Nearline communication: Facebook intends to squash Synch & Asynchronous modes

16 11 2010

Facebook caters to 500 million people, so pleasing everyone is quite the task. Despite its astonishing growth, Facebook still has some impediments that limit its usefulness for many of us. It’s not an information network, it’s hardly a professional network and certainly not a viable email system/network. So how about making communication a continuum?

This week, Facebook made one of the most interesting moves in their recent history.

They announced features to empower user control of their ‘relevancy stream’. It’s no surprise that with the acquisition of FriendFeed last year that some of its core philosophy should finally appear.  While FriendFeed may have been too feature rich and catered only to power users, it still is/was a very powerful way for users to make their stream ultra-relevant to their lives and across their identities. Facebook’s recently announced changes now promise us a better focused feed stream. We could maybe, finally, potentially, use the platform to do more meaningful stuff.

Perhaps more importantly, regardless of the device we’re using, Facebook wants our conversations with people (or brands) to flow seamlessly throughout, based on user preferences. If you’re like me, Facebook rarely disseminates information important to your professional life. So I limit it to people that matter on a personal level. In this information age, it’s not who you know but what you know. Other platforms like Tweetdeck or Seesmic have allowed users to segregate streams by relevance using columns. Unfortunately, Facebook’s current ‘interestingness’ feature still makes users miss a bunch of important info.

Twitter, LinkedIn and other mail systems should rightfully question how they will respond. The ability for Facebook users to segregate their streams will certainly encroach (in theory) on the territory of these other platforms. Google’s failed attempts (Wave, Buzz) to re-engineer itself into a single interface across different information needs and identities show that it’s not easy. We ‘humans’ don’t change that easily. Once something works, we’ll stick with it till something far better comes along. Algorithmic platforms like Flipboard and have been helping us bring the signal to noise ratio down.  But for a network to stay relevant, it needs to bring that ratio down while increasing throughput or it will be outpaced by niche networks.

Some important consequences ensue:

If you’re boring or spammy, move over – If you’re facebooking too much about your lunches, you could find yourself more lonely… we may have finally found a spam solution.

Brands, it’s about to get tougher, which means you need to get real – A large number of fans could soon become fake fans if you’re not delivering VALUE to your followers.

Is it Facebook or Twitter? Perhaps a bit of both? – Facebook is trying to be more like Twitter since Twitter has been picking up much steam in the business world with a larger share of use among Fortune 500. Is this their answer?

So tell us, will you be using Facebook more for more things?

@YannR @Extanz

Turning brands into conversational hubs – See our services:

Got A Higher Purpose?

16 11 2008

I never thought I’d write as I do now, in this case,  in a blog. My work has revolved a lot around marketing and business development for hi-tech, software, internet startups and social media for  3 years now. Good things can happen. How do you feel about blogging, tweeting, writing your self and putting your status out there, or even Brightkite – ing yourself?

Yes, a huggggge shift has happened since the birth of RSS 2.0 in 2002. There are 250 million blogs out there, don’t tell me you still feel like it may be a waste of time? Your blog is the door step of your company. Welcome them, connect with your customers and industry. So how often should you blog? hmm well, how often do you like visitors? Do it often, be interesting…

I have heard countless times:

  • What is our business going to blog about? Is that worth the time?
  • Are you doing the narcissist thing?
  • Gee… what if somebody say something bad about us?

Do you ask yourself the same question when reading a good book? Probably not. Does the writer? Probably not. So what’s the difference? We’re all here to learn and feed our brains with good stuff. Are we nourished by the traditional corporate newsletter? Hmm, not really. By press releases?  Hmm, not really.  So why do you keep doing them?

We’re searching for the good stuff – Isn’t that what blogging should be about? Micro-blogging aka Twitter … is in the same boat. SO, here is the deal, your business is in an industry – You own the creation of content to customers, prospects, competitors, partners… You own the distribution, no more traditional media. But here’s the key…you need to position yourself as a thought leader and always blog about the higher purpose of your brand. The more you do it, the more your brand will be seen as a leader vs just a player.

It’s hard to do. I’ll give you that. Blogging about a higher purpose is not easy but when you open a book you expect that level of content and connection. What’s stopping your company (I would recommend external bloggers, us :)) from generating the same level of content you read in newspaper? Nothing. Your brand can create journalistic content and you can do it now.

Blogging about your brands’ higher purpose will engage and envelope customers in your brand. You will do well.

“Hey, what’s your higher purpose Yann”? I’ll speak for Extanz. We’re here to share our journey through social media. We take our clients and you through that journey and hope to share and shape forward thinking ideas, people, enterprises and action. We’re here to be extraordinary with you.



Thanks Laughing Squid and SteveGarfield for your cool pics.