Do not stir up love before it’s own time. Song of Songs 2:7

March 28, 2012

How to get the most out of social media. And other social media DOHs.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

My friend, Saul Fleischman, writes about the features that Google Plus needs to compete as a social media platform. In my opinion, Saul proposes features which would up the game value of the app. Saul has a passion for the social game and opportunity – a passion that I admire about the man.

Read Saul’s proposals for a better Google Plus here: http://osakabentures.com/2012/03/facebook-robs-google-plus-both-fall-short

The success and sustainability of a social media platform, however, will not be determined by the advantages it provides to the social gamer.

Superiority of social service is determined by the opportunities and use that the average netizen can utilize. I’m not saying that the volume of registered users is relevant. I am saying that the volume of daily users and user to user interaction is key to a platform’s health and value. That’s why Facebook games are critical to Facebook’s strategy. Some suggest Facebook games drive 50% of the network’s daily log-ins, usage, and user to user interaction.

Superiority must also relate to how well a platform empowers people to connect, communicate, share, and collaborate with other people. All platforms attempt to address this function in terms of managing one-to-one and one-to-many relationships, but none of them do it brilliantly.

Despite all the hype, Pinterest miserably fails in this regard. That doesn’t mean it will fail. But if Pinterest succeeds, it means that online relationships are trending toward increasing superficiality. If I felt just a little bit snarky, I would list all the cool kids that failed to notice Pinterest’s major defect.

Today, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, blogs, and websites continue to stand out as the most usable and useful of social media platforms. They are not silver bullets, but they are staple in any social media and/or online marketing strategy – commercial, personal or otherwise. Their value to you, of course, is belied in the quality of the relationships you have with other people on those platforms – not follower count, likes, comments, page views, etc.

Metrics, analytics, and data of any kind are often misleading without a deeper sense of context and dynamics. Data, in fact, does not easily convert to knowledge, prudence, or wisdom. You can watch 10,000 movies in your lifetime, but it will still be unlikely that you write a great movie script like Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, replace Anthony Hopkins in a remake of Silence of the Lambs, or direct a better remake of Guillermo de Toro’s film, Pan’s Labyrinth.

Contrary to popular superstition, data is not a commodity.

As my friends, Jack and Billy say, have fun with social. They and many others take what they do seriously enough to show up on schedule, make their presence felt, contribute to conversations, and make relationships. If you still have time and attention to build relationships with people on another social platform, go for it. But the last thing you should do is stretch yourself thin across a dozen major and minor networks where you leave no foot print on hearts and imaginations.

Digital footprints are often nothing more than sand castles that wash away with the tide.

Postscript:

Looking over my shoulder, I see the wind has blown the pages of a book open. Coincidentally, it offers wisdom on this subject:

Do not stir up love before it’s own time. Song of Songs 2:7

Stan Faryna
28 March 2012
Bucharest, Romania

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How to Succeed in The Thank You Economy

April 5, 2011

Walk This Way, Run-DMC
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A Thank You Economy

Reach, connection and relationship is crucial to your success, whether you are an industry professional, artist, writer, problogger, or whatever. Social Media provides that channel – be it Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, FourSquare, a blog or some/all of these together.

Tim O’Reilly sums up the nature of social media here. He says that, “you gain and bestow status” through those you read, mention, retweet, recommend, like, comment…

This is the engine of the thank you economy.

In the thank you economy, dismissal, neglect and omission are punishment.

In O’Reilly’s words: “Obscurity is a bigger problem for authors than piracy.” Read the rest of this entry »


Making Lots of Money on Yuwie?

April 18, 2008

Below, some beautiful and exhilarating music for your reading. Polovtsian dances from Alexander Borodin’s opera, Prince Igor. Performed in this clip by the Berliner Philharmoniker and conducted by Seiji Ozawa.

