Posts Tagged Facebook

Facebook – a place for the old and boring

A few weeks ago, I decided to go cold turkey with Facebook and removed the app from my phone. And I can honestly say that I haven’t missed it one bit.

I guess, like a large majority people, that without even noticing, Facebook had become a big part of my life. Every bored minute I had, would without doubt end up with me looking at Facebook. Whether I was sitting in traffic, waiting on a bus or sitting in a cafe, I would have without doubt navigated my way to Facebook.

To this day I’m still unsure what the draw was for me. Was it that I felt I would miss out on something or that prior wood gear about something before me – I’m really not sure.

What’s probably more surprising is that I’m not the only one tuning out of Facebook. It turns out that teenagers are also no longer interested in being part of the Facebook world. One such teenager recently wrote an article about how she and none of her friends have joined the Facebook revolution.

But this is no surprise to the People at Facebook, they know all about this trend amongst teenagers apparently. Yes, they however believe it is easy to explain. Teenagers they say, are more interested in being easily able to share content via apps such as Snapchat and instagram, and the restrictions imposed by Facebook for teen users is just making it harder for them to share.

I’m not convinced at this response at all. Facebook for me has become a place of utter dribble from middle aged men and women who want to share information to make their dull lives look amazing to people they hardly know.

If I think back to that time long ago when I was a teenager, the last place I’d want to be, is around adults. I certainly wouldn’t want to be around people who like to broadcast to the world how great their other half is, or a long story on the latest, saddest story they can find on the internet. Nor would I want to be bombarded with the type of music my Mam or Dad danced to when they were teenagers.

No, I would want to be as far away from an adult as I possibly could so that I could say what I want, when I want and without a judging adult looking over my shoulder.

Teenagers see Facebook as somewhere their Mam, Dad, aunties, uncles and even their grandparents hang out, hence they turn to somewhere that the old generation have yet to hear of. Facebook just isn’t cool anymore.

How Facebook will fix this is hard to see. It could spell disaster for them in the future of they don’t figure something out.

Facebook is a long way from dying, but could the writing be on the wall? Only time will tell I guess…

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New Twitter… pretty cool

Today was the first day that I’ve been able to access the “New Twitter” layout and I am really liking it. There is much fanfare out there with people believing this move has been solely driven by Twitter’s need to generate an income from their much loved service.

For me, although it is a massive improvement on the old interface, I find it hard to see people moving away from using third party software such as Tweet Deck and Twhirl as a means of interacting with Twitter. The problem with using Twitter through a browser is that you’d need to keep an instant eye on it. Facebook didn’t have this problem as from the start it was a very image orientated social network.

Not every has been given access to the new Twitter just yet – but it’s definitely coming your way soon!

Here’s a screenshot of my Twitter Timeline:

New Twitter Timeline Screenshot
New Twitter Image

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Should we all start to Flattr?

No it’s not a typo, Flattr is a new online business set up by some of the people behind the infamous Pirate Bay. The idea is that people will offer a micro donation to the content publisher by clicking on the Flattr icon on the content they have shared. For example, if I was to have a Flattr button on this page, you could click it, just like you would the “Like” option in Facebook and I would receive a share of a donation you are happy to part with on a monthly basis. So for example, let’s say you set your monthly “means” as €2 per month and you clicked one “Flattr” icon, that content ownwer received €2. If you clicked 2 links, your €2 would be shared evenly between the two parties, each receiving €1.

There is where I see the major flaw in this system. At the moment, I have absolutely no intention of giving money to the content providers of the blogs, news sites or whatever that I regularly visit. Now possibly, if made easy to do (which Flattr in fairness is trying to do), I would be happy to donate a small amount of money when an article is really worthwhile to me. If in that rare that something really adds value, I would like to donate my money. But not having the option as to how much to donate would pretty much annoy me. I would much prefer the ability to set a donation amount for each item I click. Rather than wasting €2 a month on possibly one article, I would be in complete control of the money I am spending and where it goes.

So far there have been a few content providers who have made a few hundred euros from this system which is still pretty much in beta mode. Here is one guys story – http://tim.geekheim.de/2010/07/02/flattr-zweiter-streich/

Flattr is an innovative idea and a nice way of helping content creators make money from their content – but with their current model, I find hard to see the masses jumping on board and offering money for nothing! I look forward to seeing how well this does in the future.

