Can Facebook Be Everything to Everyone?

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Posted on 10th May 2012 by Nouveau Geek in Geeky Pursuits |Social Media

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Facebook is trying to be everything to everyone–from connecting with friends, to gaming, to career networking (Facebook’s Branchout), to photos (recent acquisition of Instagram) and music, Groups for Schools, and most recently, File Sharing for Groups. It doesn’t matter how many features Facebook tries to cobble together: they can’t be everything to everyone. What’s next, business productivity tools? If they are indeed trying to be everything to everyone, business productivity tools seem like the next logical step for Facebook, now that they’ve rolled out every possible way to capture our attention from an entertainment perspective. Then they’ll have every eyeball in  America 24/7.

But it doesn’t work that way. I work for a company where all employees work remotely. We suffer from “productivity tool schizophrenia:” we rely on HipChat for internal day-to-day communication; Skype and Webex for client and business partner calls; Google Chat integrated with SnapEngage for customer support, which then forwards tickets to Zendesk; Go2Webinar for webinars and demos; Google Hangouts for team meetings that require screenshares; HootSuite, Seesmic (mobile) and Ubersocial (mobile) for social media; Google Docs for document creation, sharing and collaboration; Amazon AWS for file storage; MailChimp for campaigns; Jira for ticketing; and the list goes on. Either we’re not very efficient, or each of these tools fulfills a very specific need that one single tool cannot ever provide. I believe it’s the latter. There’s no way Facebook can touch this.

Same goes for my personal needs for multiple tools for finding and sharing music, storing and sharing images, communicating and socializing. As an example, I will pay for multiple music services because they don’t cost very much, and each one has features unique to them. Pandora One costs me $3 a month and plays a random stream of music so I don’t have to mess with creating playlists. Great for hassle-free background music during the workweek. On weekends, I like Spotify, when I have time to search for music and curate playlists to my liking. I think that as ubiquitous as Facebook is (or tries to be) there are too many really good cheap or free choices out there to stick with just one thing.  And, maybe ubiquity is not Facebook’s intent, after all. They seem to have the resources, so they can cover all bases whether or not people use all of their tools and features.

Do you think it’s possible to have a single tool or social network that can fulfill everyone’s needs? Is Facebook striving to be everything to everyone (and will they succeed?)

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Twenty-something Fave Android Apps

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Posted on 25th May 2010 by Pia Simeoni in Geeky Pursuits |Social Media

Below documents my Twitter posts of my twenty-something fave Android apps, (in reverse order of original posting) with just enough of a description to help you decide if it’s an app you’re interested in or not.

Android apps that are necessary evils: facebook. Anyone know of anything better?

Other fave android apps: twidroid, google (maps, goggles, talk, voice, mail, calendar), gallery, market.

Fave android app 20: Swype! Great text recognition, takes some getting used to and I don’t use it enough. Do the tutorial.

Fave android app 19: spare parts. Check on battery status and app usage

Fave android app 18: skype mobile. Only available on verizon.

Fave android app 17: skyfire browser. Can’t decide if I like this or the default browser. All I want is full flash support.

Fave android app 16: Seesmic for twitter. Multiple account support is great. And @loic LeMeur seems super cool.

Android app 15: SCVNGR. Still testing this one out. Yet another location-based social network with promise.

Fave android app 14: pandora/slacker. Both freeze up on me all the time. Why? But I still can’t live without ‘em & Mark Farina radio

Fave android app 13: Palmary weather. Loads fast, cool UI, current, 48hr & 15 day forecast, live radar. Love this one.

Fave android app 12: NewsRob rss reader. Syncs with google reader feeds. Best alternative to Viigo (ex BB owners will know what I mean)

Fave android app 11: Knocking live video streaming.

Fave android app 10: Mabilo ringtones. Sanford & Son ring tone & Jetsons doorbell notification? Yes.

Fave android app 9: Indeed.com job search. Set your search terms & find cool jobs. Email interesting ones to yourself and your friends

Fave android app 8: Gesture Search. Search your phone by finger painting. Remember when kermit used to draw letters on Sesame Street?

