Seth Godin makes a great case for not using Twitter... if you’re Seth Godin. Can you be the best at Twitter in your little world? Maybe. Can you be the best in your world at Twitter, Flickr and Facebook? Probably not. Seth’s advice: find your niche. Be the best at it. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Create a brilliant little product, service, or idea that people want to talk about. Then craft a compelling story that helps them do just that.
That’s what Fake does best: Tend social sparks until they ignite and become full-fledged communities. Connecting people to one another is not just Fake’s hobby — she has made it her career. As the cofounder of Flickr, the landmark photography site, Fake provided a place for shutterbugs to share their work; they have uploaded more than 4 billion pictures. It was a seminal service that helped launch the era of user-generated content, spurring entrepreneurs to build Web sites and businesses based on volunteer contributions.
Yahoo Inc. will soon roll out new ways to view content from Facebook Inc. across its websites, according to people briefed on the matter, as it aims to prevent Yahoo users from defecting to the social network. As part of a partnership with Facebook announced last December, Yahoo will begin allowing users to view their stream of Facebook updates—which Facebook calls the "news feed"—from Yahoo.com and Yahoo Mail, these people said. The company will also more easily allow users to post actions they take on Yahoo, such as uploading a photo to Yahoo's photo service Flickr, back on Facebook, these people said.
Ford has tapped 40 people to participate in the second phase of its Fiesta Movement campaign, a social-media effort begun last year to drive awareness of the U.S. version of the Ford Fiesta compact car, which goes on sale this summer. While the first program had participants blogging about their experiences with the car for a series of assignments from Ford Motor, the second program -- involving 20 teams of two agents each -- will have participants developing local-market activity around the car.
This year the NFL wants you to “Tag the Super Bowl #SB44″ so that it can collect and aggregate tweets and Flickr photos from fans around the world. The NFL is highlighting the user-tagged Super Bowl content on its new Tag the Super Bowl site, which offers a visually stimulating and unfiltered interactive view of tweets and images that football fans are sharing on Twitter and Flickr with the #SB44 hashtag.
New York City offers some top-notch trash. Practically anybody who has lived there has noticed, or even taken home, a perfectly good end table or a bookshelf that has been left on the sidewalk next to bags of garbage by someone who didn’t want it anymore. Even city dwellers who don’t partake know about this informal circulation of goods as a feature of urban object culture played out in the public sphere. And in the 21st century, almost anything that occurs in the public sphere can also serve as an inspiration, or even a medium, for the formal circulation of goods: that is, for a marketing stunt. And so in early November, a marketing agency’s “street team” began scattering a client’s products on the sidewalks of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
A U.K. firm is set to launch a camera to capture every moment of a person's life. While you may reel at the privacy implications, I'd wager that the high price of not capturing and sharing every moment of our lives will soon dwarf the cost to our privacy.
In 2002, Caterina Fake (her real name) was developing a video game with her husband, Stewart Butterfield, when they decided to drop photos into instant messaging--akin to adding pictures to conversations, they thought. The idea blossomed into Flickr, which launched in February 2004. Initially it didn't proliferate. But once they added "tagging" it exploded--it was well-timed to make the most of the growing popularity of digital cameras and the ever-expanding blogosphere. Bloggers used Flickr as a photo repository and others gravitated to it so they could share pictures. The site that began as an afterthought to Fake's and Butterfield's multiplayer game matured into the fifth most popular site on the Internet, generating revenue by charging a fee to heavy users who wanted a place to store their multitudes of photos. A year after launch, the formerly debt-ridden couple sold Flickr to Yahoo for $40 million.
It appears that a few days ago there was a slight change to Flickr’s logo: an addition of a small Yahoo logo to the right side so it reads “Flickr from Yahoo.” In response, many Flickr users have taken to the photo-sharing site’s forums to express their horror at Yahoo’s branding on Flickr. The underlying fact is that Flickr users, many of whom are techy hipsters, just don’t mix well with “middle America Yahoo” as Bartz put it a few days ago at the unveiling of Yahoo’s $100 million marketing campaign about “Y!ou.”
Forget caller ID. A coming wave of “social” mobile phones is likely to tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about the person calling you. An application called Robo.to, available in the fourth quarter on the iPhone and handsets that run Google’s Android operating system, offers a stream of information about callers, including personal videos, photos and their current location. It is an example of the “social address book” – the reinvention of a core handset feature that carriers will leverage to earn fresh revenues and win back consumer attention lost to iPhone applications and media companies’ services.
Ford is into the eighth month of its Fiesta Movement social-media program to promote the eponymous car from Europe by letting 100 young social-media-savvy Americans drive the vehicles for several months. Each month, Ford has been assigning tasks to the "Agents" involving lots of driving and just as much blogging, Twittering, YouTubing and Flickring. This month, they will be sent to do things likely to generate more attention than what they have previously done, including training with U.S. Navy SEALS, learning to cook with insects, and going hiking in the Rockies.
There’s been lots of talk about the “death of advertising” and the increasing ineffectiveness of the media. There’s a tremendously well-researched, insightful and informative Bob Garfield post in Ad Age, with lots and lots of numbers supporting his version of “Apocalypse Now” for the ad industry. There’s no doubt that there’s agency layoffs, and client cutbacks and fear and uncertainty. So who am I to be the bearer of even an ounce of good news for the ad industry?
A new feature launched by Swedish start-up Polar Rose automatically groups Flickr photos using facial recognition technology. The company is now hoping Facebook and others will lean on its technology.
I’ve been pretending in my head that I’m a newspaper exec. When I do that I keep beating myself around the face. Why? Because the newspaper industry keeps giving the geeks free meals. Do they have anything left to give away?
User-generated content: It's more like good old, tried-and-true broadcast branding than you think -- if done right.
As sad as it sounds, most of us experience the world through photographs. Now MIT software engineers are taking that idea literally and mapping Flickr photos to regional maps in The World's Eyes project.
Today's consumer seems to have an insatiable appetite for information, but until recently making sense of all of that raw data was too daunting for most. Enter the new "visual scientists" who are turning bits and bytes of data -- once purely the domain of mathematicians and coders -- into stories for our digital age.
Few business models have come under as profound an assault as the stock-photo industry. Just a couple of years ago, things were peachy: Getty Images was busy rolling up the industry's smaller players, creating a massive stock-photo agency and beating out others that hadn't already sold out. Now, though, the company is whipsawed by competition--the stock images it once sold for a tidy profit aren't worth much, when a photo editor can go to any number of amateur stock agencies or even Flickr and get a similar picture cheaply--or even for free.
Social Networks are among the most powerful examples of socialized media. They create a dynamic ecosystem that incubates and nurtures relationships between people and the content they create and share. As these communities permeate and reshape our lifestyle and how we communicate with one another, we’re involuntarily forcing advertisers and marketers to rapidly evolve how they vie for our attention. It is the zeitgeist of socialized media and it’s manifesting into an obsession for branding, advertising, “viral,” marketing, and communications experts and professionals worldwide.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr; your online personality is not only part of your overall brand, it becomes an interactive experience for you and your business. So, who is the face or voice of your brand and what do they share? It’s a very important decision in and of itself.