• Social Media Is Here to Stay (Just Look at History)
    Wow: sometimes you come across a statistic that says it all. Recently I was impressed by the results of a survey of 1,022 Canadian business execs by Leger Marketing, which found that 90% of the businesses represented are using social media to communicate with the public. This strikes me as more evidence that social media is insinuating itself into every part of our world, rapidly becoming as commonplace as the telephone in the early 20th century or email and cell phones in more recent decades.
  • Facebook Revenues Soar, Led by Ads Abroad
    Facebook will break the $1 billion ad revenue barrier this year, according to a new report from eMarketer, which shows that the ubiquitous social network is poised for even more growth in 2011. That's great news for a free, ad-supported service with hefty data and server costs. What's interesting to me is how much of the ad revenue growth is coming from Facebook's network outside the U.S.
  • North Korea Gets On Twitter
    "North Korea has established its first official presence on Twitter, the micro-blogging site that's being embraced by governments and an increasing number of world leaders." -- IDG News, August 16, 2010. Herewith, a brief sampling of some would-be tweets:
  • Is Social Network Growth Slowing in the U.S.?
    A new report from eMarketer documents the incredibly rapid growth in social networks over the last couple years, and predicts continuing growth at least into the middle years of this decade -- but also suggests that social networks may be approaching saturation in the U.S. According to eMarketer, the number of Americans who checked into a social network at least once a month increased by 24.7 million from 2008-2009, from 84.5 million to 109.2 million -- representing an increase from 41.6% to 51.6% of the total population. This year, eMarketer expects 17.8 million more people to sign on, bringing the …
  • After 911, Facebook Is Top Choice for Disaster Response
    If anyone out there thinks social networks are a transient phenomenon, those doubts should be put to rest by the results of a survey of 1,058 U.S. adults conducted July 22-23 by Infogroup on behalf of the American Red Cross about where they would go for to contact emergency responders during a disaster if they couldn't call 911. While the findings should be viewed with caution (as an online survey, it obviously skews towards the Web savvy) they provide more evidence that social networks have become an integral -- and trusted -- part of everyday life, like telephones and emails …
  • Let the Games Begin: Facebook Responds to Google Threat
    Games are serious business nowadays. Two of the biggest companies on the Internet, Google and Facebook, are facing off to control the way bored people waste time online. With popular games like Farmville and Mafia Wars, Facebook currently has the home field advantage (boy, these game clichés just write themselves) but Google has the advantages of size and sheer will ... and oh yes, lots and lots of money. Don't forget that money.
  • Boston Police Use Twitter to Catch Bad Guys
    A lot has been written about the potential for social media to enable crime, but what about going in the other direction? It turns out the real story may be social media's crime-fighting capabilities, especially as it merges with mobile devices, allowing users to alert police and the general public to crimes as they happen. Last Friday brought the arrest of Lawrence Maguire, 59, who was charged with indecent exposure on the Boston T Red Line train, thanks to a tweet from another passenger who took a photo and posted it to Twitter under the MBTA hashtag with his mobile …
  • Social Networks 'Cost' UK $22 Billion A Year? Bollocks!
    The rise of social media has given rise to a cottage industry manufacturing and distributing spurious statistics. The best ones are anything with dollar values attached, the bigger the better; they might not be helpful, but it's fun debunking them. Here's a good one: Apparently employees goofing off on social media sites costs the United Kingdom £14 billion or $22 billion per year, according to a very authoritative-sounding study from MyJobGroup.co.uk, which operates the U.K.'s largest network of regional job sites.
  • Why, Google, Why?
    Everyone's talking about Google's rumored project to build a new social network, tentatively called "GoogleMe," speculating about Google's timing, approach, and chances of success -- the "when" and "how" of it. There's also a good amount of talk about its potential partners, including various social game makers, which covers the "who." But there's one question that's receiving rather less attention: why?
  • Can Google Use Games to Power New Social Network?
    Google really (really) wants to get into the social network business, and the company has identified social games as key fators in the success of Facebook, the social network to beat. At least, that's what I get from Google's overtures to social game developers including Playdom, Electronic Arts, Playfish, and Zynga, as it lays plans for a new social network, which rumor has dubbed "GoogleMe." Essentially Google is trying to reverse engineer a process which unfolded organically for Facebook. But can you really reproduce serendipitous success this way?
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