Category Archives: Facebook

Weekly Round-Up 10/18/10


Social Media


Social Gaming



Quotable–tweet of the week:

“Old Spice campaign has jumped the horse. (vid)” via @danielstein

Weekly Round-Up 10/11/10

Weekly links round-up:


Expect a consistent flow of activity around this theme in the next month. To kick things off, enjoy this “easter-egg” hidden presentation from Google’s Marissa Mayer on “The Need for Speed” from a consumer satisfaction/reality perspective.


Qualcomm launches augmented reality SDK in beta form, ready to rock your Android devices



Social Media

Other News–Crowdsourcing

Weekly Round-Up 9/20/10

appnationApps/Mobile: Perhaps in honor of Drew Ianni’s successfully launching the AppNation Conference/Empire September 13-14 in San Francisco, it seems like most of the round-up is flavored with Mobile/Apps news, even in those that relate to Acquisitions, Apple and Facebook. Here are some App-related news inspired by the event:

Faux FB Phoney Facebook:


Social Media

Killer Apps:

Playdom enters the Magic Kingdom (part 2)

Last week Playdom’s acquisition by Disney closed. This week we spoke with Ben Chen, Head of Sales at Playdom, about SocialGaming’s mass adoption and future along with how brands can capitalize on the reallocation of consumer time in this space. To dimensionalize the opportunity briefly, with 45-minutes+ average engagement time, 100m US and UK players (over 200mm worldwide), and some early evidence that SocialGaming dynamics can change offline behaviors, this is a space marketers need to understand. Farmville, the first SocialGaming blockbuster, earns over 17.5 millon daily average users (DAUs)–only football, Obama interviews and a handful of other TV shows can garner that level of viewership–while delivering the kind of revenue that would put it on the top of Hollywood’s box office charts. To punctuate further, the 2010 Emmy’s earned 13.5 mm viewers and topped that week’s viewership charts. So think TV scale, Hollywood revenues and Gaming/Facebook levels of time and engagement.

Some additional data points:

Here’s our interview with Ben Chen of Playdom, the third largest app developer in Facebook:


What’s driving growth? Having a platform like Facebook with 500mm. Ben mentions the “K-factor” which is a graphing term applied by epidemiology to describe a viral effect.

Success rates in launching games? 60+%–with 2-years

Consumers are smart

Social City, 50 minutes average session, no drop off in levels of engagement until “level 29” with 3 million Daily Average Users (DAUs)

For consumers, it’s a commitment, so they want to see that the game will be there for the long haul and mandates respect for the consumer

How to respect the consumer?

  • What’s best for game and the user
  • Assets for game, additive a value-exchange for the user and brand
  • Playdom won’t short their user by popping up pre-rolls and banners to interrupt.

A Fresh Fish Story: Why Digital is Above The Line

Welcome to

Welcome to

Sssssssssssshhhhpopsssssssssssss. It’s the sound of flames licking butter and juices dripping from your lobster tail. You can almost feel the warmth of the wood fired grill and smell the wood-fired lobster tail looking through your monitor into Red Lobster. Can digital be as emotional and drive desire and reappraisal better than a TV spot? See for yourself. In this post I’ll point out some of the guided discoveries Red Lobster is earning through the digital channel.

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Don’t Freakout when Granny Friends You

Social Spectrum Visual

Social Spectrum Visual

Your privacy is in your control. In other words, you can worry a little less about who friends you and if you have “to quit them” or not.

I’ve had quite a few conversations with clients and friends that hail back to a previous post where I proposed a Social Spectrum.  The post was in reaction to technical shortcomings for filtering and creating dynamic privacy–the situational rules you create for “you on display”–on SocialNetworks. Better tools are emerging, but they remain largely hidden and “opt-in” by nature. You have to actively place rules on your media SocialMedia, but it can be done.

The premise behind the original post was that everyone enters SocialMedia from different perspectives and experiences, around a variety of media and interests, with different expectations and comfort-levels about revealing parts of themselves to others and, ultimately, to the search cloud.  There are cultural, gender and age divisions that inform how active and open you might be as you approach and develop SocialMedia competencies.

For the purpose of addressing my closest colleague’s concerns, I divided the range of SocialMedia into an axis for private and public as well as one for personal and professional. This spectrum has remained relevant as I’ve discussed SocialNetworking connections with new clients, partners and vendors at all levels of seniority in their organization. Here’s a recent paraphrased example:

Me: I realized after friending several people in the organization that not everyone’s comfortable with connecting on Facebook. Most prefer LinkedIn for professional connects.

Her: Yeah, you’re still sitting in my pending list. I’m expecting a lecture.

Me: The lecture is mine. I should ask if there’s an interest in connecting in the invitiation message. Go ahead and delete. We’ll find other ways to share that you’re more comfortable with.

