#FriendlyFlagUp – Doing your bit for the social media community…

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(Big thanks to @kerrymg who made a great suggestion to alter the name / concept to make it more timeless)

Ideas.

For me, they generally fall into two categories:

1. Ridiculous (97% of the time)

2. Useful (3%)

I had one this morning that I think, potentially, could fall under category two.

(I stress ‘potentially’…big time!!)

#FriendlyFlagUp – Doing your bit for the social media community…

The idea is pretty simple.

We all manage countless online properties profiles, either personal ones or on behalf of clients / brands.

And, no matter how much monitoring we put in place, glitches and errors will always slip through the net.

So, what I am proposing is that if you spot something on someone blog, website, profile etc that isn’t working, isn’t spelled correctly, a link is broken an icon is missing etc – let ’em know.

Simply send them an @message along the lines of:

@SJOgborn I was on your blog last night and your RSS feed link is broken, thought I’d let you know #FriendlyFlagUp

Or

@BigBrand It would be really useful if you included your Twitter and Facebook icons on your homepage 🙂 #FriendlyFlagUp

What people often forget is that you get incredibly close to your ‘own’ properties, making it hard to spot even the most obvious glitches.

On the other hand, a fresh pair of eyes, scanning a page they only visit occasionally, can spot things you may have missed.

In some cases, you might be aware of these glitches / errors, and simply not had the time to fix them…or they’d fallen off your to do list.

The big question: Why take part?

It’s totally up to you.

There’s no reward and no prizes on offer.

It is simply something useful, selfless and easy-to-do as you trawl your way through web pages on a on a daily basis.

It’s also a way of being proactively helpful to brands, as opposed to having a negative shot at them (thanks to @SJOgborn for her great post on social media karma which inspired part of this).

I’d be hugely grateful if someone spotted something on my blog that I’ve missed.

And, to round things off, and maintain that community spirit, don’t forget to say thanks if someone does ‘flag up’ something to you.

@cubanalaf thanks for flagging up that broken link on my page, I had no idea!! #FreindlyFlagUp

As I said up top, this might fall into the ‘useful’ category – then again, it may not – but my feelings on this kind of stuff is there is never any harm in trying stuff out.

Even just taking 10 minutes out of your day and thinking about someone else is a nice way to give a little back to the online communities you operate in.

It’s just like being in a ‘real’ community and spotting someone’s doorbell wasn’t working…you’d let them know…wouldn’t you? 🙂

Thanks for indulging me.

Adam

Additional Note:


@patrickhadfield asked this question immediately after I posted this – fair question:


Why use Twitter for this? I simply leave a comment on the relevant page. It doesn’t need to be broadcast. And why a hashtag?

My response:

1. To help promote a more friendly community and reduce antagonistic / mean spirited tweets especially towards brands

2. Its’s not really broadcast if you are @’ing the recipient

3. The other thing it does is highlight common problems people are having, paving the way for collaborative solutions

If anyone has any other thoughts, I’d love to hear ’em…

14 Comments

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Kerry Gaffney

    Great idea, my only suggestion would be to not makie it time sensitive. If I spot a mistake on your page, like the glaring typo in the head line of this post*. Surely you’d prefer if I told you immediately and not wait until the following friday, I’m also likely to totally forget by that point.

    So perhaps #FriendlyFlagUp.

    Or we could devise a tag for each day of the week? #MinorMistake Monday, #TinyErrorTuesday #WatchoutWeds #TinyWeenyTipThursday #FlagUpFriday #ShitHappensSaturday and #ShurelySomeMistakeSunday

    Whaddya think?

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Adam Vincenzini

    I LOVE #FriendlyFlagUp – do you mind if I change the text to reflect this??

    Nice!!

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Chloe Nicholls

    Hey Adam,

    Firstly, this is my first time I’ve commented on your blog YAY!

    I often get get people @ replying to me, saying link you posted didn’t work etc so just want to say great idea for a hashtag and I will use it from now on.

    Personally like #ShitHappensSaturday (you crack me up Kerry!), but will stick with #FriendlyFlagUp

    Chloe

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Adam Vincenzini

    Haha!! Yes #ShitHappensSaturdays should probably be used in some shape or form anyway.

