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Facebook and General and Social Networking and strategychris on 05 Aug 2010 10:38 am

when everyone is looking for gold in the same river, the best opportunities are somewhere else… Mark Cuban

A recent article in the New York Times got me really excited.  No, it wasn’t an article predicting the Ravens to be Super Bowl Champions.  It was about a journalist who went beyond Facebook and Twitter to bring value to his company.  Not only was he successful in that endeavor but it paid off for him professionally too.

If you didn’t see the article, I highly recommend it.  The story is about Mark Coatney, a former senior editor at Newsweek, who decided to engage with folks in another medium.  Accordingly, Mr. Coatney starting using Tumblr to post unique content.  The effort created a successful following for Newsweek on Tumblr that other media companies are looking to emulate.

Many companies and organizations are starting to pursue a social media strategy now.  Three years ago Facebook and Twitter were great.  However, they are the status quo.  You have to go beyond them now.  There is a tremendous opportunity to be a leader and not a follower by utilizing location based social networks (Foursquare, Gowalla) or going beyond blogging with (Amplify, Posterous).

Congrats to Mr. Coatney for leading and his new gig at Tumblr!

Disclosure – I’m one of the co-creators of Amplify

Facebook and General and Google and Microsoft and Social Networking and strategychris on 21 Jul 2009 12:51 pm

I was catching up on some reading last night when a recent Roll Call story on Twitter’s need to hire a lobbyist caught my attention.  The article links Twitter’s success to the rise of Microsoft and Google and asks a key question – when do you hire a lobbyist in DC?  In Microsoft’s case, they moved quickly, responding to the Department of Justice’s interest in the company’s business practices.  In Google’s case, they built their office slowly before any major issues arose.  With that in mind, is it now time for Twitter to hire a lobbyist?

The answer is no. And the reason is clear: Twitter doesn’t need a lobbyist!

Twitter continues to be the hottest thing on the social web.  However, let’s not forget that the company is not making any money.  The resources necessary for representation would be better served elsewhere.  For instance, hiring more developers to strengthen the quality of service (think FAIL WHALE) or growing the treasury for more acquisitions (think Summize) to make Twitter more valuable as a service are better investments for the company.

Twitter also has something that many companies (many of which have huge arsenals of lobbyists) are trying to build now — an active community!  Twitter founders Evan Williams (1,129,147 followers), Biz Stone (964,023 followers), and Jack Dorsey (927,253 followers) could easily start a movement in response to a misguided attempt by a lawmaker to cripple the popular social networking website.  On a related note, @Ev, @biz, @Jack already have relationships with lawmakers on twitter.  They already engage in direct conversations with key policymakers without spending a dime at a fundraiser.  Not to mention the attention Ashton “Mr. Twitter” Kutcher (2,858,856 followers) would draw to the legislation.  He is already using his Twitter fame to mobilize around causes.  Let us not forget his talent for publicity – his achievement of 1,000,000 followers before Larry King did and his appearance on Oprah was all over the news!

Companies such as Twitter are changing the world, and the Internet is changing the way business is done in Washington.  Twitter allows us to connect directly with Congress and to build connections with people around the world among common interests.  This is good for our democracy.

Twitter will need to play the traditional Washington game at some point in the future.  It is a fact of life.  However, they can play it differently.  Once again, they have millions of users who can carry (tweet) their messages to Congress.  Ashton will lead their battle and not the lobbyists.

Follow me on Twitter – @mobilediner

09CTIA and Facebook and social mediachris on 30 Mar 2009 07:33 am

I’ve had a bunch of folks ask me about the diner and where we’ve been cookin’ the last few weeks…

A smorgasbord of answers to that question:

(1)  Mobile Future Coalition

As some of you know, the Mobile Future Coalition launched last year to raise awareness about all of the innovations occurring in the wireless industry (much of it in the mobile-social space) and to advocate for a regulatory environment that does not look like the legacy wireline one.  In any case, we are doing more blogging and engaging consumers in other forums too (follow mobilefuture on twitter).  After a year of planting seeds, we intend to be more proactive in a number of conferences and in Washington.

(2)  Tin Can Communications®

More companies (post-election) are now interested in blending and augmenting their traditional communications with new media (especially in the tech community).  There has also been an increasing interest in integrating a mobile component to their communication efforts.  Putting our clients first is our first priority – so the food may get stale on occasion (my apologies in advance).

(3)  Folks want snacks not meals these days

One of the reasons for Twitter’s growth is “snack size” content.  Folks do not have time to read or write a bunch of long blog posts (nor do they want to).  How many times have you actually had the time to read all the articles in your RSS reader?  Or when was the last time you checked your RSS reader?

Not only do people want their content in small portions, but they want it from trusted sources – people they know.  That’s why people are flocking to Twitter and Facebook to find out what their friends are watching, reading, and doing.

