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Wandering Thinker, Pondering Writer, Digital Marketer, Amateur Organic Farmer, Love Himalayas! Travel Blogs @ http://srinistuff.com , PBlog @http://srinistuff.in  IG/Snapchat srinistuff




January 29, 2013

Key components of any Social Media Newsletter or Digests


This is my answer to the question, What are the key components of any Social Media Newsletter or digest? On +Quora

I've  managed a newsletter / knowledge docket for the Social Media Agency. We created this docket for our clients and I'm sure many other agencies have something of that sort that is sent out weekly/fortnightly/monthly for their clients as primary target audience.

So will share some experiences as to what in my opinion could be a very good idea/structure to create a Social Media Newsletter for respective target audience as such.

So what is it that drives these newsletters? I'm sure every one now gets a lot of information with smartphone / tablet apps like Pulse, Flipboard, Zite, Reader, Pocket etc. So why the need for another newsletter in your inbox to clutter your mailbox? 


What really does matter to audiences on 'e-mail' per se? 

Answer: Same thing as would matter when they are exploring / reading various social media sites. Unique, insightful and interesting information. More importantly the connection that they would feel to become the 'informed' professional in Social Media space.

So here are a few key components that I'd think would make sense while creating a 'newsletter/digest' typically informing them of Social Media happenings / content / news and more importantly insights that matter to their brands, relationships and individual use.

1. Intelligent Curation 

Try to find out what interests your target audience. Curate content that will provide them insights, information and most importantly allow them to understand concepts and learning that will help them improve their work / profile or give insights on their business.

2. Appealing Design 

This is a fundamental that I always follow in any form of content promotion and marketing approach. You'll probably find me advocating this as one of the top two points in most of my talks / blogs about content marketing. First comes the design and then the content marketing. We constantly keep giving Steve Jobs's example and I'm sure we very well know why.

3. Must Read or Should Read? 

Same concept as to product development. Does your content and overall thoughts you are curating / preparing for your newsletter really resonate with your audience? Does it give an opportunity for

4. User Interface and Ease of Access 

Does your newsletter come across as easy to read in email or is it too complicated i.e. One that follows multiple processes or steps to actually end up going to various links OR One that can be read in your mail in say, 10 minutes tops. (Tools like Xydo Curation can be great help) If you don't want to redirect people, you can always send a pdf with links. That works for a lot of folks too.

5. Frequency of your newsletter/emailer 

A key to ensure that your newsletter doesn't just become another cog in the machine or another SPAM / MARK AS READ EMAIL. Does it make the user click that STAR / favorite if he's too busy to read then, or does it really get him to wait for every week/fortnight to get more content / insights.

6. Does it stand out 

What does your Newsletter give that others don't? Think of that and this question will answer itself. It's imperative that you stand out. By that it does not mean you just wear a pink shirt with a green pant in a crowd full of suits. It means that how much of value add it provides to your reader by being that exceptional.

7. How Social/ Intelligent is your content 

It need not always be something that is curated. One off posts in the newsletter could be an editorial format as well. But overall, are you just randomly curating links from popular posts/blogs which people might have read and is information that they are already privy to, or is it an insightful blog that provides new angles and shift in analysis of data / trends on Social Web.

Some of my inputs on what could be key components of any Social

Media Newsletter / Digest. Do you want to add a few more points to round it to a NICE TEN components? Would love to hear from you. 


Srinivas has been a communications professional for over 10 years, and has been blogging since 2005. He has worked with the likes of Social Wavelength, now Mirum India, (A JWT Group Company) for four years and now Heads Learning and Development & Analytics at Social Kinnect: A Digital Marketing Agency in Mumbai. His passion for Advertising, Creativity, Social & Digital Marketing helps make a difference for the brands they work with. 

January 28, 2013

Best ways to promote & run a successful Blog


This is an edited version of my answer to the question What are the best ways to promote and run a successful "Mom Blog"? on +Quora   

The Answer

I've been blogging for around 8 years with two blogs and I can share those experiences with you. 