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Make Lots of Money

Less than a year online, another social network platform is slotted for takeoff on the runway of success. It’s called Yuwie. Based on open source technologies used by MySpace and others, Yuwie allows users to customize profiles, import videos and pictures, blog, easily make friends with Yuwie members, make clubs, and interact with their Yuwie group of friends.

According to Alexa, the Internet traffic keeper, Yuwie is one of the top 500 most trafficked websites. But what’s driving the popularity of Yuwie is not its features and cheap dressing on an open source solution. It’s the business model. Yuwie ‘s business model is based on sharing advertising revenue with its users. Remind you of MLM? Yup. Yuwie is MLM. And the so-called unwashed masses of online users like that idea a lot.

People like it so much that Yuwie boasts almost 600,000 registered users within nine months of going online. It went online in July 2007. According to my estimates, Yuwie has about 3,000 active users on the website at any given time. If Yuwie is lucky, they have about 200 users that are so active that those users spend four hours or more per day, everyday, on Yuwie.

Revenue Sharing

Some critics are horrified by Yuwie’s seemingly indecent revenue sharing plan. Revenue sharing seems to some to be a contradiction to the spirit of social networking. Although name brand companies and rock star developers are championed on Wall Street (NYSE), Hyde Street (London), and elsewhere for the unrealistic cash value of their social networks, the same financial analysts suggest that social networking, users, and money should not mix. That it’s vulgar.

Those critics are terribly mistaken.

Yuwie has problems, but the concept of sharing advertising revenue with users is not one of Yuwie’s problems. In fact, not sharing advertising revenues may become a big problem in the near future for MySpace, Facebook, HighFive, and Linkedin. Web 2.0 without users is nothing more than Web 0.0 (game over).

Already, Yuwie is capturing on MySpace, Facebook and Youtube defections and recruitment at a rate of thousands of users per day.

Yuwie

That’s not to say that Yuwie doesn’t have all the ear marks, tell tale signs, and stink of a hustle, scam or pyramid scheme. In fact, Yuwie promises users some very abstract concepts on how users can earn money from page views. Yuwie also seems to deliver less than a little of the cash it gets from advertising. Worse, most of Yuwie’s ads represent cheap bulk ads handled by the same weasels that do spam and spyware. Despite these often discussed problems, Yuwie users seem to be more forgiving than any other user base.

By the skin of the founder’s teeth (Korry Rogers), Yuwie just barely avoids being defined as a scam or pyramid scheme. However, many suspect Yuwie to be a scam and a scheme. Using Yuwie’s website and services costs nothing; anyone can register and get started without a credit card or paypal account. In my opinion, Yuwie’s users might benefit from paid premium services. But let’s leave that rant for later.

In a BBC News feature on Yuwie, Korry Rogers seems to suggest that Yuwie users can make between 400 and 500 dollars per month. In Yuwie introduction videos, it is also suggested that it is possible for high performance users to build up to incomes as much as $5,000/month. After corresponding with active Yuwie users, I found there are very, very few people who have been known to make thousands of dollars in a single month. Most people are self-reporting earnings a lot less than they had expected.

Pyramid Principle

Yuwie earnings include earnings based on referral or downline activities. According to an article in the UK’s Guardian, earning on the downline can reach down to 10 levels of referral’s referrals. However, few users are reporting having downlines past level three at this early stage. The bigger problem, explains one active Yuwie user, is keeping the downline focused on the recruitment, mentoring, and creation of interesting content that will generate sufficient page views.

Below, some more background music. Cold Play, See You Soon.

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Yuwie Earnings

Yuwie earnings are based on pageviews lasting from three to five seconds each. These pageviews generate the ad impressions that Yuwie provides to advertisers and online ad networks. A user’s pageviews include both the personal pageviews of the user (looking at other people’s profiles and content AND those pageviews of the user’s profile and content made by others. As most realize, building a strong downline seem to be key to Yuwie earnings. Alone and single-handedly, the most hard-working user may not get $20/month for 16 hours/day of Yuwie contact building.

