Social Media Watch: Google Friend Connect

Google’s been hot to really get in on the social media game and you know they don’t play around. They’ve been acquiring Web 2.0 social media sites (like YouTube for $1.6BILLION) for a while now.

This just in, and almost ready for prime time – Google Friend Connect.

According to Google, Google Friend Connect lets you grow traffic by easily adding social features to your website. I just watched the WHOLE video below…and it blew me away.

(and for those of you who know me, you know that’s NO mean feat – most folks can’t talk fast enough or get to the point fast enough for me to watch very long 😉

I also think it might be a woman thing – any women out there who prefer to watch a looooong video online?

Anyway. Essentially, it would appear that Google Friend Connect provides you with a variety of tools that  turn your static, boring, flat website into a full-blown social scene that lets your users interact with each other with ease.

Visitors will be able (should they be compelled by your content) to log-in and “be sociable” using accounts they already have with Google (of course!), AOL Screen Names, Yahoo! and OpenID (see mine at )

Once they do, all their friends in their other networks will be able to see what they’ve found, and can follow them to a new resource (you!).

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, dear friends.  We are on our way to a truly connected web – Global Mind – the question is, what are you going to do to make sure you are in the loop?  Check it out:

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How One PR Pro Used Facebook to Connect Hungry Journalists to Hungry Publicity Seekers

Talk about moving the free line!

Peter Shankman didn’t start out thinking that he’d be giving the well-known PR service ProfNet a run for their money when he decided to post emails he was already getting from reporters asking if he had sources for their stories to his Facebook Page. He decided to call this free service “Help a Reporter” – it helps hungry reporters looking for sources connect with hungry sources looking for publicity.

What is interesting is that he was already getting reporters emailing him to help them find sources, so he has some credibility and influence with this audience. They have recognized that he is skilled using a new resource – social media – which makes him attractive to say the least. (Let’s face it, besides us information marketers and life-long learners, most people would rather not learn something new, they just want the answers.)

So he decided to take action to help them by exposing them to his existing network, using his already existing Facebook profile. Free to use, simple to execute – reporters emailed him their queries, and he posted them on his profile. A lot easier than answering them all one on one.

Then word hit the street – freelancers (who obviously must have been a part of his network) started telling friends, then publicists (also probably already in his network) realized these were prime opps for additional ways to spread the word about their clients. He created some buzz by buzzing it on his own blog, An A-list NY Times blogger wrote a nice post (notice, at this point he still hasn’t asked anyone to actually help him promote this service)

The free service got so popular he had to move it off of his Facebook Page and onto it’s own site at

Now, here’s where the story takes a counterintuitive twist…because it’s STILL FREE!

He clearly could have monetized it, because it’s clearly meeting a huge want in the market – which he says doesn’t surprise him that reporters are seeking an alternative to ProfNet. He says they get tons of queries from their posts there, but so many of them are “misguided”. (and he firmly says he will dump list members who don’t send a response that is on target in his welcome email)

Reporters report that they get a lot more on-target answers from Shankman’s list. Another plus is they get fresh faces from many of the smaller PR folks and even entrepreneurs themselves who can’t necessarily afford the pricey ProfNet service.

Maybe at some point in the future he will start to charge. However, my guess is that he’s getting a lot more visibility and more business doing what he really loves to do anyway this way.

There’s a lot more meat to this story here:
Tired of ProfNet? Start Your Own PR-Journalist Service

What could you do that would provide a similar effect to your target audience? I’ve got some ideas now myself that would help my expert authors…stay tuned!

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How to Become a World-Class Facebook Psychologist

This just in my inbox from my friend Ben, (oops, I mean Howard Campbell).

I told him I thought it would be fun to share and I was going to post this onto my blog. Hey, where else could you get a $4,000 Stanford University syllabus for Facebook for free, become a world class expert on the psychology of Facebook, AND audit the class using their Facebook group, BUT online?

That’s why I love the internet.

Here’s the email:


Can you keep a secret?

This is a $4,000 course and I’m
letting you in the back door…

Psychology of Facebook
is being taught at Stanford

“For ten weeks we will focus
on persuasion psychology in Facebook.”
~BJ Fogg, Stanford University

If you put together
a college-level course
on social networking
what would you call it?

At Stanford, they call it Psychology of FaceBook.

Get the Stanford syllabus here…

( MP: Better look quick, before they find out)

If you are already a member of FaceBook,
then you can join their group online…

Join the Stanford class group on Facebook Here

The kids in this class paid roughly $4,000 each
and you can audit the class for free.

If they ask, tell them Howard Campbell
told you where to look. :-) Shhh.

aka Howard Campbell

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Web 2.0…The Machine is Us/ing US

Here’s an interesting video called The Machine is Us/ing US, created by Michael Wesch.

It gives a really good summary of what Web 2.0  (and I have the easiest plugin for WordPress called Viper’s Quick Video Tags, it makes it oh-so-easy to post YouTube videos 😉

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60% of Wealthy Consumers Online Use Social Networks

Gotta love the guys and gals at – they vet all of the info and only give you news you can use.

Who are these wealthy consumers? They average 287k in income and have a net worth of 2.1Million, according to the Luxury Institute.  (and for the more skeptical among you, these survey results are weighted to match demographic and net worth profiles of the same audience according to the latest Federal Reserve survey of consumer finances.)

As overachievers, being connected is natural for them, their participation increased 5 times, to 49%,  they average membership in 2.8 (can we just say 3? How do you participate in .8??) networks, and have about 110 connections.

  • 16% MySpace (really? how interesting – that site drives me nuts with it’s busy-ness and blaring musical profiles 😉
  • 13% Linkedin (per LI, a large percentage of CEOs visit daily)
  • 11% Facebook (one of my favorites, it’s very interesting to see what my creative friends are up to – however, please stop inviting me to events in Australia, I’m NOT coming, but feel free to visit me when you are in Sunny San Diego, CA)

Most rapid acceleration is in the over 55 crowd (you know what they say about us boomers, we refuse to grow up LOL!)

For the rest of the story and links, go here:

Six in 10 Wealthy Consumers Online Use Social Networks – MarketingVOX

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Online Buyers Want More Product Videos

I think this is fascinating. In this report from eMarketer, a survey of 1200 online users who shop online more than 4 times a year and spend over $500 indicates:

  • 43% of read customer reviews most of the time before a product purchase and
  • 46% required a minimum of 4-7 before they would make a purchase decision

These online buyers are also Web 2.0 savvy…44% of them also indicate that they wish that websites had more product videos, 39% wanted the ability to subscribe to email or RSS alerts, 39% want discussion boards or forums and 37% want the ability to personalize the site or create a personal profile.

Oh, and in case you wonder if having customer testimonials really makes a difference, 49% of these buyers want them.

Read it all here:
Online Buyers Seek Out User Reviews – eMarketer

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