‘Social Networking’ Category Archive

June 12th

Google Friend Connect Disabled By Facebook

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Google is taking a big shot at Facebook in the PR war over data portability and social network interoperability. I signed in to Google Friend Connect, implemented on the Go2Web2.0 blog, and saw this: Normally, you wouldn’t list a service that isn’t a partner, but in this case Google chose to list Facebook and let […]

May 17th

Dear Web Applications: Where Are My Files?

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What’s wrong with the “friends connection” programs announced by Facebook, MySpace, and Google? Many people have been trying to explain the principle of data portability as if it were a new concept, but it’s actually not. It’s been on our PCs for years.

March 25th

Decommoditizing Social Networks By Connecting User Profiles Via OpenSocial

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Why isn’t Facebook a founding member of the OpenSocial Foundation, along with Google, Yahoo, and MySpace? Because Facebook is threatened by OpenSocial’s ultimate aim of connecting user profiles and enabling users to easily manage and port their data across any social network. Facebook is worried that this will enable groups of friends to easily pick […]

February 22nd

Creating Customized Social Networking Applications For Business

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I wrote a while back that Facebook is not for business, i.e it’s not clear how an application designed for socializing among students could be used — without any customization — by professionals. There a bit of data and more buzz coming out that offers support for that thesis.

January 28th

Influentials On The Web Are People With The Power To Link

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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, […]

January 4th

Real Teen Social Networking: In Person With Cellphones In Hand

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I’m sitting next to a table full of teenagers in Panera Bread, and they are engaging in a form of social networking that you rarely read about these days — hanging out and talking to each other IN PERSON. What’s also notable is that every one of them has a cellphone in hand. They are […]

January 3rd

The Coming War Over Data On The Web

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If you dig beneath the surface of the brouhaha over Robert Scoble getting his Facebook account suspended for testing a new Plaxo Facebook app that mines user email addresses in violation of Facebook’s terms of service, you’ll find evidence of two increasingly apparent realities about the future of the web: Data is POWER A war […]

December 30th

Email And Cellphone Contacts Are The Real Social Graph

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Google has been quietly rolling out social features across all of its services based on Gmail contacts. While Google still has to overcome some of its social tone-deafness (e.g. automatically adding contacts without asking), this move makes perfect sense. For people over 30 (and probably even over 25) email IS the social graph.

December 6th

Email Lives, Walled-Garden Site Mail Is Dead

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So email is, you know, dead because everybody communicates through Facebook and other social networks. Rights. That must be why Facebook finally caved in to user pressure to stop the madness of sending Facebook site mail notification to users’ email — without actually sending the text of the site mail message! In what seems typical […]

December 1st

Facebook Beacon: A Cautionary Tale About New Media Monopolies

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Facebook Beacon, currently in the process of going down in flames, is a classic case of overreaching. So much has been written about what’s wrong with Beacon — blatant privacy violation, lack of blanket opt-out, failure to make it opt-in, gathering data from non-Facebook users — but I haven’t seen much about WHY they got […]

November 15th

Email Is NOT Dead

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The death of email meme is completely absurd. Email is NOT going to die because, as Charlie O’Donnell points out, EVERYONE HAS EMAIL. That’s why we all get so much spam and other useless email — because it’s a guaranteed way to reach us.

October 31st

Facebook’s Vulnerabilities

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Facebook has a shot at being the first web company since Google to build a really big BUSINESS, not just a big user base. But Facebook has a number of vulnerabilities, which are worth pondering as we also ponder its huge potential. I’ve written before about some of these vulnerabilities, such as the risk that […]

October 24th

Facebook, Defined Networks, and the Inverse of Metcalfe’s Law

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“The value of a social network is defined not only by who’s on it, but by who’s excluded.” This quote is from futurist Paul Saffo in an Economist article that makes a contrarian case for Facebook, in part by arguing that as social networks grow, they will eventually encounter the inverse of Metcalfe’s law, becoming […]

October 6th

Facebook’s Core College Student Users Laugh At Attempts To Use It For Business

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When I argued that Facebook is NOT for business, that assertion was roundly dismissed by Facebook’s tech fan club, determined to prove (with Mark Zuckerberg gleefully rooting them on) that Facebook is a serious business tool. In today’s NYT, a more authoritative voice weighs in — one of Facebook’s original college student users, who speaks […]

September 15th

The Assumptions That Yahoo Mash And Other Social Networks Make About You

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Every application needs to make assumptions about its users, and for some people those assumptions will inevitably be wrong. Why is it, though, that so many social networks and other social applications assume that all social web users are not yet old enough to drink? That’s the first impression I got from Yahoo’s new social […]

September 5th

Facebook’s Public Search Listing Has Problems For Both Personal And Business Users

