‘Social Media’ Category Archive

June 15th

WordPress & SocialVibe: Blogging Gone Good

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New York venture capitalist Fred Wilson is one of the most prolific and renown bloggers on the web.  And if you go his blog, avc.com, you’ll notice that (like most blogs) he runs advertising to generate revenues.  But what many of you may not know is that all the proceeds Fred generates through his blog […]

January 28th

Influentials On The Web Are People With The Power To Link

by  |   40 Comments

In the networked web era, influentials may not be people with a particularly connected temperament or Rolodex, or people who control and influence monopoly distribution channels (e.g. newspapers), but rather people who influence the network by leveraging the most powerful force on the web — the link. People like bloggers, top Diggers, del.icio.us power users, […]

December 26th

Digg Traffic Has Questionable Value For Most Niche Publishers

by  |   19 Comments

I’ve only had a post reach Digg’s homepage once, back in 2006, and I see no great loss if it never happens again. Why would I forgo those thousands of visits? Because Publishing 2.0, like most niche blogs, is essentially a trade publication (to use traditional media labels), and just as my content has little […]

June 13th

Is A Sponsor Post A Legitimate Ad Unit?

by  |   14 Comments

Is there a difference between a blog advertiser posting their own content in a clearly labeled sponsor post (i.e. NOT written by the blogger), which is allowed to appear in the RSS feed like an editorial post, and a format like PayPerPost, where bloggers write in their own editorial voice about an advertiser’s product or […]

May 16th

Could Gaming Social Media Sites Be A Legitimate Form Of Online Advertising?

by  |   10 Comments

Social media marketing, i.e. promoting content through social media sites like Digg has become a cottage industry. Digg and other “audience as editor” sites have fought tooth and nail against gaming, trying to keep marketing content from receiving the same homepage attention as “editorial content,” i.e. content voted up by the community without marketer influence. […]

May 11th

Facebook Classified Ad Offering Deals Another Blow To Newspapers

by  |   29 Comments

It’s sure rough trying to charge for a service that other businesses are offering for free. Just ask any newspaper exec. With 20/20 hindsight, it seems inevitable that the web would be the perfect platform for free classified ads, but no newspaper exec in their worst nightmare could have imagined Craiglist, which has done huge […]

May 2nd

The Problem With Digg Is Anonymous Users

by  |   14 Comments

The Digg user revolt (see here if you haven’t heard the story) demonstrates the real problem with Digg — anonymous users are not accountable as individuals, so they have no qualms about breaking the law or forcing a company to break the law. This problem is above and beyond the inherent problem of Digg’s user […]

March 5th

Who’s Right About The Social Media Revolution — The People Or The Revolutionaries?

by  |   48 Comments

What are we to conclude from stark contrast between the (sometimes breathless) praise of USA Today’s “social media” redesign among tech/media bloggers and commentators (with some saying they didn’t go far enough), and the near universal rejection of the redesign among USA Today readers who commented on it? Could it be that it’s really the […]

March 3rd

It Matters Who Diggs You

by  |   10 Comments

If Digg were truly a democratic system, it wouldn’t matter who Dugg your story, just so long as it got into the system — then democracy would work its magic. But the fact is that it does matter who Diggs you. I just noticed that my last post was Dugg, but then I saw it […]

February 25th

The Great Media Industry Schism

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The once monolithic media industry is undergoing a radical schism, dividing itself into content creation, on the one hand, and content aggregation and distribution on the other. The nature of this transformation suddenly crystallized for me when I read Tom Foremski’s piece on the new West Coast/East Coast media industry divide. Tom seems to be […]

February 2nd

Digg Tries To Flatten The Head Of Its Long Tail Participation Curve

by  |   13 Comments

Digg is undertaking a grand experiment in flattening out the natural long tail curve that seems to manifest in every open participation web platform. Kevin Rose announced that Digg will no longer display the top diggers list, which has been the focal point of Digg’s de facto hierarchical system and the driver of much its […]

January 20th

Demented And Sad, But Social

by  |   18 Comments

There’s something about the “social” in “social media” and “social networking” and “social” everything that keeps raising my hackles, no matter how much I believe in the best elements (and intentions) of those much hyped phenomena. And it seems that I’m not alone. From Richard Siklos at the New York Times, who objects to both […]

