All posts tagged facebook

Obermutten and Facebook: Using Global Reach for Local Stories

Have you heard of the village of Obermutten? It’s a village of less than 100 people in the mountains of Switzerland. If you become a fan of their Facebook Page, they’ll print out your profile picture and put it on their town notice board*.

Or in the local barn.

Or on the houses in the village.

Because there isn’t enough room on the noticeboard.

Because there are 13,000 fans. And its still growing.

When I first heard of the Facebook Page, I’d seen this YouTube video – showing that this tiny village’s Facebook Page had higher engagement rates than the Lady Gaga and Coca Cola Facebook Pages. While their Fan page is still relatively small on the scale of things, smaller pages often struggle to get any interactions at all.

I decided to check out the page and see just why this page was so popular – beyond the novelty of being frozen in time on a noticeboard on the other side of the world – and the answer is simple.

It’s honest.

Unashamedly, the townspeople share snippets of their world. My favourite posts have included updates from the townspeople making a video of recent fog, there is a post dedicated to the town dog, and the Mayor’s daughter knitted a scarf for a Facebook Fan. Between these updates are posts of the villagers attaching photos of their Facebook Fans across the town and updates of how many fans they have – including posts when they have fans from a new continent or country.

Via Facebook

Via Facebook

When you scroll right to the first post, the first update rather charmingly says “test”, followed by the Mayor (I think!) opening the Facebook Page officially. The page is learning to walk as it goes along and it certainly doesn’t have any grand plan. However, that is the most refreshing part about it. Facebook Pages often feel so commercial that this kind of community is pretty rare. Other examples of similar real-world communities drawing on the masses of Facebook (such as “Rename the town of Speed to SpeedKills“) feel far more orchestrated, even if the same strong community exists in both towns.

One of the most interesting aspects is that the Page posts each updated translated into  multiple languages – sometimes very roughly! Responses come from all over the globe, in every language, which evidently not all of which can be appreciated. One Danish article discussing the town’s social media efforts was posted on the Wall; met with the response of “Thank you for this link. Unfortunately, we can’t understand it, but we can read a lot of times “Obermutten”! Kind regards and see you soon.”

So what makes the Page so popular? I can’t really put my finger on it – but it might simply be curiosity of how this town lives. The Facebook Page of Obermutten almost feels like a transference of the genre of reality television: this is a town letting us into their world, into their lives. And it feels pretty damn special.

I do wonder if this is the start of a new realm of tourism: where towns begin telling their stories in real time. What do you think?

*Yes. I know you want to know. I am also on the town noticeboard in Obermutten. ;)

Status Updates: Let’s Stop Lying

What if we all started being a little more honest in our status updates?
We all know the drill: untag the bad photo, check-in to that cute bar, never post an update on those days when you cant stop crying and all you want to eat is chicken.

We often only share our stories that are positive online. We don’t share the things that hurt us, or scare us: the ramifications of which, I think, are are Stepford society. Everyone is happy and successful. Except us. And no one can relate to us when we have problems: because everyone is happy. We become frustrated and angry when we feel emotions like depression and frustration because we feel weak: we don’t see these emotions around us in the friends we love and respect. We feel like there’s something wrong with us and that we’re all alone.

I’ve been pondering, of late, creating a social site that requires you to fill in four statuses each week, before you can do any other updates: “this week something made me: happy/ hopeful/ sad/ angry.” No, it’s not the full spectrum of emotion, but it feels like a start to break down the barriers of current social networks, where only “here’s me being happy” is reflected.

I think if the site were either anonymous numbers (ie Anonymous0001) or restricted to 5 close friends it could be really useful to act as a support network for people who are experiencing similar issues and share experiences and insights. Ideally, the site could
be sorted by emotion or keyword to see everyone’s emotion from each category; in order to enable this supportive connection.

What do you think? Is this enough to begin breaking down these barriers in perception?

Or should we begin a campaign for Honest August: where to support positive mental health, we encourage  people to share emotions on Facebook outside of ‘happy’ and ‘angry’?

What do you think?

Mythbusting: Digital Natives

I’m kind of astounded that there are still articles popping up which are astounded that Digital Natives can use a computer, and that that online communication could possibly be a translation of real-world communication. I mean, it’s only 2011.

