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Tag: social networking

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At Issue } essential reading

How Pinterest Can Turn Your Brand Red-Hot [INFOGRAPHIC]

Jeremy Cabalona
Mar 19, 2012

If your brand isn’t on Pinterest, you could be missing out on a growing stream of potential customers.

Newly redesigned Pinterest profile pages go live

Jon Russell
Mar 16, 2012

Pinterest has rolled out its first significant makeover since gaining popular attention in a move that sees it streamline the look of profile pages on the service.

How to Track Traffic From Pinterest in Google Analytics

Jim Gianoglio
Mar 14, 2012

It’s hard to ignore Pinterest‘s explosive growth over the past year. In a very short period of time, the social network has gone from relative obscurity to a top 100 site, with 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors. But how many referrals does Pinterest generate?

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann’s Lesson for Start-Ups: Go Your Own Way

Liz Gannes
Mar 13, 2012

In an interview with Hunch co-founder and investor Chris Dixon at SXSW today, it was remarkable how often the conversation hit upon ways that Pinterest bucked Silicon Valley’s conventional wisdom. And yet these days, the visual social curation service is one of the fastest growing and most influential of start-ups.

Marketers: 7 Ways NOT to Ruin Pinterest

Barrett Condy
Mar 6, 2012

Have you heard of Pinterest? It’s a (relatively) new social site where users share — or “pin” – visual content. Brands such as GE, HGTV and Martha Stewart Living have made deft use of Pinterest already. As a marketer, you should be too.

Pinterest Becomes Top Traffic Driver for Women’s Magazines

Lauren Indvik
Feb 27, 2012

Pinterest hasn’t just become a significant source of referral traffic for retailers; it’s also becoming a top traffic driver for women’s lifestyle, home decor and cooking magazines, some of which are seeing bigger referral numbers from the image-collecting service than from major portals like Facebook and Yahoo.

High-End Pinterest Competitor Fancy Launches Commerce Platform With Help From Jack Dorsey

Austin Carr
Feb 23, 2012

"People are 'Fancy-ing' what they like, forming communities around these products or experiences, and now we allow merchants and brands to come in and fill that interest and demand in real-time, which no one is doing," says founder Joseph Einhorn.

Beyond Facebook: The Rise Of Interest-Based Social Networks

Jay Jamison
Feb 20, 2012

While some may pronounce that Facebook is all the social we’d ever need, users clearly haven’t gotten the memo. Instead, users are rapidly adopting new interest-based social networks such as Pinterest, Instagram, Thumb, Foodspotting, and even the very new Fitocracy.

Bessemer Ventures: Why We Invested In Pinterest

E. B. Boyd
Feb 17, 2012

Jeremy Levine, who led Bessemer's investment, tells us about all the ways Pinterest can make money, why it's not thinking about that right now, and why the company is more like Google than you might imagine.

How Pinterest Is Changing Website Design Forever

Sarah Kessler
Feb 10, 2012

Even if you haven’t ever visited popular visual bookmarking site Pinterest, you might recognize its design elements — which have been popping up everywhere since the startup burst onto the mainstream scene in 2011. The site doesn’t use traditional web building blocks.

Curate Your Brand's Content With Pinterest

Rodney Hazard
Feb 9, 2012

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use Pinterest to communicate through vibrant images and share their personal interests.

You Are What You Meme

Sam Leith
Oct 17, 2011

Have you met Maru? No? Maru is a cat. A cute cat. Is there anything special about Maru, apart from the cuteness, which, if we’re honest, he has in common with quite a few other cats? Maru is just a cat. But he’s also more than just a cat. Maru is a bellwether of the state of the culture. Maru is a meme.

Google Wins, Game Over

Patrick Hanlon
Aug 24, 2011

It’s always a danger to look into the crystal ball, everything is so distorted by the glass. But if everything remains as is, it’s hard to look at Google and not foresee the California company winning the future of social media, social technology, and all the bitstreams in between.

What Google+ Means For Google And You

Victoria Barret
Jul 15, 2011

Recently I had a chance to catch up with Vic Gundotra, one of the chiefs behind Google’s new social networking service, Google+. I was interested in what Google+ means for our relationships online and off. We shape technology, but it also shapes us. As Google+ blossoms (and today Larry Page confirmed the site has over 10 million members sharing one billion items daily, even in its very limited trial phase) these themes merit mulling. Gundotra offered up lots of insight, and a glimpse into the future of a very different search experience.

The Surprising (Content) Future of Google+

Ian Schafer
Jul 13, 2011

I have been spending time on Google+ since its launch, and though people on Google+ are talking a lot about Google+ (isn't that breaking the first rule of fight club?) every day I begin to see its potential take it into different directions – not based upon the platform itself, but rather, based upon its interoperability with Google's other properties. Seamless YouTube video integration. Real-time photo sharing via Google Photos. Music library streaming via Google Music. Document sharing. Connections via Google Talk. Surely, more features will be rolled out over the coming weeks to millions of users still trying to figure out the purpose of the platform. And that's the beauty of platforms – the users get to figure out how they are ultimately used, and shape their evolution.

7 unique and creative uses for Google+

Jul 11, 2011

Because of its simultaneously private and public approach to sharing information, Google+ is an extremely malleable platform, and as it continues to grow, there will be no end to the creative and unique uses for the site. Facebook and Twitter are much more than social networks, and Google+ with its unique method of sharing information can be whatever you want it to be.

