Archive for March, 2010

I Like,

It’s now hit mainstream that Facebook are considering replacing “Fan Pages” with “Pages you Like”.

I’d heard whispers of this last week and I think that if Facebook’s motivation is financial, then it’s brilliant. As for whether it’s best for users of Facebook, I’m still yet to discern.

I think that the language around Fan Pages is particularly pertinent in Australia – and not just to do with a possible cultural rejection of ‘Fan’: an Americanism which hasn’t really taken off in Australia (or, at least, with the peeps I know.)

Where I think the shift from ‘Fan’ to ‘Like’ will have its greatest impact is how we associate the level of commitment.

In Australia we like micro-commitments. It’s that simple. And this isn’t just our fave “Like” button – I mean in everyday life. We make things out to be less of a big deal than they might actually be. “A spot of rain” could easily be a flash flood, and “we did orright  in the cricket” means we flogged the English in the Ashes (again).

I think this is important because it means as a culture we’re less likely to embrace being an evangelist of a brand. Being a “Fan” of something would, to me, very much imply being an evangelist. I think in Australia we’d be far more likey to say “This brand is pretty good” rather than “I am a Fan of this brand” – even if we would be considered brand evangelists.

I think the shift to “Liking a Page” will have a huge impact in Australia. Brands will get far greater numbers of people “Liking a Page” now that it’s just a micro-commitment (or “Yeah, it’s pretty good”.)

What does this mean for Facebook? Well, simply, Brands will have a far better experience. They will get hundreds, if not thousands of more “Fans” to individual pages, brands will be more likely to get on Facebook if they aren’t already, and more likely to pour money into Facebook advertising. If changing the lexicon of a Fan Page is a financial move by Facebook, I’d say it has hit the Aussie audience in the right spot.

And considering Aussies use social media the most, as an audience on Facebook, we’re pretty important.

But how will it impact on general users of Facebook? Will there be so many people just generally “liking” a whole lot of Pages that the stuff they love can’t be told apart from the stuff they like? What about brand evangelists? Will Pages have a rating system one day so people can say how much they like a page? … Or will it just not matter anymore? Maybe Social Bookmarking will take the fore and users can nominate their favourite products in new ways?

I’d be interested to see how the news of ‘Liking This Page’ has impacted other cultures? Has it made an impact?

I think for Australian culture, at least, it’s a very clever move by Facebook.


Keep it real, guys.


Stuff to back up my wild claims:

stalkstalkstalk Survey

So I made a survey about stuff I was curious about on Facebook yesterday.

Here’s the original survey if you want see the questions or add a few more responses.

Note: I am neither a professional surveywriter nor mathmetician; so these results are no doubt somewhat skewed and biased, but amusing all the same. ;) Cheers to everyone who took part!

The Results:

  • 66.7% of respondents claimed they’re not addicted to Facebook, but felt they fell more in the “I check it. Y’know, I need to keep up my cred. Need to check emails and events and stuff.” category.

  • On their info, people are least likely to include what they’re “Looking For”, their relationship status and their sexual preference (which, ironically, is what most people go on Facebook for, right?)
  • If your mum or your boss is your friend on Facebook, you’re most likely to exclude “What you’re looking for” from your profile.
  • If you’re friends with you’re Dad, you’re pretty darn likely to not list your sexuality.
  • Surprisingly, if the respondents are friends with their Mum, they’re more likely to hide their religion (50% likely to exclude it) as opposed to 33% likely to exclude it with their Dads.
  • If you’re friends with your boss, you’re most likely to hide your Relationship status: with 75% of respondents who are friends with their boss not listing their relationship status.
  • People seem pretty darn open about their political leanings, with 50% of all groups likely to list their political leanings, irrespective of who they were friends with.
  • If you don’t list your religion, you’re slightly more likely to have cousins, aunts and uncles on your friendslist than coworkers and bosses. (But then, I didn’t have religious networks included in my survey. My bad.)
  • If you’ve excluded your sexual preference, maybe it’s because you’re trying to get a promotion? If you hid your sexual preference, you’re most likely of all groups to be friends with “The Boss Above Your Boss”.
  • Over half respondents said they were unlikely to state who they were in a relationship with (so I guess it’s not a sick burn if your new partner doesn’t list who you are on Facebook).
  • 88.9% of respondents felt that their number of Facebook friends didn’t reflect them as a person, and that they didn’t crave more Facebook friends. 11.% admitted that yes, late at night, they wished they had more Facebook friends.
  • If your boss is on Facebook, you’re more likely to wish you had more Facebook friends.
  • As for “The Talk” (as in, “So, we’ve been hanging out for a while… should we, y’know, change our Facebooks status?”) most people will not lower themselves to have the talk. 38% claim they have standards so will not have “The Talk”.
  • Almost 20% admit to having the talk, while 20% haven’t had the talk, only because they haven’t had a beau to have a “Talk” with. <sadpanda>
  • Those who define themselves as ALWAYS using Facebook are the the group most likely to claim that they would never have the talk.
  • If you don’t list your religion, you’re also least likely to have had “the opportunity to have The Talk”.

