Is This Future Shock?

musings on how technology is changing my business environment

Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Criticism of Facebook “friends” goes mainstream?

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It’s widely acknowledged that there’s an air of sniffyness amongst some people who claim not to understand Social Media, Facebook friending and so on, and have never had accounts.

There’s another group of people who leave Facebook because of privacy concerns, because they felt they had to maintain a persona, or because they feel it’s indulgent or whatever.

Back in July, I alluded to the Tantek Çelik‘s SXSW Rise of the Indie web session, where he suggested own your own content and federate/syndicate it through the FB/Twitter silos.

I’ve used  ThinkUp to track my Social Engagement, and capture posts and tweets, so I’m fairly sanguine as to what I share, and to whom.

The concerns are spreading way outside “the social media bubble” and I thought it was interesting to see the contrasting of online/”real” friends in a UK TV advert for tea.

Who do you friend, and what do you share?

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Written by SteveEllwood

November 5th, 2012 at 2:54 pm

How much email do you really get?

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Blue Glass on Sand

Someone was giving me their war stories about their personal email, and I wondered about mine. I have email coming in from 5 or 6 domains and a couple of gmail accounts. I handle it all through Google Apps For Your Domain, which does a very creditable job of icing SPAM for me. I did a quick check and in the last 30 day I received 1295 emails, no spam. Call it 40 a day.

The vast majority were notifications from Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn, or communications from suppliers I have a relationship with [usually tagged and filtered]. I got 16 from contacts in the Coastguard; 20 from a fraternal organisation; 25 as email output from a Yahoo Knowledge Management Group. The last three could all be handled via blogs/wiki/groups.

Personally addressed email to *me*? Only for me? I got… none.

My personal contacts come to me via Facebook; via Twitter; via Skype messaging, or by SMS. I guess in those terms I really am “Thinking Outside the Inbox” as Luis Suarez would say.

I only wish my work email was as simple 🙂 – about 20 a day, about half of which requires me to do something… and about 80% of that could be dealt with better. Will SharePoint 2010 help address that? I do hope so.

How much of your email is really personal to you?

Image Credit: Owen’s

Written by SteveEllwood

June 1st, 2011 at 12:07 pm

How much of you to share?

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masked man

Who is this masked man?

According to a work colleague, it probably should be me.

Why should you hide your identity?

To be honest, I’m not really sure. One of my colleagues said they’d like to separate their updates depending on the audience, their facebook feed being different to linkedin for example.

I was fine with that – after all, I use hashtags in Twitter to decide whether I send an update to Facebook(#fb), LinkedIn (#in) or Yammer (#yam) or none of them. Where I was puzzled was when another senior colleague said he thought most folk would probably choose to maintain different identities and say different things to different audiences.

I said

I talk differently to my wife, and about different things; my persona is authentic, which is important so that people can build trust…I’m friends/contacts with differing groups of folk [on] Twitter, FB, LinkedIn. All bleed into each other, so I need to be “real”.

What do you share?

I’m a moderately open sharer, and you can find links to my Twitter, Posterous and Friendfeed on the blog. I’m also on LinkedIn, Flickr, and you can see loads more on flavors.me. You’ll see different things on each of them, but you’ll find the same tone. I’m me, wherever I am.

I don’t share all my KM stuff on Facebook; it would bore my Coastguard friends rigid. I don’t tell people on Yammer about a recent shout where we went to a casualty on a beach; it might not interest them. I don’t usually “friend” work colleagues on Facebook, because they are different audiences; but some I do, and I’d look pretty odd if my tone wasn’t authentic.

How many identities do *you* have?

Sorry guys, I just have this one. What about you?

Image Credit: P!XELTREE

Written by SteveEllwood

October 26th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Sometimes, what you don’t know is surprising

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Scoble, Longhorn Evangelist
Image via Wikipedia

I’m still trying to find my way through what social media/”Web2.0” actually means to me.

I have accounts on lots of services, and use:
Twitter – a lot
Facebook – a bit
LinkedIn – a bit
I blog – a little

I glance at other services, share some photos on Flickr and follow a few folk on friendfeed. Prolific posters on any of the services, I tend to consume via RSS.

One of these is Robert Scoble, who is hugely well known – in certain circles – and has made a recent career about knowing things in this space.

I was staggered to see in his recent post Twitter’s platform shortcoming

… last week I learned that there are tons of followers who just follow you to get you to follow back

I thought everyone knew that. But then, there’s loads of stuff I don’t even know that I don’t know.

