Tag Archives: Facebook

“Our Modern Lives: Tune In or Turn Off?”

Today’s post was written by contributing writer Marie Williams.

With Blackberries and iPhones keeping us constantly connected to an online IV stream, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to disconnect. As of late, discussion around the problems of our “always on” lifestyles seem to be popping up everywhere. Last month, the Churchill Club held a panel on the issue of information overload. And, even more alarming, The New York Times recently chronicled the health problems–and two deaths–resulting from the demands of round-the-clock blogging. While not as severe as those tragic cases, I recently came face-to-face with my own info-addiction.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited my sister for a week holiday in Seattle. The whole time I was there, I was either checking my Google reader or Twitter on my phone. I was so plugged in that I somehow managed to catch some major coverage of a client before my team even had a chance to see it. Yeah, I know: I was supposed to be on vacay. Don’t judge me!

The topic came up again a few nights ago when Chris and I met up with Twitter friends Paull Young and Christi Eubanks. After discussing some geeky, social media PR theory, the topic turned to being always plugged in. Neither Paull nor I could ever imagine completely unplugging from the Internet; Paull said (and I agree) that there are just too many important relationships that would be lost in the disconnect.

Chris and Christi weren’t as game to the idea, both affirming that they could see themselves easily wanting to escape their online life. Then, Chris asked a very interesting question: What if the Internet no longer existed? What if some major event happened and the Internet went kaput as a result? It’s almost a little too scary to think about.

No blogs? No Twitter? No Facebook? No way to always know any and all details about your friends? Is such an existence possible?! It must be; we’d all led an Internet-free life before, right?

What would I do if the internet no longer existed? I guess I’d probably just spend time doing more of the offline activities I already love, like reading books, hiking, sharing more one-on-one time with friends, and reconnecting with the earth (yes, I know it’s hokey, but its true). In fact, some of my most memorable times include patches with no phone reception or lack of access to a computer. Go figure.

This past Monday, Stacey Higginbotham over at GigaOm wrote a great post talking about her over-connected life. After discussing the stresses of being continually plugged in, she pointedly says: “I’m choosing to turn off my computer now.”

It’s a difficult balance, but I think Marshall Kirkpatrick from Read/Write Web says it best in a post discussing RSS feeds last week: “I don’t know why people feel obligated to read every item in every feed they’ve subscribed to. Get over that and you’ll already be a far happier person.” The same can be applied to our online existences. We shouldn’t feel obligated to be in the know all the time about everything that’s going on in the cyberworld. Maybe if we just dip in every now and then and we’ll be happier! I know it works for me. 🙂

What about you? Could you or do you ever completely disconnect? How do you prevent information overload?

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[The above photo, “Streeter Seidell, Comedian” by Zach Klein on flickr, is used under Creative Commons]

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“Swollen Tonsils Full of Facebook Fatigue”

Just a quick programming note to say I’ve got golf ball sized tonsils. I’ve also got a fever that’s making me hallucinate about getting on planes and being late to my paper route back in 6th grade.

socialTNT’s Contributing Writer Marie Williams is cooking up a great post for tomorrow, and we’ve got a top-notch blogger slated for Thursday’s “3Q’s in 3Min.”

I’m gonna crawl back under the covers. In the meantime: Coming down with Facebook Fatigue? You’re not alone. Check out these facts from our friend Wayne over at Cynopsis: Digital:

MySpace saw user engagement spike in January, according to the latest ComScore social networking metrics, with users spending an average of 204 minutes on the site for the month, (an increase of almost 14% from Dec.) Facebook’s unique visitors fell 2.3% from December and are more or less flat since August, with users spending an average of 172.1 minutes on the site last month.

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[The above photo, “Waiting for the Judgement” by Jan Tik on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

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“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Lindsay Olson, Paradigm Staffing”

Feeling a little bummed about the economy? Let today’s “3Q’s in 3Min” guest help you feel bullish about social media.

Lindsay Olson, Paradigm StaffingEvery Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. The videos are meant to encourage dialog between PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

On a rainy day last month, socialTNT caught up with Lindsay Olson, Principal of Paradigm Staffing. But she’s not just a PR recruiter, she is also a small business owner who uses social media tools to promote her business. In today’s “3Q’s in 3Min,” Lindsay explains how social media helps her do her job more effectively and also tells public relations professionals the skills most sought after in 2008.

Starting out in the Tech industry during the late 90’s boom, Lindsay has been a recruiter for ten years. After realizing a strong need for PR pros in that industry, she quickly switched to PR recruiting–not surprising since she holds a Bachelors in Communications. In 2001, Lindsay and an old partner went off on their own to form Paradigm Staffing.

To promote the agency, Lindsay uses a full arsenal of social media tools, something she feels necessary for businesses who rely heavily on interpersonal relations and networking. Not just on Facebook and LinkedIn, Lindsay also is a Twitter user. She even has an RSS feed for job listings!

Lindsay’s use of Twitter seems ideal for someone in her industry. She can broadcast open positions and get responses back instantly. But it’s not just a promotional tool; she also gives followers an insight into client communications (including this interesting look at the effect the US recession has on hiring), as well as peeks into her personal life.

Fun Facts about Lindsay:

  • Her fiancĂ©, Matias, is a social media consultant (site in Spanish)
  • They’re getting married on the 23rd of Feb!
  • A fellow urban-bicyclist, she has been hit by a car FOUR times this week
  • Was a Personnel Services Specialist 75-H in the National Guard
  • Paradigm Staffing’s site is built completely on WordPress (whoot!)

In the video below, Lindsay weighs in on the Facebook vs LinkedIn debate. She alsotells us other ways she uses social media, and gives the skinny on top skills you’ll need to land a top-notch job in ’08.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

How do YOU use Twitter? Has it changed your corporate communications with the outside world?

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“2.0 Politik: Do Democratic Candidates Make the Grade?”

“Sri Lankan Elections Commissioner” by indi.ca on flickrThe Hillary/Big Brother Mashup Video from last year ushered in a new era for political campaigns. No longer content with televised debates, citizens everywhere raised their mouses in unison and called for a technological perestroika. 2.0 Politik was born, giving citizens direct access to politicians…Ok, maybe not, but candidates not hooked up with social media are missing out on influential demographics.

On Wednesday, socialTNT gave you the 4-1-1 on Republican social media campaigns. Today, socialTNT directs our browser to the Dems to find out who makes the grade and who gets held back.

Barack Obama, Most Likely To Succeed (Overall Grade: A+)

  • Online Video—At time of writing, there are 572 videos on Barack’s YouTube channel full of debate clips, campaign stops, direct conversations with the camera. On the site, you can find BarackTV, a really pretty player integrated by Brightcove . Don’t miss the interesting, YouTube-meets-digg-style “citizen generated campaign” called YouBarack. Chris was let down at the lack of streaming video. [UPDATE: Obama does stream some campaign stops through ustream.tv] Grade: A-
  • Blogging—Active blog with some posts receiving an impressive 1000+ comments, but our reviewers couldn’t find any posts older than Jan. 31st. The “older posts” link took us nowhere, and no archive–what?! Mad props for asking for feedback from readers. Extra credit for allowing citizen blogs hosted through my.obama.com community. Grade: A-
  • Social Networks—Obama’s Facebook profile supposedly has the more friends than any other candidate, but his Wall is full of teeny-boppers spouting racial epithets (Where are the chaperones community managers?). Surprisingly, his MySpace has a clean look with more commenters actually adding to the dialog. Oh, and widgets for everybody! Flickr is current. Extra credit: With LinkedIn, MiGente, Eons (Boomer SocNet), AsianAve, and BlackPlanet, he has all his demographic bases covered Grade: A+
  • RSS—You can subscribe to the blog. No RSS for Press Releases or coverage, and what about an Events RSS?: B+
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Ok, so he’s got a Twitter profile that gets updated every coupla days. That’s worth something, right?

