Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Nov 14, 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
After last week’s major announcement of MySpace’s hyper targeting, and Facebook’s Social ads, we’re starting to see reactions and hearing about some adoptions. Feedback on Social ads is mixed, great story for media, although bloggers seem to reject the concept. Big trends include socialization of email, which indicates the normalization of social features, followed by the movement to be more ‘open’ as Bebo makes affiliate content play for media providers. Expect to see more of this normalization and openness over coming months.

White Label: Six Apart moves into space
A natural evolution from it’s blogging platform roots, Six Apart announces it will offer a white label community in the box solution. I’m going to spend some time with them in the near future to find out more about the features, but in the meantime, I’m adding them to the master list of White Label Social Networking suites.

Developers: Natural Selection to happen
I was quoted in this Forbes article, I suspect that only a few application developers in Facebook will be able to make it. Why? it’s a steep, steep curve due to many clones. How many versions of poke or friend or food fight do we need? There’s only enough room for 2-3 of each…max. Right now, we’re in the early stages of application widget development, just like websites in the first web boom, there were many. After the shakeout a few established players emerged.

Segmentation: Sports fans and Arists, sonets for everyone
Expect more social networks to segment by focus, lifestyle and passion area, for Loopd, the ‘raddest’ network out there has launched last week. You can see the various brands that have partnered, giving marketers more accurate use of their money. Remember folks, segmentation = accuracy. Thanks for the comment in last week’s digest. On a related note, even artists are getting social networks, appropriately named myartinfo.

Revolt: Facebook users are blocking Beacon
Digg.com has a link to a post that will block beacon using a plugin to prevent Facebook from serving up SocialAds. While in my opinion, it’s still too early to determine if SocialAds are a hit or a miss, some in the community are rejecting it. Don’t expect the masses to adopt this blocking system.

Trends: Social Networks bypass email usage in UK
This report indicates that usage of webmail is breaking even with social networks in the UK. With more members using the private mail functions, it slowly is replacing email. Why is this? The feature set is closer and easier to use, and there’s a chance of less spam (although this is increasing) may be a feature of social networks.

Normalization: Yahoo and Google mail go social
The most successful social graph we have online is webmail features, you currently have dozens of pages of email addresses that you’ve received or sent to. By graphing these relationships, mail clients can determine who is closest to you, who’s the farthest, and start to build relationship maps. Social feature are going to normalize on the web, including that archaic corporate website.

Content Partner: Bebo allows media companies to publish video
Bebo announced they will encourage media companies to insert their media streams on already successful social network. Bebo, which has stronger in adoption in Europe (especially in UK), will let brands host videos and generate ad revenues. This means additional videos for the already strong user community, this looks like a win.

Cloud: Joyent offers Facebook developers hosting
For many who create widgets (mini-applications) on Facebook, it’s a part-time gig, and there isn’t a lot of infrastructure to support these apps, espicially if they go ‘viral’. Joyent is offering Facebook developers this hosting service for free for one year, then will switch to a paid version.

Privacy: Social network spills secrets for bank employee
Don’t be this guy. This guy lied to company about leave of absence and got caught from his own social networking profile. how. embarrassing.

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.