LinkedIn Takes Its Shot at Facebook, Going Live With Shares and Sign-ins

Apr 7, 2011

LinkedIn's just launched its new platform to everyone online interested in hooking up to the business networking site's APIs. Useful stuff, for some, but what it's really about is trying to usurp Facebook in the enterprise social networking space.

A Privacy 9-11 Could Derail Social

Sep 8, 2010

Flashback to early 2001 and you might recall that America was blissfully ignorant about our national security. Terrorism was something that happened elsewhere, never on our shores. It didn't enter our mind such an event could happen here until a few dozen suicidal extremists found a weak link in our system, commandeered our airspace with simple box cutters and murdered thousands of innocent people. They forced us to think the unthinkable. Today I have an similar uneasy feeling about social networking and, to some degree, cloud computing. I believe that a Privacy 9-11 looms. I don't have evidence to support it. All I have is a bad vibe that too many people are apathetic about securing their privacy and this creates lots of weak links waiting to be exploited with digital box cutters. The risk of a Privacy 9-11 is not rooted in technology. Rather, it's about sociology.

Apple's Steve Jobs Ups Ante for Dominance in Home Entertainment

Sep 3, 2010

In a year already marked by innovations, Apple on Wednesday unveiled advances on multiple fronts that drove home its ultimate goal: to become the architect of home entertainment.

Scholastic Books Revamps Its Marketing

Sep 2, 2010

When Karen Rice was a little girl, Santa Claus visited multiple times a year. At least it felt that way when Ms. Rice, now a 22-year-old elementary-school teacher in Elizabethtown, Ky., got the books she ordered from the Scholastic Book Club. “I can remember as a kid, it’s kind of like a little Christmas when your books come in,” she said. In a tradition carried out in classrooms countless times during the club’s 60 years, Ms. Rice got a catalog and order forms from her teacher and then went home, selected a few books and returned the forms and money to her teacher. A few weeks later, a box full of books arrived for distribution.

Apple Pings Facebook With ITunes-Based Social Network

Sep 2, 2010

Even Apple, which lives in a bubble of its own device-centered success, can't resist the lure of social networking. Today, CEO Steve Jobs formally thrust the company into the social-media fray with an iTunes-based network, Ping. Why would Apple want to get into social networking? It's where consumers are spending most of their internet time, and Apple has millions of iTunes customers as an instant revenue stream. "We think this will be really popular very fast because 160 million people can switch it on today," Mr. Jobs said during his keynote, where he also announced a version of iOS 4 for the iPad and a new $99 version of AppleTV, with 99-cent TV and $4.99 movie rentals.

The Social Network of the Future

Aug 25, 2010

In part ten of a series of conversations exploring the state of social media, Chris Beck, founder of 26dottwo and I speculate on the future of social networks. Social networking as it exists today is not scalable nor is it representative of how social beings connect and engage. We are complex individuals we are defined by what we share, consume, and to whom we connect. Our social graphs are woven with the fabrics of our interests, passions, and relations. One update does not resonate across the social graph. Networks will evolve to match content to context and allow us to seamlessly connect relevant information and people based on frames of reference and subjects.

Coupons, Mobile, And The Path To Purchase

Aug 12, 2010

Last October, media marketing firm Greystripe released a study of working moms who use their iPhones for everything from banking to social networking to making purchases. Dubbed the "iPhone Mom," this audience segment depends on the iPhone for managing their lives to entertaining their children. Just over half use their iPhones at the supermarket, according to the study.

Google Can't Beat Facebook At Social, Valley Insiders Agree

Jay Yarow
Jul 2, 2010

Google is preparing yet another attempt to crack the social networking market. The project is reportedly called "Google Me," and it will be a Facebook clone. What are the odds that Google finally gets it right with social networking? Not good. At least that's what Silicon Valley's tech insiders think.

Link Vs. Like And The Future Of Web Ranking

Jun 30, 2010

There's been a lot of discussion about the ongoing fight for Web supremacy between Google and Facebook but, to date, the debate has centered around matters like privacy and metrics like page views and ad dollars. In the past week, however, it appears both companies are taking direct aim at the heart of the other's core business.

Marketers Watch as Friends Interact Online

Emily Steel
Apr 15, 2010

Birds of a feather flock together. Or, in the Internet age, a customer's friend is a potential customer. Embracing those truisms, some big marketers, including Sprint and eBay, are turning to small start-ups to help them tap social-networking data to find would-be clients among the friends and acquaintances of existing customers, to the dismay of some privacy advocates.

How 5 Brands Are Mastering the Game of Foursquare

Apr 2, 2010

With its game mechanics and spunky badges, Foursquare could easily be mistaken for a frivolous mobile application with little to no value for businesses. As the startup races to the million member milestone, however, nothing could be further from the truth. We’ve already written about Foursquare’s savvy relationships with major media and entertainment brands and even talked about how it’s changing the world as we know it. In this post, we’ll delve deeper into the big brands and businesses that are experimenting with the platform and finding success with location-sharing.

They’re Hot Now, But Will Start-Ups Fall Victim To ‘Check-In Fatigue’?

Apr 2, 2010

“Check-in” companies that were all but unheard of a year ago are making noise due to the simple game mechanics and competitive element they added to their start-ups, which took social networking into a new, location-based direction. Now, the youthful founders of this new breed of start-ups say that checking in – created as a solution to “social networking fatigue” – could in turn lead “check-in fatigue” if people do not find novel things to do with this location data.