I thought it was a while ago that we realised that online culture is simply a translation of the activities we do offline. The way we interact with social connections, public messages, private messages, ways to convey status (social check-ins, relationship status, flattering photos), and emotions (sure, emoticons aren’t perfect, but they do exist for a reason: to convey information which is traditionally non-verbal.) are all direct translations for the way we behave in the real world. The motivations are all the same: make friends. Be loved.

Admittedly, the most frequently used online systems don’t necessarily reflect this transition from online to real world perfectly, however, we work with what we have. Facebook, for example, provides updates to people publically across multiple networks, instead of select friend groups, which is how we interact in real life. (Check out @padday’s awesome The Real Life Social Network presentation which explores this.)* However, this is the medium which is very much the norm today in regards to relating to friends and family.

I read an article earlier today which discusses teens ‘using code‘ to express the way they feel online. It’s possible that this research is more layered that the article implied, however, to me it reads like the author didn’t realise that parents have been prying in the lives of their teens since the dawn of time. Facebook doesn’t change that. If teenagers didn’t write letters to their best friends in code, or talk around an issue on the family shared phone in years gone by, I’ll eat my hat. I think this research reflects that people communicate in the same ways that they always have across time. It’s seems to be yet another case of ‘because it’s on the internet, it’s new’. But communication is still communication, irrespective of medium.

Secondly, it seems that there an assumption that teens can’t navigate online spaces. It feels a little like the world operated on this assumption that Gen Y are stupid and superficial because these updates are publically available (as opposed to, perhaps, in one’s diary?) Sure, teens might me more comfortable having conversations in public than other generations, but studies have shown that teens are more aware of the things they put online and are more likely to self-censor than other groups**.

Yep, a new online way of communicating has developed, (using lolspeak and the like), but this is no different to the slang of other generations. Emoticons exist, to replace the non-verbal cues we usually receive when we communicate in person.

How can we judge a generation for posting comments about their personal lives in public and developing a language to suit the online environment we’re in, when our culture expects we be fluent in this form of communication?

It’s nothing new that teens hide information from their parents. It’s nothing new that they need to do this in a public sphere. It’s nothing new that they communicate with their friends.

It’s 2011. We’re not cyborgs. We’re not raised in factories. We still communicate with our friends and loved ones (and hide things from friends and loved ones ;)).

Or… did I just step out of a parallel universe and haven’t found my bearings yet?

Keep it real guys,


*Yes, we could set filters and sort friends into groups, but, I’ll admit, I can’t bring myself to go through my friends list and sort people mainly because I don’t want to humiliate myself with realising the number of people I have on my Facebook who I met once at a party and I stumbled away exclaiming “YES! I AM TOTALLY ON FACEBOOK! LET’S HANG OUT!” and still to this day have neither hung out with them, nor gleaned a solid recollection of them.

** I’ve totally read this but can’t find a reference right now. Let me know if you have one lying around!

Identity Theft: When Online Identities Becomes Real

I’ve been thinking recently about what it’s been like growing up with the internet as a pretty big part of my personal development. Don’t worry, I do remember the world before iPods existed: but I don’t remember a world before computers. Sure, they were uglier and not quite as user-friendly, but, yep, always there as far back as I can remember.

I came to this discussion with myself after a rather round-about discussion with a few fellow Gen Yers, inspired by discussions brought about by the recent SMCSYD – where the topic of discussion was whether your online persona matches your persona in real life.

I got to thinking that it wasn’t really that simple: it’s not just your thoughts online, and not just a fictionalised version of yourself.

As the most common thing seen of Gen Y reflecting themselves online – profile pictures are easy to make assumptions about. Gen Y are labelled as highly superficial due to the fact that large percentages of Gen Y’s have photoshopped their Facebook pictures.

However, I believe that the construction of identity is completely overlooked in this assumption of superficiality.

Katie Roiphe has written an awesome article sharing how teenagers tell the novel of their lives on Facebook, ever-so-slightly fictionalising their interactions (‘OMG’ being both real and satire) and I think that this is true, but not the only reason for Gen Y to reflect of themselves in online environments.