Some senior-level newbies to SocialNets are concerned by the appearance of intimacy and access beyond what they would allow in real life (IRL). Some, fresh out of college, are used to friending quickly but think twice when a tagged photo hits their socialgraph from a college friend. They haven’t had to modulate between friends and colleagues before. Some opt-out, ignore or block access to their socialgraph risking professional embarrassment of a lesser nature. Redefining their Social Spectrum becomes an active effort.

For myself, I follow the same rules I would IRL: I have appropriate and clear boundaries. I don’t accept friends or associates that I wouldn’t run into IRL through one of my many interests. I block when someone or something becomes inappropriate as you would expect. 

Unlike IRL, I don’t have to listen to an overly chatty person (which some have accused me of being based on an active twitterstream, btw). The great news is that technology offers you the ability to filter content and even people. Twitter reader/management applications like TweetDeck and DestroyTwitter allow you to group the people you want to hear from most. Facebook has added a “like” link on each item that shows up in your SocialGraph which will eventually optimize people and topics you like to see most from you friends. And, with a little work, you can also tune your Facebook settings to hear the right signal-to-noise for anyone or thing. As Facebook connect becomes more widespread you’ll be able to take these same privacy settings with you out in the wild of the web.

Below is a great tutorial on the subject. Enjoy and let us know what else you use for filtering in the comments.

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Too Many In-Boxes

more mail less fun

"Something came whizzing down the kitchen chimney as he spoke and caught him sharply on the back of the head. Next moment, thirty or forty letters came pelting out of the fireplace like bullets. The Dursleys ducked, but Harry leapt into the air trying to catch one."

There’s a b-plan in your inboxes, or specifically in their consolidation and management, and the key may be SocialMedia.

I’m reading the first Harry Potter book to my kids at bedtime. Remember the scene where the letters wanted so badly to get to Harry that they came shooting through every open space in the house? It’s a good visual for the flood of information we have coming into our inbox, the contempt many have for it and the joy someone can experience getting just the right message created expressly for them.

Your home mailbox–the one that’s got your Netflix red envelope in it–is rarely bringing you anything personal except during special events/holidays. Your office inbox rarely empties of those declining rags still distributed in print in spite of  the economic realites. If your Outlook email inbox is like mine, it’s full of disappointments for lower-priority senders (sorry) whose bold-faced salutations remind me they have not been read. My phone buzzes to let me know a direct message arrived from Twitter. And the SMS/Message app has a lengthy inbox–at least these have been read. My Facebook mailbox, once an uncluttered, pure environment of friendly connections and smiles, now buries threaded conversations pages deep as the volume grows.

Sometimes I forget which inbox I received a message and it takes time to cycle through the services–email, txt, twitter, fb and a growing number of small, function or topic-specific socialnets–to discover and recover the interaction.

Armano Visualizes Social Filters

David Armano has content coming through the context of our crowds, not just an editor's selection process.

If email applications were transportation, we’d be driving off the road with intent. It’s a bad user experience made only slightly better by search. Not as dangerous as driving a poorly designed automobile, but hazardous to our health all the same. I’ve been reproached about my email management, as though it were my fault the tool didn’t work better.  “If I just put more effort and commitment,” the logic goes, “I could get my inbox to zero.”

To illustrate my point further, did someone have to show you how to use Google? The iPod album flipper? Even this blog platform from which we’re engaging is intuitive enough to execute frequent saves as I write the post so I don’t lose my content/flow if the browser decides to crash (which it did).

The first time I saw a Mac in 1984 I smiled–it got me out of command-line navigation and green type for something that looked intuitively like the real world. Same with the browser in 1993, iPhone and any number of other innovations that recognized me as a human with better things to do than to serve it. Each of these got us further from code and more into interaction. They blurred the lines between real world type, content and now physics.

I’m convinced a better solution is near. As Clay Shirky, author of “Here Comes Everybody,” says, “there is no such thing as information overload, there’s only filter failure.” I believe in the stronger filters. Already more robust algorythmic filters have gotten rid of much of my SPAM email. But there are also human filters to content: I follow hundreds of people on Twitter and friend even more in Facebook. In my twitterstream and socialgraph they’ve broken news more quickly than any other medium. My “crowd” also has better taste in selecting rore relevant articles in greater quantities for me than any issue of newspaper or trade can offer. This doesn’t completely solve the issues from “too many inboxes,” but it starts to prune the activity in my main channels.

The key may lie in initiatives we’ve heard announced and seen coming out of Yahoo! and Facebook lately, allowing SocialNets into their email platform and other “inboxes” to bring in SocialNets through their “Connect” program respectively. Built into their social platforms are features around what they call “Dynamic Privacy.” That means the system is aware or can become more aware about who you value more in your connections and how. With whom do you share or tag photos? To whom do you forward interesting content and do the click or pass it along? Is that a professional, university or family contact? Do you share common interests? These can become powerful enablers and filters in the context of the in-box.

