Virality is dead, long live Buyrality

Those were the days when you had a crazy idea, made an even more crazy internet meme, put it up on Facebook, shared it amongst your friends and it went viral. Those were the days, yes; those were Facebook’s pre-IPO-days. Ever since the blue social media conglomerate took on public shareholders the game changed on the web. All of a sudden, FB had to proof it’s monetary value and that they can actually make money out of something that was supposed to connect people for free in the first place.

We accepted a long time ago that FB monetizes on our private data in exchange for providing the perfect platform to create your own virtual influence universe while establishing your fake web persona. An illusion blown out of proportion by 2000 friends and a Klout score of 73 that manifests your global online celebrity status. Now, FB goes further and capitalizes on this very attention addiction of its users and turns their wallets against their egos.

FB controls 100% what goes viral on their own platform since October 2012. If you want to reach someone, let it be your page fans or even your own mother, you going to pay for it. Sponsored posts, FB ads, in-stream ads, in-search ads, whatever it takes to push your own stats back to the numbers of 2 months ago, you pay!


The outcry on blogs was loud when the news stream algorithm changed, post reaches dropped 40%. Most effected FB pages. Some posted advices like “add us to a list to make sure you still see our posts”. But it was already to late.

I was reading on various pages that this 40% decrease was more less a fantasy number. Reality was far bleaker than expected. One said, his page had around 9K likes and an average of 2K reach on regular posts. Now, with FB’s new indirect paywall, one post reaches barely 200.  Yes, that’s right, that would be 10% of his previous reach, not 40% less.

But what is “reach”? What does actually count as reach? FB provides us with metrics that we take for granted. We build entire startups around them, yes even weekly community meetings. But ultimately no one exactly knows what goes into those numbers and how reliable they are.

The story is the same everywhere. Our own company page on FB does not have 9K likes, we got a modest 239, but still can feel the impact. A regular post would reach about 100 page followers. Now, it’s down to 60-70. Posts that reach beyond 100 are usually photos with people tagged inside.

Biggest difference for us was, that we not only lost reach but also interactions. Regular posts would have a couple of likes and some comments from time to time. Now, the majority of posts are doomed to rot as unliked social media zombie.

Hence, it’s no far stretch to think that a post, which has supposedly a reach of 70, isn’t actually seen by anyone since there is no indication of existence outside the page at all. When you run a FB page you will know that the majority of fans don’t see the content on the page itself but rather “mirrored” in their news stream. So it’s safe to say, FB’s new algorithm cuts you off the streams, you’re isolated.

We came up with a little survey post to simply see who can actually see page posts at all. Those were the findings:


 (all data as of November 12, 2012)

  • Lifetime post reach: 156
  • Lifetime post organic reach: 101
  • Lifetime post paid reach: 3
  • Lifetime post viral reach: 59
  • Lifetime post total impressions: 539
  • Lifetime post organic impressions: 378
  • Lifetime post viral impressions: 158
  • Lifetime engaged users: 22
  • Lifetime talking about this: 16
  • Lifetime post stories: 20
  • Lifetime post consumers: 19
  • Lifetime post consumption: 61
  • Lifetime negative feedback: 2
  • Lifetime Post Impressions by people who have liked your Page: 371
  • Lifetime Post Reach by people who like your Page: 90
  • Lifetime Post Paid Impressions by people who have liked your page: 1
  • Lifetime People who have liked your Page and engaged with: 18
  • Lifetime People Talking About your post by those who have liked your Page: 15

Take from those numbers whatever you want. What strikes me most are two groups of numbers: 1) The paid reach, since we never sponsored the post. We intended to, in order to test this option too and provide two seperate sets of numbers but couldn’t due to technical reasons. 2) The negative feedback. Obviously this post was so offensive for two of our page followers that they muted it on their own news stream.

But who did we actually reach with the post as the purpose of this survey? Out of all those numbers we can only be sure on the people who liked (15 on the page, 2 off page), commented (1) and sort of disliked (2) the post and this would be 19 out of 239, 8% of all page followers!

Of course, this is no real sample case study to proof anything, especially since our page got comparatively low like numbers. But chances are the findings and theory above apply to most pages.

I was stunned to see that a local ad agency who pivot their core business to FB marketing in the past months seems to suffer from a far greater effect of FB’s changes than ours. While we run a micro community on our page that is more likely to engage, they boost up their like numbers via FB’s ad offers and created “own” strategies (which are quite universal as FB provides the rules and playground of this game in specific detail). They started with a similar like number like us back in June/July 2012. Now, they passed the 7k mark. Their sponsored posts are everywhere, 24/7. But now things become obvious. Posts that have not been sponsored reach an average of 15-25 likes. Sponsored posted come in at 200+ likes. So do the math on your own here.

