Social Media: 5 Questions with Seraj Bharwani of Visible Measures

May 18, 2009 at 11:29 pm (Uncategorized)

Written By Noah Mallin | May 18, 2009

There continues to be a myth propagated about social media, namely that outreach efforts aren’t measurable and accountable.  Visible Measures has been at the forefront of measuring the success of Internet videos since 2005, providing metrics that include syndicated, social, and paid video placements.

Today, Reprise Media announced a partnership with Visible Measures that will help to deepen the ability to track and measure the success of video content. To add some context to this exciting partnership, we asked Seraj Bharwani, SVP of Business Development at Visible Measures, to answer our patented 5 Questions:

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5 Lessons Celebrities Can Teach Us About Facebook Pages

May 18, 2009 at 11:27 pm (Uncategorized)

May 15th, 2009 | by Dan Schawbel

Celebrities have officially taken over social networks and are using them to connect with fans and promote their movies, albums and other products. The recent redesign of Facebook Pages has presented celebrities with a great opportunity to engage their fan base and amass hundreds of thousands, if not millions of fans.

While it seems very few big name celebrities are actually using Facebook (Facebook reviews) as a tool to build their own brands and gather their large followings, there are a few who are actively networking on their Pages. Here are 5 lessons we can learn from them.

1. Be authentic and engaging

vin diesel facebook image

Vin Diesel: As Adam Ostrow points out in a recent post, with over 3.5 million fans Vin Diesel is the most aggressive and authentic celebrity on Facebook. Diesel, who you probably know from The Fast and the Furious movies, has developed his fan base on Facebook by taking pictures of himself with his friends, family, and other celebrities. He has written extensively on his wall about his life, various activities he’s participating in, and often engages fans by asking questions. The results are mind-blowing, as he has tens of thousands of likes and comments for each item he shares.

Shaq: Shaq is one celebrity and all-star basketball player who has become extremely popular in social media because of his transparency and authenticity. He has over 475,000 fans on Facebook, and over 970,000 fans on Twitter (Twitter reviews), where he spends more of his time.

What we can learn: Be authentic and start conversations instead of just pushing promotional material.

2. Offer fresh content


Lady Gaga: Lady Gaga is one of the hottest young hip hop superstars on the planet right now, with a few hit singles and a very unique personality and appearance. She sports over 2.5 million fans on her Facebook page and receives thousands of likes and hundreds of comments for her wall posts. She and her social media team strike a nice balance between promoting her music tour for her new album and interacting with her fans. Her page has a few cool features worth noting, such as a laundry list of her events, notes from her tour bus, contests and a “music” tab, where you can play her music videos and listen to her songs.

Lenny Kravitz: Lenny Kravitz, a well-known rock star, has over 705,000 fans on Facebook. While he doesn’t engage in much conversation on his wall, he posts some amazing pictures of his live concerts, as well as the fans that come to see him, which really brings the community together. He gets a few hundred comments per post and a few thousand likes. The most unique feature on his page is a tab called “Free Song!,” where you can download one of his songs for free, and there are options to play other songs within a Facebook app.

Ashton Kutcher: Ashton Kutcher is probably best known, in the social media world, as the man that challenged CNN to a race to a million Twitter followers and won. What you may not know about Kutcher is that he has also built a similar following on his Facebook Fan Page. Right now he has over 1.7 million fans. He has a “video” tab where he records videos of himself talking about different things from the convenience of his house. In addition, he shares relevant news, and videos from his startup, Blahgirls.

What we can learn: It’s important to engage fans with great, fresh content and keep them coming back for more.

3. Tell your story

michael phelps facebook image

Michael Phelps: Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has one of the most popular Facebook Pages in the world, with over 2.2 million fans. He uses Facebook as an online diary, talking about his experiences, and sharing videos of himself and pictures from his sponsorships (one has him eating a hot dog at Subway). You may remember the controversy when he was caught smoking marijuana, you’ll see on his page that he apologizes for it to his fans. Phelps also talks about events like the Special Olympics, branding himself as a philanthropist.

What we can learn: Use your voice. Use Facebook to tell your side of the story and express your views.

4. Control your Page

britney spears facebook image

With over 1.4 million Facebook fans, Britney Spears is able to command a lot of attention.  Relative to other celebrities on this list, Spears is the least authentic on her own page.  She has a team dedicated to her social profiles, and by reading the posts on her Facebook page, it’s obvious that it’s not her.  Her page features her latest songs, pictures from her performances, updates for fans, and an event calendar, where you can follow Spears on tour.

What we can learn: Control your own page, whether you’re active or not, and whenever possible, try to get your own unique URL, which is great for personal branding. Spears can be found at (Learn how to create your own vanity Facebook Page URL here.)

