Archive for November, 2007

Facebook Advertising announcement – a few first thoughts…

Where to begin – the idea of Social Ads is a really interesting announcement by Facebook.  I guess Zuckerberg is as big a fan (or bigger) than me of the notion of Word of Mouth as the power tool in driving influence in the marketplace.  It’s been no big secret something significant was in the works to attempt to monetize the network effect and relationships across Facebook.  From a business, social and personal standpoint this is going to be really fascinating to watch.  Will it work?  I think it will, but there is a lot here to consider – here are some random thoughts about this as first impressions:

  • The Social Graph – without re-debating the concept, what is interesting to me about the social graph is researching the meta-data associated with the relationships between people in a network.  Add to that, mapping out a persona model in the network to identify conversation starters, stoppers, branchers, trolls, accelerators, inactives, etc.  Instantiating social ads on top of the network will be a very interesting way to study this meta-data and further develop the concept of social network personas.  From a business and academic standpoint this would greatly enlighten the approach to defining and executing on influencer programs.
  • Influencer effect – If you’ve followed this blog at all, you know I’m a strong advocate of the importance of influencer participation in innovation and brand advocacy.  Next week, I’ll be talking more about this at the WOMMA Summit in Vegas and co-chairing a WOMMA council focused on Influencers.  I’m a strong believer that real influencers are peer users, vs the spokesperson model.  Celebrities and athletes can drive brand awareness, but they don’t necessarily lead to brand purchase.  You see this transformation already taking place in the media.  Apple’s recent man on the street advertising is a great example of this.  And perhaps the mother of big endorsement deal makers, Nike, recently announced changes focused on adding more “authentic” influencers.
  • Privacy – This is the potential deal breaker here.  How much are people willing to share about buying behaviors for use as “food” for social ads.  Do I really want people to know what I’m buying.  Some things I research a lot before I buy and I would feel good about sharing the decision – other things I don’t and wouldn’t want to be seen endorsing.  Take the Travelocity example in the announcement.  Get real, I’m not endorsing Travelocity when I book a trip – I shop the big 3 online services and buy the cheapest.  Worse yet, maybe I don’t want everyone in my network to know I’m traveling!  Hey everyone, my house is empty!!  This will be great someday when I have teenagers and all their friends figure out when I’m out of town – party time!
  • Friend taxonomy – I blogged on this before and it relates heavily to the issue of privacy.  The fact that today all Facebook friends in my network are treated equally by the network is a usability issue I want solved.  The arrival of social ads makes resolving this even more important to me as a user.  I’m less likely to approve of using my data until I have greater control of my network. 
  • Influencer, stalker, voyeur – I couldn’t help but having this thought in a world where so much data is moving around about not just my network, but my patterns and behaviors.  Is this about the influencer effect or enabling digital stalking / voyeurism.  It just felt a little dirty.  That said, I have to admit I am interested in what my network is buying!!  I do want to know and I feel very certain that knowing what my network is buying will drive my buying patters.  Ack – personal conflict – let’s see how this plays out.
  • Personal Brand – As a blogger, tweeter, social bookmarker, facebook-er, linkedin-er user, etc, etc, etc…I can’t help but be a little focused on thinking about managing my personal brand online.  I’m not sure I want to dilute (or disrupt) my personal brand with advertising in this way or create implied affiliations with a brand.  This inherently feels like risk vs reward.

Ok, so there’s a first take.  Now I need to go read what others are saying.



November 7, 2007 at 11:24 am 5 comments

Announcement: may go offline temporarily…

Just an FYI that I’ve been going through a re-design of my blog.  As I transition over the next few days, this blog url may experience some failures.  If you want uninterrupted access or just can’t wait to see what’s changing, go to



November 3, 2007 at 2:18 pm Leave a comment

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