Facebook Ticker

Facebook Ticker arrived on the right hand side of my Facebook homepage last night, right under a sponsored story, and I’m not entirely sure what the point of the ticker exactly is.

Gradually rolled out since mid August, Facebook Ticker serves you instant content from within your network whilst your main feed is reserved for what Facebook has called ‘Highlights’.

I’d be keen to know exactly how Facebook determines what content fits into which section – I assume that it is down to EdgeRank, their algorithm for deciding how relevant content is to each individual user.

I’m not particularly keen on it.

1) The feed sits underneath an advert (I don’t go on Facebook to receive adverts) which indicates Facebook think less of their users than they do revenue

2) It takes away the importance of personalising content through EdgeRank – if something isn’t deemed relevant to me, I don’t want to see it

3) The position is odd and it takes the user away from their main feed and by default, away from the ‘prime’ content they are using Facebook to see

I can see that Facebook are looking to re-real-time their content offering to users, but for me, in it’s current state, it just doesn’t work.

Have you seen Facebook Ticker yet and what did you think of it?

Much Ado About Facebook

All Facebook have covered the wonderful experiment that has been taking place, re-enacting Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing on Facebook.

The idea is that each character in the play has a profile and uses it to communicate, telling the story as they go.

Wonderful artistry aside, I think this is a great way of bringing one of Shakespeare’s greatest (IMO) works to an audience who are used to consuming content in bitesize chunks.

Benedick currently has 419 likes, whilst Beatrice has 431, indicating a small but dedicated group are watching the experiment unfold.

I think this is an awesome idea – what do you think?

Hiding Content Behind A Like

Brands using the lure of exclusive content on Facebook to grow fan numbers in a bid to encourage engagement, is nothing new.

The New Yorker is experimenting by hiding an article by Jonathan Franzen behind their ‘Like’, making it only available to people who click that button and become opted-in to consuming content from their page.

A spokeswoman from the newspaper has said:

“Our goal with this isn’t just to increase our fans. We want to engage with people who want to engage on a deeper level.”

However, I do not tend to agree that a ‘like’ indicates ‘a deeper level’ of engagement. indeed, it doesn’t indicate engagement at all.

It indicates endorsement.

Engagement then occurs subsequently as ‘fans’ leave comments and embark on taking part in dialogue with other like-minded people.

It is then in that moment that a brand can interact and engage.

A ‘like’ is akin to being given access to the door and walking through it; just because you walk into a shop doesn’t mean you’re going to buy something.

I’d like to see TNY take part in dialogue and rewarding their readers with more than straight forward content, but with experiences and opportunities not available to those who aren’t a part of the community.

It’s a start, but there’s so much more that can be done. It seems a little like a gimmick to me – what do you think?

The Rise of The Badge

I’m becoming increasingly intrigued by our use of social media to collect stuff. Be it Foursquare badges or Getglue stickers, we want it, and we want to boast about it to show how cool we are.

The process of identity definition through social media (ie liking a brand on Facebook) has expanded to demonstrating that we know how to have a good time, and where to go to have it.

Foursquare is growing and is the cool thing *right now* – Facebook Places, as Facebook deals develops, will surely replace it – but is the perfect example of how we use badges to demonstrate facets of our character.

By obtaining a badge, you are showing that you a) excel at something b) visit or take part in something regularly, or c) have an exaggerated interest in something.

Badges are the latest form of Internet currency.

I am a guru of Idlewild on Getglue, so by default, the Getglue algorithm reckons I have earned the right to be highlighted as ‘an expert’ because I have completed several associated actions AND had social recognition from within the Idlewild network.

One-off badges play to this, asking users to complete an action set within certain parameters to obtain something that may be unique or unavailable after a certain period of time. You have to interact to earn the currency to prove you are a useful member of the social network, or within the sphere of influence associated with that object.

Fighting off Foursquare fatigue has been combated with incentives, growth in mobile pervasiveness has led to a growing userbase and it turns out that
ease of use is most important to to users, rather than the process of connecting socially, which is after all, what we’re all here for.

And, of course, there are guides to picking up badges on Foursquare, so you can falsely claim to be an influential user within whatever network it is you’re trying to affect.

It’s intriguing that we fall into this, and now we look to unify all of our ‘achievements’ across each network, into one venue, such as Score.ly, to show-off even further.

I’m really interested to know what you make of this, and if you know of any research that details this human behaviour, hoarding, in the digital space.

Seldom Seen Kid Facebook Page

After much consideration, I’ve finally setup a Seldom Seen Kid Facebook Page.

It is something I’d not put together until now because I have primarily used my own Facebook profile to share the content I publish on Seldom Seen Kid.

However, I felt that it was the right time to create a new Page for the blog – here’s my reasoning for doing so:

Exposure
By only sharing my blog content through a personal Facebook profile, I am limiting the number of potential viewers who may visit the blog via the social networking platform

Spam
There will be friends on Facebook who don’t give two hoots about what I write about professionally. Setting the page up means that those who want to get updates through Facebook can, and those who don’t, won’t.

Community
The new page gives me an opportunity to organically grow a community who I hope will use the Page to share things that they too find interesting.

Goals
I don’t tend to set myself goals for Seldom Seen Kid, views per post vary according to content and will of course be affected by SEO and potential audience. However, the Page allows me to set goals that will occur within a controlled environment of people who have opted in to receive my content, and identify what sort of content they want to read.

So, what would you like to see from the Page?

Facebook Whitewalling

Facebook Whitewalling is an emerging teen technique to control Facebook privacy: it is the act of logging into Facebook, but deactivating your account each time you logout, then re-activating it when you login, and then deactivating it again when you logout, and so on.

This is a trend that Danah Boyd has recently identified.

The idea is that, without an account on Facebook, you can’t be tagged in any images or other users status updates or check-ins that you don’t want to be.

This means that you control what presence you have on the social network.

It is, actually, a pretty ingenious way of putting power back into the hands of the individual users. What’s disappointing of course, is that Facebook doesn’t have an explicit “don’t tag me!” function already built in. Maybe this new user behaviour will see this shift.

Interestingly, Drew Benvie is experimenting with this and recently wrote about it here. I’m really intrigued and will be watching keenly to see what he makes of his extremely interesting process.