If you are a global company, do things globally!

August 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

There is nothing worse than to be a global company, like Facebook, and announce a major and revolutionary application, like Facebook Places, and don’t roll it out globally. Not even mentioning roll-out dates.

Facebook has more users in the rest of the world than in USA. All this media hype about this new feature has just empowered the main and new Facebook partners regarding geolocation: Foursquare and Gowalla. The first has already record sign ups after the lauch of Facebook Places.

No wonder, if you are the biggest social network out there with more than 500 million users, you can’t just announce a mayor feature like this one and exclude the rest of the world. Facebook excluded even all Android and Blackberry users, causer Places works so far with iPhone and via touch.facebook.com only.

Bloggers are starting to wonder what would happen now with Foursquare, after “joining” forces with Facebook. Well, in my view, Facebook has still 3 big challenges:

1. if you are a global company, act globally! Take Apple for example, they normally roll-out global products, and if not, like the iPhone or iPad, is mainly because of manufacturing reasons and there is always an “expected roll-out date” announce. But software??? Software of global companies should always be rolled-out globally.

2. Privacy, privacy, privacy. The 2 million Foursquare user are most of them the trendy early adopter users. Facebook now aims geolocation to mainstream, to the normal users. This is good. But “normal users” tend to be more picky, whining normally about privacy, security, etc, etc…

3. While Facebook, as the 800 pound gorilla, tries to bring geolocation to mainstream, I am sure Foursquare is already thinking into the next big thing after just “checking-in”. Foursquare is small and definitively more flexible.

I can’t talk more about Facebook Places, cause I haven’t been able to use it yet. I have updated the Facebook App for iPhone and I can see the Places icon (which is weird to see it has a 4 in a square) but I can’t use it. Facebook hasn’t, of course, rolled-it-out in Spain. No “expected dates” so far annouced…mmm…

If you are a global SOFTWARE company, you have to do things GLOBAL!!!

Blog to you soon…

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Birthday 2.0

June 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Last Wednesday was my birthday and I have never received so many birthday wishes before. Here the stats:

– 85 wall posts and 15 direct messages via facebook
– 30 direct emails
– 6 phone calls

This is just a small example about the power of social networks. These stats are amazing for a normal and non-famous person like me. This numbers are greater to the visits to any of my blog or facebook posts I have received in one single day. Also, the shift from Phone to Online is huge. Can you imagine talking on the Phone with 85 different people in one day? No way!

I most do accept that the big challenge was to reply to all messages… :)

Blog to you soon…

Extra! Extra! Public wins over Private! 400m become 1bn!

June 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

Facebook, the biggest social network of the world, was founded just 6 years ago. It started as a private/close network restricted to Harvard students only. Now, it has over 400 million users and is facing with the toughest challenge of all times: the revolution of global society.

My prediction for 2012

Prediction 1: Public will rule over Private. “They need to tell the story of a cultural trend towards openness and explain that while they started as private place, their (new) unashamed goal is move towards a public one.” Until now Facebook has failed to deliver this message to their users in a way it can be understood. On the contrary, many users have failed to understand that this openness is a natural thing (evolution) and is not necessary a Facebook problem (don’t shot the messenger!). How do you keep private the interaction of more than 400 million users? and all that for free? Why has Facebook not been that open on this topic as it should be? as we except them to be? Maybe is because the world is yet not ready… or maybe Facebook is yet not aware about their implied actions. But what about 2012? Would we be then ready? I believe we will.

Prediction 2: 1 billion users. One prediction I found from last June 2009 was an estimation of 500 million users for 2012 (current number in June 2009 was 200 million users). Facebook reach the 400 million mark beginning of 2010 though! (Thats exactly 200 million in just 8 months).

2012. Maya’s Calendar. End of days as we now it. Facebook will manage to go through this public/private policy crisis (see prediction 1) and if not someone else will. (it can’t be stopped!). Facebook could then easily reach the 1.000 million users mark for 2012 (see prediction 2).  Imagine China, India and other countries, some of them still blocking Facebook, joining the party? The global social impact will be tremendous! Is this part of the global revolution predicted by the Mayas for 21.12.2012? It definitively could be…

Blog to you soon…

Why “World of Mouth” is good…

May 25, 2010 § 1 Comment

Eril Qualman, author of the Book Socialnomics, posted on his blog how Social Media has taken us from “Word of Mouth” to “World of Mouth”.

But why is this good?

The same “World of Mouth” power that made Facebook and Twitter successful (and is starting to bring in the mouth of everyone new ones like of Foursquare) has the same power to regulate them.

In this new “World of Mouth” order, we don’t need to wait to government or any other kind of special regulator entity to step in to control the system. We control it! We define it!

Take Facebook for example. The latest policy changes to its privacy settings have made the whole world speak about it. Because it is by getting involved how we do things now. Bloggers, newspaper columnist and even simple and unknown persons as me, have been writing about it. Mainly: about our concerns about the privacy issues.

The consequence: Facebook has accepted their mistakes and they are planning to change their policies again for good.