On that note, much of the posts on twitter are now links to other content.  Accordingly, as a part of the Amplify team, we are creating a solution called “Clogging” that makes it easier for friends, colleagues, consumers, and students to share and discuss what they are reading on the web.  In this information revolution, I can’t think of a more socially productive tool for an organization.  Thus, I’ve been spending more time clogging not blogging (I promise to have more on this in a future post)…

I think I just killed it for everyone with this long post!

Facebook and Privacy and Social NetworkingEmily on 20 Oct 2008 02:10 pm

To the great consternation of my 25 year-old roommate, her mother friended her on Facebook.

Then came a deluge of wall postings – “Its your mom! I see all your pictures” and “who is that hot boy that wrote you a comment! Is he single??”

She was oblivious to my friend’s agonized embarrassment (to the great amusement of the rest of us).

Not all Facebook moms are insensitive to a kid’s need for privacy. In a hilarious New York Times piece, ‘omg my mom joined facebook!!’, a mother incites the wrath of her teenage daughter just by signing up. The daughter refuses to friend her and retaliates with a menacing instant chat: “You won’t get away with this…everyone in the whole world thinks its super creepy when adults have facebooks.”

According to ReadWriteWeb, Facebook hit an astounding 100 million members in August. In September 2006, Facebook opened its membership (beyond college students) and with it the floodgates of parental involvement were opened.

As a testament to this fact, parenting experts have recently begun to weigh in on Facebook and the friending of children. Meanwhile, kids have spawned tons of groups dedicated to shunning those same parents like “What Happens in College Stays in College: Keep Parents Off Facebook!” (joined by over 500 people). This actually sounds like pretty standard teen/parental interaction to me…

More and more parents are flocking to Facebook – with or without the consent of their kids. Continue Reading »

Facebook and General and social media and strategychris on 07 Oct 2008 12:55 pm

I don’t know how folks played basketball in these shoes…

That’s where corporate organizations are with digital tools and the interactive universe. They are running in Chucks. Not necessarily a bad thing – they look good – but as CNET’s Caroline McCarthy reported this week, half of these corporate efforts in social media will flop.

There are some key differences between the basketball players of the fifties and the “digital strategists” today — the players understood all aspects of the game and didn’t throw bricks…

Dialing-up to Digital

New media is no longer niche. You are no longer from another planet if you blog. In fact, most people in the district are now on Facebook or even Twitter. Not to mention that every Public Affairs firm in town is now offering blogging and new media services. In addition to those firms, many social media experts are marketing themselves online… Okay, so that guy with 4000 followers on twitter (who is good at personal branding) is going to lead your interactive public affairs strategy or your online marketing initiatives? Scary…

If you are looking to utilize digital tools as a part of your overall communications strategy, look for folks who have been on some campaigns or led some grassroots initiatives. In addition, look to hire professionals who know your industry and can get your organization beyond the “fad” of the day… You’ll score more than fashion points…

CTIA and Facebook and General and social media and Social NetworkingEmily on 12 Sep 2008 12:27 pm

This morning I attended 2 great keynote speeches here in San Francisco at CTIA. The first one was Jim Balsillie (Co-CEO, Research in Motion), followed by Shantanu Narayen (President and CEO, Adobe).

With regard to RIM’s presentation, BlackBerry is putting its money on real-time use of social technologies. As we know, in the diner, these technologies flourish through wireless. Mr. Balsillie demonstrated this by showing the utility of the new BlackBerry devices and how they can fuse all of your entertainment, music and social networks.

BlackBerry already integrates Flickr and Facebook. In addition to those social spaces, Mr. Balsillie also announced a recent deal with MySpace. This offers a tremendous opportunity for the MySpace community (currently 122 million users) and I expect the results to replicate Facebook’s mobile app success (already 2.5 million downloads in 1 year). On a related note, Mr. Balsillie sited the projected growth of mobile social networking as a staggering 1000%, leaping from 80 to 800 million users.

It will be interesting to see how users implement the constant access to social networks via wireless and how the social networks themselves adapt to their usage.

Disclosure – Blackberry is a client…

Facebook and General and social mediaEmily on 19 Aug 2008 02:15 pm

Michael Phelps is my hero.

After cheering him on for 8 gold medals in the Beijing Olympics, I feel entitled to a little something in return - his friendship on Facebook.  AND yes, we have a mutual Facebook friend, (actually a friend of a friend) so I think I might make the cut…

Unfortunately, I am one of several thousand desiring a brush with Olympic glory, in what Valleywag has termed “Phelpsmania.”

Phelps recently told Bob Costas of NBC that he has over 7,600 pending Facebook requests and will no longer accept new friends.

