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Web Community Forum

Facebook Will Merge Your Group And Page To Make Poups!!

In a landmark decision, Facebook now allows normal group owners to have their Facebook Groups merged into their Facebook Pages. I heard about this on Inside Facebook a few weeks ago but wanted to verify that it worked for me. It does! Some of you will remember my very public bitchin about Facebook Groups vs. Pages from back in December. I spoke at the Web Community Forum thanks to an invite from the wonderful Teresa Valdez Klein. It seemed then and up till a few weeks ago that Facebook didn't really know what to do about the discrepancy between group and page functionality. Things got so testy, we actually started a Page to complain about the problems with Groups vs. Pages About a month ago, they started moving sponsored groups over to pages, but when I asked if they'd do it for me, they were all, "No, you're not Apple. Go back to your fragmented and confusing world!" Now they've come around. here's what you do voila! My stats are still broken on the "Ads and Pages" dashboard, but that's less important right now. Check out my Page and become a fan! A GRAND UNIFIED FAN.

On Politicians, Social Media And Obama (with diagrams!)

So my social media homeysita Teresa Valdez Klein blogged over at Web Community Forum the following
In their new book, Groundswell, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff outline five major objectives in online community building: listening, talking, energizing, supporting, embracing
    If I had to wager, I’d say that the candidates’ efforts on Linkedin fall neatly into the second category. It’s unlikely that the candidates are actually paying attention to the thousands of responses pouring in, but that’s a smaller part of the political equation. The important thing from where the campaigns stand is that these outreach strategies make people feel heard. But, as we online community geeks all know, there’s a big difference between making people feel heard and actually hearing them.
    Good point, but I'd like to extend it. I haven't read Li's book yet (though I have it thanks to you, Teresa), but I have been working on a response to BL Ochman who thinks Obama's not using the Internet well at all in terms of empowering people. I'm not lumping Teresa and BL into the same boat, but I'll respond to both with a part of my view on political campaigns and social media. Let's start with Talking 2.0

    Politicians and Social Media 1: Talking 2.0

    In this part, politicians with their big heads and big mouths sit on the top, get on TwitterSpaceBookTube, collect a bunch of friends and broadcast their message in a very direct mail sort of way. It's just like direct mail, except the people build their lists on their own. It's advertising beyond 30-seconds and much better targeted. Now, Fundraising 2.0

    Politicians and Social Media 2: Fundraising 2.0

    Again, politicians are at the top of the heap, this time tapping into millions of small donors. Obama is the king of this right now. At this phase, politicians enable donors to solicit from other donors with their own mini-campaigns and donation widgets. This is significant, as it threatens the big time financial interests who've long held the ear (and balls) of our elected officials. Listening 2.0 I don't have a picture here, but just invert the talking image: lots of voices and ideas from the people slapping the politician upside the head. Teresa's LinkedIn post is taking a look at this. Everyone using the web for this purpose has a ways to go. The wiki model has proven most effective at integrating contributions from the multitudes into a coherent work. Will we ever have a wikitician? a wikiacracy? I know Obama has a form on his site to collect ideas and feedback on his various posted policies. I have no idea what happens to that. Do they go to advisors, interns, /dev/null? Not sure. What I do know is that the next layer is essential to reaching a point where campaigns and politicians can meaningfully integrate all that they are hearing from voters and supporters.. Community-Building 2.0

