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  • dbinkowski 11:08 am on September 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Facebook’s Changes Means Digital Agencies Should Thrive 

    Thursday the bomb was dropped at f8 that Facebook is going to be ditching the Like in favor of user actions and passive updates, meaning that when you engage with apps and have the “Add to Timeline” feature enabled it will automatically update your Timeline with what you’re doing (for an example of this, check out the Washington Post Social app). It’s mildly reminiscent of the auto-checkin app for Foursquare, and of course the “please rob me” site that followed, however this latest change is not only a strong push for brands to do more on Facebook than create pithy status updates to get noticed, but should be a huge wake up call for the marketing industry as to where the budgets will be going.

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  • dbinkowski 10:56 am on August 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , jason alexander, narcissism, psychological disorders, social media experts, spike jones   

    Facebook Use May Lead to Psychological Disorders in Teens 

    This Mashable article reminds me of the Gen Y “Make me famous” syndrome, where Jason Alexander onceΒ said:

    I once went to speak at a school, and there was a 16-year-old girl. And the girl says to me, “You know what? I don’t care what I do, I just want to be famous.”

    And I thought, you know, I should really just shoot her in the head because it would serve two things: It would make her famous as the girl that Jason Alexander shot in the head, and it would, you know, spare the world of the banality of the rest of her life.

    And as my friend Spike Jones points out, this may be true of social media experts as well.

     
  • dbinkowski 8:34 pm on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Google Slowly Unveiling Its Social Strategy with +1 

    The takeaway? Facebook has no redeeming innovations or qualities that make you HAVE to use it, other than the fact that “my friends are there”. Well, your friends were once at the mall, the roller rink and MySpace. They’ll go elsewhere if someone builds a better mousetrap. Google provides useful tools that simplify the web experience in crucial areas of your life – yes, including search (knowledge). Can you see it unfolding now? I can. +1 just brought in your friends, web site’s analytics and social graph… Now if they can just get your friends there. πŸ˜‰

     
  • dbinkowski 11:28 pm on March 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    An Open Letter to Facebook 

    Dear Facebook,

    As a marketer I normally am a big advocate of your platform. Not because I enjoyed being fleeced for advertising buys, not because I think your version of “Like” pages is truly what’s right for brand ambassadors, and certainly not because I appreciate CPC ads doubling during the holidays. No, I advocate for you because you’re really trying to help people connect and at the same time help marketers figure out the most cost effective way to understand their customers. For that, I applaud your growth, your reach and your tenacity.

    However, our relationship has taken a serious down turn. I can get past the junior sales staff. Really, I can. They’re cool, and I’d love to share an Anchor Steam with them the next time I’m out in the Bay Area. Ultimately they’re being asked to tell me to buy ads, and while I can’t argue with the CPMs and performance of my ads, I think it’s just lazy. But I digress. Our relationship took a serious down turn about three weeks ago when you decided to stop even trying to innovate. Now, I’m not going to go on a rant about how you’re really not an innovator but a fast follower (see: Foursquare checkins, Twitter status updates, etc), but about how you abandoned your own markup language.

    I was actually somewhat of a fan of FBML. It was simple. It worked. And beyond that it seemed fairly low maintenance. Even a former front end-turned moderately bad back end-guy could figure out how to perform simple tasks and create simple apps. And then “the” announcement came. Yes, you decided that it wasn’t cost effective to get into the markup language business — again, why innovate? — when you can just piggy back lazily on a technology that in the early 2000s was written off as being a poor way to construct a web site due to security issues. Yes, I’m talking about iframes, which are different from the 2059 product launched by Apple called iFrames, whereby you can load pleasant photos of nature into your home’s “window” (ironic, no?) in order to avoid seeing the post-apocalyptic views from your house. Again, I digress. It was sometime at the beginning of March that you sent this down from Mount Palo Alto:

    ALL APPS MUST BE MADE USING IFRAMES.

    And developers rejoiced, especially those who were outdated and didn’t bother learning FBML. But FBML, much like any other markup language, has legacy issues. And app companies left and right launched work-arounds for this. And those of us that saw value in FBML preached the word of the ZuckerLord that FBML would still work. And it does, in some cases. But a group of people moved on to iframes, and you celebrated this victory of getting out of the not-profitable markup language business. And then “it” happened.

