Entries Tagged 'Social Media' ↓

Meandering thoughts on social search

On my drive into work on Monday, my mind was filled not with thoughts of Storage Resource Management but rather Social Search.  Google recently made some inroads into this area, but I feel like we’re on the cusp of something revolutionary and nobody is seizing the opportunity to change the game.

Everything I am about to describe is achievable with today’s technology.  And yet it sounds like science fiction.  Here’s the world I want to live in.
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Why I almost love Mixero

I’ve been tinkering with twitter for almost two years now, on multiple accounts, trying to find the perfect way to integrate it into my daily life.  And while my activity level on twitter has never been consistent, one thing has — the growth in the number of people I’m following.  I realized early on that there comes a time when you have to decide whether to be lean in who you follow, or whether you have to start counting on tools to help you organize the data flow.

Never one to turn down a chance to play with tools, I’ve taken the latter approach (though in moderation; I still follow less than a thousand people).  My latest twitter client is the Mixero beta, and after talking about it with a friend I decided it was time to do a little writeup.  See, Mixero is almost great, but it’s the almost that is nagging at me week after week.  I’m hoping that when it goes GA, we’ll see the client I know it can be….

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Know your (social media) norms

(Those of you old enough to remember Cheers, I’m not talking about that Norm.)

I was paging through my reader this evening and came across an article by the always-wise Jeremiah Owyang about handling your boss’s connecting with you on Facebook.  You probably know where I stand on this already, especially if you’ve read my post “Five reasons to ‘friend’ your co-workers (or boss!)“.  Basically, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage if you have the opportunity to do this, and don’t.

But one thing Owyang talks about that I failed to, is how to handle being the boss and entering this situation.  As a manager I’ve been in this situation a couple times, and chatted about it with co-workers over lunch.  The key to avoiding difficulty is knowing (and communicating) your social media norms.  For reference, here are mine, as relate to mixing work and online networking:

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Fear and Loathing on Facebook

“We fear change.”
Garth, Wayne’s World, 1992.

You can’t announce a font change on Facebook without the townspeople gathering their torches and pitchforks. Everyone loves Facebook, and wants it to remain exactly as it is today. And that’s been the story for years now. Of course, if Facebook listened to those users, it would be a little website for Harvard students and nobody else would use it. Clearly Facebook needs to know when to ignore their users and press bravely on. They’re doing a good job so far, and they’re about to take another step forward.

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Don’t waste your time blocking in Twitter

Spam wall
Creative Commons License photo credit: freezelight

I saw a couple tweets this morning which brought back to the surface something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.  I won’t link the user but here is one line:

“I block most new followers”

Their next tweet was about Twitter’s “block” feature having trouble, and they had this long procedure for getting around the problem.  They put a lot of work into just blocking a couple people.  I felt bad for this person’s wasted energy.

Let’s go over what Twitter is and how it works, to understand what I’m talking about.  I apologize for simplifying things, but this is close enough:

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Everyone works for PR

Have you read my disclaimer?  Over on the side of my page?  These are not my employer’s opinions, I don’t speak for EMC, EMC doesn’t speak for me, and so on?

That might protect EMC if I were to go off the deep end legally.  They might be able to fire me, disavow all knowledge of my actions, and prevent themselves from getting in too much trouble themselves.  But if I were to do something legal but just plain stupid, do you think that disclaimer would prevent the EMC brand from being damaged in your eyes?  Of course not.

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Twitter pulls a netflix

One of my early and still-popular posts talks about removing a feature for what are probably good business reasons, and angering a vocal subset of your customers while doing it. We made this mistake with StorageScope, and Netflix made it with their profiles.

Netflix ended up restoring profiles, and StorageScope has been working to restore the use cases we eliminated ever since we redesigned the product.

What does this have to do with Twitter?  In what they call a “small settings update” Twitter has removed the ability to see @replies to people you’re not following.  This isn’t a small change, it fundamentally alters how Twitter works.  Here’s the problem.

I join twitter, and I follow two people I know in real life.  I watch their conversations, and I notice that they’re spending a lot of time talking to a third person I’ve never met before.  I click on their name, see they are interesting, and follow them as well.  My network grows slowly over time to include people my friends are talking to, so that I can talk to them too.

Now, this did get confusing at times.  You had the choice to opt in or out of this additional information, and Twitter had to write extensive help documents about how it worked because people got lost.  So they just removed the option, and made it so the simplest setting (you only see @replies directed at people already in your network) was the only option.

And what do you know, people are annoyed.

How not to use twitter

If you’re clued in with twitter at all, you’ve heard of the “cisco fatty” meme.  A user tweets about whether to take a job at Cisco they will hate, and Cisco responds on twitter, reminding everyone that Twitter isn’t private unless you make it private.

Yesterday Cheezhead posted another example, a sales rep for CareerBuilder whose tweets include cheering on the Bulls, commenting on America’s Top Model, goofing off at work, and hating her clients.  By the contents of her tweets I’m guessing Miss Adriane doesn’t know she’s about to be used as an anti-pattern in effective Twitter use.

At EMC we’re throwing a meeting soon to talk informally about how we use Twitter, and help get those who are on the fence about using it to understand why we think it’s valuable.  Because right now, CareerBuilder’s brand is suffering from their employee’s actions, and the employee’s brand is suffering as well.  You spread enough negativity around and it will come back to you.

If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all (about your job … on the forever-archived always-searchable Internet).

Facebook’s recent move: peeling the onion

I was very excited yesterday by the potential of yesterday’s Facebook announcement.  Why?  Because up until now, all the information from Facebook has been visible only within their walled garden.  Opening up the “news feed” API means that I can write an application which acts on my behalf, pulls down that information, and lets me do something interesting with it.

What do I mean by interesting?

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Web 2.0 Madness – Rounds 3 and 4

I’m taking us to our conclusion today, because the idea of narrowing this field down to a single champion seems wrong, somehow. After all, the web isn’t about one company, or one person. Without a sea of individuals and innovative companies, it wouldn’t be a web, would it?

So, let’s collapse our Sweet Sixteen down to a Final Four, and start talking about more interesting topics again, shall we? Since I’ve already talked about each of these competitors multiple times now, I’ll just cut to the chase.
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