Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: May 2, 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
Busy week, yet again. Vignette starts to come forth with it’s community features, which are a direct challenge to the community platform vendors. Facebook extends further into the era of social colonization by allowing activity streams to be displayed on third party sites. The impacts of the swing flu echo throughout social networks.


Launch: Vignette CMS rolls out social features
Community platform vendors need to be prepared to be squeezed from above as more CMS vendors prepare to enter this market. Vignette, who has a stable footprint in the enterprise space, launches first generation social features. They’re also demonstrating thought leadership by publishing best practices documents. Watch this change –the incumbents are waking up. I spent an hour with this team last week reviewing their live product, they just rolled this out, and hope to have customer adoption soon.

Colonization: Facebook exposes activity stream
Social colonization is when every web experience will be social. With FB opening it’s activity stream for third party developers (like Seesmic) it’s the start of the experience extending beyond the Facebook walls.

Government: Obama addresses nation on Flu
Using his weekly Youtube platform, Obama gives a clear assessment – Google Search of the situation, gives recommendations to schools, businesses, and people, then discloses the solution that have in place for vaccines, all without doublespeak. These simple social tools are empowering –but the content is most important.

Feature: Silverlight and Facebook create shiny UI
This is shiny, meaning it’s pretty, but doesn’t neccesarily offer multiplicative collaboration (useful), either way, see how silverlight flexes it’s UI muscles by displaying FB pictures.

Culture: US Military uses Social Networks to recruit soldiers
Now, you can befriend a recruiter. The pentagon is making considerable shifts towards using social networks to recruit young Gen Y folks for the military. Facebook is the leading social technology where they will deploy.

Context: Early examples of social context via scraping
Social networks are the first place where we’ve seen people voluntarily give up so much information about themselves unprompted. As a result, we’ll see an increase of services that scrape demographics to increase marketing and advertising effectiveness. While not a mature example of social context, it’s getting closer.

Risks: Social networking sites have downsides
This is an important article by Computerworld, in which it shows the potential risks that social networking sites bring to professional relationships and the office as many users are not aware of how privacy works. Beyond this, potential IP and corporate knowledge could be spread in social networking sites, learn about these risks.

Twitter Hype: People come –but don’t come back
The overhyped Twitter shows that some come but never come back, yet Nielsen responds vis this video suggesting that the small community is indeed very influential.

Oddparts: Facebook trivia
Culture, anonymity and a strong virtual gift economy make Facebook a misfit in China. Facebook is able to map mentions of the Swine Flu within it’s network from state to state.

Personal: IBM’s Impact and Calgary’s Web Strategy Summit
Last week, I started to give personal updates, and some suggested I continue. I launched the future of the social web report this week, and it received positive feedback. I’m headed to IBM’s IMPACT conference in vegas to speak, then to the Web Strategy Summit in Calgary to present my findings on the future of the social web. I’ve mentioned several times on Twitter that I’m forgoing shaking hands to protect the community, I’m a germ magnet, since I travel so much and meet many.


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.