Doug Haslam: Gischeleman’s Blog

January 23, 2008

Common Courtesies: Online needs to catch up with Real World

Filed under: social media — Tags: — doughaslam @ 11:20 pm

This week I was thinking about the “social” part of social media. Do we need to rein in behavior standards? I’m not talking about blog comment trolls and other social reprobates– I am thinking more along the lines of Miss Manners. Just because we are conversing online, and sometimes not in our off-line voice (but in avatars and pseudonyms), does not mean some common courtesy rules can’t apply.

One thing I have observed is the use of online invites, like eVites and Upcoming. People RSVP to events, but then don’t show up. Others don;t RSVP regrets when the invite asks them to. This is plain rude, and should not be accepted in offline life; nor should it be here. I will not outline specific examples I have seen, because frankly, in any single case I may not have all the information. So, this isn’t about calling out individuals.

Other things I have observed, both positive and negative. This is based on my experiences in social networks, so your experiences may be wildly different:

  • Accounting for tone, culture and language difference: online social networks have opened us up to a lot of different cultures, and different ways of communicating. Largely, I think online communities quickly attune to the heartbeat of the group, understanding what people mean, and how their expression comes across.
  • Knee-jerk responses: I actually have no problem with this. The Web actually breaks down inhibitions in some people who are usually shy in person, and in turn helps them communicate better in the “meat” world. Knee-jerks, speaking (typing) without thinking, etc., are al part of the process. So the lesson is not so much to think before you communicate online (though it’s not a bad idea), but to be tolerant of people’s mistakes. A lot of perceived rudeness is covered in the last bullet, the rest is covered in patience and thick skin.
  • Too much information: I don’t mean I don’t want to know what you had for lunch today (I don’t but feel free to tell me anyway, I can’t stop you), but there is a disturbing lack of concern about the private information we put out there. Where we live, who is in our family, what we owe on our mortgages– that’s all out there to find, but that doesn’t mean we have to advertise certain information. I hold things back certainly, including information I know anyone can find, but I just don;t want to invite trouble. I can always change my phone number, email address, my blog. Some things I can’t replace. I’m just afraid there will be some incident that will scare the pants off of everyone in my online groups– I just hope not.

Hmm, all this from my observation that we need to pay more attention to RSVPs– and thank-you notes, while we’re at it. What do you think about online manners?

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January 18, 2008

Social Media Top 5: I Can Hasbro? edition

Filed under: social media — Tags: — doughaslam @ 4:53 pm
  • Steve Jobs’ MacWorld keynote causes a Twitter tsunami that displaces hundreds of thousands.
  • I Can Hasbro? The popular Facebook game Scrabulous infringes on the Scrabble copyright. Who knew? OK, everyone knew, but perhaps Mattel/Hasbro missed an opportunity to co-opt a popular knockoff,rather than attack it- just as they missed an opportunity to do it first.
  • TV-B-Gone, made (in)famous by Gizmodo at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, spawns a cottage industry:
    • Relative-B-Gone; not looking forward to family gatherings? Zap ’em! Future upgrades will include selectivity in case you want that favorite cool cousin to stick around.
    • Troll-B-Gone; someone pestering you on your blog? Zap ’em! Ok, maybe you can do that already…
    • Bullshit-B-Gone; executives/colleagues/people you know spouting buzzwords and insider geek language? Zap ’em! Make them speak plain English, or whatever language you prefer (Engrish and Pig Latin features coming soon)
    • Bush-B-Gone; for yardwork, AND for liberals! Zap ’em!
    • Lenny Kravitz-B-Gone: special edition for me. Never could take his derivative crap music. Zap ‘im!
  • PR blogger Jeremy Pepper calls out his brethren for spreading “truthiness,” or “blog truth.” I’m just doing my part with the Top 5 every week. What, you expect us to be journalists or something? It’s not like we have to worry about half-baked blog posts coming back to bite us in the ass when our clients get targeted by bloggers– oh, wait…
  • The hunt is on for a 2008 successor to 2007’s “Social Media Starfish” (via Scobleizer). A few candidates, and why they might be cooler:
    • Social Media Kraken: ever see a starfish attack a submarine or a sperm whale? didn’t think so.
    • Social media shark: your blog is a shark- it must keep moving, or it dies.
    • Social media sasquatch: just thinking of those crazy beef jerky ads with the idiots (trolls) who torture the sasquatch (blogger), who actually never inflivcts any real harm
    • Social media unicorn: because the stuff we can;t do yet is always the coolest.

