Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category


Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: April 12, 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 used to publish these on Wednesday, but now I’m spending more quiet time on the weekend reflecting on this fast moving space, do you know of any other industries that have this much movement?

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
It’s interesting to watch the bridges being drawn between the different players moving into the social space, such as Webtrends partnering with Radian 6 to offer a social media offering to traditional web analytics customers. Secondly, there’s reports of growth in a variety of areas of Facebook, Twitter, and Chinese social networks. Finally, more mobile devices and deployments are occurring, as Sony’s latest phone comes pre-installed with Facebook, and SalesForce offers a mobile version.


Partnerships: Webtrends and Radian 6. Social monitoring meets web analytics
Webtrends is now offering the Radian 6 package in a co-branded solution. It makes sense for Webtrends to partner to quickly get out the door as brand managers are in current need to monitor the social web. I’ll be watching the other analytics players to see how they respond. Expect to see more partnerships between vendors in brand monitoring, web analytics, CRM, CMS as they connect with the social web.

Global: Chinese social networks get more traction –and revenue
Chinese developers have long since copied social networks like Facebook and MySpace, yet the twist is, their generating revenue from a far larger consumer base than the US. As a result, we’re seeing some interesting stories of successful apps and social networks (like Farming) emerge like QQ, 51, and Baidu.

Storage: Facebook creates storage ‘Haystack’ to manage photos
With more photos than even some dedicated photo websites, Facebook needs a way to quickly serve up photos, as a result they created ‘haystack’ which is 50% faster than traditional systems. Niall has a more detailed look at how this storage system works, the backend servers are powered by NetApp. (update: Niall points out that Haystack is designed to reduce reliance on NetApp servers)

Culture: Britney Spears trumps Obama –at least in Twitter
With the rise of celebrities joining Twitter, it’s interesting to note the original power geeks have had to share the spotlight with mainstream celebrities. Perhaps on a note of what the world really cares about, Britney Spears now has more followers than the non-tweeting Obama. The one to watch? Ashton is quickly moving up the ranks, with 800k followers.

Mobile: Facebook to come pre-installed on Sony Ericsson mobile devices
Sony’s C510 phone will come pre-installed with Facebook on it’s latest phones. What impacts could this bring? In the near future, people could dial their contacts from their Facebook address, or contact them through IP phones.

CRM: SalesForce goes mobile
I’ve my eye on CRMs as they get closer to the social web (or as Paul Greenberg would suggest, the other way around) as SalesForce launches a mobile version to allow sales, account, and support teams to support customers on the go. Imagine meeting someone in real life, and watch as they update their account on your interaction. “Firm handshake, check. Lack of eye contact, requires followup”

Revenues: Facebook financial breakdown
This Forbes article breaks down the cost per users, and advertising per user, and reflects on the overall financial viability of Facebook. BusinessWeek asks if Facebook’s future plan involves premium memberships, and Facebook continues to focus on advertising.

Stats: Twitter Growth and Demographics
While we already know that Twitter is quickly growing, it’s important to see by who. This Cnet article states that; “ComScore also reported this week that 10 percent of Twitter users are between 55 and 64. That’s the same percentage as are between 18 and 24. In fact, the majority of Twitter users are 35 or older. And here’s Reuters telling us that 18- to 24-year-olds are 12 percent less likely than average to visit Twitter.”

Stats: Facebook continues to grow
Facebook continues to to grow, and Inside Facebook suggests that in the last 2 months, US membership has doubled, with a spur in an older crowd of 35-44. I suspect that Gen Y and X is nearly saturated in US, thus we’re seeing other age groups grow.

Culture: Twitter used for nefarious purposes
Dangers of the internet? Do we blame the people or the tools? Apparently Twitter is being used for prostitution, police to crack down from this mobile social network and microblog.


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.

Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: April 5, 2009

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digest3

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
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.

Social Network Humor: Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook

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I grew up on watching Three’s Company the San Diego sitcom, and got a real kick out of this funny video. For some reason, Friendster reminds me of one of my college roommates. Caution, this is one of those videos that you may want to watch at home as it has some borderline adult humor, may not be safe for work. Buy hey, since it’s Saturday, that shouldn’t be a problem, right? If you like this video, I’ve been collecting them and tagging them here.

Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: March 26, 2009

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digest3

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.

Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: March 18, 2009

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digest3

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
There were several announcements at SXSW, primarily highlighting new apps, and connectivity between the iPhone and Facebook. Simple ads appear on Twitter, and security pros are ever concerned about social networks as they connect to each other.


SXSW launches: Facebook, Tweetdeck
Facebook made a series of announcements extending Facebook connect with the iPhone, and there are several other announcements from this Techcrunch roster. Tweetdeck allows users to publish to both Twitter and Facebook simultaneously. Best Buy launched an API that extends their corporate website, my thoughts.

Advertising: ‘House’ Ads on Twitter spotted
This screenshot shows some “house” ads (promoting the features and fuctions) on Twitter’s right hand column, this could be a potential placement for other types of ads.

