Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Dec 3, 2008

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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
With Social Networking sites amping up their offerings around logins (like OpenID, Facebook Connect, and Google Friend Connect) more questions arise if websites –and brands should participate. Additional research reinforces how advertising doesn’t work on social networks –yet are brands ready to role up their sleeves and be part of the community they serve?


Theory: Should social networks federate or aggregate?
Two classes of social networking companies are appeating, the first class, like MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn are offering identity systems (open ID, Facebook Connect or Google Friendconnect) to connect with other websites. The second class of companies are aggregating the existing content of these social networks, like Friendfeed and Ping FM, GigaOm compares both sides.

Research: Social Network Users Less Receptive To Advertising, IDC
More than half of U.S. consumers with Internet access use social networking services (SNS), such as Facebook and MySpace, and penetration will continue to grow. According to a new study from IDC, consumers are also spending ever-greater amounts of time on SNS, a fact that has advertisers drooling over the opportunity represented by SNS, data from IDC.

Marketing: How to use social networks for marketing and PR
This high level primer from the NYTs discusses how brands can get started with their PR and marketing efforts on social networks. They suggest profiles and connections, groups, then discussion areas.

Identity: Criticism over Facebook Connect’s Federation
Not everyone agrees that the federated model is best for the web, and some proponents of data portability suggest that Facebook Connect’s ability is an effort to keep content proprietary.

Aggregation: Power.com offers a social portal
This Brazilian startup power.com offers features that aggregate not only the social content being created, but also emails from other sources to centralize content to one source. In Korean, I believe this is called a “home-pi”. (update, see comments for details, it’s actually a mini-home-pi)

Music: YouTube to highlight classical artists
YouTube, the world’s most popular video online destination will now try out music, starting with classical artists. Expect more experimentation and perhaps a way to extend YouTube’s on demand music playing features to other devices.

Widgets: Ripe for marketers, but not used
This long article on AdAge gives examples and stats why widgets may work for brands –and why adoption with marketers hasn’t seen a pickup.

Identity: How to dupe friends on Social NetworksThis article shows how easy it is to emulate friends on Facebook, stealing folks identity in order to secretly get close to others.

Culture: Charges against mother who victimized suicidal teen
The recent conviction of the mother who tricked a young team that committed suicide in MySpace has stirred advocates that there’s not enough being done for consumers in social networks –esp teens.

Culture: Croatian arrested for anti-government activity in social network
Not every culture is ready to embrace the two-way web, in fact, this man was arrested for creating a group aimed at debunking his government.

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.

Social Networking Stats: Have you seen my collection of Social Networks Site Usage: Visitors, Members, Page Views, and Engagement by the Numbers in 2008? Bookmark it, then share it with others as I continue to update it.