This morning, on my Facebook news feed, I saw the following message regarding Facebook's new Messages:
The new system combines your messages, texts and chats in one place so you don't have to try to remember how you communicated with your contacts in order to find what you're looking for. But it also does one other important thing - something that's a salvo at Google's Gmail: users are given the opportunity to get a Facebook email account.
Why would you want a Facebook email? According to Facebook:
Having your email integrated with your messages, chats and texts makes it easier to check them all at once. And if you’re looking for a message later, you don’t have to worry about how it was sent since all your different types of messages are in one place.
Your Facebook messages are compatible with traditional email systems (e.g., Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail). When people send you emails from these external systems, they’re delivered directly to your Facebook Messages. And when you send messages to external email addresses, they’re formatted to look like your messages on Facebook, including your name and profile picture along with your message.
Owning your @facebook.com address makes it easier for friends and family who are not on Facebook yet to connect with you.
Your other email addresses may change over time, but your Facebook email never does.
Personally, I"m a committed Gmail user, since my Google account integrates with many other platforms (such as Blogger, which this blog is written on), among others. I don't know if I'll give this a try or not.
But a little bit behind what's driving Facebook's decision to expand in this area. The New York Times discusses the decline of email in Gen Y, citing that the younger generation simply doesn't use email as much as they use IM and texting.
In November, Facebook announced the evolution of its messaging system and in a Fast Company article, Zuckerberg noted his inspiration for deciding on the software that would shape the communications style of whole generations:
"Whenever I get a chance to talk to high schoolers, I always want to ask them what kind of software they're using... So I asked them: What do you use for email? [And they answered,] 'Some of us use Gmail. Some of us use Yahoo. But we don’t really use email.' And I said, 'What do you mean you don’t use email? Everyone uses email.’ And they said, 'No. It’s too slow.'"
Using high schoolers as a focus group for the future of a multi-billion dollar company? While I understand that they're on the cutting edge of what's next and that they'll be the users of the future, my traditional self cringes a little about the notion of basing your success on the tastes and proclivities of such a young generation. Particularly when they have yet to fully grasp the habit of good writing, functional grammar, and the ability to fully express their thoughts.
My concern arises from this kicker from the Fast Company article:
The teens told Zuckerberg it was too much trouble to think of a subject and to compose a formal message.
Too much trouble to think of even a subject line? I weep for the future.
January 14, 2011
A little Friday fun. You'd think it would be easier to keep in touch with your contacts these days thanks to the many ways we have to communicate. Phone, email, texting , IM, Twitter @replies and DMs, Facebook messages - and let's not forget about good old fashioned written notes.
But somehow, we've made it more complicated. Everyone has his or her own preference of how they're predisposed to communicate and be contacted, and it's a challenge, to say the least, to manage all of these channels and keep a mental Rolodex of preferences. Is there a solution? I don't know. But Allen Mezquida shared his latest Smigly animation with me, and it captures it well.
Warning: there may be some offensive language in the video
Do you have a solution? Or do you just muddle along like Smigly above?
January 7, 2011
The guys at I Design Your Logo (@idesignyourlogo) contacted me with an idea. They decided they'd like to highlight my site as part of their ongoing work - where they create a number of logos for sites and then let the community decide which they prefer.
I would be honored if you would take a moment to participate in this process. After all, as a reader, this decision impacts you.
This is a great example of a way a business is doing crowdsourcing in an intelligent way. It's easy to just turn over the creative reins to your community, but experience shows that doing so in an unstructured way or with little guidance or input, the results can be anything but successful. An example that comes to mind is the car that "everyman" Homer Simpson designed in Season 2 of The Simpsons:
Crowdsourcing gone wrong
Of course, the opposite is true as well: Gap suffered last year when they unilaterally redesigned their logo. The response was swift and brutal. Customers did not like it one bit and vehemently objected to it. The result is that Gap rescinded their decision. Currently, there's a question out there about Starbucks' decision to rebrand its logo and whether it will follow in Gap's footsteps.
Ultimately, a logo speaks volumes ("a picture is worth a thousand words") about a brand, but it's only one factor. How important do you think a logo is an the overall branding process, and how can a much-loved brand take steps to update its logo when the times call for it?
At Ford, Scott heads up the social media function and holds the title Global Digital &
Multimedia Communications Manager. He is a strategic advisor on all social media activities across the company, from blogger
relations to marketing support, customer service to internal communications and more, as social media is being integrated into many
facets of Ford business.
Prior to joining Ford, Scott served as Consigliere for crayon
and spent a number of years with PJA Advertising + Marketing, a
boutique BtoB agency specializing in health sciences & high tech.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Scott is an active blogger and podcaster. He writes about the intersection of
advertising, marketing and PR at ScottMonty.com and
also writes The Baker Street Blog and cohosts I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, two literary undertakings. Scott
has been featured in hundreds of news and business publications in print and on the web, in nearly dozens of books, and on a variety of
mainstream media, including NBC, NPR, CNN and The Wall Street Journal. Scott is a recognized thought leader in the social media industry and
frequently speaks at industry events.
Scott received his Master's in Medical Science from Boston University's School of Medicine concurrently with his MBA from BU's
Graduate School of Management. He lives in the greater Detroit area with his wife and two young sons, golfs all too infrequently, and
has a hidden talent for voice over work.
Scott speaks on social media at events, seminars and conferences around the world. His topic generally focuses on corporate use of social media, becoming an online spokesperson, and specifically on the progress that Ford has made in the recent past. If you're interested in booking Scott to speak at your event, please click here to submit a speaking request for Ford-related purposes or email me at speaking [AT] this site's URL (if you know what I mean) to send a general email request.. Scott's bio and headshot can be found in the "About Scott" tab above.
I'm Scott. I'm the global head of social media for Ford Motor Company. This is my personal blog, where I share my perspectives on business, technology, communications, marketing and the vast changes in the industry that impact leadership. This blog contains my personal views. My bio is available here and my headshots can be found here.