Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Oct 15, 2008


In the age of meme trackers, aggregators, and news.google.com I hear from more people that this hand created editorial list I do each week is helpful. With so much content being created now, it just goes to show that editing (by humans) is more important than ever. One key for this digest to be successful is to link to anything that I think is important, regardless of source, and even competitive research –expect more of that as I go forward.

I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly digest on the Social Networking space, which I cover as an industry analyst. By creating this digest (I started this over a year ago) it really helps me to stay on top of the space I cover.

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.

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Web Strategy Summary
Interesting week, given the top of everyone’s minds is the financial changes in the global economy. I’m paying closer attention to the discussions, visions, and strategy to the social networks. While CEO of Facebook decrees a focus on growth –not revenue –MySpace launches a revenue generation ad aimed at SMB. For vendors and brands focused on the enterprise side, Forrester releases a report predicting a downturn in deal size over the next few years.

Vision: Zuckerberg focused on Growth –not revenue
Interesting interview here, as most companies during a recession want to focus on revenues, Facebook CEO wants to focus on growth. He can do this, as he has partners with deep pockets like Microsoft that can hold him out for the long term –they’re more likely to weather the storm.

Advertising: New “MySpace MyAds” aim at SMB
Reaching to small businesses MySpace launches new advertising product that allows them to self serve by buying –and creating –their own ads. The big challenge isn’t self service, but if traditional ads actually work on social networks. Read that article to hear my take on the different use cases between social network and the ‘hunt and gather’ approach we do.

Deployment: Kohler launches social media efforts
Kohler launches blogs, social network and ratings features in their latest ‘labs’ deployment. This appears to be a Pluck deployment.

Forecast: Forrester predicts reducing in Enterprise 2.0 Apps
Colleague Oliver Young is quoted in this latest RWW article pointing out how many enterprise software prices will reduce, including social networking software.

Layoffs: Jive lays off 1/3rd of workforce
In a response to the changing economy, Jive has asked 1/3rd of it’s workforce to move on, I’ve updated this list of companies that are having layoffs.

Funding: JS-Kit receives $3.6mm in funding
An embeddable social media JS-Kit company helps webpages get social has now received a small round of funding that could propel them for some time. The challenge? This is a very crowded space with larger encumbants like Pluck, Kickapps and a host of others that could repel them from the enterprise space. I’ll be briefed by them in a few weeks, more news to come.

Career: How to use social networking for your career
Whenever jobs are at threat, professionals will seek online tools to educate, connect, and find jobs, in this particular case, the NYT showcases some tactics to do all three.

Vision: Zuckerberg says people will continue to share
Citing Moore’s law, CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg claims users will continue to grow at an exponential rate. While too early, Forrester’s technographic data will continue to monitor and track this, it also depends on how you count sharing.

Music: Kiwibox launches music via Universal
Teen aimed Social Network Kiwibox, launches music features, partnered with Universal Music Group as well as premium content, I’m mentioned in this article.

Productivity: LinkedIn and Ning help corporations
The story for enterprise social networking software has never had a bigger opportunity than now, by cutting down email inbox clutter and helping customers connect.

OpenSocial: Ning allows developers on it’s platform
Ning, which is much like Yahoo Groups 2.0 gives third party application develoepers access to it’s large community of millions of users, in an effort to continue to grow their viablilty.

Analysis: Social network usage in UK slowdown
Hitwise reports that in the UK Facebook is the second top social network, and although still trending upward, a slowdown in adoption is being seen.

Opinion: Social Networks have jumped the shark
GigaOm has an interesting perspective that Hasselhoff’s niche social network has finally signaled the last straw for the buzz –and comments on Facebook’s CEO vision of growth before profit.

Culture: Churches use Facebook
Social networks seep into every social institution, why not religion? Religious groups and churches use social networking for finding, evangelizing and helping members self support.

Humor: What Annoys us with Facebook
How do you know you’re a popular generational icon? Blog posts like this that point out what people don’t like about Facebook.

If you’re a social network, or widget company, I want to know of your news, send me an email, or leave a comment below. Help me stay up to date.