Tag: facebook (page 1 of 1)

We need to talk about the social graph

First published to the AKASHA blog.

Who doesn’t love a good concept?! Concepts are the fundamental building blocks of thinking, of designing. While there are plenty of things in the mix when it comes to contemplating system design, if the primary concepts remain unchallenged and unchanged from what came before, then the outcome will likely look very familiar. If you want system change, start with changing the paradigm — the system of concepts and patterns that form the worldview.

By way of a quick example, if the economy of your new system picks up on the concepts collectively known as capitalism — e.g. private ownership, capital accumulation, scarcity — then perhaps it should not be a huge surprise when your new system turns out to be capitalist too. New code. Same concepts. Familiar outcome.

Technological decentralization isn’t magic dust. Merely decentralizing the technical structures or components manifesting a concept is no guarantee of different outcomes; technological decentralizing doesn’t even guarantee decentralization.

So with that said, this post is about a concept known as “the social graph”.

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The Twitter / Blackberry / Facebook Riots

The hot topic of the week has been covered extensively on The Conversation and the mainstream media... the English riots. This Roundup aims to reconcile two polarised camps debating the role of social and mobile media.

First up, a statement from the Prime Minister in the House of Commons yesterday: "... we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality." Conversationalist Mark Pack asks whether it is simply a question of politicians and pundits always trying to ban technologies they don't use.

I think the question has been poorly phrased when it takes the form... Were these riots caused by Twitter / Blackberry messenger / Facebook? No of course they weren't. Riots long preceded the rise of such media. But what if the question was rephrased... How was the character of these riots altered by the availability of such media?

The primary message coming out of The Conversation this week (see below) is that you can't blame social media or society's enthusiastic adoption of it. Yet this belies or at least underplays its influence in my opinion. I would never resort to such tabloid misrepresentation as when the Daily Mail labels one photograph of a London bus ablaze "Twitter riot", but equally it appears that mobile and social media were prominent over other media and forms of communication in organising the riots. Read more

One Web. Many social networks. Facebook’s Achille’s heel.

Facebook will die.

When it comes to asserting my regard for Facebook's prospects I feel a bit like the guys over at housepricecrash.co.uk. This website was set up by friends with a mutual interest in the UK property market in 2003 and, as the name of the site subtly betrays, they predicted a bit of a tumble in house prices. And of course they were proved right. Eventually!

But social networks aren't subject to the same dynamics as the 'irrational exuberance' that fueled the house price climb to an all-time high. In the arena of social networks it comes down to a mix of 'softer' issues, such as the simple push and pull of fashion, and 'harder' issues, such as the underlying technological construct of a social network.

Economics can take a role, most obviously at play with the so-called 'network effect' eBay concreted in many markets, and in their ceding some markets to Yahoo! for example where Yahoo! secured that market's network effect first. But that's more ecommerce than social networking. Read more

Friday Roundup – Facebook usernames

Well, we know what the big news is this week! The corresponding blog post has attracted over 68,000 comments at the time of writing... which is quite a lot.

Is it about the economy? No. Saving the planet? No. A remake of Barbarella? Not even.

No, the big news this week is Facebook usernames... get yours before someone else with the same name does. The feature goes live 12.01am tomorrow EDT.

And what better reading material to keep yourself alert this evening as you wait for the minute hand to tick round than today's Friday Roundup selection. Read more

There is no such thing as a Twitter Strategy but you should have clear expectations for your corporate Twitter profile


I'm amazed at the frequency with which I come across people discussing their Twitter Strategy, or their Facebook Strategy. Contrast this with offline terminology... we never talk about a Press Release Strategy or a Features Tracking Strategy.

Twitter and Facebook et al are one of many channels or platforms through which we wish to engage stakeholders in conversation. The strategy, then, is the plan we set ourselves for our use of social media to achieve our business objectives.

The strategy is constructed to meet our objectives and is informed by deep insight into best practice application of social media.

The strategy sets out the framework for our current and future adoption of social Web channels, platforms, services and gizmos. It helps us work out which of these to adopt and how they might work together. It describes the over-arching ethos and policies for social media use, organisation-wide, and clearly articulates how success is to be gauged, month in and month out.

There is no such thing as Twitter Strategy, and if you think there is then you are Twittering for Twitter's sake and not for business success. Read more

Does Facebook Matter? Find out in the second edition of Marketing To The Social Web

Larry Weber releases the 2nd edition of Marketing to the Social Web today. After the first edition sold out, the publisher (Wiley) asked my chairman to update the book for a second run.

With a foreword by Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, the second edition includes new chapters on Facebook (entitled “Does Facebook Matter?”... he believes it does and moreover will surpass Google), measurement and marketing to mobile social media.

2007 – The Year of Social Networking

It's December. Time for pseudo-snow to uphold the pretence of a white Christmas. Time for Christmas pop songs to replenish the coffers of faded pop idols. And, of course, time for reflections on the year.

The biggest trends in marketing communications in 2007 were without a doubt the rise and rise of social networks, and the associated dominance of video content – professional and user-generated. Not a theme ignored on MarCom Professional I can see.

This has been a subject close to our hearts since we ran the first blog training course for our clients in 2001 and introduced them to conversational PR not long after. That was the term we used then, but now we talk about the brand as the sum of the quality of its dialogue with its stakeholders, and our Chairman Larry Weber decided, rightly, that 2007 was the year the mass market wanted to read more about it. Read more