It seems like a lot of companies are still struggling to figure out how this social stuff can be used to aid their marketing. It might be just me, but some of them seem to be wandering far into the Too Much Information zone.
I'm not even talking about the information the companies themselves publish, though why anyone would want to subscribe to the Twitter feed of a Chinese buffet restaurant or a hotel has frankly been puzzling me for a while. No, I'm talking about the information the companies want to help us publish about ourselves and our use of their products.
Take for instance a certain restaurant chain. I ordered online from their website, and what do I see on the ordering page? Yes, that's a Facebook button. Really, there's not enough trivia on Facebook, the restaurant thinks everyone I know needs to know what I'm having for dinner? I try to keep my posts useful, entertaining, interesting.
Then there's another new thing on Facebook -- I sincerely hope it's a fad. The "Social Reader" application posts every article you open in a given publication onto Facebook. Once you've allowed this application the ability to write to your wall, the instant you follow a link to the article, everybody knows of your interest in celebrity plastic surgery or whatever.
I really value that my Facebook friends can share articles they've enjoyed. I find out some worthwhile things, experience different points of view, and learn something about the person. But, not speaking for anyone else, I can't tell whether an article is worth sharing just from the title. I read lots of things online, and a fairly small proportion are worth passing on. When I post, again, I want it to mean something -- not just to vainly share every tiniest detail of my life in the presumption that someone might be interested. We are drowning in a flood of trivia already.
I know, I can hide those updates in my own feed. And I have (the Social Reader ones -- I've never seen a red hot meal update from that restaurant chain, so I don't know whether I can filter them easily). I just don't understand why people would choose allow those Social Readers and so on access to speak for them. I can understand people might be curious to read the article, but go to the newspaper's website and search for it there. Don't publish a link until you know it's worth publishing!
Andre Guirard | 15 November 2011 08:07:52 AM ET | | Comments (2)