Do Network Effects Span Geographies?

Fred Wilson
Apr 2, 2010

Three years ago most western european countries had a local social network that was the most popular social net in the country. Today Facebook is dominant in most of western europe and those local social nets have largely been bypassed. It would seem that Facebook leveraged the size of its network (approaching 500mm people worldwide) to beat its competition in social networking. But what's interesting to me about that is that it also means that it leveraged a network that was larger out of country to beat an incumbent who initially was larger in country.

Apple Seeks Patent For Mobile Social Networking

Mar 23, 2010

Apple is seeking a patent for technology that would make it possible for users of the iPhone or other mobile devices to form an ad hoc social network to communicate and share information during tradeshows, concerts, rallies or other event. Apple filed the patent application Thursday with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Web site Patently Apple reported. The patent application describes a service called iGroups that would enable people to share geographic location data in order to connect using an iPhone or other mobile device. People who agree to join the network would be able to broadcast information in real-time through text and instant messaging and also share files, such as pictures or video.

Reaching Affluents on Social Nets

Mar 9, 2010

Most wealthy Internet users in the US are optimistic about the economy going forward, according to Ipsos Mendelsohn, and their online spending has historically been higher than average. That should make them attractive to retailers, which are increasingly turning to social networks to attract customers. But will affluents be as receptive to social marketing as other Web users?

ChaCha Turns To Facebook To Socialize Questions And Answers; Rolls Out API

Feb 15, 2010

Mobile question and answer startup ChaCha has been able to turnaround its model, possibly achieve profitability, and raise boatloads of money, much to our surprise. Today, ChaCha is rolling out a Facebook application allows users open access to questions and answers from both ChaCha and all of their friends.

Some Ditch Social Networks to Reclaim Time, Privacy

Feb 10, 2010

As the social networking train gathers momentum, some riders are getting off. Their reasons run the gamut from being besieged by online "friends" who aren't really friends to lingering concerns over where their messages and photos might materialize. If there's a common theme to their exodus, it's the nagging sense that a time-sucking habit was taking the "real" out of life.

With Buzz, Google Plunges Into Social Networking

Feb 10, 2010

Google and Facebook are on a collision course in the increasingly competitive market for social networking services. On Tuesday, Google introduced a new service called Google Buzz, a way for users of its Gmail service to share updates, photos and videos. The service will compete with sites like Facebook and Twitter, which are capturing an increasing percentage of the time people spend online.

Facebook Revamps Home Page

Feb 5, 2010

Facebook has gotten another face-lift. The popular social-networking site has tweaked its home page yet again. This time around, the redesign puts more of Facebook's core features and settings right on the home page. The goal is to spare users from having to jump from one page to another to access their favorite features.

Want to Spread News on Twitter? It's Who You Know, Not How Many

Feb 4, 2010

Some novel research on the social networking phenomenon has turned up a slightly surprising result: The most influential spreaders of news aren't necessarily those with the greatest number of online friends or followers.

Most Companies Don’t Have A Social Media Policy

Feb 3, 2010

A report by Manpower employer services found that only 29% of companies in the Americas have a “formal policy regarding employee use of social networking sites.” The number is lower in other regions — 25% in Asia-Pacific and 11% EMEA. The worldwide number is 20%.

The Economist on Social Networking

Feb 1, 2010

What joy. This week, The Economist, every Capitalist’s favorite magazine, has published a special report on social networking: The Economist on social networking - world of connections. A World of Connections, provides an excellent overview of the current state of social media for those still trying to get to grips with it.

Towards a Socialised State

special report
Jan 29, 2010

What will the future of social networking look like? Imagine this: your digital video recorder automatically copies a television show that several of your friends were talking about on a social network before the show went on air. Or this: you get into your car, switch on its navigation system and ask it to guide you to a friend’s house. As you pull out of the driveway, the network to which you both belong automatically alerts her that you are on your way. And this: as you are buying a pair of running shoes that you think one of your friends might be interested in, you can send a picture to their network page with a couple of clicks on a keypad next to the checkout counter.

P&G Embraces Facebook as Big Part of Its Marketing Plan

Jan 25, 2010

Procter & Gamble Co. loves Facebook after all, and besides encouraging brands to develop a presence there, the world's biggest marketer has opened an office in Silicon Valley to help develop social-networking systems and digital-marketing capabilities with the website. Those messages came in a meeting last week between P&G executives and venture capitalists, recounted by David Hornik on VentureBlog in a post that quickly picked up currency over the weekend on, of all places, Twitter.

Japanese Social Networking – It’s All Mobile

Jan 18, 2010

Three-quarters of Japanese social network users access the sites only from their mobile phones. This observation comes from a survey conducted last year with almost 4,000 social network users in Japan by Mobile Marketing Data Labo. They found that 75.4% of respondents only accessed social networking sites from their mobile phone (and not from their PC). The number only accessing it from their PC (and not their mobile phone) was very low at just 2%.

McDonald’s Serves Up Competitive Branding At 2010 Winter Olympics

Jan 14, 2010

The 2010 Winter Olympics offers world-class athletes an intense and competitive environment to showcase their talents. Yet no other participant is preparing more intensely for the games than McDonald’s. That’s right, McDonald’s. The fast food juggernaut has devised a marketing strategy that is as specific and yet as varied as the many competitions being offered at the games next February. McDonald’s is embracing the Winter Olympics in every aspect, and will fill everywhere from host city Vancouver to social networking phenomenon Twitter with its messaging.