5. Promote your causes

demi moore facebook image

Demi Moore: With over 430,000 fans, Demi Moore is somewhat active on her Facebook Page. She talks about her husband, Ashton Kutcher a lot, as well as her current activities and some promotional items. On Facebook, she’s an advocate of cleaning up the car wash industry, which is posted several times on her wall and in a note.

Lance Armstrong: Lance Armstrong, the world famous bicyclist, is also well known for his participation on social networks. His Facebook Fan Page has 336,000 members. He brands himself relative to his expertise and what he’s known for, a bicyclist and “Livestrong.” Armstrong provides up-to-date notices on his latest races, as well as videos and pictures of his current location and different bikes that he likes. His fans respond strongly, with hundreds of people liking his posts, commenting on them, and even starting their own discussions on topics like “what keeps you going?”

What we can learn: Use your page to promote the causes you believe in. Social media is the perfect tool to unite fans around an issue that matters to you.

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Top 100 Blogs

May 18, 2009 at 11:24 pm (Uncategorized)

  1. Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post

    Darryle Pollack called her first blog “I Never Signed Up For This” in honor of all the times she has said those words at some point in her life as a mother, breast cancer survivor, artist, chocoholic, former TV journalist …

  2. Boing Boing

    Boing Boing is a weblog of cultural curiosities and interesting technologies. It’s the most popular blog in the world, as ranked by, and won the Lifetime Achievement and Best Group Blog awards at the 2006 Bloggies ceremony.

  3. Mashable!

    Mashable is a leading tech blog focused on Web 2.0 and Social Networking news. With more than 5 million monthly pageviews, Mashable is the most prolific blog reviewing new Web sites and services, publishing breaking news on what’s new on the web.

  4. Ars Technica

    Ars Technica specializes in original news and reviews, analysis of technology trends, and expert advice on topics ranging from the most fundamental aspects of technology to the many ways technology is helping us enjoy our world.

  5. Smashing Magazine

    we smash you with the information that will make your life easier. a weblog dedicated to designers and web developers.

View the rest

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May 18, 2009 at 11:23 pm (Uncategorized)

The Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University today announced the finalists for the 2009 Innovations in American Government Awards. These 16 programs represent innovations at the city, county, state, and federal levels of government and were selected from a pool of over 600 initial applicants after rigorous rounds of evaluation. Winners of the 2009 Innovations in American Government Awards will be announced in the fall.

The 2009 Innovations finalists include programs from six cities, three counties, one school district, four states, and two federal agencies. On May 27, representatives from each finalist program will present before the National Selection Committee. Held in the Harvard Kennedy School Forum, the event is free and open to the public. Presentations will also be available via live stream at and on the Ash Institute YouTube Channel.

Read the entire report.

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Effective Web Design

May 15, 2009 at 2:32 pm (Uncategorized)

Last week in class, we focused on effective web design. This is an ongoing discussion with no hope of solution in my office. Everyone has an opinion and thinks of the homepage as their territory. It can be quite frustrating at times.

According to, the following cities received an A= rating for their E-government websites:

A+ 16 Huntsville AL
A+ 16 Chandler AZ
A+ 16 Augusta* GA
A+ 16 Beaverton OR

What do you think of these sites? Compared with the information that we discussed in class, not all of these sites get high marks for design.

Many of the government sites are content heavy with a lot of underlined links

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Top five marketing mini ads . . .

May 1, 2009 at 11:57 pm (Uncategorized)

Below are some great  marketing mini movies not submitted by anyone in class.

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The Marketing Mini Movie

May 1, 2009 at 11:33 pm (Uncategorized)

This past week, my IMC class looked at the marketing mini movie. These advertisements are designed to promote products or companies through an advertisement that looks like a movie to the viewer. The class was asked if it seemed ethical to promote products in this way, and unanimously it was a yes. However, I wonder if the ads were for children’s products, would the class seem so accepting – especially after the previous weeks conversations.

These are the top five mini movies from class:

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Did you know…

April 22, 2009 at 2:49 am (Uncategorized)

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Tolerate all, accept none.

April 22, 2009 at 1:58 am (Uncategorized)

Yesterday, I heard a story about President Obama and how he gave a speech at Georgetown University. Before he would give the speech, it was requested that the University cover all religious symbolism. One of the reasons given was that in showing this one religions symbolism others were excluded.

This got me thinking that tolerance has gone to the point of no acceptance. If we are precluded from showing any symbolism due to the exclusion of others, then aren’t we saying we don’t have to accept anything.

The dictionary defines tolerance as a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.

If we, as a society, were being tolerant of others, why would we feel the need to remove or cover something just because all is not represented? If this is the way we are heading, we will not have to accept anything.

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Did You Know…

April 18, 2009 at 12:00 am (Uncategorized)

I recently saw this video at a social media event. What do you think?

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