One of the tiredest phrases in business is the phrase "we care." Now perhaps the phrase is believable when you're talking to a small business owner who is handing out free lemonade at the Fourth of July parade, but even in that case you know that there are ulterior motives behind the caring.
And when a multinational corporation posts pre-printed signs that include the phrase "Because we care," I immediately roll my eyes.
But a corporate person doesn't need a physical presence to demonstrate its "caring" attitude. Here's part of something that greeted me on Facebook this morning.
In this particular case, the picture was unremarkable. It was something that I found online that changed the word "music" to the phrase "the sound of music." Ha ha, I said to myself two years ago as I shared the picture and tagged my Facebook friend who is a complete "The Sound of Music" fanatic. Seriously. When she lived in California, and "The Sound of Music" came on TV, forget about communicating with her for the next few hours.
Now a few weeks ago, the caring company Facebook did share an old picture with me that was a little more memorable. So Facebook's old picture algorithms, like its suggested posts, are hit or miss.
So why did Facebook feel the need to dredge up this hopefully pleasant memory from two years ago? Read what appeared after the old picture.
Now there are two ways to read this statement. One, completely vetted by caring Facebook lawyers, is an assurance that this old memory is currently only visible to you, and not to anyone else. Facebook isn't just strewing your old memories around everywhere.
Of course, there's another interpretation of the statement - one that people (not me) would call the sociopathic interpretation.
OK, JOHN, WE'VE DONE OUR WORK IN DREDGING THIS INFORMATION UP THAT WAS ONCE IMPORTANT TO YOU. NOW IT'S YOUR TURN. YOUR TASK RIGHT NOW IS TO CLICK THAT "SHARE" BUTTON BELOW AND ENGAGE MORE PEOPLE, ALLOWING US TO REUSE OUR CONTENT (IT'S NOT YOUR CONTENT ANY MORE) ONE MORE TIME, TO GET PEOPLE TO STAY ON FACEBOOK LONGER. CLICK THE SHARE BUTTON. FEED THE BEAST. DO IT NOW.
Let's...um, face it; in 2015, Facebook wants to keep you in the walled garden just like they did in 2009. I linked to a Steven Hodson post on that very topic.
It is this place that Facebook strives to give the illusion of openness while at the same time making sure that none of the potentially lucrative data they are collecting every minute after every second....
Already Facebook is in position to cause Google a lot of financial pain as more and more traffic is being driven blogs and websites from within the walls of Facebook. The battle of SEO supremacy may already have been lost without a shot being fired. Google’s big guns of SEO have come up against an enemy that doesn’t need to rank anything because its members are more interested in what their friends suggest rather than cold analytically produced results. To top it off Facebook is the biggest part of the web that Google’s spiders can’t crawl.
And the situation hasn't changed much today. Most tech companies have a short shelf life, but Facebook is not one of them. Example - CBS News has been around for almost a century, and is in the business of providing news to consumers via television and streaming services. A media company itself, CBS News has its own page on Facebook. Heck, even Google has its own page on Facebook.
So why would Google set up a page on its fiercest competitor?
Because Google cares.
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