The day I killed the NME

My efforts to understand Facebook have been a bit like the opening sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the apeman is bashing the ground with a bone. I could sense that this new tool did something, but couldn’t quite figure out what, so I kept thrashing around. Perhaps eventually the bone would turn into a spaceship. (Digression: If this doesn’t make sense, watch the clip – I saw this movie when I was six, a week after seeing The Wizard of Oz at the pictures – I’ve never been the same since.

(There’s a longer clip here.) Digression over.)

The more I saw of Facebook, the more questions I had.

One of these questions was: how do magazines get to have profiles, the same as people? This seemed like a neat thing to do for an organisation: have a profile that could befriend people, put neat stuff on it – videos, blog feeds, pictures; organise events… However, the T&Cs forbid one to ‘register for a User account on behalf of any group or entity’. There is a pricy paid-for advertising option to create a sort of temporary corporate site, but the magazines I looked at didn’t look like corporates such as ‘I Heart Virgin Mobile’. So how do they do it? I friended the NME, largely out of nostalgia: the NME, or New Musical Express as it was then, charted and to some extend created the musical epochs I lived through as a teenager. NME cover
I looked forward to seeing what kind of content they would provide via Facebook… perhaps reliving my leather-jacketed youth in the process.

Meanwhile, to try and figure out what kind of deal the NME were on, I asked the Facebook advertising sales guy I’d been emailling to explain the different levels; what did NME and others do differently from the heavyweight advertisers like Virgin and Apple? Were they paying or was there a class of ‘entity’ that could have a profile? A few days later, a reply came, thanking me for reporting the ‘abuse’. And the NME page disappeared. One less social networking channel for them, then…

Oh dear. Some ‘Friend’ I turned out to be…

I guess Facebook is just for people – and advertisers with deep pockets.

2 thoughts on “The day I killed the NME

  1. Anyway that an advertiser can get their clients brand out there, i.e. in these viral networks, adds to their exposure. If you got deep pockets such as Apple, Coca Cola, Pepsi, there is no doubt that you weasel your way into have access to facebook services. I’d associate it with piggy back marketing promotions, such as movie promotions in Macdonalds Happy meals, etc.

  2. I suppose it is about exposure – the endless quest for touchpoints with people’s lives that can have messages added to them. But also brands are seeking affinity with the media they use – being associated with Web 2.0 might help make a product look as if it’s part of a current vibe. And also there’s the mood of the user at the time – just as kids might be receptive to thinking about movies when they’re in Macdonalds, in ‘fun’/consuming/parent-pestering mode, brands must be thinking that social networkers will be receptive whilst in, er, social networking mode. Which would make some campaigns work better than others. I think there’s a good tie-in between social network marketing and experiential marketing, offering ‘brand exeriences’ sch as sponsored festivals rather than selling actal prodcts.

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