    Guess we’ll have to give this some more thought

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*photo via Icanhasheezburger 

January 14, 2008

Social Media Top 5: Zuckiavelli, and be nice to SEOs edition

Filed under: social media — Tags: — doughaslam @ 9:19 am

1. I’ve got your data portability right here…all I need is a thumb drive and the corporate network. Actually, will data portability arguments move to renewed question over ownership of intellectual property created by employees? Who owns my rolodex? What I write on my employer’s blog? We may see disagreements over the answers to such questions.

2. Social Media hippies meet the PRSA squares in Boston. Thank goodness the Merry Pranksters 2.0 didn’t spike the Kool-Aid. Actually, members of the “traditional” public relations community understand more about social media than some folks think.

3. Social Media Club/PRSA Boston Take 2: C.C. Chapman referring to Amanda Chapel of Strumpette as the “heart of evil” and meaning it as a compliment (I think) may have been the highlight of the evening, followed by the near-lynching of Laura “Pistachio” Fitton after she compared “black hat SEO” to porn. Lessons learned: SEOs need to develop their sense of humor, and Pistachio should let someone else start her car for the next couple of weeks, if you know what I mean.

4. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on 60 minutes. What we learned I:

  • Mark Zuckerberg did not take Human Growth Hormone or steroids, but has received several vitamin B12 shots, and it turns out that the coders for Facebook Beacon were merely using flaxseed oil.

5. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on 60 minutes. What we learned II:

  • Facebook will compete with Google as a search destination, according to Charlene Li of Forrester Research. If you ask me, after he has laid waste to Google, Zuckerberg will then proceed to level, in no particular order:
    • Microsoft
    • Sony (but only the cool parts)
    • Matt Drudge
    • Balco
    • The Federal Reserve
    • Domino’s Pizza
    • Hasbro
    • Hormel, and maybe Kraft Foods
    • The State of Idaho
    • Harvard (just for fun)
    • Teva

    Do you have any ideas for who Facebook will go after next?

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January 7, 2008

Social Media Top 5: Don’t Scrape Me, Bro! Edition

Filed under: social media — Tags: — doughaslam @ 7:41 am

plaxo1. In the Robert Scoble/Facebook brouhaha, the social media community has spoken: “Facebook, you don’t own our data. Our info belongs to…Plaxo?” It’s unfortunate that Scoble’s run-in with Facebook involved his use of new Plaxo software to scrape profile information. The ability to carry our data– including the people in our network– is interesting. The presence of a company (Plaxo) that had only begun to rehabilitate its image as an unwelcome intruder in our email inboxes constantly asking us for contact information skews the perceptions in the debate.

2. Other side of the coin: those of us who join social networks gleefully enter lots of contact information, such as emails, cell numbers, and sometimes things even more sensitive and personal. We also agitate for easier ways to take our data from one network to another, but frequently scream if we think another company might want to do something with the data. Our data is gold. We should demand reasonable terms of service, but we should also expect that just because we don’t pay money for something does not mean it is free.

3. In other Scoble news, he was kicked out of a local Safeway last week after using a scanner to try to capture the nutritional information from the entire breakfast cereal aisle.

4. Now that actual voting has begun, we are seeing that the political candidates really don’t care about using social media. If this means we are spared a new Hillary Clinton song contest, I’m willing to wait until 2012 for a Social Media President.

5. CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, is this week. Can we top last year’s unquestioned highlight, which was undoubtedly either the tasering of Amanda Congdon on, or the introduction of the iPhone (wait, that wasn’t at CES?)?

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December 31, 2007

Social Media Top 5: Year End Edition

Filed under: social media — Tags: — doughaslam @ 12:28 pm

I wasn’t going to join the year-end list-making parade of reflections and predictions. We should be reflecting and predicting everyday, right? Why do it now? Then I realized “everyday” includes today, and, yes, I do a list every day – ok, every week – so, it would by hypocritical for me to refrain.

Not that I would care.

But I can make a list without feeling bad about scorning the whole end-of-year list-making BS, so there.

One difference– this Social Med ia Top 5 is not so much made-up jokes and eye-poking, but a broader year-end look, with a little-fun-making thrown in, I hope.

