Whenever people ask about my first job in PR, I jokingly say that it was convincing my mother that it was a good idea for me to go away to a boarding high school six hours away from home. Ultimately, it was an external variable (a scholarship) that helped seal the deal, but it was a great practice run. I learned about a variety of things at that school, including voting with thumbs.
It was a simple system and an effective method for making decisions while minimizing arguments.
Thumbs up –> I support this.
Thumbs down –> I don’t support this.
Sideways thumb –> I can live with this.
As I read about Facebook’s plans to test promoted news feed posts with “non-fans,” I couldn’t help but think back to those high school days because my feelings are hovering somewhere in the sideways thumb range. I support the idea of Facebook serving ads to users. It’s a good model for them, but I do not support the idea of all sorts of crazy ads appearing in my news feed, particularly if they are not promoting products/organizations I “like.”
There is middle ground in this and room for a sideways thumb, if you will.
Facebook should create an ad rating/preference system that allows users to determine what types of ads they would like to see. You can fill my news feed with ads, if they actually relate to things that I want to know about…like cars, airplane, regional and international trips, music/concerts, etc.
I think a model like this would work because:
- Facebook would still get to serve ads.
- Users would be able to choose what types of ads they were served (or at least be able to express a preference).
- There would ideally be higher click through and conversion rates, ultimately leading to higher rates for Facebook.
Just my 36 cents.