Posts Tagged 'Facebook'

Facebook in the toaster?

I enjoyed Valdis’ latest post about Facebook:

Facebook is Toast

But I also disagree that Facebook is toast for the reasons that Valdis gives:

Facebook, and all other online social networking sites are structured wrong. They are places where we have to go to connect and communicate. That is not how we naturally connect and interact as humans!”

I do agree with his point that:

“…we decide on the fly, who to talk to, in what voice, and how much to share. I may deal you differently tomorrow than today depending upon the current context. “

And I agree that:

“In a truly networked world we do not have to go anywhere to connect to others — we just ping from where we are at and wait for the response from where they are at.”

And I also agree that there is still something that feels artificial and a little frantic about many elements of social media.

But I don’t think that makes Facebook toast.

For one thing, Facebook has been very busy in these last two years making Facebook more ubiquitous, so that micro updates and other content posted on Facebook can appear elsewhere, and vice versa.

In addition, the millions who use Facebook frequently — and similar social media — are actually adapting their behavior  and cognitive processes  to the new media.   So it’s a bit anachronistic to say “That is not how we connect and interact as humans!”   The ways we connect change as technology and culture change.   (Though if  we change ourselves too much, symptoms of fatigue such as lack of focus accumulate.)

I personally don’t use Facebook very frequently, and I find it way too cluttered, and too full of micro updates and chaff.   And I don’t like its privacy boorishness. And yet, I still think Facebook has good uses and I like having it around.   E.g., my son and several of my friends and other family use it a lot and it is a good additional way to stay in touch.

But there are millions of people using Facebook who aren’t like me and who use the site a lot more than I do.   If Facebook starts sleeping on the job, or makes a series of garish mistakes, that could cause it to quickly fade.  But otherwise, I see Facebook staying on the scene for quite a while.

And yet, in agreement with Valdis’ points, I’m definitely looking forward to new social media apps that feel more real, and that more intelligently adapt to us as thinking, feeling, and reflecting humans, rather than making us adapt to them.

Good list of 2010 predictions for social media

Oct 27 post by Jennifer Leggio (ZDNet):

2010 Predictions: Will social media reach ubiquity?

The predictions are from 31 people in Jennifer Leggio’s personal network.   It’s a great collection, and valuable to read through all of them together.   A lot focus on use of social media for marketing, PR, and enterprise collaboration (a lot of the predictors are engaged in consulting or software for those areas).

Common themes:  Social media will indeed be ubiquitous; will spread more in the enterprise; will need more privacy controls (or not); will have more location-based apps; will require more filtering.

Here are a few excerpts that especially interest me:

Caroline Dangson, IDC@carolinedangson

“IDC survey data shows more than 50% of worldwide workers are leveraging the free, public social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for business today. IDC believes the primary reason workers are using the consumer social media platforms is because their organization is not providing these types of tools itself”

(I believe there are other very good reasons for continued use of consumer social media platforms in organizations.  E.g., it’s hard to replicate the value of a global platform with 50+ million members .)

Peter Shankman, Help A Reporter Out@skydiver

“We’ll update to let people know where we are and where we’ll be. And the best part is, we won’t have to. 2010 will be the start of the time where our devices do it for us. FourSquare will auto-update our location via GPS, which will tell Twitter, who will add the #fb tag and notify Facebook”

“we’ll start to accept the concept that hey – maybe we really DO only need one social network ,which will bring us to 2011 – the year of the consolidation.”

Brian Sibley, Sibley PR@bsibley

“Domino’s experience taught us that when it comes to social media, you can’t just switch it on, like you can a traditional marketing tool. You have to invest the time to build a strong following in order to be able to use it as an arrow in your crisis communications quiver when the time comes”

Brian Solis, FutureWorks@briansolis

“2010 will be the year that we save us from ourselves in social  media…we will stop drinking from the proverbial fire hose and we will lean on filtering and curation to productively guide our experiences and  production and consumption behavior and interaction within each network.”

I’m looking forward to reading 2010 predictions from others.  Thoughts?

Social Search – What will float to the top?

Social search is on big companies’ minds:
Google’s New Social Search Is A Big Chess Move Against Facebook (ReadWriteWeb, 10/21)

So, Bing has Facebook and Twitter, and Google only has Twitter.

Where is LinkedIn in this conversation?  LinkedIn’s news sharing is worth looking at.  With a few changes it’s potential would be actually greater than either Twitter or Facebook updates.

Why is Twitter so useful?   Because I can choose whom to follow, and others can choose whether to follow me.  But Twitter has big limitations.   Even by creating a selected group of the people I’m following I still have to wade through a lot of non-relevant stuff, and I *mostly* miss a lot of stuff that disappears below the horizon surprisingly quickly – because I look at Twitter at most 2 or 3 times a day, and often go days without looking.   Also, 140 characters is very neat.   But not always appropriate.  It doesn’t really tell me enough in order to decide accurately whether to click through on the links.   And they don’t contain enough info to store and search.

I like LinkedIn News because I can quickly grab content from the Web and share it.  If I want to share it with a particular group or group of connections, this is great.  But something really crucial is missing.

I don’t always want to *push* news and ideas I find interesting to a particular group or set of connections.  And I definitely don’t want to spam all my connections.   I *do* want to be able to collect news and ideas and keep the items in a single place.  And I *do* want to be able to follow/subscribe to collected news and ideas from a selected group of connections and non-connnections.  And I want to also be able to go to a single person’s profile and see what news and ideas that person has collected, or to search my connections for news and ideas that match specific tags.

