Posts Tagged ‘MySpace’

An Open Letter to Diaspora, the Potential Facebook Killer

July 21st, 2010

Dear Diaspora,

Congratulations on your nascent social network’s progress so far!  Building a new media brand is extremely difficult, but with a catchy name, clean aesthetic, and riding the privacy bandwagon, you’re off to a good start.

Disclaimer: At the Blog Aesthetic, we are agnostic with regard to the marketplace.  In other words, we simply call out good PR strategy when we see it.  Nothing wrong with being (legally) ruthless in your business approach, and that includes your public relations.

With that said, here are PR considerations of value:

Know your competition.  The big ones are still Facebook and MySpace, but apparently size doesn’t correlate to smart PR.  For some reason MySpace doesn’t believe in leveraging golden PR opportunities when they present themselves.  That’s a shame, particularly given the news that Facebook’s customer satisfaction index score puts it in the bottom 5% of private sector companies.  Then again, MySpace’s reluctance to engage in counter-Facebook PR probably explains why MySpace performed worse than Facebook in the same customer satisfaction survey!  Diaspora, the chance to get a huge jump start over the competition rarely appears, so start planning your PR steps now.

You’re gonna get attacked.  The screenshots of Diaspora’s user interface look a lot like Facebook profile pages.  Some will give your site the benefit of the doubt and wait until its official launch before passing judgment.  Others won’t.  We anticipate Facebook won’t pull any punches and will blast your site for stealing their idea(s).  The irony of such charges, of course, is that the new Facebook tell-all film “The Social Network” portrays the origins of Facebook as rooted in theft.  Still, it’s worth preparing for crisis management on this, data leaks, critical reception, and anything and everything else that can — and will — go wrong when you launch.

Thought leadership for the social masses.  Privacy, privacy, privacy.  Facebook can never seem to get it right and strike the right balance for its users.  This dilemma offers Diaspora both a chance to distinguish its product from Facebook, and also to spearhead thought leadership on social network privacy issues.  If you guys can get this one right at the start, then you’re guaranteed to get a chunk of the half a billion Facebook users out there.

After Diaspora launches, we’ll revisit this blog post and see if our ideas and recommendations held true.  We love competition!



MySpace Misses Huge PR Opportunity During the Facebook Privacy Disaster

May 21st, 2010

In the wake of Facebook’s current privacy debacle, many online commentators have been urging MySpace to make a bid to attract disaffected Facebook users.  Don’t hold your breath.  The stigma of the MySpace brand – due to its convoluted, screeching user profiles – is such that to grab any market share, the site would need a major jaw-dropping marketing and  PR campaign.  Instead, the site posted a simple, single statement on the issue.

Talk about missed opportunity!  This blog has previously echoed the famous military strategy of Napoleon: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” But that excellent advice has nothing to with seizing the goldmine of business waiting in front of you – indeed, business that you once had!

The PR tactical considerations are almost endless, and it leaves one to wonder:

Why hasn’t MySpace … done a massive social media blitz to lampoon the privacy problems Facebook has had since its inception?

Why hasn’t MySpace … produced a video showing the ease of its privacy options compared to Facebook, and then push that video to go viral?

Why hasn’t MySpace … engaged tech reporters and key influencers in the privacy debate to educate them about the site’s simple and user-friendly privacy policy?

Why hasn’t MySpace … partnered with critics, academics and business leaders to establish thought leadership and lead a much-needed global discussion on evolving online privacy standards?

Why hasn’t MySpace … mined its existing database of dormant accountholder emails and sent them a nice, friendly note asking them to revisit a “new and improved” site?

Customers don’t just leave one business for another without understanding why the alternative is more attractive.  MySpace apparently is assuming that Facebook users automatically know about the latest version of its offerings.  Big error.