Facebook’s Continued Rise to Pervasiveness

Jan 6, 2010

As the flame of 2009 flickered into the history books, Facebook celebrated its rise to 350 million users and certain dominance in the U.S. social networking market. However, in December, analysts questioned whether or not Facebook was losing its cool as time spent on the popular social network dropped three consecutive months among 18-24 year old users. Experts feared that the “family effect” was having a negative impact within this highly coveted demographic.

LinkedIn Wants Users to Connect More

Dec 30, 2009

If LinkedIn Corp. wants to avoid being swamped by social-networking giant Facebook Inc., it will have to convince users like Jackie Nejaime to log in more often they do now.

Facebook Must be Weary of Changing the Rules

David Gelles, Tim Bradshaw and Maija Palmer
Dec 13, 2009

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 25-year-old chief executive, is finding out first-hand what it is like to reveal a bit too much about himself on the internet. Since the social networking website began revamping its privacy settings on Wednesday, Mr. Zuckerberg has made much more of his personal information available to all of Facebook’s 350m users. Once private pictures of him hugging his girlfriend, drinking from a plastic cup next to a keg of beer and shirtless at a pool party, are now doing the rounds on gossip sites. Facebook graphic for ICN Similar scenarios are playing out across the globe as Facebook’s users are prompted to reset their privacy settings, and encouraged to make more information available publicly.

Pepsi Opens Online Interactive Store

Dec 4, 2009

Pepsi this week opened the (virtual) doors to its interactive store, where consumers can shop for contemporary and vintage collectibles, accessories and apparel, and read the latest Pepsi news. The site, Shoppepsi.com, features t-shirts and hoodie sweatshirts (with modern and vintage Pepsi graphics); shoulder bags (with contemporary and vintage Pepsi prints); belts and belt buckles; collectibles that range from vintage Pepsi signs to Pepsi ice cream scoops, clocks, canister sets and Pepsi kit ensembles with matching, T-shirt, tote and lip balm.

More Shoppers Search For Coupons Online

Dec 2, 2009

The wobbly economy is contributing to a rush by millions of online shoppers to a decidedly low-tech business: coupons. The number of people scouring the Internet in search of coupons that they can print and present to retailers, or codes that provide them with discounts on retail sites such as Amazon.com, is up sharply. Leading coupon websites reported record traffic on Cyber Monday. RetailMeNot had 1.1 million visitors, up 57% from a year ago. CouponCabin was visited 400,000 times, up 65% from a year ago. And BradsDeals.com said traffic was up 174%, to 16,000 visitors per hour.

What To Watch In 2010: Social TV

Steve Rubel
Dec 1, 2009

The Web is changing before our eyes. Traffic to almost every major media and portal site has been in a free-fall since September 2008, according to Nicholas Moerman, a planning intern with Proximity in London. This begs the question: If we are spending more time on the Web, not less, just where did our attention go? The answer is, unsurprisingly, social networking sites. According to Moerman's analysis, they buck the trend. Social networking is on a tear. Other than Google, few sites loom larger today in brokering traffic and attention flows than Twitter and Facebook. The New York Times reported recently that Twitter will soon become one of its top 10 traffic drivers. Facebook alone grabs 25% of the entire Web's page views, according to an analysis by Perry Drake of Drake Direct.

After Social Networks, What Next?

Mercedes Bunz
Nov 25, 2009

In digital media, as in fortune-telling, the future is pretty much treated as part of the present. "What is the next big thing?" is a question everyone who works with the internet asks continually. But after several years of boom, the question of what comes after social platforms is no longer so remote. Luckily, some experts just gave us answers. On Monday evening, the Said Business School in Oxford had invited some very bright and successful entrepreneurs who spoke in front of a packed alumni audience as Silicon Valley came to Oxford for the ninth year. The event was chaired by the very lively and assertive Frances Cairncross, rector of Exeter college.

Brands Have A Role To Play In Helping People Find The Good Stuff

Nov 23, 2009

The internet offers an endless buffet of choices. And that supply of content choices is far outstripping demand (our attention). As a result, each of us is going to have to make choices about what we consume and when. Today we're increasingly electing to allow Facebook to dominate our attention. According to a recent study released by Drake Direct, the social network now accounts for 25% of all page views on the web. Facebook is also rapidly closing in on Google, the top site in terms of visitors. Tomorrow another site may emerge, but I expect these two powerhouses to continue their dominance for the foreseeable future. Google and Facebook know how to combine algorithms and friends in clever ways that surface relevant content that we care about right when we need it.

The New/Old Marketplace

Jez Frampton
Nov 23, 2009

At some point in our schooling, we all learned about the ancient Greek marketplace called the "agora." The agora was a place where people gathered to shop, discuss politics and meet friends. Merchants built early commerce around one essential element: human interaction. But gradually, the marketplace changed. Along came the industrial revolution, the creation of mass communications and long-distance travel. We suddenly found ourselves in the 1950s, the true dawn of the consumer society.

Brand Sweepstakes Get Twitterized

Nov 23, 2009

The run-of-the-mill holiday sweepstakes is getting a social twist with the addition of sharing features brands hope will extend their reach. Brands like Microsoft, Sephora, Nascar and Comcast have kicked off Twitter sweepstakes promotions this month, in the hopes of luring customers into chatting up their brands on the hot social network.