I believe these experiences that I've encountered for almost a decade will pretty much help you to promote and run a successful blog for sure. 

Below mentioned are my two blogs

Travel Tales... - My travel blog
Srini's Stuff - My Personal Blog mainly focusing on Social Media and technology

Blogging originally was primarily to maintain web logs of your activities and used essentially by coders and designers who knew HTML and coding to keep a log of their activities on the web log in order to keep a diary of sorts about their activities. 

But we all know how that has witnessed a great change over the last decade and how the connection economy has flourished to such an extent that someone like a Seth Godin promotes runs and in fact maintains a daily blog without even having such a wide and active presence on Social Media. 

That's another fact that his streams jump in via widgets on his blog and that he's a famous author and a successful entrepreneur. But the crux of the matter here is that with a consistent approach towards ensuring your digital efforts is what makes it or breaks it to run a successful blog. 

Here are my pointers to ensure that your Blog works out well :) Rest is up to you on how you go about executing the 'plan' and 'strategy' to ensure this happens for sure. I'd like to break it down in Two Parts


Part 1 - Content Creation

1. Story Telling

One of the most important aspects of Blogging or for that matter any form of content creation in today's world is to ensure that your blog content has a short, sweet and a flow oriented story telling approach. That's the best way one can ensure you garner more readers. Have you watched Marley and Me? Confessions of a Shopaholic? Julie and Julia? Why do you think the readers related to the bloggers/writers well in those movies? Story telling was one primary reason.

2. Focus on Visuals

Visuals on your blog are the key elements. Everybody of course loves content, but if you add a bit of visuals on the side which make content consumption easier, then your job is half done. Also, your SEO, and indexing becomes a lot stronger if you add relevant tags to the images. I've had a spike of 1000 hits on one particular day only because of contextual tagging on one image that was No. 1 for that search on that particular day on Google.

3. Thought provoking/invoking

Does your content make your reader think? Does it give them an opportunity to relate to what you are saying? 

4. Formatting and Design

Now isn't that the most important element of whatever you do in life? Steve Jobs and Apple is the best example of this attribute. After all the best presentation always strikes a chord with the readers. Uncluttered designs resonate well with most audiences. 

5. Building a niche

Ensure that the content you create is strictly resonant with your specific target audience. Try to provide a unique form / unique content and unique way of creating and telling your story, one that other 'blogs don't focus on. Build on that niche. It's not important that many people read your blog, but many 'important people' read your blog and recommend it to many others. 

6. Be Consistent

Keep at it. Try focusing on a long term strategy and create architecture for your blog. Define your tone of voice, author profile and generally layer out how your blog should sound like. Try to tell stories as often as you can, but not so often that readers stop waiting for that next blog or lose interest in your blog. Also, it’s easier to be consistent if your blog is crisp, to the point and more importantly something that relates with the target audience. 

Part 2 - Content Promotion
1. Promotion isn't SPAMMING

If you understand this thumb rule, you'll be doing everyone around and yourself a big big favor. One of the most common mistakes that people do while taking this job on! They end up sending email invites to any lay person without understanding if he/she could actually relate to their blog or for that matter even care to read that content. Be smart; find the right audience, right forum, and right tools to reach out to your audience.
2. Converse with People

Very important aspect of promotion and marketing that people don't tend to pay much attention to. Before you converse though, one needs to listen! So listen to what people are talking about. i.e. look for conversations in forums, twitter, web and everywhere else. Once you get a conversation, and then engage with those users. Don't PROMOTE OR PLUG your blog immediately. Start conversing and IF IT FITS the context, and then subtly tell them about your blog.
3. Community Management
Create communities, empower people to join your groups and communities. Join other relevant communities on digital/social media. If there is an opportunity tie up/ partner with relevant brands, bloggers, influencers who can give you a wider platform to talk to new people and tell them about your 'Blog' Try finding relevant 'Blog' communities.
You can join communities on LinkedIn, Quora, Facebook, Web forums. You can also try sponsoring physical events

