Friday, July 4, 2008

Listen up marketers relaunched today placing their user ratings smack bang into the spotlight (disclosure - I work for NDM, Truelocal is part of the NDM network). It places a lot more of the control in priority and preference with the user, but on the flipside, it also opens up an opportunity for advertisers to garner real feedback from real users. In the social-networking evo/revolution this is happening more and more, and it means marketer are going to have to spend less talking, more time in the crowd and start to become really good listeners.

I was watching a presentation recently by Google of product management, Joe Kraus, on Three Trends for Social Networking. It’s a lead in to their launch of Google Friend Connect enabling users to ‘share’ their networks and profile information. Leveraging the OpenSocial API and attempting to forge additional open partnerships. Facebook Connect also have their own flavour, and it appears now that the destinations – Myspace, Facebook, Orkut, etc. - are playing the social networking game themselves, starting to knock down those walled gardens and have a conversation.

What does that mean? Well like a Persian Rug sale, they’re practically giving away networks, everywhere networks, you got a site? You need a network! With some clever API’s, they’re making it dead easy for any site to become it’s own ‘social network’.

Social networks become more micro, there’s more of them, conversations more targeted, and people no longer have distinct ‘myspace’ vs ‘linked in’ profiles, they have ‘a’ profile, of which they decide what and where they share it.

There’s more contribution, more sharing, more noise. If you’re a marketer you’re going to learn more about your users, you’re going to need to know what information is important and why. You’re going to have to have a very good filter and more importantly, your going to have to be a damn good listener.