    “It”, for those wondering — and for those of us working with brands that’ve set up shop in Zuckerland — is the inevitable flaw that most developers can’t explain but those of us trying to maintain a brand’s image and perception COMPLETELY get. Your plan failed. You didn’t have a contingency plan, and your system went down. And tonight, as of 11:18 PM, for the third night in a row, it’s been spotty and in fact — down. It failed. And that, Facebook, is when you failed me as a marketer.

    I know you’ve signed exclusivity deals with major brands and technology and VCs and others to provide you with funding and you sell our data. And I’m fine with most of it, except your systems and analytics are garbage. Β Here I sit at 11:20 PM now, updating pages with my team, because your systems are terrible. All that money that’s been invested isn’t being used wisely, and you’re literally biting the hands that feed you. On top of that, your analytics are flat out terrible. They’re delayed for days, and for a “real time engagement system” I can get better analytics from Google (no offense to my friends in Mountainview) Analytics on the fly. Instead, I have to wait a few days to see what happened, which is super useful given the events of the past few days. You can’t preach conversation economy and then turn around and not deliver against it. And for those thinking “OMG It’s just a slight error. Big deal, it’ll resolve itself in the morning. People will forgive you.”

    Yeah, no.

    People don’t forgive. They get mad, they form communities and they revolt against companies. And instead of it being a “Screw Facebook!” page, it’s our clients they’re revolting against. And that’s where brands need to unite and either demand a more accountable system for Facebook ($300k+ for one day’s worth of ads targeted at ONE gender on Facebook) or pull our funds and go elsewhere. I’m happy to employ developers to build more websites instead of continually investing in a platform that is immature and underdeveloped.

    The ball is in your court, folks. You can make the next move. I know where I’m making mine.

    Sincerely,

    David Binkowski

     
  • dbinkowski 12:23 pm on November 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Facebook Deals Just Ate Foursquare’s Lunch 

    Facebook announced yesterday that they’re rolling out Deals, a location-based couponing and fund raising system. There are two types of Deals that can be had via their Places feature: coupons and charity. Basically, if consumers check in they unlock a deal or are helping to raise money for a cause. Sound familiar? It should, except this has real potential to take off in a big way.

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  • dbinkowski 3:06 pm on March 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    What the Twitterfication of Facebook Means 

    Facebook unveiled their new home page Wednesday and I have to say – it’s awfully Twitteresque. The center well, or “stream”, of content on the page is now an ajaxy, auto-updating time line of your network’s status updates. The language at the top has changed as well, from “David Binkowski is” to “What’s on your mind?”. (Twitter’s call to action has always been “What are you doing?”)

    I think this signals a “game over” for Twitter for several reasons. I’m not saying they’re going under, but the site will never achieve the sort of growth MySpace or Facebook have, and without a suitor it’s unlikely they’ll ever become profitable or sustainable. Aside from “No reason to join Twitter now”, let’s get to 5 reasons why I feel this way:

    1. Usability

    Twitter’s site has never changed. It’s a linear, hard to follow, gigantic message board thread. Sure, they acquired Summize to provide a basic search, and there are tons of third party apps like TweetDeck that may help you get a little organized, but I’ll ask you this: What’s the first thing people say when you tell them what Twitter is?

    “I don’t get it.”

    And therein lies the problem. If I describe a message board (“A place where people with common interests gather to discuss that interest”), a blog (“A publishing tool with an author or author’s point of view on topics where you can comment”) or social network (“A virtual place for your real life friends to stay in touch”) they all make sense. When people explain Twitter (“What you’re doing in 140 characters or less”) the first response is “Why would anyone care what I’m doing?”. Even more poignant is “Why would complete strangers care what I’m doing?”

    On top of the “Who cares?” question, the best solution for categorizing topics and information is through the use of hashtags. Ma Bell would be proud.