4. Active Social Presence

Ensure that your Blog has a Social Identity and an active social presence. This is quite a given and an age old technique. Agreed that you don't necessarily need to spread yourself too thin, but ensure that your blog is up on relevant social networks and that it'll give you more opportunity to manage assets and create more communities and grow your circle of social influence. Try Social Bookmarking as well. Using @Blogger for your blog is the best choice you've made, now flourish that with a further presence on Google+. Helps index your blog on Google searches to a certain extent. Also posting frequently on Google+ having conversations there would help you even more. :) 

5. Media Buying and Planning

Of course, once you've done with organic routes to be able to reach out, try various media buying tools; advertising options i.e. Facebook Advertising, Google Ad words and sites like Outbrain.com Outbrain is quite an interesting product in itself. It has a good reach and has great reviews for its greater reach and presence across bigger blogger networks in terms of contextual advertising. 

These are some of my inputs, hope they help. If anyone else has more insights, would love to hear from you guys. What say?

Cheers
@srinistuff

Srinivas has been a communications professional for over 10 years, and has been blogging since 2005. He has worked with the likes of Social Wavelength, now Mirum India, (A JWT Group Company) for four years and now Heads Learning and Development & Analytics at Social Kinnect: A Digital Marketing Agency in Mumbai. His passion for Advertising, Creativity, Social & Digital Marketing helps make a difference for the brands they work with. 

January 25, 2013

What's the best/unique way for Lead Generation through your website?



What could be better than providing an eBook? At least that's what most people are doing nowadays.. The How Tos, The Social Media Guides, The Guides to this or that... I'm not such a big advocate of this strategy, however there is an audience which seemingly falls bait for this kind of tactic and it does seem to work. In the longer run, people will realize that it is information which is just compiled off the internet and that same information can be easily available 

However I have some suggestions of my own to ensure that you create a good Lead generation aspect. Maybe unique, maybe something very simple and doable, but whatever it is, they are certainly tried and tested. 


1. Create Applications that drive engagement

In today's day and age, rather than the same old Content Marketing strategy a lot of consumers of the social web or the social era are beginning to be enticed by engagements. They like to interact and not just listen to broadcast messages. So create applications which will empower website owners to 'ask for ' not forcefully capture users data. Of course this means the user agrees himself/herself to share that data. And if the application has an engaging drive and interest, he may also recommend it to relevant users. That takes care of you word of mouth strategy and trying to make it spread faster than you can generally.


2. Create data trends or interesting patterns.

Yes I agree with what Tom Webster says 

"So much of what we see passing as studies, ‘research’ or anything in Mashable that says ‘study’ in brackets, is produced primarily for content marketing. Data that’s produced for the purposes of content marketing is inherently incurious. It is not designed to increase your insight, it is not designed to help your specific business to do better. It is designed to get you to click on a link, to watch a video, to become a lead somehow. So that doesn’t mean it’s wrong, that just means it’s heart is not the same place as your heart is.”

But at the same time if you are looking to generate leads then yes, this is the appropriate way. Only ensure that you give out the disclaimer stating something which affirms this fact and people know whether to actually spend time in looking at those trend patterns and if it is really relevant to them. They'd be your genuine leads.

3. Create Real Value even before they become leads

9 out of 10 times conversions of visitors to leads depends generally on how good the product or the service that you provide is. One of the most interesting ways to really add value even before they become leads is to give them a sneak preview of what your product or service can do? Show case something really interesting or an example of your past work that has worked out before. Heck use Social Tools on your website to get other people give testimonials (Facebook connect/badges) Facebook Recommendations or if it's a product integrate it into the Facebook's Store where if someone uses it on the web he / she will get a prompt to actually rate your product or application on Facebook. This way people will know that your product is really good. Demo these aspects through social integration.

There are a lot more ways that one can understand how leads can be generated through your website, but I'm all up for transparency, creating value through persistent efforts not only in just the content aspect but also making your website as social as possible. Use Social Web as a tool and make the people do the work for you and that won't happen unless you have a really good product or service. So work on that too. Once that's taken care of, everything else will fall in place. A clear six degrees of separation has worked wonders in the past.. So why not now?

