Thoughts on Social and Personal

For today’s post I want to credit Stephanie Booth, whose blog I saw recently (after not seeing it for too long) and found a link to an excellent series of pieces from JP Rangaswami. JP is Chief Scientist at, and I know him going back a few years to the time he had a similar role at BT.

JP is always good at putting together a bunch of great thoughts.

  • The Plural of Personal is Social – in which JP describes business of “old” – ie. before the 1980s, when we had to actually go to the store, we often knew the clerk or owner, and got personal service. He clearly describes the state of the world now, and how companies are trying to get back to that place where relationships with customers are possible. At least some companies are.


I wish I could give you a huge amount more insight into the subject at the moment. I will only say, Thank You Stephanie for pointing me to these great thoughts, and to JP for writing them. I’ll be mulling this over.


Speaking at NYXPO on 10/17

I’ll be speaking at NYXPO on 10/17 at 10:00am in room #4 about social media tools and strategies to increase business and revenue generation in companies. This is the third year for this panel, which also includes Cara Friedman and Nelly Yusupova, and moderator Ellis Henican.

During my talk I’ll be referencing use of lots of different social networks, including Facebook. I’ve written a few articles on Facebook recently so here are the references:

Facebook Tries to Woo Small Business

B to B Marketing on Facebook

Basics of Facebook Promoted Posts

Updated info on Facebook Pages and Facebook’s Mobile App

How to Show Customers You Really Care (a good case study on the use of social by small businesses)

Finally, it is a few years old, but still a good piece on how to create a website.

If this has been helpful, maybe you’d like more tips and articles from Harbrooke Group. Just give us your email and we’ll get you set up quickly.

Best Practices for Enterprise Social Media Management

The folks at Sprinklr have created a new e-book called Best Practices for Enterprise Social Media Management that features many of my friends, colleagues, and people I admire in the industry. The opening part of the book features several quick and useful graphics that would be useful for any executive trying to explain some of the organizational and cultural shifts that would be required as an enterprise adopts social media.

The main thrust of the piece is “Social@Scale.” The company uses the experts to talk about how to think about doing social media engagement at a larger scale. This is not a trivial issue, as it is much different running your own Facebook or Twitter presence than it is interacting with thousands or millions of fans on a business page. Folks like David Meerman-Scott, David Armano, Joe Jaffe, Rohit Bhargava, David Weinberger and more give the perspective on thinking about Social@Scale.

In the next section on tools and tactics, Renee Blodget, Brett Petersel, Ted Rubin and more all share what they’ve learned about helping organizations break down the silos. You get brief organizational model discussions from Sarah Evans, Chris Brogan, Jason Falls, Jay Baer and Matt Dickman.

People like Doc Searls, Amy Vernon, and Peter Shankman help bring the book home with discussions on content, conversation and branding.

The e-book table of contents reads like a who’s who of book authors and credible agency folks who have actually done the work. At the end is a quick assessment you can use to tell if your organization needs help in it’s process of creating social at scale, and, this being a content marketing piece, of course you can contact Sprinklr for more details.

The e-book is a quick and cogent read and the contributors all make very good points at a high level. A reader who wants more in any area can likely find depth in the books that many of these consultants and authors have created. This is a great free resource. Congrats to the smart folks at Sprinklr (who seem to employ more of my friends each week) for sharing this with the world.

Clear Up the Confusion About Facebook Email Changes

Let’s clear up the confusion about Facebook email changes, which seem to make everyone’s default mail a email address.

Lifehacker does a good job explaining how to change it back, or make it private, and Forbes blogger Kashmir Hill called Facebook’s move a “lame attempt to force its email service on you.

According to Facebook’s help

By default, anyone on Facebook can send you a message, and anyone outside of Facebook can email you at your “” Messages and email all go to your Facebook Messages.
To edit who can message you, simply:
1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings.
2. Next to the How You Connect heading, click Edit Settings.
3. Select your preference from the dropdown menu next to Who can send you Facebook messages?

My friend Dean Collins did a quick test and found that I got his mail, but he and I are connected on Facebook. So, assuming he used an email associated with his account, it is not unusual that this would work.

For the real testing, Christopher Penn at email provider What Counts did a test of deliverability of email addresses.
He provides a great visual/chart to help you out. His conclusion:

Clearly, Facebook has some very odd, inconsistent rules when filtering email, and unlike other mail server systems, it doesn’t seem to return any messages when things do or don’t bounce.

He also gives advice to marketers that email addresses aren’t optimal – perhaps a benefit to consumers who don’t want to be bothered. Marketers may see more of these, and have no insight on their deliverability. Definitely a downside for consumers who ask for and want information.

If you think that you should be receiving a message on Facebook and it is not showing in your regular message box, don’t forget about the “Other” box where those ‘suspect’ messages go. Facebook Other Messages

Facebook’s IPO is a Distraction

So Facebook’s IPO didn’t work out the way everyone dreamed – unless you dreamed about a downward trending line. Do I think it was priced right, or that people are over reacting? Doesn’t matter – don’t take stock tips from me.

What I can tell you is that Facebook still is the largest social network on the planet with over 900 million monthly users, almost 400 million of whom logged on at least six out of the last seven days (as of March 2012.) People use Facebook in 70 languages, and over 300 million photos are uploaded daily. 3.2 billion “likes” happened in the first quarter of this year. You may read that they’re not as popular with the younger kids or that they don’t have room to grow. I call shenanigans. There’s still a lot of life in this puppy.
Is Facebook perfect? No. There are lots of things I’d change if I were Zuck. But what’s important for my clients and friends to understand is that Facebook has become infractructure on the Internet. People use their Facebook IDs to comment on other websites, login to other sites, and share from other sites back to Facebook. If Google is a ‘database of intentions,’ tracking people’s searches to derive what they’re going to do or hoping to do, Facebook is becoming a ‘database of actions.