As of today, Phelps’s fan page has an astounding 1,012,704 members (at least his fan club accepted me!) and is the most popular exempting Barack Obama’s page (with 1.34 million followers). Additionally, there are 465 fan driven discussion boards covering a myriad of topics from Phelps’s ipod music preference to a transcription of an AIM chat with the Olympiad.

We millennials grew up being told that the world was our oyster and we could be anything. For those of us who fall short of Olympic aspirations, connecting with Michael Phelps is a little way of vicariously sharing some of his glory. I know Phelps would probably like to maintain some semblance of a private life and keep the usefulness of his Facebook page. However, that doesn’t bode well for my pending friend request!

In the absence of my own gold medal, I for one refuse to accept defeat. I think I will try to friend Nastia Liukin next.. I’ll keep you posted…

Facebook and General and Politics and social media and Social Networkingchris on 14 Jul 2008 12:12 pm

Senator Stevens, we love you in the diner.

For someone who has always seemed overly concerned about online social networks, I find it interesting that you are looking for “friends” onlineMySpace??

Once again, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think parents would be too excited to find their children (especially millenials) friending, sharing photos, videos, or participating in your online communities.

With your election on the horizon, I’m sure someone in your campaign thought this was a brilliant idea. You’ve seen others in the political space embrace social communications and reap the enormous benefits. However, for you sir, your efforts in this space lack passion and just ring hollow.

Facebook and General and social media and Social Networking and YouTubechris on 14 Nov 2007 04:30 pm

This afternoon I attended a forum held by the New Politics Institute on leveraging social networks and it was a great event.  As we know, social media is changing the way we communicate and this event honed in on its utility in the political and non-profit arenas. 

Simon Rosenberg (President & Founder, NDN) kicked off the event and expressed the importance of new media in communications.  I’ve known Simon for a long time and he is often on top of political shifts and technology transitions.  He spoke about the rapid advances of technology and how far campaigns have evolved from Howard Dean’s successful efforts online in 2004.  Simon believes campaigns need to utilize new tools and social networking is one of the “most undeveloped tools out there.”

Chris Kelly (Chief Privacy Officer, Facebook) stated ”politics has always been about social networks” and that leveraging connections on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube are unique ways to build communities.  He went on to mention 5 areas where social technology can play a role in politics.  Those areas are – branding, voter registration, fundraising, volunteering, and voter turnout.  For a full meal - checkout his paper on it.

Chris Kelly was asked by fellow lunch 2.0 DC member Peter Corbett about “what keeps him up at night.”  I followed up with Chris after the forum and asked him about dealing with Capitol Hill’s internet fears.  Specifically, the fact that many lawmakers are afraid of social networks and view it as a place for online predators.  Chris responded that by engaging facebook users who are active in politics that he is hopeful they will be Facebook’s advocates to push back on unnecessary regulations. 

Related ingredient – Friends of mobile diner are welcome to join me on Facebook.

Facebook and General and Google and Microsoft and social media and Social Networking and YouTubechris on 25 Oct 2007 08:32 am

Google has had all the right moves. 

YouTube, Grand Central, Feedburner, DoubleClick and most recently Jaiku (although I like Twitter better).  The company is positioning itself to be the internet advertising company and extend its dominance into mobile (internet) as that market matures.  However, if you can’t beat them – you might as well go get the next Google. 

Congrats to Microsoft for winning the deal with Facebook! 

What do YOU think about the deal? 

Related Housecleaning - we’ve done some other posts on Facebook but I need to update some tags…

CTIA and Facebook and General and social media and Social Networkingchris on 24 Oct 2007 11:07 am

About this recipe – this dish is especially cooked for DC Diners.. 

Great story in the National Journal (subscription – 10/06 edition) about all of the blogging activity occuring in the District of Communications.  The article covered legislation by Senator Durbin (Illinois) which was tailored with the help of the online community and it included some thoughts from some heavy hitters on K street about blogging.

We’ve talked about the great opportunity that blogging and other social networking tools can do for your business at the diner.  Sean Garrett over at the 463 has covered the DC policy blog beat as well.  On a related note, CTIA just launched their new blog at their IT & Entertainment show and Steve Largent seems to be a natural at blogging

In any case, there was some discussion by a few folks in the article about whether or not this form of new media is relevant and if it is worthwhile….  My $0.2 – this is not a fad.      

Start blogging!

Lawmakers, Lobbyists, Non-profits, (you name it) the time is now to join the conversation.  Lawmakers can actively engage with their constituents and it is a real time way to let folks know what they are actually doing on Capitol Hill (although some lawmakers may prefer not to let their constituents know what they are doing!). 

With regard to lobbyists, this could be interesting.  I would encourage those who are passionate about certain topics and issues to mind-share and put your thoughts out there.  You’ll learn a great deal and meet some very talented people along the way.  On that note, I have met so many awesome folks in new media and technology.