I believe that young people aren’t just writing a fiction of themselves online: I believe we’re creating our ideal selves. I think that as we project the perfect version of ourselves online (which might be anything from the cute photoshopped pictures, to tweeting academic articles to make us look more professional to our peers). I think that because our online persona is the basis for how many of our real-world associates know us, they then begin to see us that way, and in turn, treat us that way.

I’ve been chatting to some people who mention that when they were younger, they began acting more confident in order to encourage people to treat them that way, even when they feel terribly shy inside. Over time, they became this confident projection. I believe it’s not dissimilar to the old ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ kind of adage. Everyone has their own safety net and techniques for self-projection in an attempt to find themselves, and simply, attempt to do this big scary thing called growing up.

However, we can do the same thing with our online identity. When people interact with us more online than in reallife (or, even, know our online selves before they meet us in person) they see us, and treat us, in our ideal projected way. In turn, we must become that projected person – and, become who we want to be.

Yes, social identities are fiction, a bit of fantasy and fun: but it’s also about identity creation, self-esteem establishment, reinforcement of our strength and beliefs. It’s about not finding your place in the world, but carving it.

What do you reckon? Do you see it? Do you not?

Keep it real, guys.

p.s. Thanks to the the awesome @tali3sin for the link to Katie’s article! ;)

Social Networking: A LoveGame

I’ve always been a little cautious of my internet usage. Being a somewhat new medium which our society now relies on so heavily, I do ponder the effects which spending so much time online has on me. Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge ;)) says that Internet Addiction Disorder is unproven, but, in essence is the condition of internet dependency. I think it’s a pretty fair call to say that a lot of people in my social circle definitely have web dependency, and, if they couldn’t access the internet for a day or so would have some epic withdrawls.

Wikipedia does point out that it has yet to be proven whether Internet Addiction Disorder directly relates to an addiction, such as along the lines of gambling or food addiction, however, the concept of web dependency still seems to be fairly commonly accepted.

Something which has interested me in exploring this is that all the definitions of Internet Addiction don’t cover things like Social Networking – especially in the context of it now being a default communication channel with friends and family. In fact, the only ‘Online Internet Addiction Test‘ which I could find, seems to be very dated in it’s definition of socialisation, which I’d say is due to the test being created just before the rise of Social Networking.

One of the questions in the online test asks: “How often do you choose to spend more time on-line over going out with others?”. This question I find exceptionally problematic: I might not go outside with a social group, but I will be very much socialising with another group (or even the same group, if they’re livetweeting an event ;)) via online channels.

Other outdated questions include:
How often do you find yourself anticipating when you will go on-line again?
How often do you feel preoccupied with the Internet when off-line, or fantasize about being on-line?

I think that these questions are entirely relevant if people spent a portion of their day without the internet – but how many people travel without the internet on their mobile phone? I think it’s very much time to reassess the way web dependency could be classified. (First World Problems, I guess.)

On a day-to-day basis, I’m struggling to think of anyone who isn’t dependent on the internet. A recent study had students in Maryland giving up all media devices for a day. The article which shares this study says:

American college students today are addicted to media, describing their feelings when they have to abstain from using media in literally the same terms associated with drug and alcohol addictions.

In their world, going without media meant going without their friends and family.

I think this shows that online isn’t simply about viewing media, but it’s about real connections and those emotional ties.

However, a recent article has made me kind of reassess the way I see interactions with the Internet. Initially I worried that too much dependency on the web highlights issues like those presented in ‘Is Google Making Us Stoopid‘ where people don’t know how to remember information, don’t know how to analyze information, don’t prepare for things (because the internet can always tell you that address you forgot at the last minute;)) and we gain this dependency of always needing to know bits of information about the world which we don’t need to know (like the status update from that girl you went to Primary School with) – which could lead to us to struggle to filter and priorities what information is essential in our lives.

The article which has intrigued me is in Fast Company, entitled Doctor Love. It examines what chemicals our brains produce in certain conditions. It discusses the fact that social networking releases oxytocin: all the warm and fuzzies associated with falling in love. Oxytocin, the article shares, is recognized as the human stimulant of empathy, generosity, trust, and more.

