Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: April 19, 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 is only a sample of the news that happened last week. Without a doubt, this space is starting to move faster and faster, and it’s real struggle for me, an industry analyst, to keep up. Here’s what I think is important: things beyond the hype, deals, partnerships, movements of money, and potential for future growth.


Europe: Facebook trumps Hi5 and Bebo
Facebook Ranks as Top Social Networking Site in the Majority of European Countries. Facebook Captures #1 Ranking in Spain for the First Time in February, comScore, April

Partnership: Adobe and Gigya Partner to spread widget advertising
Adobe allows flash developers to extend advertisements to Gigya’s widget network using flash pro. This makes flash development easy to use and now social.

Security: Twitter compromised by hacker
Popular microblogging service Twitter was afflicted with a worm last weekend, causing the company to scramble to deal with it before the larger media attention mid week, and briefly resurfaced on Friday. Twitter must focus not only on making it’s site scalable (had major issues last year) but now must focus on making it safer through hardened security.

Growth: Ning hits 1 million communities
White label do it yourself social networking site Ning has reached a milestone, having hit 1 million individual social networks, or communities. Expect this trend to continue as we’ve seen an increase in ‘joiner’ behavior from year to year.

Amazon “Ham Fists” it’s adult books
A Twitter storm erupts, followed by blogs, then mainstream media as an apparent glitch by a ham fisted error caused the community to backlash. During the incident, it was hard to separate fact from fiction, but it became clear that from these news stories what really happened.

Spinout: StumbleUpon breaks free from eBay
I spoke with David Hornik, who’s on the board of Stumbleupon, who has now broken free from eBay. Expect to see some innovation occur now that the company is back in an open space environment. If they do this right, they could impact search as we know it.

Case Study: CPG $1.28 Million in Sales From $1 Million Social-Media Campaign
While not the highest possible margins you’d hope for in a social media campaign, this measurement reported by ad age shows that myspace worked with comscore and other agencies to measure a recent sales of a CPG effort. The study doesn’t indicate the positive word of mouth or other social residuals that may increase awareness, consideration, or brand preference.

Hype: Social noise as celebrities jump on Twitter
Of course, it shouldn’t go without mention that there’s quite a bit of noise within the social sphere beyond the AmazonFail incident, but the race to 1 million users by Ashton vs CNN. Ashton going on Oprah, her evangelizing the tool to her millions –and the continued growth we should expect from that. I have another blog post for that topic in a few.


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.

  • Ned Kumar

    Thanks for the Digest. Always enjoy reading your perspectives and tidbits — and yes, did I mention stats 🙂

  • I wonder how much long the twitter bubble will last now that all of these celebrities are joining? And with Oprah joining, all of her minions are going to follow. It’s already over-populated.

  • Interesting that we now look at Twitter, Stumbleupon and Facebook as the potential “revolutionaries” of search…going to have to blog on that! Perhaps now search is splitting?

    Thanks again for Digest! Great stuff!

  • Thanks to twitter, someone pointed out that Gigya was listed twice, it certainly was an oversight, while I think the partnership is important, that wasn’t double emphasis.

    http://twitter.com/32100/status/1558575447

  • Jean, you’re going to love my recent post, go see what I just published.

    Webconomist, we’ve not seen what happens yet when search and social meet.

    Ned, yup opinions are nice, but insight based on numbers is even better.

  • Eric Nakagawa

    Stumbleupon = some of the most sexy, consistent, incoming traffic #s. <3 Happy for them.

  • A bit more info for readers. Adobe/Gigya content distribution and tracking tools will be integrated with Adobe’s Flash, Flex, Air and Dreamweaver products, and extensions will be available free of charge this summer to anyone that owns those Adobe products. Tools for scheduling and buying content distribution will also by free and available this summer. email widgets@adobe.com with questions

  • Pingback: Small Business Viral Marketing Tips, SES San Jose 2008 | Lean Six Sigma Academy()

  • Please don’t just include the top-line, press hype numbers – Ning mentions 1 million communities have been created and only @ 20% of communities are considered active. Having been involved in some of the “active” Ning sites created by reputable, dedicated organizations, I’d honestly classify them as half-baked and unused. As with all software, folks deploying communities need to budget/plan for dedicated people and time resources to build communities, not just register and deploy the free software with some creative hoping the community stimulates itself.

  • Edward

    That’s fair. I don’t have active numbers for Ning, but I’ll bet it’s 20-40%, a pretty average number I see around the industry.

  • Edw3rd

    20% was the number in the link you posted…

  • I think Twitter will be around for a while. It is the only one of its kind since Pownce no longer exists.

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