    Thanks for commenting Chloe…the COMMS corner is honoured 😉

    Yeah, I think many of us either already do it or receive notes like that, but perhaps giving it a tag and making is ‘positive’ simply helps take the accusatory tone out of such messages i.e. You run a massive website, how can you not have that link working?!?!

    Tweak it a bit: I noticed one of your links isn’t working, might be worth a look? #FriendlyFlagUp

    Like I said, who knows if it’ll catch on…but no harm in attempting to at least take some of the negativity out of what should be a nice thing to do for people.

    A

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Lucy Thorpe

    This works for me. I’ve been having trouble with my twitter background and @thepaulsutton very kindly pointed out that it looked different on his screen to mine. This kind of help is invaluable.This is a great idea.

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Rich Webley

    This is a fantastic idea Adam, and I love the new name. Nice thinking Kerry! I’m confident it will fall under the useful category, and will be used widely as it very much captures and reflects the mentality with which many already use social media. Lets hope it simply frames and highlights this kind of behaviour/interaction so that many more do the same 🙂

    Rich

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    patrickhadfield

    I’m glad I stimulated a response!

    I remain unconvinced, both for the need to tweet – it makes errors public, and could leasd to ridicule however “friendly” it is meant to be, as well as that I think there are far better ways to communicate this kind of information – and for the need to hashtag any such tweets.

    I admit I appear to be in the minority (of one…)!

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Kerry Gaffney

    Glad you like the suggestion Mr V, though I think #shithappensSaturday has the real legs.

    I can see Patrick’s point however I think the beauty of this suggestion is that if you don’t know the person well, or have their email address, or they don’t follow you, then it can be difficult to flag privately. Using the #friendlyflagup tag means that anyone receiving a flagup out of the blue from someone they don’t know can find out what the motive and sentiment is behind it.

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Lauren Fernandez

    Even if you have the best of intentions, the person who has “done the wrong” might be very sensitive and take it as a call-out. A prime example of this is the “Grammar Police” – they peruse blog posts and point out when people have incorrect grammar. It’s gotten to the point of annoyance for many prominent bloggers, who voice their opinion to 5,000+ tweeps.

    I think it’s a great idea, but even those with the best intentions can be taken incorrectly and blasted by an unforgiving influencer.

    I do believe a person’s reputation can speak for themselves – so maybe it’s something that is done more so in private (which I appreciate when friends do / those I trust) but I’ll be the first to admit that I hate being embarrassed in that public of a fashion.

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Steve Ward

    I think it’s a top idea – really social community `spirit`.

    I understand Patrick’s point – but public airing of a slight error with a #friendlyflagup – only enhances the potential readership of the highlighted blog/comment by it’s re-exposure – rather than hinders it’s impact.

    We all make mistakes – I’d rather have feedback that can allow me to alter after 10 reads – than none, that means I am hindered for 100 reads.

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Adam Vincenzini

    It’s not so much a matter of doing wrong, it’s literally flagging something up – which people appreciate I think.

    I would hope that unforgiving influencer would stake the message of the post to heart and adopt a tone / approach that is more befitting of the community I’d like to participate in.

    A

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Adam Vincenzini

    Steve – I think you make a really good point…well two actually!
    Cheers

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Danny Brown

    Great idea, Adam, and something I’ve had happen to me, and advised others of. It definitely helps having fresh eyes on something.

    One thing I’d probably do, though, is maybe keep it private? As a couple of commenters have said, folks could take help the wrong way and see it as a criticism?

    Just a thought – but great idea, dude! 🙂

  • Reply June 10, 2010

    Adam Vincenzini

    Danny aka my Left-Back

    Private may indeed be the way to go – I think more than anything it was the sentiment that @SJOgborn carried in her piece about social media karma that I was trying to extend.

    We all miss things / get things wrong occasionally, by making it a bit more ‘friendly’ it may make our communities a little nicer to be involved in.

    Thank you for your #FriendlyFlagUp buddy 🙂

    A

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