Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Feb 13, 2008

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Web Strategy Summary
This week’s news has been rather quiet, if you enjoy case studies or analysis, see what the initial analysis I did on Fast Company. Facebook continues to be in the news as the hotest most talked about site, I look forward to your submissions.


Teens reading less books, but reading online
“Oh dear Marge, Johnny can’t read!” Is yet another concern many are having, they don’t realize that reading has just shifted, to online places. Sure they may not be reading those novels (unless prescribed by the teacher) but they are interacting, talking, hunting for info and sharing.

Launch: Fast Company launches community
Fast Company, is making some noise with their latest social network add-on. While it’s certainly not news to see yet another social network, this is one of the first magazines/publications/journalist orgs to launch this, it will be a unique experiment. They are also pushing an open garden approach.

Applications: Facebook to protect user experience
Users are getting fed up with endless notifications from applications (myself included) and are going to be policing the experience. This is the right move, as without users, you’ve no developers, and certainly no advertisers. Expect MySpace and Bebo to put on the brakes for these annoyance once they get traction.

Government: CIA monitors YouTube
Let’s not be surprised about the government is watching social networks, local agencies should be monitoring YouTube as well, it’s amazing to see what idiocy people upload as they become proud of their exploits.

Localization: Facebook launches in Spanish, crowdsources translation
Facebook releases it’s first language specific version of it’s site, in Spanish, a logical first language choice to pick. I’ve seen other social networks localize to different languages, but until you understand it’s culture, you can’t expect success from simply rewiring the navigation in another language –every culture is different. In this case it looks like they’ve crowdsourced the translation to the community, let’s see if it works. See video from users, a critique.

Aggregation: Friendfeed, a social network via feeds
I could as easily categorize this in digital lifestyle aggregation, if the feeds extend to every possible application. Friendfeed a ‘collaborative newstream’ aggregates all your information to once place, using RSS. Not a novel idea, but certainly a trend we’re seeing from many other players.

Disable: Remove Facebook Applications
Don’t like Facebook applications, this video shows you how to disable them, with concerns over social networking fatigue, expect more users to remove apps from their profiles

Findings: Online Chatter fuels record sales
A new report shows that the more people talk about an album before it’s released will directly impact it’s sales, in a positive way. Expect to see more viral components, mysteries, games, and rumors get circulated to amp this up.

Perspective: We don’t want to join your branded social network
With the rise of so many private social networks being created by brands, Brian Oberkirch suggests that he doesn’t want to join these social networks, instead suggests companies should join existing ones.

Retention: Facebook makes it easy to arrive, difficult to leave
Interesting article from NYT demonstrating how leaving Facebook will be difficult, as accounts are never really deleted, but just saved for later use.

Leave a comment if this Digest was helpful, or if you’ve anything to add. Email me if you’ve suggestions for next week’s digest. In case you were wondering, I cover this space as an analyst.