Categories
Communication Technology

Why Google wants to stop me blogging

If you are posting original content on Facebook or Twitter, you’re stupid.  No polite way to put it.   You’re an idiot.   Every day I see great thoughts, photos and other inspiring original content posted on Facebook and it makes me cringe.   It is like cooking an interesting organic and original meal and then giving it away to McDonald’s to sell for you.   It is also inexcusable because there are so many easy ways around it.

When blogging started it was just that.   Blogging.   Horrible aesthetics for web logs= very rough diary like things.   But now you have Tumblr and all sorts of prettier choices.   You can put your stuff in your website and then get it to automatically update Facebook, Twitter or almost anything else you want.   But you control the environment in which your content lives and breathes.   You organise it as you want it presented, not as Facebook deems best in its latest incarnation.

Yeah, even those witty one liners you are posting on Twitter.   Post them in your world and then think where you are distributing them.

There is however a larger picture on this issue.   And that is that even Google is keen to stop you blogging.   The demise of the blogger.com platform is intentional.   Because if you are controlling a “castle” of a blog with all your information and all it’s unique traffic, they can’t make money out of it as easily.   You might even start to want to sell banners yourself!  Facebook and Google+ or Twitter are in effect using you as slave journalists and content producers.   They make the interface and the media chanel, you provide the content.   Sure, loads of it is rubbish, but even rubbish provides really useful data about how you, and your friends, think.   What they like, what they shop, where they go.

Blogger isn’t one of Google’s failures.   It was useful when it started and now it is purposely being winded down.   They don’t completely cancel the service as it provides useful information.   And WordPress would simply be too powerful if left unchecked.    But now they want most of you to start working for them for free on Google+…

 

Categories
Business Communication

Corporate psychoanalysis through the company blog

My friend is a damn good designer.  He has worked for the biggest furniture manufacturer’s and other luminary positions that an industrial designer can achieve including his own lab.   Anything from unique desk systems, to an incredible invention that helps the Athens Hilton fold their tables more efficiently or a sea kayak.  But what exactly is he?

You could call it a mid life crisis.   Too vague and emotionally laden for me.   In corporate terms he is in danger of becoming a jack of all trades.  In his own mind. He needs to focus on less to achieve more.   I have seen companies do this at fancy retreats, with or without gurus like me to assist them.   They run around an assault course, dive backwards into the teams arms, raft down the river, party like maniacs and somehow reinvigorate their common idea of what the enterprise is all about.

Blogging is like all that only better.   OK, I am a blogging junky.   It is not so much that I have a compulsive need to blog all the time so much.   It is more that I see blogging as the solution to more and more corporate ails. I threw www.benakis.info at my friend with some sample content.   Like most companies, he wasn’t sure what to do with it.   Then, some time later, the phone calls started:   “How can I change that?”, “do you think we should add this?” and “how would Twitter fit into all of it?”

I haven’t yet seen his first post.   That, to me, is the “bingo” moment of triumph.   Because it means that he has found his public voice.   He has imagined an audience and spoken to it.   For anyone that is an expert in their own field, the content is easy once you achieve this first step.   An excellent example is www.yalosbranding.com which I am proud to say I didn’t write a single word of.   OK, they are branding specialists, it is their job to know what to project.   But I simply enabled the technology for them to transfer this know-how to a new medium.   I was just watching  and applauding, reassuring  as much as possible when necessary.   Through this process they are rediscovering their relevance to an international market.

Google, customers and everything else will fall into place.

Categories
Technology

An insane privacy bug in Facebook for Blackberry

So I am at  party and someone is really interested in an event I heard about on Facebook.  In fact she is so keen she wants to go asap.  She insists and we are in the middle of nowhere so she logs out of her Facebook account on  her Blackberry and hands it to me.  I log in, find the event, send her the info and log out myself.   Seems straightforward.   We continue the other discussion and she shows everyone how cool it is that her brand new Blackberry shows up pictures of her friends when one of her friends calls.  “It did it all by itself!”

Two days later I log in to my Facebook account and I am greeted by a message.  Facebook noticed that I have been using Facebook for Blackberry.  Would I like to import my contacts?  What contacts?  Her contacts!   All I did was click “yes” and all her Facebook contacts came to me!

I realise that for any American reading this I am already way off the mark.  This shouldn’t be a blog post, this should be a law suit already!  (OK, it is all documented with screen grabs etc just in case I change my mind…)  With the amount of negative publicity they are getting these days about privacy problems, this could make me a fair amount of money.   It is almost a media frenzy right now without adding one of the most popular mobile platforms for accessing Facebook to the mix.

The beauty of this one from a litigation point of view is that nobody can escape the blame.  I looked over the technical aspects of setting up Blackberry Enterprise Server and the options for social networking integration and sure, we could blame Vodafone (the service provider) for anything mistakenly set up in her account.  But then it was the Facebook application on my computer that offered me her contacts!  And she had done everything “properly” by logging out before handing it to me.

But no, I won’t add to the calls for everyone to delete their accounts from Facebook.  Yet.  In fact I just started a second Facebook account for myself in English.   I will just be more careful not to post any information more personal than I do on this public website.  And for sure I won’t be handing my Blackberry to anyone at parties…