For the longest time I didn’t think too much about Facebook Ads. It doesn’t take much to realize that they have amazing reach, but I had heard some discouraging numbers (and continue to hear actually) and didn’t think they were too relevant to B2B – which is often my concern.

Granted, CPC advertising isn’t what I do everyday, but I try to keep my head in the advertising game since it’s central to the products I build – and it helps keep Argyle going.

Recently I had a few minutes to ponder FB ads, and realized that they make perfect sense if you think about them like ads on TV. Here’s a quick run-down on why they are similar:

  • The ads have little to do with the medium
  • The audience is often passively engaged in the subject content
  • The ads see little direct interaction (hence the discouraging numbers)

And here is why those are good things:

  • The ads can be relevant to the viewers interests – FB targeting is fantastic
  • The audience often doesn’t have a real purpose, so they can be distracted by ads more easily
  • Lower interaction – yes, but awareness is valuable. That’s hard to measure, but most likely occuring

So even though I have heard a number of anecdotal stories of low performance campaigns for FB ads, I think the targeting and audience that it has is compelling. As a tool to bring awareness to a very specific audience when their mind isn’t busy working too hard on other things, it excels.

I’m a convert, Facebook is definitely a powerhouse mass media advertising platform, and I want to be there more than ever.

Everyone wants your most valuable content. It’s a constant battle and it’s easy to understand why. If you have the info you have the traffic.

While “Content is king” has had its heyday that doesn’t mean it’s not still not true, though there is a strong argument for Curation is king, but that’s another blog post.

I’ve spent about an hour this evening answering questions on Quora.com (a site I invariably spell wrong every time). I’ve derived quite a bit of fun and insights from reading through questions. I also managed to give myself that atta-boy feeling for answering a few as well.

It made me remember Linkedin Questions, Ning forums, and even my blog – all places that at one point in time were a favorite content repository for me. Lately Twitter and Facebook have taken over as one-stop shops for this information.

But is that the best place for it? Scattered through the morass of facebook comments and twitter musings are nuggets of extremely useful information. But there’s a large problem with that – too much uncategorized data. There is no taxonomy or filing system for Facebook or Twitter.

The most valuable information on most social networks is virtually inaccessible.

Maybe that’s a bit extreme, it’s easy to find value every day. But go back and try to find the best of twitter from a week ago. Or the best facebook comments about love or astrobiology – good luck pal.

Does this mean that there is a huge opportunity for sites like Quora to jump in and own good information on the social web? I think so. Will facebook just try to ‘me too’ its way into that market? perhaps.

So what?

Well for right now, it’s just circular reasoning that proves you need to own your own content in a searchable place (read as: Blog).

However, the large amount of interest we see in organized question & answer tools means that people are still interested in working through a long term solution to making that information more collaboratively created and less corporately owned.

Jeff Cohen, who blogs at DigitalPapercuts.com, and Kipp Bodnar, who blogs at DigitalCapitalism.com, came up with a list of 101 uses for twitter. This isn’t quite the 50 business uses Chris Brogan posted a while back; it’s a bit more fun.

Kudos to Jeff and Kipp for creating a list that not only provides some insight into the light-hearted side of twitter, it also mentions many of the buzz generating tweets (& accounts) as well as memes that have gone around recently.

Bolded below are the few I’ve managed to do:

101 Uses for Twitter

1. Answer the Question “What are you doing?”
2. Tell Your Friends Your Going To Jail
Read the rest of this entry »

Twitter asks what you're doing, how about 'What's important right now?'

What are you doing?

I’m getting sick of explaining that twitter isn’t just a random collection of facebook status updates – that’s what I’m doing.

I think the biggest objection I hear to Twitter goes something like “I don’t want to hear about my coworkers lunch habits, or when they go to bed, or what their kid is doing.” This complaint often stems from the prominent question on twitter’s main page (as well as the “home” page) of What are you doing?

The thing is, twitter is so much bigger than that. I don’t know how many times I’ve told people about the amazing capacity twitter has for link sharing, information passing, and relationship nurturing & maintenance. After about 5 minutes of back and forth I can usually get this across.

But the conversation almost always starts the same. So maybe we can get twitter to nip this in the bud. Maybe twitter can change the question.

What’s important right now?

This is how I see twitter. I mean, sure I do see a decent bit about lunch or people’s kids, but it’ usually not the mundane.  If I hear about lunch it’s because someone has something of note to say, good or bad. It’s really about what’s important right now.

I’ve heard twitter described as hyper-local, and while I feel this has some validity, I’m not sure why it’s really more local than blogging, for example. But I would say that twitter has time-context that blogs as well as many other avenues lack.

The huge value twitter adds is bringing you information in the now, not whenever you stumble across it, or after it goes through several editors. Changing the main question, that helps to define twitter, could help to change new twitterers mindset and present them a little better to the market in general.

So Twitter, capitolize on what you are good, play up the now. You’re better than just status updates.

I’ve been working hard on idek and I have been getting great encouragement from friends. One of the easiest ways for me to see how much they like idek (and of course how much they just like to help me out) is how often they recommend it to friends.

One friend, @MichaelBrooks told a friend who has quite a following. Well, it turns out that an early idek bug caught him when he placed the link on facebook. Mike told me and I messaged the chap. Well, you can read about his experience with proactive support.

I was glad to fix the problem for him, I was even more of win that he took it so well.

It just goes to show that people understand when you’re not perfect.

Thanks, Mike!

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