44 Replies to “5 Epic Social Failures”

  1. Geoff, When everything is the ‘next big thing’ it’s important to remember the misses. I can’t but somehow think you’ve got Empire Avenue are the V.2 of this post (See Woodruff’s embedded tweet).

    I’ve been playing around with it quite a bit these last several days and while it seems to have fad written all over it, I’m seeing some signs of staying power. And yes, I’ve bought 10 shares in GMONEY.

    1. LOL, only time will tell! If anything, we know the crystal ball forecasts don’t seem to work. Thanks for the comment, Rick.

  2. What no Quora or as I like to call it How to Pitch {insert A-lister wanting love here} from that person. Or all promoting and bumping each other up.

    I think Wave should just be Google from fails in Dodgeball, soon to be +1 and blogger to an extent along with Wave.

    1. Jury is still out on Quora. It’s recovered a good portion of its bubble traffic. It might be like a zombie. You blew off its arm, but it’s still going!

      1. Damn it. I tried to like it when it first came out but when it got the Mashable piece there was no intelligent conversation, much like a zombie. I just thing Q&A and review forums are at saturation points and they can’t all be used. This is especially true for companies, so to further the clutter many things are being compartmentalized and internalized to bring everything to an owned property especially as this bubble we call social media gets bigger and bigger.

  3. With regards to the social media news release aka SMR, I just think folks have not done it right. I am putting together a blog post tonight in passionate support for the SMNR as it is the lease-offensive, the most comprehensive, and the most easy-to-use method for communicating a lot of information to citizen bloggers — folks who don’t share our PR lingua franca, don’t care about PR, but who also are very interested to receive current, targeted, and topical information to feed their 24-hour cycle blogging world — and all of that in such a was that it’ll only take a paltry 5 minutes to actually post something. And if you ask someone who you’re not paying, who isn’t paid to blog, and who is doing you a favor to cover your client message, you really need to premasticate into a form that takes no longer than 5 minutes to share.

      1. As Chris Abraham’s best friend and business partner (quick disclosure…), I’m looking forward to reading his passionate post on the SMR when he wakes up in Oregon later today! The SMR has been a hugely successful tool in our work – here’s a list of our thank-you’s to over 5000 bloggers who posted based on our SMR’s for a number our client campaigns: http://abrahamharrison.com/thank-you-bloggers

        And here’s an example of our evolution of the SMR that has proven so effective for us: http://www.thedaily-newsrelease.com (this one resulted in over 200 blog posts) – feel free to steal what we’ve learned about building effective SMRs, it works brilliantly!

        1. Well, please forgive my English Majorliness. I just meant that everyone is busy, especially folks who blog for love and passion and not for coins, so you need to have folks at hello and they need not to have to jump through too many hoops at all.

          1. Chris, I knew what you were going for — but you have to admit, the word itself gives a powerful visual image that is unpleasant — and the context in which it was used could be interpreted as meaning “bloggers are too stupid to understand the material without it being dumbed down”. I know that is not what you meant, but that’s how it reads when that word is used.

          2. Bloggers aren’t stupid at all. Busy people need executive summaries to facilitate things — to make it easier. That said, it seems bloggers are touchy and a bit insecure.

          3. I do. I have honed “premasticate” for years. There isn’t anything that can be said that won’t insult someone. People are touchy. What I say to bloggers is, “we have put together an informational microsite” because who knows what a news release, an SMR, an SMNR, or anything else is. I love “premasticate” — and I often dance around classrooms and business meetings acting like a sea bird feeding regurgitated fresh smelt from the sea to its loving chicks! Me, a blue-footed booby doing my courtship dance and feeding my family! I give quite a pitch and quite a guest lecture!

          4. As an example: the professors and teachers and employers I have asked for recommendations, referrals, and testimonials have almost all of them asked me to write something up for them that they could then edit and sign. I brought them 3/4th-9/10th of the way there. And professors are generally not considered stupid — they’re just busy and maybe not 100% my best friend. Ghost-writing their draft allows me to put my best foot forward, allows them to scrub out some cobwebs about their time being my teacher, and also simply makes the world easier, simpler, and much less work — and less of a millstone around their necks and on their to-do lists.

          5. Chris, I’m not arguing the concept — I agree with you. I expressed distaste for the word “premasticated” which means pre-chewed. That’s it.

    1. I still don’t see the difference between this and a press release. Structure/form doesn’t make it social. While you may be successful at writing a press release, it doesn’t make it a conversation hub in its own right or on social networks. Mark’s example below just indicates a well written release.

