I was reading an interesting if rather obvious article on MediaPost about research which concluded that given a choice, a third of teens would “unfriend” their parents on Facebook (yeah, I feigned incredulous shock at that myself). Beyond just how prevalent this kind of high-interest/simple science posting has become on the web, I couldn’t help noticing a comment on the piece from Douglas Ferguson of the College of Charleston which read: “I guess this explains why Scoop is rumored to be the new Facebook” followed by this link.
Not having heard of Scoop and somewhat curious, I followed the link and read about this new online sharing platform that sounds like a point-by-point duplication of Facebook, albeit with lots of window-dressing talk about “mobile/social app”: a distinction which apparently is enough to earn it the mantel “The Next Facebook.”
Of course, in the comments section below this post, someone named “David Prentice” added another long-winded, marginally-relevant note: “One way to retain your privacy on Facebook is to CLOAK your messages which makes sure that Facebook can’t read them. You still use Facebook as normal but protect your privacy, by CLOAKing those parts of your messages you want to keep private. Neither Facebook nor its advertising partners know what you’re writing about. Pick a keyword, select the Facebook message you want to keep private, CLOAK it and send. Only people you’ve shared your keyword with can then read that message.”
The upper case-inclined Mr. Prentice goes on to list links to free downloads, online tools and demos, meaning he is either a relentlessly helpful advocate for this product–which is possible–or he’s got a vested interest. My suspicions tend toward the latter.
Between these comments and the relentless flood of pornography and online pharmacy spam that Askimet constantly filters from this website, it’s clear lots of people use a simple process of Googling then comment posting to sell all sorts of goods and services. It only costs time, and entrepeneurs are always willing to put in that investment.
But like anything else, just being there isn’t enough. These comment pitches may be free, but to be effective at all, they need the right balance of content and context.
You know, like all good advertising.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79