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Facebook Not-Mail: Part 2 How the email works

stick person shooting an email with a slingshotOne of the biggest reasons Facebook decided to launch an email system (aka Not-Mail) is that more than 4 billion emails are sent through Facebook every day. Mark Zuckerberg feels that they traditional system of email is anachronistic. On this issue he might be right.  People are increasingly use mail rooted in their social network, ie. Facebook Messages, Twitter DM, Linkedin In Mail, text messages, mentions, wall postings are increasingly becoming primary sources for communication. Traditional email is becoming the way of the past. People are wanting their communications to be linked to one another and with higher functionality than type, send and read.  People are moving towards a complete integration of their communication technology.  This is why my calendar is linked to my other calendar which is linked to my Tungle.me which sends me emails that I get on both my computers and my phone. Though this seems complicated, when one is updated it is all updated. Ultimately this makes things easier because everything is interconnected and it doesn’t matter where or how I access it. Facebook is trying to do this without having 10 different applications and sites necessary to accomplish a high level of inter-connectivity.

There are a lot of questions about how the basic email function is going to work. Basically the essentials will be just like email. I type in your contact info, my subject and body and then send.  You receive and respond back.  This will not be that different.

The best change that will make conversation tracking much easier is that all your conversations with a person will be kept in a singular history.  Currently the messages in Facebook do this for a singular conversation but does not for all communications between two people.  The change will keep all conversations with one person in a singular history, and will do this for everyone in your contact list. This includes friends not on Facebook.

As Bos, the senior engineer at Facebook, said at the live announcement, he could track his entire relationship with his girlfriend through the email history.

What makes this so different from the standard Facebook messaging, outside of being able to email people who are not on Facebook, is that people can send you an email to an address and have it go to your Facebook message center.  All users will be able to get an username@facebook.com email address. So whatever your name is on Facebook will be your email address, for instance mine would be LaurenMacEwen@facebook.com. This means that people can send you emails to your facebook email from any email client, and you can email them back.

Soon IMAP will also be supported, meaning you will be able to use your new @facebook.com email address on your mail client, taking Facebook mail completely off Facebook.

Read the overview of Facebooks “Not-Mail” messaging system here

Tomorrow I will talk about the cross-platform integration of Facebook messages, SMS, IM, and Facebook Chat.

Facebook Not-Mail: Part 1 the complete overhaul!

letter that has the Facebook logo and "To the world" written on the front

On Monday Facebook announced their new email solution, also being called “Not-Mail”. This is not a traditional email where write an email and send it, with some spam filtering and maybe some folders for organizing.  As Mark Zuckerberg has said, “this is not email.”  The modern messaging concept is going to involve multiple platform integration, complete conversation history and the incorporation of social mapping for email sorting.

Still wondering what this means.  Here is the break down:

  • When you receive an email, it will pop up in a message through Facebook messaging. It will also be in your email box. If you have and iPhone you will get a push notification. If you don’t have an iPhone you will get a text message.Essentially you will be connected as your emails happen. Don’t worry you can control the types of notifications you receive so you don’t feel like your technology just exploded.
  • The email will keep all of your communications with a singular user in one stream.  This way you can easily see every email between you and that person since the dawn of time…well, at least since the dawn of Not-Mail.
  • Social mapping is something that Facebook already does with the newsfeed.  The social map determines who you interact with the most and who it thinks are the people you are most interested in and then posts their updates on the wall. A social mail box will be the same.  Facebook will use the mapping algorithm to select who it thinks you want to receive email from.  The people not selected by the algorithm will be put in an “other” folder. You can assist the algorithm by adding people to your your “favorites” mail box, or by moving people into the “other” mail box.  The idea is that your friends and family will get priority via the social mapping and your bills will get put into the “other” box for you to look at later.

Over the next few days I will go into more detail about these features.

Facebook is positioning itself to become the center of your online social experience and focusing communication through the site will help accomplish this.

Will you use Not-Mail?

Did Facebook Predict New Mexico’s Election?

*This is a reprint of the guest post by Lauren MacEwen on nmpolitics.net

Vote 2010 NM

As New Mexico continues to increase its use of social media, we are going to see a corresponding expansion in the influence it has on local politics.  The national trend is reflecting a substantial rise in the use and influence of social media in the political realm, and New Mexico is following this trend line with vigor.  Though our state has the lowest percentage of Facebook users in the country, we are the second fastest growing user base, with a  701% growth rate in the past 24 months. Currently, 23% of the New Mexico population is on Facebook.1

The conversations on Facebook on November 2nd were dominated by the election. By mid-afternoon, the midterm elections nationwide were already breaking internet records.  At 5 pm EST, internet users were 5.6 million per minute, a 1.4 million user/minute increase from the 2008 Obama victory which was the 4th highest traffic day since the 2005 inception of the Net Usage Index for News.