Maybe I should lay off scorning year-end lists after all. Here goes:

  • In 2007, Guy Kawasaki proved 2 things with his site Truemors:
    • If you’re Guy Kawasaki you can put an elephant turd on a roll, call it a sandwich an people will eat it.
    • You can get a business up and running for less than $20,000, rather than begging for that $5 million VC round. I think we may see more worthy businesses succeed with this model in 2008.
    • 2007 saw expansion of the idea of egalitarian media- anyone can create, and make a difference, while naysayers such as Andrew Keen started to get louder, disdaining the “Cult of the Amateur.” While I particularly found Keen’s use of social media tools to spread his antisocial media message, I do think that top-down media holds appeal for many folks, and we will see more of that in 2008. Where it is unwanted (Twitter?) it will be rejected, but other places (many blogs and “communities”) it will be embraced where people want it. We have the right to make media, but we also have the right to lurk and be an audience as well. The push-me-pull-you of these two social media schools of thought will continue, and continue to be interesting.
    • Social Networks are more fully-formed than ever, but where next? We already know they will be incorporate into games (Sony is already well on the way, aren’t they?), but perhaps 2008 will see companies and people trying to insert social networks into other existing frameworks (television viewing), pushing the linits and seeing where it’s wanted.
    • “Micro Networks” might even have a more interesting time of it. An off-shoot of the Hyper-lcoalization of the web, micro-networks will be highly targeted, niche specialized groups online. Most likely they will use tools like Ning to organize. I already see where the limits exist; my office, a cubicle culture, does not need an online social network (or work network), when we have cubicles. But “virtual” companies may find their own innovative ways to organize. It will be interesting to see what bubbles up.
    • Virtual Worlds: 2007 saw the so-called “trough of disillusionment” for Second Life, the 3-D virtual world, but it also saw mainstream TV shows like CSI and The Office forming episodes around Second Life. Interest is not dead, but how will we see the next “pop?” Will it come from somewhere other than Second Life? A retail site or other online commons introducing 3-D avatars? How will the masses make the logical leap from The Sims to Second Life-style interactivity? Will it happen in 2008? Something will happen

    OK, those 5 weren’t funny or snarky for the most part, so here’s a current-week bonus:

    • crayon’s Scott Monty borrows a page from boss Joseph Jaffe (remember the “send me an iPhone” podcast?) and begs online for a snowblower. How should he repay the community? I think he should steal an idea from Blendtec and start a series of YouTube videos for Toro entitled “Will it Blow?”

    ETA: Please put your feelings of social media for 2007/2008 in the comments– or linkbacks. Thanks for coming by!
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    December 14, 2007

    Social Media Top 5: Wintry Mix Edition

    Filed under: social media, Uncategorized — doughaslam @ 11:08 pm

    A new round of the Social Media items of interest, fun-poking (not the Facebook kind), and totally made-up stories:

    • Snow catches Northeast US by surprise, once again for reasons beyond comprehension. New horrors: blogging Social Media nerds (ok, guilty!), including Toe-Twittering in Traffic (say that three times fast).
    • Who needs a blow-up doll when Amanda Chapel is your new girlfriend? On Media Bullseye, Chip Griffin, sick of the elitist sniping by the social media self-appointed, writes an article that… sets off a round of elitist sniping by the social media self-appointed.
    • A kinder, gentler, Denial-of-Service Attack. Jeremiah Owyang floods Twitter with people who actually want to use it. Rather than crashing under the weight, Twitter’s servers politely schedule a crash for Saturday, December 15. Very thoughtful.
    • Le Web 3 conference: Laura “Pistachio” Fitton compares the social manners of Parisians with those of Web-entrepreneur Jason Calacanis. Data still in review. (Jason does know how to say “Thank you” in at least three languages).
    • Radiohead: The Lucy Van Pelt of the music industry

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    December 12, 2007

    Jeremiah Owyang makes Twitter go nuclear

    Filed under: social media, Twitter — Tags: — doughaslam @ 12:58 am

    I mean that in the best possible way. Yesterday, Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester Research, in a post about the microblogging service Twitter, invited people to leave their Twitter ID in comments in an attempt to connect as many people as possible.

    Boy howdy, did he succeed! More than 300 comments later, I personally have over 120 more people following me in my Twitter network. Why is that important to me? It will come as no surprise to those who know me that I have more people following my twitter posts than my blog. No big deal, Twitter suits the “spur of the moment” way my brain often works. Quick messages, comments on what’s going on, questions, thoughts, observations. It all combines to make a nice stream of thought; even more so, combined with my entire network.

