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social networking

19 Aug


Creating your online experience: Don’t be the capsule hotel

August 19, 2008 | By |

When you’re creating the online experience for your organization, brand or even yourself, keep this simple advice in mind: Don’t be the capsule hotel, be the dinner party. It may sounds somewhat strange, but when I stumbled upon these two images I couldn’t help using them to illustrate this point: A shared online experience is always better than a solitary one.

Don’t be the capsule hotel, where people are isolated and by themselves. They may be technologically advanced and offer cool features, but they offer a solitary experience:

Luxury Capsule by Flickr user madrigation Image: Luxury Capsule by Flickr user madrigation

Be the dinner party. Everybody’s chatting away happily, and your friends are invited too:

Friday Night Dinner Party by Flickr user Angelo Image: Friday Night Dinner Party by Flickr user Angelo

Even if it’s more crowded and maybe not as perfect as the capsule hotel experience, it’s more fun, more interesting, more social. You’d prefer sharing dinner with friends to a night in the capsule hotel anytime, wouldn’t you? Well, the same goes for online communities. Take all steps necessary to make sure you offer the most social, shared experience possible. It starts with simple, small steps: Let your guests talk to each other by enabling comments, and make it easy to get in touch by opening up contact channels. See what works for you and what doesn’t, but please, say goodbye to the idea of having a controlled user experience if that means cutting out social aspects.

07 Jul


Protect your tweets – or don’t

July 7, 2008 | By |

Recently I proposed to add a little Twitter feature, namely an indicator for why you protect your Twitter feed. (Why is this important? To prevent social awkwardness.) Tapio picked up on this issue and asked (among others) me:

You folks out there must have come across that situation: a new follower request comes in, you don’t know the person, what do you do? Simply deny? Feels impolite, doesn’t it? So here’s a meme: Why do you protect your Tweets (or not)?

Well, I’d love not to have my Twitter RSS feed indexed: So my 140 character ramblings wouldn’t be archived by The Google & co. On the other hand, all the cool mashups and extra services like FriendFeed wouldn’t work with Twitter, either. But so far, I figured the following: I’ll keep my Twitter feed public: That way, feed aggregators work, and it’s easier for new and old Twitterers to follow my tweets, i.e. to get in touch. To prevent awkward moments in the future, I’ll simply not write what I can’t stand by; and not post anything while annoyed. Both of which I guess are kind of good guidelines for any kind of communication anyway.

So back to Tapio’s meme: I’m curious, why do (or don’t) you protect your Tweets? Let’s hear from Markus (Twitter, blog), dotDean (Twitter, blog), Felix (Twitter, blog) and Michelle (Twitter, blog)

09 Jun


Obama’s Election Campaign: It’s The Social Media, Stupid!

June 9, 2008 | By |

The U.S. elections have been an interesting spiel of old vs new, of traditional vs social media. While Republican Senator McCain and Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton have put their money on traditional media (think Clinton’s “phone in the middle of the night” TV spot and its, shall we say: mixed success), Obama’s campaign strategists have been a lot smarter.

One of Clinton’s old-school TV spots, (not too successfully) pushing her message:


The Obama campaign has been a lot better at harnessing the power of the web. Also, they clearly have a better understanding of how to address the web community. Example? While both Clinton and Obama are on Twitter (Clinton: 1, 2; Obama), only Obama (as Leo Laporte pointed out in Net@Nite) followed people back from the beginning. It’s this engagement on eye level that really makes a difference in social media.

BarackTV’s Your Story: Engaging the voters, (successfully) asking for grassroots support:


And the engagement paid off for Obama. Says PoliticsOnline:

Senator Obama surpassed an ‘old school’ campaign, changing and breaking the rules of the Washington game. He has taken a quantum leap from the stale websites of past politicians, going on to raise millions of dollars through small donations from millions of people and creating a network of diehard volunteers. While ensnared in one of the most cut-throat political campaign races in history, Sen. Obama’s online campaign helped to diminished the quantitative significance of the million mark; whether it was millions of supporters, millions of YouTube video views, or millions of online donations. Raking in over $265 million is as worthy of historical prose as being an African American with the name Barack Hussein Obama.

The whole micro-donations issue has been on the table since the 2004 U.S. election campaigns. It’s really hard to imagine why the more conservative elements in both parties haven’t picked up on this. Anyway, it should be interesting to see how it all plays out, and which aspects are going to be part of the next German elections…

05 Jun


Social Networks Enter Popular Culture

June 5, 2008 | By |

Social Networks have hit mainstream. (The student body on Facebook isn’t enough to really be mainstream, or is it?) How can you tell? Social Networks are increasingly becoming part of popular culture:

And the Daily Show also tells us how, and why:


Quarterlife (the video about a bunch of emotionally, shall we say, charged twenty somethings) already made the jump from web to TV. We’ll see plenty of more cases like this over the coming years. For now, let’s stick to more incidents of social networks picked up in more mainstream media, though: There’s plenty more examples over at Jeremiah’s.