Try As You Might, Facebook- You’re Not the New Twitter…Yet.

March 14, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Posted in Social Network Sites, Web 2.0 Strategies | Leave a comment
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Last night, I had my first run-in with the new Facebook. I must have looked like a child who lost her mother in the mall. I was frantically clicking tabs, just trying to find my profile. Every looks different, and I still can’t figure out how to find the newest tagged photos.

There’s this new “Highlights” section which has a mumbo-jumbo of information listed: new photos, applications that people are using, advertisements…I don’t get it, what’s it for? Isn’t that what the news feed section is?

What does look familiar is the publisher featured on the top of each page, asking “What’s On My Mind?” I can’t seem to place my finger on it. Where have I seen this before? I feel like I’ve answered a similar question in 140 characters…oh yes, it’s Twitter. Facebook is a Twitter wannabe. Yeah, I said it.

The new Facebook looks awfully familiar, yet uncomfortably overwhelming.

The new Facebook looks awfully familiar, yet uncomfortably overwhelming.

Let’s put my obvious biasĀ  on hold for a minute, and answer some real questions about the site. Mainly- why? Why did Facebook change, yet again?

According to an article in the March 9th issue of Ad Age Daily, Mark Zuckerberg explained the new stream of information that Facebook would feature. The stream will be updated in near real time, and allows users to filter out specific members to retrieve info on. For example, if you only want to see a stream of your college alums’ activity you can choose to sort by that network.

In addition to the changes for users, there are changes in store for marketers. Before March 11, companies create “pages” which do not look like a normal profile page and do not have the same features that a regular Facebook user has. Now, these pages actually look like profiles and allow companies to interact with their fans on a more personal level. As companies update their information on their profile (update their status, upload pics and videos, etc.), these updates can be seen in their fans’ streams, keeping their brand at the forefront of their customers’ minds.

It’s a really interesting shift to see. Obviously Twitter has made quite an impression on the world (or the Internet…or are those interchangeable yet?). I think we will see many more social networking sites using the live-stream model to increase their relevance in a world ever-concerned with immediate results and instant information.

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Taste the Rainbow in Wiki-Land

March 7, 2009 at 5:59 pm | Posted in Social Network Sites, Web 2.0 Strategies | Leave a comment
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Skittles released their new website recently, and I believe I’ve seen it before.

That’s because http://www.skittles.com is really Wikipedia…wait, what? Ok, it’s not really Wikipedia’s site, it’s an overlay which “lives on top” of popular Web 2.0 sites. Depending on when you check their site, you might wind up on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

How's the Interweb Taste?

The overlay part is a red box (which can be minimized) which allows you to navigate to other “sections” of the website, which in fact brings you to other Web 2.0 sites (i.e. click on friends and you’re taken to Skittles’ Facebook page, click on chatter and you’ll see the Twitter feed for Skittles).

Visitors are also able to “Contact the Rainbow” through the only Skittles-branded page on their site.

As quirky as it is, you have to realize how much control the company has given up with this new site. They are essentially relying on their customers to do their marketing, using their pictures, reviews, videos, and Tweets…unfiltered. This means good, bad, or ugly- everyone can see what’s going on in Internet-land for Skittles.

What happens when an inappropriate picture is tagged with Skittles on Flickr, or someone starts badmouthing the company on Twitter? Will the company be forced to pull the plug? I would assume they have an elaborate crisis communication plan lined up for potential situations like this, and I would be curious to find out what it entailed.

If anyone has opinions about the site, I’d like to hear them. Is the Skittles web development team onto the next big thing? Are they just lazy? Is this marketing suicide, or absolutely genius? Bring on the comments!

The “Fall” of Flickr Royalty

February 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Posted in Social Network Sites | 1 Comment
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Plagiarism on Social Network Sites

Rosie Hardy: Did She Cross The Line?I love Rosie Hardy. Every day, I check my contact list on Flickr to see if she’s uploaded a brilliant new picture because her work is truly breathtaking. This week, I was greeted with yet another wonderful piece by Rosie- but this one was accompanied by a sad story detailing her hiatus that she will be taking from Flickr. The reason?

The “Rosie Hardy Plagiarism” Blog

You can Google “Rosie Hardy plagiarism” if you want to read all the gory details, but to sum it up: Rosie copied/stole/was inspired by (depending on what side of the fence you sit on) other photographers’ work when creating a handful of her own. A Flickr member, known as Harry, called Rosie out on his blog over the past few days. He posted side-by-side comparisons of her work and the work of the original artists. With some, there is no argument- the photos are undeniably similar. Others, it’s hard to say. Could it have been coincidence? If not, where is the line drawn between creative inspiration and plagiarism on the Internet?

Plagiarism in the Age of the Internet

Flickr, Photobucket, Shutterfly, Snapfish… there are tons of photo-sharing websites on the Internet, and millions upon millions of members on each site. With all of these pictures on the Web, how can one keep track of them to make sure they’re not being used illegally? And what constitutes illegal?

Right around Valentine’s Day, I saw dozens of pictures posted on Flickr which featured heart shadows created by a ring. Did each of those people plagiarize each other? Or did they take inspiration from another’s photos? Or did they coincidentally discover that inserting a ring into the binding of a book causes a heart shadow on the same day?

How about all the people who have ever written something across their knuckles and snapped a shot? Copycats? Does it depend on what they write?

See where I’m going with this?

So where do we draw the line? And how do we monitor all of the information that’s out there? The Internet is a glorious thing, but it also opens the door to issues that never existed before. With so many people interconnected, can there ever be true originality ever again? Or has everything already been done and posted on the Web?

Whatcha think?

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