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Facebook Venturing into Politics Coverage

There has been some backlash against Facebook’s recently unveiled Social Ads during the first three weeks of its run, but Facebook is pushing ahead with its own agenda. Today, they announced a partnership with ABC News to bring political coverage to Facebook. As Facebook’s first partnership with a news organization, the deal could change the way that Facebook users think about politics.

Now, just providing political news wouldn’t be enough to make an impact, so Facebook and ABC News will be jointly sponsoring Democratic and Republican debates in New Hampshire. The debates are scheduled for January 5, three days before the state’s primary.

The New York Times covers the deal, noting that ABC News reporters have already been using Facebook as a way to communicate with their readers:

Facebook Marketing Stunt Backfires

Molson brewing company has pulled a promotion on Facebook after complaints that they promote binge drinking. They ran a photo contest targeting 19-24 year old college students.

Called the The Molson Canadian Nation Campus Challenge the ad said, “Be the #1 party school in Canada” and says that the school with the most pictures uploaded would win a trip for five people to spend spring break in Cancun, Mexico.

The next line said: “Show everyone how you and your crew get the party started!” Then it listed the top 10 party schools.Universities and parents both contacted the company to complain. Xavier University administrator Joe MacDonald, who is the dean of students said: “This is not something that is welcome within our campus community.”

Marketing Pilgrim Partners with Open Web Awards

After last year’s success, Mashable will once again host its Social Networking Awards and this time Marketing Pilgrim is helping out.

The awards are renamed the Open Web Awards to highlight the fact that the nominations, voting, and awards will be hosted among several top blogs. Full details are not available just yet–stay tuned over the coming days–but Mashable explains who can enter:

Any company running a new social website, social network, collaborative site or web application. In other words: almost all the new applications on the web, and many of the established ones that have added a spot of Web 2.0 flavor.

Nominations will open soon
and there’s still time to sign up as a sponsor or blog partner.

Facebook Dangles $85M for Chinese Foothold

image Have you noticed how whenever we discuss Friendster these days, we can’t help point out that most of its traffic comes from Asia? Just about everyone mentions this in a negative kind of way–as if the audience isn’t valuable. Well, there must be some value in the Asian market because Facebook reportedly offered $85 million to buy it’s largest Chinese peer,

According to the Times

A spokeswoman told The Times that Jack Zhang, Zhanzuo’s chief executive, and Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder, were acquainted but this did not mean that they intended to reach a deal – for the moment. She added, however, that “there could be more information by the end of the month”.

Trade Shows Go Virtual

Companies like IBM, Cisco, and others are taking their trade shows and conferences virtual. Some, like IBM have used the virtual world Second Life for such events, but virtual trade shows take it a step further. Also, the events are more professional and created for a business environment – there are no actual avatars. However, you can upload a picture, chat with booth representatives, and attend sessions.

Businesses of all sizes are trying out the concept. According to Tradeshow Week magazine, mid-to-large-sized companies spend about $550,000 every year on trade shows.

The Fastest-Growing Social Network

Quick, what’s the fastest-growing social network over the last year?

MySpace? Nope. Facebook? Nope. Bebo? Now, let’s be serious. According to Nielsen Online (and Fortune), it’s . . . LinkedIn.

Yep, the all-business-no-fun-actually-used-for-networking-instead-of-popularity-contests social network is the fastest growing social network out there. Of course, that’s in large part due to the fact that it’s also quite small.

Compare these stats:

Network Growth rate
LinkedIn 189%
Club Penguin 157%
Facebook 125%
Windows Live Spaces 32%
MySpace 19%

Source: Nielsen Online

versus these:

Network Uniques Oct 2007
Increased uniques
Oct 2007 vs Oct 2006
Facebook 19.5 10.8
MySpace 58.8 9.3
LinkedIn 4.9 3.2
Windows Live Spaces 10.3 2.5

Yahoo Mail, iGoogle to Become Social Networks?

Yahoo has long realized that their strength laid in their already-strong web properties: their portal and their email service. Two months ago, we reported that Yahoo Mail, still one of the top free Web-based email programs, could be leveraged as a social networking platform of some sort. Susan Decker, President of Yahoo, said in July that the service was “one of the Web’s largest dormant social networks and one that we are aggressively pursuing ways to activate.”

This week, the New York Times reports that they’ll be doing just that—and not only them, but Google, too. Google’s plans are pretty sketchy (or secret) at this point: