Archive | May, 2010

Breaking Facebook Newspeak

If there’s one thing I hate about Facebook’s Like is that it limits the language you interact.  It’s a marketer’s dream in that only positive feedback is displayed, but what about for the rest of us?  What if we hate a product, or a particular company is horrible?  Do we have to like them before we can write on their wall, and if we like them isn’t that hypocritical?  And what if you actually, really love a certain product?

“Like” reminds me of Newspeak from George Orwell’s 1984.  Newspeak is the attempt of the fictional government to limit what people think and do by limiting the language they used.  If you don’t have the language to communicate an idea it becomes much harder to express it.

With that in mind, why can we only like things?  There are certain things I love, like kittens, locopops, and strawberry smoothies.  I want people to know that these things are more awesome than things I simply like.  Is that so wrong Facebook?  Can’t I give more value to the brands and things I really, truly love?

While it would be nice to love some things, I also need to dislike things.  I don’t want to dislike all my friend’s awkward status updates.  They can learn the hard way.  I want people to know what things I think are scams, evil, or just dumb.  It’s time for there to be a negative option to how people interact with businesses on Facebook so businesses can learn what they are doing wrong.

What value exists for this in Facebook?  Well, Facebook is already selling all of my data and making it available for anyone with half a brain.  If users added nuances and more data to their profiles of the things they love, like, and dislike, think of how useful it would be for marketers and businesses buying Facebook ads.  Not only would marketers be able to target based on what we like, but also what is driving us nuts and has us begging for more.

This also helps solve the problem of what sentiment people are using online.  A sarcastic person such as myself can’t throw off the results as easily if I am a known dislike.  And the Love feature shows who your brand advocates will be.

These options are still limiting like Newspeak, but they expand away from the mindless universal like.  Isn’t it time to move beyond liking?

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The Anti-Social Media on LinkedIn

The Anti-Social Media on LinkedIn:

Have you ever wished to read The Anti-Social Media at work, but can’t because it looks like too much fun?  Well, I have the answer to your prayers!

You can now follow The Anti-Social Media on LinkedIn!

Just think, one more way to get the same content from a completely different source.  Isn’t it great?!

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What should we be talking about?

I see the same conversations over and over in the social media blogs I read.  It’s boring, it’s redundant, and it just proves no one actually reads what people put online.

Here’s what the social media savvy are talking about:

  • Personal Branding
  • Employment Branding
  • Facebook Privacy
  • Geolocation
  • ROI
  • Social Graphing
  • The iPad

There’s enough being said about personal branding to kill anyone.  Employers can figure out how they brand themselves online without having all of us tell them how to do it.  I’m over Facebook. Geolocation bores me.  If you can’t figure out how to measure ROI for your social media, you shouldn’t use social media for business.  I’m over websites trying to figure out what I want before I know what I want.  I’m sick of the iPad.

    Here’s what I think we should be talking about:

    • Online Identity
    • Anonymity vs Real Identity
    • Social Media Investment
    • Social Media Responsibility

    Let me break down what I mean by these:  With online identity, I mean the concept of who people are online and all the information associated with the name.  There is no way to control all of the information about you online, so you have little control over what identity there is online.  It’s all a crap shoot to control the top and seemingly most relevant answers

    This ties into the second point, Anonymity vs Real Identity.  As Facebook and LinkedIn add more and more users, we are slowly ditching the screen names we made up online for our real names.  While this is great for some people, I think there is a benefit to having a screen name only a select few people know.  Also, as much as we hate trolls, there are a lot of good reasons for someone to need to say something anonymously or direct certain comments about them elsewhere.

    One thing I worry about often is what I am investing in social media.  We slowly lose the human connection to one another between apps and blogs and tweets.  What do I lose sitting in front of a computer all day when I could be with my friends?  Have you ever seen a movie with a positive view of the future where everything was so connected and always on?

    Finally, I think a lot of what I worry about boils down to who is responsible for what.  Am I in charge of my tweets in five years or is Twitter?  When I post pictures on Facebook, who’s in control of those?  What information is kosher for marketers glean off of any network?  None of this is crystal clear for users, and it needs to be.

    What do you think we need to talk about?

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