With Michael Smyth.

For online listeners; here’s my MP3 ABC Radio Segment Collection

Story #1  Stay off Facebook?

It never ceases to amaze me… the article’s headline is “staying off Facebook will make you happy”, is based on a report: ‘The Facebook Experiment: Does social media affect the quality of our lives?’ by the Happiness Research Institute. It uses a few stats, makes a couple of comments, and then uses an example about a young girl who was in the process of rising to celebrity status fame via Instagram and YouTube and couldn’t hack the pressure – so quit. That’s more of a story about the peril of celebrity fame, than common everyday Facebook use. Or is it?

Is Essena O’Neil, a YouTube vlogger, really a marketing genius?

After this big social media dummy spit, O’Neill started a new website, Let’s Be Game Changers, which is “aimed to inspire constant questioning”. To avoid narcissism. Her first post (apparently – it’s since crashed) encouraged readers to go a week without social media and she recommended everyone read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now.

It’s time for a chat with Michael, as I see this as the melding of what Facebook is… to mean “social media” ie it’s as if the writer doesn’t understand there are other social media platforms – and Facebook is simply the nickname for them all; and is being blamed for all ills. Including those of young marketing geniuses – however maybe it doesn’t mind? I bet all Essena’s friend went onto Facebook to find out.

Let’s face it, most use Facebook as the modern ‘Births Deaths Marriages’ of our times – to maintain regular contact with people you don’t see every day. I don’t call it the Advertiser of our times for no reason. Anything reported outside of this, is simply encouraging mass hysteria and media hype. So, don’t be fooled. We use is, we access it, we read and share, when we need it.

Of course, the other interesting aspect is, we continually use overseas analysis to report how Australians react.

However, we react quite differently to how Americans, Europeans and other nationalities do. So, when you read, “Researchers noted 94 per cent of the participants visited Facebook daily before dividing the 1,095 Danish participants into two groups.” alarm bells should ring.

Should this really inform our social media strategy? No. Should this ring alarm bells for how we interact with our own social media use? No. Should we use social media with a healthy dose of “moderate” and integrated into everyday life? Yes.

If I was to ask you to compare what you thought a Danish lifestyle was like to an Australian one, how would you react? I did a bit of research and it seems the Danes are generally quite happy. Both countries have excellent standards of living. Denmark apparently has an excellent social system (medical, schooling, benefits for parents) that in some ways surpasses Australia, however many report Australia has better weather; just don’t mention the heatwaves, bushfires and tropical storms with lightening and all will be fine.

If your news feed is bothering you, if there are people who annoy you, “unfollow them”. If there are news items which upset you, either unfollow the news source, don’t click on links of this type of news and don’t comment. This news style will soon disappear from your feed. Facebook, and other social media platforms are simply serving the content to you, which it thinks you want to see. If you don’t want to see it, don’t use the words, and don’t click on the links.

Researched article:

Of course, we know social media can fuel all sorts of opinion through viral sharing. It is certainly a strategy used by our not so favourite friends. And yes, I have deliberately not used certain words to ensure Google brushes over this blog post.

Story #2 Paris Attacks and the impact on social media

My mantra is always for the use of social for #socialgood and this week, Facebook in particular, but indeed the entire social media world, did just that.

Facebook Safety Check

They amended their previous policy for the use of Safety Check to include “Human Disasters”, not simply “Natural Disasters”. Here’s how they explained it:

“Many people have rightfully asked why we turned on Safety Check for Paris but not for bombings in Beirut and other places. Until yesterday, our policy was only to activate Safety Check for natural disasters. We just changed this and now plan to activate Safety Check for more human disasters going forward as well.

Here’s more detail on Safety Check and our policy for deploying it from the Facebook Safety page:

Thank you to everyone who has reached out with questions and concerns about this. You are right that there are many other important conflicts in the world. We care about all people equally, and we will work hard to help people suffering in as many of these situations as we can.”

Article about service from the Huff:

And it works – my beautiful connection in Paris, Nadine, used it to let us know she was OK. -Charlie

It works like a notification system and all friends receive – once it is activated by the person, to let you know they are safe. You can leave a comment or like, similar to a normal post.

Facebook Donate Button

Announced in the past 24 hours, Facebook has opened its donate button capabilities to the benefit of charities. As Mark Zuckerberg said himself:

As recent events have shown, many people around the world can benefit from the help of our community.

Earlier this year, we helped connect people with charities offering relief to Nepal after the earthquakes and our community raised over $15 million.

Today we’re taking the next step on that journey as we begin testing fundraisers for nonprofits. We hope this makes it easy for you to support the causes you care about.

These new tools for nonprofits include a simple Donate button on posts and pages, and fundraiser pages where they can raise awareness for specific campaigns. These tools should help nonprofits reach new supporters, engage their community and get valuable funding needed to do their good work.

Here are some of the organizations we’re testing these tools with:

Syrian Refugee Crisis Response by Mercy Corps,

NOW MS research campaign by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society,

Be the Hero Nature Needs by the WWF,

We’re starting off by testing with 37 organizations including Mercy Corps,National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the World Wildlife Fund — just in time for the giving season.

This is a very early product, and we’re currently testing it in 20 countries, but we look forward to launching it more widely next year.

I’m excited to see how our community uses these new tools to do even more good in the world.

Social Media Voice – Maturity

My personal observations is that over this past week people have held back – and typically shared credible news sources.

Generating Social Good – with Social Good Actions

Mashable themselves started a new Twitter account to post a single tweet in memory for each person.

For example:


And that’s a wrap.

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