Summary of the activities report
Uploading the content of the Herzliya Conference to social networks in a systematic manner and to the extent in which it was performed during the 10th Annual Herzliya Conference is innovative, "out-of-the-box" and groundbreaking. To the best of our knowledge, up till today, only the content of conferences which dealt with social networks was uploaded in a systematic manner to this environment.
The use of social networks enabled the 10th Annual Herzliya Conference to add a new dimension to its activities as it could reach younger audiences in Israel and abroad. These "new audiences" are more varied and diverse and did not necessarily follow the conference in the past. It was only natural that a conference which dealt with New Media methods to convey the message to public opinion (‘The Battle for the Narrative’), would adopt such a progressive mean. In an age key figures in the traditional media rely on internet and social networks this exposure has a special meaning.
The effectiveness of the activity and statistical figures
What are the criteria for success?
The effectiveness of uploading the content of the Herzliya Conference to social networks should be measured according to a number of criteria: contrary to common belief that the number of viewers/followers of the conference on social media platforms is the only criterion for success, other criteria should be examined as well: innovation, additional brand value, reaching new audiences, influencing traditional media, additional content value, creation of a dialogue with public opinion figures in Israel and abroad and laying the foundations for the creation of the "Herzliya Conference community" on the social networks.
Even if we examine the figures alone in comparison to the figures in the previous year on YouTube, while a few clips of speakers in the conference were uploaded to the website without editing, only on the first month of uploading the clips of this year to YouTube, the number of viewers rose by hundreds if not by thousands of percents in comparison to the previous year, and the numbers are still on a rise tendency. Uploading the video clips was done in such manner that search engines displayed the videos to the public in a high ranking in the search results. Figures in the first five weeks following the conference (in parenthesis the figures from the previous, ninth Herzliya Conference):
The following figures increase every day and the community that follows the Herzliya Conference continues to grow even after the end of the conference. This stems from the manner the materials of the Herzliya Conference were uploaded to the social networks, a method that ensured relevance for a long period of time, taking into consideration the results that influence the search results in Google and in other search engines.
Moreover, some of the materials that were produced and edited by the team at the Asper Institute in the Sammy Ofer School of Communications during the conference were used by conventional media and were used in the internet environment, not through YouTube, and therefore we cannot count these viewings (a more detailed account of this issue appears in the section entitled: "Synergy: the combination of traditional and new media in the Herzliya Conference")
Three remarks :
I. It is important to note that among the viewers that were exposed to our messages were public opinion leaders, journalists, bloggers and "information gatekeepers" that reproduce the message. These entities constitute an intermediate stage/a means to reach public opinion (see examples below).
II. The following figures are increasing on a monthly basis.
III. The materials that were uploaded by us remain online forever. Every subject which was discussed in the conference and that will be searched by people from around the world will appear in the search engines. That is to say, by uploading the video clips to the internet and tagging them correctly we have made an extensive contribution to broaden the video archive online, an archive that consists of the subjects discussed in the Herzliya Conference.
I. 82 video clips were produced and uploaded to YouTube. 16 of them are "original production" videos.
II. 14,754 viewers during the activity and since then. (In comparison to 1,726 viewers throughout the entire year in the conference's YouTube channel). Aside from YouTube videos were also uploaded to other video sharing websites that address unique niches while adapting them to the relevant target audience. One example is the French audience (some of the materials were produced in French) for whom we uploaded materials to the "Daily Motion" platform that is more common among French viewers. The following is the link to these videos: http://www.dailymotion.com/popular/user/herzliyaconference10
III. 1438 followers of the conference on Facebook: Our community on Facebook attracted Amir Mizruach, a senior editor at the Jerusalem Post, Knesset member Anastasia Michaeli, Anna Azari, Israeli ambassador in Moscow, William Daroff, vice president of the UJC, Shmuel Rosner, owner of the blog "Rosner's Domain" and many others.
