Without further ado:
Whom Should You Listen to? How to Cut Through the Clamor Now That All of Your Customers Have a Voice -- When Facebook recently changed its terms of service and launched a controversial redesign, it became only the most recent example of the fact that these days, customers don't shy away from using social media to be heard. Tropicana consumers used it to kill the brand's new packaging; and the viewership of the newly renamed Syfy (aka the Sci-Fi Channel) has yet to stop criticizing the new name. While getting feedback from customers is great, the rise of social media channels opens up the question of which voices are important to listen to -- and which aren't. Panelists will discuss how to pick between the two.
Convincing Your Client: Getting Marketers to Become More Social -- During recessions, marketing almost always becomes more conservative, both in terms of the money spent on it, and clients' willingness to experiment with new channels like social media. How are agencies, social media sites and digital marketing people on the client side convincing marketers to invest in social media? Which arguments for investing in it work, and which don't?
The Future of Niche: How the Social Graph Will Re-form Around Smaller Groups -- As social media becomes more mainstream, there's increasing belief that individuals will arrange their social graph around multiple personas, such as college friends, community-based friends, work colleagues and interests. But how will this map out? Facebook's recent redesign seems to indicate this may happen all within huge social nets; ExecTweets, which coalesces around tweets from top business execs, points at how an increasingly mass service like Twitter might monetize itself around more narrowly defined interests. At the same time, services like Ning are seeing rapid growth around proprietary niche networks. What is the future of niche?
Show Us the Money: Do Social Networks Owe Users for the Content They Create? -- It's a debate as least as old as some of the most popular user-generated YouTube clips: whether consumers who create content that helps fuel traffic and advertising dollars to social sites should be compensated for what they make. Of course, it would be helpful if social nets were actually making money, but the issue remains that the rise of social networks has been built not only on user traffic, but on the content and influence those users produce.
Could MySpace's Ad Model Be the Right One? -- Among the social media elite, it's become almost de rigeur to turn noses up at the banners, billboards and buttons that dominate MySpace. Yet, even if MySpace has struggled a bit in the current economy, it is still that rare social net that has a business model. As sites like Twitter and Facebook tinker with ideas of how to make advertising a more intuitive part of the overall experience, what if MySpace's more traditional ad model turns out to be the one that will work?
Look for more ideas next week -- and please tell me what you think of these. Thanks!
See: "Using Social Media to Protect Public Safety" at http://media.csosa.gov (see blog-first entry).
Len Sipes, federal Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency in Washington, D.C.
Twitter at http://twitter.com/lensipes.
Hi Catharine, Thanks for reaching out and asking. I was just at SES NY and there was quite a bit of social media chatter worked in with the search sessions. I would like to have hear more about the future of social. Is it the new search? Also, how are companies using social to engage with their customers in light of the current recession? The current economy is bringing us back to the basics and the need for community. People trust people more than companies and trust in brands is down. So social is more important than ever. But how do brands prepare their marketing teams for this change? Blogs are very influential and Twitter is now becoming more and more of an important element. So, let's get out our crystal ball and make some predictions!