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New Year’s Resolutions 2.0

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
2 January 2008

Happy New Year to all our readers, I trust you all had a nice Winter break?

Because 2008 seems certain to be the year that Social Media really hits the mainstream, I’ve decided to make myself a few Web 2.0 new year’s resolutions. Have a read and let me know if you agree, or if you have any better ideas!

Be more open to new ideas!

As anyone who reads my blog posts will know, I’m a big fan of Facebook – possibly too much of a fan? Whilst I’m going to stick with them as a my social network of choice, I’m also going to try to be more open to offers from other social networks. I’m going to give MySpace another chance (but only if it promises to treat me better this time!), I’ll give Bebo more of my attention and I’m going to keep trying other social networks too – just in case one of them manages to persuade me they’re better! At the end of the day, competition is important to a company like Facebook and it keeps them on their toes (something we seem to be losing with Google) so I doubt they’ll mind me two-timing them…! : )

Be proud to be English!

I felt a bit dismayed over Christmas to realise how little we English are proud of our great nation. The internet has made the world a much smaller place, and I generally think this is a wonderful thing. However, I noticed over Christmas that on the BBC news, George Bush seems to get higher ranking than Gordon Brown. I think it was the sad death of Benazir Bhutto which made me notice – George Bush’s comments got higher placement on the news report than our own Prime Minister, and that annoyed me quite a bit. As a nation we seem to have forgotten how to be proud of our heritage, and I for one intend to do my bit to change this in 2008.

So, if your brand new social network or application doesn’t allow me to express my Englishness, I won’t be joining! I expect other nationalities feel the same – give us location-specific content and the like.

Be more ruthless with pointless invitations

2007 saw the real birth of the Social Network applications, and overall this was a brilliant and wondeful thing. However, it also means we’re now being overwhelmed by invites to add applications like "Vampires vs Pirates", "What fruit are you", "Are you colour blind?" and the like. At first I gave them a chance – as anybody who is unfortunate enough to have me pop-up in their news feed will attest – but from now on I’m going to be much more ruthless.

By far my biggest bug-bear is applications which insist on me inviting my friends to use it before I actually get to see what it does – why does anyone agree to that?! You wouldn’t write a recommendation of a product you bought on the highstreet before you opened the box, so why do it online? I’m also giving no more time of day to pointless "Let’s set a record" groups that want you to join up purely to invite your friends – this is just Chain Mail 2.0! Facebook themselves appear to have acknowledged this is a problem, albeit in a roundabout way.

Be more sociable – both on an offline!

As my colleague Paul wrote on this very blog earlier this week, Social Networks really have made being sociable a lot easier. With that in mind, I’m going to make a concerted effort to actually utilise this power more and BE sociable with my friends. I’m going to write on walls more, invite people for drinks, set up events and generally be a social (media) animal.

Rely on the power of the viral distribution!

One of the biggest advantages of social networks, with their news feeds and profile pages, is that my friends can see what I’ve been up to without the need for me to actually tell them, one-on-one. With this in mind, I’m going to try to rely more on this method to virally spread my ideas – rather than forcing them down people’s throats with invites, pokes and messages.

If I create or join a group that people want to join, seeing it in my feed should be reason enough for somebody else to join, without the need for me to actually invite them (unless the group is invite only of course!). This seems to be working well for Facebook Pages so far (since there is no method of inviting people, it must be!) so I’m going to follow their lead and be less intrusive in future.

I’m sure there’s some other resolutions that I haven’t thought of yet, but those 5 should be a good start!

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