I love NPR – Causes and Facebook

June 7, 2007

in Social Networks, Social Software

Do you believe in causes? I love NPR! Although not as a bumper sticker on the back of my car, or a T-Shirt that I’m wearing. Still I wake up to NPR most mornings. Today, (part of ongoing experimentation on Facebook) I placed that claim in (for me) a very personal place. I put it on my Facebook. I provided a small donation there and let two special people know about the widget that would appreciate it.

The power in adding a new application to your Facebook page changes everything we ever thought about marketing. It really is a mass distribution mechanism and it reinvents the game. The new app. goes into my Facebook news feed so my friends may see it or later when they visit my page. (You will have to join Facebook to see my page).

Thus without forcing myself or my views on others they can see what I’m adding and choose to experiment or not. There is little need for me to bother them with spam-like invites. My network may determine the relevance. I can also see immediately on “Causes” who else shares my interest in supporting NPR and follow up if desired.

The “Causes” plug-in was developed by the team at “Project Agape“. It’s simple although too some time to load. I have no idea what the “admin” charges are or how effective the donation is. That wasn’t clear. It may make more sense to go direct. Still it impressed me enough to want to add the badge I’d first found on Rob Patterson’s Facebook page. (Also see Rob’s blog on Ken Burns and KETC St Louis.  He describes it as an online Lewis  & Clark’s journey. Rob believes freeing the media will renew society. His story re NPR is very much 2.0+)

Two observations for today:
1. Facebook provides a new form of infection or infectious behavior (they call it mass distribution). It lowers the cost and risk of sharing new widgets with your friends. With a lower social capital cost it also increases the visibility exponentially. The result is we are also learning faster than we could individually. It may not be pretty. It certainly effective and addictive.

I used to apply this thought to blogging. I was certain that blogging enabled me to learn faster. That still holds true. Facebook takes it to the next level. I’m looking forward to having even better apps. It’s may start a “cambrian explosion” for social apps.

2. Will it change immediately the way software is prototyped. It will certainly change the way consumer software is prototyped. Why would you build anything today outside of Facebook? Wouldn’t you first test it inside. Soon even the targeted audiences will be very clear. Some will come to think of Facebook as a great research engine. Learning the Facebook API or at least what it does will be mandatory.

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