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Manufacturers' Reliance On Facebook For Customer Engagement?

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6 hours ago, Eric Toline said:

Actually JWsound is not the original, RAMPS was. Facebook is a lot like RAMPS was, an open discussion no holds barred group basically like the wild west. Only thing missing was gunfire. RAMPS=Rec Arts Movies Production Sound, on Google.

 

Before RAMPS, there was that group on AOL (and IIRC, that was David Barr Yaffe's main source of votes to get RAMPS "approved" for USENET). And before that probably something on CompuServe, a BBS, or in bar in Burbank. 

 

And like Karl says, vendors go where the customers want. I kind of liked, and sometimes used, manufacturers' own message boards. But they sure all got quiet about 5-10 years ago. I'm OK with Facebook (I'm selective about whom to follow, what to share, and what to avoid), and some of the vendor boards there are helpful at times. But I'm happy to have fewer places to and communities to visit. And overall, FB and their message boards are not not as helpful as contacting vendors directly (support plays a big part in my choosing equipment; nothing unique there), or these days this message board.

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8 minutes ago, Jim Feeley said:

I'm OK with Facebook (I'm selective about whom to follow, what to share, and what to avoid)

I'm not a tin foil hat / Richard Stallman type but it doesn't matter how careful you are on a social network, once your info is up there it is out there following around no matter where you are on the web.

Electronic Frontier Foundation article

ACLU article

I do agree that we are living in amazing times where communication and information is so vast and easy to acquire these days which is absolutely great.  That being said, a lot of the current main stream tools to communicate have some very shady practices that shouldn't be overlooked.  The good news is that there are alternatives (such as this GREAT forum) and while yes, it might not be as "convenient" as it's not just piled into a never ending stream of photos from your friends, it's still worth it!

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1 hour ago, codyman said:

The good news is that there are alternatives (such as this GREAT forum)

 

That what bothers me most. This place is here. It’s established, well populated, incl by manufacturers and it is searchable. And it’s very nearly asleep compared to Facebook. By now I am on maybe a dozen Facebook group, all of them to do with some aspect concerning location sound, including a few manufacturer specific groups. Most of them are great, and most importantly they are very busy. But there are so many groups and it’s difficult to follow, partly because of the high amount of activity. 

And the way Facebook presents all this activity is really stupid: 

you can‘t properly quote someone. Yes, you can respond directly below a comment, but that just makes it more difficult to read after a while. If there is a post and it has 120 comments, they are arranged un comments and sub-comments so to speak. And if by the time you have read the first 60 posts you need to stop reading and come back in am hour, it’s all gone from your timeline (especially on a mobile version) and you need to first find the post again, and then remember where you were and start reading again, but now there are 200 more sub-comments, underneath various comments, so basically you need to read everything again, if you really want to read all of it. Since Facebook makes that virtually impossible, within one topic there are endless repetitions and mostly unread stuff... it is so very depressing. 

Leaving aside for moment the data thing, I absolutely despise Facebook exactly for it‘s stupid inability to enable actual discussions. I don’t even understand why people say it’s so convenient. It is NOT! it’s really very inconvenient 

 

So it would actually be much more convenient if all of that activity could be moved over here. 

Because here we can use quotes, searches, and keep reading even the longest thread without ever losing our place, no matter how long we‘ve been away. Here I have a timeline, too, but it shows me what I want to see, and not what it thinks I want to see. 

 

Sorry if that sounds like I‘m venting. But I see how JWSound is getting progressively quieter and then I see all this tremendous activity over there, and I see where it’s going wrong, but it seems like that’s the way it’s going to be, and I‘m just frustrated. I don’t think we can convince everyone to come over here and forget about FB, but that would be really cool. 

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16 hours ago, Constantin said:

 

That what bothers me most. This place is here. It’s established, well populated, incl by manufacturers and it is searchable. And it’s very nearly asleep compared to Facebook. By now I am on maybe a dozen Facebook group, all of them to do with some aspect concerning location sound, including a few manufacturer specific groups. Most of them are great, and most importantly they are very busy. But there are so many groups and it’s difficult to follow, partly because of the high amount of activity. 

And the way Facebook presents all this activity is really stupid: 

you can‘t properly quote someone. Yes, you can respond directly below a comment, but that just makes it more difficult to read after a while. If there is a post and it has 120 comments, they are arranged un comments and sub-comments so to speak. And if by the time you have read the first 60 posts you need to stop reading and come back in am hour, it’s all gone from your timeline (especially on a mobile version) and you need to first find the post again, and then remember where you were and start reading again, but now there are 200 more sub-comments, underneath various comments, so basically you need to read everything again, if you really want to read all of it. Since Facebook makes that virtually impossible, within one topic there are endless repetitions and mostly unread stuff... it is so very depressing. 

Leaving aside for moment the data thing, I absolutely despise Facebook exactly for it‘s stupid inability to enable actual discussions. I don’t even understand why people say it’s so convenient. It is NOT! it’s really very inconvenient 

 

So it would actually be much more convenient if all of that activity could be moved over here. 