Not only were candidates posting last effort calls for voting, people were posting their “I Voted” badges on Facebook and telling friends to go out and vote. As the results rolled in, friends posted good luck wishes, congratulations and condolences on their candidates’ pages.

So how did New Mexico fare in the 2010 social media election?

Social media did play a role in New Mexico’s recent midterm election, although we were about 20 points behind the national trend.  Where Facebook might not have been a definitive predictor in the NM election, it was a certainly an influencer.

The majority of Statewide elections had active social media campaigns, often with both Facebook profiles and Fan Pages campaigning in tandem.

National Political Social Media Trend:

74% of House candidates with the most Facebook fans won their race
80% of Senate candidates with the most Facebook fans won their race
78% of incumbents that lost their seat had fewer fans than their challengers

New Mexico Political Social Media Trend2

60% of all the races used Facebook through Campaign Fan Pages or through Profiles.
57% of the winners used Facebook
57% of incumbents that were overturned used FaceBook3

This is a list showing candidates, their races, what percent of the vote they had and whether they were on Facebook.  “Y” indicates they had either a Profile or a Fan Page on Facebook. The candidates in bold won their races.4

list showing social media presence of candidates in the New Mexico midterm 2010 elections

Click to view the complete list of Candidates

Comparison of Social Media Presence and the Effect on Statewide Campaigns5

Generally when a candidate was the incumbent and had a stronger Facebook presence than their challenger, they won their race. The one race (from the sample below) where the incumbent was overthrown, the challenger had a much stronger Facebook presence than the incumbent. The only race (from the sample below) where a strong social media presence did not result in a win was for the Office of the Secretary of State.

This is a list of candidates showing how many followers and friends they had on their Fan Page and Profile. Candidates in red were the incumbents. Candidates in bold won their races. More candidates had Pages than Profiles, though candidates with Profiles (or both Profiles and Pages) had a wider reach than candidates with just Fan Pages. 6 & 7

New Mexico 2010 midterm election candidate list with friend and followers numbers from Facebook listed for each candidate

List of Candidates Network Influence on Facebook Fan Pages and Profiles

US Representative District 1- Both Martin Heinrich and Jon Barela had Facebook Fan Pages and Profiles.  Barela’s Fan Page had a farther reach by 313 fans, Heinrich’s Profile had a larger reach by 1,714 friends. Heinrich was the incumbent.

US Representative District 2- Steve Pearce had a much stronger Fan Page than Teague, by 2,934 fans. Pearce overthrew the incumbent.

US Representative District 3- Ben Ray Lujan had a much stronger Fan Page than Mullins, by 1,218 fans.  Lujan was the incumbent.

Governor- Susana Martinez and Diane Denish both had Fan Pages and Profiles.  Martinez had a strong Fan Page by 6,639 fans. Denish had a stronger Profile by 1,360 friends.  In this case, Martinez’ reach with her Fan Page far over-shadowed Denish’s reach with her Profile.6

Secretary of State- Dianna Duran had both a Fan Page and a Profile whereas incumbent Mary Herrera only had a Profile.  Herrera’s profile was much stronger by 2,427 friends, but Duran prevailed.

State Auditor- Incumbent Hector Balderas had a very strong presence.  His Fan Page was stronger than Chavez by 1,540 fans and his profile was stronger by 4,659 friends.

Attorney General- Gary King, the incumbent, had no Facebook presence, and won his race even though his challenger had a strong Profile and Fan Page.

In the Statewide races Facebook seemed to be both an influencer and a predictor.  With the exception of one, the candidates with the strong Facebook presence won their race. Is Facebook becoming the social media equivalent of the exit poll?