Should these privacy changes still not be enough, we, the world, will continue to talk about it and this same “World of Mouth” power that made Facebook famous, will make sure to bring them down an even could substitute them by someone else. There is no “To Big to Fail” in this Social Media Era! And this is good…

UPDATE [27.05.2010]: Facebook’s CEO has presented yesterday the new simplified Facebook policies…lets see what the World says about it!

Blog to you soon…

More on Facebook Privacy…

May 14, 2010 § 2 Comments

Wow! its been what? 2 weeks since my latest post about Facebook and many things had happen since then. This is how things change now. Fast!

With the new Facebook privacy policies updated some days ago, the world has become crazy and bunch of people is writing about Facebook, well, mainly against Facebook. And I think they are right! Keep on writing!

As I already posted, we need to talk open about Facebook’s privacy and get involved! We are more than 400 million users, right? So, we, and only we have the power to change it. How? by writing openly about the privacy issues on Facebook, explaining and helping others how privacy at Facebook worksmentioning what to do to avoid account been compromised, getting the facts rightguiding them about what not to do on Facebook and keeping on writing on blogs about it!

My mayor complaint continues to be against people who, by default, are against Facebook… and mainly just to be against about something… As I said, I think Facebook is a great and powerful communication tool. Lets make sure we make it safe and useful. Otherwise, lets hope something similar, new and better arises. But until that happens, and meanwhile Facebook continues growing and growing, we just can’t avoid it!

Blog to you soon…

About Privacy And Some Odd Reasons For Not Having Facebook

May 1, 2010 § 1 Comment

Interestingly enough, the last two days I have been spending more time writing about privacy and Facebook (FB), than I should be concentrated in my MBA studies. (See posts on blog of two other ie Business School students Jose Ramon and Yaron Ventura).

Some people may even think that FB is paying me for this…but no…unfortunately not =)

My insights about privacy and FB:

1.  Fact: there are more than 400 million FB users. The half of them use FB on a regular (daily) basis. This is the size of countries like USA (300 Mill), Germany (80 Mill) and some other European countries combined. Note that FB is not yet in China (no wonder).

2. You can DO manage your privacy settings in FB by: a) managing privacy settings in FB (challenging for some/new users, due the constant privacy policy changes), and b) just by sharing the information YOU consider appropriate sharing.

3. People against FB would have probably been also against the Industrial Revolution, landing on the moon, or other products of technology like TV, Internet, Email, etc… As with evolution, technology can NOT be stopped. As Jose Ramon wisely posted on my blog, “Swimming against the current will eventually drown you”.

4. If you don’t have FB and have ANYTHING worth sharing with the rest of the world is because: a) you have something to hide (you should probably wear a paper bag in your face when walking on the street so NOBODY sees you. Thats 100% privacy!), b) you have nothing interesting to say (get a life), c) you are paranoid about intimacy (which is kind of silly, cause there is always something you can share without making you feel vulnerable), d) you think you are more intelligent than 400 million other persons to waste your time on FB (who is the dumb here?) or e) you are close-minded and just hate everything that has do with modern (actual) technology. You can then consider yourself “the angry Grandpa” of the room.

5. Yes, FB has lots and lots of junk on it…but same as TV (without paying cable you are toast, wherever you live!) or Internet or Emails (78% of the 210 billion e-mails sent each day are spam). So, does this mean we stop using this technologies? No. We just learn to filter. We learn to maximize the experience. So, if you are getting annoyed of someone posting junk in your FB wall? Just hide this person from your wall! (You just have to click one button. Can it be more easy? And you thought you were more intelligent that 400 million persons?)

6. Because FB has become so popular, it has become the most powerful distribution tool of information I can ever have imagine of.  You can share and do in FB WHATEVER you want (personal/public, business/marketing, etc…you and only you decide). So, use this power tool wisely instead of whining about it!

7. FB should never replace your communication channel with your friends, relatives or other contacts. FB, like email or telephone, is just an additional/alternative (and powerful) channel to reach and interact with people.

8. If you can’t let your mother in law see your profile is because: a) you are not a transparent person, b) you don’t have a cool mother in law. These are not problems of FB, these are your problems!

9. If you are a FB hater/critic and you don’t even have a FB account (and probably you won’t even be reading this post anyway, cause you surely also don’t know what a blog is or do and therefore against it) please avoid talking, complaining and worst of all REVIEWING about things YOU DON’T KNOW and haven’t EXPERIENCE yet… Again: and you thought you were more intelligent than 400 million persons?

Recap: Sure privacy will and should continue to be a highly discussed topic about FB. This is good. We, the transparent and serious active users on FB, have to step in and demand the proper tools to keep FB enjoyable and privacy safe (privacy manageable). Getting off the hightech-train at this point and watching it heading to the unbuilded bridge (and therefore the precipice) is not an option. Let us better be bridge-builders!

Stepping yourself in front of the train and try to stop it?… I am not even going to answer that one… =)

Blog to you soon…

PS: try the poll to find more about how much info others share on FB!

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