January 15th

Is News A Fundamentally Shared, Social Experience?

by  |   23 Comments

Findory, a personalized news service created by Greg Linden, who worked on Amazon’s groundbreaking personalization engine, will be put on autopilot as Greg steps away from the effort. Om Malik comments: Despite being drop dead simple, Findory never realized its true potential as an information discovery engine. It has all the makings of being a […]

December 29th

Transparent Ads Are Better Than Fake “Conversations”

by  |   19 Comments

The Cluetrain guys had their hearts in the right place when they said that markets are conversations, but, unfortunately, when corporations try to do the conversation thing, they typically end up making a mess and a mockery and looking utterly clue-less. You’ve got fake blogs, undisclosed paid blog posts, and bloggers who “lead conversations” receiving […]

December 12th

If You Can’t Tell Whether Something Is An Ad, It’s Now An FTC Violation

by  |   9 Comments

In response to PayPerPost’s continuing lack of disclosure policy, I wrote, “if you can’t tell whether something is an ad, that’s deception.” It appears that the Federal Trade Commission agrees (via The Washington Post). The Federal Trade Commission yesterday said that companies engaging in word-of-mouth marketing, in which people are compensated to promote products to […]

December 8th

A Digg On Digg Has Become Meaningless

by  |   16 Comments

As Digg increasingly confronts the spectre of spam and gaming of the system (Tony Hung has the latest round), Kevin Rose and Co. have been forced to add increasing complexity to the Digg algorithm, to the point where the value of a Digg on Digg has become so opaque as to be rendered utterly meaningless. […]

December 4th

Social Media Is Becoming a Hardcore Marketplace For Traffic

by  |   9 Comments

At first, Google was just a search engine, but once it reached sufficient scale to be a meaningful driver of traffic, it became a hardcore marketplace for traffic — both one of its own (wildly successful) creation, in the form of AdWords, and one of the market’s creation, in the form of spam. Now that […]

November 4th

The Delicate Balance of Participatory Media

by  |   21 Comments

As participatory media goes mainstream, media companies are discovering that it’s a lot easier to hop on the ideological bandwagon of participation than it is to actually do participatory media well. Along with the upside of “crowdsourcing” its news gathering, Gannet also discovered the pitfalls of participatory news: The [Cincinnati Enquirer] recently asked the crowd […]

October 27th

Will MySpace and Facebook Be Victims of Their Own Success?

by  |   3 Comments

I wondered about a MySpace downturn back in May — I may well have been just flat wrong — or maybe I was just premature. An article in the WSJ looks at the problem of MySpace and Facebook becoming overcrowded and too full of commercial messages: “good bye myspace. I’ve always hated you. I just […]

October 19th

Brands Matter More Than Ever In Media and Technology

by  |   14 Comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about media brands and whether they still matter in the new media landscape. The more I think about, the more it seems that brands are the only thing that still matters in media. What’s changed is not the importance or the role of media brands, but rather what defines a […]

October 16th

Edelman Shows That Control Is Still More Important Than “Conversation”

by  |   20 Comments

Richard Edelman and Steve Rubel have final responded to the Wal-Mart flog incident with an appropriate mea culpa. They both insist that they could not respond to the storm of criticism sooner because they didn’t have all of the facts — and without all the facts, they couldn’t CONTROL the conversation. Both Richard and Steve […]

October 15th

Edelman, Wal-Mart and the Loss of Control in Media

by  |   60 Comments

It’s inevitable that a PR firm like Edelman would create a phony blog for one of its clients (in this case Wal-Mart — see Shel Holtz for a great analysis). For all of the hype over “conversation” as the new media paradigm, no one has yet figured out how to use conversation to reliably achieve […]

September 25th

TechMeme Sponsorships and The New Earned vs. Paid Media

by  |   2 Comments

I’ve been wondering when Gabe Rivera would finally get around to “monetizing” his wildly popular (in tech circles) TechMeme. Gabe clearly put a lot of thought into his sponsorship model, which allows sponsors to display items from their RSS content feed on the front page of TechMeme. It’s very original, and like all great ideas, […]

