Sunday, November 23, 2008

ScobleizerTV - The Half Life Of An Online Conversation

This is an insightful perspective on how long conversation subjects last today by Robert Scoble. "Our systems are making the half life of a conversation shorter and more difficult to search and find" and "Comments increase the half life of any given conversation" are important concepts to understand as blogging and micro-blogging evolve. The power of the comment is growing everyday in the subject half-life conversation equation.

As more corporations consider entering the social media marketing arena, they must understand these concepts. Social Media only works if you are persistent and consistent. As the half life of the conversation grows shorter and shorter, it is the deployment of personnel, not financial resources, that become the most important component of a social media marketing strategy. This causes increased complexity in the integrated marketing planning process because the brand is now relying on employees to not only be strong executioners of the plan but also as content developers and deployers across the social media ecosystem.

Keeping employees engaged in this process can end up being the most challenging. Everyone is excited during the first 3, 6 or 12 months, but after that the process of constantly having to develop new, compelling content or having to search for relevant posts, positive to the brand, and making comments often becomes burdensome. That is why it is important to develop incentives, awards and recognition so that they know the work and process are valuable and valued.

Finally, the shortening of the half life of the conversation also poses challenges to search. Finding the important content and the context surrounding it are currently very difficult, as Robert Scoble points out in his video. If search services can help to increase the half life and thus add more value back to the conversation, we all will benefit. Some conversations truly need to have a longer half life, others not, but the community, as it should, usually has the final say through selection and prioritization by commenting, posting, tweeting, texting, vlogging, blogging and searching.

Take about 12 minutes to watch this video and think about where this is all going.

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