We were having an internal debate about the Declaration of Independence today, while at the same time, voting is closing on the proposed Facebook Governance Documents.
I know you know. And I know you know that if Facebook were a country, its 200+MM population would make it the world's 5th largest (they just passed Brazil)
And here are the proposed "Guiding Principles" (hum "Mine eyes have seen the glory" as you read):
1. Freedom to Share and Connect
People should have the freedom to share whatever information they want, in any medium and any format, and have the right to connect online with anyone – any person, organization or service – as long as they both consent to the connection.
2. Ownership and Control of Information
People should own their information. They should have the freedom to share it with anyone they want and take it with them anywhere they want, including removing it from the Facebook Service. People should have the freedom to decide with whom they will share their information, and to set privacy controls to protect those choices. Those controls, however, are not capable of limiting how those who have received information may use it, particularly outside the Facebook Service.
3. Free Flow of Information
People should have the freedom to access all of the information made available to them by others. People should also have practical tools that make it easy, quick, and efficient to share and access this information.
4. Fundamental Equality
Every Person – whether individual, advertiser, developer, organization, or other entity – should have representation and access to distribution and information within the Facebook Service, regardless of the Person’s primary activity. There should be a single set of principles, rights, and responsibilities that should apply to all People using the Facebook Service.
5. Social Value
People should have the freedom to build trust and reputation through their identity and connections, and should not have their presence on the Facebook Service removed for reasons other than those described in Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
6. Open Platforms and Standards
People should have programmatic interfaces for sharing and accessing the information available to them. The specifications for these interfaces should be published and made available and accessible to everyone.
7. Fundamental Service
People should be able to use Facebook for free to establish a presence, connect with others, and share information with them. Every Person should be able to use the Facebook Service regardless of his or her level of participation or contribution.
8. Common Welfare
The rights and responsibilities of Facebook and the People that use it should be described in a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which should not be inconsistent with these Principles.
9. Transparent Process
Facebook should publicly make available information about its purpose, plans, policies, and operations. Facebook should have a town hall process of notice and comment and a system of voting to encourage input and discourse on amendments to these Principles or to the Rights and Responsibilities.
10. One World
The Facebook Service should transcend geographic and national boundaries and be available to everyone in the world.
Impressive, inspiring, thought provoking.
SO where does the "Ad Fail" part come in?
Despite near-continuous, above the fold, high visibility FB profile page placements for the past week or so, only 536K+ members have voted.
That's about .2%.
And only 109K FB'ers (that's ~.05% of the total pop) have become "Fans" of the ''Facebook Governance Page', meaning
they will receive updates and posts about any conversations or proposed
changes to the documents.
So in a community of 200MM+, only about a
half million are participating in creating the global guiding principles.
Wow. All they had to do was click and vote.
Twice as many people voted for the guiding principles of what has become for many an indispensable social utility, as were sacrificed for Whoppers in a single promotion.
Daniel Sheniak, W+K Communications Guru, exploring the streets of Tokyo in a culturally sensitive fashion, wonders, "in our migration to micropublishing, have we turned our back on macro-living?"
"Has culture shifted its focus from achieving great things to mindless celebrity pursuit (aided and abetted by technology proliferation)? What could the million people on twitter have done other than follow Ashton on Twitter?"
I'd argue that technology provides the framework for us to do great things together - and Ashton Kutcher's twitter-palooza meant 10,000 malarial nets for the cost of a click.
A Muslim organization has issued a fatwa over using verses from
the Koran as ringtones, saying that answering the call while the aayat
(verses from the Koran) is going on is a sin. It argues that people
answer calls midway through the aayat, leave the verse incomplete. TechTree reports via Channel 4.
panel of clerics in Kanpur India, also said that taking a cellphone to
the toilet as it rings is a sin because aayat cannot be heard in a
Other cell phone related Fatwas:
-- A Fatwa Against Ringtones
- An imam at a Mosque in Saudi Arabia issued a fatwa against mobile
phones after one rang during prayers on Saturday, playing Arabic pop
I was chosen by curator Chris Anderson to deliver a short talk during TED2009 on the coping strategies we've developed to deal with how "available" technology has enabled us to become.
I talk about an emergent 'culture of availability' - a culture that doesn't just allow or enable always-on connectivity, it expects it. The more connected we CAN be, I argue, the higher the obligation/expectation to reciprocate when someone seeks to connect with us.