Hillary Clinton, Most Studious (Overall Grade: B+)

  • Online Video—Of course, has a YouTube channel with a so-so 232 videos at time of writing. There is also a clunky looking player with Hillary commercials videos called HillaryTV. Most interesting attempt to seem human: The videos section link to “The Hillary I Know,” a Web 2.0-style site with video interviews of friends of Hill Grade: B+
  • Blogging—Hillary’s blog seems to serve as a news room, with mosts post consisting of news round-ups. Unlike Obama’s blog, the comments are pretty low, with most posts receiving 30-100. Clinton’s team should try to make it more about conversation, less about messaging. Grade: B-
  • Social Networks—If I were trying to guess messages based strictly on social network membership, Hill is looking to win over the college age and boomer voters. MySpace, Facebook and Eons pages are all pretty standard, but we do love the behind-the-scenes, not super-produced flickr page. Grade: B+
  • RSS—The blog has its own RSS feed and–gasp!–so does the news room. No feed for HillaryTV, but we’re still in shock about Newsroom RSS! Grade: A
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—There is a Twitter page, but “Hillary” isn’t following anyone…shame!

Now that John Edwards and his ustream.tv are out of the race, the Dems aren’t quite as cutting edge. But how can any hip Dem hit the town without an Obama ringtone?If you could give a piece of social media advice to the candidates, what would it be? What is your primary source for political news? TV? Friends? Blogs?

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[The above photo, “Sri Lankan Elections Commissioner” by indi.ca on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

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Filed under 2.0 Politik, Democracy and Media, Future of Media, Marketing, New Media, Politics, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media

“2.0 Politik: Do Republican Candidates Make the Grade?”

Today’s post was written by socialTNT Contributing Writer, Marie Williams. I promise we’ll get personalized bylines showing soon. 🙂

“vote for this guy” by switch_1010 on flickr

With Rudy Giuliani’s withdrawal from the Republican presidential campaign yesterday evening, the competition for the Republican nomination is heating up. Social media tactics have the possibility to tip the balance, but which candidates are using social media to their advantage and which are missing the boat? Today, socialTNT separates the cool kids from the amateurs.

Ron Paul, Class Valedictorian (Overall Grade: A)

  • Online Video—up-to-date and frequently refreshed YouTube channel, a Justin.TV channel (although that hasn’t been updated for two months), and Mogulus Live Streaming Video. Impressive, Ron! Grade: A+
  • Blogging—There’s a hidden bloggish section called “daily updates” (click here and scroll down to below the Flash-animated banner to find it) and a very difficult-to-find blog called The Daily Dose campaign HQ blog. While not very aptly placed, both blogs are well updated and contain some good, meaty posts. Grade: A-
  • Social Networks—Very active Facebook profile updated with hundreds of posted items and notes pertaining to Paul’s campaign. While his MySpace page is definitely not as snazzy as his competitors with all the bells and whistles, it is very personal and includes all pertinent links to more information on campaign activities. Grade: A
  • RSS—You can subscribe to the daily updates blog, as well as The Daily Dose, although the newsroom sections don’t have RSS feeds available. Grade: A-
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Unlike all the other Republican candidates, Ron has an official Twitter page.

Mitt Romney, Second in Class (Overall: B+)

  • Online Video—Of course, Mitt has the token YouTube channel, but the Mitt TV section of Mitt’s site is what sets it apart in terms of visual online content. The section is incredibly well-organized and catalogs videos by category, including events, interviews, news, and even a section for “fun” videos. Grade: A+
  • Blogging—Mitt’s “Five Brothers” blog, which includes posts from Mitt, his wife Ann and five sons, is updated on a regular basis, sometimes more than once a day. The posts are often made by Mitt’s sons (Mitt himself hasn’t updated since 9/11 of last year), and add a great personal element to the blog even if Mitt isn’t the one posting. Grade: A
  • Social Networks—Facebook profile? Check, and it’s well fleshed out and updated with news and videos to boot. MySpace page? Check, and also very well-organized with personal profile info, a video welcome, and Slide photo show. Mitt also has a Meetup page and a Flickr account that includes photos from the campaign trail. Grade: A-
  • RSS—While the “Five Brothers” blog does have separate RSS feeds for all authors (click here and see lefthand corner), there’s no RSS feed for Mitt TV and no RSS feed for the news section. Bummer! Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Nope! But if Mitt decides to jump on the Twitter bandwagon, someone’s already parked the MittRomney username and has 34 followers (no updates to speak of).