Srinivas has been a communications professional for over 10 years, and has been blogging since 2005. He has worked with the likes of Social Wavelength, now Mirum India, (A JWT Group Company) for four years and now Heads Learning and Development & Analytics at Social Kinnect: A Digital Marketing Agency in Mumbai. His passion for Advertising, Creativity, Social & Digital Marketing helps make a difference for the brands they work with. 

January 24, 2013

Facebook Graph Search! Are we there yet?

The original Article was written by me on SocioFi Blog

                     

A lot of rounds happening last week when Facebook announced its graph search. Many of you might have tried this feature, or signed up for it and some of you might have already got the feature. As Facebook slowly rolls out this feature and much anticipated news that has already flown out there about how this feature is going to revolutionize the search business especially using the open graph and social graph aspect of Social networking in order to ensure that Facebook stays true to its mission of making the world more open and connected. So how much of that is really true or how much of that will really be successful?

First things first. A lot of people are making statements and stating that Facebook search / open graph search is going to be quite a competition to Google! Well, come to think of it, it’s not. While the realm of this search is completely different and if you look at the aspect of this search it boils down to the existing 1 billion ‘users’ that are on Facebook. It isn’t as open as you may think it to be, furthermore it goes only through the social graph. In few examples Bing searches / results might come into play but don’t know how much though.


Facebook’s goal also and the model is for its people to stay on site, while Google primarily offers people to leave the site with result waiting elsewhere. And a lot of Facebook Graph Search ‘fans’ if we may call them are overhyping its capabilities. Many tech websites and media have understood or rather I’d say misunderstood FGS to be something like a real ‘search-engine’, where Facebook’s open graph allows improving their searching capabilities, and then finally finding some information on Facebook itself. If that was the case, why not just improve their partnership with Bing? Or integrate that in Facebook itself? Certainly FGS is a way where they have an ability to tap into their resources on their existing ‘data points’ i.e. ‘users’ and help advertisers search / use advertising better for their brands. One step ahead of the game! Maybe, Maybe not… All depends on how users perceive this and how they modify their existing profiles accordingly.

Now that we’ve got that aside, a quick look at what Facebook graph search is all about

Facebook says this about how they ensure that they make the world more open and connected:

“The main way we do this is by giving people the tools to map out their relationships with the people and things they care about. We call this map the graph. It’s big and constantly expanding with new people, content and connections. There are already more than a billion people, more than 240 billion photos and more than a trillion connections.”

So what do we really have to perceive of this?


This is what Facebook says,


“Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. When you search for something, that search not only determines the set of results you get, but also serves as a title for the page. You can edit the title – and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook.”



Well, we all know that Facebook is in the business of gathering data about their users to be able to target ads better and sells ad-slots at higher prices unlike Google where it infamously thrives on data about the web itself and analyzing that data in order to make people come back to their website because these people find what they want to find. In general, you see, Facebook and Google have different business models even though they seem to be the same at the first look. That’s why Facebook will never try to build a comparable search-engine like the one Google operates.

All in all, Facebook Graph Search, is what it is.. And let’s accept it for the product it is rather than comparing it with Google! Another aspect of it is that, their competition models also in this case are different, so are their visions and goals. What do you think?

Srinivas has been a communications professional for over 10 years, and has been blogging since 2005. He has worked with the likes of Social Wavelength, now Mirum India, (A JWT Group Company) for four years and now Heads Learning and Development & Analytics at Social Kinnect: A Digital Marketing Agency in Mumbai. His passion for Advertising, Creativity, Social & Digital Marketing helps make a difference for the brands they work with. 

How much 'Social' is 'Too Much Social'?

Ever had that thought of disconnecting yourself from the Social Media world? I have... I'm sure you have too... But why? 

Ever thought of this aspect as a consumer of products and ever sprouting social networks or communications via brands as to how much of this new age communication and social media frenzy is too much for you? Does it affect you or are you part of another revolutionary system that sublimally slides in and becomes another layer of your life? Is Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Wordpress and what not just another layer in our day to day interaction with friends or family?

