Tag Archives: Social Networking

My Reunion – Part One

Over the weekend I attended the 40th reunion of my high school class.  There were about 100 of us which represented about a quarter of the graduates.  A few folks came from very far away – Australia being the longest distance – although many of us still live within an hour’s drive to the town where we went to school.  We’ve had these before but this one was very different.  Over the course of today and tomorrow’s TunesDay post I’d like to point out a few things I noticed and which might be helpful to you from a business – and personal – perspective.

The biggest difference seemed to be Facebook.  10 years ago when we did this Facebook had not yet started.  There was social networking but it wasn’t really widespread and my generation is generally late to the tech game anyway.  Communication of the event came via email (to some) and snail mail (to most) and by word of mouth from classmate to classmate.  The planning wasn’t very collaborative – a committee did the planning with very little guidance from the rest of the class.

The event itself was fun.  While many people took photos, I’ve seen only a few of them over the years.  After all, they had to be developed and printed and either mailed or scanned for me to have seen them.  I spent much of the evening catching up – finding out about families and careers and sharing what I’d been doing.  It truly was a reunion – a reuniting of a group that had been separated.

Fast forward to last weekend.  Much of the planning was done via Facebook.  A small group began as invitation only and we all added classmates it grew rapidly.  Decisions were taken with input from the group.  Moreover, there was already a Class of ’73 group that was non-reunion specific (we’ve all had reminders to find people we went to school with on Facebook, I’m sure).  We could “friend” the group as well as the individuals within it.  What that meant was a few things.  First and foremost, the physical transformations most of us have gone through were less jarring since we’d seen them already.  It also took far less time to figure out who was whom (the trick by the way is to look into people’s eyes – they really don’t change that much and it call comes back to you).

I had the experience of shaking the hand of a guy I had not seen in person in 40 years – literally since graduation.  That said, we picked right up as if I’d just seen him last week – and I had.  We’ve been Facebook buddies for a couple of years.  I know about him, his family, and his business and I had that experience many times over the course of the evening.  Given the limited time of the evening, it was possible to speak with far more people in-depth since we didn’t need to spend time on catching up and making small talk.  I probably spent more time with the folks NOT on Facebook or who aren’t my “friends”.  Many people came up to me unsolicited to talk about what I’d been up to – they already knew quite a bit from the screed and LinkedIn and elsewhere.  It was very different!

Tomorrow I’ll talk about what this all means as well as add a few more thoughts.  Feel free to weigh in during the interim!

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Filed under Growing up, What's Going On

Facebook And Browsers

Anyone here still using Netscape Navigator to read the screed today?  Oh sure, you might be using one of its descendants but that browser is long gone.  What you just might be using is Internet Explorer, so let’s pause for a minute and think about some numbers.  Five years ago, in July of 2007, there was roughly an 80% chance that you would be accessing the web via that browser.  It had a dominant market share although a relative newcomer named Firefox was chipping away.  IE was buggy, full of security issues, and consumers hated it.  Of course 10 years prior, in July of 1997, one would have said the same about Netscape – it had 72% of the market then when IE declared war.  Today, IE has about 30% market share, about the same as Chrome.  Firefox is not far behind, and a few others make up the rest of the desktop web browser world.

I raise this today because of a few articles last week about Facebook.  Obviously it’s the dominant social network but it can’t seem to get any love.  Both pieces talked about customer dissatisfaction with the service.  Here is the first from MediaPost:

Facebook doesn’t seem to be particularly well-liked by its own users, according to the latest figures from the American Customer Satisfaction Index E-Business Report, which was produced in partnership with customer experience analytics firm ForeSee. Overall, Facebook scored a 61 out of 100 in terms of customer satisfaction — down 8 points from 69 last year. That’s a new record low for companies in the social media category.

Most interesting to me are the comments which demonstrate the dissatisfaction within the ad community as well.  Your users and your customers both unhappy isn’t the best situation.  The second piece from CNet adds another angle:

Now Google+, which has been dubbed by some as a ghost town, is gaining some traction with a higher customer satisfaction rating, according to the numbers released from the American Customer Satisfaction Index today. According to the new numbers, Facebook’s rating drops 8 percent to 61 on a 100-point scale, while Google+ makes its index debut with a 78, putting it in line with Wikipedia.

In other words, we’re only on Facebook because that’s where our friends and family are.  Sound like a browser you know?  Hard as it might be to imagine, Facebook is in a pretty precarious situation.  No, they’re not gong to implode, but history has a way of repeating itself.

What do you think?  How do you feel about Facebook lately?  Are you using other networks in lieu of it?

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Filed under digital media, Thinking Aloud

Flying Over The Forest

We were talking about using data on a call this morning and someone was trying to make a point that I thought you all might find of interest.  It’s the same sort of issue that arises when I talk to my clients about Twitter and web analytics – that of dealing with an overwhelming amount of information.  I’m sure you’ve had to deal with that if you work in digital or marketing or both.  What might be a little different is my advice about all that data:  ignore it. Continue reading

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Filed under Helpful Hints

Everything’s Different

I’m sure you pay attention to one sort of social stream or another.  Maybe it’s a Facebook news feed; maybe a list of friends or business contacts on Twitter.  I do, and what’s interesting to me is that often the age differences between some of the folks I follow come to the fore in a not very subtile way.  This happened the other day when the internet service went out in someone’s building and they wailed about not being able to get anything done.  I’m paraphrasing here but there was a shout out to us oldsters asking “how the hell did you get anything done without technology.”  Damn good question – thanks for asking. Continue reading

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Filed under Consulting, digital media, Reality checks

What Am I Doing Here?

Opening (inverted) and closing question marks ...

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I received a note from an old friend this morning.  He caught me up on the changes in his life (wouldn’t it be nice if someone you knew over 50 had some stability?) and said he was prompted to reach out by this blog.  Apparently he’s been reading me for a bit and felt as if he should acknowledge that.  Of course he didn’t really need to but it goes without saying I’m glad he did.  It also got me thinking about some of the reasons I do this.  No, I’m not going to repeat this post on my reasons for blogging.  But I do want to point out a couple of things that may help you to think through why you might want to give this a try or, if you’re currently writing a blog, areas of focus for your business blog. Continue reading

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Filed under Consulting, Thinking Aloud

Talking At People – Not With Them

This isn’t really going to come as a shock to anyone but it does make you ask yourself what happens to people when they go to work. there is a new study out this morning from 360i about how companies use Twitter and while their conclusions aren’t really a surprise, they’re a little disturbing. Continue reading

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Filed under Consulting, digital media

What A Maroon

A Hare Grows in Manhattan

I’m sure you’re all Bugs Bunny fans. When Bugs thought he had put a scam over on someone, inevitably he said “what a maroon”, his comic take on the word “moron.” Turns out many criminal share the same thinking as Bugs – we’re all maroons! Continue reading

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Filed under Thinking Aloud