Mike Huckabee, Average Abe (Overall: B)

  • Online Video—Typical YouTube Channel and a video archive in the newsroom. Nothing special, nothing innovative. *Yawn* Grade: B-
  • Blogging—Mike has a very consistently updated blog that runs the gamut from video posts to general news announcements to calls to action. Also includes a great, incredibly lengthy blogroll of other blogs supporting Huckabee’s campaign. Extra credit for some cool blog widgets for supporters to load on their own blogs. Grade: A+
  • Social Networks—Very basic Facebook profile, but brownie points for the active discussion boards. Standard MySpace profile with a video welcome as a nice personal touch. Mike goes for the basics but could stretch his social networking skills much farther. Grade: B-
  • RSS—RSS for the blog, but nothing else. Eh for minimal effort to syndicate content. Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—No dice. Not even a parked page for this one.

John McCain, Barely Passing (Grade: C)

  • Online Video—YouTube channel and some videos on MySpace. Blase, much? Grade: C+
  • Blogging—The blog is a very basic set of general updates and video posts with little to no personality. Grade: C
  • Social Networks—Blah Facebook profile, although his MySpace page boasts some multimedia facets and a few videos. Overall pretty weak. Grade: C
  • RSS—Feeds are available for the blog but there’s no feeds for the newsroom or any other part of the site. Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Nope, but as with Romney, someone’s parked the JohnMcCain username and already has 28 followers (no updates to speak of).

And that’s a wrap. No doubt as the race for Republican nominee continues to heighten in intensity, candidates will consider additional social media tactics as a way to boost their visibility among their wavering constituents.

But don’t worry Dems, we haven’t forgotten about you. socialTNT will be posting on the Democratic candidate reviews this week. In the meantime, tell us how you’re following the presidential race using social media technologies. Is it Twitter? Blogs? Online video? Let us know in the comments!

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[The above photo, “vote for this guy” by switch_1010 on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

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“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: iJustine, iJustine.TV”

“ShareaSale & The Conversation Group Party: Blogworld Expo, iJustine” by Brian SolisIt’s the last Thursday before Christmas. If you aren’t out shopping, join us for another installment of “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min.”

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. The videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

Today, socialTNT is celebrating the shortest day of the year by offering you 3Q’s in One Minute with Social Media Diva, iJustine. That’s right: In one minute, iJustine is going to peer into the videostream of time to tell us what she thinks will be hot in 2008!

For those of you not familiar with the queen of the new Web Celebrity set, iJustine jumped into mainstream with her video about the insane bill she received from AT&T after buying her iPhone. The video made national news and prompted AT&T to reconsider e-bills for their data plans. She also has an amazing blog, Tasty Blog Snack.

Her facebook’s “About Me” simply states: I am the Internet. Since you can catch her on Facebook, MySpace, flickr, twitter, Revver, YouTube, and every other social network, I’m gonna say that could be true. Oh, and when she’s not saving trees from telco giants, iJustine is busy streamcasting her life.

Although not employed by Apple (yet), she SHOULD be the social media/community evangelist for the trendy tech giant. Even though she says Steve Jobs got up and walked out of a trendy Mountain View cafe after seeing her sitting next to him, iJustine claims that Steve Jobs is in love with her–and how could he resist: She has an apple tattoo on her shoulder blade.

In today’s “End of the Year” edition of “3Q’s in 3Min,” iJustine tells us her prediction on the biggest trend in social media in 2008, expresses her love of Twitter, and weighs in on the GOOG vs Facebook battle to dominate your social graph data!

Check it out:

I agree with iJustine, video is gonna be HUGE in ’08; you’ll certainly see more of it on socialTNT in 2008. I also want Wiki’s to gain momentum for Enterprise use.

What do YOU think will be the big trend in 2008?

This is the last “3Q’s in 3Min” for the year, as socialTNT is closing down for the break. We’ve got some great interviews lined up for 2008, so add us to your RSS reader, or sign up for our email, and you’ll never miss a post!

If you liked this post, check out the other video’s in our weekly Thursday series “3Q’s in 3Min.” Also, check out my review of Apple’s current social media PR/marketing strategy.

