Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: April 5, 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
This has been one busy week, between the many announcements stemming from Web 2.0 Expo, to the toll of the recession, there’s a lot to keep track of, here’s what matters: Twitter is starting to monetize through a few different trial directions, from working with Federated Media to do sponsored aggregation, advertising with Google, and in preliminary talks with Google that don’t prove to be much of anything. MySpace and Microsoft team up, also on a similar vein Facebook and Adobe. It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to track everything that’s going on in this space, so if you see I missed anything, leave a comment.


Advertisements: Google and Twitter
Google offers Ads using Tweets, seem odd? Intuit is the first to take this on by: “…Intuit, whose TurboTax brand is trying to boost its Twitter followers. Intuit used several of the measures available for any AdSense campaign to target the ads, which are running on sites such as Bebo, Facebook, Hi5, MySpace and Alltop.” I guess it goes to show, if you can’t earn ’em, buy ’em.

Launch: MySpace runs after Yelp
This article states is succinctly that: “MySpace announced Tuesday that it is adding local business ratings tools to its social network. As with Yelp, MySpace users will soon be able to look up phone numbers and addresses for local restaurants and bars on the site and post comments about their customer experiences.”

Partnerships: Adobe and MySpace vs Facebook and MYSpace
Coincidental timing? Or competitive response? It’s hard to tell as Adobe offers Flash to Facebook. In rapid succession, MySpace partners with Microsoft to offer Silverlight, or is it the other way around? The MySpace website will also now be available on windows mobile. Either way, the web experiences for both containers will become richer.

Culture: Digital youth may feel overconnected
This study indicates there are difference classes of those who are connected, each with a different sentiment and ability to cope with the digital world. I know some colleagues that feel that their blackberry is actually a tether.

Partnership: Federated Media and Twitter Team Up
In addition to the ExecTweets campaign, which aggregates executive tweets with Microsoft sponsor, FM and Twitter have teamed up to offer a campaign around March Madness with AT&T.

Targeting: Researches can determine who anonymous members are
Do you have an anonymous twitter account? These researchers can get a general sense of who you are based on your friends, and cross-comparing it to other social networks. Add in behavioral analysis, and this could start to get targeted.

Challenges: Mainstream Media Doesn’t Care about Twitter Tantrums
This interesting AdAge article suggests that mainstream users aren’t aware –nor care — about social media brand backlashes like Motrin moms. The next question is to ask “do these edgelings influence the mainstream?”

Viewpoint: CMS vs Community vs LMS
Clark Quinn compares the product direction of LMS systems, CMS systems and Community Platform systems and discusses how each approach is different. Decoupled vs coupled, or distributed or centralized? Clark then poses some questions on which direction you think these vendors should head.

Degree: Social media taught at University
Community, conversations, and sharing of ideas aren’t just within the corporate world, they’re now spreading to academia, take for example, this college which are offering classes –and degrees.

Strategy: Facebook Analysis
Ravit writes an excellent strategy breakdown of Facebook, and gives some very practical advice to Facebook, the top three tips include: Start thinking like the large company you are becoming, Choose an identity and stick with it, finally, Listen to your users

Layoffs: Hi5 Reduces Staff
This fast growing network doesn’t appear to be trending well. Despite their rapid growth that we’ve outlined in previous digests, they’ve not been able to monetize this traffic, with the change in the economic weather, they’re now dealing with downsizing.

Digg launches DiggBar
This portable bar is an ‘overlay’ to visiting other websites (sure a simple frame) but when you add social features to it, the Digg army travels with you as you surf the web.


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.