Archive for the ‘Future’ Category

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The Future of Facebook

February 24, 2011

As the phenomena we know as Facebook continues to evolve and dominate more of our internet lives we have to ask what is the next step for Facebook?

Recently, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg answered this question in a blog post on Facebook. This social media giant will soon release a revamped messaging system. This messaging system will consist of three key features. First, Seamless Messaging, which means users can choose the medium (SMS, IMs, or E-Mail) they wish to use to communicate with their friends. The user sends out a message via whatever messaging platform they prefer and their friend receives that message via their preferred messaging tool. Second, Conversation History, allows you to see all past communication with an individual friend as a single conversation thread. Third, the Social Inbox will filter in only the messages that the user wants to see.


Check out this video for a full tour of Facebook’s new messaging service!

Good

In his blog post Zuckerberg outlined seven characteristics that will define this new messaging system: seamless, informal, immediate, immediate, personal, simple, minimal, and short. As a person that has grown up during this social media revolution these are all traits that attract me to social media. I am on Facebook more than any other site and being able to eliminate having to go to another site like Gmail is always a plus for me. I also like that all my communications with each friend is organized into a single conversation. This gets rid of looking through an endless list of single messages when looking for information from a past communication.

Bad

I see two problems with this new messaging system. First, I do not see people giving up email very easily, we are all still going to have to use email to an extent. There are plenty of people that are not Facebook users so we will have to resort to more traditional methods to communicate with them. Secondly, and more importantly to me is that if Facebook is now basically my email provider is this going to lead to even more junk mail/spam. One of the major ways Facebook already makes money is by selling its users information and likes to advertisers. I see endless spam in the future if Facebook allows advertisers into users emailing loop.

What do you think the impact of the new messaging system will be? Good or Bad? What do you think the future of Facebook will be?

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The Virtual Customer Service Department

February 17, 2011

We as consumers have always had some sort of brand loyalty based on how a company treats us as customers, but as our country faces a recession it has become more of a focus for corporations to hold on to customer loyalty.

While doing my second post I explored how companies are using twitter. In researching different companies I found that Southwest Airlines was using its twitter as a customer service tool. I thought this was a very interesting approach and its creative use of social media to increase its brand image intrigued me. This inspired me to see how else we could use social media in relation to customer service, and while doing that I found Groubal. Where Southwest was using twitter to show its customer service, Groubal does kind of the opposite and gives the customer a platform to voice it complaints.

Groubal

Basically how Groubal works is customers can go on the site and file a complaint which they call a petition and that petition is shared via social media. Other Groubal users can then go on and do an electronic signature supporting or verifying that complaint. Company representatives are then informed of the complaint against their corporation and they can then respond to the customers. For more details on how Groubal works check out this article by Heather Rast.

 

What Groubal Means for the Future

If Groubal continues to grow it could become the meeting ground between large corporations and customers, a virtual customer service department. Customers would come to the site to let their voice be heard when they have been mistreated by companies as well as use the site to compare corporations and make more educated consumer decisions with tools like the customer satisfaction index. Corporations will come to the site to see what the consumer opinions of them are and try to reply to customer’s complaints. These responses could become a key to companies maintaining a brand image as well as retaining customers because customer service would be in such a public forum. Everyone can read and see how companies handle a bad customer relation.

Do you as consumers think something like Groubal will catch on and grow in popularity? As future social media professionals how do you think public forums like this will affect us working for these companies being complained about?

Check out this interview with the founders of Groubal about what Groubal is and what they think it could become!

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Blogger Code of Ethics

February 17, 2011

Should Bloggers follow a professional code of ethics?

Since its beginning the internet has been a place with few regulations. Anyone could put any content they pleased for the most part. This is the allure of the internet. Instead of having to go to media outlets to get content I, the citizen, can now be the publisher of the content and today especially I can publish my content with the greatest of ease.

With more and more people publishing content via the internet, I think we have no choice but to set a code of ethics for social media professionals as well as define who is a professional. Many would think this will lead to censorship, but I believe it will lead to a higher credibility for bloggers that do follow certain ethical practices. Part of the reason we as consumers view a publication like the New York Times as being so reliable is that there is an established code of ethics that professional journalists follow and we know the information in that newspaper is being given to us following these ethics. If we as bloggers and social media practitioners want to look at ourselves as professionals shouldn’t we have a code we follow as well?

Blogging Professionals

Many well known bloggers today are moving toward some sort of set rules and standards. In an article from the New York Times called, “A Call for Manners in the World of Nasty Blogs” reporter Brad Stone discusses this issue with author Tim O’Reilly, credited with coining the term Web 2.0, and Jimmy Wales creator of Wikipedia.  Both agree that there needs to be a move towards regulation and standards for the blog world. They have proposed a system of “badges” that would correspond to a certain set of ethics. Posting the badge on your blog would let the reader know what code of ethics that blogger follows.

Problem

The problem I see occurring is the lack of unity between bloggers. Bloggers aren’t as united under the term blogger as journalists are under the term journalist. There a millions of people blogging now and blogs cover an extremely wide range of topics. To come up with a set of ethics that the majority would agree upon seems highly difficult. Despite the fact that I do not think it will be easy to draft ethics that all professional bloggers follow, I do think their needs to start being discussion on the topic.

Do you think there should be a defined code of ethics for professional bloggers? What do you think should be included in this code?

Click here to join the discussion with Tim O’Reilly and Jimmy Wales!