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[The above photo, “ShareaSale & The Conversation Group Party: Blogworld Expo, iJustine” by Brian Solis, is used under Creative Commons]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Citizen Reporter, Enterprise Public Relations, Future of Media, New Media, Social Media, Social Networking, Video, Video Interview

“Zuckerberg Plays Jetman While Facebook Burns”

romeburns.jpg

[UPDATED INFORMATION BELOW]

On Tuesday, Facebook took the hardest bashing of its short history, with FORTUNE’s Josh Quittner echoing the rest of the blogosphere in a post ruefully titled “RIP Facebook?” This follows Monday’s news that Facebook confirmed a finding by security firm Computer Associates that Beacon still sends information back to Facebook even when you are not logged in. (For a complete history of the last few weeks, check this New York Times article by Louise Story.) Subtract a few key advertisers, add a lawsuit questioning the allegedly shady history of Facebook’s founding and an attempt by Facebook to block First Ammendment rights, and Facebook seems to be embroiled in a PR quagmire.

The question on everyone’s mind is: Where is Mark Zuckerberg?

He’s playing Jetman, of course. Take a look at the below screen cap I grabbed from his Facebook profile (click to enlarge):

Mark Zuckerberg plays Jetman

WOW! A score of 1942! Congrats, Mark!

Was he working off a little stress while in between Crisis Control sessions with his PR team? The blogosphere doesn’t think so. Just look at this post by Robert Scoble advising Zuckerberg to say something (this is just the nice stuff):

Facebook’s PR machinery is hiding its head in the sand and hoping this story goes away.

Hint: it’s not.

Do the press conference. Admit you screwed up. Take your shots. Look into the camera and say you’re sorry.

Crisis PR hint: don’t answer company bashing with text messages. Do it in video and with live events. Have the CEO do it.

Henry Blodgett, Todd Defren (satirically blogging as Fake Mark Zuckerberg), Brian Solis, and several other key PR bloggers all offered similar advice: Fess Up.

So what exactly can Facebook do to pull themselves out of the muck:

1. Zuckerberg–not a PR spokesperson–needs to admit to the community and advertisers he made a mistake.

  • Explain that FB learned the hard way that privacy is important.
  • As a result, FB wil allow a members to Opt-In (as opposed to currently being forced to Opt-Out) to Beacon.
  • FB apologizes profusely and promises to make the selling and use of member data a transparent process.

2. Utilize the social media upon which FB is built.

  • Eat the loss of prime Ad real estate and post the video apology in a banner over the newsfeed, not in the New Features” group.
  • No blog posts since mid-November. Fix that.
  • If you are feeling a little more hip: Create a live videocast (to be archived) with live questions being submitted through the community and Twitter.

3. Send an open letter to blogs and top-tier publications. Reach out to the reporters and bloggers who feel used and lied to.

  • Better yet, do a video blog tour with top bloggers (ala Don Imus, et al.)

4. Appoint a User Privacy Guru to launch an educational program on how member data is handled and what members can do to protect their privacy.

  • Create a Privacy Rights/User Data partnership with other social networks.
  • This transparency and education will regain user trust.

5. Community Managers address bloggers concerns as they come up.

  • Don’t hide behind your PR spokesperson. Get involved!

Don’t forget your community (and your financial success) is based on the users. You have to listen to them and respect them. If they aren’t happy, they’ll easily move on to the next big thing. Part of me hopes that FB really thought users would see the value in Beacon. The other part thinks that FB only saw the dollar value it could gain from Beacon.

Social networks are trusted spaces. Facebook differentiated itself as the social network where members could control privacy settings, thereby allowing only some friends to see certain things. We felt like Facebook was a safe place where we could share our lives with our friends. Beacon violated that trust. It’s sad and I feel completely used.

A quick Twitter poll asking what Facebook could do to regain trust yielded several responses, all easily summed up by Kyle Flaherty‘s Tweet:

picture-8.png

What can Facebook do to regain your trust? Or do you feel Facebook has done nothing wrong?

[UPDATE: This morning, Mark Zuckerberg posted an apology on Facebook’s Blog. Is that enough? Do you trust them again?]

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