Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Nov 12, 2008

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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
As scrutiny over marketing budgets will increase, there is more discussion online about the value of marketing and advertising on social networks. Although we continue to see anecdotes and case studies, we’ve yet to see any social network offer a ROI on marketing efforts –or even public data.


Vision: Where Zuckerberg sees Facebook heading
Mark took the stage at the Web 2.0 Summit in SF, and was interviewed discussing his vision for the future of Facebook, business, users, and international growth. Perhaps one key stat is that 50% of users visit the site once a day.

Monetization: MySpace planning for Virtual Gifts
Hot on the heels of Facebook’s Virtual Gifting features, MySpace makes some plans to roll out their own.

Marketing: Social Network Post Election Analysis
Even this French newspaper is impressed with the Obama campaign to utilize the new tools of today.

Revenue: Facebook Advertising and Marketing
Although this article shows that advertising spend will be down in the next year, Facebook continues to focus on engagement ads to tie customers and brands together.

Redesign: MySpace launches profile
Although I was briefed by this minor design update, it’s not getting a warm reception from press blogs at Reuter and articles. I do know from research that self-expression is key with this market, so everything that helps this is in the right direction.

ReOrg: Six Apart Restructures and Refocuses
Although they’re reducing their headcount by 8% what’s interesting to read is the strategy focuses that Six Apart is going to aim for, including: Creating Six Apart “Genius” group, Growing Six Apart Services, and Six Apart Media.

Marketing Mix: Integrating social networks in other mediums
This study indicates that linking to social network sites in an email campaign may be a less than effective way to reach prospects and customers. Of course, the brand should first figure out if their audience even uses these social tools first

Case Study: Nike’s social networking efforts grow
Great example of how a brand can reach a ‘lifestyle’ of runners using compatible products (iPods) and social networks as well as their running gear to reach a market.

Culture: Why Italians may not want your social software
Interesting lifestyle perspective shows how some Italians may prefer face to face networking over an online tools. Culture, for sure, plays into technology adoption.

World: Map shows “top” social networks by country
Although they’re only getting data from Alexa (questionable at best) this map shows the top social networks by country. Keep in mind, there’s a million ways to cut data, this is only on of many ways to do this.

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.

I slowly work on this digest through the week in draft format, collecting information that I see is interesting, and it only takes me a few minutes on wed morning to publish.