      1. OK, here’s my embarrassing high school story: I was an OK-looking kid but shy as hell. I went to an all-boy’s school and didn’t know what to do when it came to meeting girls at a dance at Obama’s famed high school, Punahou (grew up on O`ahu). So, I came up with a plan. I wore a flexible Gumbi twisty toy in my breast pocket as a prop.

        What this cute, out-of-context prop was was a simple excuse to start a conversation out of whole cloth. Out of nowhere. It gave pretty girls excuses to mock, chat, or converse with me and it also gave me something outside myself to use as a talking point — sort of a safe, convenient, 3rd thing.

        Yes, it was a prop, but it was sort of anything else that allowed me to start a conversation. A short-cut.

        Like the Gumbi doll in my chest pocket riding shotgun at the Punahou dance in high school (it wasn’t even my school, I went to Saint Louis School for Boys) I didn’t want to be too serious, too intimidating, and I wanted other people to get as much information about me as possible — I was actively signifying — before they engaged in conversation with me. I have always been a really tall, really big, guy and not from their school. I wore bleached jeans, an undershirt, black Converse hi-tops, and a pastel button down over shirt. That didn’t go far enough to represent me — but since I was a huge fan of SNL — “I’m Gumby dammit!” — I liked the funny doll.

        What it social? Was it social media? Was it any of that? No. However, it was a facilitator, it was a premasticator — it sort of was a way of actively indicating that I was open, didn’t take myself seriously, was confident enough to make a little ass out of myself — and it was an indicator that I wasn’t shy and that I wanted to play.

        So, it was social.

        And, like my Gumbi, the social media news releases are props that allow the bloggers we reach out to to get a feel for who we are, for who are clients are, in languages and in wording they understand and that is understandable — before we even engage in the social, human-based conversation, the social.

        Then, after that, after hundreds of bloggers post after we past muster and earn their media and their mentions, then the conversation begins — the message “gets out there” and the conversation can then begin in the social web. In comments, on tweets and RTs, on Facebook, etc…

        For us, at least, at Abraham Harrison, it is the perfect client prop to initiate a harmless, easy to chew (premasticated), and easy to digest message that results in an authentic conversation!

      2. Hey Geoff – I do hear what you are saying. It is certainly not “build it and they will come” and you are definitely right in saying a social media news release is not a conversation hub in its own right. It took two dozen well-executed blogger outreaches to get those 5000+ posts.

        That said, we’ve found that a great social media news release is a super-effective tool that makes writing a post quick, easy, pleasant, and convenient for the bloggers, and because of that, it significantly increases the number and quality of the posts they choose to write for our clients.

        A Viking range and Sub-Zero fridge full of excellent ingredients doesn’t make anyone a good cook, but they do make a good cook a lot more psyched to come home and whip up a masterpiece. The SMNR done well respects the bloggers, their time, and their craft, and provides them what they need do their magic. We’ve found that in the context of a well-executed social media campaign, the SMNR is a very powerful tool.

        But, as you said, standing alone without a campaign around it, an SMNR is just another web page and not social at all.

      1. One could say the same about Jaiku, but will put that one on Google’s shoulders after acquisition…

  4. Funny…that Lifestreaming workflow process is pretty much what I use…but I just call it blogging.

    Not sure if Wave belongs on that list. Yes, it was a big failure for Google, but the code is now in the hands of the Apache Foundation. We may see 1000s of Apache Waves yet!

    1. If we see 1000 Apache Waves I will eat my words! Thanks for the affirmation on lifestreaming/blogging.

    2. If we see 1000 Apache Waves I will eat my words! Thanks for the affirmation on lifestreaming/blogging.

  5. I wish Google Wave *had* worked, I thought it was a really interesting concept. Oh well.

    IMHO, one of those that is around but that is a failure from a social point of view is Plaxo. Terrific idea to start with, to sync all your address books, but I felt the minute they started trying to become a social network, they failed miserably. I still find value in the address book part of it though, frankly, with Google Contacts now, I rely less and less on Plaxo. And every time I click through to Plaxo (usually if I’m sending someone an e-card) I get this irritating notification that asks, “Don’t you want to let everyone know what you’ve been up to?” Er – no, thanks!

    If more companies stuck to doing what they’re good at, instead of jumping on the bandwagon, things would be so much better.

    1. Oh, Plaxo is just sad. It keeps hanging on and for what, I have no idea. That is one that should be discontinued by all accounts! Good one, Shonali!

Comments are closed.