September 9th

Facebook Discovers the Limits of Web 2.0 Sharing Ideology

by  |   10 Comments

According to Web 2.0 ideology, all sharing is good, by definition. Users will run to embrace any feature that increases their ability to share information with their community. Sharing. Community. It’s all so warm and fuzzy — what could be wrong? But Facebook discovered the hard way that there are limits to Web 2.0 sharing […]

September 7th

This Is What the Social Networking Privacy Backlash Looks Like

by  |   11 Comments

When I predicted a social networking privacy backlash a few months ago, most everyone scoffed. Young people have grown up online. They are used to exposing their lives. They are willingly give up their privacy. They aren’t concerned about the risks. Well, it turns out that the digital generation does care about their privacy (and […]

September 1st

The Zen of 2.0

by  |   8 Comments

There’s more inevitable debate over “social” software, Web 2.0, and 2.0ness in general. Is it really new? Is it a passing fad? Is it just for geeks? Does it help us get things done? Does it improve our lives? Has it jumped the shark? (Great commentary from Mathew Ingram, Kent Newsome, Stowe Boyd, Rob Hyndman, […]

July 26th

The Long Tail Debate Overlooks the Snowball Effect

by  |   7 Comments

Lee Gomes at WSJ and Chris Anderson have gotten into an interesting debate about the validity of Chris’ thesis that the “long tail” represents a significant economic paradigm shift. Unless I’m missing something, there is one element missing from the debate that anyone conversant with Umair Haque should recognize. The debate between Lee and Chris […]

July 26th

The Users Will Decided Who Gets Their Content

by  |   9 Comments

Jason Calacanis of Netscape and Kevin Rose of Digg are out again debating who will win the batter over power users who drive the majority of the value on “community”-driven news sites like Digg and Netscape. Ken says user will are motivated by “free, democratic social” ideals. Jason says users deserve to get a piece […]

July 20th

Web 2.0 Puts Users in Control of Everything Except Profits

by  |   23 Comments

I’ve been following an interesting trend of power grabs by Web 2.0 companies, from MySpace to YouTube to Google — Web 2.0 is supposed to be all about the “user,” but when it comes to profit making the user is getting shut out: MySpace Musicians don’t get paid for music played on MySpace (via Umair): […]

July 11th

Distributed Revenue-Sharing Ad Platforms Are the Paradigm For Monetizing Social Media

by  |   35 Comments

I’ve been critical of AdSense of late, but let’s give credit where credit is due — AdSense, i.e. a distributed, shared-revenue advertising platform, represents the new paradigm for monetizing content. That’s why I remain skeptical that MySpace, despite being the current center of gravity for social media and despite its current off-the-charts traffic growth, will […]

June 13th

LostCherry Takes Aim at MySpace

by  |   44 Comments

I’ve held forth many times on the myriad threats facing MySpace, but the real threat to MySpace dominance is evident in the scores of aspiring MySpace killers that have been filling up my inbox with solicitations (given the publicity I’ve received as a MySpace skeptic). I thought I would take a refreshingly constructive approach to […]

June 9th

The Coming Privacy Backlash

by  |   10 Comments

The “social” media revolution has everyone letting it all hang out all over the “open web,” so it should come as no surprise that the NSA is taking advantage of all this voluntary disclosure of personal information: “I AM continually shocked and appalled at the details people voluntarily post online about themselves.” So says Jon […]

April 23rd

What If Media 2.0 Is Less Profitable Than Media 1.0?

by  |   86 Comments

The advent of web-based e-commerce fundamentally lowered the costs of doing business, increasing the scalability (and in many cases the viability) of thousands of small businesses. The introduction of micro-marketing through Google AdWords gave a huge jolt to this trend, making marketing scalable and profitable for these same small businesses. Two companies — Google and […]

March 31st

MySpace Acts In the Interest of News Corp Shareholders

by  |   4 Comments

A few weeks ago, I got hung out to dry for suggesting that “questionable” content residing on MySpace along with underage users would potentially harm News Corp’s business interests when advertisers refused to assume the risk. Today, we learn that MySpace agreed me, and suddenly it’s fashionable to talk about “questionable” content without being accused […]

