Sometimes it’s the little things that c…

Sometimes it’s the little things that count… and one of those little things is that now that I’m using Gist in replace of my feed reader, twitter reader and facebook newsfeed, I no longer need to worry nearly as much about “who” I follow on sites like Twitter… and no need to pay any more penance for unfollowing people.

Now, if someone is too noisy or uninteresting I just set their importance to 1 out of 100! The result being I’m finding myself willing to follow people much more freely because the noise never has to hit my Gist feed…

NEO, or the Study of How to Optimize Content for Social Networks

This past weekend while giving a presentation in Chicago, I was talking to the following slide:

… about the importance of understanding how Facebook’s algorithms work when creating your Facebook marketing strategy when someone from the audience asked, “is this similar to understanding how SEO helps explain how Google ranks websites?”

And it hit me like a ton of bricks… EXACTLY! I’ve been working towards this idea for the past year few years, but had never articulated it that clearly.

So after a bit of refinement, I think it’s time for us (internet marketers) to add a new word to our vocabulary: NEO or Networking Engine Optimization.

In a nutshell, the idea of NEO is that by studying how social networks determine relevance, we can better understand how to optimize our marketing strategies.

Having spoken about using social media for business to many different professional audiences, I feel extremely confident in saying that very few people have any understanding of the algorithms that Facebook users to determine it’s “top news” or “suggested” friends/pages… some people, Dale Chumbley comes to mind, intuitively understand how to use these algorithms, but I’m not sure even he has put a ton of thought into why…

Assuming the feedback on this idea keeps me going, I’m hoping to explore a couple different areas of NEO… but the most interesting will definitely have to do with understanding how the “hard” algorithms interact with the “soft” people (friends, followers, fans, etc.) that really determine success.

In other words, whether talking about Facebook’s “top news” or Twitter’s “trending” topics, there’s no way to get any traction without having others interact with your content. My take is that there’s been a ton of thought into understanding the importance of engaging others in your social network (Jeff Turner’s done a particularly impressive job of this with exploring YEO), but engaging with others is only a piece of a successful internet marketing strategy and just about everyone who’s actively marketing with social media would benefit from a better understanding of the algorithms that determine the relevance of their content/presence.

Anyway, this is obviously an idea that I’m still in the early stages of exploring… and I would love to hear your thoughts. But especially based on the recent news that Facebook passed Google in terms of total traffic, isn’t it time to seriously explore how the social networks are determining the relevance of our content?

Love a good SWOT analysis and just came …

Love a good SWOT analysis and just came across one that Jeremiah Owyang published last month that looks at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats of these four social networks: Google Buzz, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

I find it most interesting that he would even include MySpace in the equation seeing as how they just don’t seem to offer much these days… and definitely seem to be becoming more irrelevant by the day.

With a month’s perspective behind us, I also find it interesting how he puts Google Buzz at the same level as Facebook and Twitter. It seems to me that Google Buzz is quickly going the way of Google Wave… Interesting technology that will definitely be used heavily in a few niches, but it’s not likely to change the way the majority of people interact online.

I’m totally missing the buzz… I’ve b…

I’m totally missing the buzz…

I’ve been playing with Google Buzz for a few days now and I know I must be missing something *big* because the ONLY thing I’ve found interesting about it so far is that by connecting with a bunch more people on the google platform, I now get more articles showing up in my Google Reader.

Others talk about how it is vindication that email is the social network, but I’m finding my experience much closer to Fred’s that we can’t assume implicit and explicit social networks are one-and-the-same.

The whole service feels really kludgy and doesn’t pass the would-my-family-use-this-tool test… and if they did, they certainly wouldn’t use it to share personal stories, organize events, upload photos, etc, like they do now. My gut tells me it has potential to be a popular tool among the tech-crowd along the lines of twitter thanks to slick mobile integration, geolocation features, etc., but it’s missing way too many of Facebook’s “connecting” features like photos sharing/tagging, video sharing/tagging, groups, etc., for it to really be a mass-appeal social network.

However, with that said, David Gibbons obviously has a different take. He tweets:

@tyr a) not a walled garden b) nothing cutsie about it c) smart conversation notification d) local integration is AWESOME #whyBUZZisbetter”

and

@tyr it’s far from perfect but they’re iterating at light speed & what really matters is the (sociological) foundation which kicks fb’s butt”

so I’m worried I must be missing something big. Help me out.

How is Google Buzz going to challenge Facebook in any meaningful way?

UPDATE 1

Appropriate to the topic, there has been a decent conversation about this topic on a google buzz thread.

UPDATE 2

Robert Scoble sums up my thoughts well: Why did Google copy FriendFeed’s worst features?

Facebook: Please help give Mike Price so…

Facebook: Please help give Mike Price some more meaning in his life!

He tweets: “If I didn’t “fan” your FB page the first time, please don’t ask again. Facebook – I want the word “ignore” to have some meaning in my life.

and I totally agree. Once someone ignores a FB fan page suggestion, no one should be able to suggest the page to them again (and again and again). Of course, you can always unfriend the person sending the suggestions (but sometimes that’s a bit harsh), so often the best solution is to simply not respond to FB fan page suggestions at which point they seem to accumulate…

However, as great as Mike’s suggestion is, I want to raise him a few social networks. I wish the ignore button had meaning on ALL social networks. Foursquare immediately comes to mind since there are more than a few people who seem hell bent on accumulating as many “friends” as possible and send friend-request after friend-request, never really getting the hint.

Are there other social networks that seem to miss the boat on the “ignore” button?

One more invite left…

Yeah, that’s right!   I published a post yesterday saying I had 5 ActiveRain invites to give away… Only to say a few hours later I never meant to hit publish on the post.

Ironically, I was approached by someone running a social network offering to bail me out by offering 4realz readers 5 invites to a new project they will be launching shortly (probably later this week).    If you’re the type of person who likes to get a jump start on everyone else, then let me know because I’ve already given four of the five invites, so I imagine the last one will go fast!

But here’s the catch.  If you want an invite, you have to agree to not talk about the tool until it is officially launched!    Leave a comment if you want to take part and I’ll choose someone who who I think would get the most benefit out of the new tool.

PropertyShark team launched MyDealBook and…

pre-launch opinion was to be very skeptical.

After a conversation with Ryan Slack (former CEO of PropertyShark, now CEO of MyDealBook), I became more optimistic that he had a plan beyond starting with a mass of users.

The way I understand it, the site is kind of cross between LinkedIn and ActiveRain… but with a larger focus on the commercial real estate sector since that community is pretty underserved online (as mentioned to me by Ryan).

I’ve been playing with the site for a few minutes, and it definitely leaves me with the feeling of “what next”, but I’m not really the target market.   I’m not really looking to connect with others to make deals, but then again, I’m not sure real estate professionals are looking online for this type of community.

With that said, if you do decide to try out the system, you (apparently) need to be “connected” to at least a few people before it will give you access to some of the features (like member search), so feel free to connect up with me.

If Yahoo got their social media act together, this…

could be huge.

I’ve always enjoyed the niche social networks bought by Yahoo (Flickr, Upcoming, del.icio.us, etc.)… and if they can keep them niche, while making Yahoo more social, there’s potential for some interesting synergies.

(I found this particularly interesting in the context of Yahoo’s desire to keep prodding along…)