The recent announcement that Facebook is not going to be allowing businesses to post advertisements that are masquerading as stories seems to be a play for more profits. Everyone seems up in arms that Facebook would have the gall to force businesses to pay for placement of their promotional material on their free service and they’re calling them out for being greedy. That’s a small part of it, but it’s not the real reason behind the move.
In reality, people don’t want to see it. The users of Facebook have always been the focus of the company to the point that their management has been famously caught by investors saying that they want to make money to improve the platform rather than improving the platform to make more money. They have it right. The money will come. As long as they can keep people engaged on the social site and continue to gain new users faster than they’re losing them, the money will be a simple side-effect.
Those outside of marketing often think it’s an easy job. You just have to learn how to spam, learn how to sound clever, and then get your unwanted messages in front of as many people as possible. A recent study shows that it’s not the easy, stress-free job that many believe it is. Continue reading Working in Marketing is Harder than it Looks
The statement could be pushed over to just about any true Web 2.0 site where voting and popularity determine the success of a piece of content. Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace – overrun by spam. Mixx, Propeller, Yahoobuzz – spam havens.
For social news powerhouses Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon to be so changed by the presence of gobs and gobs of spam hits a little harder. They are the sites where I started my journey in Web 2.0. They are the shiny beacons of user-controlled, traffic-generating goodness that made mainstream media look to the people for their opinions and discoveries.
They are, for all intents and purposes, shells of what they should be, and spam is to blame. Perhaps more importantly, how they handled spam over the years has caused them to close their networks in one way or another through a series of witchhuntesque spam countermeasures.
Digg’s shout system is currently flawed. Spamming through the shout system is simple, while sending messages to all of your friends is difficult and time consuming.
Here’s an idea that might just work: using a well recognized od digg as a code to let your friends know that what you’re sending isn’t spam. Currently, many users, especially those with lots of friends, have a hard time because of the sheer bulk of shout spam that they receive on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.
This is an idea that could fix the system until Digg steps up and fixes it themselves.