Facebook, Yahoo, Google, MySpace and others have all announced and are rolling out some version of their “Connect” programs. Many in the Valley have talked about this as a “single-user login” benefit for the consumer and owning the login or attention currency equivalent of “wallet.” It’s like not having to get carded everywhere you go, nor populate more accounts. I believe the single-user login benefit is huge, and I think that it may also be secondary in the long run to helping clear inbox proliferation.

Note: quick word of caution navigating the waters of people-filtered inboxes. The other day I pinged a professional associate who quickly informed me that they weren’t available in Facebook for connecting professionally. You have to respect the boundaries of how people want to use their inboxes, when and with whom.

Will close with this letter for my most bloated inbox: 

Dear email inbox, I’m not trying to be difficult, but you really don’t get me. And I think it’s time we take a little break. We’ve tried it your way for many years with pretty much the same result, now it’s time we try it my way. As of today, I’m taking a break from you. I need some space to redefine our relationship. I’m packing up my closest peeps and taking them with me over to the socialnets; that’s where you can find me if you need something. I’m going to throw away all the news articles, press clippings and stuff you’ve got stashed everywhere, so round-up what you need quickly and store it somewhere safe. 

It’s been a blast. I mean literraly. Most marketers still call you their “email blast.” They carpet bomb inboxes on time with an interesting item at best or with the randomness and relevance of an unwanted advance at worse. You’ve been loyally shielding me from the worst offenders, but my crowd gets me better.

If it makes you feel better, it’s not about you. It’s all me. I mean, you haven’t changed a bit. But I have. I found better, more interesting and related things from my crowd. I’ve grown to trust them and they helped me realize how far we’ve grown apart. I hope we can stay friends or at least professional. We still have all the business affairs we need to deal with. I think with time you’ll find this was really the right decision for both of us. Maybe with time you’ll slim down some, get active and grow in new directions. That would be really interesting for both of us. Here’s looking at you, kid.

From the Twitterstream this week: “Filing a cease and desist… against my inbox.” Chris Sacca.

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Twitter Teaches Facebook How To Brand

Twitter alerts users to an emerging issue.

Twitter alerts users to an emerging issue.

This weekend a Phishing scam erupted around Facebook and Twitter. For those fortunate enough to have not been introduced, Phishing is the act of acquiring someone’s information by misrepresentation as a trusted entity. In this case people received email messages from their friends’ Twitter or Facebook accounts who had been duped by the scam, clicked to a site that looked like your Facebook or Twitter login page and entered their name and passwords. Then all their friends got direct-messaged and solicited and so on. If it got you, don’t feel too badly; even some of the most experienced get scammed sometimes.

Quickly Twitter engineers and operations teams responded to defend their service integrity and community. They also alerted their friends at Facebook about the scam. And they whipped up a quick blog postfor reference/search benefits. Then a new slug of text appeared between the Twitter enter form and a user’s Twitterstream: “HEY!If you get an email masquerading as a DM with a link, it could be Phishing.”

Did they have to go to these lengths for their community? These issues come and go so quickly most people wouldn’t notice. To this point, the message was gone a couple of hours later. And, think about what it takes to make a change on your corporate website. Now consider what it takes to change the User Interface of a webservices application. Nothing changes that doesn’t absolutely have to. So to answer the question above, Twitter clearly felt they needed to do something for their community and brand.

I thought it was interesting that the community was also helping out on Twitter–and therefore in Facebook for those that update their Facebook Status with Twitter–by warning others of the threat. In a way, Twitter can counter viral activity because its citizens wish to keep it pure. In a way, it’s the “diseconomy” or “deviralization” of a person or issue at work. There are those that believe Multi-Level Marketers can better exploit a platform like Twitter, but I disagree. The community will gang up against exploitive behavior faster than it can regenerate.

Protip: If you think something’s not right on Twitter you can also “Follow” @spam to direct-message them with suspicious activities or accounts. They’re great at removing the weeds and debris from their garden and rely on the crowd to help with vigilance.

How Facebook could have responded to Phishing scam.

How Facebook could have responded to Phishing scam.

Meanwhile, the silence at Facebook was telling. By my count and without altering their current message carriers Facebook could have warned its community in half a dozen intuitive ways. In its socialgraph, inbox, activity notification bar, status feeds, profile alerts and even in its ad space it could have notified users of the emerging issue. Instead, it acted more like a large, traditional institution that either can’t marshall the resources and authorizations to react in real-time or won’t as a matter of policy.

