Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Jan 30, 2008

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Web Strategy Summary
More money moves into this market in the form of investments and new versions of social networks are launched. WordPress, Moli, and Mig 33 receive the largest chunks. As a potential recession looms, the companies that have raised capital will have a chance to outlast the storm.


Investing: Mobile Social Network Mig33 raises $13mm
Mig 33 a friendly branded social network lets users connect from anywhere on the globe to their contacts has raised a serious amount of money. I’ll expect a majority of that money to be pushed to the marketing budget in these crowded markets.

Investing: Blogging Software WordPress get funding –go social with $29mm
Automatic, the parent company behind wildly popular wordpress blogging software has received $29.5M in funding, (that’s a lot), which will likely develop social features, including a social networking type of model. Expect social networking to become a feature of nearly every site, including someday this blog.

Investing and Launch: Moli launches, funded $30mm
I was briefed by the Moli team, they’ve launched a social network with an emphasis on user privacy, it appears to be a website with a robust user experience, and many controls for the user to see who can access their information. Of course, time will tell as this crowded market decides on which network will gain adoption. They’ve also received $30 million in funding from private investors.

Valuation: Widget ad revenue was estimated at about $20 million in 2007
MSNBC has an interesting article on widget valuation, and looks forward to 2008. Expect widget networks to continue to gain in growth in 2008, this is where advertising dollars will shift to.

Data: Enterprises concerned over Security and Resources for Social Media
Awareness ran a survey and found out the two many concerns for corporations revolve around the control over data, as well as the lack of resources to manage these programs. They’ve provided a white paper here.

Features: Facebook allows users to optimize profile
It’s safe to assume that many profile pages are overwhelmed with applications, as a result, Facebook has launched a feature that lets you create a separate profile page where you can segment applications. It’s a similar approach to tabbed browsing.

Copyrights: Hasbro misses a key opportunity with Scrabulous
Scrabulous is no more, but does this give birth to a new industry? Hasbro may have missed a huge business opportunity, but we should expect this same issue to occur again as the crowds take control of our brands.

Features: Geni launches news Timeline
With the popularity of Facebook’s newspage, Geni has launched an events update type of feature that lets you keep track of your family members updates, as well as post your own updates. Secondly, they’ve added an improved photo feature, all good features built on top of our first social graph: our family.

Upgrade: Facebook applications easier to embed
Although overhyped (partly my fault) Facebook has made it easier for widgets to be embedded on static websites now using client side javascript code, rather than depending completely on server side code. I’ve outlined exactly what this means for the web strategist.

Widgets: Low revenue from widget advertising
Mashable reports that videoegg’s eggnetwork of advertising is providing low advertising generation for it’s 3rd party widget network. Two things to remember: 1) this is the early days, and adoption and acceptance of this medium has not yet been realize to internet marketers and advertisers 2) Only a few will make a lot of money, and it will come from mass scale.

Leave a comment if this was helpful, or if you’ve anything to add. Feel free to email me if you’ve suggestions for next week’s digest.

  • http://socialmarketingstrategy.blogspot.com/ Joshua March

    Hi Jeremiah,

    As at this point, Scrabulous is still active, and there’s still a chance it may be taken on by Hasbro. A fan of the Scrabulous page reported that he wrote in to Hasbro asking why they were shutting down his favourite game, and he got this response:

    _______________________________________________________

    Recently you submitted a question to our Consumer Affairs team. Below is a summary of your question and our response.

    Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

    If your issue remains unresolved, please update this question here.

    Subject
    Scrabble

    Discussion Thread
    Response (Madison ********) 01/27/2008 07:35 AM
    Hi Jamie,

    We completely understand that you have come to enjoy playing Scrabulous. Unfortunately, Scrabulous is an illegal, pirated version of SCRABBLE, and we take this type of infringement seriously, just like the motion picture and television industries must protect against piracy of their movies and programming. Simply put, it is illegal and Hasbro has an obligation to protect its 60 year-old SCRABBLE brand.

    So, what does this mean for consumers who enjoy playing an online version of Scrabble? You should know that we are reviewing a number of options with the parties involved and hope to find an amicable solution. If we cannot come to one quickly, we will be forced to close down the game and its associated distribution points. Regardless, we will soon be providing you with a great, legal, online version of SCRABBLE…so stay tuned. Thank you very much for your interest and passion for SCRABBLE. In turn, we trust that you better understand our position and why we cannot allow rogue sites to illegally use our trademarks and copyrights.

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

    Thanks Joshua, I hope they end up making the right decision, while social media looks like a threat to most, it’s really an opportunity when you look at it right.

    Same goes for StarWars Kid who could have instead done a Tay and leveraged his fame.

  • http://www.trikke.com Azam Khan

    Hey
    What do you read / listen to / watch online Jeremiah? (blogs, sites, podcasts)?

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

    Azam

    I dont subscribe to any blogs anymore, i look for aggregation tools, and watch news information.

    Lots of folks send me info too and I do a lot of google queries and have alerts

    I like the for immediate release podcast, its one of the best.

  • http://www.trikke.com Azam Khan

    Yeh I see what you’re saying, I’ll check out the podcast.

    One interesting thing I came across was a post titled ‘Funneling is not sustainable branding’. Here’s the link:
    http://brandnoise.typepad.com/brand_noise/2008/01/funneling-is-no.html

    The reason it’s interesting is because it goes back to our discussion about brands having social networks. Apparently Rock Band launched a social network to funnel existing users into a site, although I would you’d want some sort of engagement with the users of your game. They end with ‘Sustainable branding means working with resources that exist and function well among their users.’ So what is it really that rockband.com is doing wrong? Is it going back to the ‘be where the customers are’ thing? At which point do you really know to funnel? Obviously they want people to spread the word but also to measure it right but doesn’t that create a paradox of funneling?

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

    Also, for clarification

    I still reads blogs (many of them) I just don’t use my feedreader.

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  • Andrew Kouskouris

    COULD YOU PLEASE PROVIDE MW WITH A COMPLETE EXAMPLE ON HOW I COULD MAKE TAGD IN A PRIVATE TWITTER.i TRIED AND FAILED

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

    Andrew, aside from yelling, I’m not sure what you’re saying, can you please rephrase?

  • Jon

    “Valuation: Widget ad revenue was estimated at about $20 million in 2007″

    Hi Jeremiah,

    First of all thanks for this great blog!
    I was wondering if you have any other links to the MSNBC article on widget valuation? The provided link appears to have expired.

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