    2. Friends vs. Followers

    I have friends. You have friends. I have readers. You have blogs you like to read. And then there’s Followers. I’m not saying that I haven’t met my Followers in real life, but of the roughly 1,300 Followers I have on Twitter I’ve maybe met 100 in person. And of those 100 most of us are friends on Facebook. Real friends, mind you. I’m not discounting that people think I’m funny or interesting or look like a good candidate to start a MLM business or need a life coach, but the reality is that there’s a mutually beneficial relationship, much like in business, for following and return following people on Twitter. Which brings me to my next point:

    3. Facebook isn’t about self-promotion

    Check out the bio of the folks you follow on Twitter. I’d wager dollars to donuts that they have a URL they’re promoting somewhere in there, whether it’s their blog, their company or their MySpace music page. Look at their tweets and you’ll probably find links to their posts and press releases. Hell, there are even companies that will help you monetize the truncated URLs you’re sending around. And while we’re at it, there are also services that will help you gain 10,000 followers overnight. Talk about authentic.

    Facebook, unlike MySpace or Twitter, isn’t about a self-promotional game or race to the most followers. It’s about hanging out with co-workers outside of the office. Or connecting with childhood friends. Or college classmates. Or people who live down the street. You typically wouldn’t add someone as a friend on Facebook you didn’t know, well, because that’s where your private life is kept. Sure, there are privacy features to limit your profile, but aside from awkward employer/employee, ex-boyfriend/husband/wife/girlfriend and parents “friendings” the content is your private information that you choose to share with people you know vs. broadcast to the world.

    4. Spam

    We’re all familiar with the Twitter cast of cartoon characters, in particular the Fail Whale and 404 upside down bird. Recently Twitter’s had to add a more ominous friend to the tribe that I call the Spam Owl. The Spam Owl is what appears when a Twitter account becomes suspended due to “suspicious activity”. I’m not sure why they don’t just say “We caught the spammer!” and instead present it like there’s an FBI investigation for money laundering or a TSA security breach like a forgotten backpack in an airport crowd, but I digress.

    Spam has become so prevalent on Twitter that several A-list bloggers have quit using Twitter or reverted to dropping everyone on their “friend” list and only adding the people they know in real life. (The other reason is that they found it impossible to “follow” tens of thousands of people and conversations, which speaks to the lack of usability and impersonalization of the tool). And much like email spam, there’s no way outside of a CAPTCHA to stop it. Even with the best intentions, a n00b might not know this unspoken “Twettique” that says you shouldn’t add a ton of people and let your following grow organically.

    Facebook has had its share of virus attacks, but nowhere near the volume of spam that one gets on Twitter on a daily basis.

    5. Revenue

    Argh, this pesky one keeps coming up, doesn’t it? Just over a year ago Jason Calacanis gave Twitter three ways of monetizing the service, none of which have come to fruition. Twitter hired a biz dev guy back in December to look at monetization of the tool, and one rumor has it that businesses would have to pay for corporate accounts. As I tweeted, I’m not sold on that idea unless they provide metrics and better functionality.

    On top of this problem, the company has been funded handsomely but is bleeding so badly that they shut off outbound messaging in the UK.

    Facebook, in comparison, had an estimated revenue of $300MM and is innovating new platforms for brand engagement, including live streaming (Obama, NBA All-Star game) and targeted ads. They built mass, allow you to keep your network small, and offer brands the opportunity to engage through earned and paid methods. All they need to add is an e-commerce platform and they could literally become your own private internet.

    But, what about all that press?

    Techcrunch recently was startled at all of the press Twitter gets. I’m not. The boys at Twitter do a remarkable job of pimping their service to the media and did a phenomenal job of getting influencers and early adopters on board. But let’s call it what it is – an RSS feed with a personality. Remember, this is a microblog, and while people want to call it several things nothing more, nothing less. It’s possibly including a loose, self-promotional social network (although I think it’s really a lame message board via SMS and third party apps – except on message boards it’s easier to find useful information because q&a is longer than 140 characters) and or “the next Google” (that is an utter joke, btw – Google makes money)..

    Twitter wanted press and that is exactly what it got. The site is now filled with marketers, promoters, PR people, brands, journalists, publishers and programmers. As a PR tool it’s wonderful, as Frank can attest to. And as a cable news channel, it makes you feel you’re more relevant.

