Archive for the ‘Listening’ Category


Boulder Digital Works’ Aggregates Like No Other

Monday, November 7th, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street protests have been anything but typical.  There is no clear leader of the movement, their message is very broad, and it is taking place throughout every major city (and not so major cities) in the country.

The strange thing is, though, it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.  As of today, the Occupy Wall Street movement has been going strong for over 50 days.

Ten years ago, this may not have been possible.  Through the use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, protestors in cities all over the country have been able to communicate and organize activities for thousands of people.

But, even with all of the tools that social media offers, it can still be difficult to know what is happening minute to minute.  What modern day protests thrive on is speed of communication.  While one group may be using Twitter to communicate, another group could be using Tumblr or Facebook.  It takes time and vigilance to keep an eye on every social media outlet.  There was a need to bring all of this information together on one page.

It’s often said that necessity is the mother of invention, and out of a need for better aggregation came  Constructed by Boulder Digital Works, the site curates every bit of social media data for the movement from various Twitter hashtags to a map that shows the number of Foursquare check-ins for each city.  It truly is a social media lovers dream.

Here’s how the creators of describe themselves:

“Occupationalist is an impartial and real-time view of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Covering history as it unfolds. No filters. No delays.”

Given the success of, we’re likely to see other aggregation sites like it popping up for other movements.  Keeping participants up to date on the latest information is crucial.  Those that do it best are the most successful.

Are You Listening?

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Imagine for a moment that you are a high-powered attorney.  You’ve identified your strategy to defend your client, and you flawlessly present it to the jury.  From your opening statement to the closing argument, you couldn’t be more confident with the way you defended your client.

The jury comes back from a brief deliberation, and the verdict is in.  Your client is guilty, and it wasn’t even close.  What went wrong?  You felt like you had the trial of your life, but the result didn’t match.

The information you presented was great, but you failed to pay attention to the opposing attorney’s argument.  While they were presenting their case, you tuned them out to prepare for your next witness.  They brought up several key pieces of evidence, and you completely ignored them.  The variables of the trial had changed, but you had no idea.

Of course, a great attorney would never let this happen.  However, a similar scenario plays out in social media every day.  Businesses large and small blast content on their Twitter and Facebook pages with little regard to how their followers are reacting to it.  Conversations are flying left and right about their brands and products, and many companies fail to listen.

In addition to sharing quality content with your followers, you must implement an effective listening strategy.

A great example of a company implementing a listening strategy is ComCast.  Under the name @comcastcares, the company solves customer service issues before they become angry, ranting blog posts.  Not only are they listening to and participating in their customer’s conversations, but they have also established a place for those conversations to originate.

You must go beyond simply Googling your name or company.  Create a list of buzzwords in your industry, and monitor them daily.  Provide a place where your customers know that they will be heard. Be aware of what your customers, fans, and followers are talking about, and reflect that in the content you share.

(image via Flickr)