@Facebook Expands Role of Tags to Connect People, Pages and Groups Through Updates by Brian Solis by briansolis


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									@Facebook Expands Role of Tags to Connect People, Pages and Groups Through Updates
By Brian Solis, blogger at PR 2.0 and principal of FutureWorks PR, Co-Author Putting the Public Back in Public Relations and Now Is Gone

Credit: You can actually buy this lamp. I’ve long believed that the “@” sign carried with it great power on the Web. In definition, it is the representation of “at” which evolved from the phrase of “at the rate of” in accounting and commercial invoices. Over time its ubiquity was solidified with its use as the buckle linking names to domains in email addresses.

Now Internet culture, specifically Twitter, has evolved and popularized @ conjuring a powerful and poignant symbol of designation, recognition, and action.

Facebook is now injecting the @ lifestyle and communications catalyst into status and posts allowing users to identify and reference people in status updates and other posts from the Publisher. The statusphere will transform as a result.

(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

When updating or posting on Facebook, users simply type “@” and begin to enter a person’s name or the name of fan pages, groups, and upcoming events. Facebook will suggest names on the fly to auto complete the process, allowing you to enter up to six tags in each message.

The end result is a the standard name, without the @ sign visible in the final message. In Facebook @ is a prompt to precipitate the process linking a name to a destination. Unlike Twitter, there is an action associated with the process of tagging someone or something. First, it triggers a notification alert to the person tagged. Second, it serves as a hotlink to the person, event, page, etc. Third, it reverberates physically across the social graph by appearing in the news feeds of those involved and also in the subsequent updates and responses that should ensue.

As in email, the @ now links people to content and perpetual conversations. I do believe this is yet another example of Facebook’s migration to solidify itself as your attention dashboard and HQ for your global social graph. This feature is also one that must be used responsibly I must note. I am already deluged with borderline spam tags in third-party picture and video applications and also in notes that individuals wish for me to see. Untagging is the savior ultimately, but be judicious before your tag individuals as the onus is on them to “remove” themselves from the ongoing conversation. Although, if I’m not mistaken, we cannot as users untag ourselves from “notes” – but you can untag your name from updates. The power of @ is universal, expansive, and influential, use it wisely.

(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

Brian Solis is globally recognized for his views and insights on the convergence of PR, Traditional Media and Social Media. He actively contributes his thoughts and experiences through speaking appearances, books, articles and essays as a way of helping the marketing industry understand and embrace the new dynamics fueling new communications, marketing, and content creation. Solis is Principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning PR agency in Silicon Valley. Solis blogs at PR2.0, bub.blicio.us, TechCrunch, and BrandWeek. Solis is co-founder of the Social Media Club and is a founding member of the Media 2.0 Workgroup. Solis has been actively writing about new PR since the mid 90s to discuss how the Web was redefining the communications industry – he coined PR 2.0 along the way. Solis is considered an expert in traditional PR, media relations, and Social Media. He has dedicated his free time to helping PR professionals adapt to the new fusion of PR, Web marketing, and community relations. PR 2.0 has earned a position of authority in the Technorati blog directory and currently resides in the top 1.5% of indexed blogs. BrianSolis.com is also ranked among the most influential blogs in the Ad Age Power 150 listing of leading marketing bloggers. Working with Geoff Livingston, Solis was co-author of “Now is Gone,” a new book that helps businesses learn how to engage in Social Media. He has also written several ebooks on the subjects of Social Media, New PR, and Blogger Relations. His next book, co-authored with Deirdre Breakenridge, “Putting the Public back in Public Relations,” is now available from FT press. Connect with Solis on: Twitter, FriendFeed, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Plaxo, Plurk, Identi.ca, BackType, Social Median, or Facebook --Subscribe to the PR 2.0 RSS Feed

(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

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