Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Jan 9, 2008

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I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly summary, read the summary, then quickly scan headlines, read the bullet, then click to learn even more.

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Web Strategy Summary
Many are watching Yahoo’s promise to make Yahoo Mail it’s core platform as it adds additional social features around it. The move for open data and the movement of it, are making headway as Google, Facebook, and Plaxo join a working group devoted on this concept. These are both announcements, the actual work has not happened, so look past the buzz and wait for the action.


Announcement: Yahoo to add more social features to mail
The big announcement in the social networking space is Yahoo’s intention to create more social features around it’s network. They will tie together the various other social tools using the mail platform. Of course, some risk comes with this, as getting users to adopt these new tools will be a long and slow process. New features for an email client need to happen slowly, with options to opt-in for the first couple of phases until things are right.

Data Freedom: Google, Facebook, Plaxo join Data Portability
Members from these three web companies have joined the working group, who’s agenda is to allow user data to freely move from one website to another, at the control and management of the users. While just an announcement, it’s an indicator of what could come, but until we see actual changes, it’s a big challenge for these large web companies to make these changes and let go of customer (and potentially revenue) data. The trick is to understand that by letting go, and building a website users want, they’ll come back…with their friends.

Security: Widgets have security trojan
Reports are coming in that there is malicious widgets mining data or burrowoing back doors to access infromation about users. Fortinet provides some analysis on screenshots of what to look for.

Content: Porn social networks emerge on Ning
Marc Andreessen has addressed the growing commentary of social networks forming on Ning around adult content. While certainly a passion interest, there is no stopping this from happening on some social network. Ning pleasds “we’re a host” and remains with an agnostic viewpoint, letting it’s communities grow. This will be interesting in the future as other social networks need to address this same issue.

Rankings: Bebo named “top” social network
Although the methdology of the survey and ranking isn’t clear, Bebo scores a top placement, barely over Facebook, in this survey by a group known as “Computing Which?”.

Brand: Managing your image on social networks
Mario Sundar, LinkedIn’s evangelist send me this article showing how successful online folks manage their online presence and reputation. They’re selective in what they write, what they talk about, and what pictures they share.

Asia: Alibaba to reach to large Indian market
Alibbaba, one of the largest social networks in China for SMB businesses is reaching to expand to India, another large population in hopes of becoming the commerce platform for businesses to trade, buy and sell.

Media Platform: Cisco to unleash EoS social network for big media
Recently, Cisco acquired Five Across and Tribe, both social and community software companies/websites. They’ve now started to repackage this (on top of their networking infrastructure) as a play for big media to get into the social networking space. It’s called entertainment operating system (EOS) could be a brilliant move.

Case Study: American Football teams use Social Network

Submitted by the vendor The Port, the Atlanta Falcons have launched a social network for it’s fans called FalconsLIFE. According to a recent press release the features include: ” fans can develop their own unique profile pages, publish blogs, upload and share videos and photos, initiate surveys, participate in online discussions and more.” I hope to see features like this integrate with the rest of the NFL site, in addition to franchise owned and managed websites, the community is larger. Expect to see other teams to launch similiar social networks.

What else should be on this list? Leave a comment, feedback, or suggestions, I’m listening.