Naturally, this agency makes money and got loads of running clients, cause we’re in a vicious spiral here. Once you crossed a certain social media stats peak you’re willing to pay to keep it up there and you’re even more willing to pay additional premiums to get numbers higher.

Companies who justified their business with social media numbers are hooked at this point. They can’t afford to loose out now even though such numbers are entirely unrelated to their real life sales/business. The wheel keeps spinning, the bubble keeps blowing up.

So let me close with a US ad agency video that brilliantly sums up the state of mind Facebook and most other social media page
s are at, on their strive to monetize imaginary assets:

– John St. explains what Buyral is:

Klout and Influence in a Transmedia Universe (Part 5)

So… continuing this week (with a bit of lag…).

On the 3rd and final month of this experiment, everything changed.

I finally finished my experiment. But there were some strange conclusions.


What was expected in the beginning ended up being finalized (although the “targeted decrease” was nowhere near what was envisioned).

For now, a simple conclusion to this test is, no matter how “low” you think your internet/social influence is, if you’ve amassed a certain number of people around your networks, that influence/klout, will eventually have a threshold. Mine, was apparently between 45 and 50 Klout points, which meant that no matter how low i’d get, I am always around the mean of classification of internet influence.

So, let’s get to the final numbers and changes.

By the end of the third month, I changed from Specialist to Networker, and with this, some new information arouse – I was now someone whoknows how to connect to the right people and share what’s important to your audience. You generously share your network to help your followers. You have a high level of engagement and an influential audience.

I still kept my 8 Topics – Photography, iPhone, Macau, Youtube, Hong Kong, Films, Entertainment, Cannes.

Now, nevertheless, my network influence was down to 422 people as opposed to the initial 1100. A steep decrease overall, but still an acceptable number.

During the 30 day period between the 2nd month and the 3rd and final, I reached a Peek of 51.52 on the 2nd of July and my Score at the end of the test was at – 44.80.

At the end of the 90 day period (Klout’s average time of analysis), I had, 4 Retweets, 15 Mentions, 79 Followers and I was Following 353 people.

On Facebook, my main network of influence, I had 66 Comments, 305 Likes and had 30 Posts on my wall (received, not posted by me).

My Google+ page as always, was totally irrelevant.


During this ending period, my True reach reached the Highest point 899 on the same day as the Influence Peek – 02/07 and was stable now in the 400’s.

My Network Amplification was at 11 and my impact had gone down to 27, which meant I was now “half” as influential in terms of impact of message, than I was at the beginning of the experiment,

At this time I now only had 3 people that I influenced, and they were – Mariana Silva 4, Elly Luo 39 and  Huang Jianhong 11.

My Influencers were –  Juergen 59 (Down)

Kevin Ma 46

Marco Sparmberg 51

Angelo Costadimas 47 Down)

Sean Tierney 32 Down)

Cintia Milk 50 (New)

During the 3 month period, my Klout score was never under 50, reaching its Lowest point at – 50.58, but, at the end of the test (the steep drop happened 2/3 days before the end of the experiment), I was around 44, 45 points clear.

Although not extremely scientific, this experiment ultimately thought me something about internet influence and the part each of one has in the social/media interactive world.

We are what we put into social media.

I personally don’t usually post personal message on my networks but when I do, those seem to be the posts that have the more interactions between me and the people around me.

My problem with this little detail (and differentiation between a regular poster of interests as opposed to a social “interactor” via new technologies) is that some people take advantage of this to create their own “social personas”, ending up, sometimes revealing too much about themselves (here the dissociation between real social interaction and the need for any interaction, plays a big factor in content disclosed) while others, tactically use their social networks, most of the times, being called “gurus” of influence and social interaction, when they’re simply using this surreal reality as a means to an end instead of a vehicle for their real selves.


Next week I will post infographics of the “voyage of disinfluence’ I had during these 3 months, and will post some other conclusions over what arouse from this test.

See ya next week 🙂

(To read up on previous posts, please do so in the links below)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Klout and Influence in a Transmedia Universe (Part 4)

Once again, hi everyone, welcome back.



Example of some companies that are using Klout to adjust their media campaigns

So, this is test on its 2nd month started to become extremely weird.

I maintained my “Specialty” of course, but as of the 3rd of July, something had changed.

