social networks

Create a better consumption experience

Create a better consumption experience”
Jason Goldman, Twittter advisor at leWeb++

That’s the game!
The torrent of social media is overwhelming – it is impossible to keep up, even with a Facebook average/ Dunbar number 130 followers. {Seth Godin on Dunbar : TheGuardian on Dunbar }
Twitters’ lists is a decent effort – but it’s manual labour, and takes considerable time investment to create useful subject lists. Of course, the twitter ecosystem is starting to offer automated answers: Formulists for example. But it’s not quite doing it for me.
The best solution I’ve seen turned up today – by coincidence the same day as Justin Goldman’s quote: LinkedIn Signal needed Zero though to sign up & use. Just a regular LinkedIn sign-in, and I’m presented with a list of status updates. The left column gives checkboxes to filter by my LinkedIn network proximity, Industry, and Company, + more. Hey presto, instantly & usefully filtered  status update lists.
I could use it for the first time, without thinking “how does this work then”?
Which is a better consumption experience.
++Quoted by the ever-excellent @Adders

Virus warnings usually a hoax

Time & again personal & digital bandwidth is soaked by well-meaning friends alerting you to a virus is almost certainly a hoax.

Today’s email warned my of a Christmas Parcel Delivery Scam – with duped folk calling a premium rate phone number at a cost of £315.  The scam was shut down in 2005. (That’s five years ago folks!).

Crimestoppers has received reports of a viral email discussing a scam that informs victims of a bogus parcel delivery and charges them a premium rate for the phone call to retrieve the phantom parcel.

We can confirm that this scam was in operation until 2005.

In December 2005 the premium rate number 0906 661 1911 was shut down and the operator of the number was fined £10,000.”

No doubt it’s operating in other countries.

Here’s how to detect hoaxes, & find out about scams… Copy the email’s subject line into google. Add ‘scam’ or ‘hoax’ as appropriate. Press Search. (Go on, you’ve done this before!)

Chances are that the first half dozen results on a ‘hoax’ search will include the excellent Snopes, or one of the anti-virus services: Sophos have an extensive directory of hoaxes.

So before you waste your own time forwarding a scam+hoax email to your address book, take a moment to Google it.

Public service announcement ends

real, social marketing

When folk talk about ‘marketing to social networks’ , you can be pretty sure (from their language) if they’re about to spam a community.  The wrong way to go about it is to think like a broadcast, analogue advertiser, and think what message can be put infront of the greatest number of eyeballs.

Making that message interactive is a just-about-acceptable half way house to…

Properly engaging folk
By giving them soemthing they can contribute to
That lets folk/customers change the company & its product/service, in even the most miniscule way.

There’s a conversation going on at the mo’ ’bout ‘social objects ‘(Gapingvoid is a great entry point, as are Jyri Engestrom’s slides on slideshare (who coined the term). And here’s a cracking example….

Howies make clothes; they’re a responsible company, in every way. <declaration: today I’m mostly wearing Howies jeans /declration>  So when they open their first store you’d expect a brand/web/shop social object. It’s described on Russell Davies’ blog  – and involves a heath robinson contraption to print photos from Howies’ flickr group. Looks like a thing of beauty – as a marketing concept and in store (must make a point of visiting.)

Two digital marketing strategies

Seth nails it: there’s two ways to market online – burn permission with frequency (make money  now, rebuild your customer base later), or engage, and dig in for a longer haul, but with permission.

I’ve always been a fan of the latter – work the customer base, with their consent, to grow your network by engaging theirs. Rather than talking about ‘permission’ which has a kinda ‘yes/no, once & for all time’ feel to it, I think of this as ‘consent’ –  it has a softer feel to the relationship, & maybe there’s more of a 2 way sense to the relationship.

social networking & business roundup article

A nice piece by David Bowen that captures ‘where we’re up to’ on social networking

…and includes this gem
“The price is that it is important to give away really valuable
information, because only this will be picked up. “The first thing you
have to do is relinquish control,””

Nailed it.
There’s no point in sharing information that everybody knows.
If you’re an expert, share stuff that only you know, that everybody else (who is interested) will find useful.

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BT networks home wifi

The FT reports that “BT Group
is attempting to create the world’s largest wi-fi network by persuading
millions of UK customers to turn their home wireless “hubs” into public

What a smart idea – and it goes back to the idea that networked nodes’ power & value grows with the number of nodes on the network. If they can pull this off, BT’s share price will rocket (if the market understands what they’ve achieved).

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A stand on internet privacy from Google

“Privacy laws have not kept up with the reality of the internet and
technology, where we have vast amounts of information and every time a
credit card is used online, the data on it can move across six or seven
countries in a matter of minutes,” Mr Fleischer told the Financial
ahead of his speech.

This is good.

It may be a partially-formed thought at the moment, but without Google’s participation, any initiative will struggle to become a standard. With Google’s involvement, online practice and laws have a chance of defending our privacy – but in ways that are practical for individuals and lawyers, and commercially sound for online businesses.

So for example A Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web and has a lot more chance of becoming accepted if it’s adopted by Google – and Skype. It’ll be interesting to see how the two approaches compare.

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