such as crossword clubs and book clubs and we successfully market content and promotions to popular email bulletins that readers have selected to receive.

Q: Will every company have a webstrategist in the near future?
Julian Desborough Sadly, I think not.

Thank you for the interview and your time, Julian!

News Update – Best of the Day

– Wenn die Wirtschaft sich indie Krise redet, versuchen Agenturen daraus keine Werbekrise werden zu lassen. Holger Jung, Gründer und Vorstand von Jung von Matt Hamburg, spricht im Spiegel Online Interview über sinkende Marketingetats und übertriebene Sparprogramme seiner Kunden.

– Was sagt der Arbeitsmarkt zur digitalen Wirtschaft? Wie sehen die Strategien der Personaler aus? Die Internet-World BUSINESS liefert interessante Zukunftsaussichten. Das Wichtigste in Kürze: Fachkräftemangel bleibt, Weiterbildung fehlt, Work-Life-Balance kommt und kleinere Gehaltssprünge.

– RSS-Feed Leser zu bekommen, ist wahrscheinlich eine der großen Herausforderungen für alle die, die sich mit dem Thema Webpublishing beschäftigen. Wer ein paar Tricks erfahren will, der sollte sich diesen Link nicht entgehen lassen: 50 Wege RSS Subscriber zu bekommen.