The article says:
Zak explains that … that the release of oxytocin I experienced while tweeting reduced my stress hormones. If that’s the case, says Zak, social networking might reduce cardiovascular risks, like heart attack and stroke, associated with lack of social support. But there’s even more to our findings. “Your brain interpreted tweeting as if you were directly interacting with people you cared about or had empathy for,” Zak says. “E-connection is processed in the brain like an in-person connection.”

This is pretty damn interesting – so that considering Australians in December last year spend nearly seven hours a day on Facebook, it means we spend a hell of a lot of time hanging out with people, de-stressing, and, due to Oxytocin, being a hell of a lot empathetic, generous and trusting.

So, my question is that if our brains interpret social networking in a really positive way – in the same way as real-world socialisation – then would the possible negative issues associated with web dependency would be outweighed? Or would people become dependent on their networks, not just Google? (Not that I’m pointing any fingers, but I’m sure we’ve all used the #lazyweb hashtag at least once in our lives! ;))

My conclusion would be to question whether someone is spending exceptionally long hours online whether it would, in fact, be necessarily negative. While they might seem to create space around themselves with people in the real world, would the online socialization counter that development? Would that person, ultimately, have better social skills, be more confident, have higher self esteem, empathy, understanding of people around them? Or only have these qualities when socialising online?

We’ll see.

But there’s definitely something to be said for real-life interaction: like seeing lolz for real. ;)

Johnny Laughing: by Mehalie on Flickr

Johnny Laughing: by Mehalie on Flickr

Keep it real, guys!


Calling the cops: is there an app for that?

Laws change according to culture and society. It very often doesn’t appear that is the case, due to these things sometimes working so sluggishly through the cogs and chains of the judicial system, but it does happen.

I’ve read two articles in the past week which seem to be a really interesting example of this: how laws are shifting due to a change in culture.

I read an article two weeks ago in which the Australian Federal Police (AFP) requested that Facebook install the equivalent of a 000 button: a one-click ‘report this person to the Police’ button.

The ReadWriteWeb article states:
Antony Loewenstein, independent journalist and author of The Blogging Revolution, says that police authorities have the right to enforce local laws to ensure illegal acts are not promoted or distributed online but there are limits.

“There is a growing and worrying trend across the Western world to monitor and censor material that supposedly offends decency or societal standards. We shouldn’t tolerate something like child pornography being shared across the world but the so-called crime of ‘offending’ people or groups is something a real democracy should encourage.”

I think this is really interesting that the law-enforcers see the potential for Social Media to act as a community-watch network. (Did you see that? I didn’t use the phrase ‘Big Brother Network’. But I secretly wanted to.)

We’ve not been at a point either technologically or culturally where we’ve have access to so many people, especially int their private world: or the potential to alert police to illegal activities.

Obviously, the primary motivation is to prevent pedophiles and online stalking – but I’d be interested to see to what extent something like this would be used to report that rowdy neighbour who sells something they shouldn’t, the bully who beat up the shy kid, or the teacher who looked at that student the wrong way. Not to say that it would be entirely abused; but simply the use of the button would far outweigh the simple “this person asked for pictures of me without clothing”. I daresay that both Facebook and the AFP would have trouble dealing with the can of worms which something like a ‘000’ button could ever have – simply because of the convenience on a one-click button could so easily become a default.

It’s a very intriguing concept; but the practicality of managing something like this operationally, I’m unsure of.

Now, a week later, I see a new article: “Facebook wants access to sex offender registers“.
Facebook wants to be able to access Australia’s sex offender registers, in order to track down sex offenders and ban them from the site. Apparently Facebook has access to this information in both Canada in the US, and, a little further digging, it appears that Facebook has been removing sex offenders from the site working with the US Sex Offender Registry since 2008.

I think it’s really interesting this sudden vocal movement in Australia to police Facebook.

I think that there should be some process whereby Facebook work with police to monitor crimes. I think if people take this into their own hands, like this guy in the UK did, it can hurt more people in the process – and leave them uninformed, which can be the most dangerous thing of all.

If Facebook installs a ‘000’ button, I think Facebook should make reporting crimes to local authorities as streamlined as possible; even if this is open to abuse by teenagers (anyone getting flashbacks to doing prank calls in the 90s? Yeah. Like that). But I do think a really good start is Facebook working with local police to gain a list of sex offenders to monitor them online.