A Translator Tool With A Human Touch

Nov 23, 2009

Yes, it turns out that learning languages is one of those skills that humans, even relatively young ones, master seemingly magically. It is all enough to make a mainframe computer jealous. At I.B.M., a team of nearly 100, including mathematicians and software developers, is working on a project to create an automatic translation tool, so-called machine translation, that has the speed and accuracy to be used in instant-messaging between speakers of two different languages.

Marketers As Media Companies: A Disruptive Trend Revisited

Hoag Levins
Nov 19, 2009

A growing number of big marketers have circumvented the middleman and launched their own mainstream media and entertainment properties. The revolutionary development has moved them into direct competition for audiences with traditional media companies. But are these projects just novel anomalies, as some suggest, or a powerful trend that will ultimately reshape the media business? Ad Age editor Jonah Bloom addresses the issue in his talk at the ANA annual conference in Phoenix.

On Twitter And Social Networks, Brands Benefit From Conversations

Brian Solis
Nov 19, 2009

A recent study revealed 20 percent of tweets published are actually invitations for product information, answers or responses from peers or directly by brand representatives. Now we learn that Twitter users are actively paying attention to brands on the popular information network. According to research conducted by Performics and ROI Research, about half of Twitter users who were introduced to a brand on Twitter were compelled to search for additional information.

Once Wary Of The Web, Luxury Brands Embrace It

Nov 19, 2009

The luxury goods industry, struggling through a recession that has threatened some well-known names with extinction, is trying to use technology to its advantage. Many in the fashion business remain wary of the Internet, partly because of continuing legal battles over online sales of counterfeit goods and concerns about diluting carefully honed brand images. Many companies also have failed to execute online storefronts successfully. But executives say that attitudes are softening as brands realize that the Web provides one of the last untapped sources of potential growth.

Prioritize Your Social Media Efforts

Chris Brogan
Nov 18, 2009

There aren’t enough hours in the day for all the chores that social media puts in front of us. The best writing I’ve found on how to manage your time in social media is via Amber Naslund’s social media time management series. Her efforts in crafting this should become a little ebook that you hand around to everyone. If you skipped over that link, go back, click it to open a new tab/window, and then read it when you’re done with this (or skip mine and read Amber’s- it’s that good). If you’re still with me, here’s what I want to say on the matter.

MySpace Tries to Recover Its Cool

Oct 15, 2009

A new executive team at MySpace is trying to reignite the brand by focusing on areas like music, videos and games as users abandon the social-networking site for cooler destinations. MySpace, which is holding a conference this week for its global ad-sales staff, needs to lure visitors back and kick-start advertising revenue, ad executives say. Research firm eMarketer estimates U.S. ad spending on the site will be $495 million this year, down 15% from $585 million in 2008. The basic challenge is similar to the one facing big Internet companies, such as Time Warner's AOL and Yahoo, that are under pressure to reinvent themselves for fickle audiences.

The Dichotomy Between Social Networks and Education

Brian Solis
Sep 8, 2009

Recently, I discussed the validity of whether or not social networking (the verb) and social networks (as a noun) were impairing our ability to learn. A Stanford study suggested that this might be the case. It seems that the initial research and its supporting data is now emerging to help us further analyze whether or not this is indeed true or merely hypotheses based on the various samplings of individuals who may or may not serve as relevant subjects. I do believe that we are becoming an increasingly social society. It could very well be the era of introversion to extroversion.

Where Social Media and Innovation Intersect

Jeffrey Phillips
Sep 1, 2009

While it was once regarded primarily as a private activity, innovation has increasingly become a process that encourages participation by an organization’s employees, prospects, customers and partners. This system of external or open innovation creates a community that looks very much like a social network. In fact, open innovation communities are simply a specific example of social networking.

Would the Real Social Network Please Stand Up?

Danah Boyd
Jul 31, 2009

All too frequently, someone makes a comment about how a large number of Facebook Friends must mean a high degree of social capital. Or how we can determine who is closest to who by measuring their email messages. Or that the Dunbar number can explain the average number of Facebook friends. These are just three examples of how people mistakenly assume that 1) any social network that can be boiled down to a graph can be compared and 2) any theory of social networks is transitive to any graph representing connections between people. Such mistaken views result in broad misinterpretations of social networks and social network sites.

Social Media: Taking Cues from Indie Music

Jul 23, 2009

Who is Claude VonStroke? Is Dan Deacon familiar? Perhaps you have heard of Amanda Palmer? Or Erol Alkan? If you are a serious fan of independent music it's likely one or more of these names rings a bell. What might be surprising is the extent to which these four -- and many dozens of independent musicians like them -- can teach both scrappy startup brands and major CPG players how to most effectively make social media work.

The ROI of Social Networking

Jul 23, 2009

One of the most common reason stated by small businesses for not embracing social networking is that they can’t measure or, worse yet, don’t believe there is any solid return on the investment of participation. I get emails almost daily from frustrated marketers who want to dive more fully into social networking, but can’t convince the boss that it’s worth it.

Content Creates Engagement

Jul 8, 2009

Engagement is the buzzword of choice when social media experts get together to pontificate. And while I agree that engagement, and ultimately action, is the payoff of social media, few social media experts talk about how it’s really created. Engagement is not really created by being a nice, genuine, caring and attentive sort of chap on twitter. It’s hard to create much momentum in any kind of social network without some of those qualities, but true engagement, engagement that leads to customers and partners, is created with content. Or, perhaps more accurately, engagement is created with engaging content.