Those changes would make LinkedIn News much more powerful than either Facebook or Twitter updates – precisely because LinkedIn is much more focused on professional value rather than also flooded with personal messages, photos, etc.  Plus, LinkedIn profiles tell me much more than Twitter bios, and after all, I already have a lot of important connections on LinkedIn.  So LinkedIn’s search capabilities could allow me to find people who share my interests *and* who have impressive profiles and recommendations *and* who are sharing news and ideas from the Web.  This would be doing what LinkedIn does best.

What do Meta Networks Need?

(Continued from Basic Case for Meta Networks and Global Transformation)

Meta Networks are:

  • Decentralized networks of people, organizations and networks,
  • Bound together by shared goals, values, and experiences.

Meta networks are crucial for fixing global problems before they overwhelm us.

Meta networks need passionate, committed, and talented people, plus ideas, funding, and other resources.   But they also need methods and tools to make the individuals, organizations, and network as a whole more intelligent and effective.

Here are four types of methods and tools that meta networks need:

1.  Connecting people and organizations.

a.  Connecting people to people and organizations to obtain:

– Ideas, expertise and help (employees, partners, consultants, advisors, volunteers)

– Funding (investors, grants, donors)

– Inside Intelligence & Influence (related to potential customers, partners, investors, employees, and suppliers, and agencies, policy makers, communities, etc.)

Examples of tools:
Job, volunteer and consultant matching sites and databases; professional social network platforms for finding needed expertise and affiliations and obtaining trusted recommendations and referrals (e.g., LinkedIn).

Examples of methods:
Network weaving and social network analysis.

b. Connecting people to content
(to obtain news, ideas, opinions, research, experiences, knowledge)

Examples – Generic and specialized Internet search engines, content management and knowledge sharing applications and portals.

2. Sources for Reputation, Fact-checking, Due-Diligence.
(Supports other needs, e.g., connecting people, decision-making, etc.)

Examples:  Generic Internet search engines; professional social network platforms for checking professional experience and getting personally trusted insights and recommendations; reputation sites (most are not very mature yet).

3. Messaging campaigns to spread awareness and actions
(e.g., awareness and actions related to voting, contacting policy makers, talking to neighbors, donating, buying or boycotting)

Examples:  Social media sites and tools (Facebook, Twitter, messaging tools, etc.)

4. Collective Thinking and Action (big category!)

a)  Removing barriers to communication and collaboration.
(Dialogue, listening, finding common ground, consensus-building, conflict transformation, use of stories, symbols and rituals, collective consciousness effects)

b) Identifying, understanding and solving problems
(Collecting facts and perspectives from all relevant sources; Innovating (exploring/scanning/brainstorming); Integrating perspectives to reach consensus/decision on best strategies and tactics; Prediction; Deliberation and planning (evaluating ideas from different perspectives, consensus building); and Getting commitments for action.)

c) Collaborative Action – requiring complex coordination of actions by many people and organizations.

Examples of a, b, & c:   Online and in-person methods and tools for dialogue, deliberation, and collaboration.   For a partial list see NCDD’s Framework for Dialogue and Deliberation.

What is left out of this list?  Or what would you change?

Presence – What is it?

A couple of days ago I saw a blog post from February (Mike Stenhouse, Trampoline Systems) that declared that (paraphrasing) “Twitter has replaced Facebook for me. It gives me everything I want from Facebook: Presence (stream from my friends). But on Facebook, I have to login a few times a day – their walled garden. But with Twitter: 24/7 Presence!”

What is the numinous appeal of Presence!

Is it a kind of love? Entertaining distraction? Sense of connectedness? The emerging Global Brain? Celebration of both uniqueness and common humanness?

Why? 20 -100 messages in a day (more?) from 10 different people (more?), some close, many not, some brilliant, many not. Why is this so comforting, stimulating, welcome?

Well, for one thing – it is attention from people I care about (and maybe some others) that requires absolutely nothing in return. Pure appreciation. I see it, laugh, nod, puzzle, or ignore it because, y’know, I’m really in the middle of something else – in fact in the middle of several things, and I have only so many neurons. But fine, keep it coming – feed my spare cycles – and soul – with quirk, you-ness, and relationship.

Is this what it is? (I’m still figuring it out.)

Facebook, LinkedIn, and usefulness in Organizations

Prediction by Charles Armstrong of Trampoline Systems (from January – I just found it thanks to a friend): In 2008 “Many companies will commission pilots of “Facebook for the enterprise”. Most will fail to deliver any value.” He gives two reasons: 1) Consumer networking techniques don’t work for the enterprise, 2) “the pilots will too often be set up without connection to a pressing business problem. This means there will be little urgency around the use of the new tools and little benefit to employees from adopting them.”

I agree. But I would bet that many, including Trampoline Systems, are working on integrations between private enterprise apps and the more “public” consumer platforms. The two types of platforms need each other in order to reach their full potential.

Facebook and LinkedIn are both ‘consumer’ platforms, but they each have very different strengths to contribute to applications for organizations and private networks. Facebook is great for social campaigns and “pushing power to the edges” – using the network of the organization (or cause) to spread messages and collective behavior. This is why so many NGOs are using Facebook.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, isn’t so good for social campaigns – which come across as too much like spam to LinkedIn users, partly because it doesn’t have the right tools. But LinkedIn is infinitely better for using trusted connections for traditional, high-value professional purposes – getting jobs; finding funding; finding, reference checking and landing new employees, experts and prospective partners; getting new intelligence, and gathering influence. Facebook can’t do these because it lacks a decent professional profile database, and it doesn’t have the search tools for finding people 3 degrees out. LinkedIn can almost be used as-is by organizations – if only they knew how and why. Trampoline Systems can obviously add features that can make LinkedIn’s global network a lot more useful, without giving up control over private data.


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