    Before you jump into the comments and start bashing because TechCrunch covers it every other blog post (ok, not every other, but come on), let’s put all of this hype into perspective outside of the echo chamber. Here’s a breakdown of unique visitors to Facebook and Twitter via Compete:

    Like it or not, Facebook is still eating everyone’s lunch. And by changing the status updates to become a more usable, functional, dynamic, personal version of Twitter they’re likely to have everyone’s dinner too.

    3/25/2009 Update: This video from Current captures Twitter perfectly:

    digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/tech_news/What_the_Twitterfication_of_Facebook_Means’;

     
    • InspiredWriting on twitter 9:53 pm on March 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry, hate facebook,love twitter! So no contest for me! But great in-depth post …and each to their own of course! I’m one of those who loathes having to drag over to Facebook and log in … and I’m interested in fast sharing of ideas/theories etc not party pics! I actually dont care if someone has a url 2 share – if it is fresh and intelligent-looking I will click on it – good for them I say! I do the same! (Looked at 2 random twitter urls 2day a)I found out u could post poems on Assoc. Content and b) this one! (a recommendation) I also have 4 notifications from Fbook to check on….but I cant be bothered 2 get over theere and trawl through all that stuff! Horses for Courses? Thanks for the post.

    • Anonymous 4:22 am on March 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Twitter is so easy. Plus it’s open and very fast. Facebook is getting better and better, but it is complicated and very hard to navigate. If you stay in your own little world, Facebook is ok. Twitter is just wide open. I don’t “get” what people don’t get about twitter.

    • Anonymous 9:57 pm on March 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I have been on Facebook for a year and a half now. I joined Twitter 2 months ago – and just can’t get into it. You are right a lot of folks do not know what it is, especially the more “mature” crowd,- who by the way is quite present on Facebook.

      I for one like seeing the pics, and reading longer notes on Facebook.
      On Twitter I cannot believe the amount of nothing-ness that gets sent to me – really – who cares? Think I will shut down my Twitter account. oh, and I do “get it”, I just don;t care to “get it”!

    • Lauren Brander 2:25 am on April 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Ironically, I found your blog through Twitter. This argument is definitely an interesting one, and one that is not often argued this well, by someone so familiar with both Web sites. I feel that if Twitter commits itself to improvement (as in virus prevention and better hyperlink capabilities- I’m tired of shortening everything) than it can be competitive with Facebook. As of now, I use Twitter far more often than Facebook, and it’s because it’s easy, streamlined and I don’t get nearly as distracted.

    • David Binkowski 2:44 am on April 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      @inspiredWriting the down side to Facebook is the monetization aspect, for sure. the Apps craze is over but other companies have repositioned how they use Apps (e.g. Zombies vs. Top 5) to fit into a user’s life.

      @Anonymous i disagree. it’s easy to join but it’s definitely not intuitive. i think Twitter fills a void for parents or adults without social networks because they can connect with each other.

      @Anonymous2 exactly. people shouting hoping someone listens most of the time. Heh. πŸ˜›

      @LaurenBrander i’d argue you found my blog through today’s intern challenge but it’s neither here nor there. my Twitter stream is full of nonsensical garbage that my friends and clients find entertaining. when they want my opinion they call, IM, email or meet with me — or, if it’s a larger issue, i’l blog it for everyone to read.

      i also have 0 confidence that Twitter will change since their model is to be simple, open up the API and let 3rd parties create apps and usable tools. if Google et al buys them it’s only because they think they can monetize it by incorporating the content into search, not because they’re looking to increase the service’s up time or add enhancements (check out Jaiku).

  • dbinkowski 1:34 am on October 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Loren Feldman on "Why you should blog" 

    Loren Feldman from 1938media has a great talk posted over on his site from Blog08 where he tells the crowd to keep blogging (creating content). If you want to understand why Wired was wrong when they declared blogging is dead and what all the rage is with services like Twitter, Facebook and Friendfeed (validation), watch this:

    Regular readers here know that racy language isn’t foreign to this blog, so if F bombs scare you from watching videos then please don’t check it out. Here’s some Yo Gabba Gabba for you instead. πŸ˜‰

     
    • Shannon Nelson 2:06 am on November 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Someone called me and said, “Did you know blogging is dead?” And I laughed. A lot.