How Intuit Makes a Social Network Pay

Jul 7, 2009

It's hard to get tangible results from social media. Giants from Coca-Cola to Wal-Mart Stores have set up Web sites where customers can share their interest in the brand. But many of these sites don't attract enough visitors to form a real community or have been slammed by critics, as was the case at schoolyourway.walmart.com. The retailer killed it in 2006 after just three months.

Brands Show Off Niche Side

Jul 2, 2009

When Mars, the maker of M&Ms, Skittles and Twix, embarked this year on its first new confectionery brand launch in 20 years, it turned to women for inspiration. Fling, a chocolate bar on sale in California and online at www.flingchocolate.com, is quite clear about who its target market is: the slim fingers of shimmering chocolate are packaged in a bright pink wrapper with the slogan “Naughty, but not that naughty” while claiming to contain less than “85 calories per finger”.

AP Turns Employees Into Facebook Police

Jun 26, 2009

The Associated Press' new social networking policy shows, once again, that the news organization hasn't yet grasped the workings of digital media.

The Online Ad That Knows Where Your Friends Shop

Jun 26, 2009

If a marketer asked people to hand over a list of all their friends so it could show them ads, few would comply. On social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, though, friendships are obvious, and advertisers are beginning to examine those connections.

Social Media Takes to the Streets

Jun 24, 2009

Welcome to the era of SoMo. Sure, online social media and social networking are popular, but they don't mimic the way we naturally interact. Why use Facebook or Twitter to tell friends what you are doing at the moment when you can directly show them what you are doing and where you are doing it?

Facebook: Our Targeted Ads Aren't Creepy

Jun 18, 2009

Facebook's targeted advertising program is "materially different from behavioral targeting as it is usually discussed," Chris Kelly, the social network's chief privacy officer, said in remarks prepared for a Thursday morning hearing before two House subcommittees.

Tweeting The Revolution

Austin Heap
Jun 17, 2009

It all started at 10:40 p.m. on an otherwise quiet Sunday night. After talking about the Iranian election on and off for several hours, I saw a tweet in my Twitter feed that pointed out CNN's failure to cover the story. As an obviously rigged election in one of the world's most important countries was being perpetrated, America's oldest 24-hour news network was reporting primarily on consumers' problems in this country with digital TVs.

Trent Reznor on Social Networking: I'm Out

Jun 12, 2009

For Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor, social networking is not working. Which might seem strange to hear from a man who was presented this week with a special achievement award at the Webbys. Still, in a blog post written Wednesday, Reznor seems to have come to an emotional fork in the road with Web 2.0. And he's decided to stick the fork in it. "I will be tuning out of the social networking sites because at the end of the day it's now doing more harm than good in the bigger picture and the experiment seems to have yielded a result. Idiots rule," he said.

The Five P's of Social Media--Where Do You Start?

Jun 11, 2009

Everyone asks me, "Now that I'm getting a better idea of what social media is, How do I actually apply it? Where do I start?" Start with these, The Five P's of Social Media. The Five P's are: Profiles, Propagate, Produce, Participate, and Progress.

Email and Social Marketing: True Love Always?

Jun 11, 2009

Social marketing gives us that giddy combination of exciting and terrifying. Makes your heart thump. Some people think that email marketing by comparison is old-school and boring. I say there is nothing sexier than the high revenue and ROI from the email channel.

Yes, Twitter is Revolutionary--Just Not in the Way You Think

Caroline McCarthy
Jun 5, 2009

I thought Twitter hype had reached a fever pitch with the big Oprah appearance. Boy, was I ever wrong.

People Prefer Offline Recommendations, Study Finds

Jun 5, 2009

For all the work marketers do reaching out to bloggers, social networks and other online outlets where they might get some word-of-mouth buzz, consumers are still looking to trusted friends and relatives for product or service recommendations.

Is Twitter Evolving from the Facebook to the Myspace of Microblogs?

Jun 4, 2009

When I attended TWTRCON in San Francisco and also the 140 Twitter Conference in Mountain View recently, the intent of businesses was perspicuous. Speakers and attendees were on hand to actively share, inquire, and learn about how to increase visibility, engagement, and brand presence on Twitter and other social networks.

How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live

Jun 4, 2009

The one thing you can say for certain about Twitter is that it makes a terrible first impression. You hear about this new service that lets you send 140-character updates to your "followers," and you think, Why does the world need this, exactly? It's not as if we were all sitting around four years ago scratching our heads and saying, "If only there were a technology that would allow me to send a message to my 50 friends, alerting them in real time about my choice of breakfast cereal."

Why NPR is the Future of Mainstream Media

Josh Catone
Jun 4, 2009

In March of this year, National Public Radio (NPR) revealed that by the end of 2008, 23.6 million people were tuning into its broadcasts each week. In fact, NPR’s ratings have increased steadily since 2000, and they’ve managed to hold on to much of their 2008 election coverage listenership bump (with over 26 million people tuning in each week so far in 2009), unlike many of their mainstream media counterparts.

Time Spent on Twitter Soars by Over 3,700%, Facebook up 700%

Jun 3, 2009

I just read an interesting report published by Nielsen that examines time spent on multiple Social and Micro Networks. The study compares total minutes in April 2009 compared to April 2008. The results are not as much surprising as they are revealing.