    So, what a day– I am looking forward to more enlivening conversations going forward. Thanks Jeremiah– great idea to connect like-minded people!

    Find me on Twitter at

    (edit: Jason Falls has an even better post about the Owyang Twitter explosion.)

    So, am I a social media addict? Ask Jeff Sass:

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    December 8, 2007

    Social Media Top 5: SNCR edition, and I found a new CEO for Facebook!

    Filed under: social media — doughaslam @ 12:17 am

    This edition of the Social Media Top 5, a weekly collection of innuendo, falsehoods, fantasy and occasionally interestingly links (no! not links! I mean, original content with supporting notations.. um, yah!), is dedicated to the Society of New Communications Research symposium in Boston this week, and the surrounding social media hijinks.

    Let the kidding begin…

    sncr1) “(They) would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble to prove (themselves) right” – At SNCR, Joseph Carrabis (pictured) enlightened us with the idea of Holmes (“classic influencers”) and Watson (“new influencers”) Bloggers. He fails to mention Mycroft Holmes* bloggers, those brilliant souls with dozens of superior but unfinished and never-published blog posts clogging up their hard drives.

    2) “Bloggers are people? Have you ever eaten with one?” – Alarmed at the over-capacity turnout of the Boston Social Media Club meeting following the symposium, bloggers settle for Plan B, dining out with Phil Gomes, Shel Israel and others. The trouble was only beginning when Stephen Voltz of Eepybird ordered Mentos for dessert…

    3)”What was the part in the middle?” – “Kiddy Table” at SNCR sets new standard for “Disruptive Dialogue.” (Yes, Mr. DD, Chip Griffin, was among the guilty):

    4) “Let the Zombies Soar” – Facebook has had a bit of a PR problem lately, what with the Beacon mess and the lawsuit over intellectual property. To establish “old school” credibility, I say they should hire a CEO that is not from the crazy Web 2.0 world. Look what Google did with Eric Schmidt! I also say, embrace the paranoia over privacy and run with it. My choice for new Facebook CEO? Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

    5) “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I was right all along/ Yeah, yeah, yeah, you come taggin’ along” – Since I cleared up my position on “links of the day posts” back in March despite some current attempts to stir up the issue again, I would also like to remind people that I have also pre-emptively solved any yet-to-be-made arguments about the exact length of the twitter adoption curve, what’s not so great about Atlanta’s Turner Field, who are the creepiest actors.

    * Hat tip to Scott Monty.

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    December 6, 2007

    SNCR Symposium and outbound social media

    Filed under: social media, socialmediaboston — Tags: — doughaslam @ 7:36 pm

    Today’s SNCR symposium provided a lot of insights, but this is the place for a personal observation: my table, the ‘kiddie table,’ served as social media central- Pistachio, David Parmet, Chip Griffin, Sarah Wurrey & I were constantly sending dispatches all day via Twitter, Seesmic, etc. That’s how events are today in our biz. See here how Laura ‘Pistachio’ Fitton is using glasses to balance her photo shoot.

    I hope we weren’t too disruptive.

    Find some of our Twitter posts here, and some Seesmic videos:






    and here.

    (sorry could note embed these– Future Seesmic feature we hope)

    Mobile post sent by DougH using Utterz. Replies. mp3

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    November 25, 2007

    Social Media Top 5, Thanksgiving edition: Breastbook wants to poke you

    Filed under: social media — doughaslam @ 9:16 pm

    Again with the social media snark; items of interest, piss-takes and generally made-up news from around the social media world. Hat tip to Scott Monty for getting me started this week. A little late, because I was eating turkey– white or dark meat? speaking of which:

    1. Chris Brogan must be a leg man because he objects to the breast meat on his Facebook page. Any excuse to show the offending graphic again on your blog, eh, Mr. “doth protest too much?”
    2. Social media addicts still recovering from Thanksgiving shock and shame of having family members who are on neither Twitter nor Facebook.
    3. Webby awards adding category for “Seesmic Webcam Cinematography.”
    4. Tchotchke suggestion for next TechCrunch Boston party: “Web 2.0 Bubbles”bubbles
    5. More Chris Brogan than you can handle; two more Brogan Horcuxes discovered on Twitter, and destroyed: GoofusChrisBrogan and GallantChrisBrogan. Who is the Twitter Harry Potter?

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