• The Pepper Shaker

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Peppercorn #6: Google +

In my daily life, my thoughts hardly seem prophetic. But I got to hand it to myself…I think I got something right. On my post about the future of Facebook on December 15, 2010, I made the following conclusion:

“Finally, many many years from now, a revolution will occur. A new social media platform will begin, and what will start as a few will end up in a mass migration to the new platform just for something different.”

Just to prove it, here’s the link: “Facebook: The World Within”

Two weeks ago, Google released a trial version of Google +, basically it’s own social media platform. It presents itself a bit different than Facebook, though, and these differences will either be loved or hated.

1. The first difference is the idea that Facebook feels like a giant party where your posts are proclaimed to everyone in the room. Google+, on the other hand, feels more like a dinner party. You share your comments only within the circles that you desire. You can place people in any number of circles to make sure you get the word out to right people.

2. Google+ is interoperable across many other Google related tools, including Gmail, Blogger, Wave, and Picasa. It’s pretty neat to see how they all work together.

3. It’s new, and it is fairly clean and nice to look at. No ads (yet), no extra frills, no Farmville or any other thing to confuse you. It’s straight and to the point. The layout and pictures are crisp and work well together.

4. It’s fun to start over. There’s just something refreshing about it.


Does this mean Facebook is doomed? I doubt it. I think that most people, especially older folks, will stay put on Facebook. Younger users will continue to check their friends’ statuses and post albums. It would take a lot more and many years to bring over 500 million people from Facebook over to Google+. I don’t see it happening very quickly. In the meantime, Google+ will be used by early adopting social media lovers and techies who get excited about this kind of thing. Are you one of them?



Facebook: The World Within

I’ve recently become fascinated with what the future of Facebook means for social and business relationships. Of course, it has been fascinating ever since it started, but a look at recent trends makes me wonder where it will take us socially and professionally.

Mashable.com has released a couple articles on this, but I would like to compile them together for this entry. First, let’s look at where Facebook stood as a social media provider in June 2009:

Facebook Dominance in June 2009

According to the chart above, Facebook is the coverage leader with most countries using it as opposed to other networks. The countries that do not primarily use Facebook use a variety of other platforms – some I can’t pronounce. Now lets look at it currently:

Facebook Dominance as of December 2010

Facebook Dominance as of December 2010

Not only does Facebook proceed to take over South America and Western Asia, but the actual number of platforms even competing are down from 17 to 11. It’s like the game of “RISK”.

But let’s go deeper.

What does Facebook’s widespread use have to do with relationships? Well, the idea was once called making a “global village,” meaning that distant people and groups could still communicate personally and effectively, breaking any barriers distance would normally cause. See this image below for an idea on how Facebook makes this happen:

Facebook Connects the World

Facebook Connects the World

So with Facebook’s complete social media dominance imminent, I’d like to take a couple stabs at what this means, along with some other things I wonder might happen:

1. As the internet grows and becomes more easily accessible, more people around the world will get on Facebook, opening up social interactions with Northern South America, Africa, and Northern Asia.

2. Brazil will soon be Facebook-dominant while Russia and Japan might be with time. China, on the other hand, might take longer.

3. Data used from Facebook will be continue to be used in social studies and used by businesses for making critical marketing decisions.

4. I wonder if one day there will be a Facebook “President.” No, I’m not talking about Zuckerberg. I’m thinking of an elected body of officials, voted through Facebook to represent the voice of the people on Facebook. They would act as leaders in standing up for the opinion of the masses on Facebook topics and take it up with corporate. (For example, “Nobody wants the new profile, go back!” or “The people are concerned that a variety of their friends are not showing on the News Feed, please fix this issue.”) It would make for very interesting campaigning as petitions could be filled and people could run for elected seats all throughout the world.

5. Facebook will likely be attacked by more hackers and spam hosts, as well as dissenters against Facebook all together, who refuse to join.

6. More books will be written on etiquette, personal relationship management, and business integration, all on Facebook.

7. Finally, many many years from now, a revolution will occur. A new social media platform will begin, and what will start as a few will end up in a mass migration to the new platform just for something different.

I wonder if any of these will be true. How do you see the future of Facebook?

Peppercorn #1: Facebook

Yes, Facebook, the Social Media Giant.  With more than 500 million users, it’s only appropriate you are familiar with this one first. Adding this robust peppercorn to your pepper shaker is easily the first big step into the social media world.

Facebook is a venue where keen businessmen and women can push their brand in a atmosphere that is open, friendly, and usually willing to read what you have to say. However, it all depends on your approach. Businesses shouldn’t think that once they create a “Company Page”  everything will work out on its own. It takes loads of work to reach out to different areas (to ones you are most interested in.) Look at the picture below to see how, even within Facebook, there are different markets. This one is organized by geography:

Start becoming friends and reaching out with customers and employees that know you. It will create a base of friends that will demonstrate your page is legitimate.

Finally, this article has some great ideas on how to best build your brand on Facebook. Consider going through it, especially if you are about to bring your brand into social media.

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