There’s more than just blogging!

Do a podcast or videoblog.  Start twittering or join facebook.  There is so much going on in social networking and it is all very valuable.  For instance, I have joined several wireless and new media focused groups on facebook. 

If you are afraid – join LinkedIn!

LinkedIn is a nice online resume and a chance to dip your feet in the water of social networking.  It allows you to look at who your contacts know and touch base with them (on designated interest areas).  LinkedIn now allows folks to add a picture and it also has a question/answer function.  I don’t think there is a great deal of utility on LinkedIn.  However,  it is a good way to start for folks.

Promotion – If you like this blog, please consider subscribing (via email – bottom right of menu) — its free! 

Dish Disclosure – CTIA – the Wireless Association is a client.

Facebook and General and social media and Social Networkingchris on 20 Aug 2007 02:57 pm

Congress is gone and DC is very quiet. However, social media and social networking continue to grow in the Nation’s Capitol.

LinkedIn is clearly catching on in Washington. I routinely like to cross-reference my Outlook with my contacts on LinkedIn – and then invite a few folks to Linkedin. In any case, more and more of my DC contacts are appearing on LinkedIn.

On a related note, there has been a great deal of discussion about the potential collision of LinkedIn with Facebook. Ashley discussed her take on it last month. I plan on providing my own assessment – since I recently joined Facebook – in the coming weeks.

In any case, I heard about Mario Sundar’s blog from our favorite community developer – Chris Brogan. I’m not sure if Facebook has someone like Mario but he is doing a great job of reaching out to folks on building community and discussing LinkedIn in other venues (not just his blog)…. Check it out!

Facebook and GeneralAshley on 13 Jul 2007 12:50 pm

There has been alot of talk recently about the convergence of social networks and professional networks. As both begin to meld into similar bodies with like functions that attract the same people, questions about to what degree they may overlap and eventually meld begin to arise.

Facebook started as an online yearbook for Ivy League college students, and has developed into one of the most expansive networks on the net, attracting high school students, college students, and professionals alike. LinkedIn similarly has a broad and mass appeal- linking both students and those new to the work force with established and experienced professionals. So to what degree do these networks overlap and serve similar purposes, and to what degree do they differ? Should they merge in order to provide more comprehensive and informative services? Or should they stay distinclty separate entities, even as they begin to serve the same audience?

Much of the answer to these questions lies in how social networking sites have already been used by school administrators and future employers- as a supplement to applications and resumes. Do what people post on social networking sites say more about them than what they put on their resumes? Undoubtedly. However, people portray themselves differently in person when with they are with their friends and when they are with their coworkers, and certainly do the same online. Obviously, people need to use discretion when publishing anything online, whether on a personal website, blog, or social network, as posted information can be easily accessed and in some cases used in disciplinary actions. But, criminal and explicit behavior aside, people want to be able to post and interact online in a personal and informal way that is different fron how they would act professionally.

Facebook’s privacy features may partially solve this problem were a merge to occur. Now, Facebook users can limit the information viewable to people that are not their friends or are not in their social networks. Facebook could also potentially develop seperate personal and professional profiles with restrictive viewing options. But if school administrators have already found their way around privacy protections, who is to say that future employers already in the network themselves really won’t be able to access more personal information?

The answer is this- Faceboook’s platform is usable and appealing, and has attracted millions of users in expanding demographics. But, as it begins to attract more diverse users, it should not forget its roots and the elements that made it so appealing to the 18-24 demographic to begin with.

Facebook and General and Social NetworkingAshley on 04 May 2007 01:53 pm

The Ontario government announced yesterday that it has banned facebook.com from government employees while at work. Apparently Premier McGuinty “doesn’t see how Facebook adds value to a workplace environment.”

Does facebook hinder work productivity? Maybe. Well, probably. Ok, yes. A quick peek at facebook just now has revealed that 15 of my hard working friends with full time positions are currently perusing the site (of course my visit was solely for research purposes).

But does that make it worthy of being banned by employers? There is no limit to the amount of content on the internet that could be viewed as potentially disruptive and time-consuming. So why single out facebook?

More importantly, social networking is increasingly being seen as a way to foster professional growth, both within a firm and without. It has begun to grow as a means of broadening professional networks, with sites like LinkedIn and Doostang becoming popular, and companies themselves are starting to employ social networking within their firms as a means of fostering communication amongst employees.

Obviously, it is easy to understand how a government official could overlook the value of sites like facebook. However, perhaps if he took note of the group “Dalton McGuinty is Handsome,” or the 535 member group “Stop McGuinty’s Cursade Against Facebook,” the site wouldn’t seem quite so inconsequential.