A funny interaction I just had today with a cousin of mine. He said that he was looking for a weekend destination for the long weekend coming up ahead and said that he was looking up stuff on Google and got directed to my travel blog srinistuff.com about that destination and he thought of calling me up and asking me about that destination. 

Funny why? Cause if it was a decade ago, the first thing one would do is of course rely on the World Wide Web and various other websites. Now thanks to Google and Social Plugins / Social Extensions made available by  +Google+  user generated content becomes rather more viable option.

Now come to think of it, he knows I extensively travel and he could have just picked up the phone and called me. But his first instinct was to Google / look for information on the 'Social Web' as we know it... And of course after that, the 'User generated review' played a lot more importance as he felt the peer connection right there. 

What is peculiar though in this entire process is how bit by bit, we are becoming somehow completely part of this circle, a circle which recently 'Facebook Social Graph' is going to exploit and make every bit of data, every bit of Likes, Every places you checked into, every location you tagged on the map, every photo you took and uploaded, every bit of information that they have about the 1 billion consumers or even more accessible on this phenomenon called Facebook Graph Search (FGS)...

While we wait for that to implement, I think of how easy 'search' was back then...  As a traveler, just pick up the map, locate and explore!!! But now, ahh we all have Social to look forward too.. Ain't it?

Srinivas has been a communications professional for over 10 years, and has been blogging since 2005. He has worked with the likes of Social Wavelength, now Mirum India, (A JWT Group Company) for four years and now Heads Learning and Development & Analytics at Social Kinnect: A Digital Marketing Agency in Mumbai. His passion for Advertising, Creativity, Social & Digital Marketing helps make a difference for the brands they work with. 

January 19, 2013

On Facebook! To be or not to be?

The original Article was written by me on Social Samosa

So I found this question on Quora:

What are good reasons for not maintaining a Facebook presence?
I’m a big fan of Quora and love answering questions there. However, I decided to write this answer and put it up as a blog post for the benefit of those who aren’t on Quora as yet. So, here goes:
Fundamentally, it’s a very good question to ask yourself, and users have probably been asking themselves this question from time to time. There are many reasons why one chooses to be ‘off’ Facebook and extensively declare a war against maintaining a ‘social presence on the web’… The ones I can list are:
  1. Because my family is on Facebook and I don’t want to share content with them.
  2. Because it’s not ‘safe’ considering the many security and safety violations.
  3. Because I am not your ‘social’ guy/girl and I don’t need to share what I eat, where I go, what I read with everyone.
  4. Because Facebook is the next Friendster is the next Orkut is the next MySpace is the next Hi5 is the next Yahoo Chat Room, so on and so forth… (Not in the particular order of evolution)
  5. Because I keep getting weird requests from people whom I barely know…
If you ask me, at the core of it, these are among the reasons why many should choose to stay off Facebook and maybe, just maybe… someday I will as well.
(This is me wearing the hat of a Social Media user borrowing insights from the Social Media Marketer in me…) 

1. Privacy According to Facebook’s Terms of Service

This is an age old fact, made stronger by the current release of ‘No more user voting required for Privacy changes policy.’ So we all knew, Facebook’s Terms Of Service clearly mention that they own your data (section 2.1) and if you don’t keep it up to date and accurate (section 4.6), they can terminate your account (section 14).
Okay, so this is helpful in determining fake profiles, marketers, spamsters etc. We get it, but the underlying message and its implications are quite beyond just that. Right?
If and when they choose, they can decide to become the ‘Big Brother’ themselves; the Black Suited Corporate head honchos that represented IBM back in the day. Remember the Apple ad by Steve Jobs? The one with a girl hurling the hammer at the screen? Yes, no matter if Mr. Mark Zuckerberg wears a hood to portray his cool quotient; he’s most definitely headed in that direction. See the pattern there?
One could say that our friend Mr. Mark Zuckerberg is just protecting Facebook’s interests and probably its users too, but look at it this way, What about how this practice is enforced and how are we looking at it in context of its other activities (Let’s say advertising services to begin with.) This argument is still quite weak isn’t it?
So if it were up to me as a user I won’t give them a benefit of the doubt, we all know that we are the product and not the customer. Right?
Despite the recent ‘show’ of encouraging users to vote on whether they should get the rights to vote on changes in terms of privacy, Facebook made it clear that they really didn’t give a damn about the feature in the first place.
That they didn’t promote enough for people to know in the first place was good enough to realize that. Now by doing this show of transparency, all they ended up doing was create confusion and chaos amongst users, so much so that people created a weird spread of Privacy Note hoaxes that they shared as status updates.
Such is the ignorance of ‘users’ / ‘customers’ which again reinstates my belief in the fact that we are the ‘product’ who keep getting tossed and turned in a pan to be served to advertisers as their favorite dish. Just another target demographic, a number and probably just another figure in their reports. What say?

