Monday, March 22, 2010

Airline Twitter Network Analysis with NodeXL

Travel Tech Consulting, Inc. and Connected Action Consulting Group LLC have put together a brief video presentation that provides insight into network analysis for airline Twitter feeds using the open source tool NodeXL. Network analysis goes beyond simply monitoring brand or promoting specials using social media. Network analysis allows travel companies to understand who are the key influencers in the network and how they connect with others. For example, it is not necessarily the user with the most Twitter followers or Tweets at a travel company needs to follow, but it is how the user is connected to others. The video uses United Airlines and Delta Airlines Twitter feeds as an example.

Analyzing Aviation Social Media Networks with NodeXL from Norm Rose on Vimeo.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Yes UA Breaks Guitars Does Impact Loyalty

My wife's Facebook friend recently posted this message declaring that she does not fly UA because they break guitars. I recently spoke at the EzRez Thought Leadership Conference and I mentioned the now famous YouTube video which has received over 8 million viewings. A question from the audience was simply whether people would change their flying preferences because of this type of video. As evidenced by this blog entry, it has changed some people's attitudes.
Social media has been so hyped it is easy to forget that it is in some ways an extension of the most effective type of advertising, word-of-mouth but on steroids.
In a recent article, Travel Weekly columnist Richard Turen stated that United now uses Dave Carroll's video as a training device. Another recent story mentioned that David's bag was lost on a recent UA trip. (I guess he returned to United after all). So though the songwriter seemed to have forgiven UA, his video legacy lives on and continues to influence the blogosphere. Of course David's next song may be, "United lost my bag" considering his most recent experience.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Splinternet

Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff recently posted a blog regarding the end of the golden age of the Web and the rise of the Splinternet. As it name implies, the new environment consists of multiple devices with content and audiences fragmented across these platforms.
What does this mean for the future of travel distribution? This represents both a challenge and opportunity for travel marketers. The splintering of platforms and content means that a travel supplier or intermediary can no longer expect their single Web presence to be enough to communicate with their customers. The opportunity comes in the ability to personalize the experience based on the customer segment and platform capabilities. We've seen this already where unique iPhone apps have functionality such as augmented reality that only applies to a smartphone device. The whole downloadable app phenomenon provides the delivery mechanism to enhance this personal relationship with the customer.
New platforms such as the iPad and other tablets coming to the market will continue to cause the need for multiple development paths but providing unique experiences that are only possible based on the nature of the device is also a new opportunity. In a talk this week at Stanford University, Chris Anderson, Editor and Chief of Wired Magazine predicted that the tablet would eventually replace the lap top as the primary mobile computing device. As part of the Conde Nast publishing group, Chris was very bullish on how the tablet provides the immersive experience of a magazine while the flexibility and endless content of the Web. The true power of these devices will come in new applications that have yet to be developed.
The traditional travel industry players has always been slow to embrace new technology allowing new entries to capitalize on it and build solid businesses. One just needs to look at the dominance of the four major OTAs to see how this has happened on the Web. Why didn't American Express become one of these major OTAs? A similar phenomenon is happening in the mobile world with new entries such as TripIt gaining momentum (and investment) offering itinerary management and mobile travel services. With the advent of the Splinternet, the travel industry must embrace this new multi-platform and multi-content world and drive innovation or be a victim of losing control of the the customer to new market entries that understand this opportunity.