IV. 207 followers of the conference on Twitter: Among the followers of the conference on Twitter were Kevin Fowler, head of the CNN desk in Israel, Saul Singer a Jerusalem Post contributor and the author of the book "Start Up Nation," the US Embassy in Israel (which "re-twitted" our messages many times) and many more.
V. 97 messages were uploaded to Twitter by the conference organizers
VI. 1272 References to the Herzliya Conference on different blogs over the internet: The best proof that considerable number of the references is the result of our activities on social networks is related to the language the messages were written in blogs. More than once blogs took materials we uploaded and used the exact language to convey the message. The following is a list of the 1272 references of the Herzliya Conference for the period of January 28 to February 28 2010 can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/ybmxreo
Work methods during the conference
Producing and uploading videos to YouTube and to other video sharing websites: http://www.youtube.com/user/HerzliyaConference#g/u
Producing video clips of the panels as well as videos of the main speakers and uploading them to a branded YouTube channel we created for the Herzliya Conference were at the center of the activity, that helped us create a "buzz" regarding the Herzliya Conference on social networks. Since most of the panels took place simultaneously, it was important for us to establish a work method that would enable viewers to follow all the content of the conference and would also allow us to upload the materials right after the panel or speech took place. The work method included the following elements:
I. Monitoring all the panels in real time, sometimes several panels simultaneously.
II. Editing the video clips while keeping up with the monitoring of the panels.
III. Uploading edited videos to YouTube short time after the ending of the panels.
IV. Promoting videos on the blogosphere and on the internet
Facebook activity: http://www.facebook.com/herzliyaconference
The activity on Facebook enabled us to form a community before the conference commenced. In a period of three weeks we were able to reach a community of 1400 people in Israel and abroad. Moreover, the Facebook platform enabled us to upload additional materials by the different speakers (Ron Prosor, Martin Kace) in advance; this proved to be beneficial to the formation of the community during its first stages.
I. The statistical data regarding the age groups of the community in Facebook (N=1438):
II. The main countries our followers on Facebook arrive from:
United States: 226
United Kingdom: 41
III. The main languages spoken by our Facebook followers:
Note: all the content of the conference was uploaded in English. In order to discover the country origin of our Facebook followers took into consideration the following data that were based on the language our followers mainly use on Facebook:
English (US): 983
French (France): 168
English (UK): 120
Uploading twits and other materials to Twitter: http://twitter.com/herzliyaconf
I. Uploading tweets to Twitter during panels and speeches with the underlying principle of "The State of Now".
II. Maintaining a dialogue with the Twitter community throughout the world and providing answers to questions and remarks.
III. Activities with organizations and opinion leaders intended to disseminating ("re-tweet") the messages introduced in the Herzliya Conference uploaded by us to Twitter and to YouTube.
IV. Creation of # tag to the Herzliya Conference in Twitter and sending it to the ‘Twitter community’.
Production of original materials regarding the activities of the conference
Both the speakers of the conference and the listeners proved to be a fruitful resource for interviews and the creations of "original materials" in addition to the original panels. The method that was chosen in order to add interest and relevance to the content we created was to interview the speakers of the conference regarding current issues on the global agenda that were not included on the subjects they were talking about. Thus, for example, the NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was asked about the use NYPD had for new media in fighting crime; James Woolsey, former CIA director, was asked about the situation with Iran and his recommendations to the Israeli prime minister; and Dan Kurtzer, former US Ambassador to Israel, was asked to advise Israel on improving its image around the world. Approximately twenty percent of the activities were dedicated to the creation of these original materials that also received the highest viewer rating per video. Excluding the key speeches of the Israeli Prime Minister Nethanyahu and Salam Fayyad, these videos were four of the five most watched videos. The following are links to the original materials that were uploaded to the social networks:
I. Interview of James Woolsey, Former CIA Director
II. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly Exclusive on Social Media and Real Time Methods
III. Amb. Daniel Kurtzer's Interview to the IDC radio during the Herzliya Conference
IV. Valérie Hoffenberg Conseillère Du Président Sarkozy Sur Le Moyen-Orient (French) V. IDC Asper Institute: Saul Singer author of Start-Up Nation
VI. Minister Silvan Shalom on public diplomacy, social media and the Palestinian economy
VII. Interview of Minister Gilad Erdan about the Environment
VIII. MK Ahmad Tibi in an interview on the use of social media
IX. Ron Prosor, ambassador of Israel to the UK
X. Amplifying the message of the Herzliya Conference: David Saranga in an interview
Promoting materials on social networks, on the blogosphere and on the internet
One of the methods that we used was approaching speakers with prominent presence on social networks with the request that they endorse the materials we produced for them. Zipi Livni, Martin Kace and Dan Kurtzer (via Princeton University) were happy to cooperate with us.