We went to this specific restaurant and we liked it. We took this photo here, at this location, showing that we didn’t just search for this place – we found it, enjoyed it, and shared it.
If you’re a small business, you might enjoy my recent column about a series of webinars from Facebook’s Small Business Team on how to use their ads more effectively. They’re obviously trying to make the platform easier to understand for the lower-spending but more plentiful small businesses of the world – so take advantage of it and learn more about how to make your home page more effective, target your audience, and more. Contact me if I can be helpful in this regard.

Stop SOPA and PIPA

We’re not going “Dark” here to protest SOPA. Instead, I’m leaving this post on the front of the site to give you links to some important places where you can take action. Please do take action, specifically, go to and send a note to your Senator or Congressman.

A truly great summary of the SOPA issue from CopyBlogger.



Inc. Magazine’s Stand on SOPA.

SOPA Protest image

Why you should pay attention to Google+

Over on LinkedIn, Des Walsh asks about the value of Google+ for small businesses. A few people there note LinkedIn’s great business value. I find I’m using it less and less. LinkedIn has turned into a networking free-for-all with people connecting to anyone at all. I keep only people I know, for real, in person, in my network. It also helps me be sure that if someone I value asks for an introduction, I actually know both sides and can make a true introduction, not just a pass-along.
Then there’s Facebook. People question the value of a ‘friend network’ for business. But, Who better to recommend you business than real friends – which is where Facebook excels. I saw this post from Anthony Kirlew today on “How Small Business Owners Miss the Mark with Facebook” and it resonates for me in the direction of Google+. Both of these networks need to bring in the concept of closeness, reputation and trust before they’re going to truly see their value.

So, what is Google+, and why should you pay attention? It is  a social network, with circles of your contacts at the center. You can make a circle of work folks and “huddle” with them in a shared mobile text messaging type environment. You can “hang out” with your friends via a video and audio chat room. You can see news you care about via sparks (which needs a lot of work to get to the value of Google Reader). And there’s photo sharing, integrated from Picasssa. So, a lot of the same stuff as Facebook and Twitter.
Google+ can take a giant leap ahead if they take the circles concept and add some trust and reputation characteristics. For those not yet using Google+, the concept of circles is simple – you put people into circles like “Friends” and “Family” and you can filter what you see based on the circles. You can also filter what you share, so your friends see the fun night out pictures, while your family is unaware of them.
Of course, Facebook and Twitter already have Friend lists and Lists, respectively, but neither is very good. Twitter gives no tools to help manage the contacts you already have to put them into lists, and Facebook has tried to hide the lists I spent time making to make their interface “cleaner.” What they’ve done is make it harder for me to keep up with specific groups of people. I’m hoping Google+’s circles will force Facebook’s friend lists back to the front page where they can be effectively used.
Google may be “late to the party” with G+ but they are clearly working to learn from LinkedIn and Facebook and innovate on their own mistakes with Buzz.
Finally, there’s the “take over the world” strategy for Google+. I thought a lot about this when
I wrote about Google Wave in Mashable last year, but Mashable never published a chart I created. The chart was about Wave, so I’ll re-do it below.

Function In Google+ Now? Google Related Property
Picture Upload and editing Upload Picassa
Advanced Editing Limited Google Docs, Blogger
Collaborative Editing No Google Docs, Google Shared Spaces
Voice Chat Hangout Google Voice, Gtalk
Scheduling Collaboration No Google Calendar
Contacts Yes Related to your Google Address Book
Friend/Colleague Discovery Currently Difficult but they are working on it Gtalk, Gmail Contacts
NewsFeed Discovery Difficult to search, but easier to filter via circles Google search, new Google Social Search,
Video Sharing Embeds via YouTube YouTube
Content Sharing No, but just needs a simple bookmarklet or browser extension Predict this will happen very shortly, plus APIs to integrate with ShareThis/AddThis will happen quickly too
Mobile Access Android App, Apple App coming, HTML 5 interface available now Google Mobile Ads
MobileCheckins/Deals Checkins Show in Google+ Now, and the Android client shows “Nearby” activity already Google Local, Google mobile ads, Google social ads, Google Offers

The fact that they can bring in Google Offers (local deals) that connect to Google Places (location, check in and verified business listings), search and advertising (including mobile ads) and a “Nearby” function is in their network from the start, and you have a very powerful potential.

We’re telling them who we’re closest to, and according to some folks using Google+, they’re calculating interactions to see our actual nearness and interactions with each other. If they can figure out a way to keep user’s trust (which they lost with Buzz) better than Facebook (up there with used car salesman in the trust category) and let us discover and work with reputational information about each other (something LinkedIn could have done long ago), again, I see a lot of power.

I hope Google can realize the potential.

Bonus reading:

The Google Plus 50 by Chris Brogan

This is Just the Beginning by Paul Adams

Google’s Six Front War

Sex Problems at Google Plus (he means gender problems but sex sells, right?)


Wired Workforce and Networked CSR

Wired Workforce, Networked CSR (corporate social responsibility) is the title of a white paper I wrote with Tom Watson about the use of social media in CSR. It was published in cooperation with the Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at NYU, where I teach a social media course. The paper was sponsored by JK Group and we’re launching it today at JK’s Forum on Philanthropy.

You can read more about the paper via this post at called “Social Media and CSR.” The post also has the paper embedded for your reading pleasure. We welcome your comments.