2. It’s a ‘Time Sink’ for sure…

It’s certainly the ‘Black Hole‘. How many of you have heard people say that! It definitely is addictive. As read in Eric Reiss’s “Lean Startup”
“In 2004 three college sophomores arrived in the silicon valley with their fledgling college social network live on a handful of college campuses. It was not a market leading social network or even the first social network; other companies had launched better networks with more features.
With 150,000 registered users it made very little revenue. That summer it got $500,000 in venture capital and less than a year later they raised an additional 12.7 million dollars. Many things about it are remarkable. But I’d like to focus on only one.
How Facebook was able to raise so much money when it’s actual usage was so small.
By all accounts what impressed investors the most were two facts about FB’s early growth. The first fact was the raw amount of time Facebook’s active users spent on the time More than half of the users came back to the site every single day.
Cut to 2012, the growth and value hypotheses in general still holds true.
  • More than 1/7th of the world’s population use Facebook.
  • 1 in 5 minutes online are spent on Social Networking sites with Facebook leading the pack.
  • Facebook, now reaches 82% of the world’s internet-using population
  • 55% on Online world’s online population uses Facebook as of October 2012.
  • In India alone Facebook has a 83.4% reach with over 50.9 million visitors being online
With around a billion users spending that much time on this social networking site, you know now what it holds in store for future users, investors, advertisers now that it also has become public.
I mean if you want to, there are individually many other portals and many other tools as such that can be useful, knowledge gaining and most importantly something that won’t really dig you in and suck you in like Facebook does, to the core of blatant raw uselessness per se, except maybe some updates about your friends and some interesting brands or people you subscribe to.
So much so, that you start liking random ads by advertisers because you are so into it and are waiting for your news feed to refresh itself that you don’t want to leave the portal and you take a dig at these inbuilt features without having to go anywhere else and keep yourself engaged and occupied.
With the Facebook’s logout ads, that aspect and that bondage to users with their advertisers is so apparent that you’ll end up just liking that brand as it’s targeted to you without second thoughts even.
Another reason why I am more active nowadays on Quora; consume content off Twitter & even Google+. While Quora is as much as a time sink as Facebook, even more for me, it results in increasing my knowledge quotient and overall awareness of the world, much like what Wikipedia does.
Only sharing that I do is probably, some random travel related photos, stories, notes of some write-ups of mine or something to do with my brands that I work for. Again, want to reconsider this soon in the future as a user. But the marketer in me is the devil’s advocate vouching to post on Facebook, when it comes to that aspect… See what I’m trying to say?
Try going back to the original web for once… Many blogs, many portals and many other interesting communitiesout there will be twice as much as valuable as anything on Facebook.
Try podcasts, audio books, and various blogs of your area of interest niche or for fun. There are many such portals that you’ll find interesting. Funny memes that most of the times get shared are originally from there.
You see what I mean? With the Like button and social sharing integrated everywhere out there, we have all become hostages and as a user while as much as I’d like to refrain from it, I end up doing the same for the benefit of my Facebook friends! Sigh…