Adding "color" and images behind the scenes
Uploading of "behind the scenes" materials served us both on approaching a younger audience and on following the new media's ‘norms’, encouraging transparency and demonstration of the process to the community members:
I. Behind the scenes of Herzliya Conference 2010 New Media Coverage
II. Jerusalem Post: Former CIA Dir James Woolsey @ Asper Institute
III. Start-Up Nation - New Media In Motion
Synergism - the combination between the ‘new’ and ‘traditional’ media
The advantage of new media lies in the dissemination of the message, that is to say, articles that were published on conventional media receive noticeable responses on social networks. Other then the use of the aforesaid element we approached conventional media by "pushing" materials we prepared for our social networks platforms. The highlight of the activity was an interview we held with former head of the CIA on the homepage of the Jerusalem Post website for an entire day. See the following links:
In addition, the platforms we established (especially on Twitter) enabled journalists who attended the Herzliya Conference to establish a channel of direct dialog with foreign media through us (via Mr. Jeremy Ruden). In addition, we could "feel the pulse" among journalists and when we noticed problems emerging during conversations on Twitter we could respond to it immediately.
Another example is Saul Singer, author of the book "Start Up Nation" and a journalist of the Jerusalem Post. We invited him for a visit at out media center after we noticed the tweets he uploaded to his Twitter account. He used a tag we created and reproduced our messages on Twitter. Watch a video of Saul Singer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7iZGrtFpeY
Another example of the connection between the new and the conventional media is Kevin Fuller, head of the CNN desk in Israel, who started to follow our Twitter account on the second day of the conference.
Methods that were used to promote the content of the conference on social networks
Creating a platform with a large number of followers is usually sufficient enough to convey a message to the public. Reality showed numerous times that "pushing" materials is a method that resulted in high rating and exposure in comparison to "uploading" content to different platforms.
A part of the activities of 2010 was dedicated to sending materials we created to blogs and different internet websites as the key word of the activity was "relevance", that is to say, finding a subject or a speaker that were suitable and "pushing" it to a blog or another relevant media. For example, the interview with the former head of the CIA who deals with energy issues appeared in a blog (OilFreeTechnology.com) that deals with green energy: http://www.oilfreetechnology.com/herzliya-conference-interview-with-james-woolsey-former-cia-director
Another example can be found in the following seven posts, written by Natan Edelsburg from NYU during the Herzliya Conference, on different blogs around the world, with links and references to our materials. Natan Edelsburg, a young American student expert on social networks, arrived especially from NYU in order to take part in the activities of the Asper Institute during the conference.
Important to mention that during the conference the new media communication room hosted four bloggers. These bloggers realized that being a part of the new media teams assisted them with their work both by following the materials and by enjoying the availability of them. Not only did the personal connections we established with the bloggers helped promote our materials, but an examination of their writing shows that they also treated the Herzliya Conference favorably on their blogs.
Activities in French
Two of the students that were involved in the activities (French and was Belgian) and who were familiar with the new media environment of French speakers throughout the world, were the key figures in uploading and promoting some of the materials on the French speaking blogosphere. These materials were regularly uploaded to two blogs and this turned French into the second most prevalent language to the community in Facebook (even more then Hebrew).