I’d say for this round, Twitter acted more like the Real Brand and served a good lesson in brand-as-service for its larger SocialMedia bretheren. Here’s a good link if you want to take your own precautions against Phish feeding, courtesy of Twitter.

Update: CNET’s Rafe Needleman reports that this Phish situation is ongoing. Seen many tweets requesting to be notified “if you get a DM from me.”

Update: Brittany Spears gets hacked on Twitter by the Physhing scam.

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Lessons from Book Quote’s Viral FB Meme


The Book Quote Game Goes Viral in Facebook

Virally speaking based on watching my own response along with others in my social graph, a clever little meme called the “Book Quote Game” is exploding over on Facebook. Over the weekend a quick challenge gambit  appeared in my Facebook socialgraph and I took it. I responded in to a friend’s post asking me to find a random but specifically-placed quote from “a book near me.”

What followed surprised me: within 12 hours 18 others added their quotes–more comments than my FB posts usually get; their socialgraph represents 3641 people and inspired another 23 comments. I didn’t crawl their comments to see the network effect in added reach, but if we use the averages based on mine, the echo would include another 9300 in reach. With an average friend duplication of 7.75% you still reach over 10,000 people per post in the first two generations of the meme. Because the active socialgraph/profile will bury this meme, it needs to reappear at different times, which it does as others replicate and comment. I expect to see this meme come back around many times in the coming months.

More surprising is that this isn’t even a Facebook application. It’s an activity that’s as catchy as an application but relies on The Groundswell to crawl all the SocialNetwork’s carriers to produce the Metacalfe effect. So, without any programming and low-production content you can create a viral campaign by following the best practices of The Book Quote Game.

I’ll give more evidence and details then see if there are best practices that can be applied for Marketers. Please add your reactions below in the comments area as well. Continue reading

Ben and Jerry’s Killer Facebook Ad Integration

Facebook Election '08 Application/PageCheck out this page. It’s content right? This is the Election ’08 page on Facebook.

It’s got your voting booth location mash-up powered by Google Maps, some info graphics and even a gift/badge for you to wear your colors–Red or Blue. It showed volumes in real-time as people clicked the “I voted” link on their Facebook profile page after visiting the polls. I tweeted about the page in the morning of election day when 1.1 million people had already been counted and watched the numbers swell each hour until the polls closed. Nearly 5.5 million acted making it one of the highest daily-use apps to date (think about how few YouTube videos get that much play in a single day, let alone month for comparison).

The genius is in the Ben & Jerry’s map/application integration. This is content, but it’s also a delivery mechanism for the advertising sponsorship by Ben & Jerry. Simple. Natural (as in additive and not interruptive). Brilliant.

In this case you were able to find the local Ben & Jerry’s store to get the free icecream cone they were offering for those that voted IRL and in the integrated link you could also send a “vote cone” virtual gift to your friends in Facebook.

For Ben & Jerry’s it’s a win across the board. The association is perfect for a brand that has in its roots social change and political activision. That future analysis will likely attribute SocialMedia and Facebook’s influence on 14mm new young voters heavily skewed to Obama as a determing factor in the race can’t hurt the brand. And the message was party-neutral regardless of the results. These are the kind of brand-fit filters every connection planner should find: Content, Context and mission.

As a campaign tracking mechanism, free cone redemptions will be an easy metric. Virtual gift talleys will also be telling as will traffic to the Election ’08 page. Without a doubt, Buzzmetrics and other influence trackers will be tallying total blog mentions and related viewership. And, I’d love to see the total impressions this campaign earned from the SocialGraph as well. We’ll reach out to Facebook, the brand and related agencies to see if we can get the numbers. And, if you’re related to the brand and know, feel free to share below.

Ben & Jerry’s won big on this campaign–even before all the numbers are in–by hitting the right tone of placement and pitch. I learned about new retail locations in a relevant way. I also didn’t feel like they were selling me. In fact, they were offering a number of value-exchanges I couldn’t get without them entering my social interactions on Facebook. Consider how different this is from the “Market Stall” approach of fast and casual food retail where the strategy based on ad spend (shout louder, sooner and with a better offer than your competitors) dominates their consumer communications. The Market Stall has 90%+ of ad spend concentrated on TV and traditional media in a cluttered, interruptive market place. Ben & Jerry’s essentially opened a new market away from the noise, clutter and lack of relevance of the traditional approach.

Every brand marketer should be asking themselves and their agencies: What’s our occasion(s) that should be so integrated with Facebook? And then buy the date to lock out your competition and outplay them.

Added: was reminded that I previously posted about Lee LeFever’s Common Craft show,  “SocialMedia in Plain English” and it was the metaphor told via Ice Cream retail. Fun conincidence. All our SM Answers Haz Ice Cream.


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