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Facebook Social Plugins

YearBookYourself.com

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In a move to take over the Internet, Facebook recently launched a series of social plug-in’s that make it super-simple for web publishers to integrate their site content with Facebook. Paraphrasing from a Tech Crunch article:

Google spends billions of dollars indexing the web for their search engine. Facebook will get the web to index itself, exclusively for Facebook. The entire Internet will be turned into a tributary system for Facebook. And it all flows from a simple “Like” gesture.

Facebook’s New Social Plugins:

Like Plugin – This plugin is simple and requires no login. It will show visitors to your site, which of their Facebook friends have engaged with your site recently. If a user likes something on your site with this button it automatically appears in their Facebook profile as well.

Activity Stream Plugin – This displays a filtered view of the Facebook News Feed containing updates from only your site.

Facebook Login Plugin – It works like the existing Facebook Connect login button, and it adds photos of your Facebook friends who have already joined the site.

Social Bar Plugin – A toolbar that is added to the bottom of your site. The Social Bar includes a Like button, friends who like the site, as well as Facebook chat.

Recommendations Plugin – A plugin that shows recommendations of items or content that visitors to your site may be interested in, based on recommendations from Facebook connections.

->Read more about Facebook Social Plugins @ Facebook Developer Blog.

In addition to these newer features, there’s another Facebook feature I’ve been meaning to blog about for awhile now. It’s a simple link Facebook displays below your albums or pictures called: Share this album with anyone by sending them this public link. Essentially you copy and paste this link into an email or website and, voila!, you have instant photo sharing with people who aren’t on Facebook!

You can have a look at a recent album I created by clicking on Grant Storry Through The Years. The significance of this new and simple to use feature is that it opens Facebook up to competing with photo specific sites like Flickr.com, Google’s Picasa, photobucket, and shutterfly.

Yes, Facebook is definitely a company to watch. Several years ago, after Microsoft invested in Facebook giving the company a $15 Billion valuation, I wondered how the one-trick pony would live up to the hype. After all, social networks have come and gone from Friendster to, arguably, Myspace. The direction Facebook is now headed, permeating it’s features throughout the Internet, now gives me some perspective on what Facebook’s endgame vision is. With traffic passing Google this March and shares trading at $17 Billion, Facebook is king of the hill.

From an online marketing perspective, competition is a good thing. Many online marketing gurus are turning to Facebook to round out their online ad budgets due to the affordability of Facebook ads over Google PPC Adwords. In addition to a cheaper place to advertise to well over 400 million Internet users on Facebook, the new social plugins allow us to engage customers and prospects at a whole new level.

Take my ridiculous Facebook Album, for example. I created all those photos on a site called Yearbookyourself.com by Jostens. Jostens is a class ring and yearbook production company. What a great use of social media & viral marketing by creating a microsite to “Yearbook Yourself”. The site allows you to either upload a pic of yourself or take one using your webcam. You can then edit your photo and fit it into either male or female classic yearbook photos from decades spanning the 60s-2000. You can then save the resulting photos to your computer or connect them directly to your Facebook account with a simple button click.

All photos are imprinted with a url to Josten’s microsite. Instantly, Jostens has the 400+ million people who are part of the Facebook community promoting their brand and driving traffic to their site in exchange for a goofy picture of themselves. Heck, they even have people like me blogging about it and spreading the word as well. Therein lies the power of social media marketing done right. This could get very interesting over the next several years, provided Facebook doesn’t scare everyone off with privacy concerns

Streeeeetch! What’s Grant Doing Now?

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated my blog here at thestorry.com! 2010, so far, has been quite a substantial year of change for me and we’re only 2.5 months into it! I don’t want this to be a reflective post on all the reasons why I haven’t been keeping up with the blog, or a manifesto on how I’m going to become the world’s most dedicated blogger moving forward. I will be making some changes to this blog and creating a bit more of a theme around it in the near future though. I’ve also decided to build out a professional site to highlight the Grant Storry skill set at GrantStorry.com. I’m going to experiment with blogging and commenting on a blend of personal topics of interest, coupled with professional ones and see how that goes. I know that flies in the face of conventional wisdom about not mixing personal and professional; but I think it’s more important to be real, human, and whole. I’ve found people respond to me more authentically the more authentic I am to them. Professionalism doesn’t always have to equal “stoic non-human”, IMHO.

Quickly, the biggest change for me over the last month in 2010 has been leaving my corporate job as Senior Manager, Global Online Marketing and venturing out on my own as an entrepreneur. This path has been one I’ve been wanting to walk down since childhood and I’m very excited to begin the adventure and get to the point where I’m writing my own paycheck. I heard a great quote this morning at Yoga, “Find a way to get paid for doing what you love. Then every paycheck will be a bonus.” — in the 2 short weeks I’ve been doing what I love, I can safely say this is so true.

Finally, Jesse Learmonth just sent me a link talking about the C100 in Silicon Valley, an organization made up mostly of Canadians leaving down there to help Canadian technology companies get access to all the resources Silicon Valley has to offer. C100 is a non-profit, member-driven organization dedicated to supporting Canadian technology entrepreneurship and investment. It’s refreshing and encouraging to see greater linkages and resources for us Canuck-tech entrepreneurs down in California! I sense I may need to make use of their services in the near future 😉

Social Media… such a fad.

I just came across this video (below) recently and I think it’s been put together rather well. Due to a little incident at work today the message was a little more poignant. Social media sure has put some serious power in the hands of anyone who has an axe to grind or praises to sing- for better or worse. Enlightened companies and brand managers really have to start taking this medium extremely seriously. I always like the Cluetrain Manifesto as a good read to get a strong understanding of the sentiment and new landscape social media propels us all into. Apparently this university made twitter a required class for journalism students. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of this as newspapers struggle to survive.

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