April 8, 2011

Today I happened across Facebook’s Open Compute project, coincidentally the same day they made the project public – ah, the joys of the Internet, and real time news – and it reverberated inside of me like reading Macbeth does to Shakespeareans, or a Classical Music buff listening to Bach.

This here is how modern companies should be focusing on not only sharing ideas with customers, but listening from them, taking their worthwhile suggestions, and implementing them, and becoming the proverbial pane of glass.Pane of Glass

Today’s society expects, and demands such transparency. I am sure that more traditional business managers and owners would frown on such an approach, “we have developed this leading technology, we want to keep it proprietary”. Really? And loose the advantage of utilizing your greatest source of innovation (your customers) to help you steer your business to where it can improve upon?

Not only is the Open Compute project such a boon from a PR perspective, a great “give back” to the Social Media community, it is a genuinely wonderful way to spur on further development, Jonathan Heiliger even says in their intro video that he wants their ideas to be torn apart by customers, tell them where they are doing things wrong so they can improve them further. What an honest way to approach a project “I haven’t made this perfect, tell me where I can do better” – I hope he can be rewarded by some of the responses.

This act by Facebook really shows to me that they “get” Social Media – I know that sounds ironic, many would argue that they are Social Media, but in my mind they haven’t had the best background in understanding that users are your commodity, and focusing your company towards that – through unannounced (and unwanted) UI changes, a CEO that at times has presented himself in a manner that doesn’t always portray the image as being personable (although I am sure he is), and the genuine lack of community that Facebook can create, a place of centered expression, and not communal extension.


The Internet is one global community, we all need to participate in it, help ourselves and each other grow, and often by “giving back”, we can gain a whole lot more.

Doing is the new talking.

August 29, 2010

With the burgeoning communication revolution brought upon by social media, how can one still maintain a positive public image? There are countless review sites, blogs, forums and numerous other forms of on-line communication whereby your businesses reputation can hang in the balance of an over opinionated 13 year old prepubescent keyboard warrior.
Enfant Provocateur

What to do?

Well – lets start with what not to do in your communication.
Don’t be flowery.
Don’t exaggerate.
Don’t be artificial.
Don’t be egotistical.
Don’t say something will be done, when it might not be.
Don’t be afraid to take the heat.
Don’t write a novel, when a sentence will do.
Don’t wear a tin foil hat.
Don’t be defensive.
Don’t be boring.

Some things you should do
Be Human.
Analyze if a public response is worthwhile.
Do something.
Fix the issue.
Show compassionate.
Pack some humor.
Act humble.

Talk may be cheap, it is cheap, but on the Internet, it can be expensive.

Online Social Hierachy

August 29, 2010

In days of yore, hierarchy (or “class” if you will) was a clear cut, easily defined item. Bourgeoisie and the proletariat, rich and poor, “well networked” and seclusive, most knowledgeable and most intellectually “challenged”, powerful and submissive were usually respectively synonymous.
Today, things are much more complex if you wish to divide individuals into “classes”, it could be argued that the breadth of “class” is greater than it has ever been, but also it is much more difficult to define. Is the person at the top of the hierarchy the person with the most economic might? The most intelligent professor? The individual with the greatest social influence? or perhaps those with the most political power?
Each of those categories are easy to define in terms of who holds the “upper hand”, but those that are at the top of each of those respective pyramids can be vastly different individuals.

Thats all well and good, but what does it have to do with online media? Well as we are more and more influenced by friends in our consumption of our media, those creating media need to find those at the top of the Social Hierarchical pyramid and leverage them. These individuals aren’t necessarily famous (although they might be, Vin Diesel, Aston Kutcher are good examples), but these are the people that cause people to gravitate around them, they are gifted with a natural sense of “sociableness”.

Utilizing the concept of “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon” comes into play here, as social networks lower our communication barrier and make us more connected, if you find those that are “most connected”, and influence them in such a manner that they are willing to organically share their experiences with your product/service/ability to operate a BBQ you will more effectively “touch” more people.

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