Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Nov 21, 2007


I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly summary, please send to your busy executives.

I’ve created a new category called Digest where you can start to track and access these going forward. Quickly scan the succinct and categorized headlines, read summary for analysis, and click link to dive in for more. You can subscribe to this digest tag only, which filters only these posts tagged digest.

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Web Strategy Summary
I’m starting to notice the changes that open social concept is bringing to the social networking space. Although nothing has been deployed in full force, the desire for companies to quickly become ‘open’ or not be part of the party is evident. Most of the below are updates, there hasn’t been any amazing news this week. Confused about Open Social? here’s how to explain it to your executives.

Money: YouTube monetization moving slowly
Co-Founder Stephen Chen suggests that monetization will happen, but will take some time, at the New TV conference in SF this last week. Here’s why: at AdTech it was greatly discussed that the advertising dollars were still on the TV and will slowly move over to the web, which we shall start to see in 2009-2001.

Advertising: Is Facebook’s Social Ads a success?
All Facebook is reporting that Fred Wilson has been experimenting with Facebook advertising and having limited success. In this one example they provided they had 8 click throughs for a bundle of 1000 ad inventory. I still have had my dashboard properly populated by Facebook for my $20 test.

Linkedin: The Second Coming?
Bernard at RWW has a great analysis on LinkedIn, the good’s the bad’s and the potential futures. He suggests that LinkedIn, while criticized in the past, compared to Facebook reaches 80% of his contacts, has some limitations and hopes to see some future features from it.

Growth: OpenSocial Spurs Plaxo adoption
The team over at Plaxo must be excited, as they’ve really been on the forefront of open and shared aggregated personal information. With the announcement of OpenSocial, this was no different, they’ve really benefited as adoption has increased. I noticed this too, as I started to get invites from folks to join Plaxo.

Media: MySpace music ads to bypass music stores
MySpace, which is cleverly leaning on it’s already media hungry audience, is going to experiment with ads that promote music downloads for a fee. This new revenue stream is a great idea, making MySpace a container of a music store, and saving the digital natives time from purchasing it elsewhere. All I can say is, what took so long?

Mobile: To interact, users lean on cell phones
As mobile continues to proper in Asia and Europe (and slowly gain traction in North America) internet users will continue to access their social network inbox, feeds, and track their friends updates. For many, this trend will increase according to CNN as “Just as you receive e-mail and instant messages on your cell, you can now access the “status updates” and buddy profiles that are a fixture on social networks.” Companies that create social networks should start planning on making the mobile experience great.

Branding: Coke vs Fox branding on Facebook
Great blog posts here analyzing the difference between online personas of Coke vs Fox. Companies need to let down their guard, and join the conversation and communicate with the community. Not just replicate their corporate site.

Normalization: Google + Orkut, when do they marry?

Google, which boasts many users that have registered for their products, has an amazing opportunity to add social features across all of their products. Nate suggests that the first place to integrate would be to tie the Google Groups list serv tools with it’s social network product, Orkut. In the future, we should expect all of Google’s products to be movable and portable, and then interacting with social features.

Revolt: Backlash against Facebook’s Beacon

Moveon has decided to take it on themselves to boycott, protest, and start a petition against Beacon so “…that no Facebook user should have their private purchases online posted for the entire world to see without their explicit opted-in permission.” Have we stopped to review all the terms of service first? I somehow suspect it’s going to take a lot for Facebook to change it’s latest monetization effort.

Although I’ve been doing this digest for a while, I’ve recently become an analyst covering this space, so I need to know what’s happening. If I missed any stories (or if your company is doing something cool in this space) leave a comment.