Consider the "acceptable lag" between receiving a voicemail and returning a call, receiving an email and replying, receiving a text message and replying or receiving a direct tweet and replying.
With all this connection comes the danger that in our mad rush to be everywhere, we end up nowhere. That the technology we use to connect, actually separates and isolates.
I've been meaning to post that presentation and the commentary behind it, but TED.com beat me to the punch and put the talk up today. Here it is:
BTW - here's a pic of the TED theater, when I came in the day before for a soundcheck and left with my innards frozen in icy terror.
I'm wondering when Google will use the human phonemes they collect through Goog411 to deliver targeted text ads via SMS to callers in return for free usage...or perhaps they'll launch an ad supported mobile service that maps/delivers audio and text ads to voice calls as the cost of service?
Anyone know if Google is working on something like this? Or if they've already launched it :-)
A comment on my last post made a good point: as an employee of an agency for Old Spice, it wasn't really fair for me to call out Axe or BBH without disclosing that I work for an agency that handles a competitive brand.
In the interest of full disclosure, W+K handles Old Spice.
So while that commenter may have wanted to write off everything I posted as bias (how I love the interweb), that doesn't really jibe with all the positive callouts I have done on this blog for other "competitive" agencies...and yes...brrrrr...even competitive BRANDS, doing great work.
Amusingly, the person used an email address that masked their identity to upbraid me about a lack of transparency - "email@example.com".
More importantly, and why I actually felt it important to follow up, is I was accused of "bashing brands going 2.0" by that commenter, and a few others may have gotten that feeling too. Whooaa! By no stretch of the imagination did I mean to suggest brands should not engage in social media - quite the contrary. I have often stated that it isn't actually up to brands whether to "do social media" - frankly, their only choice is whether they will choose to participate in the conversations already happening and maybe start some interesting ones themselves. That is the reality. And I love it dearly. Maybe too much. SO GET IN THERE!
But I believe that "participating" in "social media" isn't just pointing at stuff. Brands just pointing at stuff without a point of view feels like either (a) a bad replacement for a good idea, or (b) a half-assed compromise with a legal department:
Brand/Agency: We want to do social media. Engage in conversations!
Legal: WHAT? ARE YOU HIGH? And get sued when someone posts a music track? I don't need [record label] crawling up my [expletive]. Who's going to vet all this stuff? What's the review process?
Brand/Agency: It's social! We have to let what happens, happen!
Brand/Agency: YAY! Wild and crazy "Social Media", here we come!
No I was posting to call out LAMENESS.
A lame brand is a mirror that simply reflects the world we know now (hence my distaste for creative focus groups, an entirely different subject).
A dynamic brand listens well, engages provocatively and relevantly, and leads me somewhere new.
Do we at W+K always pull it off? No, not always.
We are all learning just how dynamic a brand can be. And how fun and challenging it can be.
So now Axe's BBH tries to go all web metafilter for their new site, following on the heels of Agency.com's blatant Modernista! rip off for Skittles. Will we get the usual round of forehead slapping cries of brilliance from the tiny community who gives a crap? Time will tell.
The only folks I don't see deriving ANY benefit out of this 2.0 wankfest are normal people. Now arguably, Modernista! isn't trying to create a consumer proposition with their website. But Skittles is. And so, presumably is Axe.
Which begs the question: if I and most folks didn't give a crap about the TV ads companies used to slap on their brochureware sites, why the f--- do I care about how well distributed their brand voice is online? Does the average 18 year old CARE what the AXE effect is on Stumble Upon? let me think...ah....NO. Does the average kid give one flying hoot what people are saying about Skittles on Twitter? Well, NO. but then they may not be able to get past the age gate to experience the distributed joy of Skittles ANYWAY.
Wait a second - Skittles has an AGE GATE? Why yes.
Because that big web out there might have some bad stuff in it.
I'm sorry, folks. this reeks. If you're going to be social or meta, DEAL WITH IT.
Could brands stop being so scared of social media that they let their agencies hoodwink them into feeing like it's ok now that their brand presence simply be a catalogue of links and posts?
That in the absence of a voice or an idea, dreck's a great subsitute? (and no, doing your metafilter in the correct brand CMYK pallette doesn't count)