1 NM user percentage is Based on US Census and Facebook demographics. I focused the social media analysis on Facebook because very few NM campaigns used Twitter. Also because Facebook allows for more detailed trending due to availability of detailed user demographics.
2The candidates analyzed and shown are only races that had challengers.  Races without challengers were not figured into calculations and their social media presence was not accounted for or analyzed.
3This statistic is based on races where at least one candidate used Facebook.  There was only one race in which an incumbent was overturned where neither party used Facebook.
4Facebook information was gathered by Lauren MacEwen.  Facebook Fan Pages and Profiles were not verified by the candidates, but were determined through content, network associations and candidate web page links.  Pages and Profiles were sourced from candidate websites when possible.  Due to profile settings of candidates, Lauren MacEwen was not able to determine if all candidate profiles were used for campaign purposes. Due to profile settings, not all candidate profiles may have been found and may therefore not be listed.  Profiles and Fan Pages of candidates were searched for on Google and Facebook as well as cross-referenced with specific network connections to compile as much complete and accurate data as possible.
5In the case of Commissioner of Public Lands where one candidate had a page and the other had a profile, I could not fairly analyze the comparative influence of their social media engagement due to the substantial differences in network growth, ie. active personal networking, ads, organic growth and suggestions.
6I did not include the Facebook presences of the Lt. Governor candidates in this analysis.  As they were joint tickets I decided to focus on the lead candidates. Additionally I would not have ben able to compare Colón and Sanchez as as Colón had a significant Facebook presence whereas John Sanchez did not.
7Profile and Fan Page data was collected on November 3, 2010.


Lauren (Armstrong) MacEwen is the primary social media consultant and strategist for SM Cubed Consulting.  Follow her on Twitter. Find her on Facebook. Read her blog.

Facebook Pages vs. Groups

classic painting from the end of Rocky III called Rocky vs. Apollo

Rocky vs. Apollo

Here is a list of differences between Facebook groups and pages.

Groups

  • In menu bar on your home page
    You can easily access your groups and see if there have been any updates.
  • Privacy Settings
    You can choose if you want your group to be completely private, moderately private or completely public.
  • Ads
    You can create ads for your group.
  • Encourages engagement
    By letting members know when people post, either through email or the notifications number next to your group name on the menu, it encourages them to see what the new activity is.  The comments section acts as a message board and encourages discussion.
  • no NFO
    Groups bypass NFO because they are on your menu bar, showing if there have been updates. Though group updates come through on your newsfeed, they are not dependent on it to distribute updates.
  • Member Settings
    Members can choose their user setting for the group. You can choose what updates you receive, if you want group chat messages, if you even want the group in your navigation menu. You have control over your group experience.

Pages

  • On your profile menu bar under “Likes”
    This does not show updates and most people don’t know how to find the pages they like.
  • No Privacy Settings
    Pages are public. The only privacy you can implement is if people are allowed to write on your wall.
  • Ads
    You can create ads for your page.
  • Encourages engagement?
    If you post updates that ask for interaction, then your page will encourage engagement. But the page setup itself does not.  Your fans do not know about an update unless they see it on their wall or check the page itself.
  • NFO
    Pages are dependent on the newsfeed for distributing information. So if you do not have good NFO, your updates might not even be seen.
  • No member settings
    The only control you have over the information you receive from a page is if you hide the posts in a newsfeed, or if you unlike the page.

Ultimately, groups and pages serve different purposes.  Before, pages were the default choice because groups were not very effective and honestly seemed more like a page with a few features that were arguably more cumbersome than valuable.  The new group features allow people a different set of options that genuinely add value to usability.

Unlike v. Dislike on Facebook

Unlike button on facebookPeople have been screaming for an “anti-like” button on Facebook since the like button came out. There is even a “Dislike” Button page on Facebook, trying to persuade the seemingly uninfluenceable Facebook design team to incorporate a feature that users really want. Well after YEARS of yelling and actually typing “dislike” in people’s comment boxes (because no one can really click “like” when someone is sick or their life has taken a bad turn), the Facebook team has responded.

Of course, in classic Facebook style, they are not really responding to what people asked for. Of course they could not use “dislike”, the same word that the entirety of the Facebook community has been using.  They had to come up with their own term, inevitably a little grammatically incorrect: “unlike“.

Dislike v. Unlike

  • dislike is what everyone wanted; unlike is what everyone got
  • dislike is a way to say you do not like an update or a post; unlike is a way to no longer like a page
  • dislike does not require that you ever liked something; unlike requires that you once liked it
  • dislike says you don’t like one post from one person; unlike is a complete breakup
  • dislike still doesn’t exist; unlike is still hidden and hard to find

Unlike is the new bold statement in your social media activity.  Previously, if someone was posting too much in your newsfeed, you could “x” out of the post and choose to hide that post from view. It is the passive-aggressive way of saying you don’t like something but are not ready to commit to deleting your affiliation with that page.

Unliking is a complete breakup.  Before, you had to actually go to the page, scroll down to the bottom of the left side menu and click unlike.  Now you can just “x” out of a post by that page and chose unlike and Facebook will ask you if you want to remove the post and unlike the page.  In relationship terms, previously you had to go to your girlfriend’s house, sit down, look in her eyes and tell her you don’t want to see her anymore.  The new feature is the equivalent of breaking it off by changing your relationship status.