My topics were the same while some stuff started dropping and others rising (what the?!?).

My influence was now at 899. Yes, you read it right, 899… I was reaching 4 more people after a month of nothing in my social persona. Nada.

My peek, during the 90 day period was now on the 9th of June and it was a 56.56 high peek. I know! How could my score continue so high? Especially when it was under no influence by me whatsoever?

In July my score was at 51.52 (down from June). This was expected.

But I kept getting Retweeted (4), Mentioned (36), Commented (162), Liked (540), receiving wall posts (49)

The only thing that apparently didn’t change, was my Google+ page (at least in traffic on it).

During the peek in June, my true reach hit the highest point of 1549, giving me an amplification of 23 and a network impact of 46.07 (in July it was 38).

In June I was starting to become more active in our Haexagon Concepts Facebook page, but I had no contact with my Diogo Martins’ page. None.

I was signing all my posts as Haexagon Concepts.

Then it hit me… Is Klout counting my pages?

This thought was hastily demoted from my brain as I found out, Klout didn’t count Facebook Pages (they either count personal pages or company pages).


In today’s day and age, having 1 million listeners is seen as something that others should aspire to, instead of something that should be cherished 

In terms of people I influence on a daily basis, I lost on this 2nd month Marco Sparmberg, Alexandra Ferreira and Jenson Cheung (as noted).

Influences – Mariana Silva 46 (Down)

       Elly Luo 44 (New addition to the influencees)

       Rui Abreu 47 (Huge spike up!)

      Huang Jianhong 12 (Down)

What was fun on this second month was the new additions to my influencers…

Apparently I became a Bieleber or rather, I started having Bieber Fever!!!

Influences –  Justin Bieber 100 (New Addition)

Pitchfork 79 (New – I do daily clicks on the site)

FilmBusinessAsia 39 (New but rather important in my network)

Juergen 60 (Maintained his statute)

Kevin Ma 46 (Down)

Marco Sparmberg 51 (Down)

Angelo Costadimas 50 (Down)

Paul Fox 36 (Down)

Sean Tierney 37 (Down)

The first thing I noticed on this month was that my Klout score has never gone under 50 – Lowest point 50.58! Something that Marco Sparmberg also noticed a few weeks back in his blog post.

Second was (and this one’s a doozy)… my Facebook network got bigger!
What, you may say?!? Yes… it grew.

MY network now was at 1106 people… I confirmed through my pages and at the Haexagon Page, there were 187 likes, SUI (a weekly screening page that has been inactive for a while) 39 and Audiophobia (a documentary page about teaching music) had increased in 170 (here the increase was largely due to the push from some of the other creators of the doc, to garner new likes).

My Twitter followers was at 94, my Linkedin network was at 356 and my Google Plus account was at 1229.

I was apparently reaping more benefits by not doing anything (objectively, although my Klout score was going down, everything else was going up!), than to actually spend “hours a day trying to control my networks of influence”…

This was something I did not expect.


Not true…

Like before, join us next week for month 3 (and last) of this “odyssey”.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Klout and Influence in a Transmedia Universe (Part 3)

Hi everyone, welcome back.

So, continuing…

First, let me state something that I might have missed before – Klout in HK has almost to no influence in the market… there are no local perks, no local events or even any advertising in the city, all my connection to the site and its influence over me/those I know, was by getting information on it and browsing through the internet, something that is the M.O. for most silicone (or there about) companies suffer from, in this part of the world (Asia, East Asia, China, Hong Kong – where we are based).


A month had past. It was the 3rd of June. At this point, things started to become complicated.

As we had just shot a short-film a few months back (Haexagon), we were needing @ HC to start pushing it online in our common social network channels. Having a different social/transmedia tactic than the previous product we had done at the company (Squattertown), the film wasn’t to be shown online, like most of what we do… it was to be teased with several types of videos (making of, deleted scenes, imaginative teasers and trailers, tests, sfx videos, pictures, events) until the film started being shown at local/international film festivals, to then, at a later date, us starting to figure/test out which monetizable, distribution channels might be interesting to pursue in the local market.
But… rather than being able to push those videos on my stream, I had to do it through the company Facebook page (HC) and that’s where some of the interesting differences between being a lurker, an active user and a Facebook page maintainer began appearing (at this stage there was no possible differentiation between me as a user and administrator at the page, something that since then has been changed on Facebook).