    • Liza's Eyeview 5:08 pm on December 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      hmmm.. I might be “shocked” by some of the word used, but I like hearing why we should blog and why blog is here to stay because I like blogging πŸ™‚

  • dbinkowski 1:34 am on October 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Loren Feldman on “Why you should blog” 

    Loren Feldman from 1938media has a great talk posted over on his site from Blog08 where he tells the crowd to keep blogging (creating content). If you want to understand why Wired was wrong when they declared blogging is dead and what all the rage is with services like Twitter, Facebook and Friendfeed (validation), watch this:

    Regular readers here know that racy language isn’t foreign to this blog, so if F bombs scare you from watching videos then please don’t check it out. Here’s some Yo Gabba Gabba for you instead. πŸ˜‰

     
    • Shannon Nelson 2:06 am on November 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Someone called me and said, “Did you know blogging is dead?” And I laughed. A lot.

    • Liza's Eyeview 5:08 pm on December 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      hmmm.. I might be “shocked” by some of the word used, but I like hearing why we should blog and why blog is here to stay because I like blogging πŸ™‚

  • dbinkowski 4:06 pm on January 10, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    My first Facebook spam! 


    Well, that didn’t take long. I was spammed twice today via my Facebook profile by someone named Andrea Rowe, saying that she likes my profile picture (flattery is my weak spot) and wanted to chat. She’s promoting a site through one of the TinyURL-esque sites and let me know that her username is “foxy_hotty”. Here’s her follow up message:

    hi there David, how’s it going? i wanted to chat with you, but they don’t have that here, whatever. if you’d like to, you can check out my other profile at http://snipurl.com/XXXXX my username’s foxy_hotty. we can chat there, just dont mind the bad pics, lol. soooo, ya, see you i hope.

    Yes, I edited the SnipURL ending because I refuse to give spammers free promotion or even worse, the click through. For those unaware, sites like SnipURL and TinyURL allow you to send truncated versions of URLs, which is particularly handy when you’re posting URLs to your blog (formatting) or SMS-based tools like Jaiku and Twitter (140 character limit).

    Myspace has been plagued with numerous phishing scams, and quite honestly, given the number of users on Facebook, it’s surprising that it’s taken this long for Facebook spam to appear.

    Am I super special or has this happened to you?

    Update: I’ve created a group on Facebook for those of us who’ve been spammed. Feel free to join the party!

    digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/tech_news/My_first_Facebook_spam’;

     
    • kastle 6:32 am on January 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      First spam on my facebook account came from snipurl today.
      “Subject: hey, my name’s Meredith

      “hiya, you look pretty cool, we
      should chat sometime or something. im new, i dont really get facebook, but you should check out at the other site i go to, http://snipurl.com/1skel my username’s saucychicksta. Soooo, ya, see you i hope.”

      I thought it was legit at first but then it hit me when checked out the site. I usually don’t fall victim to these because its pretty obvious most of the time when it is spam. Very clever on snipurl’s part though and a very effective way to fool unsuspecting users on facebook who doesnt have a huge rep for spam . We should of known soon enough it would happen. Too bad she was kinda hot.

    • Oran 3:20 am on January 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I just got a similar message today! I’ve got dozens of spam like this on other social networks so I assumed it to be spam too. I looked at her profile and found it suspicious to have just joined two days ago, and have no friends at all. I searched Google and lo and behold, this blog post.

      Subject: hey there, im April

      “hi, i like you pic, you seem alright. maybe we can chat or something. i don’t thing you can here, but you can check me out my other profile at http://snipurl.com/*snipped* my username’s lil_bun. we can chat there, just dont mind the bad pics, lol. soooo, ya, see you i hope.”

      Very similar message, isn’t it?

      They even took the effort to create profiles in my hometown network, obviously it’s difficult to join my university’s network as you need a univ. e-mail account. Really not my type, anyway.

    • Anonymous 7:34 pm on January 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      You are not alone, David.

      Thank you for making this into a blog . Because of this, I’m not clicking that sh!t.

      Buhu, I’m not hot. πŸ˜›

    • Anonymous 8:13 pm on January 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I too got similar spam, here’s the content …

      From Wendi Williams in Vancouver:

      how’s it goin’? i thought you looked cool, and i try to chat with you, but i can’t see how here on facebook. if you want, you should come over to the other site i go to, http://snipurl.com/##### my username’s spicebeauty. so ya, hope to see you.