I’m not entirely where I sit in regards to simply banning sex offenders from the site: doesn’t the headline “Thousands Of MySpace Sex Offender Refugees Found On Facebook” just say it all? If we ban a sex offender from Facebook, they’ll find another network. However, keeping an eye on them to see if the do reoffend, not the assumption that they definitely will, is certainly on the cards.

Just as a disclaimer, I’d also like to see what kind of things Google would do in reporting crimes: Facebook is not the only global online power which has a responsibility to work with local laws.

So how would crime reporting be done in the world of Social Networking?
A ‘000’ button on Facebook? A number to SMS or DM a tweet; which is redirected to your local police station according to your GPS? Or what about taking a leaf out of Manchester Police’s book: where there’s an app for reporting crime.

Time will tell how Australia’s laws and criminal reporting system will work with the world of social networking.


Until next time, guys, keep it real!

Running a Competition on Facebook

via Pixabay

via Pixabay

So I’ve just spent an hour trawling the dirtiest, dingiest parts of the web to find Facebook’s Terms and Conditions for what I need to do if I want to run a competition on Facebook. The short version is:

  • You can promote or run a competition in an application.
  • You can promote or run a competition outside of Facebook.
  • You cannot get anyone to write on your wall, upload a photo on your wall, tag it, like/fan a page in a competition.

The link to the current Terms of Conditions (it currently being May 12th, 2010, with the competition guidelines last updated December 22, 2009) is here.

I’ve also copied them below, because many blog entries which simply linked to the T + Cs resulted in a dead link.

If you’re looking for more info around what you can and cannot do on Facebook, you also might find useful Facebook’s FAQ, Facebook’s Blog, All, and the forum on the “Facebook Marketing Solutions Page“. If you’re looking at advertising, here’s Facebook’s advertising guidelines.

Other awesome docs from Facebook which are hard to find:

Facebook Promotions Guidelines

Date of Last Revision:  December 22, 2009

These Promotions Guidelines govern the publicizing or administering of any sweepstakes, contest, competition or other similar offering (each, a “promotion”) on Facebook by you. For clarity, a “sweepstakes” is a promotion that includes a prize and a winner selected on the basis of chance. A “contest” or “competition” is a promotion that includes a prize and a winner determined on the basis of skill (i.e., through judging based on specific criteria). Publicizing a promotion on Facebook means promoting, advertising or referencing a promotion in any way on Facebook or using any part of the Facebook Platform. This may include, for example, in Facebook advertising inventory, on a Facebook Page, or through a status update. Administering a promotion on Facebook means operating any element of the promotion on Facebook or using any part of the Facebook Platform. This may include, for example, collecting submissions or entries, conducting the drawing, judging winning entries, or notifying winners. By publicizing or administering the promotion in any way on Facebook or using any part of the Facebook Platform, you agree to these Promotions Guidelines.

Section 1. General

1.1 Without limiting any provision set forth herein, you acknowledge and agree that you are responsible for ensuring that any promotion and the administration, advertising, publicizing and fulfillment of such promotion complies with all applicable federal, state, provincial and local laws and applicable regulatory and industry rules, regulations and guidelines.

1.2 You are fully and solely responsible and liable for your promotion, including, without limitation, every element of publicizing or administering a promotion on Facebook or using any part of the Facebook Platform, even if Facebook authorizes a promotion to be publicized or administered on Facebook or using any part of the Facebook Platform.

1.3 You will not in any way use our name, trademarks, trade names, copyrights, or any other of our intellectual property in the rules or any other materials relating to the promotion, without express written consent.

1.4 The promotion and any publicity associated with the promotion must be true and accurate, and cannot mislead, deceive or otherwise misrepresent the prize or any other aspect of the promotion.

Section 2. Prohibitions

You may not publicize or administer a promotion on Facebook if:

2.1 The promotion is open or marketed to individuals who are under the age of 18;

2.2 The promotion is open to individuals who reside in a country embargoed by the United States;

2.3 The promotion, if a sweepstakes, is open to individuals residing in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India;

2.4 The promotion’s objective is to promote any of the following product categories: gambling, tobacco, firearms, prescription drugs, or gasoline;

2.5 The prize or any part of the prize includes alcohol, tobacco, dairy, firearms, or prescription drugs; or

2.6 The promotion is a sweepstakes that conditions entry upon the purchase of a product, completion of a lengthy task, or other form of consideration.

