U R the Media
By Bob Geller, SVP
I saw a couple of posts this week that got me thinking (which is always a dangerous thing).
A social graph is loosely defined, according to Brad Fitzpatrick, as “the global mapping of everybody and how they’re related.“
A little later on in the post he referenced Google’s recently announced Open Social initiative and how this relates to the topic:
….OpenSocial … [is] probably best described as an open API led by Google that allows cross-platform interoperability and integration (partners include Orkut, MySpace, Bebo, LiveJournal, Plaxo, and others). Basically: Where Google once created a table of content or index of everything on the web, OpenSocial will allow all of your interests, relationships, etc. to be indexed.
On the Web Strategy by Jeremiah blog, Jeremy Owyang has a detailed post about targeted advertising programs offered by MySpace and Facebook.
Both Facebook and MySpace have launched profile and network targeted advertising and marketing products. As they both use member interests and the communities which they are part of, trust continues to become key in adoption as information is passed along the network.
I am starting to realize that everyone who blogs or comments on blogs, everyone who participates in online social networks – we are the media. Advertisers will increasingly target us and try to tap into the trust and influence that results from the relationships we establish and the online reputations we build.
We as PR people – and our clients and employers – need to wake up to this fact and adjust our communications strategies accordingly.
It might seem mercenary. No one wants to be exploited based on their relationships and influence. There are a raft or privacy and security concerns. Yet advertising and PR have always been about persuasion, and about communicating with and through intermediaries.