6 rules for surviving and enjoying social media.

Phone 292994 1920 6 rules for surviving and enjoying social media

1. Don’t believe everything you see or read.

Social media has no filter, so anyone can post almost anything and they don’t always post the truth. From politicians to socialites, very often what is put out is tweaked in some ways be it the facts or the flawless texture of a models skin. Be alert to it.   

2. Do your research.

This goes hand in hand with the first rule. Sadly you can take everything at face value. It takes very little time to fact check, but use reliable news sources and websites, not gossip rags or other social media sources.

3. Don’t over share.

If you wouldn’t tell your gran don’t tell social media publically. Public social media sites like twitter, Tik Tok or Instagram are great places to share what’s on your mind, your latest talents and so on. It’s fun and can be very rewarding. However, some things just don’t need to be shared to the world, doing so can come back and bite you in the future. Many celebrities have fallen foul of drunken tweeting one day and losing their job the next!   

4. Do use the report features.

The report features on social media are their for a reason. If you see things that are inappropriate, harmful, hurtful etc, report them. It is anonymous and there to protect everyone.

5. Don’t obsess.

It can be all to easy to get hooked on social media. That’s how all the apps are designed, they want your attention for as long as possible as that’s how they make money. If you find yourself unable to sleep because you are worried you might miss something, or are anxious because you only got 1 like, it may be time to take a break or even seek some advice and help.   

6. Do have fun.

Social media is meant to be fun, so use it in a way you enjoy. It may be just reading the latest happenings in your fandom, it may be sharing your singing or photography skills etc. You can make good friends through sensible use of social media and have a great time.   Be sensible, be safe, be alert and when it stops being fun, take a break.

What’s in a Name Like Dave Rage?

Image What 8217 s in a Name Like Dave Rage

A question that I am asked quite often, relates to my chosen Twitter name – @daverage.

Before we get into that, I want to clear one thing up. It is Dave Rage, not the Excel function, DAverage!

Back to the story.  Dave has-been with me since university. On one of the first nights in the halls of residence, we all decided to make door signs for each other. The thing was, no one could spell Andrzej, so they decided to call me Dave!

That stuck with me and from that day onwards, I was known as Dave.

The Rage bit relates to an old N64 game, WCW Mayhem. It was one of the first games to include full audio commentary and as such required you to choose an in ring nickname. In the house I was living in by then, we all made our own characters and chose a nickname – mine was Rage.

Dave Rage was born!

This new persona followed me into online gaming, evening being integrated into the name of my Command and Conquer Rengade / Call of Duty clan, Rage’s Renagdes.

When I joined Twitter, I decided to stick with it, not expecting Twitter to be such a big part of my more professional life. How wrong was I!? The trouble was, by the time I realised how important it was, @daverage was more well known than Andrzej Marczewski – so I decided to keep it.

So,  20 years after Dave Rage was born, he is still here and stronger than ever!

Why not share your username stories in the comments?


Rewarding quality over quantity in gamification

Rewards 1426524987 Rewarding quality over quantity in gamification

Something that I see quite often is people making a simple but important mistake. They reward the behaviours that lead to quantity rather than quality.

Let me explain.

When you build a gamified campaign or activity, you need to consider what quality participation looks like. If for instance you want to create some buzz around a new product and you decide to create a simple Twitter competition, are you looking for the number of people who tweet or are you looking for the number of people whom the message will reach?

If it is reach you are looking for, how do you reward behaviours that lead to better reach? What on Twitter leads to better reach? The mistake I see is setting up a very simple system where each tweet of the message is rewarded, most points win a nice prize. In our example, we shall give each tweet 10 points.

If an individual with 50 followers tweets your message they get 10 points and reach 50 people. If they have 10,000 followers, they still get 10 points but reach 10,000 followers. In reality, the second scenario is preferable because there is a greater opportunity for your message to be seen by more people, yet they are perceived to be given the same value.

Now, we add an extra dimension, we reward reach rather than just number of tweets. For starters, we reward retweets as well as tweets. As a tweet is retweeted, the value of that original user begins to be amplified. Whilst they may only reach 50 people, one of those 50 may be highly engaged and have 5,000 of their own followers who will see the message. The retweet is actually of greater value than the original tweet – so should have a higher reward, say 20 points.

Our system so far
Tweet=10 points
Retweet=20 points

There is a second value to this, it is harder to game. If we just reward quantity of tweets, then the person who wants the prize the most will just tweet and tweet and tweet and keep earning those 10 points. One way to handle this is to limit the number of tweets that count per day, put the focus on retweets and other measures of engagement and reach.

Our system is now
Tweet=10 with a maximum of 30 points per day
Retweet=20 points with no limit

We are beginning to reward quality over quantity, but there is still an issue. Let’s go back to our user with 50 followers. If we limit their ability to earn lots of points with just tweets and we also know they will struggle to get the level of retweets that someone with 10,000 followers will likely get – how do we make it fair on them and show them that they have just as much chance to win as others. Really you want everyone involved – because you never know who the “important” users are. If one of those 50 followers is a potential purchaser, they are more important than 10,000 non-potential purchasers!

What we have so far is probably fine for most small scale usage. Reward the quality, not the quantity. Don’t reward spammers basically!

For a larger scale campaign, we want to take this a step further. If we want everyone to feel that their contribution is valued, we need to create some kind of algorithm that produces a more balanced score.

One suggestion would be to create a ratio of retweets to number of followers. The idea being that the number of retweets that you get if you have 50 followers giving you a couple of retweets, is comparable to a user with 10,000 followers getting dozens of retweets.