    Politicians and Social Media 1.0 - Community Building

    This is a very different picture. The politician isn't necessarily at the top. They are at the center, because it is around them that civic activity is happening, but people's attention isn't solely focused on listening to the politician, giving money to the politician or even talking to the politician. To extend Tereas's line, "as we online community geeks all know, there’s a big difference between making people feel heard and actually hearing them" and enabling them to hear each other. People are talking to other people. The politician/campaign/organization is the hub of this activity but not necessarily the top. They provide tools, however, which allow people to identify and find each other. They provide materials. On Obama's site, this is the my.barackobama.com social network tool. I've seen volunteers from NYC take this tool and use it to organize dinner parties, trips to Virginia and Pennsylvania and more. Folks looking to help out turn here to find activity in or near their zipcode. The politician, in this case Obama, has inspired or enabled communities to form and to take action. Today that action is focused on getting this candidate elected, but what I'm really excited about is how this carries on into the actual governing. There are promising signs from the Obama campaign that they will do more than any president in history or any candidate running to bring active citizens and community into our government. I've written on that here:
    if Obama's campaign is successful, it will be because we are successful, and if that happens, I envision a country in which people are more engaged in their government and society and thus check the power of those who already have unfettered access. I know the power of this inspiration because it has touched me and made me committed to seeing it happen in my small sphere of influence. If his revolutionary open government and technology plan and government ethics plan (for the love of god, read it!) comes to pass, we will have more visibility and input into the (corrupt) workings of our government than ever before, and it will be up to us to act on that new information. (BTW, compare that to this assessment of Hillary's tech/communications plan. It pales). With the searchable government spending database he spearheaded (use it!), we may find that the obscenity of our budgetary priorities is so readily available, we have no choice but to protest it. Obama's platform is not just about his positions. It's about the tools and infrastructure he's offering directly to the citizens of this country. Forget for a moment who speaks in a most commanding fashion about the particulars of health care legislation. Forget about beautiful language or alleged experience. Look at what President Obama offers all of us: empowerment. Empowerment like we've never seen. Power we forgot we had. Power that a community organizer trained on the streets of Chicago would recognize in a heartbeat. We may not get an opportunity like this for several decades! Look, I am under no illusions about the forces that wield the true power in this country, but what has been restored by Obama's campaign is my faith (and go ahead, say it, "hope") and knowledge that true power is still held by the people, and that we the people can use more of that power under President Obama than under any other. By far.
    These Obama proposals offer unprecedented access to the workings of government for the common citizen. Searchable databases of federal department documents and activities and data, comment periods on non-emergency legislation, streaming video of important meetings. It's hard for citizens to act intelligently without information, and I'm impressed that Obama sees the value in opening the doors. That's the exciting thing for me. Not so much knowing that a candidate actually reads my posts on twitter, but knowing that I can collaborate with my fellow citizens in keeping an eye on government and in building solutions to some of the pressing problems we face. As always, Fired Up!

    My Facebook Outreach Presentation

    Another dispatch from the Web Community Forum conference on Facebook. I was added, last-minute, to a panel on using Facebook for outreach and marketing. I shared the stage with Jason Preston, who marketed this very conference almost exclusively on Facebook. Doing a great job with the moderation was Mr. Todd Sawicki. Highlight for me was getting to show the Facebook video where I drowned a puppy because no one was using my group's discussion board. Here are my slides. Steal these ideas. Just gimme credit if they get you rich. (keep quiet if they drive you into poverty). Update 7 December. slide 3 says I have 11,238 friends. Drop the first "1" and it's accurate. Fast typing on stage. Sorry.

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    My Facebook Curmudgeon Presentation (Updated with Panel Notes!)