MySpace Suffers as Time on Facebook, Twitter Rises

Jun 3, 2009

News Corp. executives often present MySpace and Facebook as competing in different markets, with Facebook used as a communications vehicle and MySpace for entertainment. Whatever the case, a straight line can be drawn between more time spent on Facebook and less on MySpace.

Companies Should Encourage Social Networking Among Employees

Jun 3, 2009

In all my years in the brand business I have yet to run into a company that doesn't have a set of brand guidelines. You know, the carefully crafted criteria for tone and manner, the graphic standards--colors, logo typeface, and the like. Some even include terminology, the voice and verbiage required for use in ad copy, speeches and collateral material. While this is all well and good, it's not nearly good enough at a time when "who" is increasingly trumping "what" as a crucial factor in brand success.

Microsoft Reveals New Strategy for Xbox

Jun 2, 2009

Reaching out beyond hardcore video game players to everyday consumers, Microsoft outlined an entertainment strategy on Monday for making the company’s Xbox 360 game console a gateway for movies, television and social networking.

Is the Social Media Expert Going the Way of the Dodo?

May 29, 2009

Throughout the last 24 hours, word has spread quickly that the New York Times appointed Jennifer Preston as the news organization's first Social Media Editor.

The GPS Revolution: Location, Location, Location

May 28, 2009

GPS doesn't just keep us from getting lost. From practical business applications to social-networking fun, it's transforming our lives.

Why Are the Most Creative People in Business Skipping Out on Web 2.0?

May 28, 2009

These days, we're all public figures. We're sharing our friends on Facebook, our photos on Flickr, our music on Last.fm, and our goofy links insightful observations on Twitter. So when Fast Company set out to capture the personalities of our 100 Most Creative People in Business, we started--where else?--by looking for online profiles. But when it comes to sharing themselves--not just their businesses, but their business--our creative class clams up.

Another Cool Car, Another Social Media Marketing Campaign

May 22, 2009

Nissan has launched a marketing campaign for its Cube that incorporates Cube-themed iPhone apps, games, videos and ringtones to prove just how hip it is to be square.

Web 2.0: Managing Corporate Reputations

May 22, 2009

Companies are scrambling to silence errant messages while exploiting social networks.

Are Baby Boomers Killing Facebook and Twitter?

May 21, 2009

The story is as old as the Web: A social network born among twentysomething college kids and young wired professionals sprouts up, apparently out of nowhere, and grows into a cultural phenomenon. Eventually, it reaches critical mass and explodes, its mushroom cloud drawing the attention of millions of Baby Boomers, leading to a huge influx of new users, which in turn triggers complaints from the youngsters who started it all. The invasion of the Boomers spurs some members of younger generations to flee the carnage (and the fallout) in search of fresher territory.

Is Twitter To Facebook As Google Is To Yahoo?

May 20, 2009

This analogy came to me at the recent Search Insider Summit during the Day 2 keynote conversation moderated by Gord Hotchkiss with Gian Fulgoni and Jordan Rohan. As always, these SIS-staples delivered many provocative thought-starters -- but I perked up when they started discussing the opportunity for richer brand experiences on the search engines.

Social Media Fails To Manifest As Marketing Medium

May 20, 2009

Social media has reached critical mass, with 83% of the Internet population now using it - and more than half doing so on a regular basis - according to new research being released today by Knowledge Networks. But for all the media industry's hype and buzz surrounding social networks, microblogs, and other social networking platforms, the genre has failed to become much of a marketing medium, and in the opinion of the Knowledge Networks' analysts, likely never will. The report, "How People Use Social Media," finds that social media is having a profound impact on the way people connect with each other, but that it's not becoming a very meaningful way for people to connect with brands, or advertising promoting brands.

Is Facebook For Old People?

May 20, 2009

In Atlanta, I met a shy quiet 14-year-old girl that I'll call Kaitlyn. She wasn't particularly interested in talking to me, but she answered my questions diligently. She said that she was on both MySpace and Facebook, but quickly started talking about MySpace as the place where she gathered with her friends. At some point, I asked her if her friends also gathered on Facebook and her face took on a combination of puzzlement and horror before she exclaimed, "Facebook is for old people!" Of course, Kaitlyn still uses Facebook to communicate with her mother, aunt, cousins in Kentucky, and other family members.

New Starbucks Ads Seek to Recruit Online Fans

May 19, 2009

In a new ad campaign, Starbucks wants to tell its message to a new generation of coffee drinkers and then recruit them to retell the story online.


Brian Solis
May 14, 2009

As we are tempted by social networks and the kinship of new friends, followers, and fans, we intentionally or inadvertently, create a new era of personal recognition and attention that extracts an unconditioned human response and consequently shapes an unpredictable personality and behavior over time. Social networking, common sense, prudence, and direction are not ingrained in our DNA. We all need a little help and advice, now more than ever.

This Is Your Brain On Facebook

Rob Mitchum
Apr 22, 2009

Recent studies on the effects of the internet and other new media on brain plasticity raises an open research question: Is Google making us smarter?

Social Networking Generates Leads, Closes Sales for Marketers

Apr 22, 2009

According to a social media study by Michael Stelzner for the Social Media Success Summit 2009, 88% of marketers in a recent survey say they are now using some form of social media to market their business, though 72% of those using it say they have only been at it a few months or less.

Brands Take Social Media Into Real Life

Apr 20, 2009

The NHL and other brands are taking a page from political groups that use social-networking tools to help their constituencies organize themselves. The most prominent example, of course, is Barack Obama's presidential campaign, which proved social networking is a powerful way to create a grassroots movement. Brands are eager to replicate his success -- both online and in real life.