Why do *I* follow people?
I know you, you’re geographically close to me, I liked your blog post, someone I follow has @ replied with something of interest.

If you follow me, and you’re not immediately interesting, or your tweets are pushing links all the time… sorry, I won’t follow you.

I can’t remember ever knowing something before @scobleizer. I did this time.

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Written by SteveEllwood

August 10th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Thinking social media, ID and Facebook names

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Two face

Two face

Having seen all the furore about Facebook names, I got mine.

Originally, it is http://facebook.com/steveellwood.

However, you can also find it – and me – at http://steveellwood.com/facebook.

Similarly, I’m http://twitter.com/steveellwood – but you can find me at http://steveellwood.com/twitter.

What’s interesting – to me in any case –  is how I ended up with my “branded” pages.

I’d seen Paul Downey, @psd, make a comment about facebook names. I’d a while ago added Anil Dash, @anildash to my friendfeed list – to my shame, I’ll admit I’m still learning what I might do with Friendfeed, so I spotted the Facebook names post I blogged about the other day.

In the comments about that, I saw the approach Ross Rader (@rossrader) took, using the link to his domain.

I twittered about this, and a friend and colleague Rob Collingridge, @robcollingridge, took this up, and implemented it on his domain. I’m like “Wow, was that easy to do?”

Rob sticks up some instructions on his Facebook wall. Drat, my domain is hosted on wordpress.com. Maybe I need to selfhost. I’ll ask.

Another twitter friend, @akaSteve, encourages me, and kindly offers assistance. I already have hosting though, so a day later, my domain is moved, my blog is moved and upgraded – and I can point to Twitter and Facebook from my domain.

All because I saw something on Twitter.
Image Credit: larry&flo

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Written by SteveEllwood

June 15th, 2009 at 8:12 am

So, Facebook user names…

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I always liked Chris Brogan’s take on identity and personal brand
I got a real domain name for my blog.

Anil Dash has a lovely take on Facebook user names

Exclusive: The Future of Facebook Usernames – Anil Dash

None of these posts mention that you can also register a real domain name that you can own, instead of just having another URL on Facebook.

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Written by SteveEllwood

June 11th, 2009 at 7:39 am

Posted in Facebook

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The Foreign & Commonwealth Office – social media experts?

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I’ve just remotely attended a really interesting presentation in London [OK, I attended remotely], by Media Snackers who talked about engaging with the young, through social media and so on.

Couple of things:

The world’s changed, and it’s not turning back

used to be their strapline – but they’re now emphasising

cheaper, quicker, sexier

as what the social media stuff can do. Look at their site to see what they are about.
A couple of the points they raised struck me – the takeup of social media amongst the young is astonishing; they highlighted a Forrester report which segment the social media area into

  • Creators
  • Critics
  • Collectors
  • Joiners
  • Spectators
  • Inactives

and this is segmented by age – with the creatives and critics highly represented in 16-24, with spectators and inactives being preponderantly 50+ (like me!)

perhaps nothing too new for some of us – although there are scary figures about the change in media consumption, but something he said struck a chord. More or less:

… a lot of people seem to be getting into the space; I mean, look at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office – they’re a lot of suits, but they’re on Flickr, on YouTube, on Twitter, they blog… where are you? I mean, c’mon guys…

I thought, that can’t be right, can it?
Hmm…
So, I had a brief look, and found a Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and blog platform presence for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. It may not be exciting, but it looks like they do have a coherent social media strategy.

What are you doing?

If someone looks for you on Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter – what will they find? If they search for a blog presence or social media involvement – what will they see?

If you’re not taking part in the conversation… it will go right on. Without you.

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Written by SteveEllwood

February 5th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Will your social media engagement scale?

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gig audience

Do you listen to your customer?

We do … that’s what we all say. It’s what we all want to do. Sometimes, particularly in a big corporate, it gets to be a bit difficult to hear what they’re all shouting to you.

Sometimes, it might be “Thanks”; sometimes, “Can you do it tomorrow?”; it might even be “I want to complain”. We want to hear all of those. We want our customers to know we’ve heard them.

How do they talk to you

Ideally, how they want to. They can ring you, email you – hey, even write to you.

What if they use Twitter?

@SouthwestAir and @ComcastCares are examples where corporates engage with an audience – they look for who’s tweeting at them, and talk back to them or help them.

@stephenfry is an extreme example of an individual – some 63k people follow him and he follows back about 32k. He can’t hope to see everything that comes through [replies virtually every 5-10 seconds], but he does engage with his audience. [You can find me at @steveellwood, but I only have 203 followers – but I follow 234 people!]

