What I Learned In Social Media This Week

This week I have a couple of things.

1. Facebook Launches Places

The big news of the week was that Facebook announced a new feature called Places. This allows you to check in places through Facebook much like Foursquare of Gowalla. The feature that Facebook touts as different is the ability to tag your friends at certain locations. Here is the video that Facebook published explaining the new feature.

They are supposedly partnering with Foursquare and Gowalla but Foursquare has said that they are not sure how they will work with it yet. @Dens - Foursquare CEO - said that they are not that concerned with Places. But then again what else are they going to say. Here is a video from Mashable with the Foursquare VP of Mobile and Partnerships Holger Luedorf.

I am talking about Foursquare instead of Facebook because time will tell what people think of the new feature but location has been one of the hottest spaces in technology and Foursquare has been the golden child of that space. The most interesting thing to me is if this will change the landscape of this space considerably or if they will coexist. One note is that Foursquare had its largest signup day ever after this announcement.

2. Rowfeeder Has a Major Update

I talked about Rowfeeder two weeks ago. Right after that they released a major new release that really stepped up the sexiness of the product. They now generate 'native Excel files with pre-populated charts, visualizations and pivot tables'. The original beauty of this was that I could get the data in the raw format so that I could create whatever I wanted on top of that. I lived in Excel for 10 years so that is very comfortable for me. Now they just lowered the barrier for use even more by pre-populating some of the first use cases they are hearing. I have talked to these guys a few times and I can tell you they are pushing to continually improve this product and are gaining great traction. Nice work guys.

3. The Word Influence is Being Bastardized.

I will talk about this more as this is my real area of passion but the word influence and influencer is a term that is really getting abused. SO many people are talking about this and they are defining it in whatever way is convenient for their purposes but not necessarily in ways that will provide true value. There are a few companies that are trying to so metrics around influence but they are very 1.0 in their thinking. I have discussed this with a friend of mine about what the true roles in a network are and how you really measure them. There is a better way and over time I will be talking about the more and more here. This is a problem that there is real business value in discussing and solving, and this is an issue that were are working through at my day job currently. As companies start into social media this is a space that they are trying to get their arms around and the misuse of these terms are going to cause confusion and false starts for many companies.