The Web in Numbers: The Rise in Social Media

Apr 17, 2009

2009 is the year of social media. Once, Twitter (Twitter reviews) was a place where you could read about someone else’s cat. Now, it’s the first place you go to when there’s breaking news. Sites like Digg (Digg reviews), Reddit (reddit.com reviews), and Facebook (Facebook reviews) can now leave a huge impact on the real world; lives are changed, important questions are asked (and answered) there. Many milestones have been reached; the growth of nearly every aspect of social media has and continues to be enormous.

Social Networking and the Brain: Continuous Partial Empathy

Apr 15, 2009

Human beings are social animals; we devote a significant portion of our brain just to dealing with interactions with other humans. It should come as no surprise, then, that social Web technologies have a complex relationship with brain function.

True/Slant Tests Another Model Of Web Journalism

Apr 9, 2009

This week, a new Web news site is entering the fray, with a novel approach to journalistic entrepreneurship, new forms of advertising, and an effort to blend journalism and social networking. The site, called True/Slant, at trueslant.com, is opening its doors via an odd preliminary status it calls an "open alpha." This means it's rough around the edges, and not yet taking in revenue, but hopes to attract enough participation to hone its design and operation.

Hispanics's Web Savvy Surpassing Others

Mar 26, 2009

In the U.S., Hispanics consumers are bypassing other groups in Web savvy, according to a new report from Chicago-based research firm Mintel.

Wanted: Financially Viable Social Networks

Diane Mermigas
Mar 25, 2009

The social-networking phenomenon is running rings around media and advertising companies scrambling to monetize consumers' obsessions. The chasm between where the media establishment is and needs to be comes from its inability to understand and mine evolving interactive social dynamics. Digital consumers are vibrantly making it up as they go; the media status quo is barely connected.

Facebook Could Kill Google

Mar 18, 2009

Ross Sandler of RBC has done what every good analyst should do, which is say something interesting. What Ross has said is that, at its current growth rate, Facebook will surpass Google in size by 2011-2012.

How To Find a Job Online

Mar 18, 2009

Forget Monster. Try Facebook.

Hulu Embraces Social Networking

Mar 12, 2009

The Internet-video site Hulu is adding social-networking functions in hopes of building user loyalty and mining data to attract more advertisers.

How Will We Know When Micro-blogging Comes Of Age?

Mar 2, 2009

For the past few weeks, I have been thinking about micro-blogging a lot. Interested in how emergent social media gets its legs, I have had Twitter on my mind. Or, I should say, back on my mind.

The Big Mommy Shift

Feb 20, 2009

Something happens to parents on or around the time their kids turn 12. Most of us know intuitively that we are dealing with a different kind of sentient near-adult by this point, and the sheer terror of parenting a teen must kick in some kind of special defense mechanism. But the change is not only in the way we relate to our kids. Our children's move into that next scary stage of their lives also triggers different media consumption behaviors in us.

Facebook Withdraws Changes in Data Use

Feb 18, 2009

After a wave of protests from its users, the Facebook social networking site said on Wednesday that it would withdraw changes to its so-called terms of service concerning the data supplied by the tens of millions of people who use it.

Twitter Fast Growing Beyond its Messaging Roots

Feb 10, 2009

Thanks to its open-ended design and a thriving user community, Twitter is fast outgrowing its roots as a simple, easy-to-use messaging service. Enterprising hackers are creating apps for sharing music and videos, to help you quit smoking and lose weight -- spontaneously extending the text-based service into one of the web's most fertile (and least likely) application platforms.

Online TV Sites Battle for Viewers

Jan 20, 2009

Sites like TV.com, Hulu, and Joost that feature much of the same content are hoping that social-networking features will put them ahead of the crowd.

Companies Use Twitter to Pack PR Punch

Dec 31, 2008

Twitter, a booming micro-blogging service, is inspiring business to manage its message in 140 characters or less. Its streams of short text messages, publicly broadcast over the web, are being treated as the new frontline of internet conversation.

Jargon Watch: Sound Blast, Frolleague, Twiller

Dec 14, 2008

Twiller n. A thriller composed and published entirely on Twitter. At 140 characters per installment, these works of serial fiction are the microblogger's answer to the cell phone novel, a popular genre in text-happy Japan.

Learning to Talk

Dec 14, 2008

It’s a lovely idea: a social-networking site with automatic translation bolted on. That’s Meedan, a gathering place for English and Arabic speakers who want to exchange thoughts on Middle East issues. Comments are translated automatically and instantly; Nebraska can now chat with Nablus.

A Look Inside a Facebook for the Filthy Rich

Dec 4, 2008

Recession — and social network glut — be damned! Frank DeRose, managing partner of Ferrata Capital Management, plans to invest at least $1 million into Total Prestige, an invitation-only networking site for one of the world's most underserved internet demographics: the super- and super-duper rich.

Oodle Brings Its "Weirdo-Filter" to Facebook Marketplace

Dec 3, 2008

Classifieds site Oodle announced today that it will re-invent the Facebook Marketplace as a “social” market in which users can buy and sell with friends and community members.

Social Networking Traffic Up as Ads Fall Flat, per IDC

Nov 25, 2008

More than half the country actively uses social networking sites, but so far advertising on these properties is nothing short of anemic, says a new report issued by market research firm IDC.


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