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Filtering by Category: "myspace"

Facebook says that you are a FANatical ConSUMER

Added on by Chris Saad.
Jeremiah (fellow Media 2.0 Workgroup member) has just posted the latest news from myspace and facebook about their new social advertising solutions.

From his executive summary:
Both Facebook and MySpace have launched profile and network targeted advertising and marketing products. As they both use member interests and the communities which they are part of, trust continues to become key in adoption as information is passed along the network. The sheer size of MySpace's member base, as well as the thriving local business membership will lead to success. Facebook, which brings a unique solution evolves advertisements to endorsements and encourages members to subscribe to a brand in what we are calling "Fan-Sumers" (an evolution of the consumer). As consumers share their affinities, brands can advertise using trusted social relationships.
Advertising as we know it is indeed dead. Word of mouth has always been more powerful than messages shouted from on-high. And now, with Media 2.0 reducing friction to zero and increasing visibility toward 100%, Word of mouth has never been stronger - or more important.

Your words now echo for all of time - and they get louder as they travel.

So moving towards a world where sites can enable brands to better facilitate and moderate the word of mouth network seems obvious. The problem, though, is with the fundamental thinking at these organizations.

For example, the name Fan-sumer is disgusting. FANatical ConSUMER? It's far worse than User Generated Content! Sure it's just a name, but it is a revealing insight into their line of thinking.

Word of mouth is not sanctioned, it just happens. Ultimately the best you can do is join in the conversation. Giving away 'free steak knives' to your friends only reduces everyone's credibility.

As I said on Jeremiah's post, however, the core idea is not a total write-off - but it will need heavy modification to align with reality - friends trust each other, and helping them spam each other does nothing for anyone

I wrote:
Fan-sumer? So now we are further reduced to FANatical ConSUMERS?

As usual, the underlying idea is interesting, but the execution is so user-unfriendly (the name alone reveals their true intentions) that they are just legitimizing peer-to-peer spam.

As a true social solution for advertising it is not a write-off, but the execution needs a lot of tweaking to be truly about engagement and personalization with a true sense of trust based endorsements from your friends.

Update: I have also posted about this on Blognation.

Data Portability, User Rights and Best Practices

Added on by Chris Saad.
Following on from yesterday's post about the User Bill of Rights...

All the issues are converging. The commentators are pushing for their rights. The innovators are building the pieces (Microformats, APML, OpenID etc). All that's left is for the aggitators to force the issue.

Chris Messina is my hero. Read his latest post about the bill of rights and the issue of user ownership and control of their user data.

He writes:

In any case, if we’re to make progress on this topic, we also have to understand a) why this kind of portability hasn’t been embraced heretofore and b) how it has been hindered.


I alluded to this earlier, but according to danah boyd, there’s a lot of people who seem really to not mind leaving their profiles (and “internet friends”) behind when they jump sites or — heck — forget their passwords and have to start all over. Is the problem as bad as we, the prolific social networkers with “inhibited manifest destinies”, seem to think it is? Or is this just a problem with the early adopters who have thousands of friends that they seem to think to want to cart around everywhere while they increasingly find themselves with ever-diminishing amounts of time to even “play” social network anymore?

Ah, humbug.

Steve Rubel says we are all monkeys

Added on by Chris Saad.
Steve Rubel is calling us all Monkeys on Treadmills.

He writes:

"Lately I have been thinking a lot about channels. Every day it seems there's a hot new Web 2.0 site that captures our attention.

We're a million monkeys running on treadmills, chasing the latest banana. Myself included! The breathing apparatus in the photo above reminds me of my Google Reader stream!


Surely, channels are where the action is at. However, it's important to remember they are just that - and they change. Circa 1998, perhaps when many of you were 10, The, GeoCities and Tripod were all the rage. They faded from our horizon over time. The same thing will happen to many of today's hot sites. In fact, I advise marketers not to invest too much time in creating "a Facebook strategy" as much as they don't have "an NBC strategy" or "a New York Times strategy." Instead, I encourage them to people watch, learn and then plan based on their audience and the big picture."

It's funny that as soon as MySpace has lost the spotlight and people have given up developing stuff for it in a mad rush to Facebook that Steve/Edelman (who consult to Myspace) have started to downplay the importance of any given platform or ecosystem.

I don't disagree with the basic premise that Facebook is just a tool and tools come and go, but calling everyone monkeys and downplaying the Facebook strategy is a little hypocritical.

I've made my dislike of Myspace clear. Not only does it foster a lot of garbage interactions, it does business through FUD and tries to choke off the air supply of developers/companies who are trying to add value.

This is all changing now of course. Facebook's platform strategy has forced a change in direction for Youtube. The only question now is why their advisors didn't suggest doing it earlier. And why are they downplaying it now. Or if they did, why didn't they listen.

Facebook's platform play is a better approach - but it is still not really open. However even their small glimmer of openess was enough to attract massive attention.

As I've written before, Rupert Murdoch (The man in charge at Fox, Owners of Myspace) will have to learn that 'the Network' is the Internet, not the Fox Network.

Loosely Coupled Relationships - is there any deeper meaning anymore?

Added on by Chris Saad.
I have written before about the Disintegration of Reality.

Here's some of that original post:

"Reality is disintegrating. No wait hear me out.

Granular parts of our established systems are being dislodged from their containers and only reforming via temporary, loosely coupled connections.

Content is being disintegrated from the Page, TV and Radio via RSS and Microformats.

Functionality is being disintegrated from applications (loosely coupled mashups are starting to overshadow complete applications).

