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wintermann

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Facebook comment = email reply (Whew!)

It’s true I’m a social media and digital nut. Not only personally do I find it incredibly difficult to rip myself away from my favorite channels, but I also consult for various clients helping them understand how to maximize social and digital marketing from creating a strategy or campaign, to establishing protocols that get the most out of it. 

While so many social channels are still truly in their infancy, they are quickly figuring out how to make the engagement lifecycle easier and more integrated which is critical to longterm success. (Well, within their own channel anyway….try creating a social media campaign that cross-markets using several channels (such as Facebook AND Twitter), then having a management and tracking plan in place that doesn’t consume a full time resource! (More to come on that I’m sure). 

I have my communication preferences just like everyone else and when I started using facebook personally, I was pretty resistant to the whole concept of: 

Share -> Notify -> Sign In -> comment -> sign out and move on -> get another comment/poke/post -> Sign in, etc. 

People started having ‘semi-live’ conversations within a topic and it was certainly Facebook’s point to keep people signed in longer and doing more. But frankly, not for me.  

I would literally reply to an invite/post/comment saying email me@. If it didn’t work the first time, I would be forced to use the word PLEASE, PLEASE email me@ 

So I did eventually get over that 🙂 however MOST importantly (and the big news!) is that I’m so thrilled that I don’t have to get over it at all!! With the new reply-to email to comment on posts, I get to stay in the same places I want to online, and to my beloved email inbox! 

Yayyy!!!
Yayyy! (Just reply to FB activity in your inbox!)

THANK YOU FACEBOOK. 

Really, really, really, thank you! This tidy and handy little feature is a setting adjustment in your account – just select your notification preferences (comments, updates, etc.) with your email preferences. If you’re a super-active FB individual and you go around poking people and sending little apps and having real time conversations (or your friends do!), it’s a great way to keep up with the ‘conversation’. 

Now, when you’re at work and your boss walks by to make sure you’re  not burning company time by socializing with your friends on facebook, you’re covered!

Smart move, facebook! As organizations crack down on (unofficial) social media time spent in the office, you’ve made it much easier to keep engaged without getting ‘found out’. And for those of us who just LOVE the handy little feature because it’s how we want to manage our engagements, we’re so much happier!

BTW, let’s not forget how much easier this makes it for several people within an organization to manage a company presence…A definite consolidation trend for 2010. More on that another time.

The people DO count (FTC inquiry to Facebook privacy issues)

I’m really a believer that it’s all about the consumer and clearly this power shift continues to gain strength in shaping everything from a service to a brand, to even products.

As many would have anticipated, private privacy groups have taken the issue of Facebook’s global release of user information on the web, to the FTC.

Facebook Privacy Changes Break the Law, Privacy Groups Tell FTC: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/12/facebook-ftc-complaint/

So hey, people are in charge.

FB+web search+privacy+twitterized=Really??

Well it seems facebook can’t quite seem to make their model work (or they’re getting greedy) so today, it was announced that FB has released new privacy defaults to ‘twitterize’ it.

(Note that the screen doesn’t *quite* tell you that information will make the WW web). Full article here: http://tinyurl.com/yk5rhl7).

Business Problem

Seems to me one of the initial business problems facebook had (and still does), is the squishy road to having their own personality and purpose;  FB was about friends connecting with each other, including those you were out of touch with on a social level. It was nice and simple. And it really was about connecting with friends and family in a more robust environment, all in one place with media elements that enhanced that connection. 

Over time, it’s become less interesting, more cluttered, far less private and far less relevant. In addition, it feels like (and looks like) FB is becoming twitter with photos, apps and video. Oh, and it’s all over the web if you don’t change your settings.

Privacy Issue

If you allow friends of friends to see your personal information (posts, photos, phone number, etc.) and those friends of friends are allowing public info, then there you are. Maybe you don’t really care if all that information is out there; I’m guessing if you have 500 friends, you don’t. (Really? 500 friends? wow).

And, BTW, if you have had it with facebook, here’s a new way to create your own “facebook death”. http://tinyurl.com/ybz79mu

Clogging, duplicate and less relevant information

At some point, media started telling you that the more friends you have, the more fans you have, the more valuable you are. Well, that’s probably another post and I personally don’t associate value to those ‘metrics’ but what I do care about, is the resulting ‘clog’ of information.

Clearly social media continues to pave the way for a new level of communication and connecting; that’s the point. But at what point, does too much information become invaluable? Boy, it’s messy out there.

The good news is that the situation creates opportunities; we need smarter and more relevant search, we need consolidated results based on what we’re looking for, in at least less than 10 places. We need tools to sort out the duplicate RT’s, tinyurls, overpostings, etc., that take even more time to wade through than it did 3 years ago. This is the real business problem; if everyone looks the same, what is their unique value? Facebook has this problem, twitter has this problem, and even linkedin has this problem.

The solution?

There are some interesting solutions out there that enable you to streamline receiving the information you care about; they’re in a relative state of infancy, but going in the right direction. There are also tools that enable you to post one message to multiple social sites; a bit counter-productive to the first. It’s an interesting push-pull challenge.

In any case, I’ll be the first customer of anyone who can solve the social channel problem of too much information that I don’t care about, and duplicated information I get weary of sorting through. Keep me posted on that, would you? 🙂

(OLDER 2-18-09) Stunt or blunder update: Consumer protests result in Facebook withdrawl of the changes in their TOS.

As one of the top social networks, It’s surprising that Facebook didn’t ask the question first. (Silly, really). The feedback by users promped a FB homepage update, drawing even more attention.

The article cites 300,000 views of the consumerist advocacy blog post, then thousands of follow on posts and groups at Facebook. (In a matter of days)

Now that there’s a compromise of trust (clearly people are passionate about what they share), Zuckerberg’s business challenge is much more difficult than had they altered their approach.

It reminds me of the motrin story, but in this case, a response more appropriate.

Social media 101:
Ask. Consumers are in charge
Listen: Incorporate the feedback
Act: Address the issue openly and respond

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