This week on the Roundtable, I’m joined by co-host Bryan Person of LiveWorld. Bryan and I discussed the serious and silly aspects of the social media response to this week’s rare earthquake in Virginia, the demise of Facebook Place’s check-in feature, and content curation–including the novel way (pun intended) that Social Fresh has approached the process: by categorizing content into “book” chapters.
Today’s show is 28 minutes long.
- First, Bryan and I tackle the serious side of the social media response to this week’s earthquake by examining how social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are able to fill a contact void when cellular networks are overwhelmed with call volume. This capacity proved to be extremely useful–and, when the USGS (United States Geological Survey) asked for feedback through social channels with the question “did you feel it? Tell us!”, many responded. Social networks proved to be a valuable information channel. That’s not to say there wasn’t some silliness–from the proliferation of quake jokes on Twitter to Bryan receiving a PR pitch roughly 30 minutes after the quake hit, social media did maintain its sense of humor (in the case of the jokes). The pitch left both Bryan and I feeling…icky, for lack of a better word. It felt opportunistic and a tad sleazy, although we both agree there’s no set formula to determine what length of time would have been appropriate to wait.
- Next, we talked about Facebook’s decision to retire the check-in feature, and about the very different responses to the news. Bryan’s colleagues at LiveWorld presented the news as Facebook taking “a different approach to location,” versus other coverage that was more along the lines of Marketing Conversation’s post “Foursquare Beats Facebook.” So what’s the real story? I think LiveWorld makes a compelling case that far from abandoning location, Facebook has simply shifted its focus away from check-ins, and is looking at new ways to approach collecting location data. I note that Facebook didn’t endear itself to me when they introduced check-ins, primarily because they allowed other people to check *me* in to a place (until I rapidly turned off the “feature” (bug?)) rather than leaving that information to me to release. Bryan notes that Facebook is now allowing “after the fact” location data to be attached to things like vacation photos–but notes that the advertising potential of this is harder to realize. What would he do with a restaurant discount in a vacation spot now that he’s home? I suggest Facebook make that sort of coupon “shareable”–thus enabling word of mouth along with introducing a place to someone.
- Finally, we talk curation, which continues to be a topic of interest for many. I point out there’s a big difference between aggregating content and curating it–and some are still struggling with this distinction. Bryan points to Social Fresh’s brilliant method of curating content, by organizing information on Facebook marketing into “book” chapters. Instead of a large (but thoughtfully curated) list of 70+ posts, the pieces are sorted into “chapters” that group the posts into a book. It’s smart curation, in a highly organized fashion. Brilliant.