      I did suspect foul play, googled the URL and here we all are!!!

    • mike 12:27 am on January 29, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Yup, I got the exact same message from “Shauna”, aka “spicebeauty”. And no, I didn’t click through.

    • Anonymous 3:55 pm on February 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      hi how is there and me am just fine . as u know life is meaningless without afriend so i would like tobeg u to be afriends .bye

    • Anonymous 8:45 pm on November 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      don’t worry bro… a get a mail that foxy_hotty told me the same thing…
      but in live messenger spaces xD
      good luck ppl

    • Anonymous 5:48 pm on January 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      i got the same message too, for a few days now. and it hit me today to google it first (saucychicksta)and end up reading your blog. too much craft in the net..

    • Anonymous 5:58 am on March 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I received a similar private message late december from a Kelly Ward (the actress?) claiming her username's 'saucychiksta' on the social network he/she refers you to. Facebook is prolly a deceptive reference; that's where you were noticed. The profile pic looks to good to be true and the reason why you should follow the link is suspicious; it's the same kind of excuse like in those mails from a bank employee in Nigeria with too much cash on his hands. It's a phising scam to collect personal information to exploit. If I'm right, everyone that follows the link is shown a sign-up form for some dating service. Naturally the object is sex related and (more then) a few complete the form. It's a transparant fraud. The 'person' which tried to scam me still has a profile on msn. It must have been used for thousands of messages and one fellow added 'her' to his network. On his profile he describes himself as an applied-science engineer and network specialist with a clever & quick-witted sense of humor.
      πŸ™‚
      It's so funny, I get the feeling it's a scam as well.

    • Anonymous 5:02 pm on April 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      ~hey there, i don’t mean to annoy you, I came across you’re profile in the search and you seem cool πŸ˜› I guess I don’t have much info in my profile here but you can check out my other page if you’d like to see more, http://******.net/?id=5 (my name over there is saucychicksta). maybe we could chat sometime πŸ˜› hope to check u soon, Desiree Cook~

      I believe I have something similar.
      Remember to leave your permissions and settings to private if you don’t want spam πŸ˜€

  • dbinkowski 4:25 pm on January 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Ethics, Social Networks and Make up 

    After watching Loren Feldman’s live show tonight, I’ve decided that I don’t want to bother discussing the Facebook/Robert Scoble incident. There’s nothing more to say than this – the site has terms of service and if you break them you can get your account deleted. Or in this case suspended and then reinstated. And Plaxo looks really really unethical and dishonest for asking bloggers to scrape data from Facebook on their behalf. Good luck with that auction, maybe the future users of Plaxo won’t mind turning over all of their information to skeezers.

    But I digress. This post isn’t about about public social networks like Facebook or MySpace. I was following, and later joining, a conversation between Chris Brogan and Christine Lu on Twitter about closed social networks. I think they’re the future now – engaging enthusiasts in a closed community makes a hell of a lot more sense, and is a lot more economical, than spamming around on MySpace or Facebook looking for “friends”.

    That’s what Benefit Cosmetics did. They asked people to join a private enthusiasts club to receive “special benefits”. No, this isn’t like the Sears thing; more like a BzzAgent thing, but on a micro level. And it was, by all accounts, a success: apply to be in the club, spread the word, get free makeup. One of the “Benefit Beauty Squad” tasks was to post videos to YouTube. Here, watch one.

    The title of the video is Benefit Beauty Squad (BBS). Fair enough. I get that you’re part of some group associated with Benefit cosmetics. I’ll give you a C for disclosure.

    What I don’t approve of, however, is this email that went out to the Squad:

    We know you love Benefit, now it’s time to spread the word. Your Benefit Beauty Squad project for December is to write Benefit product reviews and post comments about Benefit on as many blogs, makeup web sites, beauty forums, etc… as you can.

