Posts tagged ‘facebook’

Applications, Widgets, Media That Sort of Thing

Peas in a Pod: Advertising, Monetization and Social Media
Tim Kendall, Product Manager, Facebook
Ellen McGirt, Sr Writer, Fast Company
Kent Nichols, Ask a Ninja
Seth Goldstein, CEO, Social Media Networks

This panel was in one of the larger ballrooms, but I still had to sit on the floor in the very back. I had no idea who was talking since my view was obstructed by many chairs. Sitting on a hard floor was uncomfortable within 10 minutes, but I still managed to get some interesting thoughts from the panelists…

Facebook expresses one’s identity and lets you share it with your friends. Applications that can express this identity are successful. Widgets are bling for your blog (ie, sports scores). The minute they turn interactive or social, it becomes an application.

The key to applications is to always provide a social context. An easy way to let the user invite friends (without spamming) will also help sustain a successful application.

The virtual world enables social relationships that you can not do in reality. For example, the food fight application, everyone wants to do this in real life, but they can’t. By having this fun, quick and easy to use application, you’re able to throw a pie at someone’s face without getting in trouble.

A social dynamic offline can also be transitioned to online. The happy hour application lets you have a virtual happy hour with all your friends with a click of a button.

Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, McDonald’s…all these big corporations want to reach the FB user. But they do not succeed because it is a communicating problem. Also, FB users do not care about the brand. Who wants to have a Crest application on their profile page?

These companies want to embrace the new technology. But, they have been in the traditional advertising medium for so long that it becomes a very slow transition to the interactive world. They are scared to take the lead and it will take a long time to change the culture of norm.

Advertising on FB has become an extremely attainable and profitable convention. It only costs 50 cents compared to $20-30 for digital. “Peerfluence” – how do you come up with an ad that will influence you and your peers? That’s the challenge. Another challenge is how do we weave advertising into the platform. You don’t want it to be intrusive (in my opinion, MySpace’s homepage – ads fill the entire screen).

Social ads are very targeted and can produce great results. If you want to buy a camera, you will get an ad for a camera on FB. We understand more and more of what you don’t like and like.


March 13, 2008 at 1:02 am Leave a comment

That 23 Year-old Billionaire

Keynote Interview with Mark Zuckerberg


Yesterday, I went to the highly anticipated keynote featuring the young CEO of FaceBook, Mark Zuckerberg. I was really excited to learn more about him, how he started, what his challenges have been and what the future of FB looks like. I am amazed that he’s my age (well, heck even younger!), yet so successful.

Off the bat, the interviewer, Sarah Lacy (author/journalist, BusinessWeek/Yahoo!), made the presentation more about herself than the man of the hour. It quickly spiraled into a disaster. I won’t go into too much detail (except the fact that she kept cutting Zuckerberg off, embarrassing him with random stories, twirling her hair….) about what really happened, but you can read it at CNET News.

The main theme of the keynote was about Zuckerberg’s mission from the very beginning. FB is all about helping people communicate more efficiently. Connecting with each other is a fundamental thing for all of us. FB is about empathy relationships with everyone and anyone, whether they are friends or strangers. He didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Hey, I want to be a billionaire,” he wanted to make a platform to fundamentally change the way people communicate.

Zuckerberg’s entire business model revolves around this idea. Of course he needs to make money, so he put ad space on FB. The revenue from that and other ventures ties back to figuring out what else he can do to make it easier for the user to share their information with their friends. He mentioned that even the ad space is for the users. They are ads that the users are interested in, not just some random ad pulled from an affiliates list. He sounded sincere and genuine that he simply just want to help people communicate. But maybe I’m naive and bought into this whole “nice” guy persona he’s trying to portray….

The issue of privacy came up (constant news feed of what your friends are doing, cellphones/addresses on your profile), ultimately, he wants to give the people complete control of what they want to share. He believes that the more control he gives to the people, the more they are willing to share. I hadn’t thought about this before, but it’s true. I am willing to put my address on FB if I knew that only a select number of people are going to see it. FB now enables you to do that. You can have so and so know your address, but not that random person you met on FB. Even some of my friends write notes on FB about certain things and only share it with a few people. Zuckerberg is continually working to let users have this grander control of sharing more information.

Near the middle of the interview, Lacy mentioned that Forbes listed him as the youngest billionaire and blatantly asked Zuckerberg, “Do you think $15 billion is worth it?” I was appalled by the question. How can someone answer that? Of course he’s not going to say, “No, I don’t think FB is worth that. It’s all a scam to get more money.” He calmly responded, “I discussed with Microsoft and this is what we came up with.”

Zuckerberg also talked about how he wanted to step into the role of CEO, not just founder. He believes that the CEO sets the tone and goal of the organization. It makes sure the product is focused and helps people keep an eye on the goal. Again, tying it all back to building an efficient system to help people connect.

The presentation was interesting, but it was hard not to focus on Lacy and her style of interviewing. Many people had walked out within 10 minutes of the interview and one guy yelled out “I’ve had enough of this! She’s pathetic!” Aside from the distractions, Zuckerberg had a clear vision of who he is and what FB is about. I admire him for being so young, driven and focused to create a place where people can build relationships with each other…..and he probably can’t wait until he gets that $15 billion.

During all keynotes at SXSWi, there’s a girl named Sunni Brown of Brightspot Information Design who graphically records the presentation. She does this live and captures the content using visual language and iconography. The outcome is awesome and a good way to summarize the main points of the keynote.

So, for Zuckerberg’s, it turned out like this:

Visual Information Design - Mark Zuckerberg Keynote
Click to view larger / Photo Source

UPDATE 04/01: I’ve decided to attach a video to give you an idea of the craziness that went on…

March 10, 2008 at 6:28 am Leave a comment


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