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Doug Haslam
Works at Stone Temple Consulting
Attended Emerson College
Lives in Boston
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Doug Haslam

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Remember Mobilegeddon? A month after Google made changes to favor mobile-friendly pages, my colleagues at Stone Temple Consulting have gathered results of a before-and-after study measuring the real effects:  comments and sharing welcome. https://www.stonetemple.com/mobilegeddon-may-have-been-bigger-than-we-thought/
In this study, we look at the impact of the so called "Mobilegeddon" update. This update was viewed as being a potentially very large update. At SMX Munich, G
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Resource for PR folks- reporters telling how they get successfully pitched http://bit.ly/1DMyxDm
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Good discussion including +Stone Temple Consulting's Google+ study
 
This Week in Google on "Is Google+ Dead or Dying?"

Fascinating and lively discussion starts at 40:54 by +Leo Laporte, +Mike Elgan, +Danny Sullivan and +Jeff Jarvis centering around two things: the Forbes "5 Reasons Why Google+ Died" article from last week, and the +Stone Temple Consulting study of half-a-million Google+ profiles to measure public posting activity. 

Forbes article: http://goo.gl/NjKHtw
Response from +David Amerland and me: http://goo.gl/26jLpi
STC Google+ Activity Study: http://goo.gl/iofpdp

The discussion on TWiG goes on for about 15 minutes. Some main tl;dr takeaways:

➤ Google+ isn't dead; but can sure appear to be.
➤ Departure of +Vic Gundotra (one year ago today!) was result of a massive power struggle between him and +Sundar Pichai, which Vic lost, and G+ has been back-burnered ever since.
➤ Google at several points in Google+'s history totally bungled the positioning and marketing of Google+, probably dooming it to second class social network forever.

#googleplus   #twig  
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Newton North Varsity Baseball Gifs
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Please Join friends helping #beatcancer by sponsoring my Pan-Mass Challenge​ ride - Just $6,900 to go- 100% of donations go to cancer research and cures- http://bity.ly/pmcdoug - Thank you!

(and for today's opening Day post, a Throwback to PMC Day at Fenway in  2008, the year of my first ride)
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Speed kills (I think Nietsche said that)
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Or Einstein. Or Mark Twain. 

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Please join me in my  Pan-Mass Challenge​ to beat cancer. 100% of the money you donate goes to Dana Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund​, to support research like this: http://www.dana-farber.org/Research.aspx.

Just under $7,000 to go to my goal- will you please help at: http://bit.ly/pmcdoug? Thank you! 

Training is underway, as I got a couple of good rides in already in April, with more to come starting tomorrow. I should be in good road shape in a week or two, and then ready for August 1!
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New blog post: Swearing as Business Model - Bad Idea or Good For You? I don't generally swear on (public) social media, but some have it as part of their business persona. I have mixed feelings- you? 
http://bit.ly/1Prkj29
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More on the Google+ topic from a +Stone Temple Consulting​ colleague, +Mark Traphagen​ - a rebuttal to the Forbes article.
 
A Truly Awful Google+ Hatchet Job on Forbes Exposed

As some of you know, I've made it my policy for some time now not to waste time responding to the "Google+ is dead" articles that sprout up from time to time like weeds on a spring lawn. 

But the recent rash have been so bad, so poorly researched and argued, that I had to end my silence.

My next +Marketing Land column (which should publish next week, I think) deals with the main arguments in recent articles by +Larry Kim and +Travis Wright.

But in this post I'm commenting on a new Forbes post by Steve Denning titled "Five Reasons Why Google+ Died." In a response today +Mike Elgan dealt very well with a number of Denning's reasons, including a very bad misunderstanding of a quote by Elgan that Denning doesn't even correctly attribute. You can read Elgan's post at http://goo.gl/FH6DJ5.

I want to address a statistic quoted in the introduction of Denning's article. He quotes +Scott Galloway as stating that Google+ had a "97% decline in engagement rate, year over year." (The actual figure is 98%, as you'll see later, but that's the most inconsequential of Denning's errors.)

That's a pretty stunning claim. I wanted to see the actual study, where its data came from and its methodology. No context was given around the number.

In response to my comment on the Forbes article asking for that information, Denning referred me to a previous article of his, which linked to another article. That article had an embedded video of a talk by Galloway, in which he states the 98% drop in engagement as evidence that Google+ has failed, showing for a few seconds a bar chart with that stat.

But still no link to or citation of, in the article or video, whatever study this data came from. 

It took me almost an hour to track down the original study from which the "98% drop in engagement" comes, but eventually I found it.

