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The social Web as a coral reef

Photo courtesy of Jon Hanson via Flickr

 For a while now, I’ve been writing about how public relations professionals can use social metrics such as links, comments and votes on social news sites to determine which blogs and sites represent the most influential voices on a particular topic. 

It’s easy to get mired in the muck of all these numbers. So Cision Media Research Director Valerie Lopez and I will use a metaphor to illustrate how these metrics relate to each other in a free webinar on social media measurement next Tuesday, March 16 at 1 p.m. CST.  

Coral reefs provide us with a model for understanding how influence flows through the social Web.

  • The exoskeleton provides nutrients (links, comments, votes) to each of the plants (blogs and sites).
  • As readers, bloggers and conversationalists, we are the schools of fish, pointing each other toward pockets of tasty sea plants (interesting content).
  • Big social sites like Twitter and Facebook are the ocean currents, spreading information quickly like warm water that enriches the whole environment.
  • Like coral reefs surrounded by deep, dark ocean, the Social Web appears in pockets surrounded by vast expanses of lifeless, dormant sites (“The Static Web”).
  • To measure and understand the influence of a message, you have to look at the whole system.

We hope you can join us on Tuesday.

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