Undeterred by the privacy debacle attending the debut of Google Buzz, Google appears to be preparing another sally into the world of social media, if a number of well-informed online rumormongers are to be believed, beginning with Digg founder Kevin Rose. The new service, which might be named "Google Me" (I'm going to go ahead and make that GoogleMe for Web style points) seems to be positioned as a competitor to Facebook. Because making predictions is always fun, I am going to guess that this new service, whatever its name, goes nowhere. And yes, I actually have reasons for thinking …
Apparently April showers bring May-June overviews: There has been a remarkable spate of research about social networks over the last two months, and it shows no signs of abating as we move into summer. The latest study, the "2010 Social Networking Report
" from Experian Simmons has some interesting findings about the who, what, and why of current social networking behavior -- but perhaps most interesting is the where factor.
Social network advertising clearly has a bright future, and the prospects for future growth were confirmed by a new forecast from Borrell Associates, which predicts massive growth in ad revenues this year. Overall the Borrell report, "The Social Networking Explosion: Ad Revenue Outlook" has social network ad spending increasing 68% from $4 billion in 2009 to $7.5 billion in 2010, then continuing to grow every year to about $38 billion in 2015. The 2015 figure will represent approximately a third of all U.S. online marketing spending. My only question is: Where is this ad spending going to happen?
So, the blogosphere has been roiled over the last week by a single controversial tweet -- the announcement of the execution of convicted murderer Ronnie Gardner by the attorney general of Utah, Mark Shurtleff, who tweeted to his 7,000 followers on June 18: "I just gave the go ahead to the Corrections Department to proceed with Gardner's execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims." Gardner was then executed by a five-man firing squad. Around that time "firing squad" was a top-trending topic on Twitter.
Amid growing controversy over privacy breaches and new marketing initiatives from Facebook and others, the annual Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference has drawn up a 14-point "Bill of Rights" for social network users which was published on Tuesday. The Bill of Rights says a lot about how bad the situation has become: It's kind of pathetic that CFP should even have to include "allow me to delete my account," for example.
Microsoft is rolling out some interesting new features for its Bing iPhone app, which have the potential to totally change the search experience for users by incorporating content from their friends' Twitter and Facebook accounts into search results. This is obviously a cool new capability -- but I can also foresee some potential problems arising if marketers try to combine this function with social commerce.
According to a recent survey of execs from 100 companies of varying sizes (ranging from under 50 to over 1,000 employees) aptly titled "Social Media Without a Parachute", 78% of respondents said their companies were using social media -- but just 41% said they had a strategic plan. It's alarming but not terribly surprising that half the companies using social media are basically flying blind. After all, we've seen this before: remember the invasion of Iraq in 2003?
At the beginning of May, I took a look at BP's social media strategy (or rather at the empty space where it should have been) as it struggled to contain and counteract the very negative PR fallout from the ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. I also solicited ideas from readers about potential social media strategies the stricken energy giant might employ towards this end. Now, over a month and a half later, it seems BP finally has a substantial social media strategy in place -- just as all its other damage-control efforts have gone off the rails. …
If, over the past month or so, a friend has sauntered up to you and posited the line, "Ready to get iced, bro?" don't worry. He is neither a hockey devotee nor a sudden frat boy aficionado. The poor sap has just come under the influence of the Smirnoff Icing craze. This is when a Bro (who can also be a lady, and in fact is funnier when it is) presents another bro (in as creative fashion as possible) with one Smirnoff's sickly milk white bottled Ice abomination. The presented bro must then take a knee and chug until the …
This probably comes as a surprise to no one, but it's worth noting just the same: people who own e-readers are much more likely to participate in social networks, according to the latest Survey of the American consumer from GfK MRI. While the data don't cover social media usage via e-readers, they provide more evidence of the continuing convergence of mobile and social media -- which has already been suggested by a number of previous studies.