It's at https://www.l2inc.com/research/social-platforms-2014. Turns out that L2 is Scott Galloway's own research company. 

The full report is for "members only." I entered my email address to get the download of the non-members version. It turns out to be only an excerpt, and does not contain the methodology or any details on how the data was obtained.

As far as I can discern, L2 looked at the social profiles of about 300 brands. So first off, this is only a study of brand profiles on social media.The study does not look at regular users at all. Which means to use it as a source to proclaim overall engagement is fallacious. 

When I dig down further in the excerpt, I saw that there was a lot more to the story.

Yes, of the 300 some brands they surveyed, Facebook is killing it. But if you look at the rest of the story, Google+ is doing at least as well as, and sometimes better than., the other secondary social networks. 

The ballyhooed "98% drop in engagement rate" (engagements per follower) occurred, according to the study, from July 2013 to July 2014. While that drop is  the worst among the networks surveyed, all of the networks had drops including Facebook, which dropped 13%. 

If you look at the other stats, you get a broader story. 

In the time period studied (again, July 2013 to July 2014), the surveyed brands increased followers on Google+ by 41% (compared to an increase for Facebook of 38%). Moreover, the absolute number of followers for Google+ was the highest of any network (960K, compared to FB's 781K).

Also, brand engagement per post went up 67% on Google+, while only 26% on Facebook. 

So you see, you can prove whatever you want, it just depends on which stat you choose.

And in this case, those numbers only apply to a very small sample of brand pages, not to all users of the networks, as the Forbes writer assumed.

These days I always want to add to these posts that I come neither to praise Google+ nor to bury it (sorry, Shakespeare!). I'm not going after this as a G+ fanboy, but simply because I hate misinformation.

UPDATE: With permission, I am adding on here an excellent comment left on the Forbes article by +David Amerland that very deftly deals with the five main "reasons" denning gave for why Google+ is dead. The following is David's complete comment:

Interesting points. Let’s take them in reverse: #5 – G+ is not a social network in the traditional sense of the word. It is a “social layer” (Google execs have specifically said this on a number of occasions) or more exact a set of tools used to socialize the web. There are a lot of new things within that: from HOAs (Hangouts On Air) to an ability to connect a real-world-business to a Google Map presence to a page, to real people profiles, to name but two.

#4 – From the outset Google said that G+ was not like Facebook and was never intended to be. No idea why this idea is perpetuated but obviously the words “social network” applied as a label mean the exact same thing to all people (sigh).

#3 – If by “customers” you mean those who use Google’s services and products in both their free and paid-for formats, then you’d be hard pressed to find a more end-user orientated company. Case in point any G+ users owns the data they upload (all of it). If you want to, you can download it and close your profile and walk away. Last time I checked Facebook retained the rights to everything you posted even after you closed your profile and it has taken court orders to stop them from using deleted profiles’ data.

#2 – I have no idea how you can think a structured search index is not a library (guess there are no books you can see there). Semantic search is very much like that and Google’s Knowledge Vault goes even beyond it. Search is useless without an index, an index is a cataloguing of information in a highly cross-referenced way. This point, quite frankly is ridiculous.

#1 – I agree with the extrinsinc/intrinsic rewards principle. There are many Google employees who do not use G+ themselves and it has caused issues internally in the company.

You could have got rid of all the other points and led with that and you would have got yourself an article that actually added some real value to the online conversation, but for that to happen you would have to have some awareness of the G+ platform itself (i.e. use it occasionally).
Google needs to rethink its mission statement and delight its customers
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Wonder what the actual #s on Google+ activity are? +Stone Temple Consulting  has the scoop
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Hard Numbers on Google Plus Activity

I have just published the data from a study of more than 500,000 randomly selected Google plus profiles, to see just how much is going on over here.

The bottom line? It's small, but vibrant. It is a ghost town? Not at all? Is Google going to shut it down? I don't believe it for a second.  Read on for the details, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

https://www.stonetemple.com/real-numbers-for-the-activity-on-google-plus/
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Education
  • Emerson College
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Dough
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Tagline
Social Media and PR writer; sometimes other topics
Introduction
Media/journalism professional turned communications/public relations/social media professional.
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Occupation
Public Relations, Social Media
Employment
  • Stone Temple Consulting
    Senior Marketing Consultant, 2014 - present
  • Voce Communications, a Porter Novelli Company
    Public Relations, Social Media, 2010 - 2013
  • SHIFT Communications
  • Topaz Partners
  • Sage Research
  • Schwartz Communications
  • WBUR-FM
  • The Christian Science Monitor
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