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The Mirror : Nov 14, 2016 : Trends

Here's my monthly informal/thumbnail analysis of the posting Content on beBee.  In August of 2016 I reviewed the most recent 100 posts on beBee and looked for patterns. I did "the Mirror" again in mid-September. And then in mid-October. I completed this profile/inventory on November 14, 2016.

The Mirror : Nov 14, 2016 : Trends


As you might imagine, the recent US election has had an impact on beBee content.  In anticipation of this, I did a survey a few days before the election, and another one a few days after.  Then I averaged the two surveys. 

Here are a couple of high-level 'intuitive' observations about before-and-after the US election:

A marked increase in Personal Insight/Art/Philosophy

Much of this activity was clearly in the global response to the potential impact of the recent US election. The 'personal/art' category often features music-as-a-personal-influence.  There were also many remembrances  about the passing of poet/musician Leonard Cohen. 

A slight increase in Technical/Analytical/Business-oriented

Maybe not worth noting, though I imagine that some of it might be a desire to  'make sense of a potentially disturbing situation'.  Note:  This traffic was more political analysis than business-oriented or technical. 

So let's get to round #4 of "the Mirror":

Scorecard: The 5 Content Categories : mid-November, 2016

The Mirror : Nov 14, 2016 : TrendsThese categories seem to hit that sweet spot of being informative and valid - without being too complex.  Imperfect?  You bet.  But still useful:

33% Spanish Language

16% Motivational / How-to / Self-help 

26% Personal insight / Art / Philosophy

14% Promotion / Self-promotion

11% Technical / Analytical / Business-oriented

Here's a chart showing the content categories without the Spanish language barrier.  I believe that it's a pretty fair reflection of beBee content.

Spanish Language

It remains as beBee's biggest unique market area and selling point. The Hispanic market is 'what's happening' at beBee.

*Note:  I assume that the Spanish-language content profile is similar to the English-language content profile.

  • It's beBee's biggest category and primary audience growth path.
  • Usage and cross-pollination patterns among language cultures might be interesting
  • This is the doorway to some 'really Big stuff'. Put a thumbtack in it.


Motivational / How-to / Self-help

These "how to succeed" types of articles are a mainstay of any publishing venue. They can range from shallow&glib to substantive&'educational'. Enlightened self-interest motivates us ... consistently.


Personal insight / Art / Philosophy

Personal insights and stories.  This content is very genuine.   Much of the love that beBee-ites have for their socialNet is grounded in the deeply-felt connections that are forged by these types of articles and posts. This is where beBee Aficionados really connect with each other with that easy sense of affinity.

Up : Is this a reflection of recent events?

Promotion / Self-Promotion

This is one of the "Top Three" content patterns, as it is in other social media.  Much of it is beBee self-marketing (which is often combined with LinkedIn Bashing).

Also in the Self-Promotion arena:  

The homepage feed features promotional links to sponsors, blurbs, beBee people & featured content.  These are regularly 25+% of the items on beBee's dashboard.  These self-promotion blurbs add substantially to beBee's advertising profile.


Technical / Analytical / Business-oriented

This category represents the most "substantive" and professional of the posts. Here's where beBee overlaps into the LinkedIn and Quora arenas - but definitely does not compete. 

Steady : slight increase

As noted above :  I believe that this modest increase is more due to post-election political analysis than to any increase in  business-oriented or technical content.

the Trendline

Here's how The Mirror looks over the course of the past 4 months.

The Mirror : Nov 14, 2016 : Trends

The patterns are fairly stable and well-established now:

  • Motivational, Personal, and Promotional categories are pretty consistent over time.
  • Spanish is the main growth area
  • Personal/Art/Philosophy is the largest* category - and is the popular/affinity area
  • Business/Analytical remains weak, particularly since beBee continues to tout itself as a "professional" network

* Spanish is a unique category because it quantifies the language difference.  When the language barrier is removed - Personal/Art/Philosophy is clearly the largest content category, in terms of the whole beBee Pie.

This may be the last of the Monthly Mirrors

The content inventory patterns are fairly consistent.  There's no need to continue this counting exercise in order to re-verify a valid assumption.

I may re-visit a the Mirror survey if I detect any changes in beBee's overall patterns.  Otherwise ... My intuition appears to be operating effectively.  I'll continue to opinionate on that basis.

the TakeAways : Advantages and Challenges

The primary takeAways are in the October Mirror.  They still appear to be valid.  Priming the Pump puts beBee's self-marketing technique into context.

