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Facebook Thinks I’m 12 and I’m OK With That.

Back in late August or early September, Facebook for whatever reason decided that I was 12 years old and no longer eligible for a Facebook account. To resolve this issue Facebook asked me to take a photo of my driver’s license, or passport with my birthday visible and email it to Facebook support. This was never going to happen. Based on previous data breaches that Facebook has experienced in the past, I said “nope” and decided to wait until my birthday in January thinking that Facebook would simply reset the clock and realize I was now 13.

The thinking was my birthday would roll around, Facebook would think I’m a year older and wham bam I’d be back in business. Turns out this was not the case. Instead, Facebook said I had waited too long to reactivate my account or send in proof of my age and my account had been permanently disabled. OK, so I no longer have an account. What are the options? I can contact support and supply a photo of my ID and ask to be reinstated. I can open a new account and rising from the ashes like a phoenix make friend requests and start the Facebook journey again, or I could simply walk away and be done with it. I chose to walk away.

I have now been off of Facebook for more than 6 months, and I couldn’t be happier. While I still have an Instagram account, my posts get deleted after 7 days, so nothing lives longer than a week. Something I’m perfectly fine with. I was never a Twitter user to speak of. Same with LinkedIn. This blog automatically posts to both, but I’m lucky if I get more than a dozen engagements on Twitter, probably because I don’t retweet, comment, lie, share, or anything else on the platform. LinkedIn fairs a bit better with each blog post averaging about 100 views. Once again it could be better, but I don’t spend enough time engaging with others on the platform to extend my audience and reach and I’m OK with that.

At this point, I have absolutely no desire to become a Facebook member again. I have no plans to increase my social media presence on other platforms and have decided to go back to an old-school way of communicating with people. I’ve decided to start writing letters. Actual physical correspondences that I send out in the mail with an envelope and a stamp, that take days to arrive and may never get a response.

I used to be good about writing them. Finding clever and unique ways to craft and send a letter to someone. Once I wrote a letter on the individual cigarettes in a Marlboro pack. Each one was numbered, and each cigarette contained one sentence. There was a note that slipped into the cellophane wrapper telling the recipient to smoke the cigarettes when they were finished reading to destroy the evidence. I hope they did.

There is something about having to slow down and take the time to think about the words you use. The sentence structure. How to embellish with illustrations, photographs, or design work that once again I’m finding quite appealing. Maybe it’s an outcome of a year-long pandemic and the isolation that so many of us have experienced. Either way, I’ve been slowly receding from social media for some time starting a few years back. Here’s to something slower and hopefully more engaging for whoever receives a letter from me.

If I have your address, consider yourself warned.

So You Think You Know What Brings a Brand to Life?

Just because you added brand development, branding, brand creation, brand management, to your skills section of LinkedIn doesn’t mean you do. You might have helped a team, attended a few meetings, or been lightly involved in some brand initiative  but being an expert at branding is a very complex skill, because branding in an extremely complex thing.

For his thesis project at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, motion and graphic designer Henning Herholz has created a six-minute essay that is a thorough and well executed overview of what branding is. He makes a very thoughtful point on why motion design is such a powerful tool in making a brand successful. Even if you think you are an expert on branding, this is worth watching because of the way it explains things in a clear concise way. After you finish the six minute short, you can feel better about your LinkedIn skills claims about branding.

The State of Social Media, 2013.

Once again Erik Qualman has posted an animated infographic about the power of Social media. While many of the stats remain the same as last years, one factoid jumped out at me. The Ford Escape Facebook launch generated more traffic than the Super Bowl TV ad. Love it, or hate it you can’t escape the impact that Social Media is having on the world of marketing and advertising.

Labbler, Professional Social Networking for the Music Industry.

A friend of mine sent me a link to “Labbler” this morning raving about the clean easy to use UI design, and I have to admit it looks really nice. The thing is I don’t want to sign up to experience the whole Labbler site, so I’m not really sure how well it works.

According to the designers website, “Labbler is a music business community connecting Artists, Labels, Venues, Booking Agencies, Promoters and Fans. With Labbler you can create multiple pages for one account – e.g. pages of your Artists, Label and Booking agency. You can upload, search and share Artists, Music, Charts, Photos, Events, News and more. And there are many other features about to launch.”

Sounds good to me. If I were involved in the music business I’d sign up. The screen shots below give a pretty solid idea of how it works, and what the feature set is. From the look of the still images, this kind of feels like a mash up between LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook, or what Myspace could have been if they had kept to their original band/music based roots.