Monthly Archives: December 2010

Cisco enters social mining with SocialMiner 8.5

Major vendors of sfotware and services are now trying to tap into what smaller software developers have been doing for a couple years.  They are bargaining they can earn some revenue from enterprises trying to filter, respond to and grasp this giant social media web.  Cisco recently launch version 8.5 of SocialMiner.

Cisco® SocialMiner is a social media customer care solution that enables your company to proactively respond to customers and prospects communicating through public social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook or other public forum or blogging sites. By providing social media monitoring, queuing, and workflow to organize customer posts on social media networks and deliver them to your customer care team, your company can respond to customers in real time through the same social network they are using to communicate

It is a good play when larger companies invest heavily one a select number of vendors.  Offering a wider array of services, like Cisco is doing here, gives them leverage into installing and hooking into existing enterprise deployments at a rapid rate.  If you already run the call center servers, phone systems, VOIP and even network hardware from Cisco, then extending it with hooks into the social networks makes more sense then staff installing and managing an entirely new set that may not integrate at all.

IBM has done the same with their Customer Experience push and the upcoming Project Northstar (see my Part 1 and Part 2 launch coverage).  Aggregation, metering and deriving value from communication is a key driver in this world of scream out your concerns for many to read.  BOth require you to purchase more of their hardware and services, but that would be exptected.

Cisco is launching light with support for RSS and only Twitter and Facebook.  Mining into the social datra goes much further.  I trhink the investment in any of these enterprise solutions needs to be weighed heavily against the costs and capabilities of the free or smaller company deceloped products until more meaningful interactions can be derived.

Since when is Facebook acceptable as a corporate homepage?

Advertisement after advertisement in print, radio, web and television is now ending with a link to a Facebook page.  I know I am not alone in not wanting everyone in my defined circle of friends (network) on Facebook to know every product page I visit.  I do not have to go to Facebook to like your product. I also associate products with your name.  Kleenex is a brand, yet we associate it with all tissue we use and buy.  So did Facebook buy them?  Should I be headed here on Facebook for product information, customer service and feedback?  With only 6k fans I certainly hope not.

Companies have invested huge sums of money building campaigns and tracking on their websites.  While evolution in marketing is a key factor to success, what happened to getting people to your webpage and then sending them to Facebook?

Facebook may be a focal point, but what if something else comes along?  Do we revert back to the root of where all your information is stored?  Is your brand name that unimportant to make it the entry point in your marketing needs?  I provide a link to my Facebook network page, but I point everyone to my homepages that aggregate all my data.  I own and created my brand.

Companies are falling into the Geocities mindset where a custom URL that identified a brand gets swallowed up by another domain that already wants to be your personal directory.  Will Facebook be a corporate directory as well?

Note: I only picked Kleenex as an example after seeing a different commercial and couldn’t remember the product.  I wonder why?

Why I think Brightkite chose to close location services

I was an avid user of Brightkite until the last week when they suggested I back up my location data from them.  I was shocked to hear they gave up on the location services race and are instead focusing on group texting services (competing with GroupMe and FastSociety right away).

Brightkite was a leader in the check-in space.  Competition came along just as any industry evolves.  Soon the media was measuring, weighing and comparing capabilities.  Brightkite consistently won early charts.  But something shifted.  Mass media help drive consumers one specific direction, shutting out specific players.  The press started reporting on mainly one or two location services only.

Brightkite suffered a final blow when two founders left for another startup launch.  Leadership lost in this market can be the demise if they were some of the brains behind it.  I am not saying the team there is not talented.  It would be much like Zuckerberg leaving Facebook or Dennis leaving Foursquare.

So what do you do when the space for free location services gets too crowded?  You emerge again with a new business plan and untapped market.  I am not saying that group texting is something needed in the market.  Most phones allow this ability natively.  (Yes you must specify everyone each time, but it is there).  Even Blackberry with the new Messenger version has groups that allows chat, pictures, calendars and more.

Does the relationship that Foursquare and Gowalla share with businesses impact the promotion?  Definitely!  It was something that Brightkite never went after.  Some inherent form of business relationship to drive a larger userbase while still having media appeal.  Brightkite was first, in my eyes, with pictures, walls to track check-ins by location (not jsut person) and more features.  They still have the underlying technology that many of these other players should be interested in.

I bid a fond farewell to the check-in service portion of Brightkite and wish them the best in the group texting market.

Connect with me on Foursquare or Gowalla for now.  I hope to soon add Tri-Out to that list..

Note: You can go back and see how often I write about location services, I believe they have a place in marketing, consumers and social media.  I hope they continue to evolve and compete.

Facebook Messages – control your privacy

Facebook Messages have begun rolling out to everyone at a slow pace.  If you never allowed them to have email before, they will soon.  Facebook Messages gives everyone the ability to have an email address and a chosen username.  If you have been limiting your kids from email all this time, it will be automatic for them according to Facebook.

Facebook,Facebook Messages,privacy,email

They also handle the interaction differently.  You are able to send and receive email just as messages would appear.  This ability open them to communication outside of the walled garden of Facebook itself. There are steps you can take to limit the communication of this new email ability through privacy controls.  We have a screencast and podcast (both from our sister sites TheSocialNetworker and TheSocialGeeks) does a quick walkthrough of the setup procedures and links to important help files.

The new privacy settings interested me more after reading them twice.  You are able to set the level of who can email you based on everyone, friends of friends and just friends.  that part fits the other models Facebook has implemented.  However, friends are able to email you from any email address they register with Facebook.  So this is a reverse privacy issue.

When you established your account with Facebook you provided a single email address.  Most people only have one.  Now Facebook is asking you to enter all of your possible email addresses so you could email in to any friend from any of them.  This gives Facebook even more information on you as a person by associating email names, domains and possibly company names (if you use your company email) with your profile.  People have not given this portion that much thought.

I would suggest you head out and quickly claim your name on Facebook, even if you do not use the email functions, ever.   An example is my network page on Facebook.  The URL would be http://www.facebook.com/IdoNotesNetwork (if you feel like becoming part, it is where I funnel all of my information on Facebook).  So read the linked help files in the sister postings, watch the short screencast and get your Facebook Messages under control early.

You can see the entire screencast in HD on YouTube or embedded below.