Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Feb 26, 2009


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
This has been one of the busiest weeks to date, so the need for this digest is great. A trend to launch lifestreaming features is taking off, also Facebook extends it’s reach by connecting to commenting systems –expect that to grow even further. Community platform vendors launch education suites and listening tools, and companies like Sharethis that are collecting data have a platform opportunity.

Trends: AOL launches lifestream product
We’re seeing more and more lifestreams appear out of products, as indivudals publish on disparate systems, the need to aggregate in one place becomes important for both personal and brands. AOL launches their own lifestream product, emulating what others before them have done.

Trend: CIOs seeing opportunities of social network
This ZDnet article suggests that CIOs and IT directors are coming around to the benefits of social networks based on a recent panel that had with practitioners.

Launch: Mzinga launches Learning Suite
This Learning Suite is intended to make corporate training socialized by encouraging students to learn with and from peers. With this launch, they’ll extend to different buyers within the enterprise, from sales to HR, but may still have to deal with IT stakeholders.

Launch: Lithium launches measurement suite
I’ve given my thoughts on the product here, this product is a next generation community gauging tool that can help brands identify troublespots as well as receive automated and human recommendations.

Strategy: ShareThis has data, seeks to be platform
Data collection is powerful, but when you are able to make sense of it, it can be monetized to those who want to reach influencers. Sharethis, a popular sharing embed is now expanding their reach and aiming to be a data platform, they know who shares what and how.

Deployment: Facebook connect deploys in comments boxes
Pretty simple deployment, you can now leave comments on blogs that have connected with Facebook, expect more and more of this to happen.

Viewpoint: Google’s view on social network and open stack
Google’s Kevin Marks does a guest post on Techcrunch (it’s not really an interview right?) that discuses Google’s view on the open stack and connective tissues.

Revenue: Facebook and Apps ecosystem grapples with monetization
Adweek stirs the importance of the ecoystem of an application tax that may go into effect in order for Facebook to monetize and drive revenues. There’s been critical eyes cast (myself included) about using advertising on their network to generate revenues. Here’s some options to monetize web apps –and a breakdown of what’s popular.

Culture: Social networks harm children’s development and your health
Interesting research that indicates that social networks teaches children to be too focused on just about nothing. With this reduced attention span and immediate gratification, this causes concern for children who are not learning from the ‘real ‘world. Oh it’s also not good for your health, time to go to the gym?

Elitism? Twitter suggest causes an uproar
LA Times captures the essence: “Some high-profile Twitter accounts have been seeing astronomical jumps in the number of users subscribing to their profile updates — tens of thousands of new followers, in some cases.” many who are not on the list, are well, jealous.

Awards: Social Networking awards by Codie
Who won this category for Best Social Networking Solution the Codie Awards? Dow Jones g2, Dow Jones Business & Relationship Intelligence, Lithium Technologies, Mzinga, Neighborhood America, Inc, RM Honeycomb, RM Educational Software, SchoolNet, Inc. congrats (Update: these are finalists, not winners)

Advertising: Shift to social engagement ads
SFGate suggests that the next evolution in advertisements will pivot around social networks and communities. The challenge is, we’ve yet to see true numbers on click through rates to prove. I wrote a report on engagement ads, do read if you’ve access.

Campaign: Ford reaches for Social Networks for campaign
Pitching it’s cost effective Festiva car, Ford launches the campaign page calling individuals to create a video to explain why they want this car.

Deployment: Innovis launches social network
I meet with a lot of brands that are deploying their own social network, and as a result, we see deployments for every type of vertical, in this case, Innovis launches one for vendors and suppliers.

Privacy: Facebook withdraws Terms of Service
After the dustup last week with Facebook’s change in terms of service, they’ve now retracted, the third time making a mistake when it comes to privacy. Tip: ask first, then act human.

Ethics: Yelp under fire for extortion
Growing social network that allows customers to review restaurants (it’s a decision maker for patrons here in the bay area) is under fire for being accused of being an extortion racket to small businesses. Article suggests that some restaurant owners are offered to remove negative reviews for a few hundred dollars a month.

Hurmous Self-Assesment: What type of Facebook friend are you?
Go on, be honest, what kind of friend are you? I’ll be honest, I’m an exhibitionist.

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.

Hungry For Social Networking Stats? Then you should see my collection of Social Networks Stats for 2008 and 2009. Bookmark them, then share it with others as I continue to update it.