Is Facebook’s Latest Update a Gamechanger?

Facebook makes changes to the way the network works on the daily. I do my best to stay up to speed, and I’m normally pretty polar in how I feel about an algorithm update here or an interface change there, but Facebook’s latest major announcement has me teetering.  Here’s what’s going on. . .

Facebook is introducing a “Subscribe” button. I think this is major. Here’s how it will work:

  1. You can subscribe to Public status updates from people you are not Facebook friends with.
  2. You can choose what kind of updates you see from your current Facebook friends. You can choose to subscribe to All Updates, Most Updates or Only Important Updates.
  3. You can allow people who aren’t your friends to subscribe to your Public Facebook status updates. Don’t worry, you have to opt in for this to be available to those who stumble across your Facebook profile.

Why this is great

Follow your Faves

You can subscribe to a celebrity or famous blogger’s Public status updates. They’ll likely never make Facebook friends with you, and now you don’t have to troll their profiles to see what they are publishing publicly.

Filtered Content

You can trim your newsfeed down to the status updates that really interest you. For example, if the girl who sat behind you in Sophomore Chemistry updates her Facebook every time her cat sneezes, you can choose to see “Only Important” updates from her without feeling badly about hiding or unfriending her (but if she really updates every time her cat sneezes, you really shouldn’t feel badly about unfriending her. Just sayin).  You can also subscribe to specific types of content your friends are posting. Choices are Life Events, Status Updates, Photos and Videos, and Games.

Market Yourself

For personal marketing purposes, you can extend the number of people who read your content by allowing non-friends to subscribe to your feeds. This way, if you would like anyone in the world to easily access to knowledge you share regarding specific topics, but don’t want to be friends with the whole world, you can allow other Facebook users to subscribe to your public content.

Why this really isn’t that great

Dilutes the Power of the Fan Page

I totally get that there is a difference between a celebrity’s personal profile page and their Facebook fan page, and that there will be different content, but:

  1. Being able to subscribe to their personal pages seems to dilute the purpose of the fan page.
  2. Seeing as most celebrities share what they want the world to know via their public fan pages, what new content would I really be subscribing to here?

I know that this feature doesn’t just apply to major celebrities, but you get the point.  Lines are getting greyer here. Could be a good thing, but my gut reaction is to feel a tad uneasy.

I’m Just Jaded

I really appreciate getting to trim down what I see from which friends. This is cool, and by far the best part of this new feature. But honestly, Facebook, I’m not inclined to use it, because you’re just going to change it up in two weeks anyway.

Hello, Twitter, is that you?

This whole subscribing-to-people-without-having-to-be-their-friend thing reeks of Twitter. I like using Twitter and the way it works. . .  when I’m on Twitter. Basically, I feel like this update begs the question: “ISN’T THAT WHAT TWITTER IS FOR?”

Let’s look at the numbers: Facebook has 750 million active users. Twitter just announced that it reached the 100 million active users milestone. If I were to make the assumption that everyone on Twitter is also on Facebook, I could reasonably assume that 650 million of the active users on Facebook are NOT interested in Twitter. So, why are we trying to make Facebook more like Twitter?!

This Automates Trolling

Well, that about sums up my point there.

Those are my two cents on this update. I’d love to hear yours. If you’re interested, you can follow my public content on Twitter, which is where I will continue to focus on posting it until I see Facebook embrace the subscription thing for personal marketing.

THE END

Tweets in Space – NASA Promotes the Final Shuttle Launch Online!

Final NASA shuttle launch

This Friday July 8th marks a historic moment in both U.S. History and the story of Humanity when the Space Shuttle Atlantis launches to carry supplies to the ISS-Station in orbit around Earth. NASA’s space shuttle program will conclude with mission STS-135.

I am super excited to have the opportunity to view the launch from Kennedy Space Center Friday morning. For those of you who cannot make the trip – there are a number of awesome online outlets including twitter, NASA TV, Facebook and more to hear updates, watch the countdown and launch, and hear directly from the astronauts as they prepare to launch into space.

Follow the launch on Twitter!

First, if you are relatively new to twitter or want a quick refresher course, check out Schipul’s Twitter Speak Help File.

Next, here are just a few of the official NASA twitter accounts to follow:
@NASA – official NASA twitter account
@NASAtweetup – official “tweetup” account for NASA
@NASA_Astronauts – NASA twitter account that retweets all of the astronauts tweets

The four Astronauts that will be flying Atlantis for STS-135 each have twitter accounts as well and have been tweeting actively about their mission preparations and thoughts. You can follow them in the “Twitter-verse” here:
Christopher Ferguson: @Astro_Ferg
Douglas Hurley: @Astro_Doug
Sandy Magnus: @Astro_Sandy
Rex J Walheim: @Astro_Rex

Hashtags to follow on twitter: #NASATweetup and #STS135

Other NASA-friendly social networks to follow

If you want more than just 140 character updates, you can head to NASA Connect to find dozens of other official NASA social networking sites including the official NASA Facebook Page, and NASA Headquarters Flickr account including a collection devoted to the Space Shuttle program as well as many other social sites.

Then, on Friday morning watch the shuttle launch live online on NASA TV. The launch is currently scheduled for 11:28 AM EST. That’s 10:28 AM CST for those of you in Houston and 8:28 AM PST for all of you in California.

Finally, I want to include a couple of great non-NASA organizations that will be tweeting and uploading photos and video from the launch site in Florida too. Both of these organizations are focused on sharing the excitement of space exploration and all things space with others and are extremely active on the web.

The Space Tweep Society is an organization whose mission is to connect those inside the space industry with those on the outside looking in and generate enthusiasm for all things space. You can find the Space Tweep’s on twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.

SpaceUp is a new organization that hosts “un-conferences” focused on space-related topics all over the country including Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington DC and Minneapolis. You will find a number of organizers and volunteers from the different SpaceUp cities in Florida this week for STS-135.

Want a play-by-play?  You can follow me on twitter: @SarahMWorthy as I tweet throughout the events leading up to the launch with all the other Space Geeks.

Before the launch, I urge you to go check out TEDxNASA in Silicon Valley and register for FREE if you can attend. This official TEDx event will be August 17th, 2011 in San Francisco, California. I was honored to attend the recent TEDx Houston event last month and definitely want to see all of you at TEDxNASA if you can make the trip to San Francisco next month!

Great launch photo up top thanks to Flickr user Stuck in Customs

Branding Guidelines: Top 10 Tips

Branding Guidelines

This post comes as a blast from the past by our very own JJ Lassberg – she’s taken a new direction in her creative and tech world, but remains ever a Schipulite! Enjoy her great thoughts around branding!

In a world saturated by marketing ads and promotions, where children watch more than 40,000 ads of TV alone,  it’s hard gain the competitive edge.

Here at Schipul, we believe there are 10 Top Branding Guidelines that can help you stand out in the crowd:

  1. Focus on the #1 thing you provide
  2. Get a short, Clear Tagline that tells me what you are going to do for me
  3. Be consistent with your branding – don’t change it because YOU get bored, it’s all about ME the customer
  4. Show that your are the best by choosing top quality, up to date graphics and design
  5. Use Your Branding EVERYWHERE
  6. Share your branding with a press kit – give people what they need to talk about you
  7. Train everyone in your organization to say the same thing about what you do
  8. Let Your fans rave – them where and how to do it
  9. A bad reputation is louder and more demanding that even the best branding
  10. Let go… just a little. Be Fun, Kind and Grateful to anyone willing to engage and share your branding online.

For the full Branding Guidelines – view the Slideshare Presentation Below: