Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: March 26, 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.

Subscribe to this blog in your feedreader, or use the email subscription box in the right column. Or you can subscribe to this digest tag only and not receive my other posts.

Web Strategy Summary
Facebook undergoes user revolt for latest redesign, although they trump most other social networks for usage. Expect to see more integration between social networks and traditional media sites like Twitter and BusinessWeek. Earlier this week, Twitter announced API integration with SalesForce –notice the connective tentacles from social networks spreading everywhere. This is a race to see who can spread the fastest.


Feedback: Facebook community not happy about latest changes
Communities always overtake the brand, and even in this case, Facebook’s redesign is getting some fire from many members, and Facebook may make some changes to meet the community concerns. Ben Parr from Mashable suggests Facebook should stay the course. I suggest next time, that the redesign have a bit more community testing and acceptance before making dramatic changes.

Usage: Facebook is for your Mom and Dad
Apparently so, since the “older” generation of “Women over 55 remain the fastest growing group, and growth among the teen and college-age set has been relatively paltry. In absolute numbers there are now even slightly more members between the ages of 45 and 65 than there are 13-to 17-year-olds.” says Wired

Deal: Twitter integrates with SalesForce
SalesForce CRM can now show simple displays of twitter conversations and discussions within it’s interface. This is the first step in many where social networks and communities become the first step in CRM. My take here.

Privacy: UK government discusses monitoring social networks
Fueled by the thought that terrorist discussions could be within social networks, the Guardian suggests that social networks like Facebook and MySpace could ‘hold information’ and perhaps make it accessible to authorities.

Spending: Social media marketing funding to increase
This data is from eMarketer, that indicates that most marketers are going to increase their social media spend, and only a few (3%) will decrease. These findings are related to the report we just published on the same topic.

Integration: BusinessWeek syncs Twitter Comments
One of the first media companies to integrate twitter comments is now BusinessWeek –which allows users to provide feedback and responses about articles from Twitter which will be aggregated on BW.

Transparency: Questions over transparency over Yelp –and other SNS
Yelp under continued scrutiny over how it’s treating restaurants and small businesses. There’s been increased criticism against this company as the community asserts control over restaurants, this quote sums it up best: “Yet as the site grows, some of the businesses scrutinized on Yelp are turning the tables and griping about the company itself.”

Best Practices: Online Moderation
This moderation professional is sharing a great deal of expertise, swing over to Mike’s blog.

Money: Tencent grows and grows
Tencent, a fast growing social network in China is generating revenues based off virtual goods. Their reporting healthy revenues at 70.5 percent or $719.1 million, a 95.5 increase over 2007.

Data: Social networks trump email
Social networks more popular than email says this report from Nielsen and covered by Cnet, and further goes on to show that member communities are more popular than email. Data from eMarketer via Cnet

Usage: Twtiter fastest growing soical network
Twitter’s growth up by says Nielsen sporting: “Unique visitors to Twitter increased 1,382 percent year-over-year, from 475,000 unique visitors in February 2008 to 7 million in February 2009,”

Irony: Government employees disocuraged to use social networks
Although these employees are encouraged to use social networks, they find it ironic they’re discouraged not to use these same tools.


Submit: I’m listening. 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 but first, read how to score your announcements.

Hungry For Social Networking Stats? Then you should see my collection of Social Networks Stats for 2008 and 2009. Bookmark them, then share it with others as I continue to update it.

  • Hi Jeremiah,
    I am a new follower of this weekly digest, and think it is really cool. I am also a follower of yours on Twitter. Thanks for sharing your insights!

    I think there is subject that is experiencing a renewed strong emergence in the media this month. You have reported out on some of it today, but I was wondering about your more specific insights on the usage of Social Networks/Media by the Commercial Enterprise or Business.

  • Wylie

    Can you be more specific? Yes, there is absolutely a lot of buzz and hype about social networks (Facebook and Twitter in mainstream media).

    Brands have indicated they are going to increase spending on social networks, read some of this data.

    http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2009/03/16/report-social-media-marketing-up-during-recession/

  • Jeremiah,

    I work with a few “old School” executives how are not certain of allowing social networking or media into the Enterprise. More specifically, they are skeptical of using Twitter or Facebook within the company. As you say there are more companies providing tools for business, as well as business begining to use them. Is this here to stay?

  • Not sure how broadly you are using “social networking”, but I’m the founder of MeetingWave.com which helps members arrange face-to-face networking meetings with new people for business or social purposes.

    Members can meet new clients, new customers, recruit team members, make new contacts or learn about jobs and other opportunities over coffee, lunch, drinks, and other meeting activity using the following simple steps:

    Step 1: Members can post Invites that describe the type of people the member wishes to meet or the purpose of the proposed meeting.

    Step 2: MeetingWave would then notify the member by email each time someone accepts their Invite. The member can then approve or decline each acceptance of their Invite — and can do so for any reason.

    Step 3: MeetingWave then notifies the individuals who accepted whether he or she may attend the member’s meeting. Only “approved” people may attend and the meeting is only confirmed when there is at least one approved acceptance.

    Thus, the member posting the Invite ultimately controls whether the meeting will happen and who may attend providing a flexible, versatile tool for offline networking.

    We have entrepreneurs, small business owners, consultants, attorneys, real estate professionals, recruiters, job seekers, and others posting invites for coffee, lunch, dinner or drinks to meet new clients or make new business contacts. Our blog addresses questions often raised by users and highlights some of the more popular uses of the site.

    The technology is protected by US Patents 6,963,900 and 7,483,946. The company also owns pending improvement patent applications relating to MeetingWave.

    We have improvements in the pipeline. We just added Facebook Connect and Get Satisfaction this week and are planning to redesign portions of the site in the coming weeks and add features/controls to improve the quality of invites.

    Thanks, John

  • John, that sounds like an new take a workplace collaboration.

    Wylie, ah isn’t that the question of the decade? A good first place to start is with data. You asked are these tools here to stay? Check out this data.

    http://blogs.forrester.com/groundswell/2008/10/new-2008-social.html

  • Interesting thing about “Facebook is for your Mom and Dad”. That’s so true in our community here on Maui. Many of my friends in that age bracket are using Facebook but not twitter or other social networking. Interesting. And yes, I do not like the “new look” of Facebook. I agree, FB should have tested it first and got community feedback.

  • Hi Jeremiah

    This is a really well thought-out and informative weekly summary of the ever-changing social media landscape, many thanks.

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  • Jeremiah,

    Thank you so much for including me on your update. My blog is a work in progress, but luckily I was able to retrieve all of my prior content.

    As always, I look forward to the information that you share here, and hope that everyone that reads here takes time out of their day to also visit mine.

    Mike Pascucci
    @mikepascucci

  • Mike

    I truly wish you the best in your new adventures, you clearly have expertise –and more importantly passion for your craft.

  • Hi Jeremiah, although we allow for private invites like evite, our core focus is public invites to allow members to meet people people over coffee, lunch, dinner, golf, etc. An article on About.com entitled “Success Job Search Networking – How to Use Job Search Networking to Find a Job” (http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/networking/a/networking.htm) indicates that most jobs (some say over 60% or higher) are found through contacts, rather than ads or recruiters. In fact, I found my last two jobs through contacts. We’re hoping to help people during these tough times, and possibly save Starbucks in the process.

    Thanks and have fun in Orlando.

    Regards, John

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