Updated: Paying Users to View Ads? Facebook Doesn’t Get It

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I recently came across this headline on Gather, “Facebook to Pay Users for Viewing Ads?” and my first thought was, “They just don’t get it.” The “it” I am referring to is meaningful user engagement. Yes, Facebook is the biggest social network in the world, with a reported 600 million global users, but sometimes exponential growth is achieved in spite of an organization’s flawed strategy, systems and tactics (remember AOL?).

Let me make this clear, material rewards in exchange for participation on a social network is a long-term losing proposition. Check this cool Dan Pink video on what motivates people, in particular the point that rewarding mechanical functions may work, but once you get beyond “rudimentary cognitive function” it quickly tanks.

Note the mention of the word “engagement”, the current buzzword for why brands and companies should use social media. On social networks, what starts as enthusiastic support for the paying organization by its paid supporters morphs into a feeling of entitlement to that remuneration leading to demands for increased compensation and ending in resentment towards the organization — the exact opposite outcome from what was initially desired.

At that point, you not only have a dissatisfied user, you have one with increased voice and influence who knows how to reach your customers very well.

This is the major flaw behind organizations’ misguided faith in raw social media metrics. Read more of this post

Mark Zuckerberg,TIME Magazine Person of the Year — But Not Mine

Mark Zuckerberg TIME Person of the Year 2010In a year full of the famous and infamous, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg is TIME magazine‘s Person of the Year.

While you cannot debate that Zuckerberg and Facebook made news on a global basis in 2010, I don’t agree that his selection was the most worthy.

Let’s talk about impact. True, Facebook is the most impactful social network worldwide, but even with 500 million members, that’s still only about 7% of the world’s 6.9 billion population.  A large number to be sure, but why recognize him now? A hit movie? A killer ‘60 Minutes‘ appearance? The fact that the “enfant terrible” of social media appears to have finally grown up?

Newsworthy, yes, but surely others were more deserving. Love him or hate him, my choice is Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks site who have made a far more serious impact worldwide not only on government and the military, but also on the state of journalism itself. For that matter, strong arguments exist for former BP chairman Tony Hayward or, for group recognition, The Unemployed American. It wouldn’t be the first time a group was the “person”.

Take it from me, a former co-winner of TIME’s Person of the Year (2006).

Updated Feb 4, 2012: My apology to Mark Zuckerberg (among other things) 

P&G Shifts Ad Dollars from Soaps to Social

Further proof that social media is here to stay:

P&G info on WkipediaProctor & Gamble, the consumer products giant for whom the term “soap opera” was coined, is dropping its advertising on soap operas after 77 years, and shifting their ad dollars to Twitter, Facebook & YouTube.

It’s enough to make a social media guy like me jump for Joy.

1-in-4 page views now hosted by Facebook

1-in-4 page views now hosted by Facebook; more importantly, FB exceeds Google for visits by 42% http://ow.ly/3dC28

E-mail: The new, old “killer app”?

AOL's Project Phoenix

So much activity around new email programs (Facebook Titan mail; AOL Phoenix mail)’ Looks like the ‘killer app’ of Web 1.0 is back.

Zuckerberg announces titan

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