My strategy (if it can be called that) on my network of most influence (Facebook personal page) has always been – since I watch, read, go through so much virtual information every day, I should post only the best/most interesting videos/texts/pictures, I’d find through my morning rituals (a 2/3 hour “browse” through my immensity of bookmarks, favorite sites, rss feeds, twitter feeds and Facebook/Google+ walls) – this tactic was also to maintain at least a following that when I’d post my personal/professional projects, they’d be interested in watching them since I’d have been curating my channel for a while. 

This of course, had to change drastically on my influence over the page (Haexagon Concepts Page, not my own), having to be more contained and cautious over what was divulged, advertised or pushed through HC. At first it was extremely complicated because as an impulse, the moment I’d see a good vid/text/whatever, I’d immediately go towards the share/like buttons that are readily available in most sites and having my face “covered” I couldn’t do anything… most content being completely different from what should be posted on our company page, this of course created a lul in my attitude. But, after a while, I learned to contain (relax rather), over what should be pushed online, having more fun over what was readily available through my sources and seeing how they’d become available on my personal streams, trying to figure out how/who/when/for what they’d appear online.

I digress…


Let’s get back to the results:

So…. 1 month had passed:
What was I still you may ask? A Specialist… no change there. I was still Focused andConsistent.

Still, I got 1 new topic:

8 Topics – Photography, iPhone, Macau, YouTube, Hong Kong, Films, Entertainment, Cannes

Apparently I became rather influential on Cannes (funny as the only thing I’ve ever posted on Cannes was that a Portuguese kid had won a short film award there a few years back… and it wasn’t even at Cannes… it was at Cannes Lion)

Thee expected, of course, started happening (mathematics is of course, rather predictable and converting human interactions/actions into algorithms, like in every social/natural science makes us humans and what we do, mere variables in vast calculations… don’t know if I should be fascinated by this… or like with everything that can be manipulated according to “higher callings” – weary…)

On the 90 day analysis (so between my last postdate and this one) I had reached a peak of 57 on the 10th of May – almost a week where I’d been radio silent coincidentally. My score at the time of analysis was at 53.14.

In Twitter I had 7 Retweets, 64 Mentions, had lost 2 Followers – now 79, but had kept my Following the same – 353.

On Facebook the numbers started becoming weird (or rather, very variable). I had 260 Comments (down from 265, which means that for a 1 month period where I was inactive, in the 90 day counting system at Klout, I had only commented 5 times less…. like I said… weird…). I had 613 Likes (lol) and had received 50 Wall posts, 6 down from the previous month and in the 90 day stretch this would make, in my rather un-mathematical observation, rather similar between being active and inactive.


If you’ve noticed a pattern, yes… my thinking of the 90 days of inactivity is intimately connected with the 90 days it takes the Klout computers to assert their calculations. 

By this point Klout also started integrating Google+ and Linkedin in their calculations but they only started presenting my results from my Google+ account.

During my first month of inactivity, I had 1 +1s, 0 comments and 2 reshares. Rather pointless statistically but we’ll continue this further down the next posts.

At this point in time, my true reach – reached the enormous hights of 1284 @ 11/05 but had gone down to a still rather flattering – 895 people reached.

My Amplification reduced drastically to 32 and my Network Impact was 42 (having had a Highest point @ 48.33).

So a little dip in my stats, but nothing to worry (or even to almost note about)

My Klout friends for which I had any influence, just like me, also slowly started to dip down so… I just gave my dip to a “general inactivity” on the networks I use.

Their numbers:

People I Influence – Marco Sparmberg – 52 (Down from previous momth)

Mariana Silva – 47

Alexandra Ferreira – 43 (New user so for now, irrelevant)

Rui Abreu – 40

Jenson Cheung – 22 (I stopped being influential to him, so his score was the same)

Huang Jianhong – 14 (Another New user so for now, irrelevant as well)

First take back from my analysis… it’s not just how I’m affected by my inactivity in my network… it’s how it affects everyone around me (rather egotistical I know…).

Those who influenced me also started to change (although slightly)

Influences –  The Hollywood Reporter 75 (Rather predictably, stopped being influential to me)

Casey Lau 64 (Down)

Juergen 60

Andrew Leyden 57 (Down)

James Marsh 56 (Stopped being influential)

Kevin Ma 48 (A new addition)

Marco Sparmberg 52 (Down)

Angelo Costadimas 51 (A new influence)

Paul Fox 40 (Down)

Sean Tierney 38 (And another New influence… funny how they became it, only after I became innactive… hmm…)

So… first conclusions for the first month of lurking through the internet social circles:

There was in fact a dip, but it was either insignificant, or unnoticeable in accordance to what almost everyone else suffered in my network.

My reach is decreasing and therefore, certain “channels” of communication between me and my network are closing.

Lastly, some of my online habits had to be adapted/changed drastically so… at least for the first month of tests, I’d consider it a success.

Other than these 3 points… no big achievements:


Join us next week for month 2 of this “odyssey”.

Part 1

Part 2

Klout and Influence in a Transmedia Universe (Part 2)

So let us begin…

The moment I started the experiment, my life started to change… drastically.

At this time, I was mainly running around Hong Kong, shooting projects for my final year at the Master’s degree, and in the middle, was writing my thesis (oh lord… why…). 

This month comprised (in my life), the transition between studying fulltime, to working fulltime at Haexagon Concepts, so it was an engaging and interesting month.

But let us get on with the information:
(I will post raw information in the first 3 weeks of analysis and then will create infographics/graphics with the information I’ve collected, so those who are reading have a clear p.o.r. in the data – all real, all “amazing”, all in here – …I sound like a circus charmer).

By this starting point – 3rd of May 2012

I was a specialist. From what Klout said: “You may not be a celebrity, but within your area of expertise your opinion is second to none. Your content is likely focused around a specific topic or industry with a focused, highly-engaged audience”

Oooh goody 🙂


My internet persona was influential in 7 things – Photography, iPhone, Macau, Youtube, Hong Kong, and Entertainment.

Just this garners a fun analysis… I don’t twitter. I seldom did before I got an iPhone, and before getting the iPhone and starting this experiment 2 months had passed.

I had started a ridiculous routine of trying to find a picture I needed to take every day, as I knew I could increase and decrease my Klout score, depending on the pictures I posted and the comments they received.. that’s where the Photography, iPhone and Macau topics come in (I took a bunch of commented photos during my weekends in Asia’s sin city). Youtube and Entertainment I have no clue… probably because I used to post a lot of links on FB of both things. Hong Kong… well… it is the city I live in so… I give them that.

At this time, I had a score of 56.70 – A peek of 57.49 one week before (29/4).

I was in the moon. I had a bigger score than almost everyone I knew directly and it was just getting higher. But that was the point of the experiment… deflate expectations, and see realities.

And so I went studying through my information.


I had at that time, on Twitter:


57 Mentions

81 Followers and I was Following 353 people.

Pretty remarkable numbers as I have around 310 tweets total, since I’ve subscribed to the service (I was never a big fan).


On Facebook:



56 Wall Posts Received

Facebook is my “go to social network” so nothing that impressive here.


On the 3rd of May, my True Reach had Increased by 109 (from its previous calculations) to the highest point of 1141 people @ 19/04.

This, by all means and purposes, meant that at any given day, I’d have a digital contact of myself and 1141 others, by something that I either created, talked about or liked online.

It seems like a cool thing to have but when you consider that in reality people only have a real friend reach of 150, the number above is a bit inflactuated (I admit… i don’t have close to as many people, talk to or even probably know them by name…)

My amplification factor was 81 and my network impact was 49 (highest point as 50.28) which meant that in general, my impact on my social circle was under the mean (something common to me through my years as a human being…)

At this point, and this is no joke, I’d post about 2, 3 posts a day on my facebook wall with funny videos, pictures, moments, comments, etc.

So… pretty active where it was interesting – my Facebook Page… my Internet circle.


Those who I’d influence in my network were:

Marco Sparmberg – 53 (also a specialist in his field)

Mariana Silva – 49 (my aunt and a big part of my internet social interactions)

Rui Abreu – 43

Jenson Cheung – 22

All people that online had a lower percentage than I did, and so “rationally” they’d be influenced by me (this is of course ridiculous, because those on top are constantly being influenced by those below).


Those who’d influence me were:

The Hollywood Reporter 75 (although I’ve read it occasionally, I’ve never been a big fan…)

Casey Lau 65 (a tech-startup guy in my network)

Juergen Hoebarth 60 (a tech-startup guy in my network and one of the co-founders of Haexagon)

Andrew Leyden 58

James Marsh 56 (a local film critic)

Kevin Ma 53 (another of Haexagon’s Co-founders)

Marco Sparmberg 53 (dito)

and Paul Fox 42 (a local film critic)

I was a specialist, I was focused and consistent… and I’d connected to Klout the following networks:

Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, FourSquare, Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, LastFM, Flickr.


A lot… I know… Insane… probably…

Join us next week for part 3…

Part 1

Part 3