Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Jan 23, 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.

I’ve created a 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
Investments continue to flow into this space, primarily with Slide and Badoo getting funding. Expect more money to drop at the door steps of widget networks over the coming months, the distributed web is a marketing opportunity.


Investment: Slide raises $50 million, will grow
Slide gets huge valuation at $500 million after raising $50 million dollars this week. This really nods to the power of the network of applications that will flow on top of social networks. watch this space carefully.

Investment: Russian Social Network gets $30million
Badoo, a russian social network with heavy video and image sharing features has received funding, and is expected to grow in Russia.

Index: List of companies that measure widgets
I created a list of different services that allow measurement of widgets, you can track them as this space grows. I expect this list to double within 3 months.

Usage: Teens Use Social Networking
Apophenia has some analysis on how teens use social networks, key findings include: email is less relevant, girls appear more active, teens are more sensitive about what is public and what’s not, and most importantly she points out how those that are active online are just as active offline.

Measurement: MySpace Dominates Traffic over all others
Owning 72% of market share for traffic in the social networking industry, MySpace owns the vertical. Of course this doesn’t mean much, as true engagement, interaction, and attention isn’t being measured. So have some context in this measurement.

Measurement: MyYearbook has 400% growth in 2007
This is linking to the exact same post as above, but it’s worth noticing that the chart indicates that MyYearbook has 407% growth rate. This is clearly amazing growth, we’ll have to explore deeper to see what’s happening.

Scale: Social Networks’ not robust for for Emergency Communications
A great move by Google, they’ve called upon the two other popular social tools (where’s MySpace?) to start planning to be involved in disaster communications. As you may know, Twitter was used extensively in the recent southern California fires to give critical alerts. Sadly, the service went down and died due to Steve Jobs keynote. We can’t rely on these tools at the moment. That’s why a decentralized version owned and managed by many, may have many more fail safes.

Privacy: Personal and Public lives Collide
The information housed and contained within social networks continues to be a concern, some critics, according to this article by BBC, discuss how some Facebook members are trying to understand how their profiles are being used even after they delete their account. For one woman who married another woman, she found about her sexual and public lives colliding in a way she never expected.

Growth: MySpace growth and expansion
This high level article from WSJ covers the growth and future expansion that MySpace will have in the coming years. This new media network, yes I called it a media network, is changing how the youth interact, self-express their fandom.

Revolt: Jan 30th, national delete your MySpace profile day
MySpace members have given several reasons to delete your MySpace profile this coming week. Many of the complaints are due to user experience, and feature functionality.

History: Evolution of Social Networks
Where did people first start connecting with others online? It started in the 80s and GigaOm looks at the different tools from bulletin boards, usenet, online services and other areas before this space really started to explode. Let’s see if anyone is really reading this, next week I’ll be hosting my annual birthday (as opposed to semi-annually), which inevitably comes every year. Interestingly, I never put my real birthdate on social networks for a variety of reasons.

I’m covering this space as an analyst, leave a comment if I missed any, or email with any things to include in next week’s digest.