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The Twitter Distraction

A pie chart created in Excel 2007 showing the ...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s been just over a year now since I’ve been using Twitter as part of my daily routine. For the initial few months I was regularly updating Twitter with some interesting and some not so interesting tweets.I would set aside at least 15 mins a day to network with people on Twitter or at least post about an article I’ve found or written.

Now however, things have changed quite drastically. I can’t remember the last time I posted a decent tweet or one at all! I know it was sometime last week and it was more of a demonstration to a client as to the power of posting a link on Twitter. Although I want to tweet, I’m increasingly finding it hard to find the time or the will to post something on Twitter. It’s not that I don’t believe in the hype surrounding Twitter, it’s more that I don’t have the time to work at networking through this medium. Sometimes it’s just easier to ring someone and ask them to go for a coffee rather than spend time looking for an opportunity to network with people you know, whether that’s through Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.

Clearly, I’m not the only one feeling this way. In October 2009, the Irish Twitter community was devasted when it appeared that the much loved (and hated) Damien Mulley was no longer using Twitter. How could this be? they asked… One of the most respected online marketing experts in the country had simply given up on Twitter and disappeared into oblivion. It didn’t help of course when he didn’t post on his blog for weeks either. But the reality was, that this wasn’t really the case as he explains on his blog (read here). Damien brings up other things such as privacy in his post which opens up another a whole new can of worms. It’s sad to think that someone can’t just disappear for a couple of says because of their popularity on Twitter!

I read James Forbairts blog today, who too has decided to take a look at the time he spends on Twitter. He takes a more frightening reality on how much time he has “wasted” on Twitter over the past couple of years (read here). To see the amount of time he has spent on Twitter really begs the question as to how worthwhile it really is.

The biggest problem with Twitter is, like every other form of networking, it’s extremely difficult to quantify the value of the work you put into it. One thing is for definite, you will get some sort of return. The problem is you just don’t know how much of it was worth it.

It’s so easy to get distracted by Twitter – I personally use Twhirl to receive all the tweets from people I am following. Most of the time, I completely ignore the pop up messages that appear on my screen each time Twhirl collects the latest tweets for me. But every now and again something does grab my attention and I’m hooked.

Has it been worthwhile for my business – well I guess so, I have got work from it. All of us in business network so people get to know us and hopefully recommend us to someone when they encountered someone looking for our services. The more people you know, the more people are promoting your business and vice versa. Was my conversion ratio high? Not at all, the reality is I’m probably in minus figures at this stage! But that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t me in the long run.

Twitter has now become more spammy than email in terms of my inbox. Most spam emails to my account are filtered out before they even reach my inbox, but the new 5 odd followers my account gets a day go straight into my inbox! Out of courtesy I check out these peoples profiles. The majority are spammers.

Does this mean Tom Doyle now thinks Twitter is dead? Not at all – it’s a new medium and I need to understand it more to enable me to get the most out of it. You need to find the right strategy for your business in order to maximise it’s capabilities. There are numerous examples of how Twitter can help a business promote themselves or “engage” with their clients. But on the flip-side – you can see how quickly people will begin to bore with it.

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What’s the Buzz with Google Buzz??

Google have yet again started rolling out a new application with stealth for the last couple of days. Users of Gmail are gradually being presented with a new screen when they login to Gmail. Rather than being brought directly to their inbox, they are shown a page promoting their new “Buzz” service. “No sign up required” the message happily proclaims.

But what is it and why would I want it?

Basically, Google Buzz is Google’s take on a Twitter styled system. I guess you could say it has everything that Twitter doesn’t. Do we really need another system like this? I’d have to say no, but it is a great way to get people engaging online. For example, Facebook brought in a similar system last year and it’s use grew substantially. Twitter still lags way behind Facebook in terms of users, but it’s simple system is appealing to a lot of people. People new to Twitter will probably feel that Google is trying to rip off Facebook, but that is not the case.

So where does this leave Twitter? For months there were rumours that Google was on the verge of buying Twitter – but it never it just never materialised. Most people within the online community expected it as a fact, rather than something that was about to happen. Personally, I can’t see Google buying Twitter now that it has built it’s own system that is very similar (or a complete rip!) with a lot more features.

It will be interesting to see if this has an effect on Twitter if any at all! One things for sure, Twitter will have to start working extra hard at trying to build a revenue model for the site as it doesn’t look like anyone will be interested in buying them now… unless of course Microsoft want a piece of this! :)

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