Link: On the Rise of Digital Addiction Activism – Study Hacks – Cal Newport

“At the core of almost everything negative about the smartphone era is the attention economy business model, which depends on getting a massive number of people to use free products for as many minutes as possible. This model, of course, dates back to the beginning of mass media, but the combination of big data and machine learning techniques, along with careful attention engineering, has made many modern apps too good at their objective of hijacking your mind — leaving users feeling exhausted and unnerved at their perceived loss of autonomy.”
Original source: On the Rise of Digital Addiction Activism – Study Hacks – Cal Newport

Link: Rupert Murdoch says Facebook needs to pay publishers the way cable companies do

“The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services,” Murdoch wrote. “Carriage payments would have a minor impact on Facebook’s profits but a major impact on the prospects for publishers and journalists.”
Original source: Rupert Murdoch says Facebook needs to pay publishers the way cable companies do

Growing eyeballs at Facebook, some product management tips

Some intersting history of how Facebook grew users. Of course, this the case study is for a free service, that focuses on a high volume of users. I.e.: not an enterprise sales business that charges $3m+ per user-cum-customers.

Contextualizing aside, there’s some good product thinking:

Better know what your product is good for:

Knowing true core product value allows you to design the experiments necessary so that you can really isolate cause and effect.

Getting people to realize your product is useful, understanding and the wanting the value-prop:

Once you understand core product value you can create loops that expose that over and over again. You have to work backwards from ‘what is the thing that people are here to do?’ ‘What is the A-ha moment that they want?’ and giving that to them as fast as possible.”

The clock is ticking, the cash is burning:

“Startups only have so many opportunities to run an experiment in the product, and they’re also time bound by the cash they have in the bank. With that said you need to run experiments that matter.” “Experiments that count when you are using smaller samples have to be incredibly thoughtful.”

You’d think that would favor large organizations who have the scale of people, time, and money…if only they can switch over to this way of thinking.

Your best customer is one you already have:

Retention is the single most important thing for growth.” “Retention is the number one thing we focus on at Facebook. You can’t trick users into doing that.”

Link

1,000+ companies using Facebook’s intranet service, Workplace

There is a News Feed that displays articles, updates or comments relevant to certain teams or, perhaps, to the entire company. The now-familiar Live service can be used to broadcast corporate communications, such as a presentation by the CEO. Workers can communicate in real time using a version of Messenger. They can also create private Groups for brainstorms or discussions—as of this week, groups can include colleagues or business partners that aren’t official employees. That feature wasn’t previously available until today’s launch.

It looks like $1-3 a month (I’m guessing). I mean: I’ve never used an intranet site that was worth a damn. You could do worse than using Facebook for it: it seems to do a damn fine job as the intranet for people’s lives.

What’s always mattered in these things is that the vendor (here, Facebook) keeps up with it over the course of 5-10 years. Otherwise, it become a big hunk of crap you can’t escape that never evolves. Google Apps (or whatever it’s called) is like this: aside from GMail, it never seems to evovle at a pace that makese sense, so you’re left with the ideas of 2-3 years ago. So, the question becomes: is Facebook in this for the long-haul?

Source: Facebook at Work: Workplace by Facebook Is Now on the Clock

The destruction of a narrow medium

Ben sums up his take on how “the media” was melted down:

…the destruction of journalism is about the destruction of journalism’s business model, which was predicated on scarcity. In the case of newspapers, printing presses, delivery trucks, and a healthy subscriber base made them the lowest common denominator when it came to advertising, right down to four line classified ads that represented some of the most expensive copy on a per-letter basis in the world.

Source: A Technical Glitch – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

Tips on using social media from analyzing how celebrities manage their brands

Some highlights from the article that seem to apply to any marketing use of social media:

  • “If staying on message is the first rule of corporate communications, it is also the cardinal sin of social media.”
  • Each medium has it’s own format and expectations: “corporations can and should differentiate their approach to each platform, digital-marketing experts say.”
  • “Instagram is stylish, behind the scenes” – well, for most of us, “stylish” won’t apply. But the “behind the scenes” part is interesting.
  • “Validate your followers with likes, comments and retweets. It builds goodwill.”
  • Frequent factotumia – “It’s about showing up every single day and showing pieces of their lives rather than when they have a premiere or something to promote.”
  • “Instead of trying to get followers to buy their product, companies can gently boost their brand by commenting on current events.”

Source: What Celebrities Can Teach Companies About Social Media

Facebook referrals

By leveraging the pages of the site’s founders and staff members, Vox.com’s Facebook page organically reached over 1 million weekly users by the end of its first month. When publishing in tandem, Ezra Klein’s page and Vox.com’s page frequently contribute half of the site’s daily Facebook referrals. There is also little overlap among the fans of Ezra’s page and Vox.com’s page, meaning Ezra’s audience is almost entirely additive to the site’s audience.

They say you gotta go native.

Facebook referrals

Facebook ads don’t work too well for “enterprise” types

I am going to sound incredibly churlish here but why on earth Lionel Messi could possibly like our stuff is well beyond my imagination. Flattering though it might be. The same goes for the 20 year career short order cook who posts cat pictures, the retired person who joined Facebook last week, the nurse with a heavy religious bent. On and on it went.

Long ago I tried some ads for RedMonk on Facebook. I think I targeted them at people who worked for IBM. It was hard to figure out if anything “worked.” As with most things in work-life, I think you need to have a highly targeted, simple plan in place. Otherwise, you’re casting a broad net and doing classic advertising.

The other issue is the fact that “enterprise tech” is very niche-y. One would think LinkedIn would be a better place for ads, Techmeme, or even parts of StackExchange. Maybe TechTarget or the occasional ZDNet and such. I think sites like The New Stack have a good chance to assemble (you could also say “aggregate” in this context) a hard to find tech audience and server up better ad space. We’ll see.

Facebook ads don’t work too well for “enterprise” types