Latest Trend in Social Networking … ads!

13 10 2008

So this is good news for me I suppose. My clients have forever been asking how to leverage social media for business purposes. Now the answer just got a little easier, or at least we’ve gotten to something they can understand – ads.

It’s far more difficult to convince companies that just having a conversation or engaging interaction with their customers is a good thing. They want to see the money not the feel good intangible. Well, not all agree on this point, there are many companies who understand that good communication with their customers builds strong relationships. But the thing is in economically strained times, the number crunchers tend to opt for the measurable.

The business world has been asking how these sites could sustain themselves and of course it was only a matter of time before the obvious came true. MySpaceAds announced October 12, Twittads still new, Facebook ads gaining ground, YouTube sponsored videos… the list grows daily.

This reminds me of my days at Concordia University, debating the evils of advertising as a means of sustaining news papers. The good, the bad and the evil but at the end of the day we all pay for the services we like to use.





Facebook’s new ad network is it spywear?

8 11 2007

If Facebook is going to be pimping my profile page, going to use their knowledge of what I’m doing on the site to place ads for partners, shouldn’t I get a cut of the revenue? Why am I feeling very wary of this development? I understand behavioral marketing. But this project is setting off alarm bells for me – me as a user of FB that is.

The Beacon Project as it is known, aims to leverage the way social networks work in a new and potentially revolutionary way by extending the reach of social networks into consumers’ daily Web-based lives. Facebook Ads launched with three parts:

  1. a way for businesses to build pages on Facebook to connect with their audiences;
  2. an ad system that facilitates the spread of brand messages virally through Facebook Social Ads™;
  3. and an interface to gather insights into people’s activity on Facebook that marketers care about.

The first part is logical and I have no problem with this at all. I like to know when I’m interacting with a company. It’s at point 2 that things start to get a little murky. Sure being a “fan-sumer” for brands that I have a good relationship with is not a problem… but will all the ads look like ads and how exactly will my behavioral information be used. I don’t really want to know everything that all my “friends” are doing as they interact with advertisers.





Finding Inspiration & Fighting Stagnation

7 11 2007

It’s all well and good to be a creative sort but every now and again inspiration is difficult to find & we get caught up in old unproductive habits. One of the wonderful things about Web 2.0 is that you can find others living the same thing as you… and together find ways to inspire and advance your art, hobby and well… have fun.

Strictly speaking, a message board or forum is not a Web 2.0 site but there is certainly plenty of social networking going on. In fact, the forums show only a small portion of what’s actually happening on a given site. Personal messaging and profile pages are the source of many a new social connection.

When it comes to photography my preferred inspiration site is FredMiranda.com. The mix of professionals and complete newbies on that site and the atmosphere whereby each and everyone is treated with respect is at the heart of this site’s success. The weekly assignment section receives, on average, 20+ submissions each week. It’s a treat to see someone post there for the first time – I have yet to take the plunge – the constructive criticism and support are well… inspiring.