We've already acknowledged several of beBee's Advantages:  

  • Large Hispanic-language market
  • A sense of connection based on  "affinity", primarily in the Personal/Art /Philosophy category
  • Vigorous marketing and self-promotion orientation, actively supported by a ...
  • Stable of dedicated, compensated aficionados (ambassadors) who 'prime the marketing pump', both externally and internally

So, let's take this opportunity to focus on the Challenges that beBee faces...

  • beBee is NOT a "professional" socialNet
  • A significant proportion of beBee content is NOT original
  • The majority of beBee original content is self-help, "about writing", or marketing-oriented

"Challenges" will be the focus of an upcoming article. 
See you then

my Disclaimer (and Boilerplate Apologia)

The Mirror : Nov 14, 2016 : TrendsPainful experience with beBee Aficionados obliges me to add this disclaimer to any article which appears to treat beBee with anything other than breathless wonder and admiration:

Well, I've probably really stepped in it this time. People can usually tolerate numbers - even if they refuse to respond to them. Analysis is often reacted to as criticism. And criticism is usually perceived as being negative.

The numbers are the numbers. My observations are pretty much on the level of 'obvious', 'understandable', and 'common sense' - or at least how I've intended them.

If you feel the need to ask "Why do you hate beBee, John?" Please don't.

By way of context, you might check out my many snippily critical posts on LinkedIn (They go back for years).

I've been analyzing and advising - or complaining (if you must) - about social media for a while.  I've got some dirt-under-the-fingernails experience and skills, as well as a passion, to make socialnNets work - for everybody. A lot of it has to do with motivation. But that's a whole 'nother rant ...

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Social Convergence

How it all fits together

John Vaughan 15/11/2016 · #26

#24 hmmmm ... @Javier beBee
There's probably some cause-and-effect
But which is the Cause?
And which is the Effect?

... "Priming the Pump" :

* Half (at least) of the articles are either authored by or "pointed to" by BBPP's (beBee Pump Primers).
* A significant proportion of the comments on any articles are authored by BBPP's
* Many articles are "double whammies" : a BBPP-authored post is also "pointed to" by another BBPP
* Quite a few articles are "triple whammies": the BBPP-authored post that is "pointed to" by another BBPP is then commented on by multiple BBPP's

+1 +1
John Vaughan 15/11/2016 · #25

#22 Anecdote from Dad, who was born & raised in Cando - out in the middle of the North Dakota prairie:

A sweet little old lady occupied a lonely cabin out in the midst of the northern plains.

One bitter winter's day a young government surveyor trudged out through the snow and knocked on her door.

"Ma'am, we aren't entirely sure whether your home is actually inside the US border, so I'm here to check it out."

Shivering, the young surveyor spent a few hours making measurements, then plowed back through the ice and snow drifts to knock again on her door.

"Ma'am, I'm happy to report that you live inside the United States."

"Oh, thank goodness," the sweet little old lady replied, "I hear they have such horrible winters in Canada."

+2 +2
Javier 🐝 beBee 15/11/2016 · #24

#20 @Kevin Pashuk yes ! That is the reason why we have quite a lot of ambassadors from Canada ! BUZZ ON !

+3 +3
John Vaughan 15/11/2016 · #23

#22 "Justin Trudeau is the only one we let walk around shirtless."
Putin & his New Best Bud will probably take that under advisement.

+2 +2
Kevin Pashuk 15/11/2016 · #22

#21 If you understand Upper Michigan winter, you may qualify as an honourary Canadian John.

But Justin Trudeau is the only one we let walk around shirtless.

+4 +4
John Vaughan 15/11/2016 · #21

#20 I was musing on The Canadian Connection just the other day, @Kevin Pashuk.

There are several contributing factors:

* You all speak the same language
* except French

* You are a disproportionate percentage of beBee Ambassadors (must check w/ State Department)

* Several of you have already formed a Publishing Cabal/Cartel on beBee

* You are - as a nation - cannily seductive "Justin Trudeau". Need I say more?

* Case in point: Your droll humor (understated-to-the-point-of-invisibility) undermines any attempt as assimilation.

I can see which way the wind is blowing...

I was born on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Does that get me "honorary" status?

+2 +2
Kevin Pashuk 15/11/2016 · #20

#18 Interesting numbers @Javier beBee
Canada is producing 7%Producer posts with 1,859 bees
Spain has 4,530,189 bees and 30% of the posts
The USA has 148,173 bees and 23% of the posts
We are less than 2% of the population of the US bees & 0.001% of the Spanish bees.
Perhaps we should be shipping poutine, great beer and maple syrup to the other bees?

+4 +4
John Vaughan 15/11/2016 · #19

#18 Factoids are Fun!

... a little shallow, but a great place to start a conversation ... and analysis (i.e. "meaning')
So. What do those numbers mean to You, @Javier beBee?