The Serial Kveller and 11 other Facebook stereotypes

Isn’t it odd how many people (thought not, of course, us!) default into one of the 12 Facebook stereotypes?

According to the latest statistics, more than 500 million people use Facebook. Half of them log on in any given day, and the average person has 130 Facebook friends.

I use Facebook, and chances are most of you do, too. When I log in and check the posts on my Wall, I find myself musing: All these people, but isn’t it odd how many of them (though not, of course, any of us!) default into one of the 12 Facebook stereotypes? Surely you know…

The News Anchor
Everything this woman posts is genuine news to you, and much of it’s pretty interesting. But you start to wonder, does she do anything other than surf the net and post links to Facebook?

Mr. Cryptic
His one-phrase posts sound like intriguing snippets overheard on the sidewalk. In person, Mr. Cryptic makes sense, but on Facebook you have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. And after a while, you start wondering if he does.

The Relentless Advertiser
Most of her pitches (er, posts) are links to her latest blog post or to events being put on by one of the 200 or more organizations she belongs to.

The Entertainer
Delightful, but dangerous. You find yourself clicking right to his Profile to make sure you haven’t missed any bon mots or clever anecdotes in the past 24 hours. He’s the one they’re referring to when they call Facebook a time suck.

The Facebitch
Everyday she posts a new tale of woe about what’s inconveniencing her. Everyone is to blame except, of course, you-know-who.

The Proselytizer
His short, sanctimonious posts are always paired with a link to a politically correct or religiously correct web page. This is the friendship for which Facebook designed its little-known “Hide” feature. Just click the little X at the upper right of one of his posts and select “Hide all by [Name].” Then you can go back to enjoying your sinful ways without guilt — or damage to the friendship.

The Status-Conscious Status Updater
His concise snippets let you know where he ate, where he works out, and where he’s jetting to on what airline. You couldn’t afford any of it if you made three times your current salary. Sigh.

The Serial Kveller
The Kveller’s status updates are about what fascinating things someone else is doing, or what recognition someone else has just received. News, information, and good vibes — is this generous soul for real? Click on the Kveller’s Profile to find out if he or she is still single and available! Or even real.

The Facebook Handbiter
His constant complaints are about big government, big technology, big business, and, of course, the evils of Facebook itself. He keeps threatening to get even with Facebook by closing his account. But somehow that never happens.

The Stressed Puppy
He posts on Facebook at 11 p.m. and on weekends, and it’s always about how he’s still at the office. Yawn.

The Fitness Gods
They’re at the gym while you’re sneaking Oreos and watching “Nurse Jackie.”

The Facebook Foodies
Facebook Foodies come in two flavors: DIY chefs versed in Larousse Gastronome and restaurant reviewers quoting the Gault-Millau guide, in French. They both carry smartphones with 5 megapixel cameras. Watch out! If it’s on a plate, they’ll shoot it.

Of course the rich conversation on Facebook can’t really be reduced to 12 stereotypes. I’m sure they’re several more I missed. Please feel free to add them in the comments.

Social Media for PR (a presentation)

You don’t necessarily have to “do” social media — it pretty much goes ahead and does you. The question is how much you want to try to shape what it’s doing.

For those of you who weren’t at the presentation at the University of Washington last night, a little explanation: Every year I give a short talk to a PR class at the university about social media as it’s used in the PR field. As you might expect, this talk changes rapidly as trends in social media change (Remember when Twitter was the hot, new thing?). This year I nearly entitled it “Social Media for Facebook.”

I promised the class that I’d post the slides from the talk, so here’s the link to the slide presentation in full-size PDF form.

This being a “new-style” presentation, the slides are meant to be used in conjunction with a talk that is pretty much counterpoint: questions for the audience, stories, and case studies. Molly Haas, head of PR for Northwest Folklife, joined me this year and she walked through the slides of Northwest Folklife’s social media presence (2010 contrasted with  2011), talking about what social media had been crafted by her team and what had “just happened.”

This slide deck is illustrated with examples of Northwest Folklife’s social media presence, but I’ve done customized decks for several of my clients and for prospective clients interested in “getting into” social media. As the presentation points out, you don’t necessarily have to “do” social media — it pretty much goes ahead and does you. The question is how much you want to try to shape what it’s doing.