Best Practices

According to some of Yuwie’s most successful earners, building a successful Yuwie practice and downline requires six things:

1. Coming into Yuwie with a group of 12+ persons committed to roughly two to four hours per day through a two year effort, come hell or high water…

2. Developing ongoing insight into common issues, the big challenges, and Yuwie-user best practices

3. Converting insights into strategy, methods and practices that can be easily adopted by the group and effectively used by every level of the downline

4. An attitude of experimentation and open-mindedness to trying out new methods with the patience and understanding that most of this will not pan out as individual experiments

5. Technical support to develop scripts and other tools that will enable automatic realization of Yuwie connections, etc.

6. Determination of each individual to succeed in developing a powerful downline and their empathic ability to provide morale support for the other members of the group.

Imho, any business is likely to succeed with such a force behind it.

Case Study

Myself, I’m interested in making a case study of Yuwie and I’d like to form a group of 24 persons (ideally, half that never had any experience with Yuwie but are interested in it and half that may already be involved in Yuwie). Whatever happens will happen.

I am mostly interested in the experience of users across the long haul. Such a case study may provide me with the needed insight to strengthen a business plan that I am developing for a new kind of social network service. This doesn’t mean that I won’t participate actively in the group’s work. In fact, I can provide several of the needed factors to ensure we are doing everything we need to do for this group to succeed.

With the help of a top Yuwie user, I have set up my Yuwie profile and achieved a high level performance (1000 Yuwie friends and 16,000 page views) within 15 days with no more than two hours spent on Yuwie per day. I am told that the average user would accomplish the same results in three months with 2x to 3x the hours spent per day.

For example, I have retained a top Yuwie earner that is providing consulting to me on best practices and common problems. I’d like to get started with this next week. What about you?

If you would like to join me in this online adventure in network marketing, please let me know by contacting me through Buzzfuse or Linkedin.

If you would like to learn more about Yuwie, click here. OR read more about Yuwie in my Yellow Brick Road series, click here.

Below, some beautiful piano music. Helen Grimaud plays the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 17, The Tempest.

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Stan Faryna
April 16, 2008
Bucharest, Romania
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About Stan Faryna

Mr. Faryna is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

Stan Faryna is also a Global Voices author and translator. Global Voices is a non-profit global citizens’ media project founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a research think-tank focused on the Internet’s impact on society.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna also served as editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

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Bill Gates solicits an answer on Linkedin

March 2, 2008

Out of a mouth-mind in Bablion…

Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Chairman of Microsoft, put a featured question to Linkedin professionals:

“How can we do more to encourage young people to pursue careers in science and technology?”

After two days, there were 2500+ and counting answers from leaders, managers and professionals from across the planet. Below is my published answer to Bill Gates and my many unknown colleagues at Linkedin:

Education

Reading C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man, I came to the consideration that the moral relativism that accompanies modern math and science education in the West may have taken the life and spirit out of math and sciences.

Is it possible that we have alienated several generations from these disciplines because the young have an instinctive, unconscious rejection of a delusion with no value and affect?

The implicit philosophy of math and science is that all statements of value are merely subjective statements and tell us nothing truly about the object. On the contrary, we can know things as they are to some objective extent and our actions can be understood as objectively good or evil. Math and science have been misused as a deconstructive tool used to undermine human values and affections, confuse right from wrong and plunge those who self-examine… into nihilistic despair and the untrustworthy comfort of hedonism.

As Plato and Aristotle believed, Lewis reminds us that we must train the young to like and dislike what they ought, to love the good and hate the bad. Emotion and intuition must be integrated with intellect and perception (as Carl Jung suggests) or they will grow up into something strange, pursuing intellectual conclusions and technological solutions that are heartless OR pursuing what feels good without the capacity to discern which goods are truly good and which are temporarily pleasing.
Read the rest of this entry »