Facebook Dialing Back the Beacon
I covered much of the uproar surrounding the controversial Facebook Beacon program earlier this week, and it seems that Facebook is realizing the errors of their ways. Charlene Li reports that Facebook has announced that no more stories about user purchases on Beacon’s partner sites (many of whom are now extremely wary of losing business due to the complaints of privacy advocates) will be published to Facebook news feeds without the user’s expressed consent. Charlene wonders if this entire ruckus will end up seriously affecting social media marketing. “The greater impact will be on nervous partners, some of whom — like Overstock — have withdrawn their Beacon participation. Most have taken a wait-and-see approach, weighing the benefits of exposure to their customers’ friends network against possible push-back from privacy advocates. My concern is that this mistrust of Beacon spills over and dampens the already nascent beginnings of social media marketing.”
Am I the Only One Who Thinks Meatball Sundaes Sound Kind of Good?
Seth Godin recently announced that his latest book about new media marketing will be called “Meatball Sundae,” the title meaning that mixing two separately delicious ideas can cause you to end up with something pretty awful. Following that, Greg Jarboe launched an argument claiming that the Social Media Press Release qualifies as a meatball sundae, mixing traditional PR with new media “toppings,” noting that social networkers on sites like Digg always bury SMRs anyway—so what’s the point? Brian Solis responds with an extensive post in defense of the SMR, which he argues is definitely not a meatball sundae. “The Social Media Release is nimble, scalable, and customizable. It can be written for journalists, bloggers, and/or for customers, and is simply rooted in the social tools and channels that help socialize the content for discovery, interpretation, and sharing. It’s something that combines the best of traditional, new and social media and helps package a story in a way that works for different writers and users.”
Where Outsourcing Could Do Some Good
By now we are all aware that much of the lower-level jobs in the U.S. (customer service positions in call centers, for example) are being outsourced to India, where labor is far less expensive. This is generally viewed as a negative, but what if we outsourced newspaper readership? Circulation rates in this country have been dropping steadily in recent years, as many Americans are turning to the web and other sources for their news. Newspaper readership in India, with a huge literate population, is rising, and Stephen Davies wonders if this could be a solution to dropping revenues in the Western world. “I guess that’s why newspaper pioneers like the Guardian are becoming more global in their outlook. Which reminds me, I read an blog post today saying that the Guardian has surpassed the New York Times in terms of traffic. Can’t remember whose blog I read it from now though.”