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  • The digital citizen 12:10 am on February 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: facebook, myscpace, social, ,   

    Social media and real sociability 

    When we are talking Social Media we tend to mean campaigns using the normal social media platforms, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc to connect with the public, building a strong relationship.

    It has been playing a lot lately in my mind that, as much as I love and believe in social media, that a great work, “social” is being misused or, at least, restricted to a limited amount of platforms, whose common ground is the internet. The internet is social but not just the internet is. My local coffee shop is social as is my local hospital.

    I was wondering, therefore, would it be possible to create local campaign, activated on the internet? Here is what I mean:

    During the HIV awareness week, we all see ads on the tube and red ribbons on twitter avatars. There is a number of walk in clinics in London and around the cities of the world. Wouldn’t it be more helpful to partner those clinics and launch a series of awareness lectures, where real people can talk of their experiences? Online and mobile media have now got the technology to recommend the closest clinic to where you are when you are seeing this advert. Such a campaign will result is much reduced media costs, with the rest of the budget donated to the clinics, which often struggle with their finances.

    Videos filmed within the clinics, showing real people, doctors and patients, can then become great viral material which can be distributed for next to nothing, with the power of social media, to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands to others, increasing the awareness.

    The internet is social, but human beings have been social before the internet. Could there be ways to activate the social element of the human with technology yet in environments outside it and within the society? Social media is undoubtedly a driving force for dialogue, yet has SM the power to generate the same dialogue outside the comfort of our sofa and within the real world, unmasked? This is how philosophy was born.

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    • Another Day On Facebook 3:00 am on February 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply


      All I can do is clap. I have been wondering this question for some time. I even just posted a blog about how I discovered how social media really connects us through the internet but disconnects us in real life.

      I feel as if people are beginning to get lazy. It is easier to sit in front of the computer and click the like button on one of those pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness. It is harder to actually rally support in your community behind a cause.


      Another Day On Facebook

  • The digital citizen 10:08 pm on October 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: facebook, ,   

    This is social 

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    Web 2.0 has caused a great cultural swift in the way people communicate. It allowed people to express themselves among their friends and in communities of like minded people that quite often are far to reach offline.

    Some fanatical opponents of social media claim that they are only here until the next big thing arrives, failing to see that the next big thing will also be a social platform. Why? Because so far new technologies and designs have been changing trends but changing a whole culture may take a long time or may just not happen at all.

    What I find amazing when it comes to social media is that they do not depend on the interests of larger corporations to boom or collapse but on the people who will either embrace or reject them. And it is not the marketing or media agencies that define their future, based on advertising solutions available but the public who will decide whether a new social platform is here to stay.

    Social media have rudely entered the media landscape to help people communicate. Facebook started as a Harvard versions of Hot or Not and Twitter as a “daylong brainstorming session” board members at Odeo express their creativity, meaning that they are here to stay because they fill a need for expression. The reasoning behind their huge success is their usefulness, being that breaking communication barriers or real time search and news.

    Social media are giving people opportunities to be part of something bigger. To be happy together and protest together. To hear the news faster and comment on them. But most of all to be heard without having to shout. More like…to be appreciated. This is social.

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    • bezalel 12:06 am on October 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Ok… Social media have a harmonizing effect on some people. (Including you!) I love optimism! Being optimistic by nature, I’m glad I live in the age of social media, the age of optimism! ūüôā This… digital landscape is in its greater surface, unexplored and what what we call “society of information” is still defining its scope and capacity and foundation. Social media is still new. That’s why it emerges free from prejudices of the “living” society. And its limitations. Now, social media draws people into participating, even profit-sharing harmony. Can we, should we talk about perspectives? I see a concrete wall in a near future. Life.

  • The digital citizen 10:41 am on September 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Digital PR, facebook, flickr, myspace, online advertising, ,   

    Social Media campaigns: Whose job is it? 

    A war has started in media land. Who is going to own the digital PR space?

    By digital PR I mean social media campaigns that incorporate the creation of content, organisation of events etc on social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or Flickr.

    Unlike most wars, this is a 3 way war, the parties being:

    • Traditional PR agencies
    • Digital departments of traditional media buying and planning agencies and
    • Digital creative agencies

    They all claim that this space belongs to them.

    PR agencies claim de facto rights, although they have, so far, failed to show exactly why they should be responsible for digital PR campaigns, other than they are PR agencies. Replicating offline campaign will not work with online and a better understanding of the power of social media is required, which I am not convinced that PR agencies have. Firstly an online press release will not work,¬†it is not engaging enough, in fact it seems patronising¬†within¬†the social media environments, where dialogue¬†is key. Secondly,¬†when it comes to online, you need to be ready for the public’s reaction; this means that¬†the responsibles for these campaign have¬†got to be able to move swiftly towards any directions required by the users, being ready to respond to a great or a not that great public reaction.¬†A great degree of proactiveness but a greater degree or reactiveness is requires when dealing with social media which I am not convinced the traditional PR agencies possess yet.

    Digital departments within media agencies were the first to test advertising, albeit display, on social media. They were the first to understand the importance of some sort of social media presence for their clients. There is no doubt that they have been great contributors to the growth of social media.

    However there is a clash between social media campaigns and what media agencies are employed to deliver to their clients, which is return on investment (ROI). The objective of dvertising is to sell. Social media should not and cannot be used as sales platforms. The results of advertising are scalable, social media are not.

    Also media agencies are strustured in such a way that the planning floors have got the last word on the budget splits. As it is rare to find planners with a sufficient understanding of social media, most of the money still go to TV and press.

    Finally, social media need a long term commitment, not budget coming out of a campaign PO. As long as social media is seeing as part of a campaign only, instead of a stand alone project which aims at engaging the brand with the consumers, clients will not be able to see their real potential.

    Having said that, some media agencies forsaw the growth of social media, creating relevant departments and employing passionate social media strategists. These agencies have got a good chance of winning this war, as long as their agencies understand that they cannot treat these departments the same way they treat their display planning and buying media teams.

    The last contenter in this war are digital creative agencies. Creative agencies need social media campaign ownership, as they predict that the need for display banners will decrease in the future, making digital PR a new source of income for them. However, there is a cultural clash between social media and creative agencies. Web designers tend to focus on how their creations look rather than engagement. Social media campaigns often do not require any creative at all. Creative agencies often fail to build websites that make the customer journey quicker and more pleasant; often they fail to reflect the brand’s culture with their creative executions. How can they be expected to draft social media strategies designed to listen to the consumer and to¬†reflect the values and culture of the brand?

    If I could place a bet, I would put my money on full service digital agencies. There has been a lot of doubt on whether the niche digital agencies can survive at a time that clients consolidate their accounts to save money. Full service digital agencies can offer client teams that consist of creative, PR and media people that can work closely to each other to ensure the utmost consistency in their campaigns. They have a clearer picture of the effect of one medium on the other which puts them in a better position to draft future strategies.

    This is a great chance for the underdog to shine!

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