March 30th

More MySpace (and Web 2.0) Skepticism

by  |   14 Comments

It’s happening again — the numbers just don’t make any sense. Facebook turns down $750 million, hoping to hype themselves up to $2 billion. And why? Well, just look at that CASH COW MySpace — it’s making…how much money? I’m on the edge of my seat for News Corp’s first 2006 earnings release, but “in […]

March 29th

Corporate Blogging Reality Check

by  |   7 Comments

Apparently it’s easier for Robert Scoble to get naked than it is for corporations — that’s the word from OMMA Hollywood: Consider the blog by golf equipment company TaylorMade-Adidas golf, which launched about 18 months ago. When bloggers want to mention a particular golf club, the legal department wants a symbol–an ‘R’ in a circle–to […]

March 27th

Hype 2.0

by  |   4 Comments

How deeply ironic that, despite thousands of blog pages devoted to Web 2.0, it took stodgy old Newsweek to bring the hype to the masses — and they had to re-brand Web 2.0 as the “Live Web” to make it comprehensible to the average person who doesn’t understand version-speak: The generic term for this movement, […]

March 19th

Web 2.0 vs. Privacy

by  |   31 Comments

Del.icio.us just announced a new feature, created due to popular demand, that allows users to save links privately — this is astonishing, like Starbucks introducing a 4oz decaffeinated coffee that sells for 75 cents — it’s completely antithetical to the whole concept. Could this be the beginning of the privacy backlash against the Web 2.0 […]

March 16th

MySpace Is a Ticking Time Bomb

by  |   67 Comments

I’ve been dreading this post, but I can’t avoid saying this any longer — MySpace is a DEEPLY DISTURBING place. It’s so disturbing that I’m convinced that the vast majority of the Web 2.0 fan club who gush over MySpace has NEVER actually spent any time on MySpace. I’m not the first to raise a […]

March 5th

Conversation is NOT Enough

by  |   23 Comments

So New Media is about conversation — but what is the point of conversation? If it’s the never-ending blogger conversation about snarking, A-Listers, link baiting, traffic envy, ego bashing, etc. etc. then the point is to act like an algae bloom and block out the sun — witness tech.memeorandum today (it’s a Sunday). But what […]

February 27th

Who Has Time for Web 2.0?

by  |   5 Comments

It’s official — advances in communications technology (email, cell phones, voicemail, telework, etc.) have made workers less productive. Rather than make our lives easier, technology is making our lives more complicated and more difficult. From a study by Day-Timers (via CNET): Unlike a decade ago, U.S. workers are bombarded with e-mail, computer messages, cell phone […]

January 24th

The Real Digital Generation Gap

by  |   1 Comment

There have always been generation gaps, especially when it comes to politics, but if you believe the latest hype about the Digital Generation (such as this Times article), the new generation gap is more like a gapping chasm. The argument goes that the Digital Generation doesn’t just consume media differently, they also think different: “What’s […]

January 20th

Who Are the New Media Gatekeepers?

by  |   28 Comments

Who decides what’s worthy of your attention — a Web 2.0 application, a newspaper columnist, a talk show host, an editorial staff, an influential blogger, a community of thousands, a community of millions? (UPDATE: Oy vey, this post is NOT about getting links, although it’s completely my fault that it’s been misread that way. It’s […]

January 12th

Bloggers Are So Wrong About Media

by  |   52 Comments

There is so much wrong with the blogger view that the monoliths of old media will be brought down and consumers will bask in the glory of infinite media choice — discussing, creating, tagging, rating (meta-ing) each other’s content in one big solipsistic frenzy. Everyone can create media. Everyone controls their own media. Everyone is […]

January 9th

Too Much Media

by  |   25 Comments

Media proliferation and media saturation are well-worn concepts that describe the exponential growth in media outlets and the exhaustion (and utter confusion) we experience from the overwhelming choices. The growth curve in media steepened considerably with the advent of the Internet, but now with blogs, social media, Web 2.0, etc., the curve is nearly vertical. […]


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