Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Sept 3, 2008

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I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly digest on the Social Networking space, which I cover as an Industry Analyst –a good way to get in my head.

I’ve created a new category called Digest (view archives). Start with the Web Strategy Summary, then quickly scan the succinct and categorized headlines, read text for my take, and click link to dive in for more.

You can subscribe to this digest tag only, which filters only these posts tagged digest.

Web Strategy Summary
A smattering of small announcements his week ranges from new features, acquisitions and John McCain launches his own version of MySpace. Sometimes, quiet weeks are good weeks.


Feature: LinkedIn builds community with ‘Groups’
Now launching this groups feature (similar to Google Groups and Yahoo Groups) it’ll help users build more of a discussion to self support each other online.

Features: Facebook’s Newsfeed improved
Nick O’Neill has a live video showing the interactive and dynamic features of Facebook’s “Live Feed” feature, a real-time life streaming aggregation tool.

Sunset: Yahoo shuts down SoNet ‘Mash’
Listed as Yahoo’s fourth failure at social networks, they’ve now shut down Mash. Where should they look? Yahoo mail is one of the largest social graphs around

Virtual Goods: Facebook creates virtual currency
This analysis suggests that Facebook’s virtual goods are creating virtual goods as currency upwards in the $35 million range, yet we must remember it’s only worth as much as what people buy it for.

User Experience: Facebook puts brakes on Wall Spam
An interesting dilemma, this popular social network encourages developers and brands to participate, yet they’ve got to control the user experience above all else, and look to control wall spam.

Deployment: Marriott launches communtiy using LiveWorld
Interesting how hotels are getting on the bandwagon as Marriott launches online community for Marriott Rewards. Link via Henry Harteveldt. Congrats to Liveworld for earning the customer, I had to go hunt online to find out who the vendor was.

Acquisition: Book based SoNet Shelfari gulped by Amazon
Amazon to move into the social networking arena with this recent purchase of Shelfari a community based application that let’s people create virtual ‘bookshelves’ to share with others.

Mobile: Hi5 moves to mobile
Expect Hi5′s online growth to fuel it’s recent launch of 26 languages of it’s mobile version of it’s social network, given that many cultures lean on mobile communications over US based browser, this could be a medium for growth.

Security: MySpace Login Held Ransom to Music Artist
Not sure how to react to this, but Soulja Boy hip hop artist had his logins to MySpace and YouTube held ransom from a 12 year old boy demanding 2500 dollars.

Awards: Neighborhood America receives accolade
Insight community vendor, Neighborhood America receives award at the Always On AO ‘Global 250 Winners’ for innovation.

Deployment: McCain launches community via Kickapps
McCain launches his online community, in sync with the announcement of his new VP. This online community (the URL indicates it’s from KickApps) energizes young republicans to connect to each other, and then spread word of mouth.

Features: Blogger.com launches profiles
This trend, in which blogs like blogger.com are now becoming more like social networks emulating MyBlogLog features or even SixApart’s intention to make blogs more ‘social’. Expect to see a more formal announcement for wordpress.

Advertisements: Contextual ads spit insults
This reporter isn’t happy being called “muffin top” in her contextual Facebook ads. We shouldn’t blame Facebook for this, it was likely the advertisers choice, and besides…it worked.

PR professionals that have clients in this space, should subscribe to this blog, and ensure their clients are put on this digest by sending me an email, or better yet, leave a comment. If you work for a white label community platform, keep me updated, I want to know of your wins.