[see Kermit draw the Letter M]

Fave android app 7: Foursquare…but I gotta get back in the game. Haven’t played for a while.

Fave android app 6: Fandango to see what’s playing at the Showplace Icon, what’s opening this weekend, & buy tix

Fave android app 5: Evernote

Fave android app 4: CardioTrainer intergrates w google maps, save workouts, track calories burned, distance & speed, & cute british accent

Fave android app 3: Astrid for tasks. Assign dates times and alarms, syncs w google cal and adds to calendar, also syncs w remember the milk

Fave android app 2: Aldiko ebook reader until the Kindle app is released

Fave android app 1: Advanced Task Killer Free. Kill apps you never realized were running, save your battery.

Speed Skating through the Streets of Downtown Chicago

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Posted on 18th February 2010 by Pia Simeoni in Social Media

I got a good start this time. Arms pumping, legs burning. I’m not in first, but monitoring the pace of everyone ahead of me. I’m working hard, but strategically hanging back, waiting for the chance to make my move and cut in. I try to pull ahead, I speed up, but I miss my chance. Then I see an opening. I go for it, and cut in from the inside, passing two people. Too many to pass…and then I realize there’s no gold in this race…the race from Union Station to the Orange Line.

This is post number two in my #28DayChallenge.

Foursquare for Businesses, Big and Small

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Posted on 23rd December 2009 by Nouveau Geek in Social Media

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Just added to foursquare yesterday... ability ...
Image by dpstyles™ via Flickr

I work for a large retail company and have been reading the latest hype about Foursquare, one of the top companies to watch in 2010.  I signed up and started “checking in” using Foursquare, and found it to be intriguing. Yesterday I spotted a Twitter post about a Foursquare Holiday Party in Chicago, and decided, against my introverted tendencies, to go. I wanted more information about how large companies could tap in to what’s being called the hottest new location-based social network.

The party was hosted at Lincoln Station, a nice little pub on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. The pub owner was an enthusiastic user of Foursquare, and also the Foursquare mayor of his own pub. The small group of attendees learned upon checking in via Foursquare that we’d get free nachos with the purchase of a pitcher of beer. There was a short powerpoint about Foursquare presented by a friendly, intelligent young guy who explained that he has an informal internship-type of relationship with Foursquare. His angle was that the real beneficiaries of Foursquare are the small, local businesses. The purpose of the meeting was to recruit enthusiastic users of Foursquare to encourage the mom and pops to join Foursquare, but that a typical sales approach isn’t effective. Rather, as a patron, strike up a conversation with the business owner; let him or her know that they happen to be on Foursquare. Did they know that Foursquare is another way to interact with customers and deliver special offers? That the beauty of Foursquare is that since it hooks into Facebook and Twitter, there’s less worry about managing accounts and letting your customers and users speak for you?

I like the grassroots idea of bringing on businesses and users, and I think in the small business realm, it works. However, I went to this meeting because I was curious about big businesses, since I work for a large corporation myself. I see Foursquare as a huge opportunity for huge retail corporations too, but the corporate office would have to dictate the strategy, figure out how to tap into the localized appeal of Foursquare, and how to measure and analyze results. Foursquare should also furnish talking points to their official evangelists (or unofficial interns?) about how to recruit not just the mom and pops but the person from the corporate office who wants to know if tapping in would be worthwhile.

On Foursquare’s businesses page, they explain that they will be offering analytics tools to “lend insight into who’s visiting, how often…” I contacted them for more information via their web site about adding a venue.  I’m curious to see what’s coming for businesses, big and small on Foursquare. What are your thoughts about the possibilities for big businesses on Foursquare?

Some background on Foursquare from their web site:

“foursquare aims to encourage people to explore their neighborhoods and then reward people for doing so. We do this by combining our friend-finder and social city guide elements with game mechanics – our users earn points, win mayorships and unlock badges for trying new places and revisiting old favorites.”

Foursquare is developing an app for Blackberry.

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