Section 3. Administering a Promotion through the Facebook Platform

You may not administer any promotion through Facebook, except that you may administer a promotion through the Facebook Platform with our prior written approval. Such written approval may be obtained only through an account representative at Facebook. If you are already working with an account representative, please contact that representative to begin the approval process. If you do not work with an account representative, you can use this contact form to inquire about working with an account representative. If we provide you such approval, you agree to the following:

3.1 You will only administer the promotion through an application on the Facebook Platform, as directed by us.

3.2 You will only allow users to enter the promotion in the following locations on Facebook:

3.2.1 On the canvas Page of an application on the Facebook Platform.

3.2.2 On an application box in a tab on a Facebook Page.

3.3 You will include the following language in a clear and conspicuous manner adjacent to any promotion entry field: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to [recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for [disclose any way that you plan to use the user’s information].”

3.4 You will not mention “Facebook” in the promotion’s rules except in the following ways: (i) “You can enter the Promotion through the [application name] application on the Facebook Platform. You can also find the application on the

tab on the [Page name] Page on Facebook.”; (ii) to fulfill your obligations under Section 3.7.

3.5 You will designate an individual to act as a primary contact to address any communications from us with respect to the promotion.

3.6 You must submit materials for any promotion you plan on administering through the Facebook Platform to your account representative for our review and approval at least 7 days prior to the start date of such promotion. Promotions not approved in writing within such time period will be deemed unapproved.

3.7 You will include the following provisions within your official rules for the promotion:

3.7.1 Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

3.7.2 Complete release for us from each entrant or participant.

3.7.3 Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the promotion will be directed to you, not us.

Section 4. Publicizing a Promotion on Facebook

You do not need our prior written approval if you are publicizing a promotion that is administered completely off of Facebook. However, we may remove any materials relating to the promotion or disable your Page or account if we determine that you violate these Promotions Guidelines, the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities or any other of our policies. If you publicize a promotion in any way on Facebook, in addition to the other terms and conditions contained in these Promotion Guidelines, without limiting your other obligations you agree to the following:

4.1 You will not directly or indirectly indicate that Facebook is a sponsor or administrator of the promotion or mention Facebook in any way in the rules or materials relating to the promotion.

4.2 In the rules of the promotion, or otherwise, you will not condition entry to the promotion upon taking any action on Facebook, for example, updating a status, posting on a profile or Page, or uploading a photo.  You may, however, condition entry to the promotion upon becoming a fan of a Page.

Section 5. Indemnification

You will indemnify and hold us harmless from and against all damages, losses, and expenses of any kind (including reasonable legal fees and costs) for any claim related to the promotion including without limitation the publicity or administration thereof.

Section 6. Facebook Rights

6.1 We may modify these Promotion Guidelines at any time without notice to you. You will subject to the most current version of these Promotion Guidelines then in effect.

6.2 All decisions regarding promotions on Facebook or using the Facebook Platform shall be determined by us in our sole discretion.

6.3 We reserve the right to review promotion rules and promotional copy at anytime but is under no obligation to do so. Our approval of rules or materials related to the promotion does not relieve you of any obligations in these Promotions Guidelines.

6.4 We may remove any materials related to a promotion at any time, regardless of whether the promotion was approved, where we determine the continued marketing or administration of such promotion may be unlawful under applicable laws, rules, regulations or guidelines or may cause unreasonable liability for us.

Please Note: You further acknowledge that compliance with these guidelines does not imply compliance with all applicable rules, regulations and laws. You are responsible for compliance with the foregoing and obtaining necessary counsel in connection therewith. In the event these Promotions Guidelines are inconsistent with the terms of the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, the terms of the Promotions Guidelines will control.

Below we have provided a few examples to help you understand how to apply Section 3 of the Promotion Guidelines:

You cannot: Condition entry in the promotion upon a user providing content on Facebook, such as making a post on a profile or Page, status comment or photo upload.

You can: Use a third party application to condition entry to the promotion upon a user providing content. For example, you may administer a photo contest whereby a user uploads a photo through a third-party application to enter the contest.