I wanted to see out of “the people who judge you” category (like family and work), who people friend.

  • People are more likely to friend their cousins and coworkers. They’re just as likely to friend their boss as their Dad (36%), but less likely to friend their Mum (32%).
  • Nearly a third of all respondents have friended someone they engage with through work: either a client or a customer.
  • 20% of people have friended the boss above their boss.
  • 8% of respondents have friended their grandparents.
  • I wanted to know because of Twitter and Facebook’s timeline being deleted over time, if people felt safe putting comments about their daily habits on there. 63% said they felt fine putting ‘bits and pieces’; 22% didn’t feel safe putting content on there and 14% felt totally sweet doing it.

  • As for Facebook Stalking (why we’re all really here!) 43% have gained info which have given them the goss to sidle a little closer to their crush. 8.7% managed to score a date, while nearly 40% were scarred either by something they found on there, or by highschool photos of their crush.
  • If you are friends with your Mum, you’re ever so slightly more likely to use Facebook to find something on Facebook which will help you sidle a little closer to your crush.
  • If you list who you’re in a relationship with, you are ever so slightly more likely to score a date form Facebook stalking.

Til next time,
Keep it real guys.

This info was compiled at 5pm, on 19th of March. If you love numbers and stuff, you can download the original 28 responses here and share some gripping insights – although, the crossreferencing data info isn’t in the spreadsheet.

I had 28 respondents at time of writing; compiled of a sample of people from my Facebook and Twitter account who could be bothered responding to my survey.

On Chatroulette, Nobody Cares You’re a Dog.

I was chatting to my flatmate about Chatroulette. I was trying to work out made it this addictive, open, creative, dirty, seedy, personal space. The concept of a video chat with a stranger from across the world enticing and intriguing, yet this space attracts a lot of perversion.

What is it that attracts people to trawl this chatroom in the hope of conversation, when the stakes of seeing something you don’t want to see is so high? My flatmate came to an interesting conclusion: “In the end,” she said, “it sounds like everyone’s just honest. There is no room to lie.”

And maybe she’s right.

Chatroulette has a weird polarity of intimacy, yet anonymity, and I think the site’s seemingly simple layout has a lot to do with how people act in that space.

It feels like an old-school Chatroom, with the simple text box layout. It inspires wild tales, fake identities, stories which could be yours, but aren’t. For me, it reminds me of a time when I was in highschool, exploring the internet for the first time. It brings back memories of exploring the world, making new friends, meeting strangers, trolls, spammers and naughty individuals all at once. While Chatroulette feels like a chatroom, it is like a Private Conversation you’ve been unwittingly stumbled into. It’s a place for wild fancy; where rules don’t exist: for private messages in Chatrooms of old had their own level of fancy.

The two video screens, however, very much remind you that you’re in your own skin. They totally change the dynamics of the chat; and make the space feel like Skype. It feels like I’m chatting to a best friend whose traveling in Europe, or my mum who (still!) gets a kick out of chatting on Skype. So it brings this warm and fuzzy familiarity and feeling of safety with it. What happens in this space is between you and the person and it’s personal. Not just private; but personal.

Chatroulette enforces anonymity with no usernames, yet, because it reminds us both of wild chatrooms and old and the personal space of skype, it creates a very unique environment. If you stumble across someone who is wanting to have a conversation (and you’re not too shellshocked from the experience of finding someone to converse with) it creates a space open to private conversations, kind of like that D and M you have with a stranger in a bar. You can share bits of your life you never thought to. (In theory, at least.)

On another extreme, Chatroulette pushes limits of ourselves. People love to explore the site to test people’s limits. Whether it’s someone dressed in a Batman costume to see how people react, someone creating impromptu songs about the person they end up meeting (see below for this very fine example), or just people creating new and riveting ways to reveal they are not wearing any pants; it’s testing boundaries of people in a very intimate space. It’s digging into seeing what people can take, finding out just what is normal and acceptable.

