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The RAAKonteur #30 – Facebook Pages are useless, HTML5 vs iPhone & more

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1 March 2011

First of all, thanks to Phil Seddon. He's the gent who designed our new website and he's just added some excellent letters to our crowdsourced logo. And on that note, we just picked a few letter combinations from the loop and turned them into those great Moo business cards. Aren't they lovely? If you want one, call us for a meeting.


You better rethink your Facebook strategy

OK so first off – some bad news. A while ago we told you that what really matters when marketing on Facebook is a user's newsfeed. That's where 95% of all commenting and liking takes place; not on the Facebook page.

Well, here are more insights to back up that argument. Most marketing activity on Facebook itself is a waste of time. Deep integration on Facebook does not work, even storefronts on Facebook have issues. So what should you do? RWW has an excellent article from seasoned Facebook expert Peter Yared. He advises that a brand must do consistent lightweight interaction:

A brand on Facebook should be like a casual friend or neighbor and not try to suck people into heavy levels of interaction.

Our advice? Remember two weeks ago we told you about Spotify's success with Facebook Connect? So take Facebook to your website or app and not the other way around. The control of the UX and functionality will allow you to get into the newsfeed.

Making Foursquare useful

Many are talking up FourSquare's growth, but anecdotal evidence suggests they are struggling to keep people engaged. So we built a little tool that tries to make it more useful. It's still a proof of concept, but go have a look.

HTML5 invading mobile land

This week we were struck by two related in-depth posts, one about HTML5 as an alternative to native apps for mobile development, and another about Facebook and Apple bearing down on each other with their competing payment systems.

Basecamp – the popular web site for managing project teams – has declined to develop native application versions for the iPhone, Android or Blackberry. Instead they opted for one mobile HTML5 version, which you can see in action here.

So what does this have to do with Facebook and Apple's payment systems? There is a small revolt brewing amongst publishers and developers about Apple's new plan to take 30% of all subscription and payment revenues earned via all applications on its platform. Many are threatening to go the HTML5 route instead, serving their content through your mobile browser. And that apparently is the reason why Facebook is throwing its weight behind HTML5.

The interesting question is not whether developers are turning to native apps over HTML5, but why. Is it because of performance, discovery or monetization? If Facebook could solve two of those three problems with the social graph and Credits, would mobile developers come?

What media is for

This week a well-known agency made many – including us – uncomfortable with a promotional video. It made use of sophisticated tilt shift shots, it was well lit, it looked good – but something was very wrong. As one of 800 comments – at current count – said:

Working in marketing and having a large responsibility for social media, this advert makes me feel woozy with a slightly sick feeling in my stomach. Yes it provokes a reaction but it's overwhelmingly negative. It's like a load of out of touch marketing execs have got around a table and tried to work out how to "get down with the kids" (literally) by using a lorry load of buzz words. Good job on creating a buzz. Wrong buzz though.

Why did it provoke such a negative reaction? We think it is the profoundly depressing mix of inauthenticity and amorality at its core. If all kids wanted, no, demanded – in such an aggressive way – to have "augmented reality as their reality" when they grow up, how sad would the world be?

We have an alternative uplifting vision of how and why people use media, for instance from places like Egypt. People are moral beings. We are only beginning to understand what is acceptable media practise in a world where people are the media channel. We concur with Chris Arnold who said this week in Brand Republic in an article called Social Media and Ethics:

Today you can forget the term ‘brand’ that’s a manufactured thing, instead think ‘reputation’ (a word PR agencies have used for years) because now what really matters is what consumers say about you, not what YOU say about yourself, no matter how big the ad budget. And HOW and WHAT you do says more than ads.

Facebook Breakup Notifier

One to make you smile. Developer Dan Loewenherz has created a cheeky app based on the relationship status of your Facebook friends. As he describes it:

You like someone. They're in a relationship. Be the first to know when they're out of it.

Shame to see that Facebook has blocked it.

The reputation and influence graphs

Everyone is talking about influence and how to identify the people that have it. But what is the relationship between reputation and influence? The founder of PeerIndex pointed us to this in-depth blog post, which takes a look at services like Klout and its relationship to reputation:

So how does PeopleRank interact with the reputation graph? In my version, the reputation graph consists of all of the things we know about the people who we know. Who’s smart? Who works hard? Who is a slacker or dishonest?

Klout getting more influential

On the subject of influence, Jeremiah Owyang, co-author of Groundswell, argues this week that:

Businesses are Relying on Easy-to-Understand Klout for Finding and Prioritizing the ‘Elite’ Klout, starting to integrate into many digital touchpoints. From hotels in Vegas offering special services to those with high scores, to a growing range of services that Klout is integrating with, and even politicians, the service is starting to grow.

But Owyang also points out that relying on a single metric is dangerous and refers to Kenneth Cole's Egypt comment debacle. Even though the brand got panned online, its Klout score sky rocketed.

Still, there's no denying Klout is going from strength to strength. It claims there are now 1,500 companies paying for their data. How the public at large will react to companies giving preferential treatment based on something like Klout, remains to be seen.


Kickstarter ups its run rate

Another company that's doing well is the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. It has just announced that it has passed the $1 million per week mark in pledges:

So far, Kickstarter has helped 5,000 projects get funded with about 2,500 actively fundraising at the moment. About 250 to 300 new proposals come in a day, hoping to appeal to a pool of supporters of more than 600,000 people.

But LinkedIn only sees virtual tumbleweed

One company that does not seem to be getting it quite right yet is LinkedIn. They admitted this week that a 'substantial amount' of its users don't visit their website, not even on a monthly basis.

Creative of the week – Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea is an artist/designer who uses technology to make the unimaginable come to life. And he's just created an interactive installation that uses holographic projections to get kids excited about storytelling. Read More >>


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