Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: March 4, 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
The big trends? Facebook recoils from PR nightmare over terms of service and goes democratic style “let the people decide”. Social network adoption continues to increase with tools like LinkedIn, Congress, and takes the mainstream media as it gets overhyped. Several minor announcements from vendors, with more studies being done on how people actually interact with each other in these social tools.


Privacy: Facebook asks for Communtiy Feedback for ToS
Mark composes this well crafted PR blog post asking for community feedback on the next Terms of Service, that stirred a community revolt a few weeks ago. The question is, why didn’t they just do this in the first place? You can start to see some of the sample ToS that venturebeat is highlighting.

Usage: LinkedIn usage up, even during recession
Unsure about what goes up when everything else goes down? LinkedIn is in the midst of a growth opportunity, as well as other social networks as usage goes up from those that have more time –and need to connect to each other.

Adoption: Twitter takes Washington DC by Storm
AFP news reports that more political folks are now on twitter, and are tweeting live from congress and meetings.

Data: How people interact with Twitter
Twitter, a social network with microblogging features provides users the ability to rapidly exchange information. See how the breakdown of tools is used, most are using the web browser, and a few clients.

Data: Why Facebook Dominates MySpace
Compare the dominant Facebook vs MySpace traffic, stickablilty, and engagement, in this report from Compete which shows a few tipping points at the end of 2008.

Headcount: Changes in MySpace Exec Board
Related to the above: It appears that three executives are leaving MySpace, reportedly to start a new company. When you have this many leaders leaving at the same time, there was either a cleaning of the house by the board, or a revolt against upper management. Either way, MySpace must innovate to keep up with growing Facebook.

Usage: Facebook users only interact with a few
Despite those that have over 100 friends, most only communicate with a smaller subset of friends, and the rest is broadcasting to others. Now there’s not enough data presented to see if if content actually can still spread across those that do not interact. On a similar thread, primates appear to be prone to grooming.

Launch: Radian 6 releases new features
Socila media management company Radian 6 launches alert features, management features to tag information, and route ‘tickets’ to different team members could help brands manage their online reputation.

Culture: When ‘friending’ celebrities becomes in style
This interesting WSJ article tells Jeff Shapiro’s story of how he befriended (virtually that is) a few celebrities which quickly launched him into the inner circle of friending other celebrities.

Twitter: Brands jump on the Twitter wagon
The twitter wagon is getting more brands on board, the barriers to entry are low, there’s media hype, that results in these top brands to follow on Twitter and why.

M&A: Why the Twitter and Facebook deal fell through
BusinessWeek digs into why Twitter walked away from Facebook’s offer for acquisition, the quick: Uncertain valuation made the equity trade a risky bet for Twitter, that was already gaining traction.

Future of Social Networks
Fred Wilsons vision of the future of the social web, showcases some key attributes that entrepreneurs, investors, and others must know.

Expansion: UserVoice shoots for global
This young startup provides ’embracing’ software for companies and employees to submit ideas. They are now expanding with global reach by launching in different languages. I’d like to see them partner with Yammer to bring in-house innovation to companies.

Humor: Comedian Jon Stewart Tweets
This silly video pokes fun at Twitter —now we know it’s going mainstream

Humor: Stats about Social Networks that ought to be true
Gotta give credit to the brainz folks for coming up with this silly –yet sad– truth about the citizens of social networks.


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.