What if they use Facebook

What groups are being set up around or about your brand? Are they positive? Are they YourFirmSucks? How are you going to deal with it? If you don’t, what’s the message you’re giving? Not saying anything, is making a statement – whether you mean it or not.

Should you engage with your customers via social media

If you start to, and more customers pile in, will it scale?
Chris Brogan (surprisingly enough @chrisbrogan) says in Are you Important to me?

No. No, it will not scale. You cannot … maintain a 1:1 relationship with every single person who interacts … I think the same is true of using these tools within an organization. Only, the beauty is this: inside an organization, you can spread the connections out a bit. Not everyone has to talk with Tony Hsieh at Zappos. They might want to, but they will find that there are plenty of other great folks there.

Ditto Comcast. Ditto Dell. Ditto every brand that’s trying to figure out these tools and this space.

It will not scale, but if you want the bottom line return on investment value, you’d best remember to remind people that they’re important to you. And that’s what these tools do best.

What are you doing to engage with your customers in social media? I’d be interested to hear.

Image Credit:svenwerk

Written by SteveEllwood

January 26th, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Even Demos says allow Facebook at work

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Facebook, Inc.

Image via Wikipedia

In an article on use of social networking sites reported on the BBC, a Demos report states that firms should allow the use of these sites at work.

“Banning Facebook and the like goes against the grain of how people want to interact. Often people are friends with colleagues through these networks and it is how some develop their relationships.”

When even the BBC and Demos are picking up issues @jobsworth was blogging about last year in Facebook and enfranchisement you figure this must be going mainstream.

Now, as long as companies can hold their nerve and not retreat into the comfort zones of “retrench/forbid/ban” – and revert to centralised command & control, maybe some of the innovation at the edges, and the contacts people build will help us get through the recession; if not, at least it will give their people some more human contact and stability in difficult times.

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Written by SteveEllwood

October 29th, 2008 at 9:08 am

How to use social media?

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jigsaw imageHow to deal with multiplicity?
I’m deeply puzzled – not that this is at all unusual.
There are lots of social media tools, and many of them link to each other. Like quite a lot of dabblers, I’ve ended up with a mish-mash of updates appearing in varied places. How best to use the wide variety of social media tools at my disposal? I’m coming to the conclusion I need to list and separate what I use – and how.

What do I use?
I’m trying a fair range of things. A fairly full list is below, sorted more or less in frequency of update.

Do I set my location?
Well, yes. Sort of. When I remember.
Largely I use microformats in twitter, as I indicated in Twitter – what it is, and how I use it.
I’ve also used Plazes.
I’m registered with FireEagle but no-one seems to be using that.

How do I update these?
On the web interfaces, often.
For twitter I’ve used and like both snitter and twhirl
For pownce, I’ve used a similar air client.
I’ve updated via voice on phone using Spinvox and by SMS to twitter. I’ve also used ping.fm both on the web and as a WAP client on my mobile.

Where are they aggregated/streamed?
Often, bits are currently fed one to another – meaning that twitter feeds to jaiku, which feeds to Facebook, which feeds to friendfeed – which is echoed back to Facebook. Which is cluttered, untidy, and very likely the sign of a grasshopper mind.

I currently have some life streaming services I’m playing with at the moment, friendfeed which though I like the interface doesn’t seem to pick up all that’s going on – and onaswarm which gives a nice feel for what’s happening in my area. I’ve also given soup.io a shot but I haven’t made my mind up about that yet.

Which way am I heading?
I think I’m going to bite the bullet and take out all the inter-tool updates, with the probable exception of twitterfeed which lets people know when I’ve blogged.

Then it’ll be twitter for quick “What I’m doing/thinking”; del.icio.us for those important bookmarks; tumblr for future blogging ideas or GTD Someday/Maybe, Facebook for contacts, flickr for photos.
I’ll – eventually – choose an aggregator, probably friendfeed as it seems to be gaining traction…

Maybe, then, people won’t see the same wibble in 4 places from me – and won’t that be an improvement?

What are you doing?
I’d like to find out what others are doing.
Are you more choosy than me?
Am I a grasshopper bouncing from one thing to another?

Please, let me know your solutions.

Partial Inspiration
This is also the first blog post I’ve tried following Chris Brogan’s guidelines to Writing Effective Blog Posts. How was it for you?

Picture Credit place light – on a a project –

Written by SteveEllwood

April 3rd, 2008 at 4:04 pm