    (Update: I've added notes on the panel below the deck). Today I presented at the Web Community Forum conference on Facebook along with Tris Hussy, Jeremy Pepper and moderated by Dave McClure. It was the final panel of the day and felt like a group therapy session. After a full day talking about the cool things you can do in Facebook, the three of us brought it back down to the stuff that sucks: bass ackwards email, application spam, insufficient privacy controls, confusing groups vs. pages and more. My thoughts/slides were mostly based on these blog posts (number 1 and number 2). Here are some slides I prepared for the panel. Feel free to use and enjoy:
    UPDATE 6 December 10:33am (PT) The Web Community Forum twitter feed is doing a good job note-taking (note-tweeting?) on all the panels. Here is a manual cut and paste (yuck) of our curmudgeon panel. * Facebook curmudgeons panel. Fill in the blank "Facebook sucks the most because..." * Tris: Facebook sucsk the most because the groups are absolutely useless * Baratunde: Facebook sucks the most because it destroyed his ability to communicate with his fans * @trishussey says that Facebook sucks because the groups are "useless" * @baratunde says that Facebook sucks because he can't message his groups * Jeremy: Facebook sucks the most because there is a misperceived sense of privacy * @jspepper is complaining about the "mis-perceived sense of privacy" * @jspepper says that people get put in jeopardy when they have public conversations on Facebook * "kids, they just don't get it" - @jspepper * Facebook treats you like a spammer when you're not, says attendee Ellen * if you complain, sometimes things happen unilaterally says another attendee * lack of discussion board notifications is lame Eric Weaver * Facebook the company is "amateur hour" says an attendee who says that they are disorganized when they plan their events for developers * we're all having a really good time here, people are laughing and having a great time * other people can't choose how they want to be contacted, that's a problem * the wall is not a substitute for controlling how people can contact you * "God's green Internet earth" says Tris. LOL! * "search is completely broken" says another attendee in the audience * McClure is going around the room asking people what sucks about facebook. Lots of functionality issues. * to try to find something in the history of posted items - there's no way to hold onto a piece of useful information * a lot of people are harping on search as a problem * everyone hates messaging * @jowyang - let's make some suggestions, I TOTALLY agree with that. Bitching and moaning is all well and good, let's do something positive. * Dave McClure just said, "Facebook sucks, but you're all regular users." @baratunde says, "America sucks, but I'm a regular user of that." * @jspepper says that original college users have a misconception of the privacy and the walled garden - they post everything * @jspepper knows someone who posts all this stuff and by posting their schedule, it led to someone getting raped * @jspepper, "if you don't want to be in a walled garden, don't join." * The biggest problem is the privacy issue and the lack of corporate responsibility for it. - @jspepper * "I don't think Facebook gives a shit about their community at all. They think they're just numbers for advertising." - @jspepper * Dave McClure says that monetization and CTR are really a huge problem. * @baratunde says that e-mail and the telephone are substitutes for Facebook * Facebook messaging is a deprecated version of e-mail * "Never abandon basic features that work." @baratunde * @trishussey wants a POP connection to download his FB e-mail * Facebook has taken us back 40 years of messaging, sayeth @baratunde * @trishussey, "I would rather use Lotus Notes than Facebook messaging and Lotus Notes is the worst e-mail system in the world." * Dave McClure asks how can they improve * @jspepper - FB doesn't care until people rise up and actively abandon * @jspepper, "I'm not writing them off as malicious." * @trishussey - Facebook is a "faux monopoly" because if any one thing blows up, people will leave. * Tris: what percentage of your friends on FB would have to leave for you to go "eh, I guess I don't need to go there as much"? * That's how fragile FB's appearance of monopoly is (tris) * @baratunde - Facebook has a monopoly on my audience. They are good AND evil. They are not "benevolent." * @jspepper, "it's SO not a monopoly." I don't see my parents on FB. There's a diversity of social networks out there that target niches. * Kara Swisher is right when she says that Zuckerberg is showing his youth as a CEO sayeth @trishussey. * @trishussey admits to having been an asshole when he was 25 * @jspepper, you can tell a Harvard man, you just can't tell him much * Dave brings up Beacon - @trishussey says that Beacon belongs in the 4th circle of Hell, but there are things they can do to improve it. * @baratunde - Beacon was the 7th circle of Hell before they changed things * There needs to be a privacy czar that you talk to before you launch something like this (Beacon) - @baratunde * opting out completely should be my choice - @baratunde * @jspepper puts Beacon at 6.5 circle of hell eeven after the opt out because he wants people to see what he's doing in some cases * @jspepper - I do like Facebook, there are amazing things that you can do with it. What they're doing gives them an "evil tinge." * @trishussey - where are the people around Zuckerberg slapping him upside the head? * @davemc500hats is having a lot of fun up there moderating. I can tell by the grin on his face. * @rumford is asking @jspepper, don't you think that FB is a company, they don't need to seek approval or permission at all * @rumford says that pissing off the FB community is a "calculated business risk." * @davemc500hats asks @trishussey, "your daughter is a Web narc?!?!?!" * @davemc500hats asks, "are apps useful? or not useful?" * @trishussey - useful apps die, points out that @rumford said the same thing * @baratunde says that a small subset of apps are engaging, but he's downsizing * @baratunde, "the app process has so biased me against all apps, because they're spam." * @baratunde - don't e-mail me. "you have a walled garden, stay inside." * @jspepper says that he doesn't have a favorite app yet * @davemc500hats asks, "is FB a great development environment?" * @jspepper says that you have no choice but to go to Facebook if you're an app developer * @davemc500hats, $15 billion, "more, less, or no fucking way?" * @trishussey says, "no fucking way." * @trishussey - I would put it into the billions, but 15 is just way too high * @baratunde says, "valuation is tricky and weird. If we all believe it's worth it, it is worth it." * @baratunde says, "it's not going to become the Internet." * @jspepper says that he doesn't understand all the frenzy around the valuation. "They're not making money on advertising yet. * @davemc500hats "poke, superpoke or get your hands off me?" * @trishussey, "i could live without poking." * @baratunde, "I have been known on occasion to poke people." * @jspepper "when men poke me on Facebook, it creeps me out." "This woman keeps on poking me, and I don't know her. It creeps me out." * attendee: what do you not like from a marketing point of view? @baratunde says, "I was using this as a marketer without the proper tools." * @baratunde says, "make how do you know this person? an actionable tool for marketers. also vulnerability of losing all contacts." * @baratunde says, "I want grages!" (groups + pages) * @baratunde says, "Ning has wonderful stuff, but there's no meaning to life without the people. You can't tell people where they should go." * @baratunde, "to just leave would have hurt me a lot more than it would have hurt Facebook."