Chatroulette has been labelled a lot of things. And, I’m not even sure what it is yet, I’m open to discussing what you think this space is – why it draws certain kinds of people or kinds of behaviours.

But Chatroulette, simply, feels like it’s a space for humans to be true. Whether it’s an ugly truth (and, gosh, Chatroulette attracts some ugly truth) or whether it’s an openness to creativity or exploring lives of strangers, it seems to be centred around honesty.

There’s no screename to hide behind. The video is live. The audio is on.

It’s just you. And them.

So, you’re on Chatroulette. And everyone can see you’re a dog. But maybe, on Chatroulette, noone cares?

Whatcha think?

Till next time,

Other peeps talkin’ bout Chatroulette:
TechCrunch: Chatroulette Is 89 Percent Male, 47 Percent American, And 13 Percent Perverts

The Daily Show: March 4, 2010: Tech-Talch – Chatroulette

Social Change + Sleepovers

This weekend I was lucky enough to be part of a really interesting project called Social Innovation Camp. Apparently it’s all the rage in Europe, but it was the first time it was held in Australia.

What the Camp involved was teams of strangers from across Australia coming together to work on web-based projects to change the community.

Run by the Australian Social Innovation eXchange, projects were submitted to be worked on at the camp several weeks prior. The ideas weren’t necessarily created by tech-savvy people, just people with an idea they were really passionate about, which they believe would be most powerful on the web.

So Social Innovation Camp was where the tech people came into it.

Developers (one as young as 16), web designers, online strategists, communications and media specialists (and even members of Government) came together to bring these ideas to life.

The two day camp, held in UNSW’s City Campus, involved people selecting projects they’d like to work on, and then they had two days to create a working prototype of their project. There was even a sleepover for developers who wanted to work overnight – and many of them did; twitpicing their progress. ;)

Three working projects which I’d like to discuss which emerged from the Camp were really unique; really simple in concept, but could have a massive impact.

And, they’re the kind of ideas that might not be able to have the resources, connections, or web dev skills otherwise to get off the ground, which makes these sites both very special.

So, created from concept to working model in just two days, I’d like to share some very special projects.

Refugee Buddy

Just pick your local area and sign up to become a Refugee Buddy, to show new arrivals their way around your hood.

“Refugee Buddy is a new, simple way that you can welcome people to your community who are from other countries and cultures by showing them support as they rebuild their lives.” (read more)

People can sign up for a buddy today; however, connecting you with a Refugee I forsee is a little down the track as Refugee Buddy connects with local organisations.

Good News TV

The first stage of what I presume to be an online TV channel, Good News TV aggregates only good news. While it can be easy to say that blocking out bad news is blocking out reality; I believe the real power in Good News TV comes in when we’re sharing stories of minority groups in our community who get pinned with a certain label in the mainstream press. This is a place for really positive stories to rise to the top.

A weekly digest is available of Good News – it’s ready for signup.

2 Bob’s Worth

Got an afternoon free and want to do something real with it? But don’t want to stray too far from home? 2 Bob’s Worth is almost a CraigsList of community projects – people state a project they’d like a hand on; and other people can help out. Google Mapping also means you know exactly where projects in your local area are happening.

The Beta of the site is online now.

And what was I doing all that time, I might hear you ask?

The project I was working on, called Tools 4 Good, is still in development. We worked really hard over the weekend with a great team, but the project was a little bigger than we anticipated.

We got a basic framework together of a functional site; but I’ll keep you in the loop in regards to a Beta of the site.

The project I worked on was a listing of tools, resources, information and strategies for the not-for-profit and social innovation community, which could be voted on, commented on and shared with the community.

Stay tuned for more updates. ;)

I feel I should write something which expresses the feeling in the Camp – complete strangers collaborating to make projects they were passionate about get off the ground – but – I wouldn’t know how to describe it. It’s hopeful, encouraging and a massive high to see these projects go from an idea to something real.

Do check out the live sites which came out of Social Innovation Camp, or check out all the projects and Australian Social Innovation eXchange‘s site.

Till next time guys,
Keep it real.



About Rachel

Rachel Beaney is a digital media specialist from Sydney, Australia, with a wide variety of experience in creating multimedia projects, social media and online content. Read more.
In her spare time, she creates rad clay animation.
Follow her on Twitter at @beaney.
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