Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

My wife, the social media star

October 15th, 2010 No comments

My wife, Shirley, started a Facebook group that now has over 1900 fans, over 1000 photo uploads and rising all the time. The group is called “My Border Collie is smarter than most of the people I know.” In contrast, I’ve seen many other people try to start Facebook fan pages for their companies or sites with far worse results, while spending a lot more time and resources as well. The difference is that my wife’s group is fun and interesting and creates a community of people who can easily communicate about a subject they love. It’s definitely ‘social’ first, definitely ‘media’ last. She affectionately calls it “my border collie group” but it obviously belongs to a lot of people.

“My border collie group” is smarter than a lot of people I know
Companies I’ve seen will try sending some “social media expert” or a young person (because they “understand” Facebook) to try and set up a Facebook group and get people to join without any idea whatsoever why people would join or like their page, group or company.

And they have little foresight about what might be the effect of people liking the group or becoming a fan. More often than not those people will never ever give the fan page another thought in their lives and will likely delete it if they ever get around to cleaning up their Facebook accounts. This is usually much worse than just a me-too mentality; it’s more like “let’s force this on people and on ourselves regardless of any sense of relevance.”

Social media has to be fun. People get together to have fun. They hardly ever get together to be bored and do nothing together. You need to give people a fun reason to join your group and come to your party.

My wife didn’t set out to create a huge Facebook group. She didn’t even know how much activity would be possible on it when she started it years ago. She just set out to have some fun. Sure enough, people wanted to join in.

Social media “experts” & business
Companies getting involved in social media need to put people first and fun first. There’s very likely something immediately wrong when a bunch of people sit around a boardroom talking about how to get involved in social media. In fact, I can vouchsafe for the fact that there has definitely been something wrong every time I’ve had the misfortune to actually be one of those people.

If you are interested in hiring my wife as a social media person with a good track record of success, don’t bother, I’ve got my eye on her. But I know she has no interest in ever sitting in on one of your boardroom meetings focused on “how to leverage our position in social media.” She’d rather be having fun, I think.

Just to close, here’s an awesome video I once posted to my wife’s group. Why say goodbye when you can say hello. After all, social media is all about being friendly.

added later: There’s a good final pun to be made about old dogs (even though my dog was not that old at the time of this video) and new tricks – but I’m not sure I want to make it. Comment below to add your pun?

added later still: Sadly, Samson (featured below) passed away suddenly in his own home, November 16th. 🙁

Categories: social media Tags: ,

Twitter Flatlining?

October 13th, 2009 No comments

I’ve said before who I like best between Facebook and Twitter. It seems I’m not alone in admitting that I don’t really ‘get’ Twitter. TechCrunch is reporting that comScore does not have great news for followers of Twitter.

Read the original.

Frank Furillo

Twitter is 90% Crap

September 10th, 2009 No comments

Here we go with another acerbic-sounding title. But bear with me. I allude here, as some people may recognize,  to Theodore Sturgeon’s assertion that “90% of science fiction is crap, but then again, 90% of everything is crap.” The last part of that sentence has since become known as Sturgeon’s Law.  Let’s note that Sturgeon was in fact defending science fiction (and I love science fiction, of course), so maybe this is not all bad for Twitter, to be 90% crap.

Twitter is 90% overratedTwitter is a phenomenon, there can be little doubt. As we all know , though, the short history of the web is already full of fantastic shooting stars that have long-since passed into complete irrelevance.

There are many people who hate Twitter, think it is overrated and overhyped or who simply ignore it. It has a fail rate of 60% or more, in percentage of users who never use it again. Failwhale goes up often, as we all know.

One thing I definitely do not like about my Twitter friend feed is that many of the people who use it only use it for marketing; I know, maybe I know the wrong people or at least I think I should be following people I really don’t like a whole lot. I hate the whole, “Let me be the first to tweet this” mentality that is a byproduct of Twitter’s immediacy.  Twitter would do well to start figuring out ways to get rid of commercial interests who are only interested in promoting themselves. Should Twitter ideally only be used to share thoughts, ideas  – and links – that are valid, then? I have an okay-hate relationship with that concept. I find it very annoying to read tweets about nothing. I.e.  Please don’t tweet that you are just stepping into the shower, especially if you are not terribly attractive. But actually, I find links most annoying. I have followed some people who do nothing but post links to news items or blog entries in their industry, all day long it seems. My impression of you, ex-following people, is that you do not have an original idea in your head.

I haven’t quite covered the 90% crap of Twitter… but there are some things about Twitter that could make it last.  It provides acces to some celebrity news that is unavailable elsewhere, for one example. Although I really could care less about Liz Taylor tweeting from her hospital bed, my fifteen year old says she uses Twitter to keep up on her favourite bands.

I don’t think I will ever really like Twitter. I do not feel, though, that this is necessarily because I don’t ‘get’ Twitter. I think the real problem with Twitter is that it is just far too thin a concept to really have any legs.  I think Facebook still has far more potential because it is so much more robust and I think Zuckerberg’s concept of a social graph will still be developed into something with massive enough revenue to rival Google’s, someday. As was shown today, Facebook could very well have the means to completely swallow Twitter (its lamprey, of sorts). I still love wasting time on Facebook far more than I ever will on Twitter.

But let’s never forget Twitter’s (difficult-to-understand, for us detractors) popularity and its still untapped potential. Twitter’s suggested feeds is one way in which Twitter might be able to leverage itself into generating revenue. There are rumours that Twitter is developing something that will generate significant revenue before the end of next year. So the jury is still really out on whether Twitter will really ever matter for any length of time.

But really, if you ask me, Twitter is 90% crap.