Security: Social Networks post Threats
This interesting article suggests that as social networks continue to share data across multiple platforms that security risks are likely to be exposed. For example, information that you share cross network could be seen by friends that are connected to competitors –causing potential leakages. Expect more risks to surface as the social web continues to proliferate.

Best Practices: Streamlining Community
Social media scientists will appreciate the heavy recommendations in this article, which suggests the following: User anonymity should be forced, Barriers to participation should be as low as possible, Moderation should not focus on users or on comments in isolation, but on the relational quality of comments. Read more in attacked from within

Fandom: Coke’s Unexpected Facebook Community
Adage highlights the Coke community within Facebook that has grown –yet it’s not from it’s own marketing team, but instead from fans.

Deals: Pluck wins Batanga
Integrating with it’s Sitelife product, Pluck powers the Batanga Latin music portal and claims to have 38% increase in registrations since the deployment.

Strategy: MySpace continues to focus on hypertargeting
In this article based on interview with MySpace’s Chris DeWolfe, MySpace is critiqued for having slower growth yet maintains a large community. They plan to focus on hypertargetted ads which are customized to users.

Redesign: Facebook’s redesign leaves some wanting
Facebook’s redesign last week has indicated how the web is moving real time, however with every change comes drawbacks, RWW suggests that the profile pages are limited, access with twitter, and confusion between pages and profiles. Ugh, now I need to take a closer look to make sure I can tell the difference.

OpenStack: Twitter now oAuth compliant
Twitter has now announced compliance with oAuth, which will allow third party developers to access the data–without exposing your personal info and login info. Ya’ know all those twitter clients that require you to fully login with your user name and password? Now it could authenticate, keeping your password just to yourself.

Data: Twitter growth, small, but quickly growing
Comscore data shows that “In February, 4 million people in the U.S. visited the site, up from 2.6 million the month before, according to the latest data from comScore. That represents a 55 percent month-over-month growth rate, compared to 33 percent growth in each of the two months prior.”

Culture: Cell Phones Cameras + Teens = “Sexting”
A recent trend among teens is apparently to share photos of themselves in suggestive and inappropriate situations. This has led some contributors and receivers to be considered to be participating in illegal activities.


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.

Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: March 11, 2009

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digest3

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 launches redesign, indicates that the web is moving faster to real time with Twitter-like features. Social Networks grow in online activity, it’s becoming a mainstream activity. Jive made a lot of noise with their new product launch (Social Business Software) yet the market needs to see the product –beyond vapor.


Redesign: Facebook becomes more real time
Facebook does a redesign (read the pronouncement), and makes it real time, you can see a variety of screenshots, all showing the real-time life streaming features. They are clearly watching what Friendfeed and Twitter are doing.

Usage: Social Networks 4th most popular online activity.
Nielsen Online shows that: Social networks and blogs are now the 4th most popular online activity ahead of personal email, Member communities are visited by 67% of the global online population, time spent is growing at 3 times the overall internet rate, accounting for almost 10% of all internet time, PDF, Nielsen Online, March

Launch: Jive attempts to redefine a category, yet where’s the product?
Jive has launched a new major version of their platform called Social Business Software (SBS) software which is intending to redefine this space as a new category for enterprise software. Will they succeed? It depends if customers are ready to adopt this phrasing –I’ll be watching. I want to get a product demo –beyond slides then I’ll blog some of my findings. Update: Scoble has a video interview with Dave the CEO, see part 1 and part 2. First video focuses on the famed tattoo.

Economy: Social Networks help cash strapped firms and brands
Forbes indicates that companies, marketers and PR professionals that want their money to go the distance are looking at social networks.

Ads: Social Networks should couple with Oscars
Interesting thought piece by CEO of Nielsen Online who suggests that social network adoption goes mainstream –esp during Oscars, giving advertising opportunities for brands. I say don’t limit this to just the Oscars, but look at other large TV events.

Identity: MySpace rolls out MySpace ID
Similar to other identity systems, this allows third party sites to access a MySpace users information and network contacts. Critics suggest that it’s too complicated and doesn’t support SSO. Why don’t they use OpenID?

Revenue: Tencent’s Monetization a Model
This interesting post suggests that China’s IM social network Tencent be a model that Facebook and MySpace copy. The stats? “TenCent was founded in 1998, has 355 million users, US$1.2B in annual revenues, and a US$11.2B market capitalization.” The challenge is that social networks act differently depending on each culture, deployment and features. Sure figure out what worked, but don’t expect it to work the same in Western markets.

Deployment: HiveLive
Thoughtworks launchess community powered by Hivelive, which is intended to be a customer focused community.

Opportunities for Twitter
Twitter has a few business opportunities, and this Business Week article shows that some of the opportunities include rich data about what people think and prefer –including celebrities.

Social CRM: Neighborhood America buddies with Microsoft
Although I’ve not seen what they are working on, they’re indicating that they’re going to connect with Microsoft’s Dynamic CRM, this is a trend, as we know that Leverage Software comes pre-integrated with SalesForce CRM. Expect to see more of this in the upcoming months.


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.