You cannot: Administer a promotion that users automatically enter by becoming a fan of your Page.

You can: Only allow fans of your Page to access the tab that contains the third-party application for the promotion.

You cannot: Notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.

You can: Collect an address or email through the third-party application for the promotion in order to contact the winner by email or standard mail.

You cannot: Instruct people (in the rules or elsewhere) to sign up for a Facebook account before they enter the promotion.

You can: Instruct users to visit the third-party application to enter the promotion (as described in Section 3.4(i)). Since users must have a Facebook account in order to access an application on the Facebook Platform, if you give this instruction, they will be prompted to sign up for a Facebook account if they do not already have one.

That’s it from me!

Keep it real, guys!


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.

Facebook, our laundry + ukelele awesome

Facebook has recently changed it’s privacy settings so some things which were private, is now public.

Mark Zuckerberg stated that ‘private is no longer the new social norm’. While it’s all very controversial as to whether this is really just simply to compete with the very public Twitter, the question remains: is public the new social norm?

One interesting article by Davey Winder, claims that Zuckerberg is getting confused: bloggers and cool with posting everything online, but regular people, aren’t. I’d be game to include Tweeps in this category of people game to include everything online.

But considering Facebook is taking it’s lead from Twitter, by making everything public, it seems to be forgetting the online culture of Facebook is very different to Twitter. Tweeps are very often content creators, people who are comfortable sharing a certain level of information online.

Adrian Chan’s Social Media Personality Types is an awesome overview into how people use the social web: people who use Facebook aren’t necessarily going to be the people who use Digg, who aren’t going to be the people who blog or use Twitter.

Checking out the comments from the Average Joe on the end of this article which looks at the change of Facebook’s privacy laws, it’s open slather as for what people who aren’t internerds think about the changes: from conspiracy theories around the Government, Google, to the fears around identity theft, pornographic use of photos of girls on Facebook there is little understanding of anything relating to firstly why people would share information online, let alone how it can be done in a safe way.

Facebook started as a safe place to post information on the internet – effectively a microwebsite about your life, to share with your friends and people you trust.

Culturally, people treated Facebook that way, posting private pictures for years, until it became so mainstream and people struggled to politely tell that coworker or boss that, actually, they don’t want to be their Facebook friend. Thus, their private information, inadvertently, became public.

One commenter wrote on the aforementioned article about Zuckerberg’s attitude to making this content public:
“Such an ignorant little ***. Why does he assume his website forms the norm of people’s opinion toward privacy. Just because a few lame people love to the publish everything they do in their lives he thinks that this is what everyone thinks. Seriously? This guy is a millionaire?”

It’s fair enough to say that the lines of public and private have become blurred culturally, but the culture of Facebook which people have become used to over the past five years has very much shifted from safe haven it once was.

But that doesn’t mean people are ready to have their information open to the world as a default.

I think remembering the kind of people who embrace Facebook, aren’t the people on Twitter.

Making content public is going to make a lot of people whose only interaction with the internet might be Facebook terrified of the web and might result in families and communities having very poor web literacy, which, could drastically impede on both worklife and socialisation.

Having people shunted into the spotlight isn’t a good move since this culture of people putting their lives on the web is only just beginning. We have no concept of where it will be in five years, let alone ten or fifteen.

What I think is interesting, is that for even those who post content about every second of their lives on the internet, it’s still a very private place.

You can publically post your pics from your picnic, and you can tweet about it all day, but in reality, we’re all generally in a pretty cozy safety net – while this information is open to everyone, the people who would care about these daily triumphs is, on the scale of the six-billion person populated planet, pretty minimal. Anyone outside of the sphere of your close friends, simply, doesn’t care.

We can flood the internet with detritus, and only a few people will notice – but it’s the people who care about us to whom this detritus means everything.

But this is the attitude of only one group of users on the net, who are comfortable posting their lives online. There is a very large portion for whom the internet is still a place for one-to-one, personal, private interactions.

And you’d think that each individual should have the power to decide and define how much of their lives is public.

There’s a reason not everyone is a rockstar: not everyone wants their lives in the spotlight.

(Ukelele cover of Britney’s My Perogative, by henriness for your viewing pleasure. ;))

Keep it real, guys.


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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