People are being disintegrated from families. Divorce is now common place and starting to lose its taboo. As a result families are forming all sorts of strange and lopsided combinations where ex’s and steps come together for special occasions and in support of ‘the children’. At all times, however, the individual seems to be achieving more freedom and importance than the ‘family unit’."
Another way to phrase this perhaps is "Loosely Coupled Relationships" much like RSS and REST are loosely coupled APIs that allow us to mash stuff up.

I have been having more thoughts on this issue recently and just now saw something that promoted me to write about it. I just saw an interview with a group of bloggers and the Nun that looks after the Vatican website (recorded by fellow Media 2.0 Workgroup member Robert Scoble).

In reference to the Internet building new types of communities she related a story of one of the first Skype calls she witnessed. In it, one of her colleagues made a call to someone in china. She went on to say (and I paraphrase).

"That exchange [the call to China with some random person], had a very personal component, an emotional component. It had something that brought out something from within that person - he gave it to that person in China, and then what happened?

We need to distinguish between creating something that builds relationship and something that is just dumping out all kinds of energy that has no place to go... It's energy that we need to integrate into something real."
I have been wondering about this for some time. It seems to me that a growing number of tools are being released that allow us to have surface style, loosley coupled relationships.

The most extreme example of this is Twitter. With Twitter I don't need to actually care enough about someone to ask how their day was. I can just have a passive overview of their activities as they release updates into the ether. If I choose to catch what they are sending I am free - but I am also equally free to ignore it. It is very non-committal.

An earlier technology also provided this level of disconnect. SMS (at least here in Australia) has in many cases started to take the place of phone calls because SMS is less confrontational and committal. You could do other things while having a 'conversation' with someone. Ignoring an incoming SMS is also (usually) perfectly fine - even more so than ignoring an IM message in some cases.

The same is true for MySpace. Look at a myspace comments section and you will see lots of fruitless and surface style interactions that seem to go nowhere.

It seems to me that these sorts of passive or group interaction mechanisms, while creating one type community, may - taken to their logical extreme - negatively affect another much deeper level of connection.

Maybe these loosely coupled relationships were never destined to be any deeper than a twitter message. Or maybe, this type of behaviour will expand to include loved ones and friends who used to require more commitment.

Personally I wonder if there isn't a way to harness this energy and capture it for good. For deeper connections. Or at least to reveal the deeper connections that are already present.

In the rush to create more democratic, social and distributed media, I'd hate to think that our one-to-one relationships will end up as nothing more than temporary mashups - like ships passing in the night.

Twitter me with your thoughts (no just kidding - comments are fine).

Told ya so... Myspace bans widgets

Added on by Chris Saad.
MySpace banned (and then unbanned) all external widgets from its site. Even though they are now unofficially saying the banning was just an error), I think this was a test balloon to gauge public/industry reaction. I hope the reaction was loud and clear and has changed their thinking - but I fear it won’t hold off the inevitable for long.

Sorry to say it, but I told ya so.

As I've said before, mySpace is not Web 2.0 - it is a more flexible social network. It's re-invented with some very clever marketing/tactics in a time where ads can now pay the bills and costs are low.

Messy is the new clean

Added on by Chris Saad.
I have long held a strong personal dislike of MySpace. I don't think they really care though - it's not targeted at me - it's targeted at a totally different demographic.

That won't stop me airing my grievances though.

One of the main reasons I dislike it is how messy it is. How utterly useless the user interface is and how much worse the users make it with their colors and backgrounds and embedded music tracks. It drives me crazy whenever I find myself accidently stumbling onto a MySpace page.

I have always been a fan of clean lines. In fact, I have just been working on the secret, yet-to-be-revealed, Touchstone user interface that will be revealed with the all new Touchstone Beta and it is all about clean, simple lines.

Over on BubbleGeneration however, he explains that clean lines are just old fashioned. They are part of the 20th century's Modernism movement. To quote:

Re-engineering was about streamlining: about cutting the fat; about removing "resistance" and "drag" created by superfluous processes, whose near term returns were non-existent.

The result, as we all know too well today, is a commercial landscape both bleak and bland: homogeneous, robotic, synthetic, and hyperrationalized, where the Barista's or burger-flipper's value is timed, measured, studied, and analyzed to death.

He uses mySpace as the prime example. He states that mySpace beats LinkedIn as a real social platform because, unlike LinkedIn, mySpace allows its users to get messy - to hack up the page and distroy any trace of consistency.

Touchstone, of course, is very different from MySpace or LinkedIn. The primary setup/status windows are not about personalization, self-expression or social networking. So we can get away with clean, simple lines. That's what I tell myself anyway. I don't want to make a messy interface that people can hack up. I want it to be clean and slick.

I take comfort in the fact that Skype seems to have the same philosophy and they aren't doing too badly.

Am I the only one who thinks that MySpace chaos and CraigsList's complete disregard for aesthetic quality is disturbing and concerning? Someone save me...

Update: Daniela suggests to me on Skype that perhaps I don't like MySpace because Murdoch bought it just to drive traffic to his Fox TV sites.

This is probably a topic for another post but I don't mind that Murdoch, being an old school media guy, recognized (in some small way) the volume of traffic that MySpace could generate and purchased it to keep his media company relevant. I do, however, have a problem with the fact that the platform itself didn't necessarily deserve the popularity it received/receives (for reasons mentioned above and many others) and the fact that people like Murdoch, in general, don't understand the real power of social platforms beyond the old 'eyeballs to monetize' paradigm.