Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Jan 7, 2009

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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. 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
Due to slower news during holidays, this digest includes the last two weeks of news. Social Networking usage increases during the Holidays, and also due to a recession, this is a key opportunity for the industry to demonstrate new value by allowing people to connect, get retrained, and find jobs during this tough economy. More issues around culture, data, and privacy occur in Facebook, and the landscape is peppered with layoffs and partnerships. This is tumoltuous time.


Web Usage: Spike in Facebook usage during Christmas
More time with family? Desire to connected to friends during the quiet weeks? There was a significant increase in Facebook traffic this holiday season, the ironic thing is that retailers haven’t moved in to offer gift giving options for friends. For a UK perspective see what roared and bored during the Holiday season.

Web Usage: Job seekers seek social networks
No surprise here, when people want to get retrained, connect with others, or notify others of job needs, social networks (where their contacts are) is a strong place to start. On the other hand, some may work for free, if it’s just for ‘praise’, the new currency.

Facebook sues Power.com
Power.com a social networking aggregator, which means you can view all your social networking activity from one place has been sued by Facebook for copyright and trademark infringement; unlawful competition; and violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, CAN-SPAM Act, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, among other charges. Facebook is known for keeping it’s member data close to it’s chest, while others tend to be more open.

Downsizing: Mzinga has layoffs
Heard through the twitter stream, a little birdy notified me that a few of Mzinga’s employee base has been let go. I sent each of them personal messages, and let them know of the job resources I have for social media folks, wishing them the best. Even though Mzinga doesn’t have an official press release announcing the downsizing –word rapidly spreads.

Cause: Facebook battles Lactivists, Growth in Argentina
Mothers who want to show pictures of them breastfeeding in Facebook were denied –the battle ensues. The line between ‘indecency’ and nature isn’t clearly drawn/. Mobile adoption and recently translated site versions has spurred growth in Argentina for Facebook.

Learning: Social Networks valuable to youth education
This article suggests that “exploring new interests and tinkering with new forms of media, young people are picking up basic social and technical skills, such as how to create a video or game or customize a MySpace page”

Partnership: Sean O’Driscoll Teams up with Jake McKee
Two community mavens, who I’ve intervewed both for Forrester reports on community, have joined forces, and Sean joins Ant’s Eye View to help brands with social networking and community strategy and deployment. I’ll be speaking to them soon to learn about their offerings. Also, read Jake’s announcement.

Biography: Ning’s Executive Gina gives interview
Ning’s Gina Bianchini gives a rare look into her life –and watching silicon valley.

Culture: Kids freak out when friended by Parents
My friend Jennifer Jones and I have had quite a few interesting discussions on how kids react when parents ‘invade’ their personal and social lives in Facebook.

Research: Forrester’s Wave on Community Platforms to publish Friday
Stay tuned, I’ll be releasing the high level findings at end of week.


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.

Hungry For Social Networking Stats? Then you should see my collection of Social Networks Site Usage: Visitors, Members, Page Views, and Engagement by the Numbers in 2008? Bookmark it, then share it with others as I continue to update it.