3. Users are just data points, (Read: Bait and Switch), Open Graph, this, that and more… 

While Facebook is telling developers how to access your data with new APIs, it is relatively quiet about explaining the implications of that to users. What this amounts to is a bait and switch. Facebook gets you to share information that you might not otherwise share and then they make it publicly available.
Since they are in the business of making money information about users for advertising purposes, this amounts to tricking their users into giving advertisers information about themselves. (Of course we all know that, and as marketers we argue that there are privacy settings, opt-out options and much more that Facebook allows for as an option) pretty much like reading the fine print in an agreement before buying a product. But of course, we know that as marketers, but many users won’t and hence the point in question.
Hence Facebook is much worse than Twitter in this aspect: Twitter has made only the simplest (and thus, more credible) privacy claims and their customers know up front that all their tweets are public. It’s also why the FTC is getting involved, and people are suing them (and winning). Sad story that…
Our data is most definitely shared with applications that we install which means now you’re not only trusting Facebook, but the application developers too, many of whom may not bother about keeping the data secure. (Not that you share credit card info or extremely sensitive information on Facebook, but still it might bother some users, and hence falls in the ‘reasons to quit Facebook.’ )
Essentially all data of yours must be effectively considered public, unless you simply never use any Facebook applications at all. Add OpenGraph API to it you are not just falling into hands of Facebook, but the Facebook ecosystem as a whole.
The ‘so-called’ Open Graph API is a clincher. Kudos to guys at Facebook for coming up with such an amazing name to actually disguise it’s closed nature. All of us marketers pitch in and make it easier than ever to help Facebook collect more data about users. Most consumers will have no clue that this data is essentially public.
To come full circle Facebook claim to own this data and are aiming to be the one source for accessing it. What an irony hah? And they call it ‘open graph.’ From that front when it comes to the concept of making things proprietary, I’d respect Apple and Steve Jobs more, despite being the open source / open web guy that I am by nature. At least he is up front about it…
In this case you can’t use this feature unless you’re on Facebook. A truly open implementation would work with whichever social network / social web platform we chose. Similarly, they implement just enough of OpenID to claim they support it, while aggressively promoting a proprietary alternative, Facebook Connect.
No wonder Microsoft’s Bill Gates was one of the early investors in Facebook. Microsoft supports the Linux community! (See the pattern?)
While a lot of these things I’ve mentioned in the blog have been written as a user of Facebook I know and I haven’t taken many efforts to actually think beyond just being a mere user, up until now… Most of us already know these facts and have stated it I’m sure, it’s just a reiteration of it was something I wanted to pen down in my thoughts.
Do read my personal disclaimer note at the end of the blog before coming to conclusions about the entire article to get an understanding of the perspective of why I wrote this article!
Do let me know what your views are and I’d be happy to hear from you especially if your thoughts contradict mine?
Personal Disclaimer Note:
I’m in the business of Social Media. I advocate and evangelize use of Social Web freely and strongly oppose the curb of freedom of the use of these or any other form / medium of expression.
Being a Social Media Marketer per se I understand the nuances of how some of these very reasons could be beneficial to us marketers. I’m sure this blog post wouldn’t do any disservice as such to Facebook or to my fellow marketers and I know for sure that not many users will end up quitting Facebook after reading my blog. ;)
So the reasons I have stated are that of a user of Facebook than a marketer (but obvious). At the same time, being a marketer I’ve learnt it’s imperative for brands and agencies to realize that ‘Customers aren’t merely products’ they are your real friends who’ll eventually make it or beak it for your brand.
So don’t give them truthiness and give them the truth instead. I’m an open web guy as well in general, and don’t mind sharing my personal work in various social networks such as Facebook, as long as it helps the community and users all over.
In essence, I believe that I’m a user first and a marketer later! This blog post is of a fundamental level and my personal opinion as well as a quest to answer some questions I’ve pondered upon in my journey in this field so far. It doesn’t endorse views of my current company or this blog portal.

Srinivas has been a communications professional for over 10 years, and has been blogging since 2005. He has worked with the likes of Social Wavelength, now Mirum India, (A JWT Group Company) for four years and now Heads Learning and Development & Analytics at Social Kinnect: A Digital Marketing Agency in Mumbai. His passion for Advertising, Creativity, Social & Digital Marketing helps make a difference for the brands they work with.