The Guardian's Jemima Kiss, writer of the Digital Digest column, has done a good review of how some opinion formers are seeing Facebook's next steps of development as a communications tool. Many have used Facebook, now that it's open to all, to connect to pretty much everyone in their address book (and more) forming a large group of friends, many of which are barely even acquaintances. She quotes Om Malik in her suggestion that Facebook might work better when groups of freinds more closely resemble the size and make-up of a dinner party, not a crowded nightclub.
To an extent I agree. Remember though, Facebook was first developed for groups of friends who are all similar (students). For that kind of a group of friends, the nightclub would be ok. But connections and information-sharing for different levels of groups is not so useful. The nightclub-sized friends group ends up too diverse for Facebook's "social utility" to work as it should. A more diverse user base is presenting new quandries on what you really want your friends to see and it's creating a kind of information overload.
For me the questions are around how I best communicate with people whose contact I value, such as a journalist, a PR or marketing manager, a client, an industry contemporary, that kind of person. Should that be through Facebook at all? Or LinkedIn? Or just the old address book?
I've got my dream job, but if I didn't, I'd be right on down to see the people over at Mind Candy about their vacancy for head of PR (amongst the raft of other marketing hires on the go over there right now). I've made no secret of how much of a fan I am of Mind Candy's concepts, more specifically, the PR genius that was Perplexcity, "one of the most powerful guerilla marketing mechanisms ever invented" according to media reviews [I wrote a review of its PR in April last year].
The small mention in The Guardian over the weekend gives little away as to what the head of PR will be head of, exactly, as followers of Mind Candy will know that Perplexcity is no longer running. The paper does go so far as to say that Mind Candy is developing a new online virtual world for kids. Go to Mind Candy's site, though, and you get much more info on the new gig.
Thanks Fullrun for highlighting that, following Paul Durman's departure from The Sunday Times as the paper's man on tech, media and Web 2.0, the confirmed new recruit as media and telecoms editor is James Ashton.
And plenty of other tidbits in Fullrun this week, including news of Mantra's acuisition by Loewy, the firm that recently bought Rainier, and some senior PR & marketing moves in-house at AOL, Vodafone, O2 and Nokia.
A lot of the time in PR agency land we face the client that doesn't want to give too much away to the journalist lest the company secrets get let out and everything crumbles. It manifests itself in the form of the lack of customer testimonials, reluctance to put forward a stance on topical issues, and unwillingness to talk about new deals - that kind of thing. Here's a good example of a campaign that's turned this situation to its advantage. Twitter got invested in last week. It's going to use the money to grow and launch more cool new stuff (and keep all its staff well-heeled). Twitter's bosses don't want to say too much about what they're going to do next though. It's being reported everywhere in fact that the firm doesn't even have a business plan. Of course it does. It just doesnt want to tell every Tom, Dick & Harry & Jaiku & Pownce what bright idea got it extra funding from the VCs. But a nice way to get some buzz in the absence of enough detail on the company's vision.
No not Moo (although their launch party last week seemed to go off great!) I'm reading a lot about how Facebook is being used over in Silicon Valley as a kind of business card meets web 2.0. Makes good sense huh. Here's Kevin Dugan's video on why Facebook is important to PR people as a journo researching tool too.
Back to the office tomorrow morning, after a restful week off. I'm catching up on the news this evening from the papers and TV as well as the blogs, Facebook and Twitter ('course). There's a lot of social media stuff going on.
A couple of exchanges I'm finding interesting reading are Neville vs Strumpette and Scoble vs Calacanis, both on the topic of Facebook and its uses as a PR and corporate comms tool. Scoble's been writing about some other cool stuff too over on his blog. He visited Facebook and Twitter last week and has blogged about both encounters. I find looking into company cultures of the dotcom darlings fascinating. I'm about to dive into PR Week and Fullrun to see what's been happening in the industry while I've been offline.
All around us right now there are huge floods from this torrential rain that's hitting the UK.
Our village is ok, but the next one along, Pangbourne, we can't even drive to as the roads have been closed. When I got home I tried to look up online on the news to see what's going on but there are just too many floods to follow everything i suppose.
So then I checked Flickr, and there's heaps of pics of not just Pangbourne but of my home town Worcester's floods too. This is one of the things I love about user generated media, that it covers the long tail.
Someone somewhere has taken a whole load of pics of the story I'm looking for, and because of Flickr I can see them.
You know Will Sturgeon joins LEWIS PR next week right? Well corporate PR shop Clarke Mulder Purdie has hired another ex-Silicon.com hack - the former editor Graham Hayday is joining to "boost CMPs web 2.0 offering"