Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Oct 22, 2008

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It’s actually THURSDAY here in Tokyo, but I’m publishing on Wed pacific time to keep on schedule. It’s been more difficult paying attention to what’s happening on the web during global travel, so please leave a comment if I’ve missed anything.

I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly digest on the Social Networking space, which I cover as an industry analyst. By creating this digest (I started this over a year ago) it really helps me to stay on top of the space I cover.

I’ve created a new category called Digest (view archives). Start with the Web Strategy Summary, then quickly scan the succinct and categorized headlines, read text for my take, and click link to dive in for more.

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Web Strategy Summary
There wasn’t any earth-shattering news in the social networking space, although several deals and partnerships such as watercooler and hulu make for an interesting marriage of social rating and online video. As social networks continue to get popular, the threats from malicious code continues –this time with a strike to Facebook.


Partnership: Watercoolor and Hulu
Watercooler which enables sports and TV fans to engage with their favorite teams and shows within social networks, teams with online video service Hulu to use its new player for full-screen shows from Fox and NBC. Expect more social features to be embedded within real time video media –watching TV will never be lonely again.

Security: Facebook exposes users to malicious code
Network world has a report about the potential dangers of hackers within social networks, and it’s impact to users. I know of one friend who has opened an email from Facebook forcing her computer to be damaged. If it looks fishy, it very well could be.

Privacy: Could social network sites be snooped on?
UK article suggests that some social network sites could be monitored in order to prevent deviant and destructive behavior. For public websites, that don’t require a login, I’m sure that’s already happening.

Executives: Zuckerblog reaches out
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s young founder and CEO is now communicating more frequently to developers, users, and press and media says Cnet.

Partnership: User Plane and JS-Kit
Userplane and JS-Kit Partner to Offer Complementary Social Networking Widgets to 900,000 Communities, I have a briefing with JS-Kit soon, will learn more about them and what makes them unique.

Data: Social Network Growth Slowing in the U.K
To be clear this data shows growth rates –so the social networks are still growing yet the adoption rates have slightly dipped. To determine the changes, we’d first need to look at overall technographics data to determine what’s the total saturation number would be –then see how close total population was to achieving that ‘joining’ behavior.

USA Today: Social Networks Boost Productivity
This light article showcases Gina, Ning’s spokesperson as the posterchild for social networks and discusses how some companies are finding productivity gains. I promise you, mileage will vary.

Launch: Plum launches, plugin social networking features
Expect to see more of these companies appear, commodity technology allows any website to be social. Recently Liveworld launched Livebar, which is somewhat similar, expect to see many other existing community platforms to offer these features.

Profiles: Why some social networks appeal to people
This light reference guide tells about what some social networks mean to those who use them –think of this as a humorous exercise in profiling.

If you’re a social network, or widget company, I want to know of your news, send me an email, or leave a comment below. Help me stay up to date.