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Life on Silicon

This point of view belies a clear lack of understanding of the so-called “Gen-Y” users who make up the majority users of websites like Facebook.

Those of us who are members of the generation that would consider breaking up with a significant other on a website like Facebook – not that that is something we’re all proud to say – also came to understand the concept of “free as in advertising” long ago.

We have been brought up in an era in which media, content, and services are frequently made available to us for free in exchange for being asked to tolerate a little bit of advertising, and are willing to accept that in exchange for better content and services. Hulu’s ad-driven model and gains over YouTube in less than a year prove this point.

As creepy as it may be, we also all accept on some level that better targeting means more relevant advertising, which in turn makes the advertising itself a service we are beginning to appreciate. Facebook, is, in fact, a prime example of this.

The position is also fairly one-sided as presented. Ultimately, enough people understand that the decision is actually between paying out-of-pocket for a service like Facebook and seeing ads when accessing the website. Trust me, a lot more people would complain about having to pay than do about the ads.

I tried to leave this as a comment on the related article on, but apparently the author of that Blog is not in the habit of approving comments that highlight his overly sensationalized coverage of these topics. After waiting four days for the comment to be approved, I’m just going to post it here (maybe he’ll approve the trackback):

Android has yet to prove itself as a mobile platform, any investment in an application for it is a risk at this point and must be weighed by a business considering development as such.

This is probably the real reason Facebook has not invested in it. Granted, I’m speculating here, but no more so than Nick is above when he says this is about bad blood between Google and Facebook (as long as he provides no references to back that claim up).

The iPhone, in contrast, was an established mobile platform with a larger userbase by the time Facebook was even able to build an application for it. Not to mention the iPhone Facebook app isn’t that useful. I still find myself switching over to the mobile version in Safari, or even the full version.

First off, let me say I am a huge fan of David Meerman Scott. His book, The New Rules of Marketing & PR is canon to me, and I think everyone attempting to market or promote a brand/product/service online should read it. That said, I’m not 100% in agreement with David’s recent blog post, Top 10 ideas for Century 21 Real Estate to implement The New Rules of Marketing & PR.

Overall, I think it falls into the same pitfalls many folks attempting to implement David’s “New Rules” are likely to run into. Primarily, moving budget out of expensive brand advertising and into PR is much easier said than done, especially when the Director/VP/Whatever of PR is effectively seen within the organization as trying to “steal” budget from the Director/VP/Whatever of Advertising, who may be a peer or even supervisor.

Further, generating content is the lynchpin of implementing many of David’s strategies and tactics, both in general and on this top 10 list, for obvious reasons. While grabbing some of the advertising budget to build a staff to generate content may make perfect sense to those of us who understand the intricacies of modern SEO and even to a PR director, it just isn’t that obvious to people brought up in traditional advertising and marketing.

One of the greatest challenges we face in implementing many of David’s tactics in the real world is convincing those who control the pursestrings that allocating resources towards content generation is a valuable investment in the future of their brand.