Understanding Online Communities: De-Centralised, Centralised and Transient

Here at Headstream we view online communities in three ways; de-centralised, centralised and transient. This presentation outlines our thinking, defining the three types, how they behave and how you can work with them.

If you have any further thoughts, view things differently or have any questions please do let us know in the comments below.

We have also split the presentation into the three sections for easier viewing and sharing:




#TheStream – Issue 5

Hello again and welcome to this week’s #TheStream; our weekly look back on the previous seven days in social, tech and marketing. It’s been a hectic weekend for us here at Headstream towers as we announced the Social Brands 100 shortlist on Friday. If you haven’t seen it yet follow this link to check it out.

First off today, on this St George’s day, we are wishing the ZX Spectrum a very happy 30th birthday. It’s the computer that started a lot of people off on their journey’s with technology in the UK and so it is only right that we give Clive Sinclair and his revolutionary device the nod they deserve.

Today's Google Doodle

New Facebook Ad Metric

Good news for paid advertising, Facebook are going to be rolling out an extra metric to allow campaign managers to see what actions users take after they see an ad. These actions will include comments, shares, app use and Credits spent providing very valuable insight allowing those running Facebook ads to further fine-tune how the ads are operating.

The new Actions Facebook ad metric

For more information check out Inside Facebook’s breakdown.

Even The Biggest Brands Can Get Caught Out

Vogue Spain got themselves in a bit of hot water over the last few days by appearing to steal two photos from a popular Instagram user’s photos and attempting to pass them off as their own!

Spot the difference?!

This isn’t the first time that a major brand has been caught out in this way and it certainly won’t be the last although we wish it would be. In our experience this comes down to a lack of judgment and experience with teams or individuals who haven’t worked with online communities before. Very rarely is it the case that it is malicious or knowingly done by those involved, and most likely was quite a shock to those who work in the social team at Vogue Spain. So while we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, it was stupid to directly lift content from someone with 72,000 followers on Instagram. It’s safe to say they have learnt the hard way and we hope will be more careful in the future with other people’s content.

It’s pleasing to see that Vogue Spain have apologised, however, it is a bit late.

Too little too late?

For the complete story head on over to The Next Web.

Mashable + Google+ = Editorial Excellence

Last week the Google Adsense blog uploaded this video interview with Mashable’s Community Manager, Meghan Peters, where she describes how they use the new social platform.

The video and corresponding blog post highlight how the unique features of Google+ can be used to really enhance a brand’s online activity. Meghan’s three top tips for using Google+ are:

  • Be active Meghan credits Mashable’s success in part to its strong and persistent presence on Google+. “We’re pretty hands-on. We have someone in there posting and moderating every day… which I think has been really important for us to maintain a presence there.”
  • Add Google+ plugins When Mashable added the Google+ badge to their homepage, they increased their Google+ page audience by 38 per cent. Mashable also uses the +1 button on articles and across the site to empower sharing to Google+.
  • Co-create Another key to keeping Mashable’s fans engaged is its innovative approach to audience interaction and brand co-creation. A contest run via Mashable’s site to design their Google+ page sparked a wave of enthusiasm. As Meghan recalls, “We got really good feedback once we posted [the winning design]. A lot of people thought it was really cool – not only that the design was good-looking – but also that we did a contest like that and let people have the opportunity to participate.”

These are some great pointers and if you aren’t already we recommend you follow Meghan on Twitter to see some more great tips and general thoughts on the latest in social.

Gnip Partner With Tumblr To Offer Exclusive Firehose Access

Just a few posts then...

The company who were the first to offer access to the Twitter firehose have done it again by becoming the first to offer complete access to the Tumblr firehose.

“I’m thrilled to announce that the full firehose of public Tumblr posts is now available exclusively from Gnip. Tumblr is one of the fastest growing social networks in the world. Much of this growth is fueled by the enormous number of conversations that are unique to the Tumblr community. These conversations cover a huge range of subjects, from movies, TV shows and fashion to business, apparel and consumer products.”

The potential here is huge as we saw when developers gained access to the Twitter firehose for the first time. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some great uses of the Tumblr data in the very near future and we’ll be highlighting our favourites right here as well as thinking of our own ideas.