Because here we can use quotes, searches, and keep reading even the longest thread without ever losing our place, no matter how long we‘ve been away. Here I have a timeline, too, but it shows me what I want to see, and not what it thinks I want to see. 

 

Sorry if that sounds like I‘m venting. But I see how JWSound is getting progressively quieter and then I see all this tremendous activity over there, and I see where it’s going wrong, but it seems like that’s the way it’s going to be, and I‘m just frustrated. I don’t think we can convince everyone to come over here and forget about FB, but that would be really cool. 


You make some very good points Constantin thanks.

I was trying to think of a metaphor and it's a bit like the old distinction between broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, and Facebook is like a tabloid, and cleverly relies on, and taps, short term shallow feedback algorithms, and is not orientated around real, in depth, discussion, as Constantin clearly points out, and as such Facebook has something of an addictive quality. The 'like' button for example appears to be very simple and innocuous, but in fact heavily reinforces herd mentality, and does not contribute in the least to in depth discussion.
Make no mistake Facebook is now a vast digital empire and is VERY powerful, and probably like all previous empires will go through a cycle of ascendency and ultimately collapse. Some of Facebook's highly dubious modus operandi has recently been increasingly exposed, some of which has been made clear in this discussion, but at this stage Facebook dissent looks unlikely to gain enough momentum, to lead to Facebook's demise, in the near future.....
Excuse me, I'm just off to check in on whether anything of interest is going on in all my intense narrow Facebook interest groups......:)

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5 hours ago, Jim Feeley said:

Before RAMPS, there was that group on AOL (and IIRC, that was David Barr Yaffe's main source of votes to get RAMPS "approved" for USENET). And before that probably something on CompuServe, a BBS, or in bar in Burbank. 

 

Just to give credit where due, and hopefully not hijack the thread, the forum that David Yaffe initiated on USENET was an outgrowth of a bulletin board that had been running for a few years on Courtney Goodin's server. In the early 1990's many sound technicians in the Los Angeles area experienced difficulty booking sufficient work to keep their health plan eligibility. If memory serves, this coincided with more restrictive qualifying requirements. Some of the affected technicians came together as a political force to press for better circumstances both by seeking accommodation from the IATSE and by trying to improve the general circumstances of work in the discipline.

 

The group pressing for change called itself "Sound United." It was a loose collection of individuals; there was never a membership list or anything of that sort. Members contributed in various ways; David Yaffe arranged for a meeting hall on one occasion, others worked on a newsletter. Courtney Goodin contributed a server and hosted a computer forum for networking. With the development of USENET, David Yaffe, with Courtney's blessing, migrated the group to the larger forum.

 

David

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17 hours ago, Jim Feeley said:

And like Karl says, vendors go where the customers want. I kind of liked, and sometimes used, manufacturers' own message boards. But they sure all got quiet about 5-10 years ago.


This coincides with the time period Facebook had become totally dominant and ubiquitous. Perhaps not a coincidence. 

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The number one factor I do NOT like about Facebook is that to a significant degree Facebook is a "walled garden", and much of it can not be seen by Google or other search engines. (one of the reasons why I run my blog and YouTube channel, which can be much more easily found and seen by the general public online)

This is a major problem if you're trying to search for an answer to an obscure topic, either now or in years to come, you no longer have access to this preservation of the wealth of discussions and knowledge shared if it is all on Facebook, unlike if it was on a thread on jwsoundgroup or any other forum/blog. 

 

 

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My .02 - I deleted facebook years ago and have reaped great personal rewards from that decision despite the fact that I clearly do miss out on some useful conversations that go on in that forum.  While I broadly agree with the sentiment that facebook is at a minimum negligent with its use of data and is malicious in its collection of it, I recognize that this argument isn't salient to manufacturers as they seek to engage with users and potential customers.  

 

So, to the manufacturers I'd argue that you still reap greater rewards by being your own platform because you cede control of a lot of very important aspects of your brand and interactions when you outsource those interactions to ANY third party (inclusive of this site).  Specifically, you cede control of the url, the look,  the other things on the page simultaneously, the presence and content of competitive advertising, and the user data and info itself.  Given how easy and inexpensive it is to build a robust forum and chat interface into any site, thats a LOT to be giving up.  

 

This isn't to say you shouldn't or couldn't have a presence on third party platforms, but rather to say that this presence should generally be geared towards directing users and potential customers to the web interactions that your company designs and controls.  If a user hits you up on facebook or twitter with a support question, IMO you should immediately be replying with a link that pulls them OFF of that platform and into your own ecosystem.  Sure this takes more resources, but in the context of tracking and responding to things on social media as the alternative, its not that much more.  

 

for a good case study in this approach, check out asoundeffect.com.  Asbjoern really does a good job of building a running a pretty big platform with a clear vision and a toolbox of off the shelf software tools.

 

 

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