Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Oct 24, 2007

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I’m pumped, this Digest is finally starting to get traction, the folks at the progress bar say they can delete about 30 feeds from their feedreader thanks to this digest series.

I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly summary, it’s great to send to busy executives.

I’ve created a new category called Digest where you can start to track and access these going forward. The hope? To make it easy for a web strategist to quickly scan the activity in the last week. I strive to make headlines on items categorized and succinct.

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Web Strategy Summary
The big news? MySpace is gunning for Facebook, their strategy must shift quickly as reports are indicating a migration from their platform to Facebook. We continue to see more segmentation in deployment around the industry, and accuracy from Facebook’s advertising platform. The money is starting to flow in this industry through acquisitions and a lone China IPO.


Real World: Twitter tracks the Fires in San Diego
Twitter, a social network with mobile hooks is being used by many to keep track, report, and get information out about the fires that are raging in San Diego. Who cares about Facebook’s ads when your neighborhood and hills could be on fire. Let’s use technology to make the world a better place.

Platforms: MySpace to launch Platform vs Facebook
Trends indicate that a shift from MySpace to Facebook is occurring, this heat up prompts MySpace to announce at the Web 2.0 expo that they will launch a platform that developers can build widgets on their website. These changes, which could happen in the next two months will leverage the larger audience that MySpace already has, and force developers to think about a multiple platform strategy. For consumers and industries, competition keeps us innovative.

Facebook: Delivers targeted advertising, more to come
Previously, Facebook was delivering on gender and city. Now they’ve segmented even further: Political stance, keyword interests, age, education, and other attributes. If advertising becomes this accurate, is it still obtrusive and annoying? The rumors are circulating on what type of new advertising will be announced in early Nov at AdTech, I suspect it will be ads based around user preferences and ‘opt-in’ or advertising built on recommendations and network graphs.

Money: Alibaba aims for 1.5 billion in IPO

Could this be one of the largest IPOs for the web industry? Alibaba, China’s online SMB marketplace is going to the market for an exit strategy, potentially valued at 1.5 billion. That’s a lot of money in an era where the most common exit is acquisition.

Acquisition: Web 1.0 Ancestry.com sold for $300 million
Great story, to see an old time social network ancestry.com gets bought for around 300 million to private equity firm. This ties with with the NYTimes indicating that money is flowing into the tech sector, we should expect to see other large buyouts in coming quarters.

Integration: Google News goes Facebook
I predicted that social networks would be just a feature on the web, and it’s starting to happen as Google news is going to adopt social features. While it may not be a full on ‘heavy’ network, it will be yet another Facebook application.

Analyst: SoNet industry caps at 2012?

A report by datamonitor suggests that although there were be 230 million sonet users by end of year, that the future will be uncertain. My prediction? Social networks, it’s features, and the relationships humans have to each other will normalize on the web.

Segmentation: Finance can benefit from SoNets

Trading industries such as Wall Street resemble social networks and can benefit from the tools many of us take for granted. Paul Kedrosky lists several tools at the Web 2.0 summit such as TradeStation, Weatherbill, and Swifttrade.

Segmentation: Do we really need “Mobile” Sonets?
If browser based social networks are the rage, we need to keep tabs on a small group of mobile social networks that are emerging. But aren’t these really just features of phones and social networks? I’m not confident we need to segment by mediums, social networks should traverse the phone, tv, browser and what’s next.

Rejection: Tedium from Facebook and Apps
Doc Searls doesn’t care if you’re waiting for him to accept your poke, he has better things to do. He asks why doesn’t Facebook make it easier for users to add friends? I responded with: “One reason why Facebook wants you to individually select on the invites is to state a relationship, thus making the metadata on their social graph information much richer –thereby more accurate for advertising.”

Does your management team need to know about this industry? Send them this post (and the other ones tagged digest).

Someone asked where do I get my sources? I created comprehensive feeds for the whole technology industry using Yahoo Pipes, and I scour many major tech sources. I was creating this digest before I was an analyst on this market to keep me up to speed, and now it serves as a great reference for research.