While the world waits with ears preened and eyes glued to social media sites to lap up juicy snippets of celebrity life, it's the celebrities like Lady Gaga who are having the last laugh!
Before you get carried away, this has nothing to do with the phone hacking scandal that has rocked the British and world media. Lady Gaga is only resorting to the latest technology to realize her ambition to make her music truly global and yet satisfy her desire to connect and interact with her fans around the world.
The problem of Interscope, who manages her website, was that while Lady Gaga's site could hold all her own content, the posts, comments, and blogs of millions of her fans were all spread across different social media and a large number of fan sites, making it almost impossible to pursue her dream.
Interscope and Lady Gaga needed a way to centralize the promotion of Lady Gaga's content, music and merchandise on a single platform, and still allow her to remain close to her fans, which had been a big part of her success, in spite of the enormous size her fan base has grown in to.
What Arktan, a U.S.-based startup, has managed to do is to enable Interscope to search across a huge array of sites like Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, blogs and fan websites to find everything being said by people and then pull out that is important right onto Lady Gaga's website in real-time, allowing her fans to interact with her and feel close to her.
The addition of social streams and the ability to add comments and reply to posts enhance the social influence of the site dramatically. The site's usability and attraction is further enhanced with rich inline media, comprising of photos and videos from social media sites, which is integrated into each post in real-time and with social interaction around each product in the online store.
If her desire is to get and keep her fans closest to her, Lady Gaga is amazingly succeeding in her efforts with the technology from Arktan, which has enriched her brilliant website with real-time feeds of what her worldwide fans are talking about her and by providing them something like a "back stage" access to directly interact with her, all in real time!
Recognizing the leveraging they benefit from, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter already provide dynamic and real time comment and activity streams which websites can include in their content with very little or no programming knowledge. Such streams help to engage the visitors who are members of the social network to interact with the owners of the websites as well as others and as well as attract new members. However these widgets are limited to single membership and cannot engage multitude of fans or friends simultaneously.
"Turn your website into a highly engaging real-time social site" is the motto of companies like Arktan who provides an Enterprise class solution to capture data from any source on the Web including sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr, etc. and stream to your existing Content Management System in real-time, enriching the data in multiple ways by including photos, videos, maps and visually engaging snippets.
The technology of Arktan is powered by Echo Stream Server which enables building a real-time life stream application which focuses on the end-user experience and innovation leaving the heavy scalable real-time infrastructure to Echo.
The technology is based on the Live Blogging application in which posts by journalists to different social media sites are aggregated into a real-time embedded stream on their site encouraging conversation letting users to like, reply or share and driving engagement and increasing time spent.
Leading brands who are using life stream providers like Arktan to bring real-time conversation and content from the social Web back to their websites feel that the technology offers "a sweet spot between just enough technology to make it easy and a finished product that can't be improved up on."
Social Web is exploding and blowing away advertising!
Lady Gaga is not alone to recognize that the social Web is exploding and the rules of engagement with potential customers are being rewritten with breath taking speed.
The role of social media in changing the way human beings behave socially and react to advertisement and its all engulfing grip is evident from several reports which estimates the membership of Facebook has reached above 800 million and is fast approaching the billion mark, with Google+ and Twitter giving a tight chase.
This explosion has seen a host of social media monitoring tools sprouting up faster than mushrooms on a damp corner. Some like Klout specialize in calibrating and measuring people's influence across the social media, which appear to replace the advertising sponsorship clout of stars and celebrities.
That is why a direct engagement and interaction with fans is vital for the celebrities like Lady Gaga, even if it means a bit of high tech eavesdropping!
Follow Sreedhar Pillai on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lastingrose