Facebook Places

5 Predictions for 2011

I have a few predictions for 2011 with specific regard to online tools and trends.  Here are my top five.

1. Scanning will be all the rave in 2011. Scanning items, events, people, vehicles – using mobile devices. Mark my words. It will be big next year.

2. Facebook Places will go the way of Google Wave. Facebook will learn a lot from FB Places.. but will ultimately take that learning and make something else. Bigger? Better? Who knows.. but something other than Facebook Places’ current form and functionality.

3. Klout will go the way of Delicious. Future = uncertain, but not looking bright. In my opinion, Klout had an enviable start: widespread word-of-mouth buzz, and a prestigious real-world exemplification of Klout’s relevance (re: Palms Hotel in Las Vegas), but fast forward a few months and already we’re sensing non-acceptance of Klout’s rating system. Part of the problem may be due to the fact that the majority have low Klout.. which may result in resentment, followed by outright dismissal of Klout’s clout.

4. The number of new blogs will begin to drop off. We’re already starting to see blogging lose it’s popularity. Perhaps the saturation point has finally been achieved.

5. We’ll begin seeing more crowd-sourced websites & services like 99 Designs and Crowd Spring. The reason: simplicity and a lot of choice. Services like these also offer a way to sidestep the personal baggage or politics that sometimes accompany artistic work.

What do you predict?

- Erin

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A Teenager’s Guide to Social Media

Feeling a need for a teenager’s guide to social media?  In the last few months, several people have approached me about what to do about their teenage son/daughter/nephew/granddaughter online.

It’s troubling how private, impulsive messages are slapped up to a Facebook Wall without much thought or clue of how such impetuous actions will exist forever more.  In fact, Google’s CEO himself suggested there will come a time when many  teenagers will be applying for a name change … as this is the only hope they’ll have to escape years of embarrassing content.

A recent study shows 3/4 of kids in grades 7 – 12 have some kind of social media profile online.  The study revealed the average teen spends 22 minutes a day – or 11 hours a month – on social networks.  That’s part of the nearly 8 hours a day teens dedicate to consuming all kinds of media.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again..  I’m so glad I didn’t have access to something like Facebook when I was 13.  I was living from one self-absorbed moment to the next.. only ever in a single moment in time.  Zero foresight.  Perhaps that is the way of the teen.

So when you see a young adult publicly posting compromising content – what do you do?

Get them to stop, right?

But asking them to extract from Facebook, Twitter, FormSpring, etc… is like asking them to cut off an intimate connection with their friends; a now routine and expected form of engagement.

So if you can’t stop them – here are 3 simple changes that might help.

  1. Encourage the teen to create a private Facebook Group between friends.  Facebook Groups have changed recently.  Group founders can now tag friends, making them automatic members (speeds up adoption).  What Groups can do is take potentially damaging conversations and photos from a public arena (a wall) to a private arena (a Group – which can have a “secret” setting).
  2. Furthermore, if the teen begins to use Facebook Places – which is Facebook’s location-based “check-in” tool  (potentially scary consequences for young people) – this could be set up to only broadcast to the “Group”.
  3. In terms of other social networks, my suggestion: pseudonyms.  This is 100% counter to what we tell our clients, but for a teen, I recommend it wherever it can be done.

What other ideas do people have?  How do you suggest folk manage (or more accurately: influence) teenage conduct online?

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