This gives us
Tweet triggers your entry into the “game”.
Score = (Number of retweets/number of followers)

We can expand on this quite a lot by looking at number of favourites and number of comments tweets get as well. I stumbled across a formula from Unmetric that does just this

( No. of Favourites  +  ( 5  ×  No. of Replies )  +  ( 10  ×  No. of Retweets ) )  ×  10000

No. of Followers * 0.8

You can find the full explanation of this formula here https://unmetric.com/engagement/

You need to take into account those who have very few tweets and retweets – as their ratio may be quite high. It is all a balancing act – and it really isn’t easy!

The upshot of all of this is that you need to stop rewarding the wrong activities. If you make the reward greater for the simple low-quality actions, you will encourage quantity over quality and that is very rarely what you want.

Personal Brand. What is it and why should I care?

Brand Personal Brand What is it and why should I care

Personal brand, like gamification, it one of those terms that seems to come up more and more these days.

In a nutshell, personal brand is the image of yourself that others see. By this, I don’t mean the clothes you wear or you haircut (though this can be part of it), I mean something deeper and more important in the long term.

Have you ever searched for your name on the internet? If not, head to Google and do it now (then come back!).

Now, answer these questions about the first page of results;

  • How many were you?
  • How many were social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc)?
  • How many would you be happy for your Gran to explore?

If you look at results for my name (which I will admit is unusual), you will see that the top 4 results are not only me, but they are related to content that I create and is unique to me. My blog, LinkedIn, Twitter and Gamasutra.


Why is this important?

Glad you asked. When you apply for a job, what do you think most employers do now? You give them your C.V and covering letter. They are both lovely and paint the exact picture you want the employer to see of you. It gets you on the maybe pile.Then they search for your name online. Do they see content that paints the same picture? Do they see anything at all. Do they just see a bare bones LinkedIn? Worse still, do they see an unsecured Facebook account with pictures of you mooning your mates on a drunken night out?

You see, it’s not good enough any more to not care how others view you – especially as you establish your career. The “well they can take me or leave me, I don’t care” attitude does not pay the bills.

I have a high Klout score, so I’m sorted right?

Of course not. Think of it this way. When you are gone, what do you want people to know about you when they look for your name. Is it your Klout score? I really hope not! With luck they will find a rich tapestry of information about who you were and how you touched the world. Content you have created that was insightful and interesting. Twitter conversations that were fun, obscure, surreal or just plain Xfactor related.

Personal brand is not just how well you use social media. Broadcasting hundreds of links a day, is not going show people anything about you – just what you are interested in. It is about you. Who you are, What you do, and Why you do it!

Do something about it now!

So, go back to Google and search for yourself again. Now click on any links that come up and see what the pages you are take to say about you. If it is LinkedIn, does your profile speak about you, what you do and why you do it – or is it just a job title and a little blurb on your skills? As an aside, check out this great video from Simon Sinek about his Golden Circle theory for profiles, concentrating on Why.

If it is Facebook, make sure that what the public can see is Gran friendly. Everyone understands that Facebook is more personal, but don’t give people ammunition to dismiss you before they get to know you.

If it is Twitter, again, does your profile say anything about you, saving people from trawling through your stream to find out?

Create content on topics you are interested in, talk with people don’t just broadcast at them, be yourself – but filter it for a PG or 15 audience. Think, if my Gran saw this, would she be happy.

And remember –

Everything you do is being recorded somewhere. The best way to control it, is to make sure it is you recording it! Then you can tell your story the way it is meant to be told.

Take this quick test to see if you are on the right track to building a strong personal brand!

My year of blogging 2011

A look back at my blogs from 2011. Interesting to see me slowly switching focus from Social Media and Technology to nearly all Gamification!

New Year – What could it Bring

Posted on December 31, 2011Well, in a few hours it will be 2012. Now, sadly we are not traveling in flying cars though luckily it doesn’t look like the world is going to end. So what is going to happen in 2012? I think it is pretty certain that a gajillion new social media related jobs will be created. That said, I have to wonder how long that can last. More…Posted in Opinion

Confessions, Klout and Contradictions

Posted on December 30, 2011In my third set of musings around social influence and indexing tools such as Klout, I feel it is time to confess a few things. But first, you may have noticed from my previous posts – I am not a fan of the importance being put on the afore mentioned tools in the industry.More…Posted in OpinionSocial MediaTechnology

Apple – Sponsored by Microsoft Pie.

Posted on December 14, 2011Of course that isn’t true, but it could be.  In the last few days Microsoft has released some very well received apps for iOS. It started with My Xbox Live and has seen Kinectimals and SkyDrive follow. Microsoft have had other products on the platform. Photosynth, Tag and the very popular OneNote, which has also had a big update. More…Posted in OpinionTechnology

Should we be talking about Rewardification and Gamification?

Posted on November 28, 2011I have written a little about Gamification. I love the concept and have just been doing a little bit of it on my website – www.yars.co.uk. I have implemented very simple ideas like Achievements and Experience points for participation. I talk to many people about such things and they often come back with the same comments. Where is the game in that? Is that not just More…Posted in GamificationTechnology

Whilst Innovation may not be Dead, where is the Courage in the Games Industry?

Posted on November 14, 2011People often ask where the innovation has gone in the games industry. I have been guilty of it on the past. In fact, this article was going to be titled with that exact question. However, the more I drafted the piece and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that innovation is… More…Posted in GamingOpinionRants

If anyone can set up a website and review games, is the traditional games press doomed? Read More ...