Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe. Follow @RianVDM
Facebook marketing: where community is more important than product
Craig Mod wrote a very interesting essay about community and content for Contents Magazine. In Our New Shrines he talks about building a community first, before deciding what you’re going to do with them. It’s a contentious topic, but it’s worth entertaining Craig’s argument:
There is a reality those of us long steeped in the web are reticent to admit: for many, Facebook is the internet. More than Tumblr. More than wordpress.com. More than Twitter. For a certain person, a very commonly found person, Facebook is a Yahoo! portal, personalized Google news, Gmail, Flickr, iPhoto, and Xbox. If you look closely, companies don’t post URLs to their home pages, they post URLs to their Facebook pages.
We facilitate lots of usability tests here at Flow. I’ve asked the question “So, what do you do when go online?” enough times to know exactly what the answer will be. It is always, without fail, a variation of “Well, I Facebook, of course… A little bit of email… Some Google… Umm, well, mostly Facebook.”
This might change, but I completely agree that for most people, Facebook is the Internet at the moment. I personally don’t like Craig’s proposal of building a community around something vapid before you decide what product/service you want to provide to them. I think it’s a dangerous game. But denying the short-term effectiveness of such a strategy would be naive. For better or worse, this is the attention economy we live in. For now.