    Please note there wasn’t any mention of disclosure or respect for the communities in which Benefit asked people to essentially spam. Also attached to the directions was a list of web sites (boards, blogs, etc) where they would like to see them post. So, for all of the webmasters, bloggers and readers of the following sites — if you saw hype about Benefit cosmetics last month, you were duped:

    TotalBeauty.com
    Makeup Alley
    BellaSugar
    We Love Beauty
    BeautifulMakeupSearch.com
    Beauty and the Dirt
    Beauty Addict
    Beauty Blogging Junkie
    SheKnows.com
    MakeUp and Beauty Blog
    You Blog Like A Girl
    Deesse Magazine
    Her Fab Life
    Beauty Maverick
    SheFinds
    Hello Doll Face
    Girl Paints
    Glam.com
    Glam Blush
    Sephora
    Daily Beauty
    Makeup Bag.net
    Face Candy
    LA Story
    Beauty Maven Blog
    Product Girl
    Fashionista
    Raging Rouge
    Style Goodies

    Ethics? Who cares… as long as you look fabulous!

    digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/tech_news/Ethics_Social_Networks_and_Make_Up’;

     
    • LA Story 2:32 am on January 8, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting that you should post this. I will have to check my blog if I wrote anything about Benefit. I don’t remember. I am not part of the BBS (benefit beauty squad) . In fact, as a known member of the press/journalist/print&online beauty writer who has covered Benefit for years– they stopped even sending me product samples and have been asking me to write about stuff without me even being able to try it.
      Some things I know will be great — but not everything from every company is going to be hot.. and this is a case of not fair to those of us who aren’t part of BBS and also those of us who are legit journos of fluff (beauty & fashion). I can’t get a sample to save my life– yet the BBS can hit everyone’s site and do this?
      hmmmmmmmmm
      Stevie

    • LA Story 2:36 am on January 8, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      ps.. I am the LA-Story.com..
      just so you get the name connected to the correct blog. They asked me to write about something that I had seen and thought would be a great gift.. but when I asked for a sample, they ignored me.
      Do you think that makes me LIKE Benefit much?
      Do you think that I LIKE that you haven’t fact checked all of the sites you have listed as to whether they are part of the BBS or whether they have been spammed?
      Did you check with each site to ask if the people posting had gotten free makeup ? Did you ask if they were just contributors or legit writers (like online for a long time and/or in print?)

      That’s sort of important before you implicate my blog in some sort of plot
      Stevie

    • David Binkowski 2:42 am on January 8, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Stevie,
      I was in no way implying that you wrote about Benefit Products without disclosing. What I am saying is that if your blog was commented on by BBS members in December that the odds are most of them were spam comments, directed by Benefit Cosmetics to their BBS members.

      Dave

    • Stevie 2:52 am on January 8, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Nope. No comments from anyone on the Benefit Cosmetics line. I watch my comments and the ones that get them are the odd ones- not the typical stuff — unless it’s smoking hot.
      I have found that Benefit has been very quick at sending emails and asking for posts.. but not so quick on providing product to TRY. While I have had a great relationship with them in the past, I don’t want them spamming or using my blog for their purposes when they counter what is journalistically fair. Not everyone’s blog is a journalistic effort. However mine is and they know that.

      thanks for the 411 though. It’s given me something to think about
      Stevie

    • David Binkowski 3:10 am on January 8, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate the return visit and info on Benefit. We should connect via email outside of the blog!

    • Chris Brogan 2:10 am on January 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      My thought here is that our trust levels are what are at stake. It’s not that social networks will go private, but that we’ll close down the trust networks long before we actually start sliding behind new ice walls.

      Interesting post, and I applaud your information here. : )

    • Shannon Nelson 5:50 pm on January 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I was on the receiving end of those overly enthusiastic praiseworthy comments by the BBS (otherwise known as Beauty BullShit…can I say that here? Oops I just did.) Anyway, what brands like Benefit don’t understand is that bloggers talk–to each other. We are all part of some sort of network be it Total Beauty, Glam, The Beauty Blog Network, etc. and we have internal message boards. When something doesn’t seem right, we ask each other about it and I remember when the question came out “Anyone else getting bombarded with positive comments for Benefit?” And the overwhelming answer was yes. It left a bad taste in our mouthes and I didn’t want to work with Benefit for a very long time because of that.

      If your product is good people will say so…no need to “hire” people to do that for you. Any brand that thinks of doing this, should be aware that there is always talk going on behind the scenes and bloggers are definitely watching what is going on. Don’t underestimate us.

c
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