So the Facebook team almost answered the dreams and desires of the Facebook community, but in reality it did not.  We can now unlike pages more easily, but still we’re ultimately looking for the great “dislike” option.

10 Reasons you might want to change the name of your Facebook Page

Girl fromt the 1950's typing on a typewriter and the paper says Facebook

One of the biggest frustrations that people have with Facebook Pages is that Facebook has the name of your page set in stone. When you are creating a new page it will tell you to be careful with your name choice, because once it is set you cannot change it.

Most of us think this is fine at the time. But many people experience frustration down the road, when they realize they might wish to or need to change the name.

Here are 10 reasons why you might want to change the name of your Facebook Page.

  1. You notice a grammatical error
  2. You thought you were being clever and realize later that you weren’t
  3. Your company changed its name
  4. You named your page after your motto and you changed your motto
  5. Your name is location based and you move
  6. You think that you have to have a location in your name, and then figure out that you don’t
  7. You have a date in the name and it expired, but your page didn’t
  8. You realized that you used a foreign swear word
  9. You realize that having F*$% in the title of your page is not the best idea ever
  10. The name of your page is a paragraph long

If you recognize something on this list, or have some other reason, you may be able to breathe easier. Facebook is testing a new interface for admins of pages that will allow you to change the name of your page.  Right now it is in beta mode and has not been released to all users.  The catch is that you can only change if you are a relatively new page. So if you have thousands of likes, then you are still out of luck for now.  But if you were really excited to get your page up and then realized that your name is not exactly how you want it to be, you’ll be able to fix it.

What isn’t clear yet is what will be the “cut-off” before you are not allowed to edit your name.

5 Sources of Inspiration for Bloggers

Comic image of two people talking about finding things to write about

Blogs can be a source for – or a source of – inspiration. Blog writing is something we come to in many different ways. Some people write out of a deep interest in a topic; they have a passion about a subject that they want to share with others.  Others have expertise they want to pass on.  Some people do it out of professional intrigue or professional necessity.  The reasons for blog writing can be as varied the topics covered.

Regardless of the reason for writing, sharing is one of the key elements that unites bloggers. One of the things they most want is for others to read it.  We all want to acquire an audience.

There are various ways to promote our blogs, drive traffic, and build revenue and subscribers.  But before you can focus on these things you have to face some primary technical questions – like how often are you going to post?

How often can you write on your topic?  How frequently can you find sufficient inspiration?

Is once a week enough?  Twice? Three times?  What about daily? Oh my god, daily! Yowza. Let’s not even talk about the nuts who post twice daily (ahem…Chris Brogan)

If your goal is to drive traffic to your site, then Brogan summed it up nicely when he said, “the more you post, the more traffic you get.”

So now you are blogging three times a week, or maybe you have even gone hell bent for leather and are blogging daily. So how do you do it?  How do you find motivation?  How do you find your topics?

  1. Read other people’s blogs!
    This is one of the best ways to find inspiration. See what other people are writing about; perhaps respond to what they have written.
  2. Read the news
    Many of us don’t actually blog about mainstream news, so what is the news in your industry?  You probably have thoughts and opinions on trending topics.  Share your opinion. Stop worrying if people agree with you, or if you are right or wrong.  Put your thoughts out there, and then if the response you get changes your point of view, well then you have another post topic!
  3. Follow Twitter
    Twitter is a beacon of discussion.  What are people talking about?  How are people interacting? Twitter is ripe with inspiration seeded in the conversations.  If you pay attention to what people are talking about you will see what people are interested in…write about that!
  4. Watch a movie
    Sure, it is a great form of procrastination, but if you are feeling stagnated then challenge yourself with a movie.  Watch a great and notable title and see how you can apply your writing to that movie.  Integrate buzz words from your industry into movie liners.  Have fun with it!
  5. Just start writing
    Occasionally we are just blocked. Blocked for words, topics, creativity. Sometimes sitting down and just typing whatever comes to your mind will lead you into something.  Think of it as an active meditation.  Just write what comes, no matter how goofy or nonsensical.  Many times finding inspiration is a matter of discipline, which may means committing to writing even when you can’t think of anything to write.

The more you write the easier it will become. When you first ramp up your frequency it can seem really daunting.  But the old adage is true; the more you write the more you will be able to write.  If you focus, the inspiration will come!

What inspires you? Tell me about it!