Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Sept 5, 2007


I’m respecting your limited time by creating this weekly summary.

I’ve created a new tag called Digest where you can start to track and access these going forward. The hope? To make it easy for a web strategist to quickly scan the activity in the last week. I strive to make headlines on items categorized and succinct.

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Web Strategy Summary
Global adoption of Social Networks continue, money continues to flow into the space, and widgets on Facebook continue to gain steam. Larger brands are making plays in the SoNet space, and as brands become popular, claims over intellectual property will continue to occur.

Global and Money: MySpace China to get funding
A Chinese version of MySpace is getting investment backing from the Chinese VC firm “WPP has invested in the Chinese venture capital firm which is spearheading the launch of MySpace in China.” We know that China already has more internet users than all of North America combined and this will continue to grow.

Global: Bebo top Social Network in UK

Comscore reports that: “UK property Bebo.com became the most visited social networking site from within the UK in July, attracting 10.6 million unique visitors, an increase of 63 percent over the start of the year”. Please note it was closely followed by MySpace.

Widgets: Finance Applications on Facebook
Nearly a dozen finance widgets have appeared for Facebook’s open platform, among them Yahoo, Forbes, Lending Club, PayPal, Billmonk and Split.

Widgets: Advertisers catching on
Ad week reports that widgets may make sense for the traditional online marketer: “Some companies see widgets as a needed replacement for online banner ads because they offer marketers a chance to blend consumer utility with branded messages.” (link via Peter)

Widget Profile: Rock You a top Facebook Application
This video by colleague Robert Scoble shows how Rock You’s widget strategy as a clothing store for the internet. What design trends are in? Glitter (sparkle animation) on just about everything.

Widgets: Adoption and Market Demand
Facebook widgets have been deployed in the first wave, now that many busineses are seeing the benefit, a second generation has appeared: “But the new entrepreneurs entering the arena are bringing with them applications that are more sophisticated and can engage users more often and for longer periods of time. To do so, they try to harness the connections that link its members, or what has become known as Facebook’s “social graph.”

Acquisition: Microsoft to buy Collaboration suite
Microsoft to buy the ‘chinwag’ platform, which enable employees to interact with one another via group chat sessions. The price of the purchase is unknown, but I hope they can improve the clumsy and antiquated Sharepoint, a tool I was forced to deploy in the last enterprise Intranet I managed.

Segmentation: Yahoo applies social network to Job Search
Yahoo’s clever new KickStart program helps prospective job candidates (some still in college) get paired with current employees. Fostering this relationship further, it could yield in a job hire. This appears to be a unique way to fix the job search process.

Corporations: Don’t ban Social Networks
In previous weeks, reports were coming in that employers were banning social networks at work, a fresh way of thinking suggests that, “According to the TUC’s guidance for employers, companies should recognize that the issue won’t go away simply by banning Facebook from the workplace. The goal, instead, should be to have a clearly articulated and open “conduct policy” regarding the use of such sites, coupled with a hands-off approach to an employee’s personal life.”

Usage: Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google employees use Facebook
Over 13,000 Microsoft employees are on Facebook, 5000 Yahoo employees, and 3500 Google Employees. Why the amazing interest? Is it just native to the adoption curve or can we suggest competitive research? For each of these companies, deploying an application, advertising, or other campaigns make sense.

Intellectual Property: A third party makes a claim for Facebook’s conception
The NYT reports that “Aaron J. Greenspan, yet another Harvard classmate. He says he was actually the one who created the original college social networking system, before either side in the legal dispute. And he has the e-mail messages to show it.” We could find it ironic how the claims happen years after launch, once the site hs become successful.