The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Facebook Makes You Feel Nice …
June 19, 2008, 7:32 am
Filed under: Comment

Group Hug Result Photo: Billy Keefe

So as most of you will have forgotten, last week was my birthday.

When you get to 38, the usual course of action is to ‘forget’ rather than to ‘celebrate’ – however on top of the people who are legally obliged to remember my day of birth [ie: Mum / Jill / Key Friends / Blog Mates / Corporate Toadies] – I also got a load of messages from people my Facebook list.

Now on first impressions you may think this is quite a lazy thing to do – however as many of them wouldn’t even know when my birthday is, let alone acknowledge it – it made me feel abit special and cared about, far more than when a friend sends me a fucking e-card*.

Yes, … yes … this shows I am an insecure princess – and I do acknowledge Facebook has a-hell-of-alot of painful elements – but its ability to help people recapture that sense of childhood belonging is great and if NOKIA really wanted to make their CONNECTING PEOPLE positioning come to life, they should of looked into these sorts of areas rather than rely on ads and/or one-on-one communication strategies.

To be fair, I believe this is the area WK have got NOKIA to buy into, but is it too little too late – especially as WK’s brilliance is more focused on ‘ads’ rather than ‘product creation’.

[Don’t give me a hard time, I know they’ve done the odd thing like the NIKE Fun Run, but that is definitely more of an exception than their usual behaviour]

Scott 2 Photo: No idea, but this is Scott!

Anyway, last week another quite interesting thing came up about Facebook.

Basically I was having lunch with the clever sod known as Scott.

Having spent years at BBH and WK, Scott now makes his living flying round the World doing freelance gigs on all sorts of interesting projects.

While this gives him all sorts of exposure to clients and people, the downside is that his lovely lady has to stay in Melbourne looking after their dog, Cookie.

Anyway Scott was telling me that quite often the people he’s working with invite him to all sorts of parties because they don’t want him to be by himself.

Scott Photo: Who would admit to it!!!

Now while that is all very nice, when ‘tagged’ photos from these parties inevitably appear on Facebook [with Scott more than likely looking a twat] it can sometimes give a VERY wrong impression to the casual observer – which is why on more than one occasion Scott’s other half has casually asked him what he was upto at these shindigs.

Which all leads to this point …

If I was asked to position FACEBOOK … I wouldn’t talk about the social network or the ability to re-connect with your past … I’d focus on the fact that when you have a wider and more connected network of friends/colleagues and acquaintances [which Facebook obviously gives you], every word and action can come back to haunt you which is why I’d go with …

“FACEBOOK: Keeps You Honest”

But it’s not like they need any positioning is it, well not till MILLIONAIRE SINGLES is launched! 🙂

* My [ex?] best mate Paul sent me a bloody e-card which said, “Yeah, I know its proper shit but its the best I can do. Sorry, posted your real card today. Have a great day.”

I’ve only known him 37 years, and 361 days and actually was in his company 2 weeks ago. Best mates – can’t live without them, can’t kill them. Or is that women?


21 Comments so far
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I love what you’re saying about feeling like a child again with your wider network of “friends”, that’s really nice and something a brand should think about rather than sticking another ad on the right hand side of the page.

Not sure about your friend Scott’s party habits and as you say, Facebook is hardly in need of publicity, but the “Keeps you honest” positioning idea is lovely even if could put more people off than attract 🙂

Comment by Pete

This is a more interesting viewpoint on Facebook than many of the official articles I’ve read.

It is very easy to knock the Facebook phenomenon, but it’s role extends beyond just reuniting old friends and colleagues, it also helps connect people on a deeper emotional level and despite one of your earlier posts criticising technological communication, this method of interaction does have a role to play in society and how you felt when you received your unexpected birthday messages, proves it.

Very nice Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

This may sound terrible but I’ve struggled with birthday dates all my life and only this month forgot a close friend’s in Bangkok. Now if she was on Facebook I would have loved to have been reminded. It’s not like I wish each and every person happy birthday so its a very useful way to keep in touch and send a bit of happiness. Good address/rolodex too! 🙂 Social media post coming up at mine when I can get my thoughts together.

Comment by Charles Frith

Man, this post is VERY relevant. I’ve seen people get into a lot of trouble thanks to the little “tag this photo” button in Facebook.

Not so long ago it might have been possible for people to misinterpret a text message (or on the flip side, to talk their way around a text message) but a photo can set imaginations (and feelings) running wild. it’s better to stay honest indeed!

Comment by Age

With Marcus in hiding and Andy/Billy getting drunk and god knows what else in Cannes – it’s all very sensible around here at the moment isn’t it. It doesn’t feel right.

Comment by Rob

gee, thanks rob.

the second photo was actually uploaded by the lovely nokia client. it was in taken in a meeting. honest.

also, i should point out that i have yet to work for the wonderful and super folks at wk. i’m not sure if those images would help my future chances but hey, if any of you wkers fancy a drink, please let me know. and yes, i have since had a haircut.

Comment by scott

I didn’t mean WK as in Weiden & Kennedy – but WANKERS Incorporated.

But it does beg the question: What the hell am I doing talking to you if you’re just some ex BBH bloke 🙂

BTW: My winged lady with floating ball and constantly changing colour glow computer mouse is bloody tops!

Comment by Rob

I completely agree with the face book positioning, its great, and come to think of it, [honest] one of the reasons why I’m not on any social network! [ there are other reasons too]. The thought is bang on, but I agree with Pete, it will put more people off .. ha ha h ha .

Comment by bhaskar

Facebook…keeps you honest. In partnership with Mr. Daniels, Mr. Guinness and Senor Tequila.

Comment by Andrea

Maybe if the Singaporean Government bought Facebook it would make more sense 🙂

Comment by Rob

Maybe if the Singapore Government bought this blog it would make more sense.

Comment by John

I’m open to offers …

Comment by Robert

I agree with that – I’ve also been crap with birthday dates myself, so to be able to have them all organised with facebook makes life so much easier.

And it’s always nice to have a wall full o’ birthday wishes. 🙂

Comment by Will

having got swept up in the joy of myspace early on, i’m a little more detached from facebook than most of my friends. i love the birthday reminders, which were also a myspace feature and also thankfully on skype. as well as keeping you honest, facebook (and myspace) also keeps you guarded and self-obsessed. we all take photos or pose in them now knowing that they’ll be uploaded, as opposed to taking them to remember/appreciate a moment.
having said all that, i don’t mind that positioning for facebook either – it’s a little bit Australian Democrats: Keep the bastards honest.. ha!

Comment by lauren

Great – anyone know anyone at Facebook – I’ll split the cash 🙂

Comment by Robert


Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by john


Comment by andy@cynic

I only caught the brilliance of this post a few days later being the thicko I am, but it’s something I’ve held close to me which is that those with the least to hide reveal the most & vice versa.

It’s a brilliant positioning. Sociopaths avoid the net!… sort of.. 🙂

Comment by Charles Frith

yeah weirdos, dont go to facebook come and be mad fucks on here instead, youll fit right in

Comment by andy@cynic

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