Everyman on Death by Facebook, Pissed at the Wrong Guy, Limits are Good

Death by Facebook. Jay Baer describes three ways Facebook is killing your website. This is definitely something affecting my business of building and customizing online communities, especially in this tough economy. Small businesses aren’t investing in their own community sites, they’re throwing up a Facebook page.  For free.  And why not, according to the article, Facebook changes information exchange from web pages to social objects permeating the web. You “like” me!  On operations and functionality Facebook eats the lunch of developers working out of their home offices.  Post a video, a 100-image gallery, change the price of that double-cheeseburger on your Info tab, whatever you want to do, Baby. Click and go!  There’s no need for your own community if, as Baer suggests, Facebook has small businesses convinced that the real party is at facebook.com. That’s where all of their customers are.

Baer closes with, “I have said on this very blog that I was dubious about putting too many eggs in Facebook’s basket, because you’re essentially building your marketing program on rented land. And I still feel that way. The amount of control Facebook has (or will have) over the data and interactions on the global Web is truly unprecedented (and I trust them even less than Google). But, if your old house is abandoned and full of mice and cobwebs, a shiny new house – even on rented land – may start looking pretty inviting. RIP websites. It was great while it lasted.”

That said, there are very good reasons to build your own community website.  I promise to invest in articulating those reasons going forward.

Pissed at the Wrong Guy. Another Jay Baer link for you tonight with a good reminder that we shouldn’t be pissed at the customer who says something nasty about our product. A negative comment gives us the opportunity to find it, learn from it and perhaps convert an unhappy customer into a fan.  “Your problem isn’t social media negativity, it’s the silent blahs, the legions of customers that don’t care one way or the other.”

How Not to Use Yelp. Speaking of displaced anger, a Phoenix restaurant owner went ballistic on Yelp when responding to a customer who posted a bad review. This is an example of how not to respond to social media negativity.  Definitely worth reading. The full Yelp exchange is published along with 603 comments (including, apparently, the business owner herself) on a Phoenix New Times blog post titled “Ouch! Today’s Hard Lesson on Yelp.”  I don’t think this business owner quite gets Social Media…

Getting Started with Windows Phone 7. Heck yeah I’m excited about developing Windows Phone 7 apps!  I’ll be going to an MSDN all-day training and hands-on session in Waltham, MA in a couple of weeks, which you know you’ll be hearing more about from me here.  In the meantime, here’s a post from Joe Healy with steps on getting started with WP7.

Limits Are Good. Seth Godin with a brilliant post on the importance of imposing limits and encouraging users to go to (and exceed) the max.

Successful Blogger Traits. Good points from Outspoken Media on what makes a successful blogger. A reminder that attention spans are short and bloggers need to get to the point quickly. “There’s a reason Seth Godin’s posts are 200 words, not 2,000.” Good bloggers write on the edge of their topic, beyond the safety zone. Bloggers connect with readers. Consistency remains an important trait for success and being passionate about the subject is a pre-requisite. That last point about writing with passion, by the way, is one of the motivations behind my decision to create Sueetie. I knew I would be passionate about it and enjoy generating a ton of content for a long time to come, which continues to be true.

Mitch Joel in Burlington. I didn’t attend this local Vermont business lunch when author of Six Pixels of Separation Mitch Joel spoke, but fortunately Rich Nadworny posted the presentation video. Joel tells his story of becoming a Social Media force with a number of SM nuggets thrown in like "You’re not a marketer, you’re a publisher.” Here’s the #btvsmb Twitter Stream and a detailed review of Joel’s presentation from Gahlord Dbwald.

Elliptical Bike. Check out this video of the world’s first elliptical bike. I want one!

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.