Initial public offering

Social 101: The 5 Ws of Facebook

Everyone has a different opinion on Facebook. These days, with changes on the horizon, many users are once again resistant and pushing back against further changes. So, if it’s so bad, why do we keep logging in? What keeps us coming back to this Web site that inspires such frustration?

Our friends. Our business. Our interests.


Facebook is the quintessential social network. It started out as a two-way connection - reciprocity required. This is still the primary focus of the network, though they have since added Pages, Groups and most recently Subscribers which are not reciprocal connections.


From a personal perspective, I think that anyone who wants to connect with other people can get value out of Facebook. From a business or entity perspective, it’s a marketing tool that packs quite a punch. 845 million active accounts to spread your message to - what marketer can resist that concentration of audience? (Side note: I refuse to say “users” as I know - and you probably do too - that not all of those 845M accounts are unique users.)


Post at least daily, but not too often. There’s a fine line on the slower-paced Facebook (as compared to Twitter) that some cross regularly. Rule of thumb? No more than two to three status updates per day and make sure you space them out. Facebook users will “unlike” your page if you annoy them. I know I have.


Facebook’s mobile apps keep getting better, but it’s still a better experience in a Web browser. For quick status updates, check-ins or mobile photo uploads, mobile is great. If you’re considering live-Facebooking an event? I’d recommend against it. Twitter is a much better venue for that kind of discourse.


Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of my friends looking back at their first Facebook status. I didn’t use an app, but I did scroll down my timeline to see what my first update was. It took me four months to say anything after I joined and I think the primary reason is that I didn’t really know what I wanted to say to these people who were not exactly a part of my daily life. I’ve since caught on to the power of those connections, interacting with other people and getting a glimpse into their daily lives. Seeing what brands and other entities are doing for their customers. It can be a pretty heady experience to be in-the-know.

What would you add to the 5 Ws of Facebook?

Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending January 28


The last couple of weeks have been overflowing with news about SOPA/PIPA, but that story has begun to die down only to make way for ACTA. I'm not completely familiar with it yet, so I won't say much, but you can learn more about ACTA here. This is definitely a treaty for Canadians to pay attention to. Speaking of Canadian law, have you heard of Bill C-11? Michael Geist, a law professor at University of Ottawa, has been sharing his take on Bill C-11 for a while now (since it was Bill C-32 several years ago). I will be doing more reading about C-11 this week myself and you can learn more about Bill C-11 and how to contact your representative here.


This is the week of sweeping changes that upset users.

Facebook announced this week that they're officially converting all users' profiles to Timeline over the next few weeks. Lance Ulanoff speculates about why Facebook is pushing such a fast rollout - and I think his conclusion about proving value to their recent app partners makes sense. Predictably, though, the change already has users inflamed and has refreshed the debate over privacy . But it's not all bad news in Facebook land - they're learning just how successful the Subscribe button is for journalists - or is it? Clearly, engagement is key. Finally, we'll all get to see just how well Facebook is doing with monetizing the network - they're set to file for IPO later this week and it's expected to be the richest in tech history. I wonder if this woman thought she could get a piece of that IPO action with her "record-breaking" (in a cheating kind of way) million comment status.

Google has decided to take all 60 some odd privacy policies across their products and make one uniform privacy policy to encompass all its products. The announcement (change goes in effect March 1) prompted many to express concerns about whether Google is going too far into the "evil" side of business. Others are wondering what all the fuss is about.

Not to be outdone by Facebook's or Google's news, Twitter announced this week that they have developed an enhancement to their platform that will allow them to censor tweets on request. Well, that's the sensational version of the story. A few articles have questioned the backlash and pointed out that censorship is the policy of the requesting country - not Twitter. Given how open Twitter has been about DMCA takedown requests, I'll believe they're doing the right thing until I'm proven wrong. On another note, Twitter still hasn't shown how they're going to monetize the service for the long-term. Some of the "creative" ways brands are finding to use celebrities seem like a pretty effective barrier to their efforts.

Speaking of brands and Twitter, McDonald's made the news for their recent and very unfortunate Twitter experience. They proved to the world that once your hashtag goes rogue, you really can't get it back.


I'm excited to finally share something from Amber Mac - it was so good to meet her last October at Blissdom Canada. This article on enhancing your personal brand is full of useful suggestions for changes to one tiny little element that will make a big impact. Read and implement it. I know I am.

Do you know how many social networks are out there? Hundreds. We don't need to join every single one, but it's good to have a heads up on the "rules of engagement" before you do. Here's a handy guide for a few of the common-ish networks for content curation.

Just about everything Sue Murphy publishes lately is challenging me to stretch myself and get outside my comfort zone. I like that. Her latest challenge, "The Experimentation Experiment", is an ideal follow-up to her new e-book Just Hit Publish - you should go buy it.

The last two items really aren't terribly serious. Frankly, both of them amused me quite a lot. This first one because I see people all the time I think should read it and stop calling themselves ninjas:

4 signs that you’re not actually a marketing ninja - Christopher Penn, Awaken Your Superhero
Seriously, wasn't that worth the time you spent reading it? He makes good arguments, does he not? We should start seeing a reduction in the number of self-proclaimed marketing ninjas now. Right?

20 of the World’s Wittiest Twitter Bios - Mark Schaefer, {grow}
I've read these posts for several years now. They always make me want to hire someone to write my bio for me.


This past week on The Media Mesh, I talked about where to find blog posts - find the answer here. Then I concluded my Social 101 posts about Twitter with a guide on how and why you should use Twitter Lists. I've started reading Getting Things Done for the #MediaMeshBBC - have you!?