Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Meddling with US Presidential Politics (from Canada)

Monday, February 4th, 2008

During The Commute this morning I made reference to the fact that I was running political ads on Facebook that drove traffic to the "Yes, We Can" video (embedded below). After spending about thirty bucks, I’ve now turned them off and thought I’d share some of the data with you.



I ran a total of 5 different ad variations – with the final two running simultaneously for the bulk of it.  These two ads were identical with one targeted to New York and New Jersey (Clinton’s neighbourhood) and the other targeted to the rest of the Super Tuesday states. The 5 ads garnered just over 100,000 impressions and 59 clicks. Conversion rate works out to 0.06 with a 0.51 CPC and 0.28 CPM.  Notably (perhaps) the CTR was lower in the Clinton states.

I invite you to draw your own conclusions in the comments.

As promised, here’s the video that has the potential to change the world:

Facebook vs. LinkedIn (again)

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

On Friday, Nick over at posted about the one killer Facebook feature that would make LinkedIn irrelevant. I think he’s only half right… extending the privacy functionality to allow the creation of multiple privacy profiles would be huge.

LinkedIn’s killer feature, though, would have to be replicated in Facebook for it to really cause LinkedIn any pain. LinkedIn’s ‘degrees of separation’ feature that permeates the UI is what makes the app so powerful. Leveraging my existing network is actually easier in Facebook than in LinkedIn, but it’s that latent, hidden network that LinkeIn unlocks. If I need to get in touch with someone at, say, Facebook Inc., I simply plug it the search bar and LinkedIn can tell me how to get there through my network.

Facebook, on the other hand, doesn’t give me any access at all to the outer ring of my network – my friends’ friends. Let’s say I’m going to be spending a week in Calgary and I’d like to know where to eat near my hotel. None of my friends live in Calgary, but I’m sure some of them have friends or family there. What better way to get the local scoop on a city?

Already several times I’ve written notes or status messages saying “Anyone know anyone who lives/has/works/knows X?” Being able to search the extended network in a controlled way would allow me to message a single person and say “Hi, I’m friends with your nephew — I’m coming to Calgary next month and wondered if you could recommend a good restaurant downtown.”

That would be cool.

Wanted: Random Group Facebook App

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

I’d do this myself if I had the time, but I don’t so I’ll send it out to the masses.

I want a Facebook app that works the same way for FB Groups as StumbleUpon works for websites. I click a button and I’m a random group. The groups could be from my friend network or from the wider network… next to (under?) each group could be a random sampling of my friends that are in that group.

Now, doesn’t that sound like fun? If someone builds this app, we might truly have a six-billion-dollar productivity hole on our hands!

End Of The Facebook Gold Rush? I Don’t Think So Either.

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Jeremiah disagrees with VentureBeat’s Kevin Barenblat’s assertion that the Facebook application gold rush is over and I agree with him.

In the months since the F8 platform launched May 24th, we’ve all been invited to bite people, graph people, play scrabble with people, tell people where we’ve been, etc. These are mostly fun applications and some will last and some won’t – we’re only now beginning to see what gives an ‘entertainment app’ the legs to last. That’s Phase One – Entertainment.

Phase Two, Commercialization, has just begun. While there have been ‘sponsored groups’ for quite some time, the corporations, as Jeremiah mentions, have begun to develop and release their own apps. Marketers hoping to capitalize on the popularity and virality of Facebook must tread carefully, however. Social networks are fickle things, and the lessons learned from the Entertainment apps may not apply.

My gut says that there are two opportunities for brand marketers in the Facebook app world. The first is essentially a cold call on a potential consumer – useful app that is very subtly branded. Anything too bold will turn off potential customers who are generally distrustful of the commercialization of their entertainment (irony noted). For example, every piece of feedback I heard about the Transformers movie was complaints about the over-the-top GM product placement.

The second opportunity for brand marketing on Facebook is almost the complete opposite – put the brand boldly out in front. This will only work when there is already a cult-like fan base – car owners come to mind. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine hard-core Volkswagen fans, for example, proudly displaying a VW badge on their profile page.

So what is Phase Three? Hard to say, but if I were a betting man, I’d say Utility. That is not to say that there aren’t already some really useful apps, but I think we’ll see some really innovative stuff coming through our news feeds once the geeks (Phase 1) and marketers (Phase 2) have had their first swings at the plate.

Why Facebook Beats MySpace (For Me)

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

I won’t be so presumptuous as to declare why Facebook beats MySpace for everyone. I can, however, speak for myself and those I’ve spoken to about this and it’s really very simple.

MySpace = my space

Facebook = our space


Apparently I’m a Pessimist

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

My earlier post about the ‘stay of execution’ for Business 2.0 magazine sounds awfully pessimistic now that my co-conspirator Sebastien has just posted a rather more optimistic view of the saga surrounding the magazine and the Facebook group that may have saved it:

Did social media give Business 2.0 a reprieve? I believe so. I think social media (in this case Facebook, blogging and Techmeme) played an important role as an amplifier (see my chronology of events here). Thanks to everyone who joined the Facebook group and posted comments in the Wall. Thanks to every blogger and journalist out there who relayed the news. Without you, Business 2.0 would not be publishing its October issue. Thanks again!!!

I’m not quite as confident that we saved the magazine – if indeed it is saved at all. What we did do was show how, through social networking, a small group of people can shine an awfully bright spotlight on an issue and bring the media to bear on it.