To whet your appetite check out these Tumblr facts as provided by Gnip:

  • 50 million new posts every day
  • 15 billion page views every month
  • 20 billion total posts
  • 300% traffic growth last year
Sounds tasty!
‘Tumblr’ Overtaking ‘Blog’ In Google Searches
Some more good news for the young blogging platform come social network, it looks like searches in Google for the word Tumblr will soon be overtaking searches for blog! This is an incredible feat for the platform as it shows that Tumblr is now reaching the forefront of people’s minds when searching for content online. XKCD blogger Randall Munroe put together this graph highlighting the data:

Tumblr is gonna get ya!

Twitter IPA (No Not The Alcoholic Kind)

Last week the information network announced the Innovators Patent Agreement. With the surge in patent disputes in recent times, Twitter have decided to take action and have unveiled what they believe to be the future of patent agreements within organisations.

“The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees’ inventions in offensive litigation without their permission. What’s more, this control flows with the patents, so if we sold them to others, they could only use them as the inventor intended.”

The blog post from Adam Messinger, VP of Engineering at Twitter, has been taken as a breath of fresh air by many and hopefully we’ll see this kind of thinking rolled out across other companies very soon.

Google Brand Impressions

In Google’s latest “Think Quarterly” magazine, they have created a Brand Impressions tool for people to be able to see what impact companies are having online. It generates an infographic from different areas of Google data which can then be manipulated and compared alongside data from other brands. It is a great free tool and one we recommend you go and have a play with.


And for this weeks lolcat:


Thanks for reading and as ever gives your thoughts in the comments below or send us a Tweet or two.

Until next week!

Is the Daily Mail running scared?

After a week-long break (gulp) without a connection to my social sphere (31 May – 5 June), two trending topics hit me on my return. First, the Daily Mail’s scare story about BT ‘spying’ on customers through social media, and second developments in the marketing and communications industry as agencies reorganise in response to social media’s inexorable rise.

So where’s the connection I hear you cry? Well, it’s all about influence. Who has traditionally owned it, and who owns it in the social age.

National newspapers (and their proprietors) have traditionally been the influence ‘super powers’, able to decide elections , change legislation, remove politicians from office, and probe into the private lives of anyone in the public eye .

Similarly, in the world of big business and brands, it has been the above the line advertising agencies that have traditionally had the greatest influence with clients, and a voice in the boardroom.

Social media is threatening both of these conventions.

The Daily Mail is beginning to realise that it can no longer pedal it’s alarming brand of scare stories without going unchallenged. Advertising agencies are realising that their clients are more interested in how their brand can resonate in social media, not what (theoretical) audience their latest 30 second ad slot reached.

The Daily Mail’s reaction, to keep grinding the online ‘privacy’ axe, is short-sighted, and smells of desperation. The truth is they will have to accept a new world order where the objects of their stories bite back, and where conversation replaces propaganda. Ironically they have a strong platform in place to engage in social media through their highly successful Mail Online website.

The advertising industry’s reaction is much more constructive. Seeing the disruption that social media has caused they are moving to improve their conversational skills, and ability to win third-party endorsements, by developing PR and social media skill sets.

The difference is that the agency business is used to making change happen, while the newspaper publishers have been in denial that their ‘super power’ status is now changed, forever.

Vive La Revolution! (sorry, I was on holiday in France)

Finance in social media is ever-growing

Brand Republic has today announced that more than four-fifths of the 100 largest US advertisers, including Nike and Johnson & Johnson, are using Facebook to market their brands. Yes, as BR says, it is being used as a mainstream ad platform but it is important for companies large and small to remember the further massive possibilities that Facebook, and other social messaging mediums, offer.

With companies gradually discovering the benefits of social media, the whole communication world is changing. We at headstream are increasingly working with financial institutions and discovering that their concerns over the effect of social media are disappearing and that they are instead becoming massive advocates for SM communication. Finance related social media and blog activity seems to be continually growing and there is a wide range of activity out there relating to investment, general economics, tax and accountancy and personal finance – plenty for everyone to get involved and continue to grow this segment of social media communication.