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Facebook has rolled out public stripped down versions of user profiles that are crawlable by search engines, which has lots of upside for Facebook, but raises privacy issues for personal users and has questionable utility for business users. Here’s what I found when I logged into Facebook: Here’s what you see when you click through […]

August 18th

The Problem With “Friends” On The Social Graph

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Think about all the different relationships in your life — parents, children, siblings, extended family, close friends, casual friends, acquaintances, closely collaborative colleagues, professional contacts, superiors, subordinates — our lives are an intricate web of relationships. Yet on the Web — with its capacity for near infinite complexity — these relationships have been reduced to […]

August 3rd

Facebook Is NOT For Business

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Facebook’s closed platform and data lock-in are coming under siege from Dave Winer and others. It’s time to call another Facebook foul — the notion that Facebook is suddenly a killer app for business that will unseat LinkedIn, simply because Facebook opened its doors to everyone. Yes, Facebook Platform makes Facebook infinitely extensible, but the […]

July 31st

Questions About Facebook And Twitter

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Here are some questions about Facebook and Twitter arising from my ongoing web communication experiment. Feel free to answer any or all — although most of you reading this likely won’t answer any, because you’re in passive media consumption mode, as are most people. (Nothing wrong with that — being active sure takes up a […]

July 31st

Does Kevin Rose have the Next Big Thing in Social Networking?

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I think Kevin Rose might be on the verge of something big, again. For those not familiar, Kevin is the founder of Digg, the social news aggregator that now boasts over 17 million unique visitors per month… and the latest to get into bed with Microsoft via its sweet ad deal. There is no doubt, […]

July 29th

Web Communication Experiment: First Round Goes To Twitter

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After one day of experimenting, I’m already addicted to Twitter. I get it now. It’s really an elegantly designed application: See everyone who is following you Follow them with one click Address message to specific people with @ I also get the 140 character limit now — it keeps you in the right mode of […]

July 28th

Web Communication Experiment: Blog vs. Facebook vs. Twitter

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With some wickedly smart and prescient people having invested in Twitter and with Jason Calacanis having quit Facebook (high profile anti-hype is always an interesting sign), I’m going to invest some time in trying to figure out how to maximize the utility of these two applications, particularly for communicating on the web — Fred Wilson’s […]

July 15th

Facebook Is A Killer App For Limited Asynchronous One-To-Many Communication

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Each killer communications app has a unique core value proposition that nothing else can beat: Telephone — synchronous one-to-one voice Email — asynchronous one-to-one text Instant messagingg — synchronous one-to-one text Blogging — asynchronous one-to-many text

July 15th

New Online Advertising Models: The Scalability Problem

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Search advertising is probably the most scalable advertising platform in the history of advertising and marketing. But ten years into the promise of the web and new media to transform advertising into an ROI-driven marketing engine, the success of keyword-driven pay-per-click text ads is the exception, not the rule. The problem is scalability.

July 2nd

How Can MySpace Beat Facebook At Its Own Game?

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By Robert Young Late last week, the Financial Times reported that MySpace was likely to respond to Facebook’s much-hyped F8 Platform initiative with its own third-party application/widget development program. Last week also brought forth an interesting debate, initiated by Jason Kottke via his aptly titled post “Facebook is the new AOL”, questioning whether the Facebook […]

June 20th

What Should Yahoo Do About Social Networking And Search?

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The New York Times asks, “Should Yahoo stop trying to beat Google at its own game?” and VC Jim Breyer says, “They should take a hard look at the search business, and it may well be the right time to stop trying to out-Google Google.” Wow, that sounds awfully familiar — probably just a coincidence. […]

June 17th

How Age Matters In Media, Web Services, And Social Networking

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Fred Wilson has been bravely attempting to discuss whether age is a determining factor for successful entrepreneurship — and has been taking it on the chin as a result. As I told Fred in an email, I don’t think he’s come across as being argumentative or dogmatic on the issue at all, it’s just that’s […]

June 7th

Can Social Networking Make Teens Drink More Sprite?

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Now that every man, woman, and child can create their own media, and even their own media platforms, it’s not surprising that consumer brands are also creating their own platforms. So when you read that Sprite is createing a social networking platform for mobile phones, you have to smack your forehead and say, well, of […]

May 11th

Facebook Classified Ad Offering Deals Another Blow To Newspapers

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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 […]

March 3rd

It Matters Who Diggs You

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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 […]

January 20th

Demented And Sad, But Social

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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 […]

December 12th

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

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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 […]

October 27th

Will MySpace and Facebook Be Victims of Their Own Success?

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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 […]

September 9th

Facebook Discovers the Limits of Web 2.0 Sharing Ideology

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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

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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 […]


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