I updated my previous post with this, but I’ll repeat here for those whose feed-readers have already devoured it:

I spoke to Business 2.0 Editor-In-Chief Josh Quittner this evening and asked him directly about the magazine’s short-term future. His reply:

We’re currently working on the October issue. As far as I know, we’ll be publishing it.

I sincerely hope that November and December, etc. will arrive in my mailbox as well – perhaps under new ownership?

Did the Web Save a Magazine?

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

business 2.0 magazine Valleywag is reporting that Time Inc. has granted a “stay of execution” to the troubled but popular magazine that has attracted over 2000 supporters to my little Facebook group.

Business 2.0 Magazine is certainly not out of the woods yet as the reprieve is intended only to keep the magazine operating while Time assesses the many suitors that have come calling looking to buy the magazine.

It is difficult to know how much of an impact our little Facebook group had in this turn of events. The group was never intended to be an emotional appeal to save the magazine – rather, a window into the magazine’s most loyal and influential readers and subscribers. I can only assume that it had some effect on those potential buyers though I can’t take credit, obviously, for the buyers themselves. According to the original NYT article, Editor-in-Chief Josh Quittner had already been out actively shopping the magazine around.

It will be interesting indeed to watch as this story unfolds further… Who will buy it? Will it change? Can someone else do better?

UPDATE: I’ve spoken with Business 2.0 EIC Josh Quittner who would only say:

We’re currently working on the October issue. As far as I know, we’ll be publishing it.

Best news I’ve had all week. :)

The Power of Social Networks

Friday, July 27th, 2007

A very cool thing happened yesterday – I made an introduction that would have been nearly impossible just a few years ago.

I ‘met’ Kim Cross last week on Facebook kind of randomly, but related to my Business 2.0 group. She noticed that I’m blogging about web strategy and had a few questions relating to a new job she was starting as online editor of a national magazine.

I ‘friended’ Jeremiah Owyang last week because he told me to on his blog – he’s one of a few that are experimenting with Facebook as an open(ish) networking/content-distribution platform. He’s also a web strategy blogger and has been at it much longer than I have.

So when Kim threw a couple questions at me, I answered them in my shoot-from-the-hip-with-no-evidence-to-back-me-up way. It occurred to me, though, that Jeremiah might have some ‘hard’ resources he could point to – and some thoughts of his own.

So I sent a message to the two of them (a relatively new messaging feature on FB). I did a quick intro and left it to them.

Jeremiah came through in spades and he blogged his response. Thanks Jeremiah!

Resume app for Facebook

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Nick O’Neill at writes about a new Facebook app that puts a resume on your profile – and you can import directly from you LinkedIn account – which is nice. Except that I won’t be using it.

Until Facebook gives me better control over who can see what in my profile, my professional life will stay on LinkedIn and my personal life on Facebook.

The Friend/Not Friend, limited/not-limited matrix is not granular enough to cover range of types of contacts I have that should each have their own limited profile settings: friends, co-workers, colleagues, contacts, clients, etc.

Nick seems to agree:

As my professional and social networks collide I need to be reserved in what is displayed on my existing profile. With the development of an application where I can select users that can view my personal profile (in this hypothetical application), I could transition 100% over to Facebook.

I’m not sure an app has the access to do this, though I haven’t poked around the platform enough to know for sure. It should not be a difficult thing, though, for FB to create custom limited profiles as part of the core functionality. It would probably be a very smart move given the rapid growth of the 30+ demographic who a) tend to have more professional contacts than personal ones, and b) seem to have more concerns about privacy issues.

The Genesis of a Web Strategy Blog

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

It’s hard to know where to begin. The origins of this little corner of the web can be traced to so many disparate places that it makes the United Nations look homogenous.

The catalyst that sparked this blog’s creation, however, is crystal clear. A week ago, a Facebook status update came across my FB news-feed that kicked off a social media phenomenon that is still swirling around me. Sebastien chronicles the events that followed on his Praized blog and there’s no need to repeat them here and I’m still struggling to synthesize what it all means.

There is one aspect of this event, however, that affirms what I have believed for quite some time: Online social communities are like matter – they cannot be created nor destroyed.

But, you say, how do you explain the 1500+ folks who have joined your Facebook group? Aren’t they a social community that was created online? Nope. The Business 2.0 community is merely reflected online. Business 2.0 Editor-in-Chief Josh Quittner makes my point in the closing of his recent blog post on the subject of his magazine’s demise (and our efforts to save it),

We should have turned Business 2.0 into a real social network long ago. Who knew that, secretly, that it already was one.

It already was one. This is so key to understanding online social networking and social media. The Business 2.0 community has existed for as long as the magazine has – it has just never been represented online in quite the way it is now. This is true of almost all successful online communities – the ‘tie that binds’ is offline. Online social platforms like Facebook have simply taken down barriers to many-to-many communications in much the same way that email took down those same barriers for one-to-one communication a decade ago.

What have we learned?

LaSandra Brill, in her coverage of the ‘Save Business 2.0’ phenomenon, nailed it when she closed with the phrase,

…do you have a secret community that needs to be unleashed?

This is the question every brand manager, PR rep, marketer, NGO exec, social media consultant, etc. must ask themselves before they try to ‘create’ a community online. Chances are, the community is already there – unleash it!

BTW, if you want to read more about the ‘Save Business 2.0’ efforts, here’s a list of coverage: