June 19, 2009
When I heard about Gary Vee’s talk at #140conf was titled ‘Scaling Caring’ I though “Seriously? That’s stupid”.
I just watched the video. I was wrong. Maybe in the wrong hands that could have been a stupid talk, but in Gary’s hands it, like everything else he does, was a fun, insightful and earnest attempt to open people’s eyes to what’s in front of them.
The talk actually touches on what Jeremiah and I were blogging about recently. Jeremiah had asked the question ‘Can people scale along with Social Media’. In other words, can you really keep up with all these incoming messages while remaining authentic and doing a real level of caring.
My response was no, you can’t. And you shouldn’t try. Social Media is actually Personal Media and it’s not about talking to everyone who sends you a message – it’s about being authentic and staying in touch with friends and things that interest you.
Gary has highlighted another type of Scale though – one that Jeremiah and I missed. One that is obvious to some but all too often missed by many.
Gary’s point was that brands (personal or corporate) should pay attention to the once private and now very public, searchable and archive-able word of mouth that is happening at breakneck pace across the web today. You should care about every single mention and react, respond and resolve every single mention of your brand.
I wasn’t going to write a post on this – it was just a passing thought – and then I got a PayPal customer satisfaction survey in my inbox. Really? Do you really need to run a survey to know what I’m thinking? Why don’t you just tune into my Twitter feed?
Does PayPal listen to Twitter? I don’t know. Do they respond? Doesn’t seem so. Their @PayPal account seems to be just re-posting news highlights. Maybe they are – I don’t have time to do any thorough research on this specific case, but it did tip me over the edge to post.
Gary Vee is making a fundamental point that we’ve all made in the short history of this new media ecosystem – but as usual his delivery style makes all the difference.
This theme especially resonates with me with my recent work at JS-Kit. We (the strategy team) often talk about support as a killer feature. We try to respond to every blog post and twitter message about our service to let customers know we care. But more than that, we actually care. We don’t just respond, we factor it into our decision making. I’m sure this isn’t unique, but it is far from pervasive – especially outside the web industry – and it should be.
We also spend a lot of time thinking about how a tool like JS-Kit Comments might facilitate more scalable caring. How can a site owner or a participant/user keep track of their audience or their friends in all the social media noise?
The answers are still being formulated – but rest assured I will keep an ear out for the clear and resounding feedback – not with a survey, but by tuning into the ongoing, searchable and archivable conversation.
June 9, 2009
What most people don’t realize is that this move, while interesting, is not really about vanity URLs at all – it’s actually about addressable identity.
One of Twitter’s key advantages in the race for dominance over internet identity is their growing namespace of what I call Addressable Identities.
What are they I hear you ask? An example of an Addressable Identity is being able to write ‘@chrissaad‘ and have the system and users understand that it is a direct and concrete reference to me. This form of addressing is particularly interesting because it is easy to write in a sentence or micro-blog.
With Vanity URLs, Facebook will encourage users to specify a tidy/tiny/compact identity identifier by which friends/followers/others can reference/point to each other. This is a big step towards keeping up with Twitter as one of the web’s only providers of modern addressable identities (email is an old, less compact version of this).
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds and how we consolidate these namespaces when using 3rd party services.
It might ultimately have to end up like good old email:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org etc.
Ideally though, we should be able to use our own/personal email address and have it resolve to an OpenID for true, federated and open addressable identity.
That, however, is still some way away.
February 28, 2009
I’ve been working on something like it for a number of years now, and with JS-Kit’s backing and the participation of my friends it has taken shape.
I’d like to thank all involved. I look forward to having conversations with the participants and creating something that vendors can use to make and keep user-centric promises to their participants.
I’m also very happy that the Media 2.0 Workgroup was able to take on this process and see it through. There is a lot of potential in that group that is yet to be realized.
Check it out…
Visit the site and view the strawman at www.mediabestpractices.com
January 12, 2009
I have just published a post about “Peered Data Portability” on the official DataPortability Blog.
While the post deals with open standards and software architectures it’s actually about business. How much is the social networking aspects of your web-based properties worth to you? If you are a major media property (CNN, BBC, Fox etc), a provider of digital services to large brands (Ford, Amex, Coke etc) or a large blog/website how comfortable are you with outsourcing a major part of your core value to a single, central social networking node (In my example it was Facebook).
Major companies across the world are starting to realize that to remain ‘in the game’ on social networking specifically and the web in general it’s critical that a peered model for data portability emerges.