Quick Takes: 2/28/11

A quick round-up of non-movie marketing stories that are worth reading today.

InboxQ Takes Q&A Off-Site and On to Twitter: InboxQ is an interesting idea. It’s a Google Chrome plugin (other versions are sure to come soon) that allows brand managers to enter keywords that can surface questions that they may be interested in responding to. Those might be customer service queries or more general ones that might bring in new customers. The company is just rolling out but eventually plans to add analytics for companies to tap into to make it more of a serious management tool.

War Is Hell: Welcome to the Twitter Wars of 2011: What’s most interesting to me about the Great Twitter Kerfluffle of 2011 is how for so long people were begging Twitter to act like a real company and now they very much are. So it’s worth noting that protection of intellectual property, making sure developers were abiding by the rules don’t seem to fall within what people were expecting when they were making those requests, they just wanted the system to stop failing. Rex Hammock also has a good take on this situation, which ultimately resolved in the apps being restored.

How Real People Use Twitter: The vast majority – almost 95% – of Twitter users have fewer than 500 followers. And while those with huge amounts of followers may very well be more influential it’s also more likely that those followers are paying close attention to either their friends or the celebrities they follow. So instead of always gauging someone’s worth based on big numbers it’s important to look at how those people are actually interacting with each other and who within those smaller niche groups are running the conversations.

The PR industry must condemn massive, automated sock-puppetry: I’m pretty sure most right-thinking people already do condemn this practice, but Shel is right that this needs to be addressed at the trade organization level. That’s not going to cut it out completely since people can easily ignore those guidelines if they even belong to the organization in the first place but it would be a good start to a more systemic fight against bad actors.

Finding more high-quality sites in search: As I said previously while Google’s algorithmic changes aren’t directly related to corporate publishing programs and are instead targeted at so-called content farms, corporate publishers need to be aware that search engines take quality into consideration when determining rankings. That knowledge should